Opinions on adding a 2nd light outside the entry door - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 12-19-2016, 10:23 PM   #1
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Opinions on adding a 2nd light outside the entry door

We are considering adding a 2nd light outside the entry door on the build sheet for our 2017 5.0 TA. This light will be below the belly band to better light the steps and the area immediately in front of the steps. The light will be switched with the same switch as the standard light. We are both around retirement age and realize our night vision may not be as good in the future as it was in the past.

ETI originally said the 2nd light would cost $75, however now they also are adding $50 "to run additional wire around the trailer." We want to make sure this 2nd light is worth $125 before we add it to our build sheet. I don't really understand the need for an "additional wire around the trailer" since it should go to the same light switch as the standard light. I'll discuss this more with Sarah.

We are also considering changing the lenses on these two lights from clear (the default) to amber to discourage bugs (if that makes a difference to your answers for the following questions). There is no fee for the color change.

Please help us answer the following questions:
  • How well does the standard exterior light work to light the steps and the area immediately in front of the steps?
  • If you ordered a lower exterior light, do you still think it was a good choice?

Thanks much.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:33 PM   #2
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Thomas- don't think you will need it, but trust your instincts. The amber lens will significantly reduce the brightness. Many forget to to add a light on the street side. If added it should be switched so you don't have to walk around to turn it on. A rear switched light is also handy as is one over the front box.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:41 PM   #3
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Driver's side low light has been standard for some time. We do not have a switch for it and just turn it on when on that side, however, we have added lights front and back that do have switches at the door. Someone might want to add a switch for the driver's side one.

If you don't get the lower light at the porch, you will probably want it. You'll have to decide if the cost is worth it. We paid a bundle for the wiring and switches for our extra lights but we use them. We do not have a lower step light and neither one of us has a problem but doesn't mean a thing about you. We have amber.
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Old 12-19-2016, 10:46 PM   #4
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We went with one light below the belly band and the LED awning light strip. We haven't yet picked up our camper, but we were lucky enough to see CPAHarley's new 19 with these same options and confirmed that we liked it. The awning light strip is $170 but it's also dimmable and spreads light down the side off the trailer. So it's another option to consider.

I don't really believe that it helps with bugs, but we did get the regular light with an amber lens because it's not as bright and we like the color better.

Decisions, decisions, decisions...
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:11 PM   #5
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I had a complaint from the bugs that several of them couldn't see the amber light as well as they could see the clear, but most of them found it. Even so, I changed back to clear, so I could see the steps.
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Old 12-19-2016, 11:26 PM   #6
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I have the amber lens, single light, and I have no problem seeing the step (that's singular, only one step). I also have the LED package, and the LED bulbs are rather bright. I wouldn't spend the extra money for a second light because if you have the light on, it is likely after dark, and if you are coming back to your campsite, you will probably have a flashlight with you anyway.
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:45 AM   #7
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Same as Carl, we have a single amber led light an can see the step just fine at retirement age. Wouldn't be worth it to me but it's your trailer so do whatever you want, easier now then adding one later.

Can't tell if the amber helps keep the bugs away, if it does, it only keeps some of them away. We like the amber for it's more subdued light but from what I see in campgrounds most folks believe the brighter the better.

On edit: The best thing we did for getting in and out of the trailer was to use a different step, sometimes we felt like we were almost falling out of the trailer. Something about the single step made it a bit awkward at times.
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:51 AM   #8
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I went with mounting the stock light below the belly band, it really helps light up the lower area. I also got the optional awning light which lights up the campsite area if needed. Amber lenses on both port and starboard lights. Next I mounted a bullet license plate led on the lower curb side light that is on when I turn on the inside light and I can control the stock light with it's built in outside switch, I'm a happy, well lighted, camper.
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:17 AM   #9
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lights

We find the LED standard light by the door to be very bright so no need for a second light for us .Although I had cataract surgery last year and everything is brighter now .We also put a light on the drivers side by the black/grey tank clean out also one up front for a future storage box .
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:40 AM   #10
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I like Jim's idea of placing the standard light below the belly band, where you need it. We rarely have a light on outside, but when we do, we use the front light, just over the storage box. It is lower and not shining in our eyes.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:20 AM   #11
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My only problem with placing the light below the belly band is that it is probably not illuminating the key slot if the door is locked........

And my solution to the problem with the ETI supplied inadequate and potentially dangerous step is to carry one of the Rubbermaid step stools with two steps as in the photo below. It travels just inside the door where it is quicker and easier to deploy if we stop at a rest area, etc., and want to go into the trailer. It serves a dual purpose as I will use it when hitching or unhitching the 5.0TA to reach into the bed, and when disconnected, it makes it much easier to climb into the bed for whatever reason.
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Old 12-20-2016, 10:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I went with mounting the stock light below the belly band, it really helps light up the lower area. I also got the optional awning light which lights up the campsite area if needed. Amber lenses on both port and starboard lights. Next I mounted a bullet license plate led on the lower curb side light that is on when I turn on the inside light and I can control the stock light with it's built in outside switch, I'm a happy, well lighted, camper.
Didn't you also mod a light, close to the steps, on one of your earlier Escapes?
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Old 12-20-2016, 01:02 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by J Mac View Post
Didn't you also mod a light, close to the steps, on one of your earlier Escapes?
Yes, on both my old 19 and 21 I installed a similar bullet license plate light that illuminated/focused the light on the step at night
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C&G in FL View Post
My only problem with placing the light below the belly band is that it is probably not illuminating the key slot if the door is locked........

And my solution to the problem with the ETI supplied inadequate and potentially dangerous step is to carry one of the Rubbermaid step stools with two steps as in the photo below. It travels just inside the door where it is quicker and easier to deploy if we stop at a rest area, etc., and want to go into the trailer. It serves a dual purpose as I will use it when hitching or unhitching the 5.0TA to reach into the bed, and when disconnected, it makes it much easier to climb into the bed for whatever reason.
I never understand what problem some people have with their Escape step. You don't show a photo with the Escape step down.

Did you have another trailer before this one (that had different steps)?
Do you have a high lift axle?
Is the 5.0 step a different height from other models?

We have no trouble with ours. I know that some people with physical problems want two steps but we don't see anything wrong with this one for most people. Do the above questions apply to you? Thank you.

This is ours. Seems just right to us.
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:38 PM   #15
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I don't get the problem with the Escape step either ( I have high lift axle ). Carl's steps scare me, not being firmly attached to anything.
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:41 PM   #16
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I am not aware of any fiberglass trailer with an illuminated lock and with the step light on I can see where they key goes.
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Old 12-20-2016, 05:43 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by float5 View Post
Did you have another trailer before this one (that had different steps)? Yes, had 2 steps.
Do you have a high lift axle? No
Is the 5.0 step a different height from other models? Probably not
I don't know if the narrow door or the raised threshold have something to do with it. It's just that at times it's like walking down a hill, I end up going faster then I wanted to.

With the 8' bed on my truck carrying a portable set of steps is no big deal. I use it instead of the built in one about half the time.
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:01 PM   #18
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Well, you can be parked on a slope with a bigger step down. In that case, someone could use two steps.
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
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It's just that at times it's like walking down a hill, I end up going faster then I wanted to.
As with others, I don't have any problem with the ETI-supplied step but do feel a sense of increased security while holding on to the handle on the door...
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:32 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by float5 View Post
I never understand what problem some people have with their Escape step. You don't show a photo with the Escape step down.

Did you have another trailer before this one (that had different steps)?
Do you have a high lift axle?
Is the 5.0 step a different height from other models?

We have no trouble with ours. I know that some people with physical problems want two steps but we don't see anything wrong with this one for most people. Do the above questions apply to you? Thank you.

This is ours. Seems just right to us.
The step does not project far enough out so that when I step off the threshold onto the step, typically 1/3 of my foot is hanging over the edge. I am glad you find the step just right. But neither my wife nor I like it. And based upon other posts I have read on the forum, we are not alone in our dislike of it. Furthermore, she lost her balance using it more than once; thankfully she was holding onto the grab bar and did not fall. You don't see any pictures of it deployed because I refuse to use it. We don't have any problem with it entering the trailer; the problem is exiting the trailer. I find the Rubbermaid step stool far superior to the retractable step and as I said, it comes in handy for other things. I make that statement having used both, whereas I would (gasp) assume you haven't since you are satisfied with what you have. Perhaps if you tested the Rubbermaid, you might understand why I prefer it. It all comes down to what works best for each individual/couple. I hope that in some way that my explanation helps you understand why I (we) don't like the Escape step. And it is the same step that was on my Scamp 19 and two Aliners. Didn't like it on them, either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I don't get the problem with the Escape step either ( I have high lift axle ). Carl's steps scare me, not being firmly attached to anything.
Actually, they are firmly sitting on the ground and I find them far more stable than the retractable step that came with the trailer. I have never stumbled using the step stool but I cannot say I have never stumbled on the retractable step. Only once did I find them a bit unstable. The placement of the trailer was such that the steps were partially on a tree root. I backed the trailer up another foot and everything was fine. Again, however, what works for me may not work for someone else. I quote Donna.....YMMV!
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