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Old 11-22-2015, 02:12 PM   #1
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Please critique my options on a 17B

Please give your suggestions on my building options of 17B and help a total Newbie. Our deadline is Nov 27th, i.e...6 more days for a 2/29/16 completion.

A little background - I am 60 & DW 55, newly retired, new to camping, have not towed anything so far, not handy around the house, plan to camp only in the camp grounds with all connections & not attempt to Boon dock, we live in Florida & will not camp in cold weather.
We plan to take this epic journey from Florida to Chilliwack BC, on our 2010 Lexus 350 4 WD, with towing package.
We would benefit from your real life experience, critiques & suggestions. I have learned a lot from the Forum, and among many others, learned a lot from another thread named 'If you could do it again, what would be different?'

We formulated this Options list with help from the Lady at Escape Trailers. I may be wrong, but I got the feeling the nice & very helpful Lady herself has not lived & traveled in this Trailer as she was looking up the meaning of the options from a given Book/ Computer.

- 2 Way Hot Water Tank $200
- Stainless Steel Stove, Hood & Cover $150
- 4.3 Cuft Fridge $200
-Additional 12V/USB Outlet - Face of Kitchen Cabinet $ 75
- Additional Over Sink Opening Window $250
-Additional Opening Bath Room Window $200
-LED Captain Centered Ceiling Reading Lights- $ 80
1 each Rear Dinette & Front Dinette-
( I thought Reading Lights will be more helpful coming from from the rear, shoulder side, but could not communicate this to her)
-Extra Insulation & Thermal Windows $800
(DID NOT select Extra Insulation Under the Trailer, as we
will not be travelling in Cold Weather)
- A/C with Digital Thermostat $1100
- Brake Controller $ 95
- E2 Fastway Hitch- Weight Distribution + Sway Controll $ 625
( I wonder if they install the same Hitch I take with me or get it shipped, as I
could get it a little cheaper in US, even after the $ conversion)
-High Lift Axle $100
-Power Tongue Jack $295
- Wireless Back up Camera $400
-Stereo $300
-Jack TV Antenna $375
- TV Mount Arm $ 95
- Exterior Access Hatch $150
- Foot Flush Toilet $ 60
-Exterior Shower $150
-Exterior Propane Quick Connect $160
-1 Shelf in Closet close to Bottom $ 40
- Starter Kit $160
- Front Storage Box $700
-Install 2 provided Horst Tank Probes, I got them shipped $ 50
- Custom Formica $100
- Custom Fabric $100
----------------------------------------------------------------
Total $7010

I have many questions about the use/utility of the following, for me in particular
I am +/- undecided on the Solar Option, Inverters, as we will not be Boon Docking.

Can I buy a Surge Protector cheaper in US ? Escape Price $ 350
What is the use of Exterior 12 V outlet ? " " $ 50
Removable Power Cord (I may loose it,.. lol...) ? $ 150
Aluminum Wheels (Need maintenance) $ 95 ea

I am open to get such options which even though not needed to us at present time, may be useful in the future, & may be either cannot be retrofitted or prove costly later. Please advise.

Thanks a lot for any & all input.

Best regards
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:31 PM   #2
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disneydoc:
We picked up our 17B in mid-Aug. and are really enjoying it. Our use is very different than yours--we mostly camp without hook-ups. Thus, our option choices were quite different than your list. We got the removable power cord--I would not do this in retrospect. Connecting the removable cord has proven to be very problematic--difficulty getting the cord to lock and the potential for cross-threading the locking ring. Problems with this are the only significant issues that we've experienced and we paid extra for the removable cord! If I had it to do over, I'd skip it.

Option choices are really individual--how you intend to use your trailer will determine what is right for you. Good luck, I'm sure you'll enjoy your Escape!

Dave
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:44 PM   #3
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Think I'd see about changing the captain lamps for just plain ceiling lights if you are going to center them on the table. The capt lights work like spot lights, the ceiling light is more of an area light if I'm reading your description right. Don't know if they'll do it though. I find I get shadows using the capt's light at the table in their default corner position so don't use them.

I am +/- undecided on the Solar Option, Inverters, as we will not be Boon Docking.
I'd skip these

Can I buy a Surge Protector cheaper in US ? Escape Price $ 350 Probably, but I'd get it from ETI, it's easier
What is the use of Exterior 12 V outlet ? " " $ 50 I use mine for an outside fan and a small inverter, you can skip it as you'll have 110vac
Removable Power Cord (I may loose it,.. lol...) ? $ 150 Personal preference, they both do the job. I've had both and have no favorite.
Aluminum Wheels (Need maintenance) $ 95 ea" I had rust problems with the white steel on my old Starcraft so I went with aluminum. Don't know if the ETI white ones rust like the Starcraft's did, but that's why I went with aluminum. Look cool too.
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:44 PM   #4
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I'm sure u will get lots of opinions. I'll offer several.

I'd get the surge protector installed by ETI. it will be installed within the electrical system of the trailer itself. I'm not "handy" at much either but believe if u do it yourself putting something inside the trailer u are taking on a big technical job. Otherwise I think u can buy a surge protector but it hangs off the trailer and u have to connect it all the time.

I like the removable cord since it doesn't have to get bungled up and dirty inside the trailer. Other escape owners of course like the attached cord. Re: forgetting it at hp e. Always leave it in the storage and have a leaving checklist to tick off.

We like the permanent bed since we would hate to set up the bed all the time. Of course u end up with one smallish eating area. It is a foundational decision u make one way or the other.

We didn't put in any electrical music system like a stereo since electronics change so quickly. We listen to music via our devices. And can use small speakers if we want to.

We skipped the exterior hatch one less hole in the shell. We use the storage box for Ll outside stuff. Of course this again depends on your camping style. AND since we live relatively close to ETI we can swing by and they'll put on in for us if we decide we want one.

If u r new to towing I'd make sure to schedule towing lessons. Valley driving school is a few doors down from ETI. We had not towed before either and found their training very beneficial. I'd say it is a must if u r new to towing.

Have fun. (Remember what they say about opinions, everyone has one. .

Larry
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:49 PM   #5
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Not sure why you ordered the high lift axle if you don't intend to leave the highways. I got it because I was intending to tow with a pickup truck ( which didn't happen ). I expect that it reduces gas mileage, but no proof.
When I got mine in 2008 there were far fewer options, but I can't say I really need anything more than I got. Solar would have been good to have and I'd like to have a light centered over the table for playing crib or scrabble.
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:51 PM   #6
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disneydoc welcome and congratulations. As Dave says options are very much based on your personal need and wants to its hard for anyone else to do much. I'd ask if you plan on driving down a lot of roads on which you will need the high lift. We don't have it and have never needed it, but lots of people do need it. The front of the 17B is very easy to lift with the regular jack screw, so to me, the power tongue jack would just seem like extra weight. That said - those two options might be perfect for your uses and needs.

Enjoy the process!
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:10 PM   #7
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I have never had an issue with the removable power cord so opting for or against one is a personal choice. Many others can attest to the pros and cons of each. Having not had one in my previous trailer and now having one? I wouldn't go back to the pull-out kind for all the tea in China.
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:25 PM   #8
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Raj,
Congratulations and welcome.
We have a 17A (Sept. 2015), and have found, so far, that it is the perfect size for us. Here are some observations that may help you:

-Opening window at the kitchen: we use it all the time, especially when the hood fan is on, to provide make up air (Escape trailers don't have leaky seams).
-Captain's reading lights: we had them installed in the corners. One of us can read without the light on the other. We can turn them to face the wall for indirect lighting. The overhead LED lighting fixtures give plenty of general lighting.
-High lift axle: we did NOT get it. We sometimes explore camping sites down dirt roads, but have sufficient ground clearance with the regular axle. We just take it carefully.
-Surge protection: Not all campground power is good, clean, and correctly wired. We had Escape install the Surge Protection, and think that it is a must have.
We added an exterior 12V DC outlet next to the 120V AC exterior one (passenger size rear). It was an easy add to our list, to be used: for an air compressor for tires & water toys, for lights, for radio or electronics, computer, ... We sleep and maybe eat in the trailer; other than that, we are outside, so we put the power there.
Power tongue jack: 1st thing I did when we visited ETI (Escape Trailer Industries) was to see if my back back could tolerate hand-cranking the tongue jack. Result: easy as pie, so we did not get the power jack. The bonus is that we can open the rear hatch on our SUV with the trailer hooked up, and not hit the jack.
-Along with the extra insulation and thermal windows, we got the underfloor foam insulation, because we live in the hot Southwest. It keeps the trailer cooler in summer, warmer in winter, and we believe it is quieter inside.
Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) and Sway control: We tow without them: The 17 is a very stable tow, with 12 feet between ball and axle. We found no sway problems, next to no influence by passing trucks, and we even drove through an area with high winds, with almost no movement of the 17. You could try without, then add the WDH if necessary.

Hope this helps. Enjoy.
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:28 PM   #9
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I'd check that price for the brake controller, they are normally a lot more. The price for the EMS is what you would pay to buy it and then you would have to install, let them do for free. If you do not want the foam and only camp with full hookups and avoid winter, I would also drop the thermal windows and extra insulation. I would drop the removable power cord as you can always add that later. Most cg have cable tv so you can skip the Jack antenna. Drop the hi-lift axle and you will have saved close to $1500-$2000 on all of these
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:36 PM   #10
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The 4.3 refer does not cool adequately even with extensive modifications.If you opt for it, plan on traveling with a cooler for perishables.
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:38 PM   #11
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I have had pull-out and removable cords. By far, I much prefer the removable one. It would be near impossible to forget it. The minute I unplug, it gets coiled and set inside its storage bin, as does all the hoses, blocks, chocks, etc. The very last thing I do before getting into the car to drive away, is to do one last walk-around of the trailer and tow, checking things are as they should be, and nothing is left on the ground.

I did forget my brother one time, but to be fair, he also left his dog behind once too.
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:50 PM   #12
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My opinins on 17B

Here are my opinions on your 17B options. They are free so you get what you pay for. I just sold a 2015 17B in September so I know enough about them to be dangerous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by disneydoc View Post
Please give your suggestions on my building options of 17B and help a total Newbie. Our deadline is Nov 27th, i.e...6 more days for a 2/29/16 completion.

A little background - I am 60 & DW 55, newly retired, new to camping, have not towed anything so far, not handy around the house, plan to camp only in the camp grounds with all connections & not attempt to Boon dock, we live in Florida & will not camp in cold weather.
We plan to take this epic journey from Florida to Chilliwack BC, on our 2010 Lexus 350 4 WD, with towing package.
We would benefit from your real life experience, critiques & suggestions. I have learned a lot from the Forum, and among many others, learned a lot from another thread named 'If you could do it again, what would be different?'

We formulated this Options list with help from the Lady at Escape Trailers. I may be wrong, but got the feeling the nice & very helpful Lady herself has not lived & traveled in this Trailer as she was looking up the meaning of the options from a given Book/ Computer.


- 2 Way Hot Water Tank $200
YES
- Stainless Steel Stove, Hood & Cover $150
YES
- 4.3 Cuft Fridge $200
YES
-Additional 12V/USB Outlet - Face of Kitchen Cabinet $ 75
YES
- Additional Over Sink Opening Window $250
YES
-Additional Opening Bath Room Window $200
YES
-LED Captain Centered Ceiling Reading Lights- $ 80
GET ONE EACH CORNER
1 each Rear Dinette & Front Dinette-
( I thought Reading Lights will be more helpful coming from from the rear, shoulder side, but could not communicate this to her)
-Extra Insulation & Thermal Windows $800
YES CUTS DOWN NOISE A LOT
(DID NOT select Extra Insulation Under the Trailer, as we
will not be travelling in Cold Weather)
- A/C with Digital Thermostat $1100
- Brake Controller $ 95
- E2 Fastway Hitch- Weight Distribution + Sway Controll $ 625
( I wonder if they install the same Hitch I take with me or get it shipped, as I
could get it a little cheaper in US, even after the $ conversion)
-High Lift Axle $100
-Power Tongue Jack $295
17B IS EASY TO JACK UP AND DOWN
- Wireless Back up Camera $400
YES COULD SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE
-Stereo $300
-Jack TV Antenna $375
- TV Mount Arm $ 95
- Exterior Access Hatch $150
YES I USED IT ALL THE TIME
- Foot Flush Toilet $ 60
FOR SURE
-Exterior Shower $150
FOR SURE
-Exterior Propane Quick Connect $160
-1 Shelf in Closet close to Bottom $ 40
- Starter Kit $160
- Front Storage Box $700
DON'T LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT
-Install 2 provided Horst Tank Probes, I got them shipped $ 50
- Custom Formica $100
LOVED MINE
- Custom Fabric $100
LOVED MINE
----------------------------------------------------------------
Total $7010

I have many questions about the use/utility of the following, for me in particular
I am +/- undecided on the Solar Option, Inverters, as we will not be Boon Docking.

Can I buy a Surge Protector cheaper in US ? Escape Price $ 350
What is the use of Exterior 12 V outlet ? " " $ 50
Removable Power Cord (I may loose it,.. lol...) ? $ 150
Aluminum Wheels (Need maintenance) $ 95 ea

I am open to get such options which even though not needed to us at present time, may be useful in the future, & may be either cannot be retrofitted or prove costly later. Please advise.

Thanks a lot for any & all input.

Best regards
Get the removable cord, aluminum wheels and surge protector.

Just my opinions
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Most cg have cable tv so you can skip the Jack antenna.
I have never been in a campground that has cable television. Maybe commercial ones do, but certainly not state or federal parks--at least the ones where I've been.
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:45 PM   #14
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Can't help but throw in my 2 bits on an open topic like this one!!
I'd not be too worried about stuff you can add or change as you like with little need to get into walls or ceilings....stuff that will come up as you use the trailer. I would concentrate on running more conduit while the trailer is being built to facilitate future additions or upgrades in electrical stuff such as controllers, sound systems, lights etc. Fishing lines at a later date is frustrating and you risk damaging something. Plan for future. We thought we wouldn't need a micro wave. After 2 years we have both micro wave and toaster oven ( and an electric juicer) - the latter two get plugged in outside. Have valued our decision to go with the bigger fridge. One addition which I haven't explored would be a bulkhead mounted electric heater as when you are in serviced sites why burn your propane when electricity is part of the site cost. Just my 2 bits....
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Not sure why you ordered the high lift axle if you don't intend to leave the highways. I got it because I was intending to tow with a pickup truck ( which didn't happen ). I expect that it reduces gas mileage, but no proof.
I agree. Also, while the extra height helps clearance when going through dips (such as driveway entrances) it also makes getting in and out more difficult, and it definitely reduces stability (although perhaps not enough to notice).

Assuming that the current version of this option is a set of spacers, it can be added later if desired (at the expense of some effort, or extra cost to have someone else do the work).
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Old 11-22-2015, 05:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
I have never been in a campground that has cable television. Maybe commercial ones do, but certainly not state or federal parks--at least the ones where I've been.
The op mentions staying in cg with hook ups only. Most of the state and federal do not have or have limited facilities. I'm assuming the op is staying at a KOA type which provide, water, electric,sewerage, cable tv, wi/fi and some even have telephone hookups.
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Old 11-22-2015, 05:44 PM   #17
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Here's my 2c:
- Yes to the surge protector installed by ETI.
- I'd forget the 2 way water heater, the regular heater uses very little propane and it does the job.
- The 4.3 CF fridge has had problems cooling in hot areas.
- Yes on the additional windows, the extra light and ventilation will be welcomed.
- Yes on the extra insulation and thermal windows, they'll help keep outside noise down and the heat out.
- ETI does not install the brake controller so I'd get one installed by a nearby shop.
- I got both the high lift axle and removable power cord shortly after picking up my 17B. My rationalization for the high lift is I want the trailer to go where the 4Runner goes. The removable power cord allows me to use smaller 10' and or 15' 12 gauge extensions with the 30A to 15A pigtail I got from Amazon and leave the heavy 30A power cord home. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
- I like the power jack, makes life easy for an ole man who has a bad back.
- Personally I like the solar and inverter options, but then I normally dry camp. The solar keeps the batteries charged up when home, no need to plug in except to cool the fridge. The inverter? Well, who knows when you might need it when you're not able to plug in.
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Old 11-22-2015, 06:14 PM   #18
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Congratulations on your 17B. As another 17B'r and also a newbie (just picked mine up a month ago), will offer some thoughts from my short experience time.

- Stainless Steel Stove, Hood & Cover: Glad I have it.

-Additional 12V/USB Outlet: Glad to have and wish I had ordered one for the outside of the trailer. But not really necessary for you if you will always be hooked up to electricity,

-Additional Opening Bath Room Window: Didn't get the extra window over the sink but did get the window in the bathroom and highly recommend it.

-LED Captain Centered Ceiling Reading Lights: I ordered one for over my bed but do not need it, there is so much light from the LED's. But I am traveling solo. This might be good for a couple who wants to direct their own reading lights.

-Extra Insulation & Thermal Windows: I hope to not travel in cold weather either but did order this and am glad.

-High Lift Axle: Did order. Not needed yet but very likely will be as I get further south and do more boondocking.

-Power Tongue Jack: I know it's easy to raise and lower without power but am very glad to have this since I seem to be always making little adjustments when hitching/unhitching and this is just so darn easy!

- Exterior Access Hatch: Did not get and do not miss.

- Foot Flush Toilet: SO glad I got it!

-Exterior Shower: Haven't used it yet but am sure I will in the future when I rescue my puppy!

-1 Shelf in Closet close to Bottom: Did not get and wish I had.

- Starter Kit : I guess these items could be found at a lesser cost but it was great to have everything on hand!

- Front Storage Box: Couldn't do without it! (or would hate to have to do without it!)

-Install 2 provided Horst Tank Probes, I got them shipped: My readings on the black tank seem to be consistently off but I'm getting the feel of where the levels actually are.
- Custom Formica
- Custom Fabric: Got both and very happy with my choices (now that I know how to wipe down black formica without getting smudges).
----------------------------------------------------------------

Good luck! It will be wonderful! And the people on this Forum are SO knowledgeable and helpful - couldn't have made it (and kept my sanity) without them!
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Old 11-22-2015, 07:06 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jubal View Post
The 4.3 refer does not cool adequately even with extensive modifications.If you opt for it, plan on traveling with a cooler for perishables.
Jubal mine now went down to 31 on 4 . I was traveling in 90-100+ heat and frig never went over 42.,43 from opening door .It recovered very fast ,unlike before . I hit 56 in shade , outside temp about 76 before mods . I never did install the new temp mod . I just hang thermistor outside it's holder . I am happy with the trouble I went through . I still carry A ice chest and always will . Pat
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Old 11-22-2015, 07:36 PM   #20
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Any insulation will help you with the heat just as it helps with cold. Depends on what you want to spend. Our 30-amp cord works fine. The aluminum rims are beautiful. Again, what you want to spend.

If you expect to only be plugged in to 120, then no need for exterior 12v unless you already own 12v items that you want to use such as fan, cookware, lights. We have an extra exterior 120.
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