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Old 08-29-2010, 10:55 AM   #1
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New Hatch for Escape 19

I finally got a replacement hatch for my Escape 19. I had trouble seeing things through the old one, and our chairs were really tight getting in and out.

I ordered the new hatch from Vision Manufacturing, which is a sister company of Sun-view Industries. Reace suggested I talk to them after I told him of my intentions. I had searched and found a couple places that quoted me prices of around $200 USD plus shipping. I got the one I used from Vision for $142 CDN shipping included.

The size of the new unit, based on the hole needed in the trailer wall is 30 1/2" x 10 1/2", whereas the existing one was 18" x 9". This is exactly twice the area. I tell you though, it seems like more. I have a great view of the contents, and way more room get stuff in and out.

It was a very easy project to do, and took me less than 2 hours to complete all the work. Well worth it in my mind.

Here are a some before and after shots of it closed.





And a couple open. Excuse the mess inside, I just pushed stuff out of the way to do the work. Cleaning it out is today's project.
As using it with the door opening up was a real pain, I decided to hinge it at the bottom. It easily clears the ground, so I am not too worried about damaging it.





I used clamps to hold the new door in place as I leveled it and marked for the cutout.



All marked and ready to cut. I would have like to have the hatch a little more to the rear, but I was bound to this location in order to include the cutout for the previous location for the exterior 110V receptacle.



The hatch cutout is now complete. I used a jigsaw for most of it, but needed the Dremmel tool for the top due to the proximity of the moulded part on the trailer side. I then used some sandpaper to take the sharpness off the edges. I also cut a new location for the receptacle.

I used a high quality clear marine adhesive to seal the flange to the trailer, and fastened it with a bunch of 3/16" rivets.

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Old 08-29-2010, 11:28 AM   #2
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Nice job...great mod! Were the wires to the 110 receptacle accessible from inside the compartment or did you have to get to them another way?

Dave

nm: after studying your pictures a bit, I answered my own question. Again, that's a great addition.

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Old 08-29-2010, 11:32 AM   #3
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Thanks Dave. The wires came from the right inside, so there was no issue at all moving the box. I was able to leave it all wired when I moved the box. The type used just has clamps that screw tight from behind to hold it fast to the fiberglass shell, and I just had to remove them to move the box.

I posted before you edited.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:48 AM   #4
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Nicely done Jim!
One of my concerns with the stock hatch was how to get larger things into, and out of, the under bed storage area without removing the bed mattress. Bulky but light things, like lawn chairs, are exactly the sort of thing that should be carried behind the trailer axle. You have found an elegant solution.
I will be asking Reece to install the oversize hatch when he builds my Escape 19.
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:49 AM   #5
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

btw Jim, if you post two more times, you'll have exactly ten times as many posts as I do. (Damn, I hate that I notice stuff like that )
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Old 08-29-2010, 11:52 AM   #6
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Ooh... I now have hatch envy. Great idea, well done.

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Old 08-29-2010, 11:54 AM   #7
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Wray
Ooh... I now have hatch envy. Great idea, well done.

Bruce
Bruce, that kinda sounds wrong.
But thanks.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:09 PM   #8
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

This post is for Dave.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:04 PM   #9
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harold Kroeker
Nicely done Jim!
One of my concerns with the stock hatch was how to get larger things into, and out of, the under bed storage area without removing the bed mattress. Bulky but light things, like lawn chairs, are exactly the sort of thing that should be carried behind the trailer axle. You have found an elegant solution.
I will be asking Reece to install the oversize hatch when he builds my Escape 19.
Thanks Harold. I had originally asked for one, amongst the zillion other requests and ideas I was putting by Reace, but it got forgotten in the process. Not a big deal to do it after though.
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:41 PM   #10
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

The completed project looks really nice! Thanks for showing us the process photos also.
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:11 PM   #11
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Now, that is a hole. How long did it take you to muster the courage to make the cut?

baglo
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Old 08-29-2010, 04:56 PM   #12
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo
Now, that is a hole. How long did it take you to muster the courage to make the cut?

baglo
Courage? I was actually very eager to do it.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:40 PM   #13
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Wholy moly!! That's great job.. and probably a new modification for Reace to put into a new trailer. That hatch is very use-able and look perfect..

Also a great job on the posting of how you did it..
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:32 PM   #14
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Jim,

Since you have just demonstrated that you know way more about hatches than you should, I have a question for you.
Is there enough room to use the large hatch door on the front driver’s side of the Escape 19 to provide access to the area under the dinette seat?
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:02 PM   #15
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Harold, I have looked at doing a hatch there too. There is not that much room, as the black tank takes up some of the space under the seat. The marker light restricts on the other side. There is just enough space to put in the hatch that I removed. The only problem is, is that the trailer identification label is right there. I would need to get another one made if possible, if I want to do that install.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:35 PM   #16
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Jim,
Thanks for the prompt reply. When I was at the Escape factory a few weeks ago, I was offered the option of a hatch for the driver's side dinette but decided against it because there didn't seem to be all that much room to store stuff in there. In retrospect, because it is in front of the axle, it is very valuable space for storing small, heavy items like BAL x-chocks, a shore power chord, a lug wrench, and tools. I would, of course, be sure to put everything in plastic bins of some sort to keep them away from the converter and other wiring. I was told that the awning arm prevents a hatch from being installed on the passenger side of the trailer, which would be another good spot if it was doable.
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:22 PM   #17
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

With an interior door on the end of the passenger side dinette seat, at least the first part of it is nicely accessible.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:43 PM   #18
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Bennett
With an interior door on the end of the passenger side dinette seat, at least the first part of it is nicely accessible.
You are definitely right about that. I had not even considered it until I saw Grasshopper's post that described it, and then immediately added it to my ever growing list of options. I especially like the idea of hinging it on the left so that it is accessible without entering the trailer.
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:50 PM   #19
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Hi: Jim Bennett... Could you have used the same saw that you used on the roof of "HokieEscape" btw Nice work...but fire Molly Maid!!! Alf
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:10 PM   #20
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Re: New Hatch for Escape 19

Thanks Alf, and yeah....we could use a better cleaning service.
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