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Old 09-09-2018, 01:54 PM   #1
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Front Storage Box Alternative

I bought a 21 foot in July and opted out of the storage box Escape has because I liked the idea of the aluminum storage box better... One problem, I don't know what size will work! Has anyone installed one and what did u go with?
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bonitaraders View Post
I bought a 21 foot in July and opted out of the storage box Escape has because I liked the idea of the aluminum storage box better... One problem, I don't know what size will work! Has anyone installed one and what did u go with?
Northern Tool has some top-opening of various lengths that appear able to fit the space (relatively narrow, tall, long), but I've not opted for one yet. With our optional rear driver-side hatch, we've not needed the extra storage, and so I haven't seen any need to add the extra weight of the box and any contents to the tongue. So far, anyway....
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:23 PM   #3
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Thanks.. I'm just not sure how wide it should be.. I've been looking at 60x20x19.. I want to store rugs, chairs and my tools..
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:17 AM   #4
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On my 2015 19' I installed a Kobalt 73014037 aluminum tool box:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-70-i...ol-Box/1097365

Got it on sale at the local Lowes for $139 (regularly $179) and it's currently $222 on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Kobalt-Full-S.../dp/B004Q0DG8S

I really didn't care for the Escape fiberglass box - $700 and 70 lbs vs. $139 and 35 lbs - and they always looked to me like they had come unbolted and were leaning forward precariously and were about to tip over (sorry Reace!). And I had neither the time nor inclination to build my own box, although it would have been a fun / interesting project.

My trailer is currently in storage so I can't verify the dimensions, but the Lowes link says 70" L, 13" W, and 14" H. The problem I ran into was that I was looking for a nice deep box, but on all the standard boxes I could find, as the height increased the front-to-rear dimension also increased, and the Better Built 73014037 was a really tight fit between the rear of the propane tank cover and the front of the trailer shell - nothing bigger would have fit front-to-rear. There's barely enough clearance when the box lid hinges into the open position - it clears the front of the trailer shell by about 1/8".

On my 19' I had to worry about cramming the 2 6 volt batteries in the box, which was an extremely tight fit both vertically and horizontally front-to-rear - the tops of the cut-down plastic battery boxes touch the box lid when it's closed, and I actually had to drill out and remove the 4 pop rivets holding the KOBALT plaque on the front of the box to get the extra 3/16" of horizontal front-to-rear clearance that I needed. I also had to worry about supporting 120 lbs worth of batteries - happily for you, in your 21' you won't have to contend with any battery issues.

I spanned across the tongue frame rails with 2 pieces of 3/16" x 1.5" aluminum angle the full side-to-side width of the box, ran a 3rd shorter piece spanning directly below the batteries, cut down and mounted the original plastic battery boxes using aluminum straps underneath the box to distribute the load, and ran 90* garage door bottom edge rubber seals to cradle the front and rear edges of the box in the 2 long pieces of aluminum angle. The original wiring exits through a couple of drilled out all-weather plastic electrical boxes mounted to the back surface of the box, and the whole mess is held onto the tongue using 8 1/4" bolts going through the angle steel welded to the frame rails that were used to anchor the original battery-box-mount cross-pieces.

Next I added a couple of hydrogen vents on the top, and a couple of drain holes (complete with little 1.5" downspout tubes) in case everything started filling with water, and then decided to add a nice big mud / rock guard to protect the front and underside of the trailer (looking forward to an Alaska trip next summer). And of course had to add 4 LED lights in the underside of the lid (switched on/off with the LED step light). Finally added a couple of 1/4" aluminum brackets to hold the steel conduit antenna mast for the TV and cell hot spot antennas. By now the wife was calling it the FrankenBox.

The front corners would hit the tow vehicle first if things get all jack-knifed backing up, so I might someday trim the front corners off at 45* angles for more clearance, but going forward with full steering lock everything clears ok.

The 2 little tool shelves at the outside tops of the box are real handy for small bits and pieces so they don't get buried in the bottom of the box under everything else, and even with the 2 batteries stuffed in there, I still have plenty of room for all the usual campsite setup stuff that I really don't want inside the trailer or tow vehicle.
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Old 09-10-2018, 06:20 AM   #5
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Nice work.....
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:17 AM   #6
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Nice!! The length is a concern of mine.. So u think if you trim about a foot off u won't have problems with deep turns? What did u hook the led lights to? It really looks nice. Like u I didn't like their fiberglass box .. One of the only things I did not like:!)
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:53 AM   #7
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Seems like a good alternative to the Escape box. Looks like the Lowes box was made to reside in a pickup truck box with stepouts on the sides that would sit on top of the sides of the pickup truck bed. Too bad about that as the stepouts really take away from the attractiveness of the installation on the Escape. But it looks to be quite functional so good job!
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:24 AM   #8
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Dave: Nice work on that front box. Really like it. That is what I was going to do, but did a Stowaway box on the rear and have a mini-split A/C condenser on the tongue where the box would go.

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Looks like the Lowes box was made to reside in a pickup truck box with stepouts on the sides that would sit on top of the sides of the pickup truck bed.
Will certainly cost more, but there are shops that do many different types of boxes. This company makes boxes that go in the bed and between the bed rails...what they refer to as their Top Chest Toolbox (Fifth Wheel). Or the proper sized A-Frame Trailer Toolbox could work and has angled sides that will look better and reduce the issue of hitting in a tight turn. They will even make custom sizes.

Truck Tool Boxes | Pickup Bed, Trailer, Semi Truck, Diamond Plate, Aluminum
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:32 AM   #9
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Looks great. Too bad it isn't taller. My experience with my home-made tongue box (wood frame) is: you best take great care when backing up not to jack-knife your tow vehicle's bumper into the corners of the box.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:24 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=Great Eggstrications;

I really didn't care for the Escape fiberglass box - $700 and 70 lbs vs. $139 and 35 lbs - and they always looked to me like they had come unbolted and were leaning forward precariously and were about to tip over (sorry Reace!). And I had neither the time nor inclination to build my own box, although it would have been a fun / interesting project.

[/QUOTE]

I had pretty much the same view and because I had some scrap aluminum I made my own. I made it follow the front slope of the trailer wall and that increased the interior volume as well as got away from the forward leaning look.

Ron
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Old 09-10-2018, 02:14 PM   #11
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That's what I want!! I love the way it slips and fits the trailer!!
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Old 09-10-2018, 03:53 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the encouraging words. It was somewhat of a PITA, but I'm real happy with the result.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bonitaraders View Post
Nice!! The length is a concern of mine.. So u think if you trim about a foot off u won't have problems with deep turns? What did u hook the led lights to? It really looks nice. Like u I didn't like their fiberglass box .. One of the only things I did not like:!)
As I mentioned, the corners clear ok when going forward even with the steering at full lock - it's just that if things get jack-knifed when backing up I'll have the top front corners putting dents in my tailgate - so I'm thinking of cutting the corners off at 45 degrees (when looking down from above) for more clearance, but it would be somewhat messy re-doing where the lid overlaps the sides.

I had already installed an LED night light for the step, and just tapped the +12 volts from the switched side of that circuit, so a single switch controls both the step light and the LED's inside the box. Didn't want to keep adding more switches, and figured that it would be ok to have both the step light and box lights on / off together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Walter View Post
Looks like the Lowes box was made to reside in a pickup truck box with stepouts on the sides that would sit on top of the sides of the pickup truck bed. Too bad about that as the stepouts really take away from the attractiveness of the installation on the Escape.
I agree that the little stepout bippies look sort of funky, but they're really handy for holding small stuff.

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Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
Will certainly cost more, but there are shops that do many different types of boxes. This company makes boxes that go in the bed and between the bed rails...what they refer to as their Top Chest Toolbox (Fifth Wheel). Or the proper sized A-Frame Trailer Toolbox could work and has angled sides that will look better and reduce the issue of hitting in a tight turn. They will even make custom sizes.
I actually got a quote for a stepout-less custom box to be made - $1,400 plus shipping - so was more than happy to end up with what I have. I couldn't find a regular rectangular box that would be able to squeeze between the propane tank cover and the front of the trailer shell, and with having to accommodate the 2 batteries the angled A-Frame tongue boxes were just too small.
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:57 PM   #13
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Company I worked for had 20 of these custom boxes made for the photo cars. It was later decided that it was a stupid idea because it was too much hassle to put camera gear in the box ( especially when raining ) and the box took up space better used for light stands and tripods.
So, I asked if I could remove mine, and since they had no place to store the boxes, I stored mine on the back of my trailer.
And, a pic of my company car.
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:58 PM   #14
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I have never seen inflatable tripods.......
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:00 PM   #15
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I have never seen inflatable tripods.......

One of the perks of having no real job description.
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:31 PM   #16
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One of the perks of having no real job description.
Another perk was that spouses could have free use of the car. All you had to do was pass a defensive driving test. I put many miles on one of those cars.

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Old 09-10-2018, 05:49 PM   #17
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Another perk was that spouses could have free use of the car. All you had to do was pass a defensive driving test. I put many miles on one of those cars.

Ron

I think you were supposed to be paying a lease fee for personal use of the car. Cost $50 a month and covered fuel, insurance, maintenance.

When I got my RAV4 and there was a heavy snowfall, I still took the company car so my car wouldn't get smashed up.
In my defense, using the company car meant I always had my camera gear and was always ready to be dispatched to the "scene".
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:58 PM   #18
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I think you were supposed to be paying a lease fee for personal use of the car. Cost $50 a month and covered fuel, insurance, maintenance.
First I've heard of that, she was in a different situation than you, maybe it was a negotiated perk. She had a company car for years and it was her only car. Then I took the test, through the company, and got to drive it too and, yes, they were great in snow. Ah, all good things come to an end sooner or later.

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Old 09-19-2018, 12:24 PM   #19
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I purchased the storage box from Escape Trailers.
I have since removed the box, and it sits in my back yard.
My reason for removing it was, when backing up, you can not turn sharp corners.
My truck is a Dodge Laramie Longhorn, the back tail lights cost $120.00 each.
After breaking two of them, I removed the box, made a platform for the tailgate.
Relocated battery, added a third propane tank, Life is better.
Anyone interested in a storage box.
I modified the existing storage areas in the trailer, all is well now.
Doug
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:41 PM   #20
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I purchased the storage box from Escape Trailers.
I have since removed the box, and it sits in my back yard.
My reason for removing it was, when backing up, you can not turn sharp corners.
My truck is a Dodge Laramie Longhorn, the back tail lights cost $120.00 each.
After breaking two of them, I removed the box, made a platform for the tailgate.
Relocated battery, added a third propane tank, Life is better.
Anyone interested in a storage box.
I modified the existing storage areas in the trailer, all is well now.
Doug
You do not mention what model Escape you have, I tow with a Ram 1500 Sport and have used it with both !st and 2nd G Escape 19 and 21 models. So far, no breaks...
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