We are Bruce & Lucy from Williamsburg VA. We started our journey in July 2020 when we rented a Sprinter in Oregon as relatively newbies to RVing. We both have tent camped for years and Bruce has converted an SUV to have a bed in the past . The Sprinter was very posh, but way too tight (and we are not big people, but Bruce is a skinny 6’2”). We didn’t like not being able to have a smaller vehicle to explore nooks and crannies, especially some roads less traveled. Since we had decided stickies were crap and we didn’t want to deal with pock marks on the aluminum in an Airstream, we started to look at fiberglass trailers. First look was the Nest (too small and looked like they stopped production), and then Scamp and Casita (both too small). The Bigfoot seemed more trailer than we wanted. We went to Hohenwald to look at the Oliver (beautiful, but still too tight, too heavy, and just not modification friendly- Bruce loves to tinker). We looked at the Escape and did a visual tour with Harrison and fell in love. We confirmed our love when we went to see a trailer in Northern Virginia and peeked inside (we didn’t push it because of COVID). We decided we found our perfect “Goldilocks” trailer!
At that time, we could have put a deposit for a November/December 2020 build. But, we knew we did not have the time to use it for the winter. So, we waited until end of August when the prices for 2021 were released, put our deposit down, and chose our March 2021 build date. We knew we didn’t have to finalize our choices until the build sheet was due in December 2020. Lucy discovered this wonderfully informative forum and started lurking to drink up every tidbit of knowledge. We debated between the 19, 21C, and 21NE. Bruce wanted bigger, hates the idea of feet sticking out the end of the bed (the cut corner of 21C mattress), likes the privacy of the bed in the back, we both wanted a lounge in the big U-shaped dinette, and finally we don’t mind crawling over each other. So, 21NE was the winner!
Well, Lucy started shopping for the new baby from the start. We opted for a BellaDura fabric (bleach friendly and 100,000 rubs) because we are bringing both dogs (25lbs and 4 lbs) and a cat on our longer trips. Anybody else nuts like us? We watched the forum for tips and advice and when the RVLocks went on sale on Black Friday we bought what we needed. Lucy has watched several videos on YouTube and how to handle the cat and his litter box along with ideas on this forum. We think our solution will work and we have successfully trained our cat to use a new littler box where he enters from the top. We also put ourselves on a waitlist for an indoor storage spot (it really is like having a new baby and looking for daycare!). We also rented a Casita in October to get used the hitching, unhitching, backing up, and using all the amenities. We lucked out because in this area, that is the season of egg rallies. We were able to see 9 Escapes that week and finally got to walk into 2 of them! LOVE!
We have never bought something this expensive sight unseen. But, we trusted our gut and made the leap of faith. Our experience with Joldie at Escape was exceptional as she patiently helped with our build sheet. We asked so many questions through several e-mails and phone calls. She was a joy to work with and always happy to help. If she didn’t know an answer, she would find out for us or point us in the right direction. We submitted our build sheet in December of 2020.
Then, the long winter wait. In the mean time, we made plans for a camping trip starting at the end of April for a whole month. We hoped that we left some wiggle room for any delays, and kept our fingers crossed. You don’t really hear much from Escape after the build sheet is submitted. They do contact you regarding your legal name and address for customs paperwork. About two weeks before the production completion date, you get a file of pictures everyday (so exciting) of your trailer build for about a week. The final payment on the Escape is due on the completion date.
Since we are in VA, the list of required documents to register the trailer is mile long, so we really had to plan it carefully. On top of this, in VA you need to have an appointment to register at the DMV. These appointments were two months out. Thankfully, we realized this in February and made an appointment in early April. So, we paid off the trailer (we are Bank of America customers and we could not wire the money and we had to nervously
send a check by FedEx). We had to include a $50 fee in order for Escape to FedEx our documents to us once it was paid off. The check arrived in their hands without any issue, and Melissa in accounting sent us our documents. So our production completion date came and went. We called Escape and our trailer was not actually completed on that date. Some final items were missing, but I was assured through Elaine that the production team said it would be completed by the delivery date.
We arranged for the trailer to be delivered to the MD hub. The truck was to be loaded on the 8th of April for a delivery window of 4/12-4/14. But, we had a DMV appointment on 4/7. We realized we wouldn’t even have our customs form that is a supposed requirement in VA for titling and registering. We made a back-up appointment for 4/21 in a DMV 2 hours away. We were nervous was an understatement as we were planning our month long journey to start on 4/24. So, we went to our first appointment and showed them all our documents from Escape. They were so overwhelmed by seeing Canadian documents from a trailer they never heard of that before you know it we left with title, registration and new plates in hand. They didn’t even ask for the customs form (I don’t know if the rules are a little lax because of COVID or they’re greedy and there want their taxes and fees). We also managed to score a indoor storage spot after waiting 5 months.
On the date that Escape loads the trailer on the truck for delivery, we received our final photos of our completed shiny new trailer. Elaine also sent us photos of our trailer on the truck. We were told by Escape that the trucking company would notify us 24-48 before the delivery date/time. But, the company called us right after they left Escape to let us know delivery would be at noon on 4/14. We thought we would hear from driver before delivery, but we never did. We called the same dispatcher the day before delivery and he said he would be the only person we would talk to and the date/time of delivery was the same. We showed up a little bit before noon and our new baby was already parked and waiting for us. The truck driver told us he was there two hours before we got there! But, his company does not allow him to have direct communication with the recipients! So, learn from us and show a bit earlier if you want to see your trailer leave the truck bed.
Our little baby was a little dirty on the outside, but we had already been prewarned of this on the forum. Otherwise, there were tiny little issues like the loose window eyebrow and the missing coupler pin. But, if these are the only issues, we have absolutely nothing to complain about after a 3,000 mile journey on a flatbed. The E2 Fastway was so easy compared to the Anderson system on Casita we rented. Wow! We loved it and the Escape really tows like dream! My husband would actually forget it was back there... the only reminder is the gas consumption on the Tahoe.
Last night was the first opportunity we had to actually spend time inside the trailer. OMG! IT EXCEEDS OUR EXPECTATIONS!!! You really do have to take a leap of faith in the time of COVID with all the restrictions. But, this trailer is even more beautiful in person and so solidly built. Not like all those stickies. Everything seems to be working even though we are on a steep learning curve! We’re taking her out on a camp date tonight to try everything out. Next Saturday we leave for a month long trip of joy.
Escape has been an unbelievable company to work with and they could not have made it any easier for us to buy this trailer. Somehow the “built in BC” sticker was not on the trailer, and they have already put one in the mail with tracking. They gave us tips on how to repair the loose eyebrow and were willing to send us a new one. But, we’re pretty handy and will take care of the original one. We just cannot say enough nice things about our experience (and we are tough to please original New Yorkers!). We’ll keep you posted regarding our journeys.
Thanks for reading our very long post,
-Bruce & Lucy