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Old 09-27-2013, 10:40 PM   #1
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About to become Escape owners: the adventure begins

My wife and I just put a deposit on an Escape 19 that will be completed by May 2. We're looking forward to camping in the American Southwest, and in as many of the Canadian and US national parks as we can.

We did lots of backpacking and kayak camping back in the day, but are new to trailer camping. We're 70 and 60 years old, and are currently trying to distinguish between the "must have", "nice to have", and "not important" factory options as we configure the 19. We're interested in good boondocking capability, and would appreciate any suggestions about the Escape extras from experienced Escapees.

We would also like to hear about any indispensable after-market items that folks are using. Thanks!

Brent and Cheryl.
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:20 AM   #2
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Congratulations Brent & Cheryl! Although our 19' Escape will be completed on January 2nd, my wife and I are planning on leaving North Carolina on April 26th to head up to Chilliwack to pick up ours. We're liable to bump into each other at the factory. I will begin my retirement with that trip as we spend 2 months exploring the Southwest and South as we meander back home. We also prefer camping in National Forests, National Parks, State Parks and Corp of Engineers CG's. For this, we have determined that we will have solar, led lights, larger capacity 12 V battery, 1500 watt inverter, microwave - all to be able to "dry camp." Extra insulation & dual pane windows for controlling heat, cold & quiet. Surge protector and AC are necessary for living in the south. Opening window in bath & non opening over sink for more light. Anderson hitch for safer towing. Removable power cord. And finally, SS sink, SS range top and aluminum rims - just because we like them. These are the "extras" that we've decided on over the 4-1/2 months of studying the forum since placing our order. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:22 AM   #3
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We live in Arizona and plan to camp in the Western half of the US - without hookups the majority of the time. We had a Casita for 8 years, a big 5th wheel for a few years, and have done a lot of tenting.

BUT everyone has different priorities and ways of doing things. We have learned a lot from others - on this forum and elsewhere - things we want to do and things we do not want. So pick and choose from the advice to fit your desires. Read all the forums - there are lots of good ideas here and on Fiberglass RV and The Casita Club - Casita Travel Trailer Website and Forums among others.

We do much of our cooking outside on a propane stove and grill with an extra 20lb propane tank. We have a Honda 2000i generator (and may switch to something slightly larger after testing it with the new A/C.)

Personal preferences:
Custom formica and fabric
SS 2 burner stove for more counter space
Replace vent hood with light for more open feeling
opening windows in kitchen and bath
Stereo
Jack TV antenna and TV arm
U-shaped front dinette
foot flush toilet
Planning to use Springfield 1660230 pedestal instead of 2 RV legs
Non-Andersen equalizer hitch
SS sink to avoid concerns with hot pans
large fridge
Additional 110V outlets
Interior switch for driver side exterior light
Interior switched 12V circuit to spare tire for backup LED light
Removable power cord
Surge protector
Reinforced some walls to allow mounting stuff
Additional set brake/turn lights
2 way water heater (for when we do have hookups)
3000lb axles - not needed, but I like the extra margin
Propane tanks full

For hot/cold weather and noise:
Texas (hot climate?) fridge vent fan
Dometic A/C due to reports of extremely noisy new Coleman A/C
Digital thermostat for furnace-A/C
Extra insulation, thermal windows, spray foam under trailer

For storage:
Cabinet door at end of bench
Front storage box and LED light
Vents under bed and benches
Shelves/drawers in wardrobe cabinet
raise bed 2" for extra space below

For no hookups:
Captains LED reading lamps
Additional 12v outlets with 14 Gauge wire
dual 6V batteries and solar
1500W inverter and microwave - I will be wiring in a transfer switch
all LED lights
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Old 09-28-2013, 02:40 PM   #4
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Thanks, Jamman and kstock11, that's great information, including several things we hadn't considered. If you don't mind, we might be sending you each a PM with a couple of followup questions.
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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Do the propane tanks not come full?
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:55 PM   #6
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Good to have a look at someone else's build sheet, curious about the fridge vent fan. Does this help some of the problems with fridge cooling in hot temps? Has it been tried by anyone? Where would the vent be located? We have a completion date of Jan 20th 2014 for our 17B. Thanks.
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:01 PM   #7
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I believe it is an auxiliary fan located in the rear of the refer compartment to help dissipate heat build up which may occur in very hot climates. The newer 19' and the 21' have a redesigned refer compartment with a roof exhaust vent. the other models had some issues with heat build up. I feel the newer design should take care of the issues. If not, the fan can easily be retrofitted at a later date. Most Airstreams have this fan on the models that exhaust behind the opened door. Again with the roof exhaust the issue should be moot.
Here is a new picture of the space where the refer is installed in the new 21', the entire compartment is insulated and you can see where once the refer is installed little air can infiltrate the living space. This is custom made for the refer that goes in the 21' and aids in eliminating any hot spots which can affect the refer's efficiency.
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Old 09-28-2013, 05:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthe View Post
Do the propane tanks not come full?
No.
See 19 Foot Escape
then Accessories tab
then Starter Kit
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthe View Post
Do the propane tanks not come full?
The tanks do not come full.
We did ask Escape to fill our tanks before we got there as we were were planning to head out camping right from the factory (to the rally in Osoyoos) and did not want to stop and fill them ourselves due to time constraint. We did pay a bit more for them to do it than doing it ourselves, which is understandable, but the time savings was worth it. We really appreciated them doing that for us.
It is about $20 Cdn +/- to fill a 20 lb propane tank at a propane outlet.
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Old 09-28-2013, 06:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
20 Cdn +/- to fill a 20 lb propane tank at a propane outlet.
Plus new tanks need to be purged before the first filling. It costs me $10 to purge a new tank here in Portland, Oregon. To me, the cost seems to be a push and not on my time. Cool!
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:49 PM   #11
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Our tanks came full without us asking Escape to fill them.
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Old 09-28-2013, 09:16 PM   #12
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Might depend on if it is a delivery or not.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:55 PM   #13
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We picked up our 2013 5.0 in August from Chilliwack and tanks were empty. Not a big deal - the first campground we stopped at filled them while we set up......
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Old 09-29-2013, 10:57 AM   #14
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Ours were filled in our 19 when we picked it up in August. I was thinking this was part of the starter kit option, and if not you may have to ask.

Starter Kit
4 rolls RV toilet tissue, 1 litre toilet chemical, 10 pairs of large latex gloves, 25’ water hose, water pressure regulator, 4 wheel chalks, hitch lock, propane tanks purged & filled Price $150.00
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Old 09-29-2013, 11:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gharper View Post
Ours were filled in our 19 when we picked it up in August. I was thinking this was part of the starter kit option, and if not you may have to ask.
Ah ..... Makes sense. We didn't need the starter kit, so that's probably why our tanks were empty. Good info for new buyers!
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Old 09-29-2013, 01:56 PM   #16
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That is right. We had starter kit also and our tanks were filled at pickup.
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Old 09-29-2013, 06:13 PM   #17
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I had them fill our tanks without having the starter pkg. it cost $60.00 to purge and fill.

Dave
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