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Old 08-30-2019, 03:08 AM   #1
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Looking to buy. Different sizes

I have been a minimalist camper-starting with tent then small popup. We are in a financial position to finally buy a camper and proper tow vehicle. I was thinking I wanted the 17A - but started thinking that it might be nice to have bathroom. Then I looked at 19, which I like because of double axle and queen bed. Now I'm looking at 21 because the extra room sounds good and I would like to be on the road for 2-3 months at a time. However, we prefer small forest service or national park campgrounds. And I'm thinking the 21 ft might start being a little on the big side. Comments? Also, if I'm reading it right, the 21 ft has a double permanent bed rather than a queen. Is that right? Thanks
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Old 08-30-2019, 05:05 AM   #2
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The 21' is WIDER than the 19' as well, it makes all the difference. We also liked the look of the 5.0 but when we saw them all in person it was a no-brainer. The 21' Escape was the one for us. It's also their biggest seller. We just ordered and are anticipating a December completion date. : )
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Old 08-30-2019, 07:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canajun View Post
I have been a minimalist camper-starting with tent then small popup. We are in a financial position to finally buy a camper and proper tow vehicle. I was thinking I wanted the 17A - but started thinking that it might be nice to have bathroom. Then I looked at 19, which I like because of double axle and queen bed. Now I'm looking at 21 because the extra room sounds good and I would like to be on the road for 2-3 months at a time. However, we prefer small forest service or national park campgrounds. And I'm thinking the 21 ft might start being a little on the big side. Comments? Also, if I'm reading it right, the 21 ft has a double permanent bed rather than a queen. Is that right? Thanks
A 5.0TA has lots of room and a full queen bed but when hitched to your truck your combined length is only as long as if you were towing a 17. We also like to camp in national parks and forest service campgrounds which often have small sites and the 5.0TA is great for fitting into those.
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Old 08-30-2019, 08:01 AM   #4
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The 21' is WIDER than the 19' as well, it makes all the difference. We also liked the look of the 5.0 but when we saw them all in person it was a no-brainer. The 21' Escape was the one for us.
There is something for everyone. We ordered a 21' Escape, but decided it was best if we looked at a 5.0. Just a block from the 5.0 we got to visit we both agreed on our choice. We changed our order to a 5.0 just a few days before the 21' order would have been finalized. For us the no-brainer was the 5.0. Again YMMV.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidmurphy02 View Post
A 5.0TA has lots of room and a full queen bed but when hitched to your truck your combined length is only as long as if you were towing a 17. We also like to camp in national parks and forest service campgrounds which often have small sites and the 5.0TA is great for fitting into those.
When we visited that 5.0 one of the owners commented on how small a campsite was needed for the 5th wheel. We avoid commercial parks at all costs, so also camp in mainly national parks and state/federal forest service campgrounds. We went from a 23' pull-type to the 5.0. The difference in length was night and day. There have been times where we camped in spots a 19' Escape would have had problems.

Food for thought.

Perry
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Old 08-30-2019, 09:50 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Canajun View Post
I have been a minimalist camper-starting with tent then small popup. We are in a financial position to finally buy a camper and proper tow vehicle. I was thinking I wanted the 17A - but started thinking that it might be nice to have bathroom. Then I looked at 19, which I like because of double axle and queen bed. Now I'm looking at 21 because the extra room sounds good and I would like to be on the road for 2-3 months at a time. However, we prefer small forest service or national park campgrounds. And I'm thinking the 21 ft might start being a little on the big side. Comments? Also, if I'm reading it right, the 21 ft has a double permanent bed rather than a queen. Is that right? Thanks
I always say it's what works for you and how you plan to use the unit. My wife and I purchased a 19 three years ago and couldn't be happier. Due to family issues the longest we have done so far is about a month and we had no problems. We were tent and then pop up campers and have always kept things to a minimum. We are outside almost all the time except for sleeping or really terrible weather so it works for us. Camping is meant to be fun and everyone has a different perspective. One thing I do know is that it seems no matter which one people buy they are very happy with their decision. Weigh all the pluses and minuses and pull the trigger. You will be glad you did.
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:14 AM   #6
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Hmmm. I like the idea of a 5th wheel. But I don't think the 5 would work for us since we are canoeists. We usually put the canoes on top of the vehicle on yakima racks. Plus we are wanting to get into oar rafting. I think we will need the truck bed for toys.
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:30 AM   #7
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We have camped in a lot of US forest service camp grounds and US National
Parks. Our 21 fits in a very high percentage say 95%, of these sites designed for trailers. We uncouple most days so it’s common to pull in crossways or side by two in the shorter sites. We went to the 21 from the 19 for the extra width and bigger bath. We are happy with the 21 bed and I am not a small person. The only problem with the Escape bath is that I cannot spread my arms for full volume when singing with a Luciano Pavarotti recording after a long day on the road and a few cold Peroni beers. (Paints a picture don’t it?)
I never minded the crawl over in the 19. But I’m young yet.
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:38 AM   #8
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Make mine Andrea Bocelli. But I'm with you on the 21' Escape. We were thinking that when one is trailer-bound (during bad weather) that we would rather have the extra living space.
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Old 08-30-2019, 10:58 AM   #9
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I used to be a minimalist camper too, those days seem to be gone.

I've had to pass by a lot of camp sites that I wish I could have used due to the size of the truck/trailer length, mostly forest service and national parks. So yes, it makes a difference. Check out the site lengths that are allowed at any of the campgrounds in Yellowstone as an example. A 21' trailer and a 17' or so long TV like a Durango, make for a 38'+ rig. Not a lot of sites that the rules say you'll fit in. Try some of the first come first serve campgrounds, they are even smaller.
The 19, is only 18" shorter.
A lot of places have many sites for a max of 20' trailers.

Some of my apprehension in using out of the way campsites comes from the access as opposed to the site itself. As the trailers get bigger you need more room to turn around and just in general be able to navigate the roads.

If I were more concerned with where I could get the trailer then in my comfort, I'd trade for a 19, but that isn't going to happen unless I become single.
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:09 AM   #10
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When I moved from a 17 to a 21, I was concerned about fitting in some of the smaller sites, but after two years, I have only had one or two occasions where the larger trailer didn't fit. With both trailers, I ran into a few sites where I had to park the truck off site.

Do remember that the Escapes, like most fiberglass trailers include the tongue in the length measurement, while most stick built trailers do not. That gives you an extra 3' in fitting into most published campsite measurements.
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:19 AM   #11
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Dave, i just read this to my wife and she says "Thanks for the picture you painted". LOL. I'll keep my ears open fro an early morning aria wafting through the fall air next time we meet.
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:38 AM   #12
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In shorter sites it is often possible to back up to the wheel stop and gain several feet in site length. Also favoring one side of the site heavily will gain you pull in room in the other. As Jon says, only a few times have we not fit on a site advertised as 20 feet. I’ve been in Yellowstone several times where big stick built 5th wheel rigs stuck out over the road making it tight for people to get by on the road. Enforcement seems to be random. We love the 21 and don’t spend any time worrying about whether or not the camper will fit or whether or not we can turn around. The bed is a double with a queen length. It fits my wife and I and on stormy nights a 40 lb French Brittany. “Move over Jake, you’re cramping my side”.
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Old 08-30-2019, 12:35 PM   #13
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Like many others we had a 17' Casita and because of grandchildren now in our lives we wanted something a little larger but still molded fiberglass. Not much price difference between a 19' and 21' plus I prefer not climbing over each other to get out of bed.
We really just use our camper now as glorified tent, never cooked in our Casita in 5 years and don't plan on cooking inside the Escape but do enjoy the room the 21' gives us. When two people are inside still plenty of room to move around.
Only been able to use Matilda about 6 trips since we got her a year ago but have had zero problems going to the same campsite I would get the Casita in and will admit two of those sites I was a little worried but no issue ones I got there.

If I were you I would start with a 21', easier to sell if you decide I want something different.

Enjoy the journey.

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Old 08-30-2019, 03:05 PM   #14
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As a lifelong rafter, backpacker, tent camper, etc. I went through a similar thought process before deciding to buy my 19. At first I was sure I wanted the 5.0TA, then I started considering the tradeoffs of losing pickup bed space, as well as the cost and realization that I would need a beefier tow vehicle to accommodate the 5.0TA than I really wanted to buy. It also occurred to me that I really couldn't afford a 5.0TA equipped with all the options I wanted, but I could afford a loaded 19 or 21. After going back and forth between the 19 and 21, I finally decided on the 19 for 3 reasons: the queen bed, the location of the bed, and the shorter length and width of the trailer. I've had it almost a year now, and absolutely, it is easy to get it into small Forest Service campgrounds and other tight spaces. I find it very easy to back. When we picked it up, I feared I would have major buyer remorse when I looked at the 21 in the showroom, but that did not happen. Yes the 21 is roomier, but I still didn't like the location or size of the bed, and the size of the 21 in general was a bit intimidating to me. Having towed and camped in the 19 all summer now, I'm really happy with it. It has worked great for 2 people and 3 dogs. If cost wasn't an issue and I was OK losing covered pickup bed space, I would probably trade up to a 5.0TA. But alas, cost is an issue, and I don't want to give up the covered storage in the back of the pickup, or the option to put stuff like my raft frame and fishing pontoon on the rack on the truck canopy. All considerations when making a decision!! We're planning to keep the 19 for many years as it's perfect for us and the way we camp, and I haven't regretted this decision for even 1 second.
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Old 08-30-2019, 05:57 PM   #15
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Salmo, agree with everything you said about the 19. I have spent two months at a time in mine and love the smaller size, the queen bed and having the dinette up front.
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:51 PM   #16
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Same here 19 is perfect and everything you said ! Pat
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Old 08-31-2019, 03:21 AM   #17
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Nice thread! Everyone is trying to convince Canajun that 'their' size Escape is the best size. How fun...YMMV but here's our 2 cents!

Personally, we chose the 21 because we decided we like having the dinette in the back. We mostly go to campgrounds and most sites are back-in...some with amazing views out the back. In addition, the front bed is not a crawl over bed - huge selling point for us. At home we sleep in a king bed so we were a little nervous about he XL full bed before we got it, but zero regrets now; plenty of room for us. The bed also serves as a nice couch during the day - when people come in to visit. The bathroom is also a very nice size.

Actually, what really helped us make our decision was to go and physically sit inside one. With Escapes's referral program, perhaps there are different models in Alabama for you to go see? I hear rallies are also a good place... Hopefully, one model will pop out and make the most sense for you and your TV. Good luck with your decision. IMHO you can't go wrong, with any Escape!
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Old 08-31-2019, 02:16 PM   #18
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Our spot in Yosemite this year was for a max 14' trailer. We put our 21' Escape and 4Runner in it easily on the first attempt. Many sites are rated for smaller trailers because of the tight cut backing in on many NPS campgrounds. As Jon said, a 21' escape is really an 18' by trailer norms. As long as your tow vehicle fits in the paved area and does not overhang the road they generally don't say anything anyway. If you can fit it all in there is usually some overflow parking, though maybe inconvenient.
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Old 08-31-2019, 03:39 PM   #19
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Our spot in Yosemite this year was for a max 14' trailer. We put our 21' Escape and 4Runner in it easily on the first attempt. Many sites are rated for smaller trailers because of the tight cut backing in on many NPS campgrounds. As Jon said, a 21' escape is really an 18' by trailer norms. As long as your tow vehicle fits in the paved area and does not overhang the road they generally don't say anything anyway. If you can fit it all in there is usually some overflow parking, though maybe inconvenient.
We concur...as long as we're off the road, they're usually content with that....however, some places are strict about keeping the wheels and stabilizers on the paved pad.

Another positive is is that Escapes (and other fiberglass trailers) don't have slide-outs which we find, simplifies trailer parking in the campsite...compared to my sisters who have to not only make sure they fit front to back, but side to side with all their slide-outs. Easier said than done.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:38 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Canajun View Post
I have been a minimalist camper-starting with tent then small popup. We are in a financial position to finally buy a camper and proper tow vehicle. I was thinking I wanted the 17A - but started thinking that it might be nice to have bathroom. Then I looked at 19, which I like because of double axle and queen bed. Now I'm looking at 21 because the extra room sounds good and I would like to be on the road for 2-3 months at a time. However, we prefer small forest service or national park campgrounds. And I'm thinking the 21 ft might start being a little on the big side. Comments? Also, if I'm reading it right, the 21 ft has a double permanent bed rather than a queen. Is that right? Thanks


We have been traveling full time for nearly 5 years and nearly 3 of those years in our 21 Escape. We prefer the national campgrounds and forest service campsites. The 21 will fit right in.

Fred M.
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