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Old 01-05-2016, 01:32 AM   #1
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Question few (ok 13) questions about 21’ Escape (2017) build sheet

Hi all

We own a 17’ Casita, but will be ordering a 21’ Escape as soon as we can.

I have read many of the threads here, and have emailed a few times with Escape…. but I still have a few questions……

one) I am probably going to spend the $200 so the water heater can be both LP and 120v. Reasons are: backup if the gas won’t light….. (if we have 120v) and when 120v is an option I am ok with leaving the heater on unattended if it is 120v (but not gas)
Question: other than $200, are there any DOWNSIDES to having it be LP and 120v?

two) tempted to get the ($160) low pressure gas connection option… however most grilles need high pressure. Anyone recommend a small, folding (stow under the permanent bed) gas grill that has a removable regulator so it would run on a low pressure LP line?

three) do most people get the WARM LED lights (as opposed to the cool white) I am strongly leaning towards the WARM…. as the cool is just so cold looking.

four) other than $200, any downsides for the optional opening bathroom window? We use the Casitas a LOT as it allows fresh air coming in, even if it rains…. no worries if it is open and it rains at night.

five) Can anyone convince me to spend $60 to get the foot flush option on the toilet? I checked out an Escape with the stock side flush handle and i thought it was just fine.

six) Anyone have the $400 Back Up camera option? The Tadi Brothers Back-Up Camera.
My wife wants it to look out for tailgaters, when driving (we have found that a couple little taps on the brakes makes a tailgater back off REAL fast)
and i want it for a little help backing up. (I always do a walk around, plus my wife spots, but a back up camera would make it easier for me to SEE my wife and understand what to do.... she is very soft spoken and often doesn't yell instructions loudly enough)
People happy with it?

seven) The Casita is nice with it’s “fur” on the interior walls … it NEVER condensates.
I am very tempted to get the extra insulation option (unsure of cost) but NOT the thicker (heavy) windows….
as we do boon-dock in a wide variety of temperatures. I really dont want condensation. Thoughts?
The extra insulation would make the interior slightly quieter, slightly less susceptible to outside sound, and less chance of condensation. (physics are physics)

eight) I prefer to NOT tow while the fridge is using LP. (I know the debate, no need to debate this issue here, thanks) :-)
We will tow it with a big SUV. (again… I have done the research…. it is all good…. no need to debate our tug here)

It is my understanding that if we have the solar panel on the roof option, ($850) Plus the dual 6v batteries ($275) then the 21’ fridge could be run on 12v while under tow, correct?

The roof solar option + dual 6v batteries would mean that we’d never have to bring our generator, as far as I see it. Correct? (Fridge and furnace can both run on LP, AFAIK)

nine) What are people using to supply Escape (during the build) with to upgrade the holding tank sensors? I know an old favorite of sensor has been discontinued, and is very hard to find to buy……
What do people think of Horst Miracle Probes?
Order Horst Miracle Probes - Buy Horst Miracle Probes here

ten) We do NOT like the U dinette option… there are only 3 of us camping. We prefer the stock dinette.

My notes from a few months ago tell me ”….(get the) hinged dinette table option ; as the dinnette would often be left as a bed… so not having to store the loose pedestals and not having the bases that are attached to the floor”
Not sure how that would differ from the stock 21’ dinette…. and what the cost is… and how that would work….. or if it is even a real option for me, with a 21’ (?)

eleven) At night we tend to use headlamps. Do I want to get an optional outside light over the front storage box?

Would be be useful to keep idiots from hitting our Escape, when we are unhooked and not there? (leave it on while we are gone, at night)

twelve) Does an electric bathroom vent come as stock?

thirteen) The wife wants the $150 “Storage Cubby Cabinet Bins for Outside Bathroom Door” for toiletries. Any downside?

Thanks!
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:54 AM   #2
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As for the water heater, I have gas only. I turn it on for about 20 minutes or so for hot water in the morning and shut it off. Stays hot for hours. After supper, I'll turn it on for 20 minutes to do dishes. If I'm planning to take a shower, turn it on for 20 minutes. There is no need to leave it on all day. If you mostly camp with hook-ups, you will save on propane by running on electric.

Rear view camera. What is your wife going to do if she spots a tailgater? Get really tense? For backing, I recommend getting out of the vehicle and doing a walk around, looking for obstructions and using a spotter. You should have a discussion with your spotter to determine what signal means what. I'm still working on that one.

As for LEDs, I have cool white over the kitchen counter and warm white everywhere else.
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Old 01-05-2016, 02:06 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
... Rear view camera. What is your wife going to do if she spots a tailgater? Get really tense? For backing, I recommend getting out of the vehicle and doing a walk around, looking for obstructions and using a spotter. You should have a discussion with your spotter to determine what signal means what. I'm still working on that one.....
Good points... I edited my original post to clarify.

thanks.
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Old 01-05-2016, 04:36 AM   #4
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We have a 21 with many of the options you discuss.
As you are considering these options, go ahead and do the US/CAN dollar conversion. It makes buying options so much easier to accept when you see the prices in USD.

1) We have the dual water heater. Some have said we will never make back the additional price by the propane we'll save. Probably true, but I just like using electricity that I've paid for at those sites. Only downside is the switch to turn on the electric on mine is accessed from outside, while the propane is inside.
2) Don't have the gas external gas connection, but don't feel that I've missed it, yet.
3)For me warm LEDs mean acceptable LEDs, cool means not acceptable.
4)Have the bath window--no debate here, and think of it as $120 or whatever.
5)We have the hand flush, and it's been fine.
6)I have that brand of back-up camera for hitching up, since the tow vehicle we've used thus far has not had one. New tow does have its own camera, so I might try using the currently unattached camera on the back of the trailer soon. It's pretty much a fish eye/wide angle, so not sure how useful it will be except for close work like hitching.
7) We have the thermal windows and extra insulation. We have to keep windows slightly open to avoid condensation in cold weather. When people ask how does ours compare to one without, there's no way for us to know. Unless someone has had one of each in exactly the same weather and number of people in the trailer, there'd be just guessing involved. If I ordered another one, I'd get all the insulation and thermal windows I could get.
8)We have towed using solar and the twin 6s. It works fairly well. We monitor fridge temps remotely from the tow vehicle. If fridge temps creep up, we switch to propane. My research is that propane or 120v provides more cooling than 12v, and my experience seems to verify this. We have the "newer" two door dometic. Another concern--if we are going to be without power, I switch to propane in the early afternoon, to let the solar top up the batteries before camping. Solar will "fill" the batteries each day thereafter, even in partial shade, so long as you don't use the fridge on 12v while boondocking. To me this is a fun exercise, others couldn't be bothered.
9)Better sensors would be nice. We have to constantly discuss the fact that one light (one third) means between 10 gallons and 19 gallons. Two lights could be 20 to 29 gallons, etc.
10) We have the standard dinette and like it. Am considering the single pedestal with four-way slide, if we use the bed more. It's a pain to lower and then reinstall the big table, but I like the big table.
11)Got one additional exterior light on the driver side, and never use it. Probably wouldn't get the front one. We try not to arrive after dark, and my thinking was that is was better not to have the whole on the windy side.
12) Pretty sure the bath power vent is standard. If not, get one.
13) My wife loves the cubbies, especially for $100 USD.

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Old 01-05-2016, 06:49 AM   #5
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Probably would have been better off breaking this up some, tough to answer them all.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post

one) You can modify the outside electric switch so it is inside, do a search to find more info on it.

two) I have the external gas line but only use it for the fire ring, others have modified their stove, maybe they'll drop a note on it.

three) Not an option when I got mine.

four) other than $200, any downsides for the optional opening bathroom window? Nope

five) Can anyone convince me to spend $60 to get the foot flush option on the toilet? I checked out an Escape with the stock side flush handle and i thought it was just fine. Nope, personal choice. Many threads on it here

seven)
I really dont want condensation. Thoughts? Then get both and dang the extra weight.

eight) It is my understanding that if we have the solar panel on the roof option, ($850) Plus the dual 6v batteries ($275) then the 21’ fridge could be run on 12v while under tow, correct?
While I don't know your tow, with mine, running on battery without dropping battery charge would mean I have to have a sunny day and only travel when the sun is high in the sky. When I've done 8 hours or so on the road on a sunny summer day leaving around 7am, I'm down about 20 amps by the time I pull off the road. Output of the panel is down around 1 amp real early in the morning. I run on LP on cloudy days, battery on sunny. Whether or not I'll have hookups at the end of the day comes into play too.

The roof solar option + dual 6v batteries would mean that we’d never have to bring our generator, as far as I see it. Correct? (Fridge and furnace can both run on LP, AFAIK) I have not needed to bring mine, about 4 months camping in the fall. If I were doing some cold weather boondocking with the sun lower in the sky, I probably would take it.

nine) What are people using to supply Escape (during the build) with to upgrade the holding tank sensors?
Horst is what I would use, I forgot to do so and am sorry I did. Most don't care.

eleven) At night we tend to use headlamps. Do I want to get an optional outside light over the front storage box?

Would be be useful to keep idiots from hitting our Escape, when we are unhooked and not there? (leave it on while we are gone, at night)

No offense but this sounds a bit silly to me, but to each their own.

twelve) Does an electric bathroom vent come as stock? Yes

Thanks!
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Old 01-05-2016, 06:58 AM   #6
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1. Dual is an option I had, and will get again. 120V is quieter, and does not use your propane up either.

2. I love the quick convenience of having the low pressure quick connect. Will definitely be getting one or two of them again.

3. Cool for task areas, warm for entertaining/eating areas is my preference.

4. I am likely going to get the opening window for the same reasons.

5. I fail to see the advantage of the foot flush, and we are used to the regular flush, so will likely go that way.

6. For myself, I would not consider this option. I do not agree with most of the reasons often touted for using one. I would NEVER rely on it for use driving, and having reversed a trailer thousands of times successfully without one, see no good purpose there. Anyone helping you reverse should be in direct line of site of the drivers side mirror, if at all possible. Hand signals should be used, not voice ones.

7. As mentioned before, if I only got one option on my trailer, it would likely be the extra insulation and dual glazed windows. Quieter, warmer/cooler, less condensation.

8. Pretty much propane only for the fridge when towing, though never had solar before, and will on the 5.0. Dual 6V I did have, and loved it. In my opinion, there is really no need for a genset if you have the solar.

9. Horst probes are commonly used, and I bought some a few months back when on sale. However, I really had no problems before with the stock ones.

10. There are lots of appealing options to not having the U-shaped dinette. Mostly for the nice large size. I am swaying over to the U-shaped one though. If you were to use it as a bed often, a solution easier to use than the stock two pedestals would be preferred.

11. This would be totally up to you. We always have headlamps, and they certainly would do the trick. Much more task oriented too. But, the light is not that expensive, and might be nice those times when your headlamp is not handy. I really, really dislike when people leave lights blaring on the outside of the trailer when they are not using them.

12. I believe it does now.

13. I have not used these cubby holes, so really don't know, but I would keep all toiletries in the bath or a closed cabinet somewhere anyway. The cubbies would certainly be handy for other things though.
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:50 AM   #7
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We travel with three people and have the need to lower and raise the table each day of travel. On our 19 we had the traditional two pedestal table and it was a killer. It was one reason for the upgrade to the 21 with the hinged table. Ease of use is dramatic with the hinge but there are some drawbacks. First the table looses the ability to slide, not a big deal unless the size of the person sitting down dictates more room. Second the table is a bit shorter. This differential reduces the surface area for eating and makes the bed smaller when lowered. For this reason, Escape provides a filler board that puts the bed back to full size. We do not even carry the filler board as with a single person on the bed/table there is more than enough space.

The cubbies are an excellent place to organize small items, more important when there are three people travelling. They also keep things off the counter space above the drawers.

With an electric bathroom fan standard I fail to see the value of an opening window.

The insulation only makes sense if you are in climate extremes and the trailer is still very functional without insulation in those extremes.

The best way to get the lighting you want is to install your own LED lights. My factory installed are a bit on the bright side. My 19 was purchased before LED's were an option and I installed LED's from SuperBrightLEDs. I ordered a couple of samples to test the K value before doing all. This gives you the option to use different brightness in different areas and the install is minutes. If you select the Escape LED package I do not believe the outside lights are LED, still incandescent.
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:16 AM   #8
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We do not have the rear view camera and don't miss it. I actually like not knowing about the tailgaters behind me. As for backing into a site, we bought walkie talkies for $25 and they work great. We walk the site together then back in using the radios. No shouting and no confusion on signals. Directions are always "driver side" and "passenger side" instead of left/right because that can get really confusing based upon ones orientation.
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Old 01-05-2016, 08:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
First the table looses the ability to slide..... Second the table is a bit shorter.
This can be remedied with the right hardware.

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Old 01-05-2016, 08:38 AM   #10
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My Build Sheet is complete, but I found this discussion very interesting and informative. Thanks to all for your thorough explanations.
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Old 01-05-2016, 09:52 AM   #11
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Holy cow THANKS to each and every one of you for the wonderful, thoughtful posts. I really appreciate it!

Lots for me to think about.
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:29 AM   #12
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I have some input for a few of these:

4) I haven't had any problems with the bathroom window.

6) Regarding the backup camera, I keep going back and forth on this. Initially I didn't think it was necessary, but on my long trip last year I ended up in some oddly-configured campsites that were difficult to back into (and in some cases, get out of). A backup camera would have been useful then. But I am traveling alone.

7) I have the extra insulation and double-paned windows, and even with these options my furnace seems to run a lot in cold weather. I'd go for the insulation at least.

8) You can tow with the fridge on 12V and initially I tried to do this. But that fridge draws 14 amps at 12V, and during a day of towing it will draw down the batteries even with the sun on the solar panel and the tow vehicle's alternator charging the batteries. It's not a big deal in the summer, but if you're towing in the fall or early spring and are relying on rooftop solar power after you set up camp, your batteries may never recover from being drained on your travel day. I finally gave up and started using propane when on the road.
With the fridge on propane, your solar panel + six-volt batteries should be enough while camping.

12) The bathroom vent is stock. It is useful combined with the bathroom window when you want to get some of the moisture out of the bathroom without interfering with air circulation in the rest of the trailer.
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Old 01-05-2016, 10:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post

five) Can anyone convince me to spend $60 to get the foot flush option on the toilet? I checked out an Escape with the stock side flush handle and i thought it was just fine.

six) Anyone have the $400 Back Up camera option? The Tadi Brothers Back-Up Camera.
My wife wants it to look out for tailgaters, when driving (we have found that a couple little taps on the brakes makes a tailgater back off REAL fast) and i want it for a little help backing up. (I always do a walk around, plus my wife spots, but a back up camera would make it easier for me to SEE my wife and understand what to do.... she is very soft spoken and often doesn't yell instructions loudly enough)
People happy with it?

eleven) At night we tend to use headlamps. Do I want to get an optional outside light over the front storage box?

Would be be useful to keep idiots from hitting our Escape, when we are unhooked and not there? (leave it on while we are gone, at night)

thirteen) The wife wants the $150 “Storage Cubby Cabinet Bins for Outside Bathroom Door” for toiletries. Any downside?
While we don't own a trailer (yet!), I can give you my thoughts on your questions.

5.) Why worry about being convinced on the foot flush toilet if the standard one is fine by you? We're getting the foot flush as I don't want to bend over all the time for flushing, but that's me. You're not me (good thing! HA!).

6.) It's called a "back up camera", not "rear view camera" for a reason. Big difference there. We're getting it as there will be many times I'll be using the trailer by myself. If it's the two of you using it all the time, then go with the walky talkies someone else mentioned (great idea, by the way and that way you're not annoying others with the yelled instructions).

Another way to look at the camera option - if one of you keels over and won't be there, will the other person use the trailer on their own? If so, the back up camera will be very helpful. It's done at the factory, which is easier than installing it later on.

11.) Are you asking if people will hit your trailer when your tow is gone? With their own vehicle? Or with their fists? It might be the second if they get too annoyed by the light being left on all the time and it shines in their eyes. It's a white trailer - I imagine it would be hard to miss seeing if someone was trying to park in your spot by mistake. If for another reason, you've been in some wild campsites!

13.) We're not getting the cubbies, either next to the bathroom or over the bed. Neither of us liked the looks of 'em and it gave a more cluttered look (to us). Instead we're getting an extended cabinet over the drawer unit. Yeah, it's more money, but it won't look as cluttered inside with the cubbies showing what all is in there. This way stuff can be stashed on the shelves or in the drawers.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:22 AM   #14
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Oh, I forgot to comment on the cubbies (Q.13)-- I have the ones near the bathroom door and I like them. Most of the time they are covered by the curtain that slides in front of the trailer door, so you don't see the contents. In fact, initially this was a problem-- when I drove out to pick up my trailer I lost some prescription drugs. I called a couple of the hotels I had stayed in on the way out to see if I had left them behind, but no luck. Turns out I had put the medicine in the cubbies then pulled the curtain over them, making me forget the cubbies were there. I guess that's the kind of mistake you only make once.
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:40 AM   #15
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I don't have a 21, but travel with a 17, so I can speak to a couple of your points.

Back Up Camera - I have one (according to Reace, the first that Escape installed in a trailer). Mine is wired, and since I travel solo, extremely useful. I can switch between the RAV4 camera & the trailer camera, either can be on at any time, and the trailer camera serves as a close quarters rear view mirror. The 5" monitor sits on the extreme left hand side of the dashboard in line with the outside rear view mirrors so switching view between them is not distracting.

A couple of times I've had to back up at a gas station or store, and without it I would not be able to tell if someone had just stepped behind the trailer (again, I travel solo). It is not all that useful backing into a campsite - the view is too wide to be accurate. I prefer getting out & looking.

Running the refrigerator on 12V - A constant 14 amp draw will not be replaced by a single 150 watt solar panel and the typical charge line on most tow vehicles unless you only make short drives between 10:00 & 2:00 on summer days. While the food may stay cold, your batteries will not be full by the end of the day. Whether that is a problem will depend on your overnight usage. Don't depend on the built in battery monitor lights or the solar controller for the state of charge of your batteries - both are terribly over optimistic. I have a Trimetric battery monitor, and the GoPower controller will often tell me I'm at 100% when the more accurate battery monitor shows I'm down by as much as 30 amp hours.

Solar & Dual 6V Batteries - I have both, starting out with a single 95 watt panel. My refrigerator does not have a 12V option, but I do have a 1000 watt inverter & like to make a pot of coffee each morning. Between toasting an English Muffin, making a pot of coffee, recharging lots of batteries, cell phone amp & power hungry laptop, I usually go through 30 - 40 amp hours per day.

As long as I camp in the summer with high angle sun, I have had no problem keeping the batteries in good shape. Even camping in fairly shady sites (Apgar in Glacier National Park for 3 days) I rarely end up down to 85% by the end of the day.

Winter is a different story. Dry camping with the low angle sun & shorter daylight hours proved to be too much for the 95 Watt panel. I purchased a 160 watt portable panel from Solar Blvd & combined with the rooftop panel & being able to aim it at the sun, solved the winter problem.

To avoid having to set up the portable panel, for a trip to Alaska this summer, I added a 100 watt rooftop panel. The combination worked well in June & July with the long days even with the lower angle sun & I didn't need the portable panel.

I'm currently in Quartzsite, AZ on the 45th day of dry camping, and while there isn't any shade, the nights have been very cold, requiring lots of furnace time. I'm probably doing closer to 40 - 50 amp hours per day, and as long as there is full sun, the rooftop panels plus the portable do OK. Even with a total of 355 watts, multiple cloudy days will leave the batteries less than full by the end of the day.

I guess what I'm trying to say is the solar panel will be a big help in keeping your batteries charged, however is is fairly easy to take out more than it can replace. Unless you keep track of what you use, even with additional panels, poor solar conditions can leave you with a deficit.

Sorry to be so long winded, but hope this helps...
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:42 AM   #16
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Oh, I forgot to comment on the cubbies (Q.13)-- I have the ones near the bathroom door and I like them. Most of the time they are covered by the curtain that slides in front of the trailer door, so you don't see the contents. In fact, initially this was a problem-- when I drove out to pick up my trailer I lost some prescription drugs. I called a couple of the hotels I had stayed in on the way out to see if I had left them behind, but no luck. Turns out I had put the medicine in the cubbies then pulled the curtain over them, making me forget the cubbies were there. I guess that's the kind of mistake you only make once.
Hi: Mike Lewis... "Out of sight out of mind" Eh? I find the more I age the more shrouded by a curtain I am. Alf
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:50 AM   #17
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I don't have a 21, but travel with a 17, so I can speak to a couple of your points.

Back Up Camera - I have one (according to Reace, the first that Escape installed in a trailer). Mine is wired, and since I travel solo, extremely useful. I can switch between the RAV4 camera & the trailer camera, either can be on at any time, and the trailer camera serves as a close quarters rear view mirror. The 5" monitor sits on the extreme left hand side of the dashboard in line with the outside rear view mirrors so switching view between them is not distracting.

A couple of times I've had to back up at a gas station or store, and without it I would not be able to tell if someone had just stepped behind the trailer (again, I travel solo). It is not all that useful backing into a campsite - the view is too wide to be accurate. I prefer getting out & looking.

Running the refrigerator on 12V - A constant 14 amp draw will not be replaced by a single 150 watt solar panel and the typical charge line on most tow vehicles unless you only make short drives between 10:00 & 2:00 on summer days. While the food may stay cold, your batteries will not be full by the end of the day. Whether that is a problem will depend on your overnight usage. Don't depend on the built in battery monitor lights or the solar controller for the state of charge of your batteries - both are terribly over optimistic. I have a Trimetric battery monitor, and the GoPower controller will often tell me I'm at 100% when the more accurate battery monitor shows I'm down by as much as 30 amp hours.

Solar & Dual 6V Batteries - I have both, starting out with a single 95 watt panel. My refrigerator does not have a 12V option, but I do have a 1000 watt inverter & like to make a pot of coffee each morning. Between toasting an English Muffin, making a pot of coffee, recharging lots of batteries, cell phone amp & power hungry laptop, I usually go through 30 - 40 amp hours per day.

As long as I camp in the summer with high angle sun, I have had no problem keeping the batteries in good shape. Even camping in fairly shady sites (Apgar in Glacier National Park for 3 days) I rarely end up down to 85% by the end of the day.

Winter is a different story. Dry camping with the low angle sun & shorter daylight hours proved to be too much for the 95 Watt panel. I purchased a 160 watt portable panel from Solar Blvd & combined with the rooftop panel & being able to aim it at the sun, solved the winter problem.

To avoid having to set up the portable panel, for a trip to Alaska this summer, I added a 100 watt rooftop panel. The combination worked well in June & July with the long days even with the lower angle sun & I didn't need the portable panel.

I'm currently in Quartzsite, AZ on the 45th day of dry camping, and while there isn't any shade, the nights have been very cold, requiring lots of furnace time. I'm probably doing closer to 40 - 50 amp hours per day, and as long as there is full sun, the rooftop panels plus the portable do OK. Even with a total of 355 watts, multiple cloudy days will leave the batteries less than full by the end of the day.

I guess what I'm trying to say is the solar panel will be a big help in keeping your batteries charged, however is is fairly easy to take out more than it can replace. Unless you keep track of what you use, even with additional panels, poor solar conditions can leave you with a deficit.

Sorry to be so long winded, but hope this helps...
Thanks Jon!! Really specific info, beautifully written up. Love every word.

And thanks again to everyone who keeps posting... all great thoughts.

I'm realizing that I MAY go out in the Escape without my wife.... so for all the reasons Jon mentions above the back up camera would be handy, on occasion.

The walkie talkie idea is also great. (posts above)

and yes... we have (and will) camp in some pretty unusual spots, (with permission) that are not regular campsites.

and yes I promise to not leave any exterior lights blasting away, unattended, that would disturb others.

I forget the exact number..... (100 lbs?) ... one reason to not get the double paned glass was extra weight.... however there are other ways to save on weight. I'm just being cautious on weight, overall, as our tug is (and will likely always be) a big SUV, not a pickup.
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Old 01-05-2016, 12:07 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=Losangeles;123235]Hi all


Question: other than $200, are there any DOWNSIDES to having it be LP and 120v?

* No downsides and I do use it if the site has power.

three) do most people get the WARM LED lights (as opposed to the cool white) I am strongly leaning towards the WARM…. as the cool is just so cold looking.

* Cool white makes me feel like I'm living in a fridge.

four) other than $200, any downsides for the optional opening bathroom window? We use the Casitas a LOT as it allows fresh air coming in, even if it rains…. no worries if it is open and it rains at night.

* If there's one option I wouldn't ever omit on any RV, it's the opening bathroom window.

five) Can anyone convince me to spend $60 to get the foot flush option on the toilet? I checked out an Escape with the stock side flush handle and i thought it was just fine.

* Yup, works just fine, for me, it's just that momentary unpleasantness leaning down to flush the contents. Would get foot flush in future.

six) Anyone have the $400 Back Up camera option? The Tadi Brothers Back-Up Camera.
My wife wants it to look out for tailgaters, when driving (we have found that a couple little taps on the brakes makes a tailgater back off REAL fast)
and i want it for a little help backing up. (I always do a walk around, plus my wife spots, but a back up camera would make it easier for me to SEE my wife and understand what to do.... she is very soft spoken and often doesn't yell instructions loudly enough)
People happy with it?

* I have a hard wire camera both on the back of the tug and the trailer. Not as useful as I first hoped but every once in a while it's handy.

seven) The Casita is nice with it’s “fur” on the interior walls … it NEVER condensates.
I am very tempted to get the extra insulation option (unsure of cost) but NOT the thicker (heavy) windows….
as we do boon-dock in a wide variety of temperatures. I really dont want condensation. Thoughts?
The extra insulation would make the interior slightly quieter, slightly less susceptible to outside sound, and less chance of condensation. (physics are physics)

* Negative, spend a night in an Escape with dual pane windows. The front window on the 19 is single glazed because of the exterior window guard. See the amount of condensation on it compared to the other double glazed windows. Also we feel the double glazed windows are quieter than our single glazed Scamp windows were.

eight) I prefer to NOT tow while the fridge is using LP. (I know the debate, no need to debate this issue here, thanks) :-)
It is my understanding that if we have the solar panel on the roof option, ($850) Plus the dual 6v batteries ($275) then the 21’ fridge could be run on 12v while under tow, correct?

* OK, no debate although we'd towed for tens of thousands of miles with it on. My tug alternator seems pretty healthy and that with the solar make towing with 12 volt pretty much a break even situation.

The roof solar option + dual 6v batteries would mean that we’d never have to bring our generator, as far as I see it. Correct? (Fridge and furnace can both run on LP, AFAIK)

* Never's a long time but many folks get by without a generator


ten) We do NOT like the U dinette option… there are only 3 of us camping. We prefer the stock dinette.

* Me too.

My notes from a few months ago tell me ”….(get the) hinged dinette table option ; as the dinnette would often be left as a bed… so not having to store the loose pedestals and not having the bases that are attached to the floor”
Not sure how that would differ from the stock 21’ dinette…. and what the cost is… and how that would work….. or if it is even a real option for me, with a 21’

* Hydraulic pedestal, only way to fly

eleven) At night we tend to use headlamps. Do I want to get an optional outside light over the front storage box?

* I like all round lights for security but if you want anti-collision lighting just jumper the 7 pin connector or wire an inside switch as I have done. Then you can leave the trailer running lights on for good visibility.



Ron
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Old 01-05-2016, 01:21 PM   #19
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My usual advice is to put it all on during the initial build as it is difficult or expensive to add a lot of these options later. And I guess you really appreciate what you get and don't miss what you don't have. One thing we haven't used yet is the exterior gas line. We bought a Weber grill and after using it decided to stick with the little propane bottles as we take it out to our deck to grill. But we are getting one of those gas fire pits, so will be using it for that. We like the cubbies. It was one of the first things that Cathy wanted when she saw them. The u-shaped dinette was one of the hardest and back and forth decisions we made. Finally went with it as we like the finished look in the rear, but also there is just the two of us. A hydraulic pedestal is one major change coming up. I appreciate the exterior light on the driver's side as have been in the dark more than once. A light over the storage box would be handy for after dark but I wouldn't leave it on. Good luck with your choices and it is a lot to think about. I breathed a big sigh of relief when the build sheet went in. And if you factor in the exchange rate as it stands today, it puts all of these options on sale.

We looked at the Casitas but decided that we wanted a little more room. And at 6' the extra headroom is really appreciated. Loren
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Old 01-05-2016, 02:19 PM   #20
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Location: Arvada, Colorado
Trailer: 2015 E'21 - 'Velocity'. Tow: Toyota Tacoma V6, 4X4, manual.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Losangeles View Post

eight) I prefer to NOT tow while the fridge is using LP. (I know the debate, no need to debate this issue here, thanks) :-)
We will tow it with a big SUV. (again… I have done the research…. it is all good…. no need to debate our tug here)

It is my understanding that if we have the solar panel on the roof option, ($850) Plus the dual 6v batteries ($275) then the 21’ fridge could be run on 12v while under tow, correct?

The roof solar option + dual 6v batteries would mean that we’d never have to bring our generator, as far as I see it. Correct? (Fridge and furnace can both run on LP, AFAIK)

Thanks!
I tried an experiment one day...
Connect the truck, running at fast idle, to the trailer. Turned on the fridge and turned off the trailer batteries at the disconnect switch. This forced the truck to provide all the power for the fridge with no help from solar or batteries.

I then measured the voltage at the truck battery posts and was reading around 13.8. Then measuring the voltage in the trailer, near distribution panel, found 12.1 or so (doing this from my suspect memory). The total voltage drop was around 1.75 volts by time the juice got to the distribution panel due to the 12+ amp drain of the fridge when combined with the long run of undersize wiring in the trailer and truck.

What does this mean? Under normal circumstances the trailer switch would be in the On position and the solar and trailer batteries would be providing most, if not all, the power to the fridge. The truck alternator, while running fine, would not be contributing to the fridge operation. But had it been a cloudy day, or after dark with the solar contributing virtually nothing, the batteries would be drawn down to around 12.1 - more than half empty - by the end of a day's drive.

Bottom line: I run on propane when driving, and switch over to 12 v when filling the truck with gasoline.

Wether you need your generator with the solar/dual 6v option depends on your choice of campsite and electric use. If you stick to Mexico in the winter you should be just fine. On the other hand, if you camp above 50 degrees north in the fall/winter, you will probably be investing in an additional 100 to 150 watt portable solar panel to augment the main panel on the roof, or only camping where you can plug in your 110v cord. But before running out and buying more "stuff", go camping first and see what you really need. You may find the beaches in Mexico more to your liking than the snowbanks of Banff, Alberta in January.

--
Alan
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