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Old 10-03-2012, 03:52 PM   #1
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Newbie questions

Hi Folks -

I am looking to buy a 15 or 17 ft Escape and have a few questions.

I would likely be towing with a Toyota Highlander or a Toyota RAV4. I am concerned that I would not be able to open the Highlander back end (which opens up) or the RAV4 back end which opens to the side (this would be when the trailer is hitched to the vehicle). Does anyone have any experience with this?

I would like to add a lightweight roof rack or cleats to secure a fishing pontoon boat to the top of the trailer. Escape says this is possible but does not recommend adding much weight to the top. The pontoon boat is less than 50 lbs. Does anyone have experience adding a roof rack or cleats for light attachments on top?

I am looking at a used 'C' model, which I assume is no longer made. Does anyone know if the 'C' without interior shower has an exterior shower attachment?

When viewing the Escapes they look like they have an extension on the back for the spare tire. Is it possible to add a longer extension (hitch-haul) which might be acceptable for attaching a pontoon boat to.

Thanks in advance for help for this newbie.

regards,

- Jane
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:24 PM   #2
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Re: Newbie questions

Hi Jane, I tow with a 19ft with Gmc Yukon and with my current reciever I can't open my trucks rear hatch I need to find a slightly extended reciever to alow this as it is quite anoying. I do know that there are lots of options for hitch recievers out there but I havn't looked yet. As for puting the boat on top of the trailer, this has been discussed here before and what I took from it was this. It is best to have the boat on the tow vehicle as you may want to set up camp and then take the tow vehicle and boat soemwhere, if it can only be hauled on the trailer this does limit you. Just a thought. As for the amount of weight on the trailer I would only follow Reaces advice on this.If he sugests not to than in my opinion that is gospil.
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:31 PM   #3
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Re: Newbie questions

It strikes me that getting a pontoon boat onto and off of the roof of a 17 would be cumbersome and awkward. You would almost need to carry a small ladder. And I wouldn't be excited about drilling mounting holes for whatever kind of rack you ended up with, unless you had Escape do it for you.

The spare tire mounts on the bumper, and you can get a receiver added to the bumper, into which a flat hitch carrier would work. It would make more sense, to me anyway, to try to carry the boat that way, on it's side. Of course, that might block your taillights....

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Old 10-03-2012, 05:07 PM   #4
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Re: Newbie questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmac
Hi Jane, I tow with a 19ft with Gmc Yukon and with my current reciever I can't open my trucks rear hatch I need to find a slightly extended reciever to alow this as it is quite anoying. I do know that there are lots of options for hitch recievers out there but I havn't looked yet. As for puting the boat on top of the trailer, this has been discussed here before and what I took from it was this. It is best to have the boat on the tow vehicle as you may want to set up camp and then take the tow vehicle and boat soemwhere, if it can only be hauled on the trailer this does limit you. Just a thought. As for the amount of weight on the trailer I would only follow Reaces advice on this.If he sugests not to than in my opinion that is gospil.
Be careful with receiver or hitch extenders, they reduce your tongue weight capacity up to 50%
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:13 PM   #5
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Re: Newbie questions

Jon Vermilye has a 17' and he tows with a Rav4- I know he put the spare from the back onto his roof rack but not sure he can open his hatch all the way. You may want to send him a p/m if he does not chime in on this question
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Old 10-03-2012, 05:34 PM   #6
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Re: Newbie questions

We have an Escape 13 and have towed it with a 2003 Subaru Forester and a 2012 Toyota Highlander. There are no problems opening the hatch on either vehicle when hitched up. No interference with the jack handle at all. It is easy to load things into the back while hitched up.

With the Highlander I can open the back hatch and fold the third and second row of seats and back right up to the trailer when hitching up. No need for anyone to help me hitch. That is nice.

The Highlander also has a back up camera, but I have found I can hitch up quite well just opening the back hatch.

A RAV4 would have been a good towing vehicle for us but we did not like the side swinging tailgate, which is why we chose a Highlander.
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Old 10-03-2012, 06:22 PM   #7
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Re: Newbie questions

I have a 2001 Rav 4 which I use for towing a small utility trailer and a not-so-small tent trailer. With the utility trailer, the trailer's bed and hitch are low enough that we use a drop hitch to keep the trailer approximately level. With that configuration, I can open the hatch without issue. With the tent trailer to keep the trailer approximately level in towing we use a straight bar in the receiver. In this configuration we cannot open the hatch once the trailer is attached.

Now that's an old vehicle, but I haven't noticed significant differences with newer models. I would guess that the escape hitch is high enough that you will need a straight bar, so I would guess you will have problems.
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Old 10-03-2012, 07:20 PM   #8
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Re: Newbie questions

My roof rack is on the RAV4 - I purchased a 2010 Sport model that comes with run flat tires & no spare. I like the look of the back door & not having the top of the tire cover blocking part of the view out the rear window, but the run flat tires are junk. Expensive, harsh riding, only last 20K miles, and are useless in snow (we usually get between 160" & 200" per winter) plus while they say you can drive 100 miles on a flat tire, I'm often more than that from any place I could get a replacement, and the thought of towing the trailer with a flat just doesn't cut it. So, I switched to standard tires & had to find a place for a spare. No one would trade back doors with me, Toyota wanted close to $3000 to switch to a door with a bump, the local junk yard wanted $2000 for one (without paint or installation), so I built a mount to put it on the RAV4 roof rack.

As to the door clearance, with the Weight Distribution Hitch the door clears the ball, but does not clear the trailer hitch. I can only open the door about a foot or so with the trailer hitched up. I live with it, but do wish the door opened up rather than to the side.

I believe the roof rack can be supplied by Escape; I'd discuss the weight issues with Reace. I'd also think about loading & unloading from the roof of the Escape 17. Before I switched to the standard tires I carried a kayak in a Thule carrier on the RAV4. I'll have to offset the tire to do that now.

As to the towing ability - I have no problems. I have the V6 & tow package - I've towed 32,000 miles so far, up & down east & west coast mountains, including a 18% grade of 3 miles going from Red Rock into Ricketts Glen State Park in PA (down to 40MPH in 2nd gear, about the same climbing up to the Eisenhower Tunnel on I 70 in Colorado). I avoid interstates when ever possible, tow at a maximum speed of 57 MPH, and per Toyota, in 4th gear (no overdrive). I get 15 MPG towing & 25 MPH highway solo.

The two things I don't like about the RAV4 are not having a place for things like a generator and fuel, and not having enough ground clearance for some of the jeep trails I like to drive to get to some out-of-the way locations.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:18 PM   #9
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Re: Newbie questions

We use the wdh sold by Escape and tow with a Toyota 4Runner. When hitched up to the wdh, we can open the 4Runner's rear hatch without any problems for loading & unloading things out of the vehicle.
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Old 10-03-2012, 10:41 PM   #10
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Re: Newbie questions

I also have a Highlander and as with Brain there is no problem in opening up the rear door while hitched to my 19' Escape.

Rick
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:47 AM   #11
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Re: Newbie questions

We tow a 17 with a Highlander, and no issues. Correction, we do find ourselves smiling a lot!
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:14 AM   #12
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Re: Newbie questions

I ony need the reciever to extend back about 2-3 inches so the rear hatch will clear the electric tounge jack, I am sure that if i had a manual crank jack it would be fine. In fact I think if I used a weight distributon hitch it would be long enough to clear. So i just need to find a reciever with a slighty longer length, so I don't imagine with will cause any problems.
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Old 10-04-2012, 12:26 PM   #13
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Re: Newbie questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmac
I ony need the reciever to extend back about 2-3 inches so the rear hatch will clear the electric tounge jack, I am sure that if i had a manual crank jack it would be fine. In fact I think if I used a weight distributon hitch it would be long enough to clear. So i just need to find a reciever with a slighty longer length, so I don't imagine with will cause any problems.
You also have a big tow vehicle Dave with more capacity than is really needed to tow your 19. I am sure also that adding a few inches to your receiver length would have only minimal impact on your overall towing experience.

cheers
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Old 10-04-2012, 01:29 PM   #14
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Re: Newbie questions

Excatly Icebreaker, I am not concerned at all
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Old 10-04-2012, 03:27 PM   #15
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Re: Newbie questions

I tow with a RAV4 with the spare on the rear door. We can open the door, maybe 12" before the tire hits the handle of the trailer jack. You may be able to rotate the jack 90 degrees so the handle is on the side, giving you more room to open.

I too have the V6 with tow package but when towing on steep hills I can smell the transmission getting hot. Supposedly it has a transmission cooler but if so, it's pretty small and of marginal use.

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Old 10-04-2012, 05:21 PM   #16
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Re: Newbie questions

I have RAV4 V6 Sport and Escape 17B.

I can only open the rear hatch about 6 inches with the equalizer hitch installed.
I just pack so I can get stuff out via the rear passenger doors.

My pontoon boat / or my canoe go on the rack on the RAV4. When I take the pontoon boat I use a couple 2 x 2s across the factory rack to extend the width for the boat. As pointed out earlier in this thread, you don't want to be heaving a pontoon boat up on the trailer, or taking the trailer to the put-in if you don't have to. My buddy and I have stacked our pontoon boats on the RAV4, no problem.
And, a helpful hint: keep your pump handy. When you climb in altitude you can let air out of the pontoons and on the way down, you can pump in more air rather than retying all the ropes.

As for the transmission cooler on the RAV4, it came standard in Canada ( 2008 ), but was an option in the US.
Only time I had an issue with overheating was when showing off by doing 90KPH up the steepest part of the Coquihalla, I down-shifted to 3rd ( which is a no-no according to the manual ). Overheat warning light came on as I neared the top. Stick with 4th gear and no overdrive.

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Old 10-04-2012, 07:27 PM   #17
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Re: Newbie questions

Hi, Jane!
"C" may be someone's designation for bath with no shower. I don't recall ever seeing or hearing of it, just A and B, but maybe someone else knows about it.
I would highly unrecommend using the Escape roof. Wouldn't want to get anything heavier than a cleaning brush up there. It would be difficult to say the least to put a boat on top.

As Brad and Shay, our 4Runner liftgate clears but we are looking at an electric jack and it may not clear that. So that is another possible problem.
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:46 PM   #18
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Re: Newbie questions

Thanks to all for your very helpful suggestions. I am now leaning away from the RAV4 and will probably start out towing with the Highlander (thanks to all who let me know that the Highlander rear door will open).

The Highlander is a V6 Hybrid - do any of you Highlander owners tow with a hybrid? Any problems?

Also, am leaning against anything on the trailer roof. Problem is we need to take 2 pontoon boats most places. Will probably put one on the tow vehicle roof rack and one on an extended hitch n haul thing. We do not like to disassemble the boats if at all possible - cuts down on fishing time!

With regard to the Escape 'C' package. That is what the current owner called it. It has the interior toilet with no shower.

Anyway, thanks for all of your help. I have a lot to learn!

- Jane
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Old 10-05-2012, 01:53 PM   #19
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Re: Newbie questions

You may have an issue with the Highlander opening hatch with something on the roof.
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Old 10-05-2012, 02:03 PM   #20
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Re: Newbie questions

Stack 'em.

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