Any Damage From Driving on Rough Roads? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-25-2014, 10:01 AM   #1
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Any Damage From Driving on Rough Roads?

I have recognized for some time that our 2013 Escape 19' does not ride as smoothly on rough roads or across bumps as does our tow vehicle (2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser).

The initial signs that this was the case was things like salt and pepper shakers getting thrown out of the little baskets we use to store them in the upper cabinets and spilling their contents in the cabinets. Not a big deal, we got better baskets and made sure that the shakers were packed in more tightly with less chance of bouncing out.

Next sign I had that the trailer rides a little rough was that I noticed our television, which we had originally stored for travel by placing screen down under a pillow on the rear bed, had travelled most of the way across the bed and was in danger of falling on the floor. For quite some time after that, I would pack the television back in the styrofoam and box it came with and put it in the storage area below the rear bed. That was kind of a pain to do. More recently, I slipped a long webbing strap around the entire mattress near the foot end, and just bungie the two ends of the webbing to the television whenever we travel. Takes only a few seconds to do and can easily be picked up and put on the wall bracket when we stop.

Our 19' has the oven option. From what I can tell when ETI installed the oven, it was fastened to the cabinets with two screws near the bottom and about 4 more near the top of the oven. The oven top was just set into place over the burners and a strip of silicone caulking was used on either side of the top to hold it in place. After our first summer of use, I noticed that the top had broken loose from the silicone that ETI had used, and movement while driving had caused the top to rub on the arborite surface right next to the oven. I removed the old silicone and added a new strip of caulking, and that seemed to temporarily solve the problem.

We went on a weekend trip this past summer where I ended up having to drive about 30 km on gravel roads with quite a few potholes and several Texas cattle-gates. I drove relatively slow, and tried to avoid as many bumps as possible. However, it was dark and I did hit several solid bumps, including a bump on a cattle gate that was pretty big. When we got to the campground, things were a little thrown around in the Escape. The worst thing was the oven door had opened and the bouncing had made the door hinge come off of the oven body on one side. This caused that side to fall and bend the hinge on the other side of the door. Additionally, all of the screws holding the oven in the cabinets had fallen out or loosened up. The previously siliconed top on the oven was again loose and the oven top was again rubbing on the arborite counter. I have since fixed the door hinge and re-installed it, and added new screws to hold the oven in the cabinets (used adhesive with them so they would not readily come out). I added a metal bracket to hold the oven top in place on top of the oven, and added new silicone again along the gap between the edge of the oven and the arborite counter top. I am satisfied that the oven should stay in place now.

I have learned through the above that the Escape 19' does not travel as easily over rough roads as my tow vehicle. I keep the tires inflated to about 40-42 psi, and we typically travel quite light. Maybe if we loaded things down more, the ride would be smoother. In any case, my lesson learned is to go really slow whenever traveling over rough roads. What is a smooth ride in the tow vehicle can be damaging to your Escape.

Anyone else have any issues with travel over rough roads?
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:29 AM   #2
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We travel a on some rough gravel roads- I usually don't drive any faster than 20 km/h.

We always take the heavies out of the fridge, and place them in a cooler on the floor.

Our 5.0 TA, does not have an oven.

We have not had vibration/damage problems.
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Old 09-25-2014, 10:44 AM   #3
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We took our 5.0 Classic over about 5 miles of washboard gravel road earlier this year. It vibrated our fridge door open and off. The table came apart and bounced around, bending the hinges on the cabinet door below the fridge. We did not know that there would be such a rough road to the campground so we were not prepared. We knew from previous trailers that the trailer will always bounce a lot more than the tow and would have secured it better has we known about the road condition. We have since devised 'tie-down' solutions for the fridge, bath and table and are careful to really secure everything as much as possible. I don't have pictures of the table tie down system yet - we have replaced the standard table with a modification of a hospital type bed table. We have installed tie down points but no picture yet of those.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bath Door strap.jpg (263.5 KB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg Bath Door strap top anchor.jpg (330.9 KB, 74 views)
File Type: jpg Bath door strap buckle.jpg (355.6 KB, 67 views)
File Type: jpg Fridge strap.jpg (271.9 KB, 95 views)
File Type: jpg New Table.jpg (214.7 KB, 97 views)
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Old 09-25-2014, 11:17 AM   #4
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I have travelled many a gravel road, and some with lots of bumps. The worse always seems to be the washboard stuff, which I drove 20 kms on one time. There were a couple things jiggled about, but the only noticeable damage was the end plywood gables in the lower cabinet doors beside the wheelwell popped off. They were just held on with a couple staples, so I added a few screws to hold them on.

The only other thing that shook loose was the case for my batteries under my dinette seat. There were 4 short screws used (can't go deeper than the ply, or risk going through the shell). I just added a about 6 more screws.
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Old 09-25-2014, 12:18 PM   #5
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I notice when towing the 21' Escape with the Andersen set up there are less items out of place than towing without. I also set my trailer tires to max 50 psi every time and try to tow a hair nose down. I had air shocks on my old Ram, will be using the new one without to see if there is any change.
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I had air shocks on my old Ram, will be using the new one without to see if there is any change.
What did you get?
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:46 PM   #7
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We had our closet (shelves inside) open and things spill out. When we were at ETI and mentioned this, they tried tightening up the latch, then replacing it, and finally installed two latches which solved the problem.
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Old 09-25-2014, 03:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCnomad View Post
What did you get?
A 2014 Ram Hemi Sport model with 8 speed auto. I eliminated the fiberglass cap to save some rear weight and got a 3:21 rear gear for mpg efficiency. Going to try it out for the Eastern Escape Rally tomorrow. Also the new removable tongue jack set up is installed for opening the tailgate while hooked up.
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Old 09-25-2014, 05:39 PM   #9
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Travel trailers do ride roughly compared to cars. This is due in part to the stiff springing required by the short travel of typical trailer suspensions, but it is also due to poor damping. Damping - absorbing energy so that a bump doesn't become a big or repeating bounce - is better with rubber springs than with basic leaf spring packs, which is one reason that the Torflex suspension used by Escape works better than basic leaf-spring suspensions. Even a Torflex-equipped trailer is rough by automotive standards.

Both leaf-spring and rubber-sprung independent suspensions (such as Torflex) can be improved by the addition of shock absorbers. On the 5.0TA - the only Escape model not using Torflex - Escape fits equalizer rockers (Dexter E-Z Flex) with rubber in them, which should both soften the springing and add damping.
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Old 09-25-2014, 07:13 PM   #10
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We just finished our long trip to Alaska and then the east coast about 21,000 miles total and maybe 19,500 +/- towing traveling over some very rough roads. Yes the trailer does ride rough but we had very few issues from this. A couple of screws in the backsplash backed out (fixed with wood glue) and I did have to retighten the screws in the upper section of the oven. No other issues with the oven that I know of. We did develop a noticeable squeak in the floor about mid trailer and the only time a cabinet door came open was the time we did not properly secure it. I do keep there TV and frog door strapped down-no issues there. Overall very pleased with the performance.
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