Why not use the trunk instead of the front storage box? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 10-19-2016, 01:44 PM   #1
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Why not use the trunk instead of the front storage box?

This question is for all of you who have and like the front storage box. My first thought when I was reading the options list was that I wouldn't need a front storage box.

I was planning on having 3 clear plastic boxes to hold the wet/dirty/outside things that needed to be brought. The boxes would be kept inside the trailer during storage, and moved to the trunk before leaving on a trip. They would remain in the trunk for the duration of our trip, and moved back to the trailer when we got back home.

Later, I saw that there were several long threads filled with people who LOVE their storage boxes. I'd say maybe 75% of the people responding either love their storage box or want one, and a lot of people seem to regret not getting the option after taking possession of their trailers. So, I've started to second guess myself. Is there something non-obvious that would make me regret not getting the front storage box?

So, I'm curious. Those of you who have the front storage box, why is it so much better than using the trunk or the back of your truck? I came up with the following possible reasons:
1) My trunk/rear is already full! But, wouldn't filling both spaces put too much weight on the rear of the vehicle?
2) I don't like putting stuff that touches the sewer into my vehicle or trailer. Ok, I can see this one, but it doesn't bother me personally.
3) I like the ergonomics of accessing the front storage box better than the trunk. But, they're both in the same general area and the trunk seems easier to access to me.
4) I like how the trailer is ready to go at a momentís notice without moving things around. But, moving 3 boxes from the trailer to the tow vehicle shouldn't take much time, and this only needs to be done at the start and end of a trip.
5) Adding weight to my front storage box aids towing stability by getting closer to the 15% weight on the tongue that is supposedly best for towing stability. But, from what I've read ETI trailers are already well balanced.
6) Protecting the trailer from rocks is the most important benefit. But, it is possible to apply RhinoShield to the trailer itself. Given that the cost is almost the same though, I could see this as being a good enough reason in itself.

Or, is there some other reason that Iíve missed above?
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:58 PM   #2
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I don't think you have missed a thing, A well informed decision. I love my front storage box. For me freeing up the space in the back of the pick-up is my biggest factor. After using it, would I sell for what I paid......No.
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:59 PM   #3
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If you don't get the box, you can spend your afternoons wondering what you can use that space for. I do.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:00 PM   #4
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It's not that your system wouldn't work but once you have a front storage box for a while you realize it just makes things easier. For me, aside from the batteries, it's the place where specific trailer items like chocks, blocks, wet hoses etc. can be immediately accessed. They live there permanently. Bottom line: it's just easier with the box.

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Old 10-19-2016, 02:19 PM   #5
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It is always better to have more weight in the front than in the rear for towing reasons.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:23 PM   #6
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I initially balked at the cost of the front storage box, but finally relented because I did actually want it. And now that we have it, don't regret the expense at all. We just love the convenience of it.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
If you don't get the box, you can spend your afternoons wondering what you can use that space for. I do.
In our case I think filling both the storage box and the trunk with stuff might overload our SUV's rear axle, so I'm not sure that absolute cubic feet of storage space is our limiting factor. We have a 500lb tongue weight rating. Maybe driving slow is a solution though.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:30 PM   #8
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Most components of a hitch system have limits, this is what it is important to have a tongue scale and measure the weight exerting on the hitch. Judicious loading becomes an art after awhile.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:32 PM   #9
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Most components of a hitch system have limits, this is what it is important to have a tongue scale and measure the weight exerting on the hitch. Judicious loading becomes an art after awhile.
This is one reason why I am considering the front storage box. It could allow for fine tuning the weight distribution better than without one.

On the flip side, the box itself weights 40lb, so you loose the ability to go lighter than 40lb without removing the box semi-permanently.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:35 PM   #10
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If 40 lbs is that critical then I'd look for another tow vehicle, you will be amazed at the weight of "stuff" you will accumulate inside, then get your trailer weighed, it is a shocker.
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Old 10-19-2016, 02:54 PM   #11
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We also wrinkled our brows at the price of the box. But, with the recommendations on the forum, and our friend Pat in Simi, we went with it. All the dirty stuff goes in the box. The chocks, and other things used for setup are there in one place, without ever opening the trailer.

*****The Big plus. A truck tire tread was kicked up by the car in front of us. It hit the front of the box, which now has a ding/small crack. That would have been a hole in the front of our trailer. So, the box is the rock/hazard/debris protector for the trailer front. I'll Take it!!!
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Old 10-19-2016, 03:15 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
It's not that your system wouldn't work but once you have a front storage box for a while you realize it just makes things easier. For me, aside from the batteries, it's the place where specific trailer items like chocks, blocks, wet hoses etc. can be immediately accessed. They live there permanently. Bottom line: it's just easier with the box.

Ron
Ron hit the nail on the head. We did 20,000 miles in 7 months w/o a box in 2015. We bought and installed last year and did 16,000/ 6 months this year. NO comparison. Life is easier with. we have a full sized Ford E-250 van that is full of other things so we have no extra space in the TV. Self contained is sweet. Rock protection AND a nice level spot to put your coffee mug while hooking up.

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Old 10-19-2016, 03:17 PM   #13
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I, for one, don't want to root around in the back of the truck looking for stuff when it'll all be in the front storage box. I figure I'll have enough other stuff back there that the less time I shuffle stuff around in there, the better. Even if it's neatly organized (which it won't be after hauling around corners and bumping around on dirt roads).

Granted, you said "trunk", which would be way easier than "truck bed". However, I ask, how empty is your trunk to start with? How much other stuff will you wad in there for your trip? See where I'm going?
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:14 PM   #14
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If you don't get the box, you can spend your afternoons wondering what you can use that space for. I do.
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:30 PM   #15
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Old 10-19-2016, 04:33 PM   #16
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As an aside, it doesn't have to be an all or nothing situation. Some have bought ready made poly boxes that fit the space and others, like myself and Myron, for much less cost, have built ourselves custom boxes that do the job. So there is a middle alternative.

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Old 10-19-2016, 05:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by dfandrews View Post
We also wrinkled our brows at the price of the box. But, with the recommendations on the forum, and our friend Pat in Simi, we went with it. All the dirty stuff goes in the box. The chocks, and other things used for setup are there in one place, without ever opening the trailer.

*****The Big plus. A truck tire tread was kicked up by the car in front of us. It hit the front of the box, which now has a ding/small crack. That would have been a hole in the front of our trailer. So, the box is the rock/hazard/debris protector for the trailer front. I'll Take it!!!
Hi Don . Just saw your post , glad you got that front box and your trailer was saved . Pat
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Old 10-19-2016, 05:56 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
I, for one, don't want to root around in the back of the truck looking for stuff when it'll all be in the front storage box. I figure I'll have enough other stuff back there that the less time I shuffle stuff around in there, the better. Even if it's neatly organized (which it won't be after hauling around corners and bumping around on dirt roads).

Granted, you said "trunk", which would be way easier than "truck bed". However, I ask, how empty is your trunk to start with? How much other stuff will you wad in there for your trip? See where I'm going?
Ok, you guys have convinced me. I think the above captures the root reason, for me at least.

I think what people are getting at is that it increases the organizational surface area with which to access items. So, as an analogy taken to an extreme, if I had 25 cubic feet of stuff that I had to access through a 1 square foot door, it would be annoying to say the least. If I take those same 25 cubic feet and put them on 5'x5' shelves 1 foot deep, it becomes a lot easier to find and access things that I'm looking for because the access area is much larger. So, bringing the analogy back to the storage box, one benefit is that it almost doubles the access surface area from having a trunk alone, making it easier to organize things. There is a benefit even if the trunk is not full, since moving items from the storage box to the trunk would effectively mean moving to them to the back of the trunk, marginally.
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:10 PM   #19
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I always associate trunks with cars, and I haven't seen a car towing a trailer in a long time.
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Old 10-19-2016, 06:47 PM   #20
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I always associate trunks with cars, and I haven't seen a car towing a trailer in a long time.
You need to get out more Those of us that follow the hotrod crowd and classic vehicles see those combos all the time. Here's a tiny trailer and an orchard cruiser! I've also seen big honkin' trailers being towed by equally big ole cars.
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