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Old 07-28-2012, 08:49 PM   #1
JCZ
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Factory Modifications?

Tammy has sent me an email asking us to think about any factory modifications that we might want done. We've had boats before but this 5.0 will be our first RV and so we don't have any experience to know or even think about what modifications we'd like.

If you had Reace do any modifications to your trailer while it was being built will you please tell me what that modification was and why.......the pros and cons of the modifications? Especially those that have the 5.0.

Thanks in advance for all your help!

JC & Terrie

P/S It sounds like we're going to be the first in California with a 5.0........we're excited!
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:57 AM   #2
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Plan where you want your TV, I wanted mine in the front dinette so I had my antenna/12v outlet there. I also had Reace install 1/2 plywood behind the bath wall so that my tv mount options are not limited to corners only. I had the cushions made 2" thicker for comfort and seeing out the front window. I had the 120v moved to front counter top for cooking ease. I had all stainless steel as it wear better. Plan your 12v outlets. I had extra exterior lights wired to one interior switch as well as each one can be turned off.
I had Reace install a digital thermostat for the furnace, the a/c was not available. I opted for the smaller 9200 a/c for possible generator use if need be. The rear bike rack can be used for items you do not want to carry inside. I opted for group #29 battery/w solar since I wanted the biggest single battery in my storage box to save weight. I also opted for smaller refer to get the 3 way to have 12v choice for use.

Item's I wish now I had done, install 12v lights inside underbed storage areas and shelves in closet.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:24 AM   #3
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Thank you Jim......this is exactly what I'm looking for. I stayed up till midnight reading many threads that you'd started (and others too) in the modifications board.

Already had a good list going but the 120v recepticle on the front instead of the side seems practical to me so I added that as well as an extra exterior light by the propane tanks area.

Thanks a bunch for your input! I look forward to the others input.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:29 AM   #4
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Don't forget the light on the street side for this nighttime hookups.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:53 AM   #5
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 (jim)
Don't forget the light on the street side for this nighttime hookups.
Yes, one on both sides and one up front.....three exterior lights?

I plan on being in places that'll be well below freezing and up to 112F-115F also and we want to be comfortable in our retirement. We plan to full time at least for a couple years after we retire so we have to make this trailer as comfortable as possible. I'd rather just get it all done at the factory. So I have a few.......OK, a lot....of questions for you and the others that have some real fiberglass experience.

I've read concerns about UV damage to the gelcoat over time. Is there a brand of protectant or coating that will guard against this more than another brand? I'm kind of anal about my vehices looking better than most others but the products I use on my motorcycles, cars and trucks can't be used on plastic or fiberglass. I'd think the fiberglass protectants have a UV or SPF protectant rating the same as other products.....which one is closest to 100%?

Are the Escape trailers a true gelcoat or are they a filon fiberglass?

Hoakie, Alf, anybody else with a 5.0......do I need a Maxx Fan over the bed or is the stock "vent" enough?

We will be plugged in when we're hosting however, when we're not hosting we'll be doing a lot of boondocking far from civilization. Being technology challeneged.....should I be looking for AC tv or 12V (we will have the solor panel from the factory)?

Also (I'm sure we're not the only two) we have no common interest in our TV programs so we plan on two TVs using headphones. Would it be practical to have one mounted over the stairs where Alf has his (on a swivel braket) and one on the shower wall? They'd pretty much be side by side in that configuration. Or should we have one over the dinette area (and fight over whose going to sit up and watch TV......we both like to watch TV until we get sleepy. At our age, sometimes that's nearly all night long for one or the other of us).

Being technology challenged and knowing that we plan on doing an equal amount of being plugged in as well as boondocking and needing headphone jacks in the TV as well as needing to be mounted on swivel wall mounts, is this a good candidate to fit our needs? http://www.jensenrvdirect.com/jensen...stand-407.html
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:00 AM   #6
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Re: Factory Modifications?

More info on the Jensen 19" Mdl. # JE1911RTL:

The JE1911RTL’s current draw is 65 mA in standby and 2.2 A max when turned on.

Again, I'm technology challenged so I don't have a clue what that means as far as does it draw a lot or little power.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:30 AM   #7
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Re: Factory Modifications?

I bought the Jensen 19"dvd 12v combo and found it too big for the camper. I use it now in the house and bought the 15" 12v Jensen, perfect size. The larger one would not fit flat and seemed to overpower the room. The smaller one is just right. The vent over the bed in the 5.0 I think maybe an escape hatch, as such, a cover should not be used.
As far as gelcoat, it is a true fiberglass finish, not the f/g laminate and a good marine/auto wax should suffice. Sun is the worst offender. I rigged a sun shade over my parking pad for that reason, it lets rain thru but 90% UV protection.
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:31 AM   #8
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Hi: JCZ... We have the 3 ext. lights all separate switches tho. We use the one behind the pin box most as it attracts the bugs away from under the awning and it is an indirect light so much nicer and easier on the eyes.
We don't even have the std. over the bed vent... but we use the MaxxFan, near the foot of the bed... 24h. if necessary. A/C only when plugged into a current bush.
I use Meguiars 50 Marine/RV one step, once a year. It will take care of minor chaulking of the Gelcoat. Before and after uses I use Meguiars Deep Chrystal Car Wash, as I too like a clean machine!!! Ok..so I'm suffering OCD and we don't have central vac.
When travelling my wife takes her laptop so it can be a second(12v) TV...but we rarely use the 19"(120v) Toshiba except when plugged in, and then for the built-in DVD player. At home I do my best sleeping in front of the TV but nothing compares with the sleep I get in the trailer. I always have some crossword puzzles too unless I can figure out something better to occupy my time. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:37 AM   #9
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCZ



Hoakie, Alf, anybody else with a 5.0......do I need a Maxx Fan over the bed or is the stock "vent" enough?

If you open the vent over the bed and then turn the stock Maxx Fan on set to draw air out of the trailer it pulls air in through the loft vent and then out the Maxx Fan. This creates a great breeze in the loft area. I leave it on overnight when it's hot; even when boondocking as the fan draws very little current.

Barry
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Old 07-29-2012, 01:09 PM   #10
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 (jim)
Plan where you want your TV, I wanted mine in the front dinette so I had my antenna/12v outlet there. I also had Reace install 1/2 plywood behind the bath wall so that my tv mount options are not limited to corners only. I had the cushions made 2" thicker for comfort and seeing out the front window. I had the 120v moved to front counter top for cooking ease. I had all stainless steel as it wear better. Plan your 12v outlets. I had extra exterior lights wired to one interior switch as well as each one can be turned off.
I had Reace install a digital thermostat for the furnace, the a/c was not available. I opted for the smaller 9200 a/c for possible generator use if need be. The rear bike rack can be used for items you do not want to carry inside. I opted for group #29 battery/w solar since I wanted the biggest single battery in my storage box to save weight. I also opted for smaller refer to get the 3 way to have 12v choice for use.

Item's I wish now I had done, install 12v lights inside underbed storage areas and shelves in closet.
Check out the 11th post on this link
http://escapeforum.org/index.php?topic=1987.0

This would be an easy retro-fit to do.
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Old 07-29-2012, 08:30 PM   #11
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Re: Factory Modifications?

As far as protecting your rig from UV, I highly recommend you do some research on "303 Aerospace Protectant". It's a silicone based protectant that I've used on plastics for years. Think Armorall, only it's good. That's all I use on everything on my 19's exterior, including the tires.

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Old 07-29-2012, 10:36 PM   #12
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Thanks Bruce, never heard of it before. Amazon has 193 reviews on it if anyone wants to read about it.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:19 PM   #13
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Just read the label before you apply it.

I have something that I think is similar called NuFinish and I've never actually used it because the label said not to apply it over previously waxed surfaces. So, I gathered that you had to remove any wax first and then apply it. Too much like work to me.

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Old 08-03-2012, 11:26 PM   #14
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Thank you Harley Jim, Escape Artist and everybody else that replied to this thread. Between your posts here and elsewhere on this forum and all that I've read on a number of other forums....many emails and a couple phone calls back and forth with Tammy, I believe we've got the build sheet for our 5.0 fairly well nailed down.

I just need to say that Tammy gives incredable customer service......I believe unlike any I've ever received for such a major purchase. It's truely been one on one personal service and she does it with a great attitude.

Again, we've had boats, even cruisers so we're used of small spaces and facilities in that regard however, the RV lifestyle and fiberglass trailers are totally new to us. So the help that we've gotten from Tammy and all of you (many of you have helped us in educating us or given us ideas by posts that you did long before we ever came to this forum.....you've still helped us, just the same!) has been incredable and we really, really appreciate it. Thank you again, everybody.

Now, on to our 5.0 build list:

Stainless steel stove, rangehood, sink, stove cover (and hopefully the new 6.7, 3 way refer!)
6.3 refer upgrade
11,000 BTU A/C
Additional opening window over the sink.
3 aluminum rims
bike rack ready
dual 6V batteries
exterior dog wash.....I mean shower
exterior access hatch

95w solar panel (I'm seriously considering having Reace put two up there for when we're boondocking, watching TV, laptop for hours, etc.......would you consider two if you had it to do again?)

LED interior light package
LED exterior light package
countertop microwave
opening window in bathroom
removeable power cord
screen room
stereo
surge protector

Thermal windows and double insulation upgrade as well as water tank heaters and foam insulation.

2 coaxel & TV antenna w/power amplifier (one above the bed on swivel and one over the dinette......for when we want to watch different programs or when the grandchildren are with us, one or two at a time for a week and using headphones).

2 wall mount extendable arms for the TVs.

4 full extension drawers just to the right of the entry door, built in to the cabinet (as somebody here did for theirselves......thanks for the idea!).

3 12v recepticles (one at the wall end of the dinette, one at the cabinet to the right of the entry door where the other TV will be mounted and the original 12v recepticle in the kitchen cabinet.

Captains lights (flexable, adjustable, focus beam, led, individual reading lights) at the head of the bed.

Digital t-stat for the heater and A/C
...

Also considering a taller bar faucet for the sink (in order to get larger bowls, pots, etc. under the faucet easier. Going to see if one is available with a pull out nozzle. If anybody knows of one, I'd sure appreciate it if you'd let me know. Prefer a quality brand American made faucet.

I'd also like to hear all your thoughts on doubling up the solar panel for extended boondocking and not having to skimp so much on the use of electronics, etc?

One other question.....for those of you with experience (any experience is more than we have). I know that the dual pane windows and heavier insulation will help a lot when it's hot out. I've also read that the A/C will not run off the 12v or the Honda 2000 generator. For those times when we do get caught in the triple digits is it possible to run the A/C with a Honda 3000 generator. What, exactly, would it take to run the A/C if we weren't anywhere near a power tree and it's 110F out?

I have to say.....I'm 61 yrs. old and while we're anxious about this new adventure in life and are anxious to get on with it, there's also a part of me that's just a bit nervous about it. I think it's that I'm nervous that there's someting I'm not thinking about right now......that once we're in to it I'll be thinking "oh man, why didn't we think of that before hand and have Reace do it?" So if there's anything, anything at all that you would consider or have done that I'm not thinking of......please, please post it here? It will be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:48 PM   #15
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Your build sheet looks good but I think that you should consider adding the "Two-way Hot Water Tank". The stock unit is propane only but the 2-way is propane or 120v electric (or both at the same time if you're really in a hurry).

I ran the AC on my Escape 19 at the EAA Airventure Fly-in last week when the outside temperature was 104F using my Honda EU2000 generator. It worked great but only if I did not use Eco mode. I have modified my AC by adding a SmartStart http://escapeforum.org/index.php?topic=1282.0 so I can't say if a stock unit would work with the same generator.
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Old 08-04-2012, 04:55 PM   #16
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Cathy post 8 and Reace post 10. Honda 2000 Genny will run factory a/c
http://escapeforum.org/index.php?topic=1858.0
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Old 08-04-2012, 06:02 PM   #17
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Re: Factory Modifications?

I skimmed over your list, so my vote for the exterior shower may be something you've already considered. The 2-way water heater is a real bonus. I had Reace wire all the outside lights to s single interior switch...which prevents unintentionally leaving one burning.

I also had an additional window put in over the counter to the left of the door (as you enter). It opens, but the extra window over the sink does not. I wish I had asked for an opening window over the sink as well.

I had the storage area under the bottom step opened up so I could store a long gun in there...but haven't used the area for that; Deb snatched that spot up before I could claim "dibs"

Dave
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:20 PM   #18
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCZ



Hoakie, Alf, anybody else with a 5.0......do I need a Maxx Fan over the bed or is the stock "vent" enough?

If you open the vent over the bed and then turn the stock Maxx Fan on set to draw air out of the trailer it pulls air in through the loft vent and then out the Maxx Fan. This creates a great breeze in the loft area. I leave it on overnight when it's hot; even when boondocking as the fan draws very little current.

Barry
Thanks for the tip Barry.....sure makes sense, after thinking about it.

On another note.....does your 5.0 have an oven? Was that standard or an option?
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Old 08-04-2012, 09:59 PM   #19
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Wray
As far as protecting your rig from UV, I highly recommend you do some research on "303 Aerospace Protectant". It's a silicone based protectant that I've used on plastics for years. Think Armorall, only it's good. That's all I use on everything on my 19's exterior, including the tires.

Bruce
Bruce, I took your advice and researched this product, 303 Aerospace Protectant. Recommended by a number of RV pubications, Tapp Plastics and others where it comes to protecting fiberglass from UV damage.

With an SPF rating of 40, it looks like this is the answer to my question. Besides being able to do the job of protecting the gelcoat finish and maintainin a "new" appearance, it also looks like it's relatively easy to use. I suspect the hardest part (the same as when you're waxing any large vehicle) is the middle area of the top. Some people will cut corners on the top however, it's the area that takes the biggest beating and suseptable to sun (UV) damage because it's pretty much a direct hit all day long.

Here's a link regarding this product being used with fiberglass specifically.... http://303products.com/index.php/pro...ver-buff-again
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Old 08-04-2012, 10:00 PM   #20
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Re: Factory Modifications?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 (jim)
Don't forget the light on the street side for this nighttime hookups.
Thanks Jim. Tammy said the 5.0 comes standard with a light on the driver's side, a light on the passenger side and a light up under the front, by the propane tanks......three exterior lights are standard.
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