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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....

Bob
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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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