Solo traveler helpers / tips - Escape Trailer Owners Community
Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Towing and Hitching
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-16-2023, 06:10 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Centex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East of Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2021 Escape 5.0 / 2022 F150 SuperCab
Posts: 2,989
Lightbulb Solo traveler helpers / tips

Are you a happy solo RV traveler? Got any gizmos, techniques, or tips that make the trek easier / more convenient? Let's share!
__________________________

Not sure when Ford (and maybe other manufacturers, too?) started providing this, but I must rave about the F150 'trailer lights check' routine which can be run from a menu on the dashboard, or even better from the smartphone FordPass app. All it does is cycle through all of the trailer lights functions until you tell it to stop, allowing one to easily 'eyes-on' check all your lights.

It's a little feature that's really appreciated by this solo traveler, even more than the 'error' messages displayed if there's a trailer lights problem.
___________________________

I've found the LevelMate Pro to be well worth the price of admission. Especially when used in conjunction with curved roll-on wheel leveling blocks (like Andersen, Camco, etc) I've found this gizmo really is a step-saver when setting-up the trailer.

Initial configuration is easy, select bumper-pull or 5.0, input a few trailer dimensions, level your trailer 'manually' to calibrate, then you're set for good. I mounted the sensor module in my 5.0 front storage compartment, there's no need to access it for use, it's all done with your Apple or Android smartphone.

I went for the "+" version because it's able to be hard-wired for power so I don't mess with a battery (has a 'sleep mode' to avoid unnecessary drain on the house battery). Either way, IMO it's worth a look by the solo traveler.
____________________________

Got your own gizmo or tip that might be of particular interest for fellow solo travelers? Please, post 'em up and let's keep this aimed at that solo niche (even though others can also perhaps 'steal' a few of the ideas )
Attached Thumbnails
Screenshot.jpg   LevelMate Screenshot 2.jpg   LevelMate Screenshot.jpg  
__________________
Alan E.
2021 Escape 5.0 / 2022 F150 Lariat SuperCab 6.5' box / Centex's 2021 5.0 Modifications
Centex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2023, 07:13 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Mucram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: boise, Idaho
Trailer: 2018 19'
Posts: 522
Here’s one I learned recently. Carry a pack of doggy potty pads in your shower bag. When at a public shower, use the clean pad when stepping out of shower flip flops (my kids tease me when I use the word thongs) to dry off & put on clothes.
__________________
Julie
Mucram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-16-2023, 10:42 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Greenwood, Indiana
Trailer: 2020 Escape 5.0TA
Posts: 371
We also use doggy pads after showering and wiping down the shower in the trailer. We put the absorbent side down to soak up any leftover water and the other side keeps our feet dry.
__________________
Sharon.
Carmel Clown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2023, 07:50 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Kent, Ohio
Trailer: 2017 21c Sold, 2023 Bigfoot 25RQ
Posts: 1,414
I travel both ways, solo and with my partner. I always carry orange cones to mark the entrance of the campsite, I also have trailer backup camera to keep track of how far back I go. My Ram has the light check function also and levelmate pro plus (it works with my Apple Watch) so I can see the level status by glancing at my wrist. I also have mopeka propane sonar sensors to keep my propane levels known. The cones have lessened my backup stress. All stays on my phone is handy for finding campsites on the fly if things don’t go as planned. An old fiddle is part of my kit, but common interests will become apparent.

We are headed out in June for our epic 3 month coast to coast starting in Ohio to Cape Breton to Portland Oregon and back to Ohio.
oldwave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2023, 07:51 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Kent, Ohio
Trailer: 2017 21c Sold, 2023 Bigfoot 25RQ
Posts: 1,414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmel Clown View Post
We also use doggy pads after showering and wiping down the shower in the trailer. We put the absorbent side down to soak up any leftover water and the other side keeps our feet dry.
Brilliant
oldwave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2023, 10:00 AM   #6
Site Team
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 11,083
To stand on while drying, I use a folding wood shower mat, similar to this one. Inside I carry my flip flops to and from the shower house. It dries quickly. I'd rather not use a one time use plastic. Inside the trailer I just use an old beach towel to stand on. Since I"m the only one using it, it dries easily in one day.
Attached Thumbnails
ShowerMat.JPG  
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward
2014 Escape 5.0TA
Donna D. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2023, 11:23 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Trailer: 2020 Escape 17B "Voyager"
Posts: 2,700
After an experience in Oregon trying to back into a small site at night, I bought a pack of 4 small lanterns. The plan- if ever needed- is to put one on each corner of the site. The biggest problem that night (Harris Beach) was that in the campsite with easily enough space a "helpful" neighbor came over and wouldn't leave and insisted on trying to direct me (I couldn't see her and it just made it impossible) so finally I said I'd go find one we fit in, and left. Found a smaller one and got into it okay but ordered the lanterns the next day.

That's a typical problem when solo- "help" that you don't want or need. If I need it I can ask someone. The worst is when the helper tries to tell me which way to turn the steering wheel (instead of just showing me how far away I am from something).

Edit- this doesn't seem to happen around other fiberglass people- I think we all realize that each trailer is different and we all have our systems
for getting backed in.
Bobbie54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2023, 11:41 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Ron in BC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: North Van., British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 19, sold; 2019 Escape 21, Sept. 2019
Posts: 8,890
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbie54 View Post

That's a typical problem when solo- "help" that you don't want or need. If I need it I can ask someone. The worst is when the helper tries to tell me which way to turn the steering wheel (instead of just showing me how far away I am from something).
That also sometimes happens even when you're not solo. I have zero tolerance for that.

One thing that I do is stop on the road and walk into the far end of the campsite and visualize where I want to end up. I've found that even if you glance into the campsite as you pull up, taking a minute to actually walk in and look at it goes a long way to an easy back into place.

Ron
Ron in BC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2023, 12:41 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Mucram's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: boise, Idaho
Trailer: 2018 19'
Posts: 522
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
To stand on while drying, I use a folding wood shower mat, similar to this one. Inside I carry my flip flops to and from the shower house. It dries quickly. I'd rather not use a one time use plastic. Inside the trailer I just use an old beach towel to stand on. Since I"m the only one using it, it dries easily in one day.

Totally agree regarding one time use BUT in terms of infection control, I'd rather toss the puppy pad than bring in the germs etc from the floor of the public bath house on a shower mat.



I even put my flip flops bottom side together & wrap in plastic bag to prevent what yuck I can. This comes from a retired RN who worked in infection control. BTW, that freebie bag that Escape gave out at the last Osoyoos gathering works great as a shower bag.
__________________
Julie
Mucram is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2023, 12:49 PM   #10
Site Team
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 11,083
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mucram View Post
Totally agree regarding one time use BUT in terms of infection control, I'd rather toss the puppy pad than bring in the germs etc from the floor of the public bath house on a shower mat.

I even put my flip flops bottom side together & wrap in plastic bag to prevent what yuck I can. This comes from a retired RN who worked in infection control. BTW, that freebie bag that Escape gave out at the last Osoyoos gathering works great as a shower bag.

I spray Lysol on the bottoms of my flip flops. I leave the shower mat outside under the loft to dry. I've never had any issues since 2002 when I bought and started using it. I'm trying to use less plastic, not more. Can you imagine how much plastic I haven't used in 22 years using the folding mat versus the potty pads? Everyone needs to decide what works for them. This is the solution for me.
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward
2014 Escape 5.0TA
Donna D. is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2023, 01:20 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Vermilye's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Oswego, New York
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21C, 2018 Ford F150
Posts: 5,386
While I like & carry maps, I find that as a solo traveler a GPS is a useful tool. Hard to check maps while driving without a copilot!

I also second the LevelMate Pro - great for leveling.
__________________
Jon Vermilye My Travel Blog
Travel and Photo Web Page ... My Collection of RV Blogs 2018 F150 3.5EB, 2017 21
Vermilye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-17-2023, 03:04 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Canada's East Coast, New Brunswick
Trailer: 2022 E19
Posts: 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by Centex View Post

Not sure when Ford (and maybe other manufacturers, too?) started providing this, but I must rave about the F150 'trailer lights check' routine which can be run from a menu on the dashboard, or even better from the smartphone FordPass app. All it does is cycle through all of the trailer lights functions until you tell it to stop, allowing one to easily 'eyes-on' check all your lights.

It's a little feature that's really appreciated by this solo traveler, even more than the 'error' messages displayed if there's a trailer lights problem.
___________________________
)
That's a slick feature! I just set up Fordpass for my new Ranger. Not sure if that feature is available.
Fender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2023, 05:55 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Kent, Ohio
Trailer: 2017 21c Sold, 2023 Bigfoot 25RQ
Posts: 1,414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
While I like & carry maps, I find that as a solo traveler a GPS is a useful tool. Hard to check maps while driving without a copilot!

I also second the LevelMate Pro - great for leveling.
We carry a standalone gps that works wheee cell phone gps doesn’t
oldwave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2023, 07:28 PM   #14
Site Team
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 5,187
For trailer light testing, I turn on my parking lights, and emergency blinkers and do a walkaround. if the running lights are on, and both sides brake/turn are blinking, then all your light circuits are working....
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2023, 08:28 PM   #15
Site Team
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Mid Left Coast, California
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 5,187
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldwave View Post
We carry a standalone gps that works wheee cell phone gps doesn’t
as long as I 'save' regions prior to taking a trip, or anywhere I have net access, my google maps work even when I'm off grid. in google maps on Android, tap your icon in the upper right, 'offline maps', and 'select your own map', they can be multi state. I'm sure its something similar on an iphone... they need to be updated at least once a year.
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2023, 10:52 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Kent, Ohio
Trailer: 2017 21c Sold, 2023 Bigfoot 25RQ
Posts: 1,414
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
as long as I 'save' regions prior to taking a trip, or anywhere I have net access, my google maps work even when I'm off grid. in google maps on Android, tap your icon in the upper right, 'offline maps', and 'select your own map', they can be multi state. I'm sure its something similar on an iphone... they need to be updated at least once a year.
Good tip I forgot about that function. I used it a few years ago. My stand alone GPS is from my now sold BMW motorcycle it has lifetime maps and has been a very robust system. I prefer the iPhone with apple car play because it comes up on my screen though.
oldwave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2023, 02:08 PM   #17
Site Team
 
Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Trailer: 2023 Escape 5.0TA
Posts: 899
My contributions:

-Ford F150 trailer light check is great. It took me a few times to trust it but now I am a believer
-Crocs over flip flops all day long. Way more versatile. Due to accident, I am missing part of a key toe that is needed for flip flops but I would probably choose Crocs anyway.
-Trailer mounted rear camera (Furrion) or other brand.
-Graduated center strip on pin box for 5.0. This will differ for each individual. Use colored tape down the center of the top of the pin box to help line up for hitching. Low tech but works great.
SageRpod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2023, 05:45 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 Tow: 2024 Toyota Tundra
Posts: 3,107
When I bought my trailer Tammy's dad put a piece of bright yellow reflective tape on the tip of the trailer tongue. This helps me line up the trailer via the truck's backup camera to hitch up. If I didn't have that piece of tape I'd have to get married.
__________________
Mike Lewis
She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie-- propane
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2023, 05:53 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Centex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East of Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2021 Escape 5.0 / 2022 F150 SuperCab
Posts: 2,989
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
.... If I didn't have that piece of tape I'd have to get married.
...
__________________
Alan E.
2021 Escape 5.0 / 2022 F150 Lariat SuperCab 6.5' box / Centex's 2021 5.0 Modifications
Centex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2023, 11:15 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 Tow: 2024 Toyota Tundra
Posts: 3,107
I painted the flat top of the trailer ball with white appliance enamel, figuring that part of the ball doesn't appear to touch anything. This makes it easier to see it go under the trailer's coupler via the backup camera.

I'm not sure this is a good idea, though, as I'm not certain that part of the ball doesn't touch something else. Something appears to wear the paint off somehow.
__________________
Mike Lewis
She don't lie, she don't lie, she don't lie-- propane
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2023 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.