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Old 04-23-2017, 01:14 PM   #1
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Ahoy Land Sailors!

Hello! My partner, Sharon, and I have just returned from a two month trip across the southern US to California and back to Toronto, Canada. We rented a 17' travel trailer (not an Escape) and a suitable SUV tow vehicle to try it out – and we've become RV converts!
Sharon and I are both sailors and plan A was to get a bigger sailboat to winter in Florida on, now that I'm finally retired. Earlier this year we had a trip to both coasts of Florida to find a suitable situation. But, having had our California road trip, it has come as a revelation to us that RVing is so much like cruising (less technical, though - maybe not a bad thing) except that it offers much more variety. Also, you don't have to sleep with your feet overlapping in the pointy end! So, on to plan B: find a quality travel trailer.
We're looking at Escape Trailers because we think that a molded fiberglass trailer is the way to go for long term performance; our boat is 38 years old and still looks good and performs well. I'm happy to have found this forum and look forward to learning from you and 'talking' with you about your experiences 'Escaping'...
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:19 PM   #2
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Welcome Craig and Sharon, contact Escape factory and they will provide you with some owners near you to view. In addition there is a rally in September in Niagara Falls, On where there will be just about every Escape model made available for viewing.
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:42 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum.

Great way to test out trailer travel. There are lots of folks who had boats buy an Escape trailer, recognizing the merits of moulded fibreglass.
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:51 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Craig Walsh View Post
that RVing is so much like cruising (less technical, though - maybe not a bad thing) except that it offers much more variety. Also, you don't have to sleep with your feet overlapping in the pointy end!
Yup, only no sleepless nights on anchor watch or having the boat put on the beach because a hurricane veered South instead of North.

One major adaption is realizing that RV equipment is generally a much lower standard than marine equipment. It mostly does the job but if you're used to high quality marine gear RV quality takes a little getting used to.

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Old 04-23-2017, 01:51 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum, and possibly to an Escape, Craig and Sharon. I second Jim's suggestion that you attend the Niagara rally, that's where I first saw the trailer which subsequently became ours.

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Old 04-23-2017, 03:09 PM   #6
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Hope you get yourselves an Escape and like it as well as your boat. From what I have heard, the Escape should cost you much less in maintenance. And you will probably appreciate being on the ground for a change! Any questions, we have answers. Not necessarily right answers, but answers.
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Old 04-23-2017, 06:33 PM   #7
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And fuel stations everywhere:-)!
Welcome and best wishes in finding the perfect trailer!
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Old 04-23-2017, 06:43 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum.

Great way to test out trailer travel. There are lots of folks who had boats buy an Escape trailer, recognizing the merits of moulded fibreglass.
And a boat dealer would probably be the first place to take a fiberglass trailer if it ever needed exterior repairs. Loren
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:53 AM   #9
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There are many members on the forum who have made the transition from a boat with sleeping quarters to a fiberglass RV. Some of the still do both. Hopefully they can chime in with their experiences.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:35 AM   #10
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A friendly bunch!

Thanks to all of you for your replies and insights! I think the Niagara Falls Rally sounds like a great opportunity to meet experienced users and find out what works for them. Meanwhile, Sharon and I have been given contact information for a couple of owners who have graciously indicated that they are willing to show us their rigs. You're a friendly crowd, for sure!
As Loren pointed out, fiberglass repair services are never too far away and it's amazing how good even extensive repairs can be when competently done. On our recent trip we were chased around a bit by the threat of large hail in Oklahoma and Kansas; the resale value of an aluminum trailer would likely be destroyed by a hail storm. How could you recover from that?
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:47 AM   #11
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Hi: Craig Walsh... Here is a pic of the damage a 4" dia. tree branch did to the roof of our former trailer. I always made sure the gel-coat cracks were well coated with wax. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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File Type: jpg P1020230.jpg (86.2 KB, 34 views)
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:08 AM   #12
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Ouch! Better than a permanent dent, though; shows how resilient fiberglass is. Gelcoat repairs are definitely an art, but not beyond mere mortals. Getting the factory gelcoat would solve the colour matching issues for recent trailers and might be a good place to start for older, more faded exteriors.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:42 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Craig Walsh View Post
As Loren pointed out, fiberglass repair services are never too far away and it's amazing how good even extensive repairs can be when competently done. On our recent trip we were chased around a bit by the threat of large hail in Oklahoma and Kansas; the resale value of an aluminum trailer would likely be destroyed by a hail storm. How could you recover from that?
Hail has always been a bad word for Airstreams. Found this interesting story on a search:

In 1993 the WBCCI International Rally was held in Bismarck N.D. One night during the International that year, a terrible thunderstorm hit with golf ball to soft ball size hail. Those Airstreams became known as "Bismarck Units" and were easily identified because they looked like silver golf balls. Some of them were totalled, and some repaired. It was estimated that there was about $8M in damage to the trailers and reports of some trailers with 6" of water and ice inside. Many folks took the insurance settlement and continued to use their units. As the years passed, and the heat/cold summer/winter cycles continued, after a couple of years most of those dents returned to their original form. Occasionally you can still see hail dents, but after a couple of years most of them heal themselves, so it's not as catastrophic as it might seem. I think the later model Airstreams are more susceptible to damage as the aluminum alloy is so much more thin than it was even in the '70s.
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:28 AM   #14
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Hope you get yourselves an Escape and like it as well as your boat. From what I have heard, the Escape should cost you much less in maintenance. And you will probably appreciate being on the ground for a change! Any questions, we have answers. Not necessarily right answers, but answers.
To paraphrase George Orwell (Animal Farm), all answers are right; some answers are more right than others!
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:54 AM   #15
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To paraphrase George Orwell (Animal Farm), all answers are right; some answers are more right than others!
Shouldn't that be "Sometimes we are both right, I am just usually more right than you."

Though, given your surname, methinks you might win.....
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Old 04-24-2017, 02:13 PM   #16
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Shouldn't that be "Sometimes we are both right, I am just usually more right than you."

Though, given your surname, methinks you might win.....
Ahh, Orwellian with Shakespearean overtones. I like it!
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