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Old 03-30-2021, 12:08 AM   #1
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Possibly purchasing a 2004 17b Escape - what should I look for?

Some synchronicity happened and we might know someone who is selling their 2004 (I think) 17B. I understand it is the first year they made them. Is there anything I should know? I know it is not going to have the same super smooth features of a new one. It doesn't have the bunk option, but I am looking into possibly DIY options (also posting in another post on the forum).
I think this is the only way we could buy one because of 1. location-not being half way across the country, 2. the price, is not over $15k, 3. actually seeing one for sale as opposed to not really seeing many for sale.
We looked at a '14 171 rpod the other day, and my gut said at 12k it was overpriced - but I don't really know. I also didn't feel joy going in, the 17b I went into, I felt good, it was bright, light and lovely even though it needs some tlc.
Any tips/advice much appreciated!
Thank you.
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Old 03-30-2021, 12:17 AM   #2
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I assume that part of what you're asking is how a 2004 varies from a more recent Escape...
All 17' shells from the start to 2016 were essentially the same. Detail shell differences include the air conditioner location (it was probably in the top of the closet and vented through the wall in 2004), and how the refrigerator is vented (possibly exhausting through the wall and not the roof). The frame design in the tongue area and the suspension height varied in the early years.
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:27 AM   #3
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You need bunks, sorry, a 17B may not be for you. We had a 2007 17B and it was a fantastic trailer. We made a quick decision to buy it as they sell fast. We had a 1977 Trillium 4500 with bunks and thought the 17B would work for us. It didn't. I thought I could build some bunks but when I started to measure them up, I realized there just wasn't enough height. The only way to make it work was remove the upper bulk head cabinets and I didn't want to do that as it would take away from the trailer. My kids were at the point they could sleep in a tent or on occasion one would sleep in the truck, we made it work.

We sold the trailer to a family with 2 young kids. They thought it would work for them. One trip and the trailer was for sale on the forum. I messaged the guy and he responded, their just wasn't enough room for everyone's gear.

Here is a link with what I mocked up with the bunks.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...age-11059.html
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Old 03-31-2021, 07:48 AM   #4
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You need bunks, sorry, a 17B may not be for you. We had a 2007 17B and it was a fantastic trailer. We made a quick decision to buy it as they sell fast. We had a 1977 Trillium 4500 with bunks and thought the 17B would work for us. It didn't. I thought I could build some bunks but when I started to measure them up, I realized there just wasn't enough height. The only way to make it work was remove the upper bulk head cabinets and I didn't want to do that as it would take away from the trailer. My kids were at the point they could sleep in a tent or on occasion one would sleep in the truck, we made it work.

We sold the trailer to a family with 2 young kids. They thought it would work for them. One trip and the trailer was for sale on the forum. I messaged the guy and he responded, their just wasn't enough room for everyone's gear.

Here is a link with what I mocked up with the bunks.

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...age-11059.html
This is great to see. Thanks for sharing. I know it is minimal on space but we are thinking smaller is better for us now. Our kids are 4 and 7. We donít have a big tow vehicle and arenít sure yet how much we will be using it.
The one we are looking at doesnít have the gaucho option, so we are thinking of making a top bunk only. Ideally something we could break down so the kids could still play at the table sometimes during the day.
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Old 03-31-2021, 08:49 AM   #5
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Not ideal, but maybe the youngest could sleep on the floor? That would make converting the front dinette back and forth into a bed much quicker and easier. Also you wouldn't have to find a spot to store the top bunk when you're in dinette mode. Of course if anyone wanted to use the bathroom during the night, that would be a bit of a dance.
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Old 03-31-2021, 10:59 AM   #6
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Hello Harvest.
We had the 2005 17 B.First thing we did was to get a liftkit installed.Tail end was catching going in and out of gas stations in California and a lot of other parking lots.Then 15 inch wheels came next.Eventually solar panel, a better awning and a few other things.My wife still misses that 17.Yes, it was nice and bright and light, easy in and out of super market parking lots.Would fit in any camp ground, but yes it was the two of us and a foxterrier.
All in all, a very nice trailer.One kid could sleep under the big bed and one up front.
Just my humble opinion.We sold it after eleven years.
Good Luck Hunting.
Allan.
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:04 PM   #7
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I knew a guy who camped in a 13 foot compact with five kids and his wife. You can make anything work.

Find out age of tires, age of batteries, when were bearings done (if at all) has CO monitor been replaced, none of those are deal killers but should affect price if all are original or battery(s) are old.
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Old 03-31-2021, 02:05 PM   #8
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here is a video of a 2004 . unfortunately they don't do a inside tour.

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Old 03-31-2021, 05:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harvest View Post
This is great to see. Thanks for sharing. I know it is minimal on space but we are thinking smaller is better for us now. Our kids are 4 and 7. We don’t have a big tow vehicle and aren’t sure yet how much we will be using it.
The one we are looking at doesn’t have the gaucho option, so we are thinking of making a top bunk only. Ideally something we could break down so the kids could still play at the table sometimes during the day.
I don't know if rods and brackets like those for closet poles could be attached to the side walls(on either side of the windows) and the rods inserted into the hammock bed (through reinforced hems on the lengths). But when my granddaughterss were small, they slept in the front dinette feet to feet.
It seemed to me Reace was working on or made something like that.
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbie54 View Post
I knew a guy who camped in a 13 foot compact with five kids and his wife. You can make anything work.

Find out age of tires, age of batteries, when were bearings done (if at all) has CO monitor been replaced, none of those are deal killers but should affect price if all are original or battery(s) are old.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Bornestig View Post
Hello Harvest.
We had the 2005 17 B.First thing we did was to get a liftkit installed.Tail end was catching going in and out of gas stations in California and a lot of other parking lots.Then 15 inch wheels came next.Eventually solar panel, a better awning and a few other things.My wife still misses that 17.Yes, it was nice and bright and light, easy in and out of super market parking lots.Would fit in any camp ground, but yes it was the two of us and a foxterrier.
All in all, a very nice trailer.One kid could sleep under the big bed and one up front.
Just my humble opinion.We sold it after eleven years.
Good Luck Hunting.
Allan.
Hi Allan, thanks.
Where did you get a liftkit installed? I don't even know what that is, but I can guess, and where/how it gets installed. Are 15 inch wheels larger? Was it already wired for Solar or did you have to add wiring? The awning I think is in a zipped up type of bag or something attached at the top. One kid under the bed, hm, sounds kinda cozy fun, but there might be a possibility that they go to bed and we'd want the dinette up to hang out for a bit. Interesting idea though - one would probably like it! Thanks for your reply.
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobbie54 View Post
I knew a guy who camped in a 13 foot compact with five kids and his wife. You can make anything work.

Find out age of tires, age of batteries, when were bearings done (if at all) has CO monitor been replaced, none of those are deal killers but should affect price if all are original or battery(s) are old.
Thank you! I wrote these things down to ask. I am waiting for an email with basic info, I received the manual via email but I will ask about these specific things once I get another email. - 13 foot with 5 kids wow!
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:59 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Sandra L View Post
I don't know if rods and brackets like those for closet poles could be attached to the side walls(on either side of the windows) and the rods inserted into the hammock bed (through reinforced hems on the lengths). But when my granddaughterss were small, they slept in the front dinette feet to feet.
It seemed to me Reace was working on or made something like that.
I wish it was that version. It doesn't have anything installed for the gaucho option. I am looking into us building a bunk option, I saw a great post on a PVC bunk bed and my artistic/design mind is interested in coming up with something. I am sure we could figure something out, but the challenge comes in wanting to have a top bunk that is easily removable - so we could use the 2 person dinette during the day/evening. Front dinette - feet to feet - I thought of that. Our 7 yr old is tall, well they are both tall. But that is something to think about for sure. Thanks!
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:05 AM   #13
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Search the web for sailboat sleeping berths & bunks, you may get a creative inspiration.
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Old 04-01-2021, 10:14 AM   #14
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Where did you get a liftkit installed? I don't even know what that is, but I can guess, and where/how it gets installed.
The lift kits used on Dexter Torflex #10 axles (which Escape has always used to the best of my knowledge) are just spacers installed between the frame and axle mounting brackets. Raises everything except the axle crosstube naturally stays at the same height.
https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories...71-707-01.html
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Old 04-01-2021, 11:36 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bobbie54 View Post
I knew a guy who camped in a 13 foot compact with five kids and his wife. You can make anything work.
My wife and I were at Natchez State Park a couple years ago and there was a family of five, mom, dad, 12, 10, 8, year old. And two dogs, one medium , one small.
They were in a DC pick-pu, Ford, 6.5 ft bed with a slide in pop up truck camper. They were from California and had taken a year off and were touring the country, home schooling the kids as they went. They all slept in that camper at night. They were all having a great time.
So as Bobbie 54 said, you can make anything work. The memories of that trip will last those kids a lifetime.
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Old 04-01-2021, 11:39 AM   #16
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Hi again Harvest.
Reace installed the liftkit.We had a so called bag awning, replaced it after a few years with a proper manual one with the arms.The bag awning was standard at the time.Nobody was talking solar at the time.So Reace did all the improvements for us, except for the larger black tank that we had made locally.The batteries were on the front.We added a batterie and a lockable batterie box made by Tork lift.!5 inch wheels instead of standard 14 s.We did go with the shiny aluminum wheels, just for looks.The extra black tank had a Tornado flushing system that worked like a charm.We also had an extra roof vent and a Magic fan vent.No AC.Fridge was very good around three cubic.We always carry an ice chest/cooler anyway.
He who hesitates is lost.Just kidding, but I am surprised this unit is still out there for sale.
Good Luck.
Allan.
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Old 04-01-2021, 03:17 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Allan Bornestig View Post
Hi again Harvest.
Reace installed the liftkit.We had a so called bag awning, replaced it after a few years with a proper manual one with the arms.The bag awning was standard at the time.Nobody was talking solar at the time.So Reace did all the improvements for us, except for the larger black tank that we had made locally.The batteries were on the front.We added a batterie and a lockable batterie box made by Tork lift.!5 inch wheels instead of standard 14 s.We did go with the shiny aluminum wheels, just for looks.The extra black tank had a Tornado flushing system that worked like a charm.We also had an extra roof vent and a Magic fan vent.No AC.Fridge was very good around three cubic.We always carry an ice chest/cooler anyway.
He who hesitates is lost.Just kidding, but I am surprised this unit is still out there for sale.
Good Luck.
Allan.
Hi Allan,
Thank you for all this info. What was the bag awning like? I haven't seen any photos of what it looks like open and how it looks. I am not sure this one I am interested will be for sale - it isn't listed or anything like that. But it sounds like the person might be getting ready to sell it
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Old 04-01-2021, 04:53 PM   #18
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The bag awning tucks into a bag that is fastened to the trailer above the door.A zipper runs the length of the bag.You bring out the material and arrange a few loose poles that either goes into holders on the trailer wall or you can set them on the ground like a carport.Two bars goes from the legs on to the trailer sidewall by the roof and you will have to adjust the tension accordingly.If the legs go to the ground you can secure them with spikes, or lock them to the wall into the holders.One bar goes across at the front.It is very light, Down at Anza Borrego in California I had to get out at two in the morning to bring it in like a sail.The wind can really come trough there.It was our first visit to the area.It is normally a two person job to set up,
but doable once you get the hang of it.
I hope I explained right.
Take care and stay safe.
Allan.
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Old 04-07-2021, 12:39 PM   #19
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Owner of 2005 & 2006 Escape 17b

I owned two Escape 17 B models, I was building a cabin and sold my first one. Then sold the cabin and really missed camping. I searched out a 2004 to 2006 because they were built lower to get the ground and fit in my garage. That was a big plus to me, I took them both all over Arizona California and British Columbia. Never had a problem bottoming out. I spent many months in Southern California in them. I now own a 5.0 TA but sometimes miss the flexibility I had with the small 17 B. One thing about them was that they had a smaller holding tanks which was not a big deal I just purchased a gray water caddy. Having had three escapes I really donít think you can go wrong with them. I often thought they were too much money when I first bought them but never failed that I actually sold for more than I paid.
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Old 04-07-2021, 02:11 PM   #20
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Isn't close to $15,000 high for a 2004 17B? I have a 2011 17B that's had upgrades and thought I'd sell in a few years for $18,000...am I pricing too low?
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