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Old 12-09-2014, 12:11 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by hughharden View Post
Hi all,
I'm taking delivery of a 17b in April and have to start considering options. I've got a lot of good information from this forum and have narrowed the list down considerably, also went to see a 2014 17b in Calgary and got good info from those people. Remaining decisions I need to make are:

...
5. Surge protector necessary for what I'm not sure
6. I will get the spray foam insulation under the trailer but not sure if the heat pads are necessary?

Any and all advice and comments appreciated.

Thanks
Hugh
Since we are currently tent campers, we don't own any expensive 110v gadgets to protect from surges. No TV, microwave, AC, etc. We'll try to be "12v campers" most of the time.

We did take a long hard look at the heat pads because we like camping in the shoulder seasons and expect night temperatures to be in the 20's (F). But that said, since the 12v heat pads draw 100 watts each, they are essentially 110v items running directly off the 110v to 12v converter. With no 110v they would essentially be useless. But, on the other hand, I noticed some hot and cold water lines running under the trailer that I wanted to protect so I purchased some 12v heat tape that consumes 5 watts per foot (needed 5 feet for 25 watts) and Escape will install it for a fee. That should pull about 20 amp-hours out of the battery overnight, which is not an unreasonable amount to replace with solar.

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Old 12-09-2014, 12:36 AM   #22
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Well I really appreciate all the advice in the messages so far and it has been very helpful in my decisions.


One question I have is there was a reference to a two way fridge in one of the posts. Is that an option or something that was installed after delivery?


Thanks for all the feedback.
Hugh
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Old 12-09-2014, 01:02 AM   #23
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The choice I had back in 2008 was a 3-way 3.5 cu. ft. fridge or a 2-way 5 cu. ft. fridge.
I think your choice is between a 4.3 cu. ft. fridge and a 6.7 cu. ft.
It doesn't really matter if they are 3 way or 2 way since it's not practical to run the fridge on 12 VDC, but you could if you had to.
I would just choose the size of fridge you think you will need. You'll be running it on propane when boon docking and 120 VAC when you have shore power.
Some people drive with the fridge on propane ( you have to stop and shut it off before refueling the tow vehicle, then stop again to relight it ). I've done that, but find it less hassle to just run the fridge for a day or two on shore power before leaving home, load it with cold food and turn it off for the drive. It stays cold for a long time if you don't open the door.
A caveat, that doesn't work in Texas or Southern California, but that's another thread.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:56 AM   #24
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Custom upholstery and Formica are personal issues and not all that critical to the camping experience.
This is very true of pretty much an option you get, and frankly something we all lose sight of while figuring out what we want done with our trailers.

However, a lot of it is just a fun factor, and so long as you are having fun figuring it out, then all is good. Just so long as we don't get all stressed out while making these decisions, all is good.

Different folks also desire different camping experiences, and look at camping in a different light. I look at my trailer (with less amenities compared to most) as pure luxury, having done a few thousand nights in a tent, and camping hordes since my early teens. Others are looking at it more as roughing it, having to give up many of the amenities they are used to at home, in many cases having camped very little in the past. I don't believe either is wrong at all, the main thing is getting out there and enjoying your time while using your Escape trailer. I am sure you have all met those that would not dream of camping, and going to such great lengths to inconvenience themselves? There is no sense at all in trying to convince them it is a wonderful thing.
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Old 12-09-2014, 07:49 AM   #25
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I am sure you have all met those that would not dream of camping, and going to such great lengths to inconvenience themselves? There is no sense at all in trying to convince them it is a wonderful thing.
And who would want to convince them? It's already getting too crowded out there--or maybe I'm just antisocial when I camp...
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:00 AM   #26
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And who would want to convince them? It's already getting too crowded out there--or maybe I'm just antisocial when I camp...
You could be camping in the wrong places then. Lots of options of lesser populated places to go. Avoiding the busier seasons is another way of avoiding crowds too. Not sure what it is like near you, but in the forestry here, you are free to camp anywhere. No amenities if you want them though.

Come on out and join us us at our land to camp, where we often go. A glorious spot, rarely more than 6-8 units (and room for dozens), running water ( it is a river though), washroom facilities if needed (in the form of an outhouse), a nice cozy cookhouse to gather should the weather turn evil (though this very rarely happens), TONS of fun activities, and a campfire every night with free entertainment.
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Old 12-09-2014, 08:53 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by hughharden View Post
Hi all,
I'm taking delivery of a 17b in April and have to start considering options. I've got a lot of good information from this forum and have narrowed the list down considerably, also went to see a 2014 17b in Calgary and got good info from those people. Remaining decisions I need to make are:

1. Custom fabric and formica - not sure if worth the hassle to arrange delivery, etc.
2. Stove upgrade - what is wrong with standard stove?
3. Fridge - same, what is wrong with standard fridge?
4. I will get an inverter but not sure what transfer switch does or if necessary
5. Surge protector necessary for what I'm not sure
6. I will get the spray foam insulation under the trailer but not sure if the heat pads are necessary?

Any and all advice and comments appreciated.

Thanks
Hugh
I've seen a lot of comments on the forum that the "surge protector is not necessary as we camp off grid most of the time." The challenge with this comment is that there are times when electric is automatically offered by the campground. In this case, do you just "not hook up" or take it since you've already paid for it? If you hook up the electric, then the surge protector is "protecting" your electronics, whether the electronics are your refrigerator or something else that you have plugged in. To me, the surge protector (or EMS) is kind of like insurance - we hope we don't need it, but are thankful to have it when we do need it. (IMHO)
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Old 12-09-2014, 10:01 AM   #28
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Hugh, not sure I can add a lot to these multitudes of suggestions. We had a microwave in our Scamp and never used it and we bring a lot of homegrow food along with us,so the larger fridge was a no-brainer for us. I insisted on the stainless steel sink (Mary thought the stock one would be fine) because I had visions of me melting the plastic one by putting a hot pot off the stove in it or something equally stupid. We went with stock on fabric and counter since we liked Tammy's choices and picking custom stuff seemed like too much work

I already had an external plugin surge protector and circuit tester and I don't think internal ones were an option then. Now I would probably get one in the order.

Spray foam was not offered but I would get it now if I were ordering, but not the heat pads...well probably. Mary said she thought I was going to get every option they offered if I had long enough to rationalize.

Have fun and you will enjoy whatever you end up with.
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Old 12-09-2014, 11:03 AM   #29
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More likely, somebody walked off with it and plugged your shore power back in so you didn't notice.
You could be right, Glenn. But I have much more evidence of my own forgetfulness than I evidence of the dishonesty of others. And since either explanation is plausible, it gives me a modicum of pleasure to think of my fellow man as basically honest. A few years ago, I was sitting at home, thinking about the trailer I had just ordered. There was a knock at the door, and a fellow asked me if I was Leon Webster. I admitted to the sad fact, and he produced my wallet which he had found on the street where I dropped it. It wasn't easy for him to track me down given that the streets were all torn up for a sewer replacement project. He wouldn't accept any reward, not even a free cup of coffee when I saw him at the local coffee shop a couple of days later.

Maybe I have been lucky in my life, but in all the years of camping in a tent, I never had anything stolen from me. We have had a GPS stolen out of the car in our garage, but that is about it. We do take precautions. We lock doors when we are gone, inform the police and neighbors when we will be out of town for extended periods of time, etc. But I don't feel the need for locking cabinets or strange devices to fit on my trailer wheels.

See, there, I have made the topic drift again, and just to make it drift more, I will mention that the GPS was set for metric units. Hopefully, it baffled the thief. :-)
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Old 12-09-2014, 11:25 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by hughharden View Post
Hi all,
I'm taking delivery of a 17b in April and have to start considering options. I've got a lot of good information from this forum and have narrowed the list down considerably, also went to see a 2014 17b in Calgary and got good info from those people. Remaining decisions I need to make are:

1. Custom fabric and formica - not sure if worth the hassle to arrange delivery, etc.
2. Stove upgrade - what is wrong with standard stove?
3. Fridge - same, what is wrong with standard fridge?
4. I will get an inverter but not sure what transfer switch does or if necessary
5. Surge protector necessary for what I'm not sure
6. I will get the spray foam insulation under the trailer but not sure if the heat pads are necessary?

Any and all advice and comments appreciated.

Thanks
Hugh
Hi Hugh, happy you enjoyed visiting our trailer

We did custom Formica as we felt the standard was too dark, and Formica would be too hard to change ourselves later. We are fine with the stock fabric, someday when the cushions need replacing/recovering we'll choose something else and not be too worried that it doesn't match the valences.

The surge protector is fairly sophisticated & has already alerted us to a poorly wired circuit, we're happy we sprung for it.

We have the heat pads as our camping season extends from March to October, and we keep the trailer fairly ready to go in the driveway all through that time. We've already had plenty of freezing weather with the un-winterized trailer sitting here and are very happy to have the heat pads. If we'd known that they're wired together, without separate wires coming through the floor to the switch, we'd have asked for the two pads to be on separate switches so that we could heat the part-full fresh water but not the empty grey while it is sitting here. Instead we have to make sure the grey has some water in it to warm, which is then drained into a bucket before leaving home.
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Old 12-09-2014, 11:38 AM   #31
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We did take a long hard look at the heat pads because we like camping in the shoulder seasons and expect night temperatures to be in the 20's (F). But that said, since the 12v heat pads draw 100 watts each, they are essentially 110v items running directly off the 110v to 12v converter. With no 110v they would essentially be useless.
I wouldn't consider running 12V heat pads from the battery; I assume they are for use while towing, with power from the tow vehicle. Yes, I know, some people have all sorts of problems getting enough power from the tug to run their refrigerators!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Some people drive with the fridge on propane ( you have to stop and shut it off before refueling the tow vehicle, then stop again to relight it ). I've done that, but find it less hassle to just run the fridge for a day or two on shore power before leaving home, load it with cold food and turn it off for the drive. It stays cold for a long time if you don't open the door.
"A long time" is a relative term...
With a direct spark ignition appliance, this is just flipping a switch. If there is actually a manually-lit pilot, this is much more of a hassle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kstock11 View Post
If you hook up the electric, then the surge protector is "protecting" your electronics, whether the electronics are your refrigerator or something else that you have plugged in.
There are many refrigerator control designs, but if the controls are run from the 12VDC supply and the 120VAC is used only for the heating elements that drives the cooling, AC power surges or brownouts won't bother the refrigerator. AC-powered motors and electronics are another matter.
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Old 12-09-2014, 11:43 AM   #32
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I wouldn't consider running 12V heat pads from the battery; I assume they are for use while towing, with power from the tow vehicle. Yes, I know, some people have all sorts of problems getting enough power from the tug to run their refrigerators!
It is recommended that you only run the heat pads whilst plugged into shore power. They're power hungry, we confirmed this with a meter when we brought our trailer home, but I don't remember the numbers.
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Old 12-09-2014, 03:48 PM   #33
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The choice I had back in 2008 was a 3-way 3.5 cu. ft. fridge or a 2-way 5 cu. ft. fridge.
I think your choice is between a 4.3 cu. ft. fridge and a 6.7 cu. ft.
It doesn't really matter if they are 3 way or 2 way since it's not practical to run the fridge on 12 VDC, but you could if you had to.
I would just choose the size of fridge you think you will need. You'll be running it on propane when boon docking and 120 VAC when you have shore power.
Some people drive with the fridge on propane ( you have to stop and shut it off before refueling the tow vehicle, then stop again to relight it ). I've done that, but find it less hassle to just run the fridge for a day or two on shore power before leaving home, load it with cold food and turn it off for the drive. It stays cold for a long time if you don't open the door.
A caveat, that doesn't work in Texas or Southern California, but that's another thread.
You should probably check with Escape on what refrigerators are available for the 17B. The last time I talked with Reace,he mentioned that the 6.7 would not fit in the 17. They may have changed things or have other options, but I agree that having a larger refrigerator is very handy if you camp for long periods well away from resupplies.
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:10 PM   #34
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The choice I had back in 2008 was a 3-way 3.5 cu. ft. fridge or a 2-way 5 cu. ft. fridge.
I think your choice is between a 4.3 cu. ft. fridge and a 6.7 cu. ft.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vermilye View Post
You should probably check with Escape on what refrigerators are available for the 17B. The last time I talked with Reace,he mentioned that the 6.7 would not fit in the 17. They may have changed things or have other options...
The 17' Features list says
Quote:
3.0 Cubic ft. 3-way Dometic Fridge
and the Options include
Quote:
4.3 cu. ft. Fridge
These are not just different sizes, they are different model lines (both from Dometic). The 19' shows the 4.3/6.7 choice, and the 21' and 5.0TA show just the 6.7 as standard.

Escape options - listed and otherwise - are moving target; I'm only noting what the ETI website currently shows.
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Old 12-09-2014, 05:58 PM   #35
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Mary said she thought I was going to get every option they offered if I had long enough to rationalize.
Funny, my wife said the same thing....
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:22 PM   #36
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Hi Hugh, happy you enjoyed visiting our trailer

We did custom Formica as we felt the standard was too dark, and Formica would be too hard to change ourselves later. We are fine with the stock fabric, someday when the cushions need replacing/recovering we'll choose something else and not be too worried that it doesn't match the valences.

The surge protector is fairly sophisticated & has already alerted us to a poorly wired circuit, we're happy we sprung for it.

We have the heat pads as our camping season extends from March to October, and we keep the trailer fairly ready to go in the driveway all through that time. We've already had plenty of freezing weather with the un-winterized trailer sitting here and are very happy to have the heat pads. If we'd known that they're wired together, without separate wires coming through the floor to the switch, we'd have asked for the two pads to be on separate switches so that we could heat the part-full fresh water but not the empty grey while it is sitting here. Instead we have to make sure the grey has some water in it to warm, which is then drained into a bucket before leaving home.
Thanks again for letting me take a look at your trailer last year. I think i've got my options all figured out. I agree the standard formica and fabric is pretty dark and I'm ordering custom. Also going for some custom flooring. I recall you advised me just to have prewired for solar then look around for a panel since the ETI one is pretty expensive. Is that still what you would recommend? One other thing would you recommend the stainless sink and stove or just stick with the stock white? i can't recall what was in your trailer. Thanks again.
Hugh
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:32 PM   #37
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One other thing would you recommend the stainless sink and stove or just stick with the stock white? Hugh
I chose the stainless sink and stove but this truly is just a matter of preference, not functionality. (One caveat to that is if you use cast iron, as I do, stainless is preferable as it won't crack.) Some think one or the other is harder to clean; I think they both clean up well and look equally as nice.
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:54 PM   #38
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Thanks again for letting me take a look at your trailer last year. I think i've got my options all figured out. I agree the standard formica and fabric is pretty dark and I'm ordering custom. Also going for some custom flooring. I recall you advised me just to have prewired for solar then look around for a panel since the ETI one is pretty expensive. Is that still what you would recommend? One other thing would you recommend the stainless sink and stove or just stick with the stock white? i can't recall what was in your trailer. Thanks again.
Hugh
We have white sink & stove, and have no desire for stainless instead. We don't really "do dishes" when camping, and I can't imagine putting one of our cast iron pans in the sink, so that's not a concern. Stove wise, I periodically scrub off the coffee stains that our perk leaves (just like at home) and really don't care otherwise.

We didn't even have the solar pre-wired, but we do have the dual 6V batteries. In the end, we bought a panel & controller from solarwholesaler.ca and ran wiring on the outside of the shell to the batteries, and up into the storage compartment accessed through the outside hatch, where we put the charge controller. No holes in the roof, more charging for the money, and the size & shape of the new panel suited the top of the trailer really well - unlike our old panels that we were originally going to install.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:19 PM   #39
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I would caution about going with a light-coloured fabric. I have what was standard in 2008 and you can tell which side of the dinette I sit on.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:45 PM   #40
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I would caution about going with a light-coloured fabric. I have what was standard in 2008 and you can tell which side of the dinette I sit on.

Glenn a good trick is to match the fabric to the color of beer one drinks, thus we went for a darker color...

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