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Old 10-11-2020, 07:14 PM   #1
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New 21NE owner - worthwhile options?

Hello - my wife and I are in line for a 21NE and just had our completion date moved up to June 15. We are semi-retired and first time RVers (tent camping many years ago). I know we have some time for options selection, but would appreciate any advice on options, which I would put into 3 categories: Must have, worth it if you can afford it, and do not bother. Would be particularly interested in the value and use of composting toilet, furnace or heat strip in AC, inverter and solar. We expect our camping will be in more "civilized" locations, late Spring through Fall. Grateful for any suggestions. Thanks.

Ted and Katie
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:36 PM   #2
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I suggest you use the "Site Search / Google" function ( top left of this page ) and see previous discussions of each of the items you are interested in.
I could add that I would never have a composting toilet in a trailer, but that would be one opinion. You will find discussion of the pros and cons with a site search.
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Old 10-11-2020, 08:09 PM   #3
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SPEAKING ONLY FOR US !! Escape 21C

*Must Haves*
1) A/C
2) A/C Strip heater — Not required if furnace was reliable!
3) Dual fuel water heater
4) Stove with oven
5) TV ready
6) Solar
7) Electric tongue jack
8) Dual batteries
9) Counter extensions
10) Additional interior lights
11) Extra kitchen window
12) Bathroom window
13) A different coupler —anything would be better than the factory coupler
14) Additional cabinet door for under bed storage access
15 ) Outside shower - drivers side
16) Awning
17) Toilet shut off valve




*Nice to have if you can afford it*
1) Thermal awning windows
2) Underfloor insulation if Escape ever gets their plumbing issues fixed
3) Stereo radio
4) Dual folding entry step
5) TV mount
6) LED awning lights
6) Zamp solar port
7) Lithium battery
8) Microwave
9) Custom kitchen sink and faucet
10) Outside light - rear of trailer , controlled by interior switch
11) Removable power cord
12) WP GFCI receptacle drivers side trailer
13) Outside shower —passenger side
14) Power awning
15) Addition 120 VAC receptacle on separate circuit in kitchen area so you can make coffee and toast simultaneously without tripping circuit breaker
16) Foot flush valve toilet
17) A shower head that actually sprays water
18) Wall reinforcement—- Common wall bathroom / bed

*Do not bother*
1) EMS— ours has never worked properly from day 1
A solution in search of a problem IMHO
2) Inverter
3) Chrome wheels
4) Custom fabric , flooring , formica , graphics , window coverings
5) Quick connect propane
6) Tank heating pads
7) Springfield table pedestal
8) Front window above bed
9) U shaped dinette - may work for some but not for us
10) Tank gauges if possible- again ours have never worked properly from day 1
11) Composting toilet
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Old 10-11-2020, 08:41 PM   #4
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Everyone's choices are different...

For my use, on Steve's list I'd move the Quick Connect propane, and the detachable cord to must have, the inverter and chrome wheels to nice to have, and the outside shower, power awning, radio, and awning windows, to not needed.

After 7 years with the under carriage foam I still don't know if it's worth having. We did not get the oven or the stove vent and were good with those decisions. We had both on other trailers and never used them.
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Old 10-11-2020, 08:59 PM   #5
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Everyone's choices are different...

For my use, on Steve's list I'd move the Quick Connect propane, and the detachable cord to must have, the inverter and chrome wheels to nice to have, and the outside shower, power awning, radio, and awning windows, to not needed.

After 7 years with the under carriage foam I still don't know if it's worth having. We did not get the oven or the stove vent and were good with those decisions. We had both on other trailers and never used them.
We did not have an oven in our two previous trailers , so this time my wife said the oven was a must have . So far every time we have gone camping my wife has baked muffins, coffee cake , biscuits , cookies , brownies or bread . It’s a win - win in my estimation!
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Old 10-12-2020, 12:42 AM   #6
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yeah, the oven in our 21 is awesome. my wife makes various dishes ahead of time, and freezes them, then we bake them to serve. that and things like making meatball sandwiches from a loaf of french bread with some melted cheese, mmMM!MM!
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Bartelstone View Post
Hello - my wife and I are in line for a 21NE and just had our completion date moved up to June 15. We are semi-retired and first time RVers (tent camping many years ago). I know we have some time for options selection, but would appreciate any advice on options, which I would put into 3 categories: Must have, worth it if you can afford it, and do not bother. Would be particularly interested in the value and use of composting toilet, furnace or heat strip in AC, inverter and solar. We expect our camping will be in more "civilized" locations, late Spring through Fall. Grateful for any suggestions. Thanks.

Ted and Katie
Composting toilet - Big NO!!! RV toilets use way less water than people seem to imagine.

Composting toilets require near daily emptying of a bottle of urine. And are you going to empty the partially composted fecal matter into compost pile at home after every trip?

Composting toilets are okay for cabins on properties without a septic system. But, as a rule are terrible for mobile installation. Most mobile installs end up dumping the partially composted fecal matter in the trash. This not only removes it from the sewage system that is designed to process it. It adds unnecessary bulk to landfills. This is because not only are you adding fecal matter to the landfill, you're adding the bulky 'composting material'.

So between the near daily emptying of urine, and adding unnecessary bulk to land fills, composting toilets are neither convenient, nor eco friendly.



There is a lot of cognitive dissonance when it comes to having spent $1000 on a toilet. In the video above they are very honest about the shortcomings of composting toilets.

After watching the video where they list all of those negatives, IMO nobody in their right mind would say, yeah, lets go spend a $1000 on that toilet.

Yet, having spent a $1000 on the toilet, they can't bring themselves to say it was a mistake.



Furnace is stock

Inverter - controversial - I didn't get one, but, have a small <$60 300 watt pure sign wave inverter that plugs into a 12 volt power port / cigarette plug, that does everything (laptop, charge camera batteries, etc), but, run cooking appliances (microwave, instapot, etc). No inverter will run your air-conditioning you need a generator or shore power for that.

Current active thread on inverters: Do I need an inverter?

Heat strip in the A/C - Plus, not a bad price for it. Cons - noisy A/C fan to use it. I got a very small $30 1500 watt plug in electric heater that is more than enough.

Solar - one solar panel yes. If you're in a sunny location one panel is more than enough. If you're in a shady location why get two solar panels and have both be in the shade? Consider one solar panel and a Zamp port to add a portable solar panel. But, be wary of portable solar panels being stolen.
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:46 AM   #8
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Location: Lanesboro, MN, between Whalan and Fountain, Minnesota
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Must haves:
Solar - always there without turning on or off, besides it's only $710. Where else are you going to get 190 watts solar, properly installed including wires run correctly for $710?

AGM Batteries - 10 amp hours more than lithium at half the price (except Lifeline)

Counter Extension - next to kitchen counter

EMS - the built-in works better than the two portable Progressive Dynamics that had water infiltration from sitting outside

USB/12v - next to fridge in upper dinette cabinet for charging in that cabinet and TV so wires aren't on the floor
Another USB/12v outside next to the entry door to charge/use outside and plug our air compressor into

Manual Awning - we sit comfortably underneath the awning in heavy rains with a portable campfire underneath. This is by far the best manual awning we've ever had. Do a search for all the electric awning problems on this forum alone.

Outside Shower - passenger side for washing dishes outdoors.

Removable Power Cord - so ants and mice don't have a direct runway into the camper

Thermal Frameless Windows - we camp in cold weather, thermal to avoid wet windows, frameless to not have the aluminum frame transfer cold from the outside to the inside

Zamp Solar Port - it's cheap and you may find a portable for those rare times comes in handy

Water Pressure Reducer - some campgrounds can have water pressure that is too high, besides it's cheap

5' Sewer Hose - try cleaning your 10-20' sewer hose at the dump station. You'll thank me for this one!

Reinforce Bathroom Wall - to hang sturdy hooks on for heavy coats
There are others we have and don't regret, but the above are MUST HAVES for us.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:20 AM   #9
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I'll list the ones I regret in place of the ones I like.

Rear camera
TV antenna
Heat pads (what was I thinking?)

I got hot on the options and couldn't stop. Got all but a few. I'm just happy I didn't realize there were many more possibilities not on the option list. I ordered on May 2019 and only had a week to decide and still get my Aug 12,2019 pickup date.

My Grandpa used to say "It cost a few pennies more to go first class". If he were with us today he would change that tune!
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:26 AM   #10
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I'll list the ones I regret in place of the ones I like.

Rear camera
TV antenna
Heat pads (what was I thinking?)

I got hot on the options and couldn't stop. Got all but a few. I'm just happy I didn't realize there were many more possibilities not on the option list. I ordered on May 2019 and only had a week to decide and still get my Aug 12,2019 pickup date.

My Grandpa used to say "It cost a few pennies more to go first class". If he were with us today he would change that tune!
I'm seeing a consensus on these forums, that the heat pads are worthless. Is that because they don't work well, or they are not needed if you already have the foam, or perhaps both?

I've been thinking of foregoing the TV antenna, as we tend to use DVD's (Red Box while on the road) or online content. I figured I could always add a plug-n-play indoor antenna if I really want one.
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TahoeJoe View Post
I'm seeing a consensus on these forums, that the heat pads are worthless. Is that because they don't work well, or they are not needed if you already have the foam, or perhaps both?

I've been thinking of foregoing the TV antenna, as we tend to use DVD's (Red Box while on the road) or online content. I figured I could always add a plug-n-play indoor antenna if I really want one.
I don't know that heat pads are worthless or not but I just don't need them. I live in South TX and I love to knock about up north but not when it's cold.

As to the antenna, I've not used it in a year so I guess that means I could live without it.
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:44 AM   #12
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Although it works good enough I found the tv antenna on the roof a nuisance, at least on the 5.0TA. I hear the Leaf wall or window mount antennas work well. I think the downfall of the heat pads is that due to the high power requirements they are really only of use if you have hookups. They also do little to keep the dump valves thaw.
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:57 AM   #13
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Heating the gray tank while leaving the drain piping and drain valve unheated and exposed to the elements so it can freeze never made sense to me
We are heading North in the near future where daytime high temps will be in the 40’s and nighttime temps will be in the low 20’s . We have the heat pads but our trailer is winterized and will stay that way till next Spring . There are ways to use your Escape in cold weather without using the onboard water system just like when you’re tent camping in the Winter.
Please add one thing to my do not bother list — “Backup Camera”
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Old 10-12-2020, 11:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TahoeJoe View Post
I'm seeing a consensus on these forums, that the heat pads are worthless. Is that because they don't work well, or they are not needed if you already have the foam, or perhaps both?
Quote:
Originally Posted by padlin View Post
I think the downfall of the heat pads is that due to the high power requirements they are really only of use if you have hookups. They also do little to keep the dump valves thaw.
Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Heating the gray tank while leaving the drain piping and drain valve unheated and exposed to the elements so it can freeze never made sense to me
I think you have your answer on the heat pads. I also think with the recent gray tank plumbing issues that many prospective buyers are going to reconsider the underfloor foam. I've always regarded the spray foam as a big inconvenience when something inevitably needs repair for very little gained. The Escape floor with a full shell underneath is already much warmer than without as anyone coming from a Scamp can attest to. Plus you can always add easily removable and strategically placed rigid polystyrene foam like Ron in BC has done.
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Old 10-12-2020, 11:49 AM   #15
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Wow! Wonderful suggestions all. Although I am sure Escape will have their "suggestions," it is extremely valuable to have have this shared insight from experience. Much appreciated.

Ted/Katie
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Old 10-12-2020, 11:55 AM   #16
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*Do not bother*
1) EMS— ours has never worked properly from day 1
A solution in search of a problem IMHO
3) Chrome wheels
7) Springfield table pedestal
I agree with much of Steve's list but disagree with these three on the "do not bother" list. I installed the same EMS that Escape provides and it works flawlessly. It has alerted us to open ground issues and I hope it will protect my expensive mini-split A/C unit if we encounter a low voltage condition. It also has the added benefit of showing you your amp draw if you are ever constrained like on 15A power or a small generator.

The aluminum wheels look much nicer IMO. For the prices these trailers are going for the white steel wheels (subject to eventual rust) look cheap and out of place.

The Springfield pedestal has made our table more secure and it goes up and down easily to make the dinette into a bed. The Springfield may be even nicer with the leg room afforded in the 21NE.

Also if you have young kids or plan to have any grandchildren join you don't forget the cot which is only available on the 19 and 21NE. Cannot be added after the build.
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:12 PM   #17
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Must haves, AC

What we ordered
AC
Awning light strip
4 Captains lights
Extra cabinet door
Extra swing up counter extension
Optional Kitchen window
Optional Bathroom window
Propane disc. for barbeque

What I forgot to order or should have
More USB outlets
Detachable power cord
Solar prewire

I only spent 5 minutes on my sheet and emailed it in. I prefer to keep things simple. Really loving the trailer.
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:16 PM   #18
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You need electric hook ups to use the 12v heat pads due to their large draw.
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:23 PM   #19
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I second having the EMS, Springfield table and detachable power cord. At home the cord is a pain to plug in since with last Escape I just pulled a bit of the cord out from trailer to attach the 15 amp extension to the garage. Now I have to use the whole cord but usually only when precooling fridge before camping since the solar keeps batteries charged year round.

The EMS has given us no issues and certainly much handier than the plug in at campground post type which are subject to disappearing or as has been mentioned can get damaged by water.

The Springfield is great, wish we could have gotten the Dycor slide but manage with it with the Escape slide. Springfield are great themselves since ours failed, we stopped by the plant and they replaced it no charge.

I would not go with the rear camera if ordering new, we rarely use ours.

We had the chrome wheels on last trailer and steel on this one, don't think there's much difference in appearance. The chrome surface was already deteriorating after 11 years so I don't mind eventually having to repaint the steel ones.
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Old 10-12-2020, 01:25 PM   #20
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If you have chrome wheels on your tow vehicle, chrome on the Escape compliments the set up.
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