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Old 02-04-2017, 07:58 PM   #41
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If you hadn't done Sonora Pass, you'd not have a story to tell around the camp fire. Have no regrets.
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:06 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbhwisc View Post
What campground did you stay in?
We stayed at Atsion Campground (site #10 is the best), but I explored traversing all of Wharton State forest from west to east on the jeep trails. Decided the soft sand and waterholes weren't worth the risk and wear and tear. It could be done but the Godfrey Bridge Campground which would be the destination is accessible from the east side of Wharton off of rt. 563 near the private Wading Pines Campground with only a short distance off road. Only Atsion and Godfrey Bridge allow trailers and must be 21ft or less. There are seven additional campgrounds within Wharton but they are all tent only and a few are accessible only by hiking, canoe or horseback. Without trailer we explored up along the east side of the Oswego River starting down below Harrisville Lake and found some nice swimming holes to relieve the summer heat. Must have a good 4x4, possibly air down tires a bit and keep momentum because the soft sugar sand sneaks up on you and is unforgiving. I got an old jeep stuck out there when I was younger and my then girlfriend (now wife) will never let me live it down.

This is a great map showing Wharton campgrounds and some hiking trails. To get an idea of the jeep trails you really need to pick up topographical maps of the area. I'm not sure if they still sell them at the Atsion ranger station on rt. 206 but that is where I got mine years ago.

http://www.njparksandforests.org/par...FinalDraft.pdf
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Old 02-04-2017, 10:45 PM   #43
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Just and extra bottle opened for story telling

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If you hadn't done Sonora Pass, you'd not have a story to tell around the camp fire. Have no regrets.
..just an extra bottle opened for story telling..when my heart races..
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Old 02-05-2017, 12:56 PM   #44
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Do you guys that travel the washboards and jeep trails disconnect your weight-distributing hitches first? If so, how do you disconnect? I'd think, with the WDH, that pitch changes would stress the trailer frame.
I haven't heard much about of broken frames since the recall. Is that problem resolved?
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Old 02-05-2017, 01:00 PM   #45
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I only disconnect when I'm at camp.
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Old 02-05-2017, 01:15 PM   #46
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Oops, I wasn't very clear... I meant: Do you undo or loosen your tension bars before driving over the uneven trails?

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Old 02-05-2017, 01:19 PM   #47
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I would undo them.
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Old 02-05-2017, 02:47 PM   #48
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I would undo them.
And, I have to ask why?
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Old 02-05-2017, 04:12 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J&B Mitt View Post
Do you guys that travel the washboards and jeep trails disconnect your weight-distributing hitches first? If so, how do you disconnect? I'd think, with the WDH, that pitch changes would stress the trailer frame.
Quote:
Originally Posted by J&B Mitt View Post
Oops, I wasn't very clear... I meant: Do you undo or loosen your tension bars before driving over the uneven trails?
The first version was already clear enough for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gocamp View Post
I would undo them.
If something drove me to use a WD system, I would remove the spring bars entirely for severe off-road conditions. If the tug can't handle the trailer load without WD, I wouldn't use it to tow that trailer off-road.

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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
And, I have to ask why?
As J&B Mitt explained, the force on the trailer frame (the pulling force down on the chains of a conventional WD system) depends on the relative pitch of the tug and trailer.

Many people seem to take all the tension off the chains when unhitching by jacking up the tongue while still hitched, causing the tug and trailer combination to pitch as if going over a sharp hill crest. Fine, but that means that if you drive over a crest the chains go slack (and maybe the bars fall out in some designs). Similarly, going through an equally sharp ditch pitches the combination the other way, causing the tension on those chains to be twice as high as it would be on a level road. That's twice as much load transfer onto the trailer axles, and twice as much load transfer onto the tug's front axle, and twice as much load transfer off of the tug's rear axle... and likely too much for the vehicle structures and for rear axle traction.

Conventional two-bar WD systems also resist relative motions in the roll and yaw (steering) axes between tug and trailer. That's probably one reason that many people like them on the road, but it's also a potential problem on trails. Serious off-road trailers even use alternatives to conventional ball-and-socket hitches, to allow greater angles without jamming.

From what I have read, WD systems are rarely used in challenging off-road conditions, for these reasons. Looking at photos of all those rugged caravans used for camping in Australia's outback, I don't see WD hitches on most of them, even heavy tandem-axle caravans (but Kedron does seem to use some). This is not like Europe (where WD is rare even on-road): WD systems are routinely available (from some of the same brands as here, such as Reese, Andersen, and Fastway) and appear to be widely used on the road in Australia.

In the photos shared of Escapes off the highway, I'm not seeing any particularly challenging off-road situations - just trails rough enough to require care in the selection of trailer equipment and in operation. So there probably isn't a need to disconnect for most people, but there is a reason.
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Old 02-05-2017, 11:35 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Serious off-road trailers even use alternatives to conventional ball-and-socket hitches, to allow greater angles without jamming.

In the photos shared of Escapes off the highway, I'm not seeing any particularly challenging off-road situations - just trails rough enough to require care in the selection of trailer equipment and in operation.
You had me curious and I looked at what Kimberley uses in Australia. Fully articulating hitches that involve some very nifty engineering. Obviously these are in conjunction with other capabilities of the trailer for extreme use similar to or even beyond the designs for serious off road vehicles. I found the Lock N Roll hitch made in the USA that is similar in concept, but it seems to me though that by the time you need something like this with an Escape you would have other problems related to ground clearance, limited suspension travel, approach/departure angles, etc. I'm not sure how much actual articulation a traditional ball hitch has but something tells me it's more than enough for what most people would be doing with an Escape in tow.

https://locknroll.com/
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Old 02-06-2017, 12:36 AM   #51
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... I found the Lock N Roll hitch made in the USA that is similar in concept, but it seems to me though that by the time you need something like this with an Escape you would have other problems related to ground clearance, limited suspension travel, approach/departure angles, etc. I'm not sure how much actual articulation a traditional ball hitch has but something tells me it's more than enough for what most people would be doing with an Escape in tow.
Yes, that's what I was thinking too... but a WD system is more limiting than the conventional ball-and-socket system. As a result, as the conditions get more extreme the WD is the first hitch technology to become unsuitable... although the ground clearance and departure angle quickly become issues as well.

Suspension travel is not an issue for single-axle trailers, since they don't need suspension at all for articulation to accommodate the surface (just for cushioning the ride). Tandem-axle trailers, on the other hand, will hang tires in the air and twist the frame if they don't have enough suspension travel for bumps, so many of those larger Australian off-road caravans use long-travel independent trailing arm suspensions - usually with coil or air springs.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:58 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Yes, that's what I was thinking too... but a WD system is more limiting than the conventional ball-and-socket system. As a result, as the conditions get more extreme the WD is the first hitch technology to become unsuitable... although the ground clearance and departure angle quickly become issues as well.
Yeah, I assume that anyone doing anything with even a moderate articulation of the hitch would either not have WD or wouldn't have it hooked up. Ace Brown who had one of the more extreme pictures and was highlighted in post #11 had in his for sale thread for his 2008 17' on the expedition portal that he did "mild to moderate" off road travel and clearly romped around CO, UT, AZ.
He accomplished this with nothing too crazy:
-4" factory lift (not sure how this was done - axle arm angle?)
-30" tires gaining 2" more lift - that's right if comparing to a stock 205/75/R14
-Armor and no bath resulting in minimal plumbing underneath
-Torflex axle
-His extended rear bumper reduces his departure angle but he apparently had enough lift for it not to matter
-From his pictures it's clear he has a standard 2" ball hitch
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File Type: jpg image1.jpg (192.5 KB, 117 views)
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Old 04-29-2017, 06:40 PM   #53
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HI
I am back on the forum after a few years off.

We have owned our 17b since 2011 and do a lot of backcountry travel with her.
The trailer still looks new both inside and out.

We have not "rock crawled" with it but we have gone down 100s of km of logging roads and even had to turn the trailer by hand in a few tight dead ends.

I did research as much as possible different types, brands, and configurations of bumper pull RVs before ordering the Escape 17. These are/were the toughest production trailers on the North American market.

With that said, approach and departure angles are still limited as is clearance. My wife often acts as "spotter" on tricky terrain.

We chose the 17 for quite a number of reasons, one of the reasons is the single axle configuration. As mentioned in a previous post, dual axles tend to have issues in uneven terrain.

As I drive very conservatively, the lower speeds make on logging roads don't contribute any more wear and tear than pavement.

Nice thread. The Ace Brown posts and pics on ExPo were one of the inspirations for our purchase as well. (There is no such thing as a 4" factory lift and 30" tires will void warranty. I believe Mr Brown explains this in the ExPo forum: if not, Reece can detail it.)

Take care.
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Old 04-30-2017, 09:56 AM   #54
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Back to the durability issue. The door to our RM8551 Dometic fridge FELL OFF after two years of some rough roads. I think Escape has replaced this model in the 17. After replacing we will place a "t" support under the door during transport.
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:05 AM   #55
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Couple other notes.

We went to the Anderson factory last winter and were told to jack up our trailer/tug two inches before tightening the tension nut on the WD hitch.

Look up Oliver Trailers and view their hitch mechanizm. I can't think what it is called (bulldog hitch?) but it is a hitch similar to that used with farm implements.
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Old 04-30-2017, 05:22 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yardsale View Post
Look up Oliver Trailers and view their hitch mechanizm. I can't think what it is called (bulldog hitch?) but it is a hitch similar to that used with farm implements.
This appears to be what Oliver uses on their Legacy Elite trailer (18'-5"). They use the 7,000 pound version on the larger Legacy Elite II (23'-6").
Bulldog - Square/Rectangular Mount Trailer Coupler

They also make A-frame styles that would be a more appropriate configuration for upgrading an Escape.
Bulldog - A-Frame Trailer Coupler
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:26 PM   #57
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Back to the durability issue. The door to our RM8551 Dometic fridge FELL OFF after two years of some rough roads. I think Escape has replaced this model in the 17. After replacing we will place a "t" support under the door during transport.
We have had a few things that needed repair over the 5 seasons BUT nothing that was an Escape Industries quality control issue.

The stock ball hitch seems to work fine for non-4x4 applications. I would think that if one needed the extreme articulation of the bulldog or universal joint pivot hitch, you will be leaving plumbing parts along the trail.

Someday (when I have too much money 😜 ), I'd like to build an ultimate expedition frame to mount the fiberglass onto.
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:26 AM   #58
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Offroad with a 19

Hi everyone - I own a 17B and am looking into upsizing to a 19. We do a lot of driving on rough forest service roads and the 17 handles quite well as long as the speed is kept reasonable on the FSR's. It also handles some light offroad well though we usually have a spotter to ensure the plumbing stays intact.

I'm looking at upsizing and am a little concerned that the double axel will limit our ability to access some of our favourite remote lakes. Can anyone comment on how different the 19 would be on FSRs and some 'light' offroad conditions?

Any suggestions / advice greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-24-2017, 01:49 AM   #59
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My buddy and I often travel together on forest service roads. He has a 19 and I have the 17B. Neither of us has had issues, as long as we bungee the cupboards and fridge door against the washboard.
When we travel as couples, we often end up in his 19 for dinner and card games. If I wouldn't have to upgrade my vehicle to tow it , I'd get a 19.
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File Type: jpg Rock pile.jpg (284.3 KB, 25 views)
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Old 05-24-2017, 06:36 AM   #60
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Hi: gbaglo... You've been down that road before!!! Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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