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Old 09-12-2016, 11:23 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
All of this talk of snow is scaring me! We don't have that stuff down here and I'm scheduled to pick up my 21' in January.
Snow is great. I love snow. It means I get to do different fun things.

Towing a trailer is not one of these fun things, but I do tow trailers all the time in the winter here. At least 90% of my driving is with a trailer of some sort behind me, travel, dump or cargo. Most winter conditions are okay to drive in with a little added care. Icy conditions though I often manage without somehow.

With heading to get your trailer in January from Chilliwack, you definitely have to assume you may have bad road conditions somewhere along the way. Unless you need it right away, I suggest you have them store it for a while. Warranty does not start until you do pick up.

My brother is due to pick his 19 up in November, and unless he is certain all the passes will be good, he is just going to wait until closer to spring to pick it up.

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Old 09-12-2016, 11:31 AM   #22
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Location: Clinton, Washington
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
All of this talk of snow is scaring me! We don't have that stuff down here and I'm scheduled to pick up my 21' in January.
I've driven from Washington to California many times in December. The trick is to be flexible with your scheduling. The passes don't stay closed- mostly they are bare and dry- so you just have to be able to pull over and wait it out if the forecast is for snow. No problem with your trailer as long as you allow plenty of time so you aren't forced to drive in bad weather. I managed almost 100% to drive on bare, dry pavement in 30 years of "commuting" to California. It's harder to guarantee bare, dry pavement over 90 (or probably 80) but you can always head all the way south once you make it to California.

It rarely snows in the lowlands on the west coast but you really don't want to be on the road if it does since many people out here have no clue how to drive in snow.

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Old 09-12-2016, 11:40 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
I drove from upstate NY in April, 2011, and turned it into a 111 day journey - here is the journal of the trip. While the weather along the way was good for the most part, some of the passes through the Continental Divide were white out conditions, even in April.
Your scaring me Jon. No, really snow thru the passes is a concern of mine. But this is just the way things worked out. Original plan was to pick up trailer and winter over in AZ. But wife had unexpected surgery and shouldn't be that far away from her Doctor for that long. We discussed having it delivered, but wife said very sternly. " we have not been able to do anything this summer because of this! I'm going to have one adventure this year and this is it!". So this is it. Should be interesting.
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Old 09-12-2016, 11:47 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
All of this talk of snow is scaring me! We don't have that stuff down here and I'm scheduled to pick up my 21' in January.
You should be fine staying along the west coast up I5 in California, Oregon, and Washington and I40 or I10 across from Texas to I5 in California.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:00 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
You should be fine staying along the west coast up I5 in California, Oregon, and Washington and I40 or I10 across from Texas to I5 in California.
I agree with this route, at least while towing. This is pretty much the way I came back from Chilliwack & I only ran into snow on the edges of the road going over the Santiam Pass on OR Rt 22. The interstates are usually kept more clear of snow than the secondary roads, although I much prefer getting off the freeways.

The whiteout conditions I hit was going over the pass near Bozeman on I90. If I was towing, I would have waited for the sun (or plows) to clear the road & the snow to stop. Since I live in Oswego, NY, where we get between 150" - 200" of snow a year, I'm comfortable driving in it, but not towing.
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Old 09-20-2016, 12:44 AM   #26
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Trailer: 2016 21 on order
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Originally Posted by whitepine View Post
We are planning our route to ETI for pickup of our 21' escape. Sure would appreciate any advice as to route or stops that anyone has experienced. We're located in East TN and will also be traveling with our dogs. Looks like it will be a long trip, plus we'll be tent camping until we pickup the escape. We'd like to be able to see some sights along the way as well. Also considering after taking possession of trailer that we would like to travel in Canada & since we have family near Albany, NY come back to that area before completing our trip home. Also would appreciate any advice that anyone can offer as to weather for later in the year. ETI has told us that there is a campground across the road from them & we are considering staying at it a couple of days before starting the journey home so that we can check out everything on the escape & become familiar with it.
Hi Whitepine,

We probably did a superset of this trip in July/August. On the "to Chilliwack" route we veered from Raleigh to Michigan/Ohio to visit family, so I'm not sure how much our routes will overlap. We stayed at hotels, with an 8 year old and no dogs, and so our interests may not align with yours(or anyones). But basically, from Michigan, I-90 West to I-15 North to Brooks, AB, and then across Canada, West on HWY 1 to Chilliwack.

Stops of interest for us on the way there:

Rapid City SD(as strange as that may seem): Mt. Rushmore, underground gold mine tours and gold panning, herds of buffalo and burros(bring carrots)at Custer State park, catwalks/walkways over an active 31 Woolly mammoth excavation site, the Badlands(like being on another planet, with big horn sheep that come up to your car), Wind Cave and lots of surrounding BLM land to collect jasper, agates and petrified wood

Brooks AB : Our base camp for the Dinosaur Provincial park. The Drumheller museum is the best I've ever been to. They do have a campsite here, at the south end of the park, but be forewarned, in July the mosquitoes were pretty bad. The Ramada has a great indoor water slide.

Lake Louise/Moraine Lake AB: Beautiful, beautiful place. Was crowded and expensive(in high season with last minute in town reservations) though.

On the way back, we took I-5/US 101 South to I-40 East and across the US. Highlights for us, on the return route were :

Shari's - Restaurant chain on the West coast - excellent pie

Olympic National Park : The Hoh rain forest, spooky, but cool/different. Lots of hiking trails. Trees were impressive.

Trinidad CA : Great place as a base camp to tour the Redwoods. Very impressive, IMHO you should see them if you haven't. Agate beach nearby, you can't go wrong. Roosevelt Elk herds. Salmon were being pulled from the Klamath, fun to watch. You've got to do the drive through the tree, I think it was only $5.

Petrified Forest AZ: on the exit off I-40(Holbrook?) has some of the real life versions of the places in the Pixar "Cars" movie(teepee village motel, dinosaurs downtown) struck a chord with us, more Route 66 memorabilia(a restored hotel) is in the park as well as the impressive petrified trees.

On the weather, sorry, can't help you there, we went in July/Aug

Lastly, on the "ETI has told us that there is a campground across the road from them & we are considering staying at it a couple of days...." - I think that is the Cottonwood RV park, and it is literally across the street from them, 2 turns, maybe 2 - 3 miles ?

ETI pointed us to Cottonwood while we were in our holding pattern(exports suspended), and Cottonwood grew a vacancy(earlier in the day, they told us they were full) when we told them we were there to pick up a trailer from ETI. Its a very clean/safe park(they would not let us in to inspect the park unless we were guests), but a little close to the highway, so you get some road noise. Nice place, though, greenery between spots.

Good idea on testing everything out while you're there. We did that as well, and had 2 minor adjustments....water pump and door latch adjustments, done before we left.

Hope this helps and you enjoy your trip. I'm sure you will. Its a lot of miles, but lots out there to see/do. Wish we would've had more time. It is a nice trailer. The ETI folks were great to meet and work with.
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Old 09-20-2016, 11:43 AM   #27
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Congrats on your impending new Escape and your trip! We just returned from our excursion to Chilliwack from Illinois. We pretty much took 90 the entire way, back and forth. My rationale for choosing 90 (return trip) instead of going north through Stevens Pass was several fold. The elevation for Parts of Route 20 and Stevens Pass I believe was higher, the roads were more tortuous, and I read that they had 2 Lane Highways as opposed to the 3 and 4 lanes on route 90 through Washington. As newbies towing a trailer, we just didn't want to chance any problems.

Additionally, we wanted to stop at the Slumber Ease mattress factory in Marysville, Washington, to buy the Hypervent material. Supposedly, placing this under the mattress helps to facilitate airflow and thwarts mold formation. This is located on I-5, well south of Route 20. They also had one of the lowest prices for Hypervent that I found, and picking it up in person obviated having to pay exorbitant shipping costs.

We also chose this route to visit some wonderful national parks, including Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, and the Badlands. We stayed at a combination of Air Force Base Fam camps, as well as a few gems right off the highway. Thank goodness for Google and camp ratings! If you send me a PM, I can send you the names of some of the better RV campgrounds we found.
If you choose this route, just be careful to pace your stops and refueling. There are stretches through the western Montana mountains, eastern Montana reservations, and portions along South Dakota where services could be 60+ miles apart.
Happy traveling!

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