Just ordered our first Escape Trailer (the 21) - Page 6 - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-10-2019, 10:51 AM   #101
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If you are going with a custom fabric and concerned about durability, order the full wrap cushions (NC with custom fabric, though you need 2x the fabric, but there is an upcharge if you use the ETI standard selection). With the full wrap you can flip them once a year and prolong their useful life. And, no, I asked Escape and was told that any durable upholstery fabric is sufficient for the cushions--no need to limit yourself to outdoor materials. I'm guessing Scotch Guard would probably be a good idea.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:01 AM   #102
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I'm guessing Scotch Guard would probably be a good idea.

European craftsman that reupholstered our furniture said not to use Scotch Guard because it sort of works, but also makes cleaning more difficult.
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Old 03-10-2019, 11:52 AM   #103
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Ellie, I ordered my fabric from fabric.com. I could order samples of the ones i liked--i forget if there was a nominal charge--and they shipped directly to eti. there was a customs charge of about $30 US which eti paid on receipt and added to my bill. It was so much less expensive than other places that i ordered extra and have it on reserve for recovering if it ever is necessary. I did decide on a separate fabric for the valences...eti charges $50 for that accommodation. I chose my formica--I saw a lot of samples at home depot (ask for their sample "chain"--it has way more than they have on display--and then ordered 5x7 samples of a few from formica at a very reasonable fee. it helped to have a larger expanse to view. eti ordered it directly and i paid for it. again, not a big expense.

I have had my 17 for 10 months and am still so happy to use it. Having it exactly as I want it was a bonus for such a well-built trailer, especially since i spend so much time camping and traveling.
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:07 PM   #104
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Then you have to decide, full wrap or 1/2 wrap for the cushions, another dilemma....
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:22 PM   #105
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Then you have to decide, full wrap or 1/2 wrap for the cushions, another dilemma....
Hi: cpaharley2008... Due to the cold in Florida and overusing the electric heater (Bearing siezed) we had a lot of condensation on the walls. Glad we had the 1/2 wrap with vinyl backing for an easy wipe off of the one side.
BTW I did find my "Lost shaker of salt". It was at home all the time. Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 03-12-2019, 11:43 PM   #106
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Then you have to decide, full wrap or 1/2 wrap for the cushions, another dilemma....
Are you making fun of me, Jim??

Thanks everyone for the info. I don't know how people would go it alone!
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:52 AM   #107
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Nope, just pointing out the maze of myriad options one has to navigate through, that's all....
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:39 PM   #108
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Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to the forum and really helped inform build-sheets and other key Escape details.

Here’s the rest of the story for us. Our first entry: Orientation

Our orientation was scheduled for 11:30am. We arrived fairly early (the border crossing only took a few minutes), so we had an early lunch at the Tim Horton's near ETI.

We really liked the orientation. They started in a special room where they have all the various options installed on a wall (oven, AC, inverters, etc.). The demonstrations were well done and they answered all our questions. Viewing the orientation video on youtube ( ) before our trip to ETI was also useful - it allowed us to concentrate on some of the finer details during orientation.

After going to the display room, they took us to a big garage area where we see our new trailer for the first time. Given that it was raining that day, we were glad to be indoors. They make sure your hitch works with the trailer, and that the brake & turn signals work as well. They have one person that give you the tour of the inside. Another person did the tour of the outside.

The last part of the orientation was signing a few papers. We had brought a cashier's check in US currency, and that worked out very well (it was also cheaper than the wire transfer given that ETI's exchange rate was more favorable than the US financial institutions we checked).

After about 3 hours, we were done and headed to the US border. For import/export and tax reasons, an ETI driver takes your trailer from ETI to across the border. At the "Bob's Burger and Brew" in Sumas, Washington we then met the driver and officially took possession of our new 21 and an official customs form. (Hint – do not lose this customs form. You will need it to register the trailer at the DMV.)

Our Escape adventure begins….
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:47 PM   #109
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OUR FIRST DESTINATION

Like many ETI customers, we made our first camping destination at the Lynden, WA KOA.

We were in site 11, a full hookup, pull through site. There was another Escape trailer there the first night, and two other Escape trailers the second night. It was an unofficial "Escape Rookie Rally" at the KOA. This turned out to be really helpful as we all exchanged hints and insights.

There were some sites down by the lake at the KOA that were very scenic. However, they only had water and electric, no sewer. We were wimps and wanted the full hookups.... and all the other Escape trailer owners made similar decisions.

The ETI orientation tells you to check the torque for bolts on the tires at 60 miles, 120 miles, and again at 180 miles. Several of us “rookies” at the KOA noted that after just 30 miles (i.e. the drive from ETI to the Lynden KOA) that the torque on these bolts was surprisingly low. Thus, we all torqued them back up to 95 pounds. I checked the torque again a few times after driving further, but the torque remained fairly close to 95. (Hint – BRING a torque wrench that can measure to at least 95 pounds. Remember to also bring a 13/16” deep socket.)
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:48 PM   #110
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How exciting, Bea! Thank you for that information! How about some pictures? As time goes on, let us know what you like/regret so the rest of us can learn from your expertise. Happy travels!
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:09 PM   #111
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The "Unofficial Rookie Rally" at the Lynden KOA

Three rookies at the Lynden KOA
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:17 PM   #112
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That could be a calendar picture next year.....
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:19 PM   #113
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Our first few days

We tried to use and test every feature. If it had a switch, or a setting, we would experiment.

On our second day, we decided to use the water pump for the day (rather than city water) and also test the gas water heater (rather than using the AC option). All worked well. The furnace works great also.

One issue that did occur was testing our fridge using the propane. The fridge would light and cool well on propane. However, after an hour or so, the "check" light would come on. This light indicates that there was an issue with the propane and the fridge basically turns off.

Fortunately, we had planned to spend a few nights in Lynden Washington for just such an event. Thus, we took our trailer back across the border to ETI to have the fridge and propane checked out. We arrived around noon. They immediately took the trailer into the back. We went again to Tim Horton's for lunch. We returned, looked around the showroom, and by 2pm, they brought the trailer back out. There was no obvious problem, but they cleaned out all the right tubes and connectors and tested everything. The good news is whatever they did worked great - the propane fridge use has been rock solid ever since. They really gave us great, immediate service.

The only other issue that arose that first day was the water pressure for the kitchen sink. When we were hooked up to city water, the pressure at the sink seemed a bit low. The shower and toilet seemed to have good pressure, so we were a bit perplexed. The ETI people looked at this while they were checking our fridge/propane issue. It turns out that the kitchen sink faucet has 2 filter screens. One is at the very top where the water comes out, and there is a second one near the base of the handle. The ETI people discovered that this second was plugged. Not sure why - ETI speculated that it had come that way from the manufacturer. Regardless, the filter/screen was easily cleaned and now we have full pressure at the sink. (We have the faucet that is used with the oak interior.)

Another nice surprise – we were very impressed with how the “X-chocks” between the wheels really stabilized the 21. Our previous trailer was a single axel, so we used the simple wheel chocks, but the trailer always had a little motion, even with the trailer’s stabilizer jacks down. With the X-chocks, such motion is virtually eliminated.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:25 PM   #114
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Crossing back into the US

When returning from ETI with the trailer, we had an interesting conversation with the US Border guard. He asked us for the license plate number, and we said the trailer was new and did not have one yet. He then asked us for the temporary trip permit number, at which point we said “What’s that?”. Fortunately, he chuckled at that response. He went on to tell us that most places in the US want a license plate or temporary permit number visible from the back of the trailer, and that we would be at the risk of being pulled over and given a ticket without a visible license or permit. I guess the various jurisdictions increasingly rely upon cameras for enforcing various laws, and hence they want a way to identify the trailer with an owner. The border guard liked that we had written proof of insurance, the bill of sale, and all the other paperwork ETI gives you.

We were on our way to the Oregon coast, so we skipped going to a Washington DMV (their permits are only last for a few days), and drove carefully to an Oregon DMV. Oregon’s permits last for up to 10 days. The $32 cost was annoying, but it gave us some peace of mind as we went from place to place down the Oregon coast. If I had to do it all over again, I would have applied for the Oregon temporary permit via the internet (Oregon allows this if you have the VIN number), but it takes a couple weeks for the DMV to process this and send the permit to your permanent address via regular US mail. (I had checked with the California DMV prior to picking up the trailer, but California does not issue temporary permits and simply requires you to come to a DMV with your trailer within ~20 days or so of entering California). As for going to the Oregon DMV in person, the good news is that one can use the “Express Line” at the DMV to get a temporary trailer permit, rather than taking a number and waiting an hour plus. For our trip to the DMV, the entire process only took around 20 minutes, rather than the 90 minutes the other customers were being forced to wait for their various needs.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:27 PM   #115
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California DMV

Per the recommendation of people in this forum, we stopped at the Eureka DMV after driving down the coast from Oregon.

This DMV only had only a five-minute wait time for those without an appointment (much better than the SF Bay area DMVs). It still took us an hour or so, but we left the DMV with real license plates – and our checking account a bit drained due to the obnoxious taxes California demands for such transactions.
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Old 05-03-2019, 02:36 PM   #116
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Some pictures from our maiden voyage

From the Oregon and California coast
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File Type: jpg p1.jpg (408.1 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpg p2.jpg (410.9 KB, 63 views)
File Type: jpg p3.jpg (275.6 KB, 57 views)
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:40 PM   #117
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Oh boy look what I started. Jim's picture is clearly showing a roller tube that released and started to unwind. Then the wind takes over. This is unrelated to securing awning arms with straps along the side like Glenn shows. The straps linked from Little House Customs won't work either on the Carefree Fiesta because you can't strap all the way around the awning due to the full length attachment to the trailer. I found this device that once installed to the awning arm creates a positive lock of the roller.

Save Your RV Awning with an RV Awning Travel Lock!
Dave did you ever get the awning lock and install on your trailer ? Pat
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:40 PM   #118
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Inside Pictures

Here are a few pictures of the inside of the trailer.

We went with a double sink and are very happy with it.

We went with the standard countertops and oak interior and love it.

We used a custom upholstery. We also place brown blankets on the seating cushions (makes it easier to clean up if there is a spill).

As for the table, we decided not to have ETI install the table. We will install our own Lagun table mount in the near future. However, this little portable table worked out great for our maiden voyage in the 21. Thanks again forum members for the nice tip on the Lagun table mount.

For the floors, we simply used the standard linoleum. We then went to Lowes and got a piece of carpet, cut it to fit the floor, and now enjoy "wall to wall" softness. This also requires us to go "Japanese Style" and not allow any shoes to be worn inside the trailer. Very cozy.

We also love our front window and the 360 degree views from inside the trailer.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg dinette.jpg (230.1 KB, 100 views)
File Type: jpg kitchen.jpg (168.5 KB, 98 views)
File Type: jpg Bed.jpg (235.8 KB, 97 views)
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:54 PM   #119
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Very nice and cozy. When we had the oven I removed the top, it comes off easily, and purchased a wooden cutting board, stove top cover. that would eliminate having to carry both. In fact, I have the cover in my basement, sold the trailer with the wooden cutting board. It has special grippers that hold it in place while towing- see here https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Accents...r=8-3-fkmrnull
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:58 PM   #120
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Jim - Great idea - thanks for the link!
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