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Old 07-12-2015, 05:58 PM   #1
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Build Sheet Questions

Hi Everyone!

Well, it's officially begun -- I submitted my first Build Sheet to ETI!!! Very exciting!!! After reviewing all my choices with Crystal this past week, she suggested that I get some feedback on the Forum for answers to some of the questions. Would greatly appreciate your thoughts!

1) After much research and, as many of you know, almost buying a RAV4, my son finally convinced me to purchase his 2009 Chevy Hybrid Tahoe (at a few thou below Book!). Which hitch do you think would be better: Equalizer or Andersen?

2) I intend to spend 95% of my time boon docking -- do you think it's necessary to get the surge protector for such a very limited time that I may plug into electricity?

3) I'm getting the spray foam insulation but not the 12V heat pads. I will be trying to follow the weather and hope to not spend much time below 40 degrees F or above 85 degrees F. Do you think the "Thermal Windows and Extra Insulation" would be a worthwhile investment at $800?

I placed my order last October. A blink of the eye and there are only 2-1/2 months to go!!! How did it pass so quickly?!? Am I ready? No. A "zillion" things yet to do. But I will be and am SO excited!

As always, thanks for your help!!!
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:06 PM   #2
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2) doesn't hurt to have it. Better safe than sorry.

3) I'd reverse that. I went with extra insulation & windows, skipped on spray foam, but then I also ordered AC.
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:23 PM   #3
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Yo Ellen! Congrats!!! One of the big things for me was ordering the dual pane windows and extra insulation in Ten Forward. For many years camping in my Scamp, I dealt with condensation on the windows and tons of moisture, especially during shoulder seasons. One year later, I have no regrets that I ordered both. I'm happy with my decisions! I didn't get either the foam insulation or the heat pads. I already know how I may need to deal with conditions where I may have wished I had both.

Good luck, fun times ahead
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:42 PM   #4
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I would wait on getting a special hitch. I tow with a Honda Ridgeline and it tows like a dream with just the standard ball hitch. Nothing fancy needed.
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:48 PM   #5
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1) Yeah, I guess it's worth the investment. Would be quite an expense in case I did happen to get zapped.
2) So when they say "Thermal Windows & Extra Insulation," where does that extra insulation go?
Thanks so much!

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Originally Posted by GRINGOandTICA View Post
2) doesn't hurt to have it. Better safe than sorry.

3) I'd reverse that. I went with extra insulation & windows, skipped on spray foam, but then I also ordered AC.
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:53 PM   #6
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Hey Donna D!!! Thanks!!!

I just asked above where that extra insulation goes if I get the dual pane/extra insulation.

Having the dual pane/extra insulation, where do you think you will be needing to deal with the foam or the heat pads?

Still a bit confused as to what my best choices will be and with the weather conditions I will encounter (mild, hopefully)

Yes! Fun times ahead!!! Look forward to seeing you again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Yo Ellen! Congrats!!! One of the big things for me was ordering the dual pane windows and extra insulation in Ten Forward. For many years camping in my Scamp, I dealt with condensation on the windows and tons of moisture, especially during shoulder seasons. One year later, I have no regrets that I ordered both. I'm happy with my decisions! I didn't get either the foam insulation or the heat pads. I already know how I may need to deal with conditions where I may have wished I had both.

Good luck, fun times ahead
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:55 PM   #7
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Wow, good information, thanks! That would be a big money-saver! Why do people get the Equalizer or the Andersen?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellentob View Post
I would wait on getting a special hitch. I tow with a Honda Ridgeline and it tows like a dream with just the standard ball hitch. Nothing fancy needed.
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Old 07-12-2015, 06:59 PM   #8
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Our EMS cut out 5-6 times this past week to protect the trailer from low voltage due to the extreme heat. Voltage was dropping below 104 which is the cut off point for the EMS. In a few minutes it would come back on. Everyone in Georgia must have had their A/C on. I was glad we had it.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:14 PM   #9
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2. I'd get the surge protector just for peace of mind when u r not boondocking. Also, what if/when your camping style changes some day.

3. We got the thermal windows and insulation. Of course since this is our first fiberglass we don't know if this made a difference. I've read that one of the benefits of the package is soundproofing if you have noisy campers next door.

From what I've read the heating pads are more necessary for very cold weather. And further if your Boondocking again when I write is that the heating pads are huge drain on batteries.

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Old 07-12-2015, 07:16 PM   #10
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You will see some of the Reflectix in the benches and a few other places but most of it is covered by the paneling or wall. The insulation and thermal windows will benefit you for heat and cold and are definitely a feature that many would not buy without. I do not believe the Reflectix is on the floor so foam is a benefit for sure, which we are also getting.

If almost never hooked up, you have to decide if you want to take your chances on a bad electric set-up somewhere. That is rare but people have been known to lose all of their appliances. May not be worth it to you to get an EMS especially since one of the biggest features is protecting the A/C from low voltage. You can add an EMS at any time.

Good luck with the build sheet! You may just come up with a "few" more questions!
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDarby View Post
Wow, good information, thanks! That would be a big money-saver! Why do people get the Equalizer or the Andersen?
I take it that you are asking what a weight distributing hitch (WDH) does. It moves weight from the back of your tow vehicle. Some of the weight that it moves goes back to the trailer and some goes to the front of your vehicle. In our case, we redistribute about 300 lbs. with the standard WDH that ETI sells which is a Reece Pro.

ETI calls it an equalizer. (Equal-i-zer is a brand name and ETI does not sell that brand.). A WDH is also called an "equalizer" as a generic name which is what ETI is doing. I do not know the specifics of your tow vehicle to know if you need a WDH.
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Old 07-12-2015, 07:52 PM   #12
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I like the thermal windows and extra insulation for their sound deadening properties as well a retaining heat from a heater and cool from the AC. This is not something you can add afterwards.

By far most folks I know with trailers do not have an EMS, I do have it. Not something I'd have looked for aftermarket if it hadn't been on the option list. 10 years so far with no power issues. If you have the extra cash, it certainly doesn't hurt, although I did have it buzzing pretty good till I switched out the relay. You can have an EMS added later if you decide to go without.

I'd get the Anderson, lighter to work with then the Reese. I'm a believer in WDH's, but then I've never had a trailer as small and lightweight as the 17. I like the solid feeling connection they provide. If you want to try without, go ahead. Any rv shop, and probably Uhaul, can put one on later.
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:07 PM   #13
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3) We noticed how much quieter it is inside our Escape compared to our prior trailer with the dual panes and extra insulation, and we also have the spray foam insulation underneath.

1) I have always used a WDH and wouldn't tow without one. My father towed without one and noticed sway over about 50 mph which disappeared when we added the WDH. I suspect some of that depends on the type of tow vehicle, but I feel the extra sway control and stability is worth it. We use the Reese Pro from Escape and like it. It is heavy, about 80 lbs, but I feel much better with it. We had a blowout with a prior trailer and a WDH and a single axle trailer, and we came to a stop easily without any loss of control from 65 MPH to 0. Our Jeep manual says that we must use a WDH "to ensure stable handling of your vehicle" if the gross trailer weight is 3500 lbs or more and our Escape 19 is 4000 lbs gross weight.
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:27 PM   #14
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If I was allowed only 2 options on the trailer, it would be the insulation with thermal windows and the Andersen hitch. But I must admit I was back and forth on the Andersen until forum members who have them said how much they liked them. Loren
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDarby View Post
1) After much research and, as many of you know, almost buying a RAV4, my son finally convinced me to purchase his 2009 Chevy Hybrid Tahoe (at a few thou below Book!). Which hitch do you think would be better: Equalizer or Andersen?
Aside from which of the two types is better, I would question why you would want a weight-distribution system at all with a tug this large and a trailer this small.

I tow a similar size of trailer with a Toyota Sienna van and I agree with this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellentob View Post
I would wait on getting a special hitch. I tow with a Honda Ridgeline and it tows like a dream with just the standard ball hitch. Nothing fancy needed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdornbush View Post
31) I have always used a WDH and wouldn't tow without one. My father towed without one and noticed sway over about 50 mph which disappeared when we added the WDH. I suspect some of that depends on the type of tow vehicle, but I feel the extra sway control and stability is worth it.
With the size of the tug and trailer in this case, if the trailer swayed at normal highway speeds I would be looking for the serious problem with the trailer, such as poor load distribution. Yes, the tug matters.
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Old 07-12-2015, 08:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EDarby View Post
Hi Everyone!

Well, it's officially begun -- I submitted my first Build Sheet to ETI!!! Very exciting!!! After reviewing all my choices with Crystal this past week, she suggested that I get some feedback on the Forum for answers to some of the questions. Would greatly appreciate your thoughts!

1) After much research and, as many of you know, almost buying a RAV4, my son finally convinced me to purchase his 2009 Chevy Hybrid Tahoe (at a few thou below Book!). Which hitch do you think would be better: Equalizer or Andersen?

2) I intend to spend 95% of my time boon docking -- do you think it's necessary to get the surge protector for such a very limited time that I may plug into electricity?

3) I'm getting the spray foam insulation but not the 12V heat pads. I will be trying to follow the weather and hope to not spend much time below 40 degrees F or above 85 degrees F. Do you think the "Thermal Windows and Extra Insulation" would be a worthwhile investment at $800?

I placed my order last October. A blink of the eye and there are only 2-1/2 months to go!!! How did it pass so quickly?!? Am I ready? No. A "zillion" things yet to do. But I will be and am SO excited!

As always, thanks for your help!!!
Hi Ellen I think most of us agree about items for your build . I think I would definitely get the surge protector . We have one . You just never know if you needed it and it protects your investment. I also would suggest any insulation you can get I would . Even the bottom foam , we have that also . The thermal windows and extra insulation , lots of good reasons . We have that too. The heating pads -unless you will be where it is very cold I would say no on that one . But if you get foam on bottom that will already help with cold on my even help protect bottom of your trailer . As for towing hitch You can always get later if needed but you said a Tahoe - you might be fine without . We tow our 19 without and are fine . The trailers tow real nice . Hope this helps . Pat
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:03 PM   #17
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Congratulations Ellen,

Time does fly!

As finances permit I would go in this order.
  1. Double pane and extra insulation. (comfort and condensation)
  2. Spray foam (Dificult to add later)
  3. EMS ( I like it but my preference)
  4. WDH (with your tow probably don't need and you can always add later)

Exciting....
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:09 PM   #18
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Congrats Ellen. Seems like just yesterday you joined the forum.

In answer to your questions, my two cents:

1. You'll really like towing with the Tahoe. I prefer the Andersen if you are definitely getting a wdh, but either is fine.

2. Yes. Get the surge protector.

3. Yes. Thermal windows and extra insulation are one of the best options Escape offers. Less condensation, better retention of heat or cool, and quieter.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:32 PM   #19
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So I am confused with the weight distribution hitch. Does anyone use it with a Toyota Tacoma? I am wondering if it's overkill or would create a problem if used. Your input is very much appreciated.
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Old 07-12-2015, 09:38 PM   #20
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So I am confused with the weight distribution hitch. Does anyone use it with a Toyota Tacoma? I am wondering if it's overkill or would create a problem if used. Your input is very much appreciated.
We tow with a Ford F-250 for our 19 which is overkill . I think it all depends on what your tow vehicle is and the size of your trailer . Pat
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