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Old 01-09-2014, 05:56 AM   #1
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Woulda Coulda Shoulda

As I sit here contemplating our build sheet, for the hundredth time, I was wondering...

We're all inclined to think whatever we bought and payed top dollar for is completely wonderful, but if you're honest with yourself, is there anything you wish you had done differently on your build?

ex:
Did you get the U shaped dinette and now wish you had more table space, or maybe it's the other way around?

Does the solar work the way you envisioned, or are you now wishing you had gotten it?

How about the screen room? Is it worth the hassle or does it now have a permanent home in the garage.

And yes, the 3 examples are some that I'm on the fence about, but don't limit yourself.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:44 AM   #2
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For us the solar works great. Wouldn't be without it!

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Old 01-09-2014, 07:00 AM   #3
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I dropped the screen room on my second Escape, never used it on the first Escape other than to set it up once, a PIA. You have to raise the awning to it's maximum height to install and then there are those snaps all over the side. Love the solar, it works so seamlessly with the battery. Love the "U" dinette. I also like the thermal package and the MaxxFan upgrade.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:09 AM   #4
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We added the cot option on our 19 but I'm not sure we will ever use it. (grandchildren someday maybe??) It might be a good option when we sell it though if people are looking for more sleeping space.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:15 AM   #5
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My only regret is not having bought an Escape years sooner.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:20 AM   #6
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and for me, 6 trailers sooner……..
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
My only regret is not having bought an Escape years sooner.
After spending 3 weeks lifting the shell off my stick built to replace half the floor last fall I have to agree with you.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:41 AM   #8
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We bought our Escape used but had a few things added:
Solar - we love it!
Opening Window in bath - nice for light and additional ventilation.
Emergency Hatch over loft bed - very nice for light and ventilation - hope it is never needed for emergency!
Mud Flaps - can't tell yet but it was not expensive and will probably help some on gravel and mud - we live on a gravel road (sometimes mud!)
Screen Room - ours came with the trailer - haven't used it yet but we've only had the trailer since this past summer. Fits under curb side bench....
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:02 AM   #9
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I waffled for a long time on the air conditioner, and finally went with it, and am glad now I did. I took the three burner stove because I wanted stainless steel to match the sink I also wanted in stainless, and didn't know there was a two burner stainless version available. Two burners are adequate for our needs, and the added counter space would have been good. I have the solar option, which I wouldn't be without, but I wish I had had the foresight to have an ADDITIONAL external plug connection wired in so I could use a portable panel as well from time to time. I took the overall opinion from those on this forum and decided against the screen room, and glad I did. The flexibility of using a pop-up version works much better for us. I went with the opening window over the kitchen sink, and am glad I did, but wish I'd added one in the bath as well. Even living in temperate Central California the extra insulation made sense, and I'm happy I did that.

I did a lot of "gulping" myself as the build sheet expanded, but in the final analysis I'm glad I bit the bullet and spent some extra money right from the start. It's much easier, and in the long run less expensive, to have work done at the factory than a retrofit.

I don't know what Escape is doing these days with the plumbing system, but mine came without a filter on the inbound side of the pump, which I'll be adding. I also think an accumulator tank is a good idea, but neither of those items came up during the build. If I was ordering a new trailer today I'd be certain to add those, if they weren't part of the package.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:15 PM   #10
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ADDITIONAL external solar plug connection, nice idea.
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:35 PM   #11
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Portable Solar Connector

Here is what I am having Escape install next to the outside 110 volt outlet. On the Escape 21 this just happens to be right at the battery compartment.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Charger Inlet.jpg (11.5 KB, 8 views)
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Old 01-09-2014, 02:57 PM   #12
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Isn't that a marine fixture for providing 110v AC? I think I'd be worried that someone would inadvertently plug in a 110V AC extension cord and fry the solar circuit. They make double-prong-only weatherproof connection just for that purpose.
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:23 PM   #13
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Hi Bob,
As you mull over all the options and changes, you have to take in consideration a few steering points. What are your needs for how you will most use the trailer? What regions might you be RVing in? How much will you be RVing? How will your choices affect resale? And how much are you willing to spend for your finished Escape?

Simplicity, cost vs. quality, and weight had some effected my decisions when I was sorting through the build sheet.

Unlike some "cookie cutter" RV manufactures, correct choices can be stressful. Good luck! The Escape 5.0TA is a great choice in my opinion.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:00 PM   #14
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While it is great to try to get it all right on the build list, the bottom line is that no matter what you put on it, you will end up with a fantastic unit that will give you many years of wonderful enjoyment.

It is pretty tough for you to really gauge all your choices from what others prefer, and so many have differing needs, but they are all good ideas that work for them and their way of RV camping.

Some like me at one end of the spectrum like to enjoy the comfort of a trailer, while keeping my camping style as simplistic as I can yet still enjoy myself. Yet there are many others who want all the bells and whistles, and may even use most of them. Heck, those monster Class A motorhomes take it all many levels higher yet.

As I have said many times before, no matter what style you prefer to go camping in, at least you are doing it and enjoying the rewards it brings.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:45 PM   #15
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Well said Jim B.
And some of the options can easily be added later if you decide you want them.
Example - we did not initially install the solar panel. Added it later and the cost was the same had we done it at the initial build.
Of course other additions are not always as easy to add as the solar would be.
Other options can be roughed in for a small cost and install completed later if desired.

The important thing as Jim noted is to get out there and enjoy camping.
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:11 PM   #16
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Paul,

I don't think my PM replies are going through. This is on page 417 of West Marine's e-catalog. Waterproof deck connection from Perko.

Bob
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Old 01-09-2014, 07:48 PM   #17
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Bob,
Thanks, that is a much better solution for connecting a portable solar panel. It is a polarized connection as well, so it insures the proper match of powered and grounded wires. The nomenclature of a "deck connector" was what I could not come up with to see all the options. West Marine comes through again.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:05 PM   #18
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I ordered the solar panel to be kept portable. Reace had the regulator mounted under the driver's side seat and had an electrical hatch installed for wires to go out to panel. He also had an extra set of 10g wire from regulator to overhead for future
roof mount option. I plan on placing the panel either remotely on the site or on
the TV.
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Old 01-09-2014, 10:04 PM   #19
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A very good bud of mine offered some ideas that I've adopted.

My life now and the future isn't about my past. But what I want for my future. I'm still working (Sigh) and I know my life for the next 4 years, 11 months and 20 days isn't likely to change much. I'm going to camp very similar as what I've done in the past for that length of time. But, when I retire LOOK OUT.

So, I'm having my 5er built for my current camping style... but looking to the future.

I'm ordering without solar or an A/C. Think about how solar has evolved over the past 2-5 years. It's gotten cheaper and more efficient. The same with A/C. My stars. So, while I'm not getting either, I'm going to have both WIRED like I am ready. It's up to me to keep track (solar wiring is 6" behind the ?? vent), etc.

If/when the time comes and I want/need either, I'm ready. Because the hardstuff, wiring between the shell and insulation is already done. And... other stuff as well.

I'm having my trailer built for my future, not my past. YMMV
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Old 01-10-2014, 06:22 AM   #20
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Thanks all, a few replies.

Donna, I'm having mine built for the present, not the future or past. I retired 6 months ago.

Bob, thanks for the link to the connector. I'm going to go with the roof mounted solar but like the idea of adding a portable, especially living in the heavily forested north. I don't see any reason why this couldn't be a user mod, looks easy enough to do. As far as the plumbing, Escape offers an external water filter, didn't see anything about the accumulator. I added one to my current trailer and would do the same again, beat the pump running all the time. I put in a big one Watts 8.5 in. W x 11.5 in. D x 8.5 in. H Pre-Pressurized Steel Water Expansion Tank-DET-5 at The Home Depot which is nice as you can make it through the night without it running but it takes up a lot of room. I'll have to ask Kim if they have something they can install, would be nice to have on our return trip as it'll be 6 weeks. I'm taking it the pump/plumbing is as noisy on an Escape as it is on our stick built.

Jim, couldn't agree more, it is tough to determine what work for me based on others experiences, but weighing their opinions with my own is the best I can do at this point.

Fran & Dave, who did the emergency hatch add? I was wondering about such after seeing most truck campers have them in the bedroom. I am going with opening windows in the bed room so air flow should be okay, extra light can be a pro or a con. Mud flaps, on the TV or trailer? I've looked at them for the TV although I don't care for the look, especially the big ones that hang on the trailer hitch.

So solar is in, although given my druthers I might pick different components. Will ask about adding Bob's connector find. Screen room is out, we have a stand alone that I'll bring along as we do now. U dinette, we're going to see a 5.0 and 20 shortly, will decide then.
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