17B build sheet, any advice for a family of 4? - Escape Trailer Owners Community
Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Me | General Topics > Shopping Escape
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-31-2020, 09:16 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Trailer: Escape 17B 2021
Posts: 74
17B build sheet, any advice for a family of 4?

I just put a deposit on a new 17B with the delivery in late Jan. Plenty of time to decide on the build sheet specifics.
First, we are a family of 4 with kids aged 5 and 3. We love camping and have tent camped out of our Toyota Sienna every summer for a few years now, with mostly long weekend trips 2-4 days long. We live in Western WA and car camp mostly in WA/OR but would like to expand the reach and improve the comfort, hence the trailer.
We are thinking of both more frequent shorter WA trips (2-day weekends) during shoulder seasons and longer trips to Montana, Idaho, Northern CA, etc. Planning to take bicycles with us.

Looking for help with the options. I already researched some and here are my thoughts:
$320, Gaucho Bunk, looks like the only must
$48, Foot Flush Toilet
$140, Exterior Access Hatch
$170, Two-Way Hot Water Tank. We like quick daily showers
$140, Exterior Shower, should be good for cleaning kids, their boots, toys, etc.
$0, manual awning better in our rainy/windy weather?
$350, Surge protector, do we really need it for just pumps and fridge? No A/C.
Upper brake lights since we are going to have bicycles in the back?
$24, Toilet Shut Off Valve (for winterizing) - do we need it in WA?
Standard 3 cu. ft. Fridge. Looks like 4 cu ft is going to make the aisle 4" narrower and add 10 lbs to the weight? Consume more energy as well...
$220, Dual 6V Lead-Acid Batteries. No boondocking planned for now but would like to survive a few days in Yellowstone, for example.
No solar solar panel for now. I think we can always add a portable solar panel later?
$200, Vented Trailer Cover, do they have it in green/khaki color?

Thanks!
__________________

dosby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2020, 09:59 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Trailer: 2020 Escape 17B
Posts: 2,022
I'd go with the bigger fridge. Aisle is a bit smaller but fridge sits flush to the wall as opposed to sticking out a bit and the kids are growing, you'll want it. Two way hot water may not be useful; it heats faster on propane so I'm told. Outside shower for sure.
__________________

Bobbie54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2020, 10:10 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Trailer: 2020 Escape 21
Posts: 142
The outside shower has been a must have. Our 4 year old loves getting showers outside just as much as I have showering him inside. We also use it to wash the dog and do dishes in a portable basin.

We really like the exterior propane quick connect for our Weber Q grill and propane fire pit.
cityofdestiny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2020, 11:40 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
MarGen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Trailer: 2019
Posts: 18
Not sure if you're in the Escape Facebook group too? I posted about getting a 19 with 2 kids and got some great advice and tips from a few people that have 17's! If you don't have access, let me know and I'll try to summarize!
__________________
Accidents don't just happen. They must be carelessly planned.
MarGen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 01:17 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
h2owmn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Placerville, California
Trailer: 2018 Escape 17A double dinette
Posts: 1,302
Re: bikes on the back. The weight limit on that bumper is 150 lbs I believe. That would include all bikes and the rack you use. Other options are bikes on the front of your tow vehicle, bikes on the roof of your tow vehicle, kids bikes in the aisle of the trailer. That may interfere with stopping to use the bathroom (something I've been very grateful for while traveling with granddaughters re covid) and to make lunch while traveling. Are you planning to tow with your Sienna? Be sure to carefully check the tow rating IN YOUR OWNER'S MANUAL (Don't believe a salesperson) as well as the gross combined weight rating (here's a chart that explains the various terms) https://www.curtmfg.com/towing-capac...more%20rows%20

Those concerns aside, I'd suggest the springfield pedestal for the ease of making the bed up every night. The double poles and wrestling with the table gets old really fast.

If you can, check out that model by contacting Escape and finding one you can look at. Even a 17 a would be helpful in that regard. And i'm thinking the refrigerator is ok without changing your aisle width. you can always carry a small cooler in the car, which i use for things that don't need very cold refrigeration, for example, fruits and veggies.

Have fun planning--I believe there's another family on the forum who travels with two kids and an 17B. If I recall correctly, they were "full timers" for a period of time.
__________________
--Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced older woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force. --Dorothy Sayers
h2owmn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 06:03 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Trailer: 2006 17b Goucho
Posts: 302
I suggest the manual awing for rain and wind loads, it is nice to angle the awning into the wind and control where the rain drains. We hang damp towels to dry on the manual awning support arms.
A kitchen window for light and ventilation is nice, we use ours a lot.
I have never seen a bathroom window but I suspect it is a good thing to have.
Shelves in the wardrobe are good and if there are no 120V and 12V/USB plugs on the wardrobe, I would add them. We charge our stuff and put a microwave there as a built in is not possible on our trailer.
The built in surge protector was not an option when I bought mine, I use a plug in protector. Many websites say surge protectors have a limited life and may need to replaced after a surge event so I am unsure if I would get one installed.
A storage box would be good for your stuff if your tow vehicle can handle the increased tongue weight. If tongue weight is an issue you could leave one propane tank home, someday you may get another tow vehicle without that limit.
I got a lift kit for increased ground clearance, I couldnít get up my driveway without it and I think it was a good thing a few times when camping in rougher campgrounds. We tow with a SUV so we can get into places where more ground clearance could be handy.
I like my upgraded cushions, the 8 inch plush may be worth it.
A counter extension off the sink is shown as a standard and a counter extension is shown as an option. I donít know where the second extension is mounted so I am unsure if it is worth it. The extension off the sink is good.
Additional exterior lights came in handy, especially when the kids were younger. Now we limit outside lights as there are not as many skinned knees.

Best of luck, have fun.
Thane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 09:15 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
fudge_brownie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Janesville, WI, Wisconsin
Trailer: Escape 19 (sold) Escape 21 2014
Posts: 1,690
I did not see the front storage box. Is that standard now? With four people having more storage is essential. Surge protector can be added later or as I have done, purchase an external unit. I think the foot toilet is one more failure point.
__________________
Paul and Janet Braun
2003 Toyota 4Runner V8 now 2012 Toyota Sequoia V8
Escape 19' 2010 now 2014 Escape 21'
fudge_brownie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 11:08 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Trailer: Escape 17B 2021
Posts: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
I did not see the front storage box. Is that standard now?
It is not, it is a $560 option. I am hoping to fit all that absolutely needs to be outside into the external hatch. Also, I want to try to minimize clutter and see what we end up taking with us and then sort of build a custom box around it I also have a couple of new unused Behlen & country stock tanks in my backyard, I might attach one of those as a storage box later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
Surge protector can be added later or as I have done, purchase an external unit.
I did a quick research and external units are not much cheaper, but would definitely add to the clutter and to the set up time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
I think the foot toilet is one more failure point.
This one is a tough choice indeed. I am afraid the kids would either try to hit the hand flush with their feet or not wash their hands after flushing, so a foot flush seems like a good choice.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane View Post
A kitchen window for light and ventilation is nice, we use ours a lot.
I first thought of passing food through that optional window but the kitchen is not on the awning side. There is also a build-in exhaust fan. Actually, one thing I am not sure about is how bright the interior lights are, are they bright enough to cook.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane View Post
A storage box would be good for your stuff if your tow vehicle can handle the increased tongue weight. If tongue weight is an issue you could leave one propane tank home, someday you may get another tow vehicle without that limit.
I am planning to at least try and tow with our Sienna, so that we could have an option of sleeping in it occasionally but it does have a low tongue weight limit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane View Post
A counter extension off the sink is shown as a standard and a counter extension is shown as an option. I donít know where the second extension is mounted so I am unsure if it is worth it. The extension off the sink is good.
I think having extra space right next to sink is essential, but all other locations are questionable. We could use the main table instead, or a dinette table where another person could help prepare food.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thane View Post
Additional exterior lights came in handy, especially when the kids were younger. Now we limit outside lights as there are not as many skinned knees.
Yes, looks like there are only 2 outside lights on the sides of the trailer and no lights in the front/back. I am thinking of either a wrap-around LED strip or indeed adding extra lights in the front/back.



Quote:
Originally Posted by h2owmn View Post
Re: bikes on the back. The weight limit on that bumper is 150 lbs I believe. That would include all bikes and the rack you use. Other options are bikes on the front of your tow vehicle, bikes on the roof of your tow vehicle, kids bikes in the aisle of the trailer. That may interfere with stopping to use the bathroom (something I've been very grateful for while traveling with granddaughters re covid) and to make lunch while traveling.
We currently have one rack and it weighs ~100lbs with 2 bikes. Kids bikes are in the van but after the switch to 20" it does take a lot of space. I am thinking front of the trailer (for kids bikes) with some custom attachment, one of the reasons to discard an optional front storage box.


Quote:
Originally Posted by h2owmn View Post
Are you planning to tow with your Sienna?
I want to at least try, I understand the weight has to be very minimal then: empty tanks, no bikes, etc and the road needs to be flat.
We do have a SUV rated for 5000 lbs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by h2owmn View Post
I'd suggest the springfield pedestal for the ease of making the bed up every night. The double poles and wrestling with the table gets old really fast.
Aha, I didn't know about it, will definitely add it now if it gets the conversion much easier.


Quote:
Originally Posted by h2owmn View Post
If you can, check out that model by contacting Escape and finding one you can look at.
Sadly, all the nearby owners were afraid of showing their trailer. I did see Escape 19 from the outside on one of the campgrounds, though. It looked very neat.


Quote:
Originally Posted by h2owmn View Post
And i'm thinking the refrigerator is ok without changing your aisle width. you can always carry a small cooler in the car, which i use for things that don't need very cold refrigeration, for example, fruits and veggies.
Right, we use a 55 qt (~2 cu ft) cooler now and pack it tight for the long weekends, so we know 3 cu ft fridge should be enough for 3-4 days. All drinks, fruits and veggies could still go to that cooler.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MarGen View Post
Not sure if you're in the Escape Facebook group too? I posted about getting a 19 with 2 kids and got some great advice and tips from a few people that have 17's! If you don't have access, let me know and I'll try to summarize!
Just asked to join the group!


Quote:
Originally Posted by cityofdestiny View Post
We really like the exterior propane quick connect for our Weber Q grill and propane fire pit.
That is something I am not sure about. I read about folks tripping on the long hose, and the pressure differences, etc.
I am thinking of attaching some split device on one of the propane tanks so I could use our camp stove and grill with regular pressure and still feed propane to the trailer system.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbie54 View Post
Two way hot water may not be useful; it heats faster on propane so I'm told.
Ah, so it would be, like, turn the propane heater on, wait 10-20 min, then 2-4 of us can quickly shower non-stop, but with electric, it would be like, keep the heater turned on all the time, but wait 20-30 min between the showers so the heater can keep up?
(I already know that using solar or batteries to heat up water for showering is not an option, the electric heater needs to be hoooked up)
dosby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 11:33 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Trailer: 2020 Escape 17B
Posts: 2,022
No direct experience but I've been told the hot water is slow on electric.

When is your build sheet due? I'll have my 17b (S. Whidbey) this month and there are several times you could safely view it and still give me a week or more before I wanted to use it. The last weekend in Sept would work well.
Bobbie54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 11:42 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
h2owmn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Placerville, California
Trailer: 2018 Escape 17A double dinette
Posts: 1,302
If you are tenters you may already have a system. This may be tangentially related but it has really helped me keep things organized and areas clear. Everybody's clothes are in an individual duffle in the vehicle. Before bed the next day's clothes are selected and brought into the trailer. Each kid has a large drawstring mesh bag (the ones i have are for scuba gear, i think) and in the morning, into the bag goes sleeping bag, pillow, any animals, and pjs. the bags can be stowed at the end of the bed or if accessible, under a bench seat.
__________________
--Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced older woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force. --Dorothy Sayers
h2owmn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 01:22 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Trailer: Escape 17B 2021
Posts: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbie54 View Post
When is your build sheet due? I'll have my 17b (S. Whidbey) this month and there are several times you could safely view it and still give me a week or more before I wanted to use it. The last weekend in Sept would work well.
Oh well, 2 hr drive and we are already too busy with jobs and kindergarten...
Our build sheet is due late October, I think what I will do now is schedule a remote video walk-through with the German guy at Escape, he is 6' and slender build just like me, to better understand the dimensions.
I did look at various trailers in person in the summer but then made a decision towards Escape 17B and now just need to finalize options.
dosby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 01:29 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B 2020 Toyota Highlander XLE
Posts: 15,914
I'd recommend a 19'.
__________________
What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 01:34 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Whidbey Island, Washington
Trailer: 2020 Escape 17B
Posts: 2,022
Quote:
Originally Posted by dosby View Post
Oh well, 2 hr drive and we are already too busy with jobs and kindergarten...
Our build sheet is due late October, I think what I will do now is schedule a remote video walk-through with the German guy at Escape, he is 6' and slender build just like me, to better understand the dimensions.
I did look at various trailers in person in the summer but then made a decision towards Escape 17B and now just need to finalize options.
Sounds good but if you change your mind just let me know. The video walk-through is very useful.
Bobbie54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 01:43 PM   #14
Junior Member
 
MarGen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Trailer: 2019
Posts: 18
Regarding storage of 4 bikes, yes, you can put 2 on the back and I saw an awesome setup from someone on the Facebook page for a bike rack that you can install on the front of the trailer even with a storage box. It was called the Jack It bike rack. If you search for that post, he had a photo.
__________________
Accidents don't just happen. They must be carelessly planned.
MarGen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 02:22 PM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Trailer: Escape 17B 2021
Posts: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarGen View Post
Regarding storage of 4 bikes, yes, you can put 2 on the back and I saw an awesome setup from someone on the Facebook page for a bike rack that you can install on the front of the trailer even with a storage box. It was called the Jack It bike rack. If you search for that post, he had a photo.
Found it, yes, thanks!
The setup looks a bit up high to me
I was thinking of just using a couple of bolts to attach our Swagman rack where the storage box would have been.
Pics attached.
Attached Images
File Type: png Screen Shot 2020-09-01 at 12.15.37 PM.png (386.5 KB, 13 views)
File Type: png Screen Shot 2020-09-01 at 12.15.10 PM.png (203.7 KB, 7 views)
dosby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 02:30 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Trailer: 2020 Escape 21
Posts: 142
I'd second the opinion about the storage box. We try to keep it full of lightweight items when towing, but it serves as a good rock protector and a good general storage area when camped.

We opted for the Springfield pedestal and like it. We don't forsee a need for removing the table and it speeds the process for converting the dinette to bed and reduces the amount of table hardware rolling around in trailer. However, we do most of our sitting and cooking outside if the weather is decent and tend to leave the dinette in bed configuration unless the weather is bad. It would also be nice to get the table entirely out of the way if working under the dinette. I'd probably opt for it if we were ordering it again, but I don't regard it as absolutely necessary.

We got the foot flush because we have a small child and it has proven very usable for him.
cityofdestiny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 03:15 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Nindy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Liberty, Missouri
Trailer: 2015 Escape 17B "L'Escaboose"
Posts: 304
Have they changed the table leg(s) in the 17B to pedestals? Mine (2015) has the one fold-up leg and it doesn't get any quicker or easier than that! Sturdy too and leaves the whole area underneath to store things at night if you need to. That's where my boots might get thrown or there might be a dog under there in a thunderstorm.

My 7-gallon water jugs ride underneath perfectly with the table stored down for the road. You may want to think about hauling extra water if you like that many showers! Or you may already know your water needs while camping.

The gaucho bunk is awesome. I leave mine in that configuration all the time now. The dogs sleep underneath and I use the top bunk for cameras, books, etc.

I don't use my water heater on electric anymore since the switch burned out once and it's much easier to just turn it on for propane from the inside anyway and then I turn it off once I get as much hot water as I need. Doesn't take but a few minutes. The hot water stays hot a long time.
IMG_1072.jpg

IMG_1071a.jpg
IMG_1073.jpg
Nindy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 03:18 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Boulder, Colorado
Trailer: 2016 19
Posts: 102
I wouldn't go without the storage box, exterior hatch, or rooftop solar/dual 6V batteries. With solar, the only time we usually plug in is to cool the fridge before a trip. Plenty of power even in shoulder seasons.

I would skip the two-way water heater, propane is simple and works well.

For bikes, we do two on the back of the trailer and two on the roof of the tow vehicle. This also gives us the option of swapping the hitch rack to the tow vehicle when camped and driving to trailheads with all four bikes.
canyonrider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 03:32 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Olympia wa, Washington
Trailer: 5.0TA 2017
Posts: 2,091
i second the storage box i kept dirty/wet stuff in it - sewer hose attachments, electrical cord, water hose, leveling stuff, outdoor rug- really helpful. I also use the swag on the back for bikes. i love having the outdoor shower on the passenger side didn't like it on the driver side using it right by the sewer hook up /elect hook up .
Fox hunt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2020, 04:33 PM   #20
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Trailer: Escape 17B 2021
Posts: 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by canyonrider View Post
For bikes, we do two on the back of the trailer and two on the roof of the tow vehicle. This also gives us the option of swapping the hitch rack to the tow vehicle when camped and driving to trailheads with all four bikes.
That is a great point! I am planning to put kayaks on the roof, though.
Another thought is just to go with something like Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack which is lightweight (20 lbs) and can support 4 bikes up to 140 lbs. Flimsy, yes, but all 4 would be in the back of the trailer or car and sit higher than our Swagman. People report a lot of swaying and scrubbing but nothing a good tie-down would not fix, spending extra 5 min for a long trip.
Now we can easily fit 4 bikes in our Sienna for local trips, that is why I am also trying to keep an option of towing with Sienna by limiting the trailer dry weight.
Attached Images
File Type: png Screen Shot 2020-09-01 at 2.32.49 PM.png (249.9 KB, 13 views)
__________________

dosby 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 12:28 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.
×