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Old 06-30-2020, 07:12 PM   #61
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Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kavm View Post
My wife and I are uninitiated to towing and trailers. We are very much into outdoors and have been tent camping for a long time - and planning a move up to a trailer.

Our intended use is driving to the national parks and national forests (mostly Western US, Canadian rockies, Alaska) - not really boondocking (possibility) but heavier usage of non-commercial national park or national forest service campgrounds with limited or hookups.


Decisions:
  • Started by thinking of 17 ft but now thinking of Escape 19 - with a slim possibility of considering 21. Could use ideas. Our situation: No dog, no children, coming from tent camping - so don't travel with the kitchen sink.
  • Being completely uneducated in the trailers and towing, quite unclear about the decisions on the options that seem to be part of the buying process. And, we barely understand what they mean..
  • Will be buying a tow vehicle. Original thought was coming Ford Bronco but that might be too light for Escape 19. So, thinking F150 but not firm on that. Could use indicators on that.

Heard that the lead times can be as long as a year, so might proceed to buying soon - provided we can make a head or tail of the options we need to decide on
My wife and I are new to trailers as well, coming from many years of tenting. We are very involved in hiking and long distance cycling. We chose the 19 for the permanent queen bed and the 4 person dinette. It was between the 17B and the 19, but the bed and the dinette made our decision easy. I also liked the dual axles.
I find the 19 easy to tow, and the dual axles are forgiving when backing up. We tow with a GMC Canyon V-6 gas and the tow vehicle is very capable. When not towing we prefer the smaller size of the Canyon vs a full size truck. For Vancouver a smaller vehicle is just that much easier to drive around, at least for us. For me a pick up works better vs a SUV as we like to carry a small BBQ with its own propane tank. I don't like carrying propane in a closed vehicle, so the pick up bed works well for that as well as other dirty items like mats and lawn chairs. We just have a folding tonneau cover, but still have lots of room.

I also switched to Lithium batteries. I bought 4 x 100A, and I think it is now over kill. We did switch the fridge from a propane fridge to a 9 cu ft 12V compressor fridge/freezer, which is very energy efficient. But to be on the safe side I dropped in 4x100A Lithium. On a recent 9 day trip, my batteries never got below 96% (we have a battery monitor with a shunt to measure accurately) We have the solar panel and even on cloudy days it keeps the batteries powered up.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:01 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Murry View Post
I also switched to Lithium batteries. I bought 4 x 100A, and I think it is now over kill.

If you ask me, your system sounds sweet. Wait till the river blows out and you are stuck on your side of the river with whatever you got! For a week.

Oh yeah, that can happen, particularly in Idaho.

I am thinking about something like that when these lead-acid batteries wear out. Yeah it's overkill, but we are getting close to figuring out this battery stuff at a whole new level.

Thanks for sharing. Awesome!
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Old 07-01-2020, 02:50 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by UncleTim View Post
Hey KAVN:

I'm not that close but if you get to the Colorado Front Range, you are welcome to come by and see mine.

I would be happy to hook it up for you too. I think you will find someone in your area. There are plenty of these trailers out there.

But if by chance if near us, please come by!

One last point, I think all Escape trailers are minimalists in a way. There is no waste and so far I have the smallest RV anywhere I have been with it. Small but perfect (kind of).

We love ours.
Thank you so much, UncleTim!

We did think of winter camping as something that might open up for us. We often spend the Thanksgiving week / weekend in a national park, but it can be uncomfortably cold to camp sometimes and we switch to AirBnb. Now, I am hoping to do a visit to the Elk refuge in Jackson in Jan/Feb.

We love Boulder but are stuck because of the current coronavirus situation! All travel is on hold. Thought of going hiking in the Sawtooths but shied away due to rising infections locally and in Idaho. Thankfully - we can do solid hikes and bike out of our condo (without needing to get into a vehicle).

Will definitely look you up if we are in the Boulder area. It's been a while since we were there!

We have still some time to go. We are thinking of the F150 with the hybrid PowerBoost that includes power. It'll take some time to get that. I don't think it is available in the early phase. Given that my wife teaches during the semester, our realistic target is Summer 2021. A bit far, I know, but we are patient. And, we couldn't do much now as I am, as they say in business, in an "oversold" situation with respect to my time. Good problem to have with the economy - but not great for recreation!

Thank you and stay safe!
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:07 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by Fox hunt View Post
i bought a 17 but wanted more space i went with the 5.0 easy to hitch and the combined length is about the same as my SUV pulling my 17 which is important at some national parks and ferry rides.
Thanks! It took us a bit longer to understand that the combined length of E5.0 is same as a 21 ft trailer. That plus the fact that it is well within the tow vehicle we were thinking of helped it a great deal. Of course, my wife thinking this is a good idea was the biggest factor
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:24 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by emers382 View Post
Well now that you are thinking about the 5.0TA I'll throw in a few comments on them. We owned a 5.0 single axle, now a 5.0TA. We were perfectly happy with the single but wanted the extra space inside especially when spending weeks at a time in the south during the winter. Not sure we'll be doing that now though.

As has been pointed out the combo with tow is similar in length to a pulling a 17. We saved a lot on the expensive BC ferries to Vancouver Island. The fifth wheel is more secure an attachment which is why no safety chains involved, I worked "piggyback" for a railroad and saw railcars on their side with trailer still securely attached on the hitch. Also I've never experienced any kind of sway towing the 5.0's.

I find there's still plenty of room in the truck bed for what I need to carry and I must watch the payload weight anyway since I have a particularly heavy hitch, one with big locking jaws. I've never been able to fill all the storage space in the trailer. The cubby above the propane storage is large as is the under step storage.

Good luck with your continued research and hope you're able eventually to buy an Escape.
Thank you very much! First thing, unless something completely unforeseen happens, we are definitely on track to buy E5.0. Probably close to 6 months before we place the order - as we really are targeting May 2021 delivery for reasons I stated a couple of posts back. The next step really is to buy the F150 2021 (or another) tow vehicle. Until we have a clear visibility to when we will get a delivery of that - it doesn't make sense to firm up the order with Escape, though we have a conversation coming up next week.

I will be watching the F150 option and price list when it gets released later this month (July 15?). Will be asking advice on that particularly where it relates to towing related items. [Otherwise too - it will be our first truck and F150 seems to offer a smorgasbord of choices - and I only understand the implications of some of them.]

Not worried about some loss of space in the F150 bed. We are used to traveling in car and were planning a smaller trailer. So, we will be alright.

Many thanks for the encouragement!
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:26 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by kavm View Post
We are novices at towing and the considerations involved. We donít have a tow vehicle and are planning to buy a F150 for this purpose.

Can you please explain the additional cost of setting up F150 for towing it? Any special considerations for F150 towing E5.0 are something we need to educate ourselves on.

Many thanks!
I was looking at $1100 U.S. or more to set up my F150 for a 5th wheel. It's okay. We're going to get a 21NE.
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:35 PM   #67
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Kav,
If you are picking up, I suggest you schedule pickup the week of the rally in Osoyoos, BC. We picked our new E21 on Tuesday, drove about 3 hours east from Chilliwack to Osoyoos and attended the rally the rest of the week. Most anything wrong can be fixed by Escape right at your campsite. A great trip out, a great rally and a great trip home, if the weather cooperates.
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:42 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Sean Murry View Post
My wife and I are new to trailers as well, coming from many years of tenting. We are very involved in hiking and long distance cycling. We chose the 19 for the permanent queen bed and the 4 person dinette. It was between the 17B and the 19, but the bed and the dinette made our decision easy. I also liked the dual axles.
I find the 19 easy to tow, and the dual axles are forgiving when backing up. We tow with a GMC Canyon V-6 gas and the tow vehicle is very capable. When not towing we prefer the smaller size of the Canyon vs a full size truck. For Vancouver a smaller vehicle is just that much easier to drive around, at least for us. For me a pick up works better vs a SUV as we like to carry a small BBQ with its own propane tank. I don't like carrying propane in a closed vehicle, so the pick up bed works well for that as well as other dirty items like mats and lawn chairs. We just have a folding tonneau cover, but still have lots of room.

I also switched to Lithium batteries. I bought 4 x 100A, and I think it is now over kill. We did switch the fridge from a propane fridge to a 9 cu ft 12V compressor fridge/freezer, which is very energy efficient. But to be on the safe side I dropped in 4x100A Lithium. On a recent 9 day trip, my batteries never got below 96% (we have a battery monitor with a shunt to measure accurately) We have the solar panel and even on cloudy days it keeps the batteries powered up.
Sean -

Thank you! This is very helpful!

I am interested in the Lithium batteries. In one of the online videos from Escape, I did hear the President say that he is looking into it. So, I am hoping that Escape itself offers it as an option by the time we are finalizing our order.

That said, I am not entirely educated about batteries, how much runs what for how long and the level of difference between the 6v battery pack vs the Lithium (I know the latter is more powerful but how much more?).

We will soon turn attention to F150 - get advice and buy that (will likely be 2021 delivery). Once we are clear on when we will have the tow vehicle - we will firm up the order with Escape. Checking in their order lead time next week.
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:51 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Kav,
If you are picking up, I suggest you schedule pickup the week of the rally in Osoyoos, BC. We picked our new E21 on Tuesday, drove about 3 hours east from Chilliwack to Osoyoos and attended the rally the rest of the week. Most anything wrong can be fixed by Escape right at your campsite. A great trip out, a great rally and a great trip home, if the weather cooperates.
Thank you! We indeed want to pick up. That's also the reason behind the May 2021 target. I saw this year's rally was in May (canceled). So, we will definitely try to attend that.

Will have to figure out the logistics with the paperwork. I understand that Escape gives you the possession of the trailer in Sumas, WA. If our (possibly temporary) plates allow us to get into Canada for the rally - we can combine the two.

Very good idea! Thank you!
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:55 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
I was looking at $1100 U.S. or more to set up my F150 for a 5th wheel. It's okay. We're going to get a 21NE.
Thank you for clarifying that. I now understand!

Also, I think 21NE is a nice trailer. All the best!
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:19 PM   #71
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Wow - from a tent to a 19 to a 5.0! We looked at all of the trailers at the showroom, with the intention of picking the 17B, but once we sat in it, the 19 was a no-brainer. As we are getting older, our backpacking days are over, and even the hiking is a bit less strenuous now. So we will spend a bit more time inside, especially once I retire and we're out for months on end. With that in mind, the 21 is 4 inches wider than the 19, and has a lot more table space - it seems so roomy by comparison...you can even do yoga in it (one person at a time).



So we settled on the 21NE, as we like the idea of the bed in the rear - we enjoy mornings in bed with coffee and a view. The 5.0 is a lot taller (that limits where we can store it), you give up quite a bit of truck bed space (I know, you can cram a lot of stuff around the pin gear, but can't go higher than the bed sides), and we would be hard pressed to carry our tandem kayak with a 5th wheel setup.


Whatever trailer model you end up with, there are a couple of things to think about on your tow vehicle: just because it's a truck doesn't mean it'll pull your trailer. Rear axle ratios are either designed for higher gas mileage or better tow ability. A RAM V6 with a 3.21 rear axle may give you great mileage when not towing, but you're limited to maybe 2950# tow weight, where a 3.55 rear axle will give you half again towing capacity. Keeping the 3.21 rear end would require going to the V8 to tow a 21, or really even a 19. Subsequently i'd carefully check the TV manufacturer's tow info on the exact model you're choosing - they have charts showing (for example) truck model, cab type, 2 wheel or 4x4 drive, rear axle ratio, etc, and then you have to figure out what you'll be loading into the TV (passenger weight, gear, fuel weight, tongue weight, cargo) and do the math. As someone mentioned, give a safety factor - advice varies but it's generally said to be safe don't exceed 75% tow capacity.


I speak from experience - I have to trade my RAM 1500 V6 3.21 truck (tow capacity ~3350#) in for a V8 to pull my 21NE (weight with options and loaded with gear and water etc ~ 3800 - 4000#) because it's hard to find the V6 with a different axle ratio. Just sayin'...
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:50 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by felix2 View Post
Wow - from a tent to a 19 to a 5.0! We looked at all of the trailers at the showroom, with the intention of picking the 17B, but once we sat in it, the 19 was a no-brainer. As we are getting older, our backpacking days are over, and even the hiking is a bit less strenuous now. So we will spend a bit more time inside, especially once I retire and we're out for months on end. With that in mind, the 21 is 4 inches wider than the 19, and has a lot more table space - it seems so roomy by comparison...you can even do yoga in it (one person at a time).



So we settled on the 21NE, as we like the idea of the bed in the rear - we enjoy mornings in bed with coffee and a view. The 5.0 is a lot taller (that limits where we can store it), you give up quite a bit of truck bed space (I know, you can cram a lot of stuff around the pin gear, but can't go higher than the bed sides), and we would be hard pressed to carry our tandem kayak with a 5th wheel setup.


Whatever trailer model you end up with, there are a couple of things to think about on your tow vehicle: just because it's a truck doesn't mean it'll pull your trailer. Rear axle ratios are either designed for higher gas mileage or better tow ability. A RAM V6 with a 3.21 rear axle may give you great mileage when not towing, but you're limited to maybe 2950# tow weight, where a 3.55 rear axle will give you half again towing capacity. Keeping the 3.21 rear end would require going to the V8 to tow a 21, or really even a 19. Subsequently i'd carefully check the TV manufacturer's tow info on the exact model you're choosing - they have charts showing (for example) truck model, cab type, 2 wheel or 4x4 drive, rear axle ratio, etc, and then you have to figure out what you'll be loading into the TV (passenger weight, gear, fuel weight, tongue weight, cargo) and do the math. As someone mentioned, give a safety factor - advice varies but it's generally said to be safe don't exceed 75% tow capacity.


I speak from experience - I have to trade my RAM 1500 V6 3.21 truck (tow capacity ~3350#) in for a V8 to pull my 21NE (weight with options and loaded with gear and water etc ~ 3800 - 4000#) because it's hard to find the V6 with a different axle ratio. Just sayin'...
Thank you for this very informative post.

For us, the switch from test to a trailer is the real crossing of the rubicon. Once we got there, the choice of Casita/Escape and 17/19/21 and 5.0 was easier thanks to the very warm and knowledgeable input here.

We are in a similar position - approaching this decision as something to enable our outdoor access and enjoyment as we age across the 60s and somewhere into the 70s. My wife was thoughtful enough to see the very persuasive rationale arguing for space and towing characteristics of E5.0 offered by the experienced members on this site. The importance of space as we grow older as well as spend longer periods enjoying the trailer was clearer to her than me - and made the decision easier. So, it has been very helpful thread/interaction already.

After spending some time on the trailer and, more or less, converging towards E5.0 (with further and hopefully confirmatory research yet to come), we are switching attention to the tow vehicle. The good news is that having the target trailer decided in advance of the tow vehicle purchase - we are better positioned to make a good decision.

Your insight on the towing is helping educate us. I am also trying to familiarize myself with the terminology and logic here (a work in progress ). Once Ford publishes the numbers for 2021 F150 - I will try to some calculations and try to confirm my numbers and decisions with the generous and experienced group such as yourself. By not hurrying up and getting advice, I hope we will negotiate this OK and end up with a setup that is safe and durable.

Thank you very much!
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Old 07-01-2020, 07:53 PM   #73
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it's a nice community, isn't it?

Glad to be part of it!
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Old 07-01-2020, 09:23 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by kavm View Post
Sean -

Thank you! This is very helpful!

I am interested in the Lithium batteries. In one of the online videos from Escape, I did hear the President say that he is looking into it. So, I am hoping that Escape itself offers it as an option by the time we are finalizing our order.

That said, I am not entirely educated about batteries, how much runs what for how long and the level of difference between the 6v battery pack vs the Lithium (I know the latter is more powerful but how much more?).

We will soon turn attention to F150 - get advice and buy that (will likely be 2021 delivery). Once we are clear on when we will have the tow vehicle - we will firm up the order with Escape. Checking in their order lead time next week.
Lithium batteries have several advantages:

1) They are 1/2 the weight of lead
2) More useable power. When a lithium battery (as in my Battle Born Batteries) when it says it is rated at 100A, you have 100A of useable power. A lead battery should not be discharged below 50% of its rated power, otherwise you can drastically shorten the battery life. Therefore a 100A lithium gives you twice the power of a 100A Lead battery
3) They last 3 - 4 times longer than lead batteries
4) Zero maintenance
5) Can be mounted in any direction, upside down, on their side etc, making it easy to fit batteries in awkward spots
6) Can be partially charged without affecting battery life
7) Charge faster. They can take a full charge without having to go into float and trickle charge cycles like lead batteries
8) Can be installed inside the trailer. No gassing from lithium

Now for the downside of lithium:

-Initial cost. Yikes it hurts, but for me was worth it. Roughly 3 x the cost of lead or possibly even more. But given the extended battery life, the cost is probably pretty similar to lead over the life of the battery
-You may want to change out the charge controller portion of your electrical box. When we bought our Escape in 2019 the charge controller did not have a lithium setting. While it would still work for lithium, it wouldn't be as efficient. To change this cost about $250 for the part. I installed myself which was pretty simple, even for me.
-Lithium doesn't like really cold weather. When it gets well below freezing the batteries should be brought indoors. If you plan to use your trailer during the winter where very cold temperatures can be expected, you might want to install the batteries inside the trailer where they can be kept warm,

Because lithium batteries keep a higher voltage through their discharge cycle vs lead, the standard battery indicator supplied by Escape and others in the RV industry, don't give a very accurate reading of your battery state. Installing a battery monitor with a shunt, will measure every amp going in and out of the battery and therefore give you a true reading of your battery state. Cost about another $250, but easy to install. Gives me great peace of mind. You can also get a monitor that can give you all the information on your smart phone.

In my case I don't have an inverter so I am not using tons of battery power. My biggest source of power draw would be my 12V fridge, which is a Novakool with a compressor and is very energy efficient (Roughly 5amps per hour when running, but it only runs 25 -50% of the time depending on ambient temperature). Aside from that fan motors would be the next biggest draw, furnace fans, overhead fans, fan over the stove. The it is things like the water pump, lights and chargers for phones etc.

The Novakool fridge for me was a must. The compressor fridges are less hassle, can run them when driving, don't need to be level when parked and work well in high ambient temperatures. We camped in Death Valley back before Covid hit. While not as hot as Death Valley can get, temperatures were pretty high. Our first night I set the fridge too low and froze the milk and vegetables.
The compressor fridges also come down to operating temperature in about 1 - 1/2 hours, so when you bring it out of storage you are up and ready to go quickly. And the fridge I installed was 9 cu ft, with a separate freezer. Larger than the biggest available for the Escape 19 offered by Escape.

While Escape would not install the lithium batteries or the fridge, they made it easy for me. They cut the cabinets to suit my fridge and supplied the 12V power lines. I just had to hook up two wires, put the fridge in place and screw the flanges into the cabinet.
For the battery I just got the standard 12V battery, then removed it and put it on Craigslist.
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:04 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Sean Murry View Post
Lithium batteries have several advantages:

1) They are 1/2 the weight of lead
2) More useable power. When a lithium battery (as in my Battle Born Batteries) when it says it is rated at 100A, you have 100A of useable power. A lead battery should not be discharged below 50% of its rated power, otherwise you can drastically shorten the battery life. Therefore a 100A lithium gives you twice the power of a 100A Lead battery
3) They last 3 - 4 times longer than lead batteries
4) Zero maintenance
5) Can be mounted in any direction, upside down, on their side etc, making it easy to fit batteries in awkward spots
6) Can be partially charged without affecting battery life
7) Charge faster. They can take a full charge without having to go into float and trickle charge cycles like lead batteries
8) Can be installed inside the trailer. No gassing from lithium

Now for the downside of lithium:

-Initial cost. Yikes it hurts, but for me was worth it. Roughly 3 x the cost of lead or possibly even more. But given the extended battery life, the cost is probably pretty similar to lead over the life of the battery
-You may want to change out the charge controller portion of your electrical box. When we bought our Escape in 2019 the charge controller did not have a lithium setting. While it would still work for lithium, it wouldn't be as efficient. To change this cost about $250 for the part. I installed myself which was pretty simple, even for me.
-Lithium doesn't like really cold weather. When it gets well below freezing the batteries should be brought indoors. If you plan to use your trailer during the winter where very cold temperatures can be expected, you might want to install the batteries inside the trailer where they can be kept warm,

Because lithium batteries keep a higher voltage through their discharge cycle vs lead, the standard battery indicator supplied by Escape and others in the RV industry, don't give a very accurate reading of your battery state. Installing a battery monitor with a shunt, will measure every amp going in and out of the battery and therefore give you a true reading of your battery state. Cost about another $250, but easy to install. Gives me great peace of mind. You can also get a monitor that can give you all the information on your smart phone.

In my case I don't have an inverter so I am not using tons of battery power. My biggest source of power draw would be my 12V fridge, which is a Novakool with a compressor and is very energy efficient (Roughly 5amps per hour when running, but it only runs 25 -50% of the time depending on ambient temperature). Aside from that fan motors would be the next biggest draw, furnace fans, overhead fans, fan over the stove. The it is things like the water pump, lights and chargers for phones etc.

The Novakool fridge for me was a must. The compressor fridges are less hassle, can run them when driving, don't need to be level when parked and work well in high ambient temperatures. We camped in Death Valley back before Covid hit. While not as hot as Death Valley can get, temperatures were pretty high. Our first night I set the fridge too low and froze the milk and vegetables.
The compressor fridges also come down to operating temperature in about 1 - 1/2 hours, so when you bring it out of storage you are up and ready to go quickly. And the fridge I installed was 9 cu ft, with a separate freezer. Larger than the biggest available for the Escape 19 offered by Escape.

While Escape would not install the lithium batteries or the fridge, they made it easy for me. They cut the cabinets to suit my fridge and supplied the 12V power lines. I just had to hook up two wires, put the fridge in place and screw the flanges into the cabinet.
For the battery I just got the standard 12V battery, then removed it and put it on Craigslist.
Is that the Novakool RFU9000? How many and what size lifepo4s and solar system did you install?
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:15 PM   #76
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For visiting an Escape, it actually can be possible to do it while being safe. We finally got to go camping for 3 days, masks at the ready, 1/2 tank of gas from home, widely spaced sites, etc. It was dry camping so we had our own water with us. The campground host and his wife are planning to get rid of their motor home and he was admiring our 19’. I offered him a tour, carefully. He went inside and I stayed outside and answered questions from the door. It gave him a look at a trailer he had never seen before. Not the same level as sitting on a dinette bench and opening all the cabinet doors but would at least give you ideas.
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:23 PM   #77
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Yes it is the RFU9000. Big advantage for this model is the front venting. You didn't need to allow for top and bottom convection venting. We had Escape eliminate the side cut out on the outside of the trailer for the absorption fridge. We had them leave the top venting just for added circulation which was recommended by Novakool.
We installed 4x100 A Battle Born Lithium batteries.
Likely overkill as we found on a recent 9 day camping trip with somewhat cloudy weather our 190W solar panel (at least I think it is 190 W) supplied by Escape kept our batteries fully charged. We never got below 96% of our battery
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:30 PM   #78
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We too crossed the Rubicon. Coming from tenting to a trailer. We are in our mid sixties and haven't given up on tenting completely. Still do some back packing trips in a two man tent, but our main style will certainly be in the trailer. Such luxury not getting yourself off the ground!! Leaves you in better shape to climb the next mountain.
I like all of the Escape trailers and everyone has their own needs and wants.
I really liked the 5.0 but the only problem for us was reading in bed. The ceiling height is somewhat limited in the 5.0, so if reading in bed is a consideration, it might cramp your style. Though in my case after a good hike, my staying power when I hit the bed is usually under a minute.
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Old 07-01-2020, 10:42 PM   #79
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Trailer: Plan: 2021 May - E5.0
Posts: 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Murry View Post
Lithium batteries have several advantages:

1) They are 1/2 the weight of lead
2) More useable power. When a lithium battery (as in my Battle Born Batteries) when it says it is rated at 100A, you have 100A of useable power. A lead battery should not be discharged below 50% of its rated power, otherwise you can drastically shorten the battery life. Therefore a 100A lithium gives you twice the power of a 100A Lead battery
3) They last 3 - 4 times longer than lead batteries
4) Zero maintenance
5) Can be mounted in any direction, upside down, on their side etc, making it easy to fit batteries in awkward spots
6) Can be partially charged without affecting battery life
7) Charge faster. They can take a full charge without having to go into float and trickle charge cycles like lead batteries
8) Can be installed inside the trailer. No gassing from lithium

Now for the downside of lithium:

-Initial cost. Yikes it hurts, but for me was worth it. Roughly 3 x the cost of lead or possibly even more. But given the extended battery life, the cost is probably pretty similar to lead over the life of the battery
-You may want to change out the charge controller portion of your electrical box. When we bought our Escape in 2019 the charge controller did not have a lithium setting. While it would still work for lithium, it wouldn't be as efficient. To change this cost about $250 for the part. I installed myself which was pretty simple, even for me.
-Lithium doesn't like really cold weather. When it gets well below freezing the batteries should be brought indoors. If you plan to use your trailer during the winter where very cold temperatures can be expected, you might want to install the batteries inside the trailer where they can be kept warm,

Because lithium batteries keep a higher voltage through their discharge cycle vs lead, the standard battery indicator supplied by Escape and others in the RV industry, don't give a very accurate reading of your battery state. Installing a battery monitor with a shunt, will measure every amp going in and out of the battery and therefore give you a true reading of your battery state. Cost about another $250, but easy to install. Gives me great peace of mind. You can also get a monitor that can give you all the information on your smart phone.

In my case I don't have an inverter so I am not using tons of battery power. My biggest source of power draw would be my 12V fridge, which is a Novakool with a compressor and is very energy efficient (Roughly 5amps per hour when running, but it only runs 25 -50% of the time depending on ambient temperature). Aside from that fan motors would be the next biggest draw, furnace fans, overhead fans, fan over the stove. The it is things like the water pump, lights and chargers for phones etc.

The Novakool fridge for me was a must. The compressor fridges are less hassle, can run them when driving, don't need to be level when parked and work well in high ambient temperatures. We camped in Death Valley back before Covid hit. While not as hot as Death Valley can get, temperatures were pretty high. Our first night I set the fridge too low and froze the milk and vegetables.
The compressor fridges also come down to operating temperature in about 1 - 1/2 hours, so when you bring it out of storage you are up and ready to go quickly. And the fridge I installed was 9 cu ft, with a separate freezer. Larger than the biggest available for the Escape 19 offered by Escape.

While Escape would not install the lithium batteries or the fridge, they made it easy for me. They cut the cabinets to suit my fridge and supplied the 12V power lines. I just had to hook up two wires, put the fridge in place and screw the flanges into the cabinet.
For the battery I just got the standard 12V battery, then removed it and put it on Craigslist.
Sean - This is fantastic information! Gives us some very good idea of the pros and cons (few) of the Lithium batteries! Find it very compelling idea. Kind of hoping that Escape can offer it in the 2021 models (with May 2021 delivery timeframe, that's what we will be looking at). This is partly because we are very uninformed and not handy with mechanical or electrical things (computers are the only exception ). That'd be the best.

Otherwise - I will get in touch to get personal advice on the Lithium battery based configuration.

The refrigerator you installed for sounds really nice. Quite interested in it. I will definitely be in touch when we get closer to configuring it - likely from the 2021 catalog.

The one challenge is that we are not handy at all. Are there outfitters / businesses near the Escape office that can install things like these for us? Does Escape help you do that at all? If I understand correctly, the US customers take delivery on the US side of the border...

Thank you very very much for sharing the insights!
kavm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2020, 10:53 PM   #80
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Trailer: Plan: 2021 May - E5.0
Posts: 145
Hi Sean,

I just looked up the Novakool fridge model (9000) with front ventilation. Seems like a very nice choice! A question: The stock fridge from Escape seems to run on electricity and propane. Not sure if the Novakool one does as well. Or, am I just mistaken where the propane to electricity conversion takes place?
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