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Old 02-07-2016, 11:11 AM   #1
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A couple of ideas for the 2017 5.1 5th....

While waiting for the football game to start I started putting together a build list for a new 2017 5.1 that I'm going to order soon. The usual items we all must have like solar and a/c and extra insulation, etc....But:
The switch from spring to torsion suspension, does this impact ride height and type of hitch and pin height?
Can the a/c be put in the middle vent and the MaxxFan in the rear?
Flip up tables in loft on closet walls?
Opening frameless awning thermal windows in loft?
Install the thermal door window in bath for light only, seems the bath window is always shut at night and when in use....
Extra 12v runs to step/outside storage areas for lights
to be continued.....
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Old 02-07-2016, 12:06 PM   #2
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I would like to see inverter compressors used for the ac. They are quieter and more efficient, but I'm not sure where one would put it. Perhaps on a mount welded to the bumper? The inside cassette units would be a good choice for an RV.
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
The switch from spring to torsion suspension, does this impact ride height and type of hitch and pin height?
With a choice of bracket heights and arm angle, plus spacers between the suspension bracket and the frame, the trailer designer has lots of choice in height. I can only assume that Reace will spec the suspension to put the trailer at a similar height to the current beam axle and leaf-spring suspension.

The difference will be that the height adjustment method will be a single spacer (the #10 Torflex Lift Kit (K71-707-02)) which is only 2-5/8" inches tall, while the big change in the leaf-spring setup (spring-under/spring-over conversion) makes a greater than four-inch change in height, so the adjustment range won't be as great. Perhaps Escape will offer a choice of arm angles (the old "high lift" versus regular suspension choice) as a build-time option.

Various people have mentioned a third height setting for the leaf-spring suspension of the 5.0TA, presumably by mounting the springs and rocker in a different set of holes in the frame brackets, although I haven't seen it yet. There is no obvious way to get a third height for the Torflex setup without replacing the whole suspension (to get a different arm start angle or bracket type), although a taller spacer could be built (but would likely need the weight and complication of additional crossmembers).
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:09 PM   #4
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Can the a/c be put in the middle vent and the MaxxFan in the rear?.
I can see why one might want the air conditioner in a more central location, or closer to the front bed. On the other hand I can see three potential issues...

The body structure would need to be built to handle the unit's weight in this location (but the new mould is a great opportunity to make this sort of change) and wiring would need to run to it.

It looks like the top of the air conditioner is the highest point of the trailer, other than the TV antenna; moving it forward would make it even higher, and thus more prone to damage. It would also mean moving mass slightly higher (always an undesirable thing) and slightly forward (maybe a small issue for those limited in pin weight capacity), although both of these changes would be small.

The MaxxFan would be most effective in removing heat from the trailer if it is in the highest position; moving it to the rear would put it lower and therefore less effective. We used a large fifth-wheel and found having a powered roof vent up in the sleeping loft area to be very useful.
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:34 PM   #5
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Moving the A/C forward would raise it in height, making it the highest point of the trailer. Right now the top of the A/C is near the same as the top of the loft.

I intend to implement some sort of circulating fan too, which would minimize temperature differences throughout.
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Old 02-07-2016, 03:39 PM   #6
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I would like to see inverter compressors used for the ac. They are quieter and more efficient, but I'm not sure where one would put it. Perhaps on a mount welded to the bumper? The inside cassette units would be a good choice for an RV.
I assume this means a split-system air conditioner, with an outside unit (compressor, condenser and fan) and a separate inside unit (evaporator and fan). I agree that this arrangement would be desirable, although both units are quite large and heavy, causing problems in both places. For the 5.0TA possible mounting locations for the outside unit could include:
  • on the bumper, presumably with the spare tire shifted to one side
  • in what would otherwise be a storage compartment, with a vented door (under the dinette, under the loft steps, etc)
  • on the front, supported by the pinbox (although it would fit here, it would be the wrong place for night time noise)

I don't know how an inverter would be related to the split configuration. An electronic motor controller (which includes an inverter) can be used for any style of air conditioner to provide continuous variable-speed control instead of on-off cycling. It is also possible to use an inverter to drive an air conditioner from battery power, but to be useful this takes an enormous battery capacity and I assume that's not what is being suggested. Some "DC Inverter" air conditioners are split units, but the split configuration is unrelated to the inverter electronics.
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Old 02-08-2016, 05:06 PM   #7
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I heard back from Reace today, the pin height of the torsion suspension remains the same height as the spring suspension info posted on the website, ICAWI....
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:41 PM   #8
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I heard back from Reace today, the pin height of the torsion suspension remains the same height as the spring suspension info posted on the website
I assume that you're referring to this item in the downloadable brochure:
Quote:
King Pin Height 47” – 49-1/2”
... since I don't see this information posted anywhere else on the Escape Trailer Industries website. Logically, it should be on the 5.0TA Specifications page, but it's not.

This spec doesn't make much sense, since it specifies a range of only 2.5" between highest and lowest pin heights, and the existing 5.0TA suspension adjustment alone makes a difference of more than 4".

Since most fifth-wheel hitches are adjustable for height anyway (as is the pin box), I think the more critical dimension for most potential owners is the maximum height of the pickup truck box sides, which is not specified. The suspension height controls that directly.

I think it is both hilarious, and at the same time a sad reflection of the difficulties which many companies have doing simple information maintenance on their web sites, that this statement in the model overview web page and brochure which is leftover from the original 5.0 and has been erroneous since the introduction of the 5.0TA:
Quote:
... the rubber torsion suspension axle, which is used in all of our Escape models, not only reduces vibration while traveling but also provides independent suspension and is maintenance free.
... will again be applicable for the 2017 design.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
ICAWI....
I have no idea what this means, and even a Google search for "ICAWI meaning" produces nothing applicable (since I'm sure it is not intended to mean Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India).
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:46 PM   #9
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In case anyone was interested.....

I'm contemplating having a 5th wheel hitch installed locally versus going to Chilliwack and was wondering what numbers were pertinent.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:52 PM   #10
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I'm contemplating having a 5th wheel hitch installed locally versus going to Chilliwack and was wondering what numbers were pertinent.
That makes sense to me. Even if you were having the hitch installed in Chilliwack, the box clearance information would be needed to determine the appropriate suspension setup for the 5.0TA.

Fortunately, if you are getting a fifth-wheel hitch with height adjustment, you could just adjust it in Chilliwack even if it is not initially installed there. It's just some quality time spent with some wrenches...
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:58 PM   #11
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I'm amazed at the assortment of 5th wheel hitches, as well as the stated capacities, all far in excess of what is needed for Escapes, as well as the price ranges.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:12 PM   #12
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I'm amazed at the assortment of 5th wheel hitches, as well as the stated capacities, all far in excess of what is needed for Escapes, as well as the price ranges.
While it is annoying that all these hitches (and I agree there are lots) are much heavier than they need to be for an Escape, to be fair the Escape 5.0TA is probably the lightest fifth-wheel RV trailer in production in the world, and all the fifth-wheel RV trailer models under 10,000 pounds GVWR put together would be a tiny slice of the market. I'm not surprised that they generally start at 15,000 pounds capacity and go up.

Some of the price variance is just marketing, but looking at both pivot designs and latch systems shows quite a range in sophistication of design and likely production cost. If you really want to spend money, there are always the automatic sliding systems...

Fortunately, because any of these hitches will be operating far under rated capacity, they should all be reliable so you can just buy the lightest, or most convenient to use, or quietest in operation, or whatever is important to you... and not worry about strength or durability. That might lead to even more excess capacity - for instance, the pivot design of the Curt Q20 (20,000 pound capacity) is quite different from the smaller models, so you might choose that one even though it has four times the required capacity.
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:14 PM   #13
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I miss the 2" ball on an adjustable stinger......
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Old 02-08-2016, 08:36 PM   #14
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I miss the 2" ball on an adjustable stinger......
Andersen is trying to get you back to that with their Ultimate 5th Wheel Connection - it even adjusts in height with a simple pinned square tube - but they still can't get around the problems of mounting to the frame through the box, and the need to convert the pin setup to a simple ball-and-socket, without adding parts and weight.

One Scamp 19' owner made a custom hitch for his trailer (which has conventional coupler to go on a ball, but located like an Escape 5.0/5.0TA) which mounted a 2" receiver on a frame in the pickup box so he actually used a ball on a ball mount (or "stinger"). Still couldn't avoid all that structure, though...
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Old 02-08-2016, 09:54 PM   #15
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I miss the 2" ball on an adjustable stinger......
That's why i like bumper pulls. Less complexity, more tow vehicle options.
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Old 02-08-2016, 10:24 PM   #16
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Might just have to buy a 21' Jim.
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Old 02-09-2016, 01:51 AM   #17
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Jim, I have the b&w patriot, it's placement in the bed is determined by the mounting bracket holes in the truck frame for mounting the rails, so the installer has no choice where to put it, unless you do some sort of custom job.

How the hitch itself is adjusted is your choice, for safety sake, I went as high and as far back towards the tail gate ad possible. Best final adjustment (tailgate clearence and level ride) waited to get the trailer. I suppose if you want to you may be able to pay ETI to make those adjustments when you pickup, or you could wait till you got home.

Your chosen hitch, hitch mount, and truck may differ.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:53 AM   #18
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Fortunately, because any of these hitches will be operating far under rated capacity, they should all be reliable so you can just buy the lightest, or most convenient to use, or quietest in operation, or whatever is important to you... and not worry about strength or durability.
Brian is right. Just pick one that you like, though I would recommend one with jaws that close around the kingpin rather than a sliding bar, and enjoy the stability and towing the 5th wheel will provide you which in the OPINION of many is superior to that of the stinger and 2-inch ball so sorely missed. Since I switched, I do not miss the shin banger or the ball or the safety chains, not to mention the occassional sway from out of control/speeding 18 wheelers screaming by me on the highways.
Get it installed and head for Chilliwack. During your orientation, ETI will adjust the hitch and/or the pin box up or down to provide for "level" towing.
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:18 AM   #19
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Brian is right. Just pick one that you like, though I would recommend one with jaws that close around the kingpin rather than a sliding bar, and enjoy the stability and towing the 5th wheel will provide you which in the OPINION of many is superior to that of the stinger and 2-inch ball so sorely missed. Since I switched, I do not miss the shin banger or the ball or the safety chains, not to mention the occassional sway from out of control/speeding 18 wheelers screaming by me on the highways.
Get it installed and head for Chilliwack. During your orientation, ETI will adjust the hitch and/or the pin box up or down to provide for "level" towing.
Carl, just wanted to mention we have never had any sway with either our 17 or the 21 we currently own. It could be due to the weight distribution hitches, or maybe the excellent design of the Escape trailers, or maybe the owner's expert loading method. Or it could be due to dumb luck. I am sure there are some advantages to 5th wheel hitches -- you probably never get grease on your pants from the hitch ball. But not sure sway elimination is one of them.
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:56 AM   #20
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I notice some 5th wheel set ups are "sliders" for front to rear movement, is this something that is necessary for use or only used with different trailers? Perhaps some parking spots maybe easier to enter with the hitch moved back for tighter turns and towing with the hitch forward over the axle? Does anyone use a slider model?
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