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Old 06-01-2017, 07:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanR View Post
Hi everybody,

My wife and I are renting a 17 foot Casita in August to see how we handle living a 17 foot trailer. I am hopeful and am researching what to buy after renting in August.

When we bought a new vehicle a truck was 100% out the question. I drove a truck until my kids were teenagers, and I think my wife is paranoid despite the kids being out of the house. That means whatever we buy must be capable of being towed by a 5000 pound max SUV.

I will be making a separate post with questions about an Escape 17b after I am done searching this forum, like "Do I really want a window in the bathroom to clean the black water tank?" (Don't answer that yet). But the final candidates are:
1. Escape - Tied for the highest quality.
2. Alto Condo Safari - High quality, great layout, love the window space, love flip seat storage, but very inconvenient location and most expensive.
3. Casita - Love the parallel bed/seat layout like Alto and flip up seat storage. After comparing with an Escape at an fiberglass RV gathering just not as thrilling.
4. Aliner - Same great layout. Lower profile towing. More space (at the expense of having to tow a wider vehicle). But...least favorite to be in for me.

If Escape offered the same layout as a Casita or Alto, it would be a no brainer. I love the idea of two 30 inch wide beds which are plenty long enough for me, and with an aisle in between so we can go to the bathroom and wake up early without disturbing the other person. I only tested this on the Alto, but narrow beds/seats are very easy to flip open for storage. But we would be on opposite ends of an Escape, plus I am not sure the single bed is long enough for me (my wife made it clear she wants the double bed).

Comments welcomed and thanked for in advance.
Since you are considering only a 17 ft (no Escape 19) and comparing apples to apples trailers in length..be advised if you rent a Casita that in January 2017 they made some production model changes for the better. They added the Max Fan with remote as standard which is an option on the Escape. They also added an AGM battery option and a external solar port option as well as solar pre-wire (which depending on how you ask them to do it can be very nifty). It appears you like the Liberty or INdependence floor plan. The Liberty with the folding twin bed mod is pretty cool and leaves you with a wider aisle then the Independence floor plan. With a small mod at the end of the trailer aisle you can add a Lagun Table
https://www.marineteak.co.uk/lagun-a...ing-system-331
and have the table for two swivel out of the way at your feet, leaving the aisle clutter free. The one other thing that is a positive about the Casita is it has very little wood products in it other than the floor which is sealed with fiberglass both sides and sealed better if you add the vinyl floor option. The Escape of course has lots of raw unsealed wood that might be a mold magnet if the environment is optimal. Both the Casita and the Escape have many positives as well as cons. Compared the 17 ft as you are and thought an Escape 19 was the answer...the good news about a long lead time to get one is it allows one to research the choice more and make a final decision after doing that research. Of course the Escape has very good resale if you decide to go bigger later as some do....
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Old 06-01-2017, 10:00 PM   #22
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Ok, I'll nibble on a 19 foot

Am I off base to consider a 19 foot a bad idea?

I bought a 2017 Kia Sorento with a V6, 4wd, which means a 5000 pound towing capacity. With options and semi loaded I am thinking a 19 foot should come in around 3700 pounds. As one person noted, there are more factors than just towing capacity. The V6 seems fairly gutless.

I having driven a school bus and an ambulance that was really wide. I learned adding width scares me as much or more as length. I learned on the school bus, trying to avoid the heavy braking I can do with my car can get me nervous. So adding admittedly only 4 inches width but also more pounds and therefore less braking just seems like a bad idea.
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Old 06-01-2017, 10:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanR View Post
Am I off base to consider a 19 foot a bad idea?

I bought a 2017 Kia Sorento with a V6, 4wd, which means a 5000 pound towing capacity. With options and semi loaded I am thinking a 19 foot should come in around 3700 pounds. As one person noted, there are more factors than just towing capacity. The V6 seems fairly gutless.

I having driven a school bus and an ambulance that was really wide. I learned adding width scares me as much or more as length. I learned on the school bus, trying to avoid the heavy braking I can do with my car can get me nervous. So adding admittedly only 4 inches width but also more pounds and therefore less braking just seems like a bad idea.
There are several forum members that tow 19' & 21' Escapes with Toyota Highlander's and are very satisfied. The Sorento is similar in towing and payload capacity so I would not be so quick to dismiss a 19'. (Ironically the Highlander has more payload capacity than my 2016 Tacoma!). Also note both the Highlander and Sorento have 4 wheel disk brakes. The Escape also has electric brakes and with a properly adjusted brake controller, braking is very smooth and controllable. I bet that school bus had drum brakes and a lot more weight!

My former trailer was an Aliner Classic. I love our new-to-us 2013 Escape 19'! The biggest difference is that the Aliner did not have any storage above the hinge line (for obvious reasons). With the Escape, we have more than enough storage for all our clothes, food, cook ware, and electronic toys inside the trailer. All the outdoor stuff like wheel chocks, water hoses, etc fit in the front cargo box. Tools, and other extra stuff under the queen bed. Bottom line, very easy to live with. Especially for multi-day drives. Super easy to pull into a rest area for lunch, pop open the door to access the fridge and dry food storage. With the Aliner, everything was in activity specific totes. There was lots of packing and unpacking as activities changed. With a 17' there would still be some of that since the bed would be dual use as a dinette. I want to spend my time camping hiking, reading, doing nothing, rather than changing configurations for different activities. Had my fill of that kind of camping in the Aliner!

More significantly, my wife looks forward to camping now because it is less work and more fun!

Good on you for asking questions and doing the research. Bottom line, pick the trailer that suits your style of camping. (Factoring in your partner's temperament as well!)
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Old 06-02-2017, 02:07 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanR View Post
Am I off base to consider a 19 foot a bad idea?

I bought a 2017 Kia Sorento with a V6, 4wd, which means a 5000 pound towing capacity. With options and semi loaded I am thinking a 19 foot should come in around 3700 pounds. As one person noted, there are more factors than just towing capacity. The V6 seems fairly gutless.

I having driven a school bus and an ambulance that was really wide. I learned adding width scares me as much or more as length. I learned on the school bus, trying to avoid the heavy braking I can do with my car can get me nervous. So adding admittedly only 4 inches width but also more pounds and therefore less braking just seems like a bad idea.
Can't tell enough on any tow vehicle without the GCWR.

I expect a 19' would weigh over 4000 lbs. Maybe 4200. Depends partly on options. 3700 is closer to the previous 19', not the new generation.
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Old 06-02-2017, 02:21 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanR View Post
I learned on the school bus, trying to avoid the heavy braking I can do with my car can get me nervous. So adding admittedly only 4 inches width but also more pounds and therefore less braking just seems like a bad idea.
More trailer weight requires more braking force, but the heavier trailer has more traction and the brakes to use it. There's no problem stopping a larger trailer, within the rated capacity of the tow vehicle.
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Old 06-02-2017, 11:23 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanR View Post
Am I off base to consider a 19 foot a bad idea?

I bought a 2017 Kia Sorento with a V6, 4wd, which means a 5000 pound towing capacity. With options and semi loaded I am thinking a 19 foot should come in around 3700 pounds. As one person noted, there are more factors than just towing capacity. The V6 seems fairly gutless.

I having driven a school bus and an ambulance that was really wide. I learned adding width scares me as much or more as length. I learned on the school bus, trying to avoid the heavy braking I can do with my car can get me nervous. So adding admittedly only 4 inches width but also more pounds and therefore less braking just seems like a bad idea.
for this camper the dry weight of a new GEN 2 Escape 19 is 1000 lbs more than the Casita 17 Liberty/Independence according to estimated numbers supplied by both mfg's per the build sheet..Escape 36xx lbs versus Casita 26xx lbs and trailer options will change that number plus or minus..there are other users on here of course that have actual delivered weights for the new GEN 2 Escape 19
there are experts on here with regard to towing, but the TV max payload weight is a very important specification and in many cases is a limiting factor for a real world loaded TV + Trailer combo
of course more trailer weight and aerodynamics of trailer cost money to pull too....maintenance costs for tandem versus single axle, 4 tires versus 2, slider windows versus new awning type window replacement cost when they break...lots of things to research..this camper has been doing it for a year now and can almost see the end of the tunnel on a decision! this forum as well as others have provided many answers....good luck with your research, for this camper sometimes it can be an info overload, but cured with a few margaritas!
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Old 06-02-2017, 12:06 PM   #27
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Just for info we weighed our Gen 2 Escape 19' and it was 3420 lb with most of our gear in it. We add about another 100 lb of clothes, food and supplies when we travel.

We also probably travel lighter than most people would and some of our gear is in the truck.
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Old 06-02-2017, 12:12 PM   #28
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Escape 17

The Escape 17B has a lot more storage then a Casita ,
Also if looking look at the Lil Snoozy 18 about 2600lb maybe 3000lb loaded up .

If one was to get a 17 B I would opt for a single bed with storage underneath in front and for the back the 4 person dinette and get the springfield gas table mount so the table could be made into a bed in less then a few seconds your in sleeping mode within a few minutes thats what we did with our escape 21 Good Luck Jim
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Old 06-02-2017, 12:20 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Kountrykamper View Post
Just for info we weighed our Gen 2 Escape 19' and it was 3420 lb with most of our gear in it. We add about another 100 lb of clothes, food and supplies when we travel.


Plus tongue weight.
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Old 06-02-2017, 01:53 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kountrykamper View Post
Just for info we weighed our Gen 2 Escape 19' and it was 3420 lb with most of our gear in it. We add about another 100 lb of clothes, food and supplies when we travel.

We also probably travel lighter than most people would and some of our gear is in the truck.
That weight is incredibly low. I would wonder what your weight is on your paperwork and what options you have to have a weight that low. Most people had more than that with a classic 19' and the new generation weighs more. Also need to weigh loaded. The average weights for classics were 3700-3800 before Escape added weight to the trailer. I am wondering if that in fact is your correct weight.
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Old 06-02-2017, 02:02 PM   #31
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Plus tongue weight.
Total, including tongue weight.
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Old 06-02-2017, 02:10 PM   #32
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That weight is incredibly low. I would wonder what your weight is on your paperwork and what options you have to have a weight that low. Most people had more than that with a classic 19' and the new generation weighs more. Also need to weigh loaded. The average weights for classics were 3700-3800 before Escape added weight to the trailer. I am wondering if that in fact is your correct weight.
I will look at the shipping weight ETI put on the paperwork when I get home but as I remember it all added up. 3245 lb shipping sticks in my head but I will check. We have most options except solar or a stove. It was weighed on a certified scale and like I said we travel light, very light. Our previous 19' weighed in at 3250 on a scale in Florida on a trip so this one would be around 3550 with food and clothes.
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Old 06-02-2017, 02:13 PM   #33
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I weighed my 2011 17B before each trip and the loaded weight ran from 3010/335 to as high as 3100/360. This is heavily packed for a 5-6 month trip.

You can find averages on a spreadsheet that I keep at http://lakeshoreimages.com/spreadsheets/Weight.xls

This can be sorted by trailer size, brand, etc. The original version is at the Fiberglass RV Forum.
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Old 06-02-2017, 03:04 PM   #34
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My tongue weight on my 2nd G 19' was close to 450# when the trailer was loaded for 2 weeks. I have not weighed the trailer but estimate it to be #3600-#3800, so the total would be around #4000. My gas mileage is somewhat better than the 21' Escape classic which was #4300 loaded for same trip.
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Old 06-02-2017, 03:07 PM   #35
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My tongue weight on my 2nd G 19' was close to 450# when the trailer was loaded for 2 weeks. I have not weighed the trailer but estimate it to be #3600-#3800, so the total would be around #4000. My gas mileage is somewhat better than the 21' Escape classic which was #4300 loaded for same trip.
I could easily see 450 lbs difference in our weight. You have 100 lb mounted on your walls. I would think the main difference in our trailers would be that you have solar and I dont but I also have duel 6 volts.
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Old 06-02-2017, 04:50 PM   #36
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I still have the idea from numbers given that the total above for a loaded 19' is incorrect. Seems tongue weight has been left out.

Scale weight plus tongue weight plus belongings. If you start with maybe 3300 and add the rest, that is much higher than the total being given.

Think we had about 440 tongue weight added to over 3000 for weight with options, and then hundreds more pounds for cargo. That is before another 300 or more for added weight on a new 19'. The numbers above simply do not work. Something is not correct there.
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Old 06-02-2017, 06:07 PM   #37
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I still have the idea from numbers given that the total above for a loaded 19' is incorrect. Seems tongue weight has been left out.

Scale weight plus tongue weight plus belongings. If you start with maybe 3300 and add the rest, that is much higher than the total being given.

Think we had about 440 tongue weight added to over 3000 for weight with options, and then hundreds more pounds for cargo. That is before another 300 or more for added weight on a new 19'. The numbers above simply do not work. Something is not correct there.
I disconnected the trailer on the scale and weighed it by its self for a total weight. All I can tell you is what the scale read and the person running the scale gave me. It was at one of the biggest truck stops in this area. Again we dont carry hundreds of pounds of cargo like most. Probably under 200 at the most in the trailer. Our shipping weight on ETI paperwork says 3425 but after weighing it it I figured that was a inflated guess for shipping as they dont actually weigh the trailers. I will check it again next time I see a scale.
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:12 PM   #38
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Another thing to check is the accuracy of the scale. + - how many pounds. Could be correct plus or minus a couple hundred if it's normally used to weigh large loads.
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Old 06-02-2017, 08:27 PM   #39
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It would help if we had some people who came out of the factory and weighed and compared to their paperwork. The paperwork is supposed to be quite accurate because it is based on exactly your options for which they have the weights.

Obviously the paperwork here and the weights do not agree. Yes, the scale as Glenn mentions can be off. I just went and didn't bother comparing the weights at the time. Was I ever irked to get back and find that they gave me two total weights that should have been exactly the same but were 100 pounds different. Which completely messed up looking at the WDH situation. So maybe the scale was not reliable in this case.
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Old 06-02-2017, 11:44 PM   #40
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I disconnected the trailer on the scale and weighed it by its self for a total weight. All I can tell you is what the scale read and the person running the scale gave me. It was at one of the biggest truck stops in this area...
I assume - but maybe I've misunderstood - that this is a commercial scale used by truckers to check their operating weight. A large chain of these is CAT Scale. I use government scales on highways used for commercial vehicle enforcement, which are similar.

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Another thing to check is the accuracy of the scale. + - how many pounds. Could be correct plus or minus a couple hundred if it's normally used to weigh large loads.
While this seems reasonable, in fact the measurement precision of these scales is typically increments of 10 kilograms or 20 pounds, and they are calibrated to a single measurement increment. A single-axle scale needs a capacity of over ten tons, so this is only less than 0.1% of full scale, which I think is pretty impressive.

While even plus or minus 10 pounds or 5 kilograms (half a displayed increment) is not a trivial error compared to a tongue weight, it would be reasonable to assume the error is higher than that, and some trailer weight values are derived from multiple measurements (piling up more error), it's typically not as bad as a couple hundred pounds.
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