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Old 04-30-2018, 09:44 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Deland, Florida
Trailer: 2018 Escape 19 on order
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Shake Down Cruise

We picked up our 19 in Sumas WA on March 29 and started our shakedown cruise. After almost 5,000 miles traveling coast to coast, we arrived back in FL on April 24. This was a pretty good shake down with a mix of boon docking and RV parks, mountains, plains, 2 lanes and Interstate highways. I thought I'd share my thoughts on both the Escape 19 and our tow vehicle since both are fairly new to us.

Tow Vehicle - 2017 Nissan NV 3500 Passenger Van, V8 Engine, 7 speed transmission, tow package. I can't say enough good about this van as a tow vehicle. It is comfortable to drive and ride, has tons of power and space. In it's stock configuration, it seats 12. We removed the last row of 4 seats and built in a storage "box". This left us room to transport 8 (including driver) and have a bunch of usable storage in the back. The van pulled every mountain without overheating or even straining. We try to cruise at 60 MPH to relax and see the world around us. At this speed, the engine is around 1,600 RPM, barely working. This gave us an average of 14 or 15 MPG. Some tanks saw as high as 17 MPG in flat areas and as low as 11 in the steep grades of Northern California and Oregon going through the Redwoods. My wife said, as she was driving, "You can't even tell the trailer is back there.". If you're looking for a tow vehicle, I can highly recommend the Nissan NV 3500 Passenger.

Trailer - 2018 Escape 19: Downsizing from a large well built classic Wanderlodge Motor Coach, I was worried that I would feel cramped in a 19 foot trailer. I'm very happy to report that this was not the case. We were extremely happy with our choice. After the first couple of nights adjusting, we felt very comfortable. Yes, it's smaller, but we adapted.
Bed: The queen bed, stock mattress, is very comfortable. I'm a big guy and my wife is average build. We were both comfortable in the bed and remarked how well we slept every night.
Bath/Shower: For me, the shower is too small so I never used it. This is not unusual for me, even in the big class A, I would often used the RV Park showers. My wife did not shower in it either, not because of space but to conserve water and gray tank space. The toilet worked quite well, no complaints here, other than space, and this really isn't a complaint, more of an observation.
Kitchen: The kitchen area is small but adequate. We hadn't taken all of our kitchen utensils so we didn't cook as much as we normally would, but it was fine. The sink was good for washing dishes, etc. No complaints. My wife made a paper towel holder/towel rack by taking on of the refrigerator "retaining rods" and putting it between the range hood and cabinet support to the left of the range. Originally she thought this would be temporary but it worked so well it will probably be a permanent fixture.
Dinette: We have the standard table that slides back and forth. This works fairly well but is kind of flimsy if someone puts their arms on the table. To make the are more usable, we'll probably make our own table top that is much smaller and just sits on one of the legs. One negative are the bottom seat cushions. These are way too soft. After sitting on them for a while, you're right on the plywood underneath. I'll probably have much denser foam put in these cushions and that should resolve the problem.
Storage: We found the storage adequate for our needs. My cut is, if you can live it if for a month, you're good to go. We had plenty of storage for clothes under and over the bed. We found lots of room for kitchen utensils and food. No complaints here.
CPAP: I use a CPAP machine while sleeping. I had ordered an extra outlet and "gromet" above the bed to facilitate the electrical needs of the CPAP and allow the hose to come out of the cabinet above my head. These were both placed on the front of the cabinet and work well. That said, I wold have preferred that they put them on the bottom of the cabinet instead of the front. This would allow for cleaner routing of the hose and power cord.
Towing: This trailer tows like a dream. As previously stated, you hardly notice it's behind you. It tracks right behind the van. Two big thumbs up in the towing department.
Tires/Lug Nuts: Per instructions, I periodically re-torqued the lug nuts to 95 foot pounds. While I never found any of them "loose", sever went 1/4 turn or so when before reaching the specified torque. In my opinion, you really need to do this to avoid a problem down the road. Tires held up well, no complaints here.
E2 Load Balancing/Anti Sway Hitch: As reported, the trailer towed beautifully, no sway even in very high cross winds. We did have 1 problem. We started noticing loud grinding sounds from the hitch area when we made sharp turns. Turns out the brackets installed on the trailer tongue had slipped or "walked". The passenger side was at almost a 45 degree angle and the driver side was slightly off. The end result was that the "L" brackets were severely worn. I took pictures and contacted Escape Customer support. They put me in touch with the company that makes the hitch and within 2 hours, they had contacted me. They ended up sending new, heavier duty brackets to my house, which were at my doorstep when I got home. We re-adjusted the original brackets to make it home, using Lock Tite on the bolts to make sure they didn't loosen up. I now have to clean and repaint the trailer frame where the sliding brackets scraped the paint off, and install the new, stronger brackets. The support was very fast and efficient. NOTE: When we re-positioned/re-torqued the original brackets, we found that the outside nuts were loose enough to turn by hand. These are nylock nuts, I have no idea how they got loose, but they were. If you have this hitch, I suggest you have a look at this once in a while to make sure there is no problem.
Refrigerator: We chose the smaller refrigerator. This worked very well for us. While towing, we ran it under propane, never had a problem. We asked about running it on DC. We were told that running the fridge on DC WILL NOT COOL THE FRIDGE DOWN, run it on propane.
Propane: After almost a month of travel, running the fridge on propane and using furnace and water heater, we still have propane in the original first tank. We had a lot of cold nights where the furnace ran a lot. No complaints here.
Tanks: The tanks are up to the task of boon docking for several days. Note, we didn't shower so gray water never filled up. My only complaint is that the gray water tank drains very slowly, even when the trailer is level. Is this common to other 19s?
Optional Storage on Front: Great addition, would not want to be without it.
Propane Tank Cover: Literally wedged in between the storage box and the electric jack. Would like to see a little better solution in this area.
Electric Jack: Works great!
TV: My bad, I didn't take a TV to have them install. I must have misunderstood. I'll install myself, shouldn't be a big deal.

I think that pretty much covers it. I hope this helps some other folks in the decision making. Overall, we had a great trip and are ready to hit the road again.

If you have questions, please ask, I'll try to answer as best I can.

Dan
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Old 04-30-2018, 10:14 AM   #2
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Good summary Dan. Thanks for posting.
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:32 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingbiscuit View Post
My only complaint is that the gray water tank drains very slowly, even when the trailer is level. Is this common to other 19s?

Dan
Nice comprehensive summery and others waiting to do their maiden voyage might find it useful and put some of their fears to rest.

Short answer for the grey water tank question. Yes. The reason is that the drain is on the side of the tank. As the fluid level descends lower the available cross-sectional area decreases and the drain rate slows. Nearing the end it's agonizingly slow. Many either say, at some point, "good enough" or put a block under the wheels on the other side to speed up draining.

Ron
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:41 AM   #4
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Sounds great! Thanks for posting.
We pickup our 21' in June !
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:45 AM   #5
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FYI, Escape will/can not install electrical on the underside due to RVIA rules/regulations, I'm told. Everything on the face plates. Something you can do now. Good summary of your impressions.
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Old 04-30-2018, 12:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingbiscuit View Post
My only complaint is that the gray water tank drains very slowly, even when the trailer is level. Is this common to other 19s?
Dan: Nice write up. Thanks for taking the time.

As far as the gray tank draining slow I have a theory that worked at least for a 21 based on response from Iowa Dave....pull the shower drain. Many people don't know this, but Escape originally had a dedicated gray tank vent/overflow in the wheel well on the passenger side that was omitted at some point. If the tank can't replace the water with air it isn't going to want to drain. If you try this please report back if it seems to work.

slow draining of grey tank on 2017 19'
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:34 PM   #7
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Dave if I can remember definetly going to give that a try . Pat
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Old 04-30-2018, 01:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
Dan: Nice write up. Thanks for taking the time.

As far as the gray tank draining slow I have a theory that worked at least for a 21 based on response from Iowa Dave....pull the shower drain. Many people don't know this, but Escape originally had a dedicated gray tank vent/overflow in the wheel well on the passenger side that was omitted at some point. If the tank can't replace the water with air it isn't going to want to drain. If you try this please report back if it seems to work.

slow draining of grey tank on 2017 19'
Just don't forget to close or stinky gray water in your shower.
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Old 04-30-2018, 02:09 PM   #9
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On my trailer, at least, ETI went to a dedicated roof vent for the grey tank. That's the green/white hose from the kitchen sink which goes to a vertical vent from the tank to the roof.

This is what I mean about diminishing drain size as the level gets down to below the top of the drain pipe. At some point it must approach infinity. Before then I've probably said "good enough".

Ron
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Old 04-30-2018, 03:04 PM   #10
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Am surprised to hear the seat cushion foam being soft. Ours were very firm and still are supportive almost four years later.
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