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Old 11-19-2022, 08:20 PM   #1
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Deposit down on a 2018 17A

Hello everyone!

We have just put a deposit down on a local 2018 17A, and we will pick it up in early December. We are replacing a small, motorized RV. We will tow it with our 2014 Nissan Frontier Pro4x King Cab.

I have minimal experience driving a trailer, and I feel nervous about acquiring this new skill. However, I am a good and confident driver, and I know that I can learn with practice and by taking things slowly. I witnessed a horrific sway-related accident about 10 years ago that leaves a knot in my stomach whenever I think about it, so I have been reading obsessively about weight distribution and anti-sway hitches. There are a lot of options out there!

I have been calling around to see if anyone offers "driving with a trailer" lessons, but the options are limited and classes are already filled through next summer. If anyone lives in the Fraser Valley (we're in Mission) and wants to make some extra money by doing some practice with me, please let me know!

I think it's wonderful that this community exists, and I look forward to participating. We expect to take the trailer to Alaska in May/June, so I will look through other posts to see if others have chronicled their Alaskan adventure.

Thanks,

Sarah
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Old 11-19-2022, 09:48 PM   #2
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Congratulations on your choice of trailers and welcome to the forum.

I think that a very common situation is that folks have a lot of apprehension about towing a trailer and by the time they reach home they're thinking, wow, that was pretty easy. Straight towing is easy. The hardest part of towing is backing into a tight place, but it gets easier with practice. Just don't try it the first time with lots of folks standing around. They'll all be giving you advice at once and believe me, that doesn't help.

I had a horrible sway incident in my younger days. Loaded a VW on a flat deck trailer by pushing it on front first. With the engine at the rear my tongue weight was probably on the very light side. Didn't have an accident but it was heart stopping.

Having said that I've towed many trailers, including my two Escapes, from Alaska to Baja and the Pacific to the Atlantic and never ever had even a hint of sway. I use a basic WDH without sway control.

Since you're a good and competent driver I'm sure that you won't have any problems getting used to towing.

Ron
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Old 11-19-2022, 11:30 PM   #3
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Thanks, Ron -- your assurances help! We have a couple of big parking lots in Mission that are quiet on the weekends, and I'm of the "practice makes perfect" mindset. My initial concern is getting safely into the spot in the alley behind our house. We do have a couple of neighbors who tow for a living and who are usually very helpful, so I'm hopeful that things will go smoothly.
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Old 11-20-2022, 07:23 AM   #4
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To start, you do to drive a trailer but tow it behind you......
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Old 11-20-2022, 10:14 AM   #5
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Go rent a U Haul utility trailer. Pull it around for a day. Then go rent a enclosed UHaul trailer, drive it around for another day. Practice with something other than your new Escape.

When traveling with your Escape always give yourself lots of room to stop. A few years ago there was a thread on here about a new Escape owner got in a scary situation in the rain. They thought they truck and trailer should have stopped sooner. We commented they we’re going to fast. They didn’t think so in their first response but later commented that they admitted they were going to fast. When towing take your time. Those who race don’t make it home.

You see shouldn’t have to worry about sway. These Escapes tow pretty straight.
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Old 11-20-2022, 10:24 AM   #6
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Awesome news, Sarah! Totally agree with Ron. It will be a bit stressful at first but every trip will make you more comfortable. I suspect you’ll be able to back it into the space with a few tries but if your neighbour can help, that works, too. Most of all, just enjoy your new trailer.
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Old 11-20-2022, 07:48 PM   #7
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Thanks for this. We have a utility trailer that I'm comfortable with, but it's just a little thing. The idea of renting a bigger enclosed one is good!

My partner sometimes drove our motorized RV faster than I found comfortable, so we'll talk about this. Are there any rules of thumb about "if it would take you X distance to stop with the tow vehicle alone, leave Y*X when towing the trailer?" I assume it mostly has to do with weight.
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Old 11-20-2022, 08:13 PM   #8
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Your trailer has brakes that are quite effective but yes, leave a bit more space to the vehicle in front of you. We have a 21C and I leave a couple of car lengths more than I would unhitched. It will be fine…just enjoy it.
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Old 11-20-2022, 09:53 PM   #9
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You'll love it. Watch a couple of YouTube videos on backing up a trailer and then find a big empty parking lot and practice backing up a few times.
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Old 11-21-2022, 01:40 PM   #10
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Congratulations on joining our Escape family. We bought both our Escapes second hand and have had wonderful camping experiences with them both.

No doubt you'll have some great experiences as well, especially going up to Alaska. There was some talk about stable towing. One of our members here did have their 19 go onto the side while passing a truck. They were towing about 120KMH and with some wind gusts they figure that led to problems. The member had some good tips which he planned to put into place with their new Escape.

Quoting from his thread about the accident he said...
"1. I plan measure tongue weight. One site suggested always emptying the fresh water tank since many trailers, like the 19, have it behind the axles. The weight of the water reduces tongue weight.
2. I am getting a WDH/anti-sway hitch. I like the Husky model, which some forum members recommended.
3. We will stay in the right lane and go less than the speed limit.
4. We won't be passing any trucks. (Although a truck passing us could cause a similar effect.)
5. We will practice reacting and hitting the trailer brakes quickly" end quote.

So just don't do 120 on the Coq and you should be fine. The maximum I would normally go unless passing someone on a two lane is 110.
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Old 11-21-2022, 05:29 PM   #11
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I am speed freak, I love driving my kids car, it’s pretty quick but when I’m towing, I leave lots of room and usually stay at 105 to 110 km/hr, mainly because the truck seems to be happiest there, doesn’t down shift and doesn’t work hard..
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Old 11-21-2022, 11:43 PM   #12
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This is really helpful information. Thank you to everyone for chiming in!
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Old 11-23-2022, 10:06 AM   #13
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Hi Sarah. My wife and I bought an Escape 17B earlier this year. We advanced from a utility trailer, tent trailer, then the 17B. The good news is, small trailers are harder to back than the larger 17. I recommend getting a rear facing camera or having a spotter, as judging the space behind you isn't easy when backing into a confined space. Make sure you have a good brake controller and although not needed, we got the E2 hitch with our 17B and really like the ride while towing behind behind our 4Runner. Enjoy your new Escape.
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Old 11-24-2022, 02:47 PM   #14
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Based on feedback here, I decided to check Facebook Marketplace for a used WDH and found a near-new Equalizer for $400 (which would usually be about $1000 CAD). It seems like a small investment for some piece of mind. I have also purchased one of these:

https://www.haloview.com/handy-7-hit...ra-system.html

I really like that you can move it around the rig as needed for any given maneuver. I will put a plate on back left side so that I can watch things (my fence and shed) as we ease into our parking spot.

Thanks again, everyone.
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Old 11-24-2022, 09:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah Henderson View Post
Based on feedback here, I decided to check Facebook Marketplace for a used WDH and found a near-new Equalizer for $400 (which would usually be about $1000 CAD). It seems like a small investment for some piece of mind.
The Equal-i-zer is a great WDH. I just hope you were able to find the right model. For a light 17A you should really have the 400/4,000 model. Meaning max 400# tongue weight and max 4,000# trailer weight. You do not want a WDH with spring bars that are too stiff.

(We have the 600/6,000 model for a 19 and really enjoy towing with it)
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Old 11-24-2022, 11:27 PM   #16
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It's the 600/6000. I talked to our hitch installed, and he thought it would probably be okay, but I'm open to other perspectives.
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Old 11-25-2022, 06:16 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Sarah Henderson View Post
It's the 600/6000. I talked to our hitch installed, and he thought it would probably be okay, but I'm open to other perspectives.
I was going to mention that the 600/6000 would probably be fine as well. I wouldn’t go any higher though.
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Old 11-25-2022, 09:17 AM   #18
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Wonderful! Glad to hear that you agree it will work. It's such a good deal!
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