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Old 01-09-2021, 07:38 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: DICKINSON, Texas
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Must haves, wrong choices and I wish I did.

Big Thanks to John in the Houston area for showing us your very nice 5.0 TA. I asked every question I could think of and soon We will be making the leap. What I want to know is from current owners what you know are 2 of the must have options, what 2 options did you get that you wish you didn't get and what are 2 options you didn't get that you wish you did. We will most likely stay in state parks, Corps of engineer parks and some National Parks. May boondock some but that is not the plan. Remember we are in SW Texas and we don't intend on staying in Nome Alaska in February. Thanks a bunch.
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Old 01-09-2021, 09:15 PM   #2
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Location: White Haven, Pennsylvania
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Glad we got:
-Solar and dual 6v
-outside shower, mainly for doing dishes

Backup camera,robably not needed
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Old 01-09-2021, 09:37 PM   #3
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Location: Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2019 5.0TA "Junior", 2019 Ram 1500 5.7 Hemi
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I can honestly say that if we were ordering again we'd get exactly the same options, no regrets on any we either got or didn't get. We had the advantage of years in a similar size fifth wheel so had a very good idea of our camping style and needs.

I highly recommend the solar panel and dual 6 volt batteries. That provides a capability our previous trailer did not have and has made dry camping in national parks and BLM campgrounds much easier and gives us the ability to stay in sites there longer than we were able to with our old trailer. We also found unexpectedly that we use the inverter to run the microwave for short periods often to heat leftovers or beverages and that is a really nice capability.
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Old 01-10-2021, 12:44 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Trailer: 2017 Escape 19
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The one option we have, but never used, is the outside shower. And since it is extra work to winterize, I regret getting it. We figure that we have a sink to do dishes and a gray tank for gray water. Prefer not to dump gray water on ground or seek out an ecologically sound place to dump it. Thought we could use it to wash off muddy or sandy feet or for other purposes, but never have.

Have used our AC, but only once or twice. We donít usually camp in hot places and frequently have no electrical hookups. Got it for resale value, but not sure itís that big of a deal. The extra vent, lower weight and some drag reduction, plus lower initial cost is more attractive to me, at least in retrospect.

I would vote for dual batteries/solar for #1 must have. #2 for my 19 is the storage box, but thatís not applicable on 5.0 TA, so I would vote for under carriage spray foam insulation, which should help in colder and hotter temps (lots of opinions about the foam on this forum, pro and con).
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Old 01-10-2021, 02:12 AM   #5
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The two options I consider most important are the solar panel and the two batteries. But since you can’t get the solar without the two batteries I consider that one option. The second important option for me was the inverter to run the microwave which would be of no importance to you if you never use a microwave.

I did not get: high lift, outside shower, removable power cord, two way hot water tank, stereo/dvd player, bathroom window, aluminum rims, spray foam under trailer. Of these I wish I had ordered the removable power cord so I wouldn’t have to worry about it getting tangled under the bench or rodents entering through the opening.

The option that I got but don’t use is the exterior propane quick connect.

In 2018 the power awning was standard, so if I had a choice I would probably order it today but continue worrying that one day it will malfunction...it’s just so easy to use.
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Old 01-10-2021, 06:36 AM   #6
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Location: Tampa Bay Area, Florida
Trailer: 2015 Escape 5.0TA (Little Elsie) Extensively Personalized
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Top two I wouldn’t go without are solar and dual 6v batteries, which I did order. Wish I had ordered the all-outlets inverter. It would have saved me all the work of installing my own. It is great for quickly heating food in the microwave if at a rest area (lunch time) when traveling to destinations, or using the drip coffee maker when shore power is not available.

On a do-over, I would NOT order the stereo system. Only use it when doing maintenance or working on mods inside trailer, but a Bluetooth speaker would be just as good and a lot less expensive. Most of the time, I use noise cancelling headphones and stream from the smart phone. I do not subscribe to the theory that camping neighbors want to “enjoy” what I am listening to.

Living where I do, winterizing my trailer takes zero time. Once it is parked under my 3-sided carport, it is ready for winter as is. But I spend an hour spring and summarizing it to keep mud dauber from building nests under the lip of rooftop structures (A/C, Maxfan, other vents). Cover it with three sheets sewn together end to end. That being said, I love the outdoor shower. Great for washing dishes and rinsing feet. If boondocking in remote area, dumping dish water is not an environmental problem. Dish soap is biodegradable, and food particles are quickly consumed by insects and microbes (per Josie Wales, even a buzzard’s gotta eat!). Many campgrounds have dishwashing sinks and/or places to dump dishwater. I see no sense in unnecessarily filling my gray water holding tank. And I also like having a backup camera, which I installed because I wanted it inside the trailer pointing out the rear window. It is controlled by switch in the TV’s cab, so that I can switch it on when traveling through urban areas. Being inside, it is useless at night because the infrared lights bounce off the glass, but I never tow after dark or back into a campsite after dark. The only time I tow in darkness is if I leave home before the sun rises, but I do not encounter high traffic urban areas until we’ll after sunrise.
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Old 01-10-2021, 08:58 AM   #7
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Things I ordered I haven't used is the exterior propane outlet and air condition If you ever think you want a inverter its better to order up front. I am considering adding one. One thing I was glad I ordered is the second solar panel. In full sun its not needed But, Its A big improvement on cloudy days and shady conditions . I have the spray foam without tank heaters . If i was to do it again I would add the tank heaters.

I think for a new buyer options list the key is think about how you plan to use the trailer. what me or others need does not help you. Its important to do what your doing and understand the options . I would make a list of options that are very hard to add later. Look at the list hard. there also some options that can be added latter very easy. I also decided when i placed my order that I would treat myself to one option that I would have not ordered otherwise. For this extra option I was between the second solar panel and the inverter with one outlet. I picked the second solar.
Good luck and enjoy the fun
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:35 AM   #8
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Back in 2016, we ordered pretty much everything on the build sheet, except the EMS and the exterior propane outlet. We have used everything that we ordered.

I have since installed the EMS and exterior propane outlet.

Fred M.
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:47 AM   #9
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Location: Victoria, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
Back in 2016, we ordered pretty much everything on the build sheet, except the EMS and the exterior propane outlet. We have used everything that we ordered.

I have since installed the EMS and exterior propane outlet.

Fred M.

That is smart, and will pay off in the long run. What you personally want may not be necessarily what the next buyer wants, when you put it up for resell. They all will go up for resell, and having extra items is never a detriment.
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Old 01-10-2021, 11:48 AM   #10
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Location: Lanesboro, MN, between Whalan and Fountain, Minnesota
Trailer: 2018 5.0 TA
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Must Haves:
  • Single solar in back with two 6v 220 ah AGM batteries
  • 12v/USB plug in the dinette area, upper cabinet, next to fridge, so phones, computers, readers can sit in the upper cabinet, out of the way, while charging. (we didn't and now will install myself)
  • Extra insulation/frameless windows
  • Surge protector
  • Removable power cord
  • Reinforce bathroom wall to mount a coat rack and a stair railing
  • Manual Awning - so we can sit outside in heavy rain, cooking, eating and watching our BioLite Fire Pit. Best awning we've ever owned!
Don't Needs, would not get a second time:
  • 12v grey and fresh water tank heaters
  • Low pressure outside LP hookup
Wish we'd ordered:
  • That 12v/USB in the "Must Haves"
The one option we'd have a problem putting on any list is, u-shaped dinette:
  • U-shaped dinette ($400)
  • 22" deep instead of 19" deep ($235)
  • 4" thick back cushion ($65)
  • Split both rear cushions ($100)
  • Two filler cushions ($210)
  • Cushion modification to fit u-shaped dinette ($200)
  • Full wrap on cushions ($100)
That's a total of $1,310. We love our u-shaped dinette so much we'd do it again, but don't feel it's a must have.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 01-10-2021, 01:45 PM   #11
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Small items but used all the time: Rear 2" hitch and 4 pin connector. Having moved from Casita to Scamp 19 to 5.0 I really wanted a carry all box with lights and turn signals at the bumper for water hose, the shore mount cable, and Weber gas grill. Pull up, open the box, retrieve gear, and hook up campsite. It's all right there.
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Old 01-10-2021, 02:25 PM   #12
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We will add to the chorus that the solar panel, dual batteries, inverter, and transfer switch are must haves. Surprised to see no one has added the front storage box. We store everything that is used to set up the trailer in the front box. Other absolute must haves...the drawer under the closet, it is wasted space otherwise. The door at the end of the settee, it is great to access stuff inside the settee without raising the cushion.

Climate wise, we love having the A.C., but we live in Arizona and anytime from May till Oct you need A.C. We have the portable EMS, it's fine and works great with our generator. The built in EMS needs a special plug to work with a generator. Other nice things are the removable power cord, mice got into our Casita through the fixed cord door.
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Old 01-10-2021, 02:48 PM   #13
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Some have regretted getting the outside shower. I have showers on both sides and use them both. The driver side for washing off sandy grandkids, and the passenger side for an outside kitchen. The wife loves the outdoor kitchen setup, and having the driver side shower means we can clean up the grandkids somewhere other than right next to the door. I haven't had a freeze up problem. By opening the inside doors that access the spaces they are mounted, they get some heat since I turn on a space heater when we expect a freeze (rare for us anyway). I am happy I got both outside showers.
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Old 01-10-2021, 05:19 PM   #14
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We ordered our E21C with virtually all the options available. The ones that are really important to us and which get used all the time: solar panel, inverter, low pressure propane outlet, removable power cord, 3 burner range/oven, microwave, foot flush toilet. What we don't use much at all is the roof mounted Jack TV antenna. Wish I had gotten an extra solar panel installed there instead that ETI now installs. Wish also that we had ordered a split back seat cushion in rear of U shaped dinette and thicker foam cushions.
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Old 01-10-2021, 06:00 PM   #15
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YMMV, but we did not get the inverter and so far, donít really miss it. No microwave (prefer extra storage), no CPAP (thankfully), and I substitute tortillas for my breakfast toast. All good.
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:26 AM   #16
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Our build sheet included almost all options. Doing again, I would eliminate the TV antenna and a built in radio. Even though we did get solar and dual 6V batteries, I would add extra solar to fit the available rooftop space.
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Old 01-11-2021, 10:57 AM   #17
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Choices

We like the outside shower- it gets used on most trips of 3 or more nights. We shower in a tent and stand in a tote tub. Mostly we boon dock.
We also like the extra under floor insulation. I don't see the need for double insulated windows in a FG trailer.

We got the low pressure propane outlet. It never gets used.

I would have got the solar prewired. Just easier than doing it after the fact.
We are happy without AC. We live in a rain forest- we just don't need it. We might add it if we start travelling south.

I suggest you get the options that match your type of use. Boon docking vs. serviced campgrounds. Short stays vs long stays. Travel in the south vs travels in the north. Living in the trailer or spending all your time outside.

Enjoy your trailer- we like ours and it matches our needs.
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Old 01-11-2021, 12:33 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by sherminator View Post
Some have regretted getting the outside shower. I have showers on both sides and use them both. The driver side for washing off sandy grandkids, and the passenger side for an outside kitchen. The wife loves the outdoor kitchen setup, and having the driver side shower means we can clean up the grandkids somewhere other than right next to the door. I haven't had a freeze up problem. By opening the inside doors that access the spaces they are mounted, they get some heat since I turn on a space heater when we expect a freeze (rare for us anyway). I am happy I got both outside showers.
Completely agree. We have spry ports on both sides. The passenger side fitting gets used a lot more--to the point I'd regard it as essential. We have a faucet attachment and a spray hose and typically use the faucet set up on the passenger side for an outdoor dish wash area (used with a collapsible basin and folding table) we'll swap in the hose or use it on the drive side side spray port to wash the dog and, occasionally when the weather is warm, ourselves.
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Old 01-11-2021, 12:43 PM   #19
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Our build sheet included almost all options. Doing again, I would eliminate the TV antenna and a built in radio. Even though we did get solar and dual 6V batteries, I would add extra solar to fit the available rooftop space.
Completely agree with you on these. We've never used the antenna. The radio is something we use all the time, but for the price, drain on batteries, marginal sound quality, and immovable location, we'd have been way better off with a bluetooth speaker.

I guess that it ultimately depends on how you use the trailer. For TV, we don't watch much when camping. When we do, it is typically have something that has been downloaded from a streaming service and is cached locally. This gets played on a computer for kids programming or on an external 16 inch LCD monitor (kept folded in a drawer) from a phone.

We enjoy music, and thought it would be nice to have stereo integrated. We spend most of our time outside and would have been better off with a small bluetooth speaker that we could put out with us and play on a low volume. The factory stereo has been a lot more enjoyable this winter with more time inside the trailer, however. I'd have still skipped it in the final analysis because we only ever use it to connect to bluetooth and there are plenty of options for that use case.
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Old 01-11-2021, 09:06 PM   #20
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Ditto Solar & Dual Batts. We did get the high-lift, and at first I thought it was a waste, but now I enjoy being just that much higher - a bit more privacy when the shades are open, and it really makes crawling under a lot easier - although you have to crank the stabilizers a bit more to reach the ground...
I didn't get the spray-on foam...am going to install rigid foam panels like others have done, so I can access everything down there without tearing out chunks of foam to find the problem if one arises.



Getting a TV antenna is like...so 90's...same with the stereo. We left those off and saved $$. We also left off the AC, as we don't usually stay in humid heat. And Escape will install it later for the same cost as original install, which is cool if we later find we want it.
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