Testing 17 ft trailer life - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Community > New Member Introductions
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 05-31-2017, 12:21 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Salem, Oregon
Trailer: Renting a Casita to decide
Posts: 9
Testing 17 ft trailer life

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.
__________________

AlanR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2017, 01:53 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Marry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Ponoka, Alberta
Trailer: 2016 19 classic "outta sight", jeep rubicon unlimited
Posts: 1,648
Hi, welcome to the Escape forum!
Who is going to make up the beds in the evening, and taking them down in the morning? You might want to think about this. Two separate beds close together might be an hassle to do so. Would much prefer a front and rear bed in order to make the beds.
Nice and cozy together in separate beds is nice, but most of the night you sleep anyway. You won't get lost in a 17 with beds rear and front....
With ETI you have many option, getting a quality product, close to home, and outstanding service!
Best wishes in finding the perfect trailer you and your wife are comfortable with!
__________________

__________________
"never lose hope, never lose faith"
Marry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2017, 01:57 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Mtns of NC, North Carolina
Trailer: 2013 19' Escape 1977 Trillium 1300
Posts: 269
Personally, we hated the Casita layout with the front bath. Sold it and moved on to an Escape 19.

I wouldn't write off pickup trucks yet either. Drive a nice one with four doors. Lots of room! The comfort of my F150 Lariat rivals what my dad had with his Town Car. Trucks have gotten more and more comfortable, and more like cars (could be a plus or a minus depending on your point of view.

One issue with had with the Casita was storage, it basically had none (OK it has some, but it is very limited). Most of the under the bed was consumed with fresh water tank, batteries, water pump, electrical panel, etc. Very little left for any meaningful storage.

On my 19, I have the front box, under the bed (most of it), under the dinette (most of it). Part of the difference is having the batteries in the front box and the fresh tank beneath the floor. We had a Liberty model Casita, very narrow twin beds, or a large king, your choice, with no dinette seating (unless you took the bed up). Wait until you get several days of rain in a row. No place to sit becomes a BIG issue.

With the 19, we have a queen bed in the rear of course, and can set up the front dinette as an emergency/second bed. Its close to double bed size.

Taking up a bed every morning and putting it back into sleep mode every evening is a major PITA. Most of us have had a trailer in the past where you had to do this, and will never go back.

We are wrapping up a month long, 8500 mile trip in our 19 right now.


Now a Casita works for a lot of folks, I think it would be better for a weekend camper. We tend to take 3 to 4 weeks at a time. Issues that show up after a week or two would never bother you on a weekend.

Compare the floorplan of the Escape 19 to the Escape 17B (bath model). Look at bed, bathroom, and dinette size. Then compare to the Casita 17 (your choice of model). If I was TV limited or a weekend camper, I'd probably get the 17B.

I have friends with two A-liners right now. They have to leave them set up in their yard, as the roof leaks when the trailers are folded down. If they had a bigger garage, storing them inside would work.

Either you are convinced that a molded fiberglass trailer is the way to go, or you are not. Since some of your choices are not molded FG trailers, maybe you are in the latter group. The thing about molded trailers is you have to pay a HEFTY premium to get one, and they are small when compared to stick built trailers. Obviously, folks on this forum are committed to molded trailers, so you are going to get opinions to match.
NCBill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2017, 02:08 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: ,, Oklahoma
Trailer: 17
Posts: 839
On my research, the alto had ALU exterior, not good in hail, or dirt roads ( dings). The casita .....I could not find any R value insulation rating anywhere in their info when I was looking. The Casita floor is bathtubbed in the bottom shell. Its in resin, but Any resin crack or screw hole, the water could follow those and sit there on the wood, no exit route. I wonder how many screws casita has going in that floor? Escape has weep holes for their floor on a potential plumbing or water leak to drain the water away. The aliners, members said the front hinge leaks driving in rain, the fix was to keep silicone applied to that hinge. I was unsure of all the desert camping I do with the wind on the aliner. The front dinette scamp offers the same layout as escape, but I assume that nor Oliver trailer 18 foot is on the shopping list.
gocamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2017, 02:18 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Dave Walter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 2013 19' & 2013 15B
Posts: 2,430
For me, the headroom in the trailer is a major consideration. At 6'-2" height, I am just able to stand in the Escape 19' without banging my head on the ceiling. I would be crouching in any of the Casitas or Scamps, and in the Escape 17'. I really like the Escape 5.0TA due to the much greater headroom it offers.
__________________
2013 19' \ 2013 15B, 2020 Toyota 4Runner TRD Offroad

"It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it." - 1907, Maurice Switzer
Dave Walter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2017, 02:33 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Milpitas, California
Trailer: 2017 19'
Posts: 352
We looked at the Oliver, Casita, Escape.. Oliver is nice, but too expensive for our needs.. Casita we didn't like the layout that much and a few things we wanted can only be done after market, Escape we initially looked at the 17A and decided on the 19..

I've looked at the Alto and liked the big windows a lot, if you are mainly going to be in established campground and RV parks I think this is a good one to have. The front dinette barely fits two though, so unless you plan to make your bed everyday you'd have to put up with the small table at the front or use the picnic table outside. Also it's a smaller trailer (I think less than 17' total?) compare to the other one you mentioned.. My friend full time in one and she really liked it.
caddoster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2017, 03:42 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Trailer: 2020 Escape 17B
Posts: 1,643
Here's a mod someone did to a Casita to get the twin beds.
Twin Beds - Fiberglass RV
Bobbie54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2017, 03:53 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Salem, Oregon
Trailer: Renting a Casita to decide
Posts: 9
Random thoughts

The SUV has been bought. Not happy since I drove a truck for 30 years and saw no need for an SUV to carry people, but end of discussion. 19 foot is out of the question. I have seen the Escape fifth wheel, and I think we could live full time in that.

One of the things we will be testing is if my wife can handle simplicity. I spent about a year in a mummy sleeping bag on forest fires, plus a little misc tent camping. My sales pitch is to keep it simple and have two rectangular sleeping bags made of material that can take repeated washings and be easily folded. For me that would be a step up. I see no reason to make a bed everyday.
AlanR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2017, 04:16 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Salem, Oregon
Trailer: Renting a Casita to decide
Posts: 9
Lets be clear, I think the Escape is far superior construction to a Casita or Aliner. When I compared the construction of the Escape with Casita, the Escape won hands down. And the carpeting on the walls on the Casita is the insulation. I just like the twin bed option. Independence 17' | Casita Travel Trailers - America's Favorite Lightweight Travel Trailers! Another plus for Escape is that it is a very long days drive away.

The Alto comes with cushions you can put against the wall and turn the beds into comfortable seats. I assume I find them for a Casita. The Casita has a table that pops in and out between the beds so you can use the beds for dinette seating. Based on user comments an Alto can handle hail, but I have thank one person since I have to check if the Alto offers has an option to protect against rocks like an Airstream.

I think the Escape will win after I get a few basic questions answered. Maybe I should post the questions I have now.
Somebody mentioned that turning a dinette into a bed is a PITA.
AlanR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2017, 05:16 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Mtns of NC, North Carolina
Trailer: 2013 19' Escape 1977 Trillium 1300
Posts: 269
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbie54 View Post
Here's a mod someone did to a Casita to get the twin beds.
Twin Beds - Fiberglass RV
This mod gets you a 30 inch bed. An actual twin is 40 inches wide. Ditto the Independence. When the inside width is just a little over six feet (72 inches) there's only so much you can do. Traditional stick built trailers are wider, close to eight feet, which makes twins more like real twins.

After camping for a while, you will get sick and tired of taking the bed down every morning just to put it up the next night. It's not just about bedding either. What if the stock cushions don't make a good bed for you. Chances are you will then get s custom. foam pad made. The custom pad can either be bed size or match the dimensions of the original cushions.

Setting up and hooking up become time sucks in your travels. Fewer steps plus more efficiency means you get to your next destination sooner.
NCBill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2017, 06:03 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Marry's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Ponoka, Alberta
Trailer: 2016 19 classic "outta sight", jeep rubicon unlimited
Posts: 1,648
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanR View Post
I think the Escape will win after I get a few basic questions answered. Maybe I should post the questions I have now.
Somebody mentioned that turning a dinette into a bed is a PITA.
Changing the dinettes into beds shouldn't be that bad if you go with the wall mounted tables.
__________________
"never lose hope, never lose faith"
Marry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2017, 06:14 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
float5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Denison, Texas
Trailer: 2015 21'; 2011 19' sold; 4Runner; ph ninezero3 327-27ninefour
Posts: 5,156
You might want to look at a 19' Escape. A lot of people intend to get 17's and get 19's, or intend to get 19's and get 21's.

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.



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.
__________________
Cathy. Floating Cloud
"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.... "
Emerson
float5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2017, 06:42 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Mtns of NC, North Carolina
Trailer: 2013 19' Escape 1977 Trillium 1300
Posts: 269
If you can handle no bathroom, the 17A has a very nice floorplan. Large permanent bed on one end, and a large dinette on the other. But no toilet was a non-starter for my household.
NCBill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-31-2017, 07:55 PM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Leavenworth, Washington
Trailer: 2015 19'
Posts: 32
What SUV did you buy? We tow a 19' Escape with a Jeep Cherokee, and can maintain any speed we want on the hills (and mountains - we live in the Pacific Northwest).
Dave Rosebaugh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2017, 12:02 AM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 13,024
Rated towing capacity does not directly indicate towing performance. Two SUVs both rated for up to 5000 pounds of trailer and towing the same weight of trailer may have very different performance, by measures such as acceleration, hill climbing speed, and stability. They may also have very different remaining capacity for passengers and cargo in the SUV, with the same trailer.

All this means is that it matters which SUV you're using, and the SUV may be able to handle any conventional (not 5th wheel) Escape model... not just the 17'. But - especially with multiple passengers - a different SUV may only be able to handle the 17'.
Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2017, 12:09 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Mike Lewis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Santa Rosa County, Florida
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21
Posts: 2,466
I initially looked at an Escape 17, since I could have pulled one with the four-cylinder Tacoma I had inherited from my father, at least in theory. In my case I could have left the dinette set up and used the front bed. But the bed was partially blocked by the cabinet pedestal, and it gave me a claustrophobic feeling. ETI said they could build one with that cabinet cut down to reduce the sensation, but I decided I couldn't live for weeks on end in one.

I ended up with an Escape 21 because I bought it off their website, but an Escape 19 would have been fine with me. I had to buy a new Tacoma to tow it. I miss my dad's truck-- it was a nice little truck, but I bet it would have struggled to pull the 17 over mountains.
__________________
Mike Lewis
Photos and travelogues here: mikelewisimages.com
Mike Lewis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2017, 01:01 AM   #17
Senior Member
 
blhvet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Myrnam, Alberta
Trailer: 2005 Aliner, 17B due in April/17
Posts: 375
After 12 years in an Aliner, I picked up my 17B in April. The things I love in the 17B that the Aliner couldn't give me are a fridge that I don't have to crawl on the floor to access, an awning, and the bathroom/shower. (I know some of the newer ones have showers.). Pulling and backing up aren't much tougher with the 17B - it's narrow enough that backing up using the tow's mirrors is pretty simple. The Aliner was a great little trailer - just a different "animal"! So far, I'm moving the 17B - even though my family now considers me an "RVer" instead of a "camper". .
blhvet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2017, 10:57 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
BCnomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: O town, British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 "Lightning"
Posts: 1,470
Quote:
Originally Posted by blhvet View Post
considers me an "RVer" instead of a "camper". .


Welcome to the dark side. Happy hour's at 4.
BCnomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2017, 11:04 AM   #19
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Salem, Oregon
Trailer: Renting a Casita to decide
Posts: 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by gocamp View Post
On my research, the alto had ALU exterior, not good in hail, or dirt roads ( dings). The casita .....I could not find any R value insulation rating anywhere in their info when I was looking.
The insulation in a Casita is the carpeting on the walls, which is my biggest concern. Maybe it is far more efficient at preventing condensation (the company claim), and deadens sound, and if I keep the trailer warm enough I don;t have to worry about condensation... But I have read about Casita's with a moldy smell (which maybe due to merely sitting around).

According to the user forums Alto's have not been damaged by hail. BUt you raise a good question about dirt roads, one that I will research if I decide to be willing to spend the money.
AlanR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2017, 12:19 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
nathanj04011's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Midcoast, Maine
Trailer: 2016 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 435
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanR View Post
The insulation in a Casita is the carpeting on the walls, which is my biggest concern. Maybe it is far more efficient at preventing condensation (the company claim), and deadens sound, and if I keep the trailer warm enough I don;t have to worry about condensation... But I have read about Casita's with a moldy smell (which maybe due to merely sitting around).

According to the user forums Alto's have not been damaged by hail. BUt you raise a good question about dirt roads, one that I will research if I decide to be willing to spend the money.
In our 8 year's of owning a Casita in Maine (relatively humid and wet) we never had issues of condensation on the carpet. We did on the metal window frames in the fall, but the carpet seemed to always be "dry".

It also never had any smell of mold whatsoever and the folks that bought it said it still had a "new" smell. I always thought that the antifreeze enhanced that smell but that's a pure guess. That's our story, and I won't speak for others.
__________________

nathanj04011 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×