Economical 15 A design - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Modifications and Alterations
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-12-2012, 01:06 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Vashon Island, Washington
Trailer: 2013 Escape 15A "Traveling Sedge"
Posts: 49
Economical 15 A design

Hi Folks,

I am about to order a 15 ft plan A. I am trying to keep the price down and would like some of your sage advice on options.

I would prefer to keep the price to less than $21,000. I camp mostly in the NW and Rocky Mtn states. I appreciate an elec hook up but we do 75% dry camping. I am planning on towing with a Toyota Hylander V6 Hybrid and would like to keep the weight down as much as possible.

I spend as much time outside as possible and usually cook on a Coleman or grill.

Options that I have already decided on:
1) Ext access hatch - for convenient stowage of levelers, stabilizers, etc.
2) Hot H2O heater and outside shower option
3) Dual 6 V batteries as we can be dry camping for 10 days at a time. (would this suffice for this time with economical use of lights and heat)?

Questions:
Is the Bike Rack Ready option simply a hitch to hold a bike rack? Will it suffice for other hitch purposes such as a hitch and haul?

Brake controller - I am assuming that I need one. Does this allow manual control of the trailer brakes from the vehicle? (stupid newbie question).

Equalizer switch? What is it?

Hitch wheel? What is it?

LED light pkg - is it worth the $200?

High lift axel - seems like most forum folks do not think it is necessary although I will be on some very rough roads.

Thanks in advance for any info. If I had the $, of course I would buy every convenience but am trying to save some money for travel. I hope that this will be my intro Escape and then upgrade when I am older and really need the cushy stuff.

- Jane
__________________

angler24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 01:08 PM   #2
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Vashon Island, Washington
Trailer: 2013 Escape 15A "Traveling Sedge"
Posts: 49
Oops, forgot to add that I am including appx $1800 US licensing tax in my $21,000 limit.

thanks - Jane
__________________

angler24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 01:15 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
DonM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 164
Led lighting saves huge amounts of battery power. Solar makes another big difference in duration of battery life. The storage box in front might make a big difference in your flexibility for bulky items. Many people swear by the extra insulation. In the NW that might be worth considering
Just my thoughts. I am still waiting for my trailer.....
__________________
Port Moody, BC
2012. Escape 19
2012 Xterra 4x4
Dog as Navigator
DonM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 01:52 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 13,669
Brake controller does allow you manually apply braking to the the trailer wheels only. However, your trailer brake lights will not come on. If the idea is to apply more braking to the trailer for descents ( gravel road ) you would be better off turning up the controller to do that.
I don't know what equalizer switch is. You may be referring to the break-away switch. That's a wire that connects from the trailer to the tow and if the trailer were to come off the hitch breaking the connection, the trailer brakes are applied.
Hitch wheel is a swiveling wheel that attaches to the hitch post so you can move the trailer without the tow vehicle. Works just fine on pavement, but of no use on dirt or gravel.
Better get the LED package rather than replacing the standard bulbs later ( like I did ). Huge difference in efficiency for dry camping.
__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 01:58 PM   #5
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,385
Yes, the front box in lieu of an extra hatch hole for storage is more desirable. solar and extra insulation and dual pane windows. I'd drop the dual 6 volts and get one big 12v, with led's and the Atwood furnace 8012 your battery will last a long time. The single battery will also save you about 50# up front and with solar it is fully charged by mid morning. No equalizer needed for the smaller 15' trailer, brake controller you will need. The rear bike hitch will allow you to carry some gear on the back, I think up to 300 # . The hitch wheel would allow you to try to move the tongue, on a smooth surface, not needed. The led package would cut your battery drain to minimum, you can do it yourself for about $20/per light- you do the math.
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 02:42 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
float5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Denison, Texas
Trailer: 2015 21'; 2011 19' sold; 4Runner; ph ninezero3 327-27ninefour
Posts: 5,156
Smile

Jane, I am guessing that they meant Equalizer hitch not switch. Equalizer is the name of a weight distributing hitch (WDH). I saw one guy on another forum who said he would never tow a tongue trailer without a WDH. Many do but it's a good safety device to have. A WDH transfers weight off of the rear of the tow vehicle, thereby helping to keep the front of the vehicle on the ground to avoid a loss-of-control catastrophe. Also transfers some weight back to the trailer. Some vehicles have much lower towing capacities without a WDH than with. Quite a few Escape owners have told me that they would not be without their WDH.

I would recommend a dual hot water heater (propane/electric).

The other thing I think you mentioned was leaving out the bath. That is the main reason many people buy a trailer so that will cut out many prospective buyers when you sell. Just a consideration.
__________________
Cathy. Floating Cloud
"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.... "
Emerson
float5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 03:20 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Vermilye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Oswego, New York
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21, 2018 Ford F150
Posts: 3,429
The combination of solar, LED lighting and a pair of 6 volt batteries is a great combination for dry camping. With them, my only limitation of how long I can camp is water, both fresh & the waste tanks. I've stayed at 10,000' in the Leadville area (35°F nights) without hookups for 2 weeks this summer & never ran out of juice.
__________________
Jon Vermilye My Travel Blog
Travel and Photo Web Page ... My Collection of RV Blogs 2018 F150 3.5EB, 2017 21
Vermilye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 03:26 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Vashon Island, Washington
Trailer: 2013 Escape 15A "Traveling Sedge"
Posts: 49
My Highlander came with a tow package installed. I am also going to check with a reliable trailer shop to ensure that the tow pkg is installed. I am assuming (?) that if I have the appropriate tow pkg that I do not need the WDH?

I would love solar but just feel that I cannot afford it.
Is it possible to have it added later?

Cathy - I agree, the bath pkg would be nice for resale but then the 15' layout is totally changed. I really need the dual dinettes which would be elimiated with the indoor shower and/or toilet option.

thanks all for your help.
angler24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 03:39 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
float5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Denison, Texas
Trailer: 2015 21'; 2011 19' sold; 4Runner; ph ninezero3 327-27ninefour
Posts: 5,156
Having a tow package has no connection to whether you use a WDH. A tow package in no way does what a WDH does.

You can always get portable solar panels later and look for a good deal. You could also have Escape wire it for a panel on the roof but not get the panel.

If you need two dinettes, then that's your "must-have.". Everyone has his or her must-haves!
__________________
Cathy. Floating Cloud
"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.... "
Emerson
float5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 03:42 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Brentwood Bay, British Columbia
Trailer: 2012 15-A
Posts: 121
Hi Jane, we bought our 15A at the end of August and love it. We tow with a 6 cylinder Nissan 4x4 so your vehicle will have no problem whatsoever towing it. You will not need a Weight distribution hitch. You will want the electric brake controller which allows you to control the trailer brakes from in the vehicle..... Good for steep grades!

We do lots of dry camping and went with the dual 6 volt batteries and the solar panel, again the dual 6's upon Reace's advice.. Well worth it in our mind. Couple this with the LED lights, you will have of power left for the furnance etc.

The bike rack option is just a receiver that the rack can go into. I don.'t think I would use it to tow anything but Tammy or Reace would be the best ones to answer that.

We plan to do lots of back country stuff so we opted to get the high lift axles and the 15 inch tires. No issues thus far.

We also got the twin 20 pound propane tanks, which gives us more flexibility to off the grid. We also like to cook outside, so we run a 20 foot hose direct off of these to the Coleman and the Weber.

The hitch wheel is a small swivel wheel that goes into the jack on the tongue so you can manhandle the trailer around in the driveway etc.

We did not go with the exterior hatch access due to possible leakage (west coast of BC) so we opted for the front tool box, which was well worth the money and gives you a place to store chalks, blocks, hoses, cables, tools, etc. We also did not go for the hot water heater, but this is an option that can be installled after the fact so we may look at this down the road.

We want to use it year round so we also went with the extra insulation and thermal windows.

One other option we went for was a 26 gallon grey water tank, which Reace suggested we put in. Again,great for boondocking and no mess left behind!

Anyway, hope this helps. If anything, go solar and LED. Any questions, give me a shout.

Regards

Scott
Kærnehuset is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 04:00 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 13,669
Where are you located and where do you plan to camp most?
It makes a difference. You say you will be 75 per cent off-grid. For that reason, I would skip the dual-fuel hot water heater, but I'd go for dual propane tanks ( hate to have to drive 45 minutes up a lousy road to fill an empty tank ).
Get the trailer wired for solar so you can add that later if it fits your situation.
The bike rack hitch receiver can't be used to tow another vehicle in B.C. or in most states ( to my knowledge ). It's not permitted to tow a vehicle with a trailer ( a three-unit train ). I recall a guy on my fly fishing list that had to drop his boat, tow his trailer across state, drive back to pick up the boat trailer. Again, don't know what your circumstance might be.
Also, Toyota Canada and Toyota US could have different specs for the "tow package". When I got my RAV, the transmission cooler was standard in Canada, but optional in the US. And the Toyota hitch receiver was only class II. Weight Distribution Hitch requires class III. Was cheaper to get the class III done by after market provider.
__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 04:08 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
dave macrae's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: St.Albert, Alberta
Trailer: 21 ft November 17th
Posts: 847
I would recomend if you are not going to get the solar package that you have it pre-wired for it. makes the install later a breeze. I already had a solar set up so I had the factory prewire my trailer and install mine when I got there to pick it up. It was a very reasonable price. I believe it was somewhere in the range of 60-80 dollars to pre-wire. The other thought I had was that to dry camp for 10 days without solar you would have to be extremely frugal with power use. I don't even know that it would be posible without solar.
__________________
MacRae, 21ft
2016 GMC Yukon SLT
St.Albert Alberta
dave macrae is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 05:11 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: _, Texas
Trailer: Escape 5.0 SA
Posts: 545
Your 15' will basically be a hard tent on wheels. Off the hard ground, safe & secure, and dry sleeping. I like the concept of light and simple. It wouldn't be for two old crows such as us but I think it's going to be great for camping in the northwest and Rockies.

David
daveandsandyclink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 05:26 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Vashon Island, Washington
Trailer: 2013 Escape 15A "Traveling Sedge"
Posts: 49
David - we currently camp in a 4 wheel brand pop up camper (on the back of a Tundra). It has about 5 cubic feet of living space and it can't be disconnected and left as a base camp. One of us loves it and one of us can barely stand it. So, for me, the little Escape is a huge step upward in quality of camping life...... Sounds strange, but we will end up having two camping rigs and stay married....
angler24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 06:11 PM   #15
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trailer: Escape#4, 2019 Escape21 DejaView pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 19,385
So you tow the trailer behind the truck camper and each person can be happy!
__________________
Jim
It is not the years in your life but the life in your years Lincoln
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 06:54 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 14,154
[QUOTE=angler24;20385] {QUOTE]
Hi Jane. To answer your queries from yet another point of view.

Bike rack ready gives you a 2" receiver welded on to the rear of the trailer. It can be used for anything that goes in a receiver, you just have to watch you do not put too much weight on it, thus taking it off the hitch.

You do need a brake controller, and as well as applying brakes along with the tow, it can be operated on its own, but this is usually only done to set them up, and should you need it in an emergency, like if the trailer was fishtailing.

Hitch wheel goes on the hitch and allows the hitch to be pushed around on paved surfaces. I have one, do you want it? I have only used it once in four years.

LED light package is a good thing to have. I just redid mine with good quality lights, and they were $15 each, which is down from where they were a few years ago.

I have the raised axle, and if I was doing it again, I doubt I would do it, and I do travel a lot off paved roads. At least with the 19, I would have lots of clearance anyway. But if you were going to be on really badly rutted roads, or trails off road, a lot, I would consider it.

Lots of differing opinions on the 12V DC power system. If you are trying to keep costs down, I would definitely forego the solar, and just use two 6V batteries. This is what I did, and the majority of my camping is off grid, and I have never had an issue with drained batteries. Sure, the solar keeps it topped off, but there is so much reserve with the two 6V that you can afford to drain them for a few days. The biggest culprit, by far, on battery drain is the furnace fan. If you are willing to keep warm under cozy blankets, then you can go for 4 nights with nights dipping to freezing with no problem. We usually bump the heat a bit first thing in the morning while getting geared up for the day, then it is off until evening again.

If you want solar can always be added later too.
__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 07:39 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 13,669
Angler24
Still don't know where you are located. Huge difference between camping requirements for Corpus Christi or Yellowknife.
And, the Old Bag loves the idea of separate bedrooms...
__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 08:01 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
float5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Denison, Texas
Trailer: 2015 21'; 2011 19' sold; 4Runner; ph ninezero3 327-27ninefour
Posts: 5,156
She is camping in the NW and Rocky Mountain states.
If the info is not with the avatar or in the signature, we miss it.
__________________
Cathy. Floating Cloud
"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.... "
Emerson
float5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 08:29 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 13,669
Yup. I note your location isn't with the Avatar, but mine is. Your location is in the sig, but I'd like my sig the way it is and I'd like to have location, trailer and tow with the avatar, but can't figure out how. I don't know how the location ended up with the avatar on mine.
__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 10:22 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
float5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Denison, Texas
Trailer: 2015 21'; 2011 19' sold; 4Runner; ph ninezero3 327-27ninefour
Posts: 5,156
Glenn, it is under User CP, Your Profile, Edit the Details.

I take that back. Apparently, that doesn't work.
__________________

__________________
Cathy. Floating Cloud
"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.... "
Emerson
float5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:35 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×