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Old 07-03-2024, 05:26 PM   #1
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Understanding Escape History/Recalls/Differences Between Model Years

I am a newbie here, at the beginning stages of saving and dreaming of Escape ownership. As going pre-owned will be more achievable from a budget perspective, I'm trying to prepare my knowledge for the moment I have money in hand and the right opportunity pops up.

Is there one spot where there is an entire history of recalls that I can save and cross-reference to whatever model comes up? Or would I call Escape and ask them on a case by case basis? Would Escape have record by VIN of whether any recalls have been serviced?

I'm looking ideally for a 21C with a 21NE or a 19 being fine at the right price point as well. I understand that 2017 marked the move from Gen 1 to Gen 2 on the 19... was there a Gen 1 to Gen 2 change for the 21 at that time as well? I know the door change is a big giveaway to the generation, and I believe the frameless windows became available with Gen 2, but what other changes were made with the move to Gen 2? In general (not specific to Escape), it's always said to avoid the first year of a new model. Has anyone had any problems with the 2017's as a redesign year?

I've heard someone divide Escape into the pre-Karl era, Karl era, and post-Karl era. It appears somewhere in there the company was sold, and we also had covid and potentially supply chain issues in the mix as well. It appears that Escape is one of the few companies that has kept its standards consistent through challenges. Nevertheless, are there model years that are perhaps strong or weaker choices based upon all these factors?

Finally, how old is too old? Stick and tin trailers have a limited shelf life to be sure, but what kind of significant costs could I be incurring if I go with an early model? I imagine appliances and plumbing and such could break down before the fiberglass does. If the fiberglass was not properly cared for, it could be yellowed which is less than ideal, but then is it also structurally more compromised or fragile? I'm also wondering out loud if I go really old, how difficult it would be to switch out old white appliances, put in new flooring, or paint cabinetry, to have it not look so dated.

In short, I'm looking for tips to be ready to make quick budget-minded decisions that won't cause me anguish and expense down the road. If there is anything else I'm not considering, I appreciate additional advice as well. Thank you for your assistance!
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Old 07-03-2024, 05:56 PM   #2
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https://escapetrailer.com/escape-history/

This doesn't answer all your questions but it is an ESCAPE history overview. The "pre-Karl" period was before KV purchased the company.
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Old 07-03-2024, 06:07 PM   #3
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[QUOTE=junkyburrittos;471934]

Is there one spot where there is an entire history of recalls that I can save and cross-reference to whatever model comes up?

]Not that I know of. Your best bet by far is to come on the forum and ask about a specific model when you find a likely trailer to purchase

became available with Gen 2, but what other changes were made with the move to Gen 2? In general (not specific to Escape), it's always said to avoid the first year of a new model. Has anyone had any problems with the 2017's as a redesign year?

There were complete new molds made and the Gen 2s are a bit larger and weigh a bit more. I haven't seen any evidence that there were any specific problems in the first model year. The components don't change much between the models.

I've heard someone divide Escape into the pre-Karl era, Karl era, and post-Karl era. Nevertheless, are there model years that are perhaps strong or weaker choices based upon all these factors?

I view that as nonsense. Lot's of folks love to hate Karl but I'm not sure how many ever sat down and talked to him. I've bought Escapes during the pre-Karl era, during the Karl era and have had lot's of dealings with ETI post Karl. There were issues during all eras. My Ford F150 has had many more recalls than my Escape. Ford, actually lost count, Escape, one, for the stove.

The only issue that should concern you is buying an older Escape with a 3" frame that was recalled. You should ensure that the recommended factory repairs were done. Also check that the Suburban stove has been replaced.

As far as how old is too old. Look at the price of 50 year old Bolers. The fact that there's 50 year old Bolers still around speaks for itself. Fiberglass trailers last.

Ron
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Old 07-03-2024, 08:35 PM   #4
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We went with an Escape trailer after a number of years of RV rentals because it seemed to be by far the best value with the most features of what we wanted. Having owned for 3 years now, our 2021 E19 continues to confirm we made the right choice. Add to that our ability to add personal customizations and we have nothing but pride & pleasure in ownership.
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Old 07-03-2024, 09:00 PM   #5
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Ron, you said: "My Ford F150 has had many more recalls than my Escape. Ford, actually lost count, Escape, one, for the stove."

We like our 2020 21C and are happy we bought it.

Having said that, and with all due respect, and in all honesty Ron, the "one recall for the stove" should have taken place long before it finally did. The predicament in which Escape found themselves was admittedly seriously delicate. So also was the seriousness of the situation during the long duration when Escape maintained their silence at the risk of severe injury to Escape owners.

And while we're being honest, there should have been two more Escape recalls; one for incorrect (according to Dexter installation directions) and sloppy brake grounding wiring. No recall on faulty brakes?! This one has been resolved on recent models but remains unresolved on older ones except for individual owners who have taken matters into our own hands. (Ford's very existence would have been at risk for faulty brakes.)

The other recall should have been for cracked and leak prone galley sink to gray tank drain plumbing design which has been addressed in recent models - not a safety issue but also not the quality with which Escape identifies itself.

Ford may have chalked up more recalls, but I dare say few of them quite as serious as the one which Escape had to make and the several others they should have made. Safety and quality standards in the automotive industry are incomparably more stringent than in the travel trailer industry. Apples to oranges. We probably are most honest with ourselves not pretending the two industry safety and quality standards are even close.

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Old 07-03-2024, 09:17 PM   #6
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I think the aircraft style door on the early/earlier Escape models would be worthy of thought...as long as you're wondering. The new style flat doors accommodate hinged screen doors along with a few other benefits.
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Old 07-03-2024, 11:15 PM   #7
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I can certainly understand wanting to research a trailer brand prior to making a purchase. The RV industry broadly does not score well in quality, longevity or customer service.

A companies historical ups and downs make for interesting reading, but may not shed light on what your purchase and ownership experience might be if you buy today.

We are on our 2nd Escape (a 2022 21C and our current 2024 E23). We have no complaints with either trailer or with Escape. Even after we sold our 21C and the new owners discovered a faint gel coat crack which required repair, ETI stepped and paid for the repair.

RV manufacturers have good spells and not so good spells. Our experience is that Escape comes in well to the good spell side of the equation.
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Old 07-03-2024, 11:31 PM   #8
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That's great, thank you JN!
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Old 07-03-2024, 11:34 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Ron in BC;471937]
Quote:
Originally Posted by junkyburrittos View Post

The only issue that should concern you is buying an older Escape with a 3" frame that was recalled. You should ensure that the recommended factory repairs were done. Also check that the Suburban stove has been replaced.

Ron
This is extremely helpful. Thanks, Ron. Do you happen to know what model years were impacted by this 3" frame issue?
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Old 07-03-2024, 11:45 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JohnK View Post

And while we're being honest, there should have been two more Escape recalls; one for incorrect (according to Dexter installation directions) and sloppy brake grounding wiring. No recall on faulty brakes?! This one has been resolved on recent models but remains unresolved on older ones except for individual owners who have taken matters into our own hands. (Ford's very existence would have been at risk for faulty brakes.)

The other recall should have been for cracked and leak prone galley sink to gray tank drain plumbing design which has been addressed in recent models - not a safety issue but also not the quality with which Escape identifies itself.

John
Eek, sloppy improperly installed brakes? That doesn't sound good. I've heard recent stories of improperly wired solar but I haven't heard this one. You said they corrected this in recent models, but do you happen to know what years were impacted by this error? And how would I know?

I frankly don't like the word "leak" either -- I'm trying to move away from sticks and tin to avoid such a word. Any clue how pervasive this was? Model years?

Some great information there... thanks John.
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Old 07-03-2024, 11:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstreight View Post
I think the aircraft style door on the early/earlier Escape models would be worthy of thought...as long as you're wondering. The new style flat doors accommodate hinged screen doors along with a few other benefits.
Thanks Dan. I'm curious as to the other benefits. I know the aircraft door still has a full screen you can pull across, so I didn't think that the door itself was a game changer at all. Are there other things I should consider? Maybe the Gen 2 screen door is sturdier for pets or little kids? But without pets the Gen 1 screen would be fine?
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Old 07-03-2024, 11:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bborzell View Post
I can certainly understand wanting to research a trailer brand prior to making a purchase. The RV industry broadly does not score well in quality, longevity or customer service.

A companies historical ups and downs make for interesting reading, but may not shed light on what your purchase and ownership experience might be if you buy today.

We are on our 2nd Escape (a 2022 21C and our current 2024 E23). We have no complaints with either trailer or with Escape. Even after we sold our 21C and the new owners discovered a faint gel coat crack which required repair, ETI stepped and paid for the repair.

RV manufacturers have good spells and not so good spells. Our experience is that Escape comes in well to the good spell side of the equation.
Thank you bborzell, this confirms my thoughts and is why I am giving Escape such strong consideration. I'd rather put my limited funds toward an older Escape than a brand new disposable trailer.
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Old 07-04-2024, 04:45 AM   #13
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When you read all of the horror stories about Escape Trailers be sure to put them in two categories. Escape Manufacturing Errors (within their control) and Vendor Supplier Errors (outside their control).

For Example; A Vendor Supplied Oven problem where their Supplier refused to recall their product is not a Manufacturing Error. But a mis-wiring issue is a Manufacturing problem.

The RV Industry is full of conglomerates. One for example, Thor Industries, owns multiple brands of RV's, including Airstream/Jayco/Keystone/Tiffin, and in 2021 they purchased AirExcel who owns many popular brands such as; Coleman-Mach air conditioners, Suburban cooktops/ranges/furnaces/hot water heaters, MaxxAir fans/vents etc. Be sure to note that Suburban was the cooktop that had the big problems and "finally" issued a recall "after" being bought by Thor Industries. Coincidence??

Another conglomerate, Forest River - a Berkshire Hathaway Co, owns just about every other brand of RV.

I'm confident that our small business Chiliwack BC manufactured 2022 fiberglass Escape 21C is "manufactured" better than any mass produced Thor or Forest River product brand regardless of which era they were built.
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Old 07-04-2024, 05:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstreight View Post
I think the aircraft style door on the early/earlier Escape models would be worthy of thought...as long as you're wondering. The new style flat doors accommodate hinged screen doors along with a few other benefits.
I happen to like the air-craft door on my classic built trailer and the accompanying retractable screen door. It fits the shape and contours of the trailer. The only issue I have is I'm sorry it's not wider to accommodate the increasing sizes of the refrigerators.
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Old 07-04-2024, 05:53 AM   #15
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I happen to like the air-craft door on my classic built trailer and the accompanying retractable screen door. It fits the shape and contours of the trailer. The only issue I have is I'm sorry it's not wider to accommodate the increasing sizes of the refrigerators.
We haven't had any reason to take issue with the size of our aircraft style door or the accompanying sliding screen door.
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Old 07-04-2024, 07:12 AM   #16
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Ditto on classic Escape design

I too am a fan of the older style "classic" Escape look. ENOUGH with the tryanny of the right angle!
I find the curves of the classic much more pleasing to my eye. The flat slab look of the 2nd gen allows for faster and cheaper production. So be it.
Both styles work equally well.
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Old 07-04-2024, 11:21 AM   #17
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[QUOTE=junkyburrittos;471953]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post

This is extremely helpful. Thanks, Ron. Do you happen to know what model years were impacted by this 3" frame issue?
The 3" frame was marginal at best on the early 19s, up until about 2013. 17s also had frame problems largely caused by the vertical drilling through the frame for the holddown bolts. They switched to bolts through welded brackets to eliminate that problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by junkyburrittos View Post
Eek, sloppy improperly installed brakes?
Not exactly. My major issue with the brakes was the unsupported ground wire to each individual brake was subject to fatigue. I did have one wire to one brake break on my 19. Ah, those roads in Baja.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
I happen to like the air-craft door on my classic built trailer and the accompanying retractable screen door. It fits the shape and contours of the trailer. The only issue I have is I'm sorry it's not wider to accommodate the increasing sizes of the refrigerators.
I absolutely hated the new door when I first saw it. A flat slab inserted into a curved shape. Now that I have one, I love it, I'd never go back. Go figure.

Ron
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Old 07-05-2024, 02:12 PM   #18
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My first trailer (bought in 2007) was a 1970 (Campster.) Soon after I bought it I rode out a thunder and rain and windstorm in it which left some of the stickies- including newer ones- with leaks. Fiberglass ages slowly and good upkeep goes a long way, but Escape isn't old enough for me to worry if I were buying a used one. I would check the door- I had one on my 2011 and it was fine (I sold it in 2020). If the door already sags or doesn't shut right maybe avoid that- they are hard to replace. One advantage of pre-owned is that hopefully any flaws and recalls have already been handled.
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Old 07-10-2024, 01:54 PM   #19
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If you live in Wales, Wisconsin you are about an hour away from Madison and our 2020 21NE, that will be going up for sale soon. One of the best things you could do for your ‘research’ is try to see a couple of trailers in person. That and talking to the actual owners will probably be more enlightening than any on-line research. Another good tool is the Escape Owners Group on FB. Final suggestion would be to view YouTube videos posted by Escape Industries and private owners.
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Old 07-10-2024, 03:23 PM   #20
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We are current owners of a 2018 Escape 19. Before this one, we owned a 2015 Escape 19, switching to another 19 because we wanted to redesign our interior to fit our needs.

Prior to the 19s, we owned a 2011 Escape 17, which we sold the 17 to a wonderful couple who live about 2 hours away. We soon discovered they have many of the same interests we have and have remained close friends ever since. As a result, we often see our first Escape, now nearly 14 years old quite regularly. It is in amazingly good shape. Yes, they have had to repair/replace some items like the refrigerator. But, as WillyB pointed out, that's a vendor supplied problem from a third-party vendor, Dometic.

Significantly, there are no leaks, rattles or walls falling apart in the 14-year-old Escape. Other friends who own stick-builts have not been so fortunate with their older trailers where roof and plumbing leaks abound, resale value has plummeted and repairs costs hundreds or more. Getting repairs done has been a nightmare for several friends, from finding a responsible repair provider (most want to keep their trailer for weeks on end) to others simply refusing to work on older model stick-builts.

We are completely sold on Escapes, if it's not already evident. Things which needed fixing in our three trailers have always been issues with 3rd party parts, not with the ETI build. As you continue your research, junkyburrittos, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the lasting value and superior quality overall.

Best of luck.
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