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Old 11-06-2022, 12:32 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2022
Location: Groveland, California
Trailer: 2023 Escape 21C
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Waiting for 21C

I just got bumped up for a 21C to early April delivery date. I ordered last summer after wasting 6 months waiting for the 23. I have concerns about a few items and I need to make decisions quick before sign off.
1. Power Awning reliability: Is it worth the extra $1K+? I am 71, so Iím getting to that age where I appreciate automation. What typically fails first? Is the motor accessible and easily replaced? How about the manual awning? Is reliability much better?
2. Refrigerator: Iím leaning towards the standard absorption fridge. A friend has a E19 and had to replace his fridge possibly due to it getting gunked up from propane use on uneven ground. Also concerned about boondocking at high elevations. I plan on ordering the max 4 batteries with 2 solar panels and even the added solar port for portable 3rd panel. I hear some refrigerators donít work well at high elevations? Donít plan to camp in campgrounds with AC hookups very often, mostly off grid.
Which fridge is most reliable at high elevations and possibly some uneven ground? Is the only answer cleaning and gunk blow out after propane use?
3. Do I need to order extra 12V outlets for lights, WiFi or other devices? Is one more enough?
4. Do I need wall hooks ordered from factory or can I easily and cheaply add these on my own afterwards without reinforcing walls etc?
5. Will the optional sand pads help me stabilize and level the trailer better?

Really looking forward to joining the Escape Community and camping in the coming year!
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Old 11-06-2022, 01:01 PM   #2
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I'll try and help with some answers....
1. If you research here I think you will find the power awning is fine, as long as you follow common sense in using it.
2. The stock absorption fridge is quiet and again reliable if used accordingly.
3. Extra 12v outlets are nice and if you know where you my need one have them factory installed.
4. Wall hooks can easily be installed post delivery.
5. Sand pads are nice to have and I normally add them.
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Old 11-06-2022, 01:31 PM   #3
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1. Round and round we can go on that topic, and we do. Each side will claim their view is best, same as framed/frameless windows etc.

I like the manual awning because; more reliable, less to go wrong and most importantly, it can be left out in conditions where a power awning would have retracted. Nice in torrential rain conditions to have a dry space by the door.

2. Don't confuse the older model fridges with the ones ETI is installing now. We had the old style in our 19 and I spent a lot of time fussing with it. The one in our 21 is a dream come true. Leave home on a long trip, keep stuff frozen the whole time and I've never had to do anything to it.

3. If you know what your exact usage is going to be then order them. If not, use the trailer a few times and see what you'd like and where. USB and cigarette lighter outlets are very inexpensive and easy to add later.

5. Sand pads for sure. I can't believe stabilizers come without them. I made my own. Sometimes they are all that's needed and sometimes I add extra blocks under them. Add those yellow plastic blocks under a stabilizer without a sand pad and listen to the plastic crack.

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Old 11-06-2022, 02:29 PM   #4
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As Ron pointed out, some of this is opinion and driven by personal use. With that in thought:
(1) We have the power awning; it was standard in 2017. I did spend hours two years ago getting it to align it and get it retract back evenly. We do not use it much and the hassle in adjustment would lead me to order a manual awning today and not pay the increased cost.
(2) Per Ron's comment, we have had no problem with our 6 cu.ft. frig. I did install internal circulation fans and I would probably do that for any frig.
(3) Based on our use, I would order a USB outlet by the bed. I did add a second USB outlet and a second 120 VAC outlet by the dinette. Those additions were easy for us afterword.
(4) We have added a number of 3M Command hocks for hanging coats, towel hanger, etc. The 5 lb. hooks hold well and are easy to relocate as you gain accustomed to the trailer and your needs.
(5) Agreed with sand pad comments. We did not order them prior to picking up the trailer. Purchased them on Amazon (actually less expensive there). Either way, you want them.

2 cents
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Old 11-06-2022, 02:54 PM   #5
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They would have to pay me the extra $1,000 to have the power awning! Keep in mind it is more of a sun shade that can’t be tilted down to keep out the sun. You can not tilt it down to drain rain off or clean it as well. It also uses up power every time you open and close it…not good if you are boondocking. The motor is very expensive to replace and may or may not be in stock in the future.

If you are handy there are extra fuse slots that you can add your own 12 volt stuff. Also some of the corners have 12 volt lines running up behind the removable pads…is you have some low current item to add like an led light.

Again can’t believe a $50,000 trailer does not come with proper jacks. Buy the pads or use blocks or make your own like I did. You can see how I did that and 80 other modifications in the link below. Some of the modifications may have an impact on how you order you trailer if you are so inclined in doing modifications.

If you can have them hold your trailer so you could attend the rally in May, I think you would enjoy it.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post271027
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Old 11-06-2022, 05:00 PM   #6
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We just picked up our 21C on 10/24 and spent 11 days driving it home.

Manual Awning is significantly easier to set up than I imagined. Plus it will work in the rain and a fair amount of wind.

The new Norcold standard 3-way fridge worked flawlessly.

I wish I added a couple more 12v at the rear dinette. But the standard offering works just fine for use.

I will be adding wall hooks myself down the road.

Sand pads. Yes and I think they should be standard.
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Old 11-06-2022, 07:25 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Don't confuse the older model fridges with the ones ETI is installing now. We had the old style in our 19 and I spent a lot of time fussing with it. The one in our 21 is a dream come true. Leave home on a long trip, keep stuff frozen the whole time and I've never had to do anything to it.
Ron: What is the make and model of the newer absorption fridge being used now? Was thinking compressor type when our old Dometic RM2510 has quit but with this news maybe weíll stay with absorption.
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Old 11-06-2022, 08:12 PM   #8
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Out 21C has both electric awning and compressor fridge. Sand pads will save hassles frequently.

Our awning works every time we use it. We have frameless windows so they are happy not having the manual arms in their way. I try to avoid putting any awning out during rain so the pitch of the awning is not an issue for us.

I will never again deal with an absorption fridge. They are designed to cool to 40 F below ambient temperature. They are fussy if you find yourself having to park off camber (it can happen) and they require exterior venting (the fewer holes in the trailer, the better).

Any design fridge can fail. That’s why Sub Zero has service techs. But, I have had two absorption fridges and neither cooled reliably. Others have had better luck.

Our compressor fridge has served us well. It reliably cools to 34-35 F and stays that way for weeks. If you are going for the max solar setup, you should have no problem with the compressor off grid. We frequently camp at high elevations.

None of the responses here will ensure that the decisions you make will be without buyer’s remorse. I flipped a coin with the awning decision.
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Old 11-06-2022, 09:03 PM   #9
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We camp at high elevations regularly and have never had a problem with our original Dometic 6.7 or our recently installed Dometic 6.0 fridge. If you go compressor you have to get the large lithium and that has a definite set of pros & cons and your build price goes up accordingly.

Manual awning is the best option as it is easy to use and has much greater flexibility.
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Old 11-07-2022, 12:01 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
Ron: What is the make and model of the newer absorption fridge being used now? Was thinking compressor type when our old Dometic RM2510 has quit but with this news maybe we’ll stay with absorption.
Actually my comment wasn't all that accurate. Since my trailer is a 2019 I shouldn't have said "installing now" because I don't know what changes they may have made.

My fridge is the two door DM2663LB.

Ron
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Old 11-07-2022, 10:03 AM   #11
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Most things I would add have been discussed. I am partial to maximum solar, lithium, and compressor refrigeration but that is just me and the way I like to use the trailer - seldom using shore power.

A couple things that I added and think might apply to most people are:

1. A small exterior access hatch at the back driver side of the trailer to store electric cord and plug adaptors, water hoses, pressure reducer and filter, sanitary sewer fittings, etc. It is easy to use some 1/4 inch plywood to box off an area under the dinette for storing these things so they are handy at hookup time. I couldn't get Escape to add the access hatch so they supplied the hatch and I added it myself. Maybe you can get them to do the install too.

2. A hidden USB port inside an upper storage cabinet for plugging in a GPS antenna or some other gizmo to track the trailer. I used mine one time when I couldn't find my trailer out in the desert. It was getting close to dark and I was getting close to panic when I remembered I could see where it was with my gizmo. I was 4 miles away from the trailer! It would also come in handy if someone takes off with the trailer in which case a geofence alarm to my phone would be nice. It is difficult for me to do wiring inside a cabinet but it can be done. Maybe just have Escape drop a hot 12v wire where you want it and ask that it be on a separate circuit to the power center. You can maybe put it on a switched circuit and fuse that is separate and hidden so turning off the battery switch doesn't disable it.
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Old 11-07-2022, 05:15 PM   #12
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@Eggscape: I think you and some of the awning problem related posts on this forum have convinced me to go with the manual awning. I really wanted to go automatic, but risk/reward is not worth it in our opinion. Thanks.
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Old 11-07-2022, 05:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobG View Post
Most things I would add have been discussed. I am partial to maximum solar, lithium, and compressor refrigeration but that is just me and the way I like to use the trailer - seldom using shore power.

A couple things that I added and think might apply to most people are:

1. A small exterior access hatch at the back driver side of the trailer to store electric cord and plug adaptors, water hoses, pressure reducer and filter, sanitary sewer fittings, etc. It is easy to use some 1/4 inch plywood to box off an area under the dinette for storing these things so they are handy at hookup time. I couldn't get Escape to add the access hatch so they supplied the hatch and I added it myself. Maybe you can get them to do the install too.

2. A hidden USB port inside an upper storage cabinet for plugging in a GPS antenna or some other gizmo to track the trailer. I used mine one time when I couldn't find my trailer out in the desert. It was getting close to dark and I was getting close to panic when I remembered I could see where it was with my gizmo. I was 4 miles away from the trailer! It would also come in handy if someone takes off with the trailer in which case a geofence alarm to my phone would be nice. It is difficult for me to do wiring inside a cabinet but it can be done. Maybe just have Escape drop a hot 12v wire where you want it and ask that it be on a separate circuit to the power center. You can maybe put it on a switched circuit and fuse that is separate and hidden so turning off the battery switch doesn't disable it.
Just watched the short video on Norcross compressor fridge. Sure wish it was three way with propane too, BUT it is about 3.5 - 4 times more efficient than absorption and the video touts being able to use at high elevations like 8,000 feet. This is attractive to me! Might be a better value for me than spending money on a power awning.
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Old 11-07-2022, 07:08 PM   #14
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We have the manual awning and love it. It opens and closes reliably, no fussy motor or lost remote to deal with. We have the compressor fridge, Model DM2683LBFX in our 2021 21NE, and it has been very reliable. It maintains temperature well and keeps ice cream frozen. ��
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Old 11-08-2022, 12:26 AM   #15
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Awning & Fridge

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathytony1985 View Post
We have the manual awning and love it. It opens and closes reliably, no fussy motor or lost remote to deal with. We have the compressor fridge, Model DM2683LBFX in our 2021 21NE, and it has been very reliable. It maintains temperature well and keeps ice cream frozen. ��
Curious. Are you guys mostly on or off grid campers?
Thanks for providing the model number. I'm now leaning towards both the manual awning and a compressor fridge.
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Old 11-08-2022, 06:44 AM   #16
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About half and half, so far. We will be hitting the road full-time in April 2023 when my husband retires. We expect to be doing more off grid camping. We do have a generator if we need for the AC in the summer.
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Old 11-08-2022, 01:56 PM   #17
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What I ordered-5.0

1-manual

2-the compressor fridge

3-three drop lines, one extra outlet in dinette, one close by the bathroom, one in the tv ready bedroom spot

4-reinforced walls

5-pads

6-not on your list but, foot flush for toilet
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Old 11-08-2022, 04:32 PM   #18
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What I ordered-5.0

6-not on your list but, foot flush for toilet
For sure, nice not having to bend over the bowl contents to flush.

Ron
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Old 11-16-2022, 01:47 PM   #19
CJW
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we are "almost" 75 and full-timing in our 2022 21C going on 1 year. We love our manual awning - it stays secure in windy conditions (we have left it out with up to 25 mph winds as long as we are with it) with a few extra tie-downs. we have the standard fridge and it is amazing - the best one we have had in all of our multiple RV's throughout 53 years of marriage! Command hooks work fabulously - you can put them where you want them and move them easily if you change your mind but we also had all of the walls reinforced that were offered. We have 1 factory installed solar panel with 1 lithium battery - no inverter - but probably use our Jackery 1000 (that we charge through the solar panels)most often if boon-docking to power our Keurig and portable induction cook-top. Without the inverter we cannot use our Breville counter-top oven but perhaps not even with the inverter - but we prefer to stay in CG's with hook-ups, anyway LOL - Off grid is too difficult to find in a lot of states anymore, IOHO!
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Old 11-16-2022, 04:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millae View Post
I just got bumped up for a 21C to early April delivery date. I ordered last summer after wasting 6 months waiting for the 23. I have concerns about a few items and I need to make decisions quick before sign off.
1. Power Awning reliability: Is it worth the extra $1K+? I am 71, so Iím getting to that age where I appreciate automation. What typically fails first? Is the motor accessible and easily replaced? How about the manual awning? Is reliability much better?
2. Refrigerator: Iím leaning towards the standard absorption fridge. A friend has a E19 and had to replace his fridge possibly due to it getting gunked up from propane use on uneven ground. Also concerned about boondocking at high elevations. I plan on ordering the max 4 batteries with 2 solar panels and even the added solar port for portable 3rd panel. I hear some refrigerators donít work well at high elevations? Donít plan to camp in campgrounds with AC hookups very often, mostly off grid.
Which fridge is most reliable at high elevations and possibly some uneven ground? Is the only answer cleaning and gunk blow out after propane use?
3. Do I need to order extra 12V outlets for lights, WiFi or other devices? Is one more enough?
4. Do I need wall hooks ordered from factory or can I easily and cheaply add these on my own afterwards without reinforcing walls etc?
5. Will the optional sand pads help me stabilize and level the trailer better?

Really looking forward to joining the Escape Community and camping in the coming year!
I hate my manual awning and would prefer to have no awning.
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