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Old 07-25-2015, 11:36 PM   #1
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Hermione II, Maiden Voyage

Hey folks! My wife and I picked up our new-to-us 2009 Escape 19' on Monday, June 15, 2015. First of all, the folks at ETI are exceptional. Not only did they broker the whole transaction and provide all the registration paperwork, but they also took the time to give us an orientation while the WDH was installed on my truck. All at no extra cost to me! Well, except for all the gear and new batteries I had to buy, and storage fees.

We call the trailer Hermione because the name has significant meaning to us both. It is the name of my wife’s Grandmother who passed away on Christmas Day last year, at the age of 93. She lived a long life and was well loved. It is also the name of a classic yacht that was owned by my Grandfather. It was a 56ft Elco Motor Yacht built in 1925, docked near Norfolk, Virginia. I have very fond memories of visiting it in the summer and taking cruises in the Chesapeake Bay with my family. It was a beautiful boat. Tragically, the yacht burned in a dock fire after my Grandfather sold it, and it was not salvageable. You can read more about it here.

Even though our Escape was purchased used, we feel it has been reborn to carry on the spirits of our beloved to beautiful new places!

We just got back from our return trip a few days ago. I will follow up with some thoughts and experiences with the trailer.
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:48 PM   #2
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Sweeet; thanks for sharing, & congrats on no doubt a great maiden voyage!
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:55 PM   #3
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Congratulations. Many happy travels and memories.
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:03 AM   #4
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Loved hearing your story! Congratulations!!!
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:43 AM   #5
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A very good name and a very good tale. Thank you for sharing...
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:06 AM   #6
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Welcome home to Texas, Sean.

Quite a trip, eh? The hard part for me was facing going back to work after such a nice long journey.
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:15 PM   #7
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Congrats with your new trailer. Let the happy times start.
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:54 PM   #8
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We wish you many safe miles & happy travels!

From the sounds of some of your recent postings, you like to explore/travel much like we do, i.e. the byways & less-travelled routes?

Maybe we'll run into each other at some rally or BLM or forest service campground down the road.
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Old 07-26-2015, 06:51 PM   #9
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Congratulations on the new 19'! May you have many great camping adventures.
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:02 PM   #10
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Love how you chose your trailer name. Looking forward to hearing more about your first trip.
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:41 PM   #11
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Nice looking trailer. You will certainly enjoy it.
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:08 PM   #12
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Hi Daubsy,
My wife and I have a 21' on order. We are picking it up in late September and returning to Austin. We never saw an Escape until we visited the factory while on a west coast trip. I'm not sure how many Escapes are in Austin. Not many, but growing.
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:19 PM   #13
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Hi, Tim. Our pickup has been skedded for September 25, and we plan to attend the Northern Oregon Gathering (near Portland) on Oct.1.

Widen your target to Travis County and you will be able to count our Escape 21. (It will mostly stay out near Lago Vista.)
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:10 PM   #14
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Some notes from my trip...

CAMPGROUNDS / RV PARKS

Royalwood RV Park, Chilliwack, BC
Capilano RV Park, Vancouver, BC
Tolt Mc Donald County Park, WA
Cackamette County Park, OR
Diamond Lake Campground, Idleyld Park, OR
Mazama Campground, Crater Lake, OR
Sunset Harbor RV Park, Crescent City, CA
Del Norte Coast, Redwoods State Park, CA
Char-Ae Heights Casino, Trinidad, CA
Coyote Valley Casino, CA
Sonoma County Fairgrounds RV Park, Santa Rosa, CA
Trailer Haven, San Leandro, CA
Mono Vista RV Park, Lee Vining, CA
Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, NV
Wire Mesa BLM, Smithsonian Butte National Back Country Byway, UT
Quality Inn RV Campground at Zion Park, Springdale, UT
FR 307 Dispersed Area BLM Campground, AZ
Mather Campground, Grand Canyon, AZ
Moon Meadows RV Park, Saint Johns, AZ
Tumble Inn, Marfa, TX

TRUCK PERFORMANCE

Good acceleration uphill while towing, no downshifting. “Chugging" has seemed to disappear after breaking-in the engine. It was hard to see around trailer without mirror extensions, but not a huge problem for me. It took some getting use to. Overall a very comfy tow, with good performance. Actually, I really enjoyed the whole process of hitching and towing to the next destination. After all, it was a honeymoon with two new rigs!

TOTALS

Non-towing mileage: 3030.5
Non-towing mpg: 22.8

Towing mileage: 3599.1
Towing mpg: 15.4

Combined mileage: 6629.6
Combined mpg: 18.3

Im a little unimpressed with the MPG. I think these numbers could have been a little better. But we got hit with some strong cross and head winds the whole last leg of our trip through Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

DISLIKES
  1. No fan in the bathroom. With all that moisture it can be a bit steamy in there on hot days.
  2. Plastic pieces that hold tension on the pleated blinds. Had two of them break, and several others were already broken or chipped when i picked up the trailer. Very weak and poorly designed, IMO.
  3. No 2-way water heater. Even though we never ran out of propane, I feel like this is a good option to have.
  4. No propane automatic switch-over. I thought this was standard, but apparently not.
  5. Would have liked another 12v outlet in the rear of the trailer, near the bed.
  6. The grey water tank takes a very long time to drain.
  7. Table pedestal. I take the blame for cracking the bases on our journey through a rough byway, but they are very cheap and flimsy.
  8. 3-burner stove. Would prefer the two-burner since it takes up less counter space.

LIKES
  1. Front storage box. No explanation needed here.
  2. AC works VERY well, even when it was 100+ in Marfa, TX.
  3. After reading about all the frustration with the newer Dometic fridges, I was very nervous that we were going to have a lot of trouble with ours. We have the older 4.3, 2510 model. Even though it takes a long time to cool, it held up quite well in the warmer temps.
  4. Oversized rear storage hatch. It fits my large, portable solar suitcase no problem and plenty room for all my other gear.
  5. Care-free awning. I deploy it every chance I get.
  6. Window above kitchen sink. Adds more light and openness to the inside of the trailer.
  7. Soft-touch vinyl. Even after 6 years, the vinyl has very little to no wear. However, it is sagging in the front of the trailer above the dinette.
  8. Towabiity. Very smooth, even through some rough crosswinds in Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. I never felt like it was imbalanced or uncontrolled.
  9. Overall fit and finish. I spent some time really studying the details, inside and out. It really is a beautiful piece of work with some outstanding craftsmanship. I feel confident using it.

SOME MEMORABLE MOMENTS

USA vs Nigeria match at BC Place. Very fun game and a beautiful arena. I successfully resisted the urge to pay $15 for a 20oz Budweiser.

Eating ice cream and walking through Stanley Park with my wife on my birthday.

Towing through downtown Vancouver on a Saturday afternoon during the FIFA Cup. It took over an hour to go 7 miles, and was my second time towing.

Shucking oysters for the first time while boondocking in a Walmart parking lot, after leaving Pikes Market in Seattle. It was messy, and a chore to keep pieces of oyster and sediment from going down the drain.

Being told I had to pay import duty tax when crossing the border back into the U.S. My paperwork was passed to four different officers, all with a different opinion on how to import a used trailer. Fortunately we made it through without too much hassle and without paying import tax. Registering with Travis County in Texas is a whole ‘nother story.

Getting kicked out of a State Park on the PCH due to over-capacity. An officer directed us to a turnout, up the side of a steep, foggy mountain! I was navigating hairpin turns and I could barely see 10ft in head of me.

Just looking at Crater Lake.

Just looking at the Grand Canyon.

Towing through Sonora Pass in California, brakes smoking down a 26% grade. Pretty scary moment.

Towing through the Smithsonian Back Country Byway. Very rough and steep road. The prize was a beautiful, secluded, free campground with internet access!

BLM Camping right outside of the Grand Canyon, surrounded by (controlled) fires. We were miles away of course, but the smell of smoke was very strong!

Coming within 15ft of a brown bear in Yosemite. Then the roads were closed from over a foot of snowfall!

Attached are the routes we took, there and back. I could share much more, but I have to stop at some point...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_0132.jpg (146.4 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0133.jpg (135.3 KB, 52 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0720.jpg (401.9 KB, 56 views)
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:24 PM   #15
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Great report Sean. I enjoyed reading it.

As for the bathroom fan, I suppose it wouldn't be too hard to add one. Only issue is routing power, and of course cutting a hole in that beautiful roof. I also hear that the plastic stubs on the windows are easily replaced. They tend to get brittle over time. The pedestal bases cracking gives you a perfect excuse to install a Springfield Marine pneumatic pedestal! Best mod I've done so far.

Your thoughts on the gas mileage are similar to what ours were. Truth be told there's no magic bullet for gas mileage while towing. The wind resistance is the biggest factor, as you alluded to in your comments.

All in all, sounds like an EPIC trip, with memories that will last a lifetime. Here's to the next adventure.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:28 PM   #16
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Great report! Sounds as though you are doing very well with the trailer.

Better mileage maybe if you tow slower. That has a big effect.

Not sure if you are saying that you do not have towing mirrors. They are required most places.

Nice photo of your Escape!
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:08 AM   #17
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Terrific report! Lots of great memories and helps us reflect/recall our own trip, although much shorter. And the memorable moments -- nice touch. I can already see the "Do you remember when...?" times coming up.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:28 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floating Cloud View Post
Not sure if you are saying that you do not have towing mirrors. They are required most places.

I don't have extensions, and had no idea they were required in some places. I can see sufficiently without them, I just have to be a little more cautious (which is not a bad thing). Honestly, I just think they would look terrible and cheap on my truck.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Great report Sean. I enjoyed reading it.
The pedestal bases cracking gives you a perfect excuse to install a Springfield Marine pneumatic pedestal! Best mod I've done so far.

Thanks Robert. Just saw they have the black version on sale at Walmart.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Springfiel...4d0705&veh=cse

Although, it's still cheaper for the silver one from Overtons with the 15% discount.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:32 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Daubsy View Post
Towing through Sonora Pass in California, brakes smoking down a 26% grade. Pretty scary moment.
26% is extreme, but still... smoking? So you remember your road speed, the engine speed, and/or what gear where you using to get it?
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