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Old 02-28-2024, 02:51 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by FedFan31 View Post
Thank you, Padre. I have wanted to get up to the Finger Lakes area for a long time but just haven't.

Assateague Island (Maryland State Park) - Can you literally drive onto and stay on the beach here? That would be cool!
There are permits required for driving onto the beach, and in the state park, the beach is used for regular beach type activity, not driving or camping.
Permit info: https://www.nps.gov/asis/planyourvisit/osv.htm

The state park campground is laid out in loops that abut the dunes, for a look at how it's laid out: https://dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands...teaguemap.aspx

In our camping experience the only on-sand drag camper and set up anywhere you want was at Padre Island, on the Texas gulf coast. It's free camping, and I believe they had a dump/fill station.
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Old 02-29-2024, 10:58 PM   #42
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As for the build sheet, we are curious on any opinions for the compressor fridge. We aren't sure whether to opt for that or not. Also, any thoughts on the aluminum rim package? I'm leaning towards it but my wife is not that convinced. We're not sure yet if we will get the power awning or just stay at the manual one either. That's what comes to mind right now. I think there are a few other things we've been debating about too.
Iím a little slow responding to this one, FedFan31, but now that the RV Trip Wizard sales pitch is over () I can offer one ownerís perspective. Like many build sheet questions, youíll get a variety of opinions. Here are my humble thoughts -

Compressor Fridge: We have one and weíre happy with it. The freezer looks small, but holds plenty for us. There are folks on this forum who can speak way more intelligently about battery draw when electric hookups arenít available. We have the Ford F-150 PowerBoost (hybrid) with built-in 7.2kW inverter/generator that can power everything in our 21C (including the air conditioner), so we donít worry too much about what to do if our two 190W roof mounted solar panels and two 100Ah lithium batteries canít keep up. So far, most of our camping has been with electric hookups. We like that compressor fridges cool much faster than absorption types. Weíre ďpropane averseĒ inside our trailer, so we also opted not to have a propane stove installed (almost always cooking outside on our Camp Chef griddle, but also using a portable induction cooktop inside if needed).

Aluminum Rim Package: We have these as well. Some might consider them a luxury or even a waste of money, but they sure are spiffy looking . Fellow Escape owner Jack Sparrow has a thread of modifications for his ďEscape to MargaritavilleĒ where he shows what chrome simulator wheel covers look like on his trailer. Thatís a money-saving option too.

Power vs Manual Awning: This topic can get some back-and-forth going here. We have the power awning. We chose this option for the sleek appearance and convenience. We donít necessarily regret our decision, but the drawback is real. The manual awning can be tilted toward one side to allow rain to run off. Rain is a problem with the power awning. We got hit by a sudden huge downpour once and we were slow to bring in the awning. It was almost a disaster. Rain pooled up in the center of the awning, and we had to struggle to clear the water before we could close it up. Now that we know, we retract the awning upon the first sign of showers - at least partially. Itís just something to be aware of when rainy weather is around.

Hope all that rambling helps!
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Old 03-01-2024, 05:48 AM   #43
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I’m a little slow responding to this one, FedFan31, but now that the RV Trip Wizard sales pitch is over () I can offer one owner’s perspective. Like many build sheet questions, you’ll get a variety of opinions. Here are my humble thoughts -

Compressor Fridge: We have one and we’re happy with it. The freezer looks small, but holds plenty for us. There are folks on this forum who can speak way more intelligently about battery draw when electric hookups aren’t available. We have the Ford F-150 PowerBoost (hybrid) with built-in 7.2kW inverter/generator that can power everything in our 21C (including the air conditioner), so we don’t worry too much about what to do if our two 190W roof mounted solar panels and two 100Ah lithium batteries can’t keep up. So far, most of our camping has been with electric hookups. We like that compressor fridges cool much faster than absorption types. We’re “propane averse” inside our trailer, so we also opted not to have a propane stove installed (almost always cooking outside on our Camp Chef griddle, but also using a portable induction cooktop inside if needed).

Aluminum Rim Package: We have these as well. Some might consider them a luxury or even a waste of money, but they sure are spiffy looking . Fellow Escape owner Jack Sparrow has a thread of modifications for his “Escape to Margaritaville” where he shows what chrome simulator wheel covers look like on his trailer. That’s a money-saving option too.

Power vs Manual Awning: This topic can get some back-and-forth going here. We have the power awning. We chose this option for the sleek appearance and convenience. We don’t necessarily regret our decision, but the drawback is real. The manual awning can be tilted toward one side to allow rain to run off. Rain is a problem with the power awning. We got hit by a sudden huge downpour once and we were slow to bring in the awning. It was almost a disaster. Rain pooled up in the center of the awning, and we had to struggle to clear the water before we could close it up. Now that we know, we retract the awning upon the first sign of showers - at least partially. It’s just something to be aware of when rainy weather is around.

Hope all that rambling helps!
Yes, that helps. Thanks again. I think we will end up doing the manual awning, compressor fridge and aluminum wheels. I have the build sheet all filled out now but just waiting for my wife to make her final 2 decisions - counter top formica and whether she can learn to use and would like using the convection microwave oven or if she'd rather have the flush mount 3 burner cooktop.

Anyone have any opinions on that choice? How is a convection microwave oven for cooking? Is it pretty similar to a standard oven?
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Old 03-01-2024, 08:07 AM   #44
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Oven: Barb doesnít bake much when we vacation. Sheís on vacation. She also doesnít like having to light the oven every time she needs it. We also donít like propane oven heat when itís warm.

The convection oven is not the same, but Barb has done things like brisket, pizza, chicken, cookies, and biscuits when the weather is bad out. So it does work as an oven, but it is a bit different.

We do not have, nor want, an inverter; therefore, our oven only works when we have electricity. We have electric about half of the time. We are okay not always having an oven, and still boondock for a week or two at a time in places.

We mostly grill or Dutch oven and use the cooktop. I ordered the trailer without a cooktop and installed a Dickinson Marine two burner which we like very well.

Photo from right after installing the Dickinson. In the 19, it does reduce some cabinet space. We store stuff in the oven. We have always considered an RV oven storage space. Just make sure you unload before preheating.

Those are our thoughts, others will differ.
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Old 03-01-2024, 09:46 AM   #45
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Oven: Barb doesnít bake much when we vacation. Sheís on vacation. She also doesnít like having to light the oven every time she needs it. We also donít like propane oven heat when itís warm.

The convection oven is not the same, but Barb has done things like brisket, pizza, chicken, cookies, and biscuits when the weather is bad out. So it does work as an oven, but it is a bit different.

We do not have, nor want, an inverter; therefore, our oven only works when we have electricity. We have electric about half of the time. We are okay not always having an oven, and still boondock for a week or two at a time in places.

We mostly grill or Dutch oven and use the cooktop. I ordered the trailer without a cooktop and installed a Dickinson Marine two burner which we like very well.

Photo from right after installing the Dickinson. In the 19, it does reduce some cabinet space. We store stuff in the oven. We have always considered an RV oven storage space. Just make sure you unload before preheating.

Those are our thoughts, others will differ.
For my wife, baking is something she actually enjoys. I'm not trying to say your wife doesn't enjoy it. I have no idea. But I am saying that my wife would actually like to do that on vacation. So, doing that on vacation is not a problem for her. And, she is a health nut too which means she wants things fresh and home cooked as often as possible. Also not saying you can't eat healthy without actually cooking it for every meal either but, I think you get my point.

So the biggest thing for her is to research whether or not she would like the convection oven. Hopefully she will have that done by tomorrow as we are hoping to submit our build sheet then.
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Old 03-01-2024, 10:00 AM   #46
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Barb loves to bake too, but vacation is vacation. We actually start by grinding the wheat to make flour. We eat healthy simple meals travelling. We eat ďfancierĒ at home. We literally almost never eat out. We really donít enjoy it much. That happens for some reason about 5 times a year. We donít do take out often either. That is one of the many reasons we prefer to RV vs the hotel thing.

Both ovens work, but the gas oven works more traditionally. Weíve had RVís with both. Our ovens donít get used much. Some of the newer RV ovens are pretty small, so check that. Remember the combo oven requires electricity, so shore power, or a decent amount of battery, inverter, and charging. In hot temps the propane oven can roast you out, but when itís cold, firing it up for a loaf of bread is wonderful.
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Old 03-02-2024, 05:15 AM   #47
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Thank you!

At the moment, we are planning to pick it up. I'm thinking of taking 2 weeks(maybe a little more) off of work and getting out there as fast as possible and then we take our time coming back. My wife has never been to Glacier National Park and it has been a dream of hers to go. So we would spend at least 3 nights in that area. I'm originally from Wisconsin so have lots of friends and family in that state that we'd be making a tour through to visit as many of them too. I'll be researching other areas we'd like to stay at too before the time comes. But that's the plans at least for now.
I just checked on Glacier National Park's website. I don't know how well you know that area, but it is one of my favorites. The 'Going to the Sun" road usually opens the last week of June and is the only way to get from the West to the East, unless you drive around the south of the park, which is good, too. The Sun road does not allow trailers, so that's a logistical issue.
Take a look at Waterton, on the Canadian side of the park. It has a spacious level campground right in the small town, and the Prince of Wales Lodge is worth a look.
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Old 03-06-2024, 10:21 AM   #48
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Don't forget to check on Corps, USFS and BLM parks. There are a lot of them in that part of the country and they are missed by a lot of campers. Many are boondock, but some have various degrees of service. Nearly always at least an outhouse. They tend to be small, with little crowding.
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Old 03-06-2024, 01:15 PM   #49
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Congratulations! When we picked ours up, we stopped at Custer State Park in SD and toured the Black Hills of SD. Lots to see and do there. You could also check the rally map to see if any rallies are near your path on your travel dates.
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Old 03-06-2024, 02:13 PM   #50
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If you drive through Canada you can take advantage of your American dollar.
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Old 03-06-2024, 03:22 PM   #51
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I'm late to the party, but welcome FanFed31! I will echo brroberts comment this is an outstanding community. I don't own an Escape (my avatar shows my rig), but I follow this forum because of its friendly helpful contributors.
I have an 8 cu. ft. Norcold compressor refrigerator and love it. I recommend you order the optional solar panels to support it. The two 100AH batteries you proposed should be fine.
I have a convection microwave, and as others have said, it is different but works satisfactorily. If you intend to operate it on batteries through an inverter, it is a real power hog. It may not run long enough on your batteries to bake a cake. Same with trying to run the AC on batteries.
I second the idea of US 2 across the US. I have not driven that specific road, but generally stay on two lanes when I travel. Much more scenic and far less traffic. My favorite cross country road is US 50, but that is far too south for your June trip.
I see you live near York. I am an officer in the American Truck Historical Society, and we are having our annual convention at the York convention center June 6-8. It is open to the public and we expect 800-1000 vintage big rigs to be on display. https://www.aths.org/convention/2024-convention/ I will be there, but I won't be driving my 1963 Kenworth across country.
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Old 03-07-2024, 08:27 AM   #52
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I'm late to the party, but welcome FanFed31! I will echo brroberts comment this is an outstanding community. I don't own an Escape (my avatar shows my rig), but I follow this forum because of its friendly helpful contributors.
I have an 8 cu. ft. Norcold compressor refrigerator and love it. I recommend you order the optional solar panels to support it. The two 100AH batteries you proposed should be fine.
I have a convection microwave, and as others have said, it is different but works satisfactorily. If you intend to operate it on batteries through an inverter, it is a real power hog. It may not run long enough on your batteries to bake a cake. Same with trying to run the AC on batteries.
I second the idea of US 2 across the US. I have not driven that specific road, but generally stay on two lanes when I travel. Much more scenic and far less traffic. My favorite cross country road is US 50, but that is far too south for your June trip.
I see you live near York. I am an officer in the American Truck Historical Society, and we are having our annual convention at the York convention center June 6-8. It is open to the public and we expect 800-1000 vintage big rigs to be on display. https://www.aths.org/convention/2024-convention/ I will be there, but I won't be driving my 1963 Kenworth across country.
Thanks for the info. I just completed the build sheet and decided to go with the standard fridge due to being able to power it by propane. And, we went with the flush mount stove top/oven as well.

At the moment, I am planning on taking Hwy 2. I will keep Hwy 50 in mind for future trips when we are farther south.
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Old 03-07-2024, 08:29 AM   #53
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Congratulations! When we picked ours up, we stopped at Custer State Park in SD and toured the Black Hills of SD. Lots to see and do there. You could also check the rally map to see if any rallies are near your path on your travel dates.
Thank you! Yeah, I thought about that too but I don't know that we will have a ton of time. It depends on how much time we spend at Glacier NP. I've been to the Black Hills already and it is beautiful. Would be cool to go back with the Escape! But that will probably have to be on a different trip.
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Old 03-07-2024, 08:31 AM   #54
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I just checked on Glacier National Park's website. I don't know how well you know that area, but it is one of my favorites. The 'Going to the Sun" road usually opens the last week of June and is the only way to get from the West to the East, unless you drive around the south of the park, which is good, too. The Sun road does not allow trailers, so that's a logistical issue.
Take a look at Waterton, on the Canadian side of the park. It has a spacious level campground right in the small town, and the Prince of Wales Lodge is worth a look.
Thank you for the info. I've been contemplating the Canadian side option as well. I've been working through the build sheet finalization so I haven't had much time to focus on the actual trip back. Will be getting into that again this weekend now that the order is final.
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Old 03-07-2024, 08:32 AM   #55
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If you drive through Canada you can take advantage of your American dollar.
Has anyone driven Hwy 2 and whatever route it would be to stay on the Canadian side that can compare the two? Which one would be more scenic?
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Old 03-07-2024, 09:16 AM   #56
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How is it crossing the border back in to CA with the Escape? We plan to cross and go to ETI before we pick it up. But then we know they will have to drive it across the border for us into the US. Is it relatively hassle free to go back into CA? I'm looking at maybe taking Canada Hwy 3 across to Waterton Lakes as was suggested.
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Old 03-07-2024, 10:41 PM   #57
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How is it crossing the border back in to CA with the Escape? We plan to cross and go to ETI before we pick it up. But then we know they will have to drive it across the border for us into the US. Is it relatively hassle free to go back into CA? I'm looking at maybe taking Canada Hwy 3 across to Waterton Lakes as was suggested.
Will you be able to get license plates before you pass back into Canada? If not, that might be a sticking point. Several USA owners have picked up their campers in Sumas and then driven directly home with no plates, and hope that nobody will notice or give them a pass. Crossing at the border they will actually be looking for your license plate number, which is fine if you have one, but might raise questions if you don't.
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Old 03-08-2024, 06:04 AM   #58
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Will you be able to get license plates before you pass back into Canada? If not, that might be a sticking point. Several USA owners have picked up their campers in Sumas and then driven directly home with no plates, and hope that nobody will notice or give them a pass. Crossing at the border they will actually be looking for your license plate number, which is fine if you have one, but might raise questions if you don't.
That is a good question. I haven't looked into that yet.
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Old 03-08-2024, 09:03 AM   #59
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Has anyone driven Hwy 2 and whatever route it would be to stay on the Canadian side that can compare the two? Which one would be more scenic?
Quote:
Originally Posted by FedFan31 View Post
How is it crossing the border back in to CA with the Escape? We plan to cross and go to ETI before we pick it up. But then we know they will have to drive it across the border for us into the US. Is it relatively hassle free to go back into CA? I'm looking at maybe taking Canada Hwy 3 across to Waterton Lakes as was suggested.
I have driven Hwy. 2 from the Upper Peninsula in Michigan to Washington state several different times. I find a 2-lane highway much more enjoyable and relaxed than the freeways, which I avoid whenever I can.

Three or 4 times we've used the US Hwy. 2 route from our home in Manitoba to Washington state on our way to BC. We sometimes dip up or down off #2 depending on things we want to see. We like exploring small towns and cities and it's good for that. It is well-maintained all the way across and in general a peaceful, 2-lane drive. We've had no issues towing a trailer and it is easy to pull over any time you want.

On our way back east from BC we usually take BC Hwy. #3, just north of the border. That highway will get you close to Waterton Lakes NP, the Canadian side of Glacier NP. It is mainly a two-lane as well and can get pretty busy on weekends but it sounds like you'll be through there mid-week so you should be fine. There are several lovely provincial campgrounds along the way.

At Waterton Lakes/Glacier you can go back down into the US and return the way you came or you can continue on Hwy.3 to Medicine Hat, AB and connect up to Hwy. #1, which is the Trans-Canada Hwy. As the name suggests, it will take you all the way across the country. It does not seem to be as busy to me as the US interstates but it is the main interprovincial route with lots of truck traffic.

One benefit of travelling through Canada is the extra value you get with your US dollars. I heard today that the Cdn. dollar is trading at $0.74 compared to the US dollar. It's been in that range for several years, only worth about 3/4 as much as yours. True, our gas may be more expensive but may actually even out when bought with US dollars.

After Medicine Hat we usually dip down to Saskatchewan Hwy. 13 and continue east on it to our home in Winnipeg. It's an especially quite highway sometimes referred to as the Ghost Town Trail. If you like exploring ghost towns you will find many along this route. You pass through wonderful grasslands, similar to the northern states, but far less populated, and can visit Grasslands NP if you like. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is an oasis of forest in the grasslands and is also wonderful to visit.

If you're still in Canada east of Winnipeg you get into heavy rocks and forest that extend nearly to Lake Superior. At the Manitoba/Ontario border the Trans-Canada Hwy. becomes a two-lane again until you come to the major centres in Ontario. That too is a wonderfully scenic trip. At any time it's only and hour or two south to the US if you prefer.

I hope that helps.
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Old 03-08-2024, 11:32 AM   #60
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I have driven Hwy. 2 from the Upper Peninsula in Michigan to Washington state several different times. I find a 2-lane highway much more enjoyable and relaxed than the freeways, which I avoid whenever I can.

Three or 4 times we've used the US Hwy. 2 route from our home in Manitoba to Washington state on our way to BC. We sometimes dip up or down off #2 depending on things we want to see. We like exploring small towns and cities and it's good for that. It is well-maintained all the way across and in general a peaceful, 2-lane drive. We've had no issues towing a trailer and it is easy to pull over any time you want.

On our way back east from BC we usually take BC Hwy. #3, just north of the border. That highway will get you close to Waterton Lakes NP, the Canadian side of Glacier NP. It is mainly a two-lane as well and can get pretty busy on weekends but it sounds like you'll be through there mid-week so you should be fine. There are several lovely provincial campgrounds along the way.

At Waterton Lakes/Glacier you can go back down into the US and return the way you came or you can continue on Hwy.3 to Medicine Hat, AB and connect up to Hwy. #1, which is the Trans-Canada Hwy. As the name suggests, it will take you all the way across the country. It does not seem to be as busy to me as the US interstates but it is the main interprovincial route with lots of truck traffic.

One benefit of travelling through Canada is the extra value you get with your US dollars. I heard today that the Cdn. dollar is trading at $0.74 compared to the US dollar. It's been in that range for several years, only worth about 3/4 as much as yours. True, our gas may be more expensive but may actually even out when bought with US dollars.

After Medicine Hat we usually dip down to Saskatchewan Hwy. 13 and continue east on it to our home in Winnipeg. It's an especially quite highway sometimes referred to as the Ghost Town Trail. If you like exploring ghost towns you will find many along this route. You pass through wonderful grasslands, similar to the northern states, but far less populated, and can visit Grasslands NP if you like. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is an oasis of forest in the grasslands and is also wonderful to visit.

If you're still in Canada east of Winnipeg you get into heavy rocks and forest that extend nearly to Lake Superior. At the Manitoba/Ontario border the Trans-Canada Hwy. becomes a two-lane again until you come to the major centres in Ontario. That too is a wonderfully scenic trip. At any time it's only and hour or two south to the US if you prefer.

I hope that helps.
Thank you for this lengthy reply, Lyle! Really appreciate it! You've definitely given us something to consider. Too bad we can't by the trailer itself from Escape at that exchange rate!
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