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Old 06-13-2017, 08:22 AM   #1
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1st 3 weeks-options- glad I got or not!

Picked up our Escape a few days before Rally and then traveled for three weeks through all kinds of weather and terrain.

Here is a quick review of things I like about options I choose. These are just my opinion... and everybody has their own needs and likes and dislikes. I hope that this is helpful for others out there and why I took the time to write this. Here are our experiences with what we ordered.

We went through one scary thunderstormand had no leaks and condensation on the walls or leaky windows unlike with our 2014 Casita. Glad we got the double paned windows and insulation. We have the old slider windows. We had cold nights and a few really hot afternoons.
We bought an Accurite remote refrig. monitor and we could always tell what temp our refrig was on, while we were driving and this saved us a few times. We had ordered it from Amazon, recommended by someone on this forum. One time we didn't close the refrig tight enough and the door came open while we were driving and without the remote we would not have known that the temp was going way up.
I used the additional door under the bed next to the bathroom door a lot!!! I had a small storage box there that was easy to slide in and out.
We put outlets between that door and the bathroom door. it was sometimes hard to use if the br door needed to be opened and closed, but it was very useful to recharge my phone, sit on the bed to use the hair dryer or plug in my computer while using it sitting up in bed.

I love the paper towel holder suggest here on this site. the one that has a long name that starts with K The rachat feature was great! Love it.

Love my light counters and colorful fabric cushions. but my light beautiful floor only looks beautiful the second after I mop it and looks dirty the rest of the time. I would rethink that one!!!!

Haven't used the outdoor shower thing yet and may never, but if at some point we need it we will have it.?!
Wondered if I would use the oven , but I did several times. Glad I got it. It was great to have warm bran muffins with huckleberry jam. Oh, and a pizza.

We used the microwave a few times at first, but after boondocking for 6 days we really didn't miss it at all and didnt use it after that.

We did not get the inverter. I was afraid that was a mistake, but since I could do without the microwave after all and it wouldn't work for the AC we didn't get it.
I Used an old fashioned rangetop percolater on the stove or campground fireplace and towel dried my hair. We also had the solar panel to help out with battery recharging. We never got below 75% . We used the zamp port with extra solar panel some, although we found we were moving it around a lot to find the sun, so the longer cord helped.


I am still debating whether i like the dicor slide, we need to take it off and redo it. The way we put it on, it is wobbly. The springfield works well and we put it up and down every time we travel, just one more step to do.

I like having amber lenses on my outside lights, didn't attract any bugs. ETI will put the amber ones on if you ask. At the last minute we added a light to each side of the trailer with an inside switch to turn them all on. That was for me! It was great one night when we got to a campsite late and we were hooking up. We actually needed all four sides lit since we had bikes on the back too. A few other times when I heard strange noises at night I turned them on temporarily.
The optional front window was great. It added a lot of light to the trailer and sometimes it was good to see what was going on out that side of the trailer. We didn't always open it, but I did like it. I like a lot of light in small places.

I bought a light and softer shower curtain and ditched the stiff plastic one that was so bulky. I just cut the new one to the same size.

I used the fold up table next to the sink often. My husband and I could actually cook together. I was stirring over the stove while he was helping chop up things on that little extension.

We used the sway bar all the time, but did not get the weight distribution bar, because we were told by some professional truck driver we wouldn't need one for our size trailer and we seemed to do just fine driving up and down mountains, sharp curves etc.
I guess we loved all our options, except the outdoor shower that we probably don't need and the flooring that is so light it looks dirty most of the time. A few times my husband said he regretted not getting the extra door on the outside under the dinnette, Although he says he can use that area to put things that will be more secure and safe since there is no outside door there to be easily broken in to.

Walter just added a few things. He says you should have a torque wrench to adjust the 95 lbs on the lug nuts. He wished he would have had one on our trip because a smaller wrench was difficult to use. He hates having to get on his hands and knees at his age to read the solar panel. If you have a new build ask if you can get it back up on the top cabinets if you have a hard time getting down on floor level to read it. While boondocking we checked it often and often had to get a flashlight to see it since it was up under the table.
He would like to see ETI offer a two step version of the steps. If you know someone who does that let us know. We heard Larry Gambel in Texas is not doing that for Escapes because it is much more difficult than the ones he puts on Casitas. Also there is a very sharp point up under one side of the step that injured one man a couple of years ago. We met him at a state park after leaving the rally and he showed us the same thing on ours. He ground his down and mentioned this to ETI. ( Please don't give me a hard time for mentioning this, but I just wanted folks to be careful.)

I hope this helps someone out there with all the tough decisions you have to make, everyone has their own opinions and own needs. I surely appreciated all the advice given to us along the way, by all the great folks here in the forum and all the great folks at ETI. It really made things wonderful!
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:35 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting all of this! The first thoughts/regrets on a new Escape are extremely valuable to those of us still in the planning stages.

If you did it over would you do a darker floor or is it the specific lighter color that you think looks dirty? Meaning would you recommend darker brown tones of some kind?
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:51 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by The Quilting Lady View Post
We used the microwave a few times at first, but after boondocking for 6 days we really didn't miss it at all and didnt use it after that.

We did not get the inverter. I was afraid that was a mistake.......


I am still debating whether i like the dicor slide, we need to take it off and redo it. The way we put it on, it is wobbly. The springfield works well and we put it up and down every time we travel, just one more step to do.
Good thoughts on what worked for you, or not, Nancy.

We have never had a microwave in a trailer, and really do not miss it. At home it heats leftovers, something we try not to have while camping. If you ever wish, it would be easy to remove and add a door for storage.

We did not get the inverter either, but now wish we had. Lisa wants it more than I do, but I still think it will be beneficial in the long run. A $950 option, and the parts to do the same setup cost me $750, plus I expect it to take a few hours to install. Hindsight, eh?

I am having the same issue with the Springfield pedestal and Dicor slide. I checked this out very closely. The issue is not with the slide at all, but with the pedestal, which tilts away from the cam latches, especially if the weight is mostly away from them. I did tighten the nuts on the cam locks which are still easy to latch, and this helped quite a bit, but still left the table top listing. I have not had time to do anything further, but will tighten the nuts on the cam lock to the point they are as tight as I can handle latching to see what that will do.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:24 AM   #4
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I had to put spacers uneven between the table top and the pedestal to get the table level, thought it was just me.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:38 AM   #5
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Just out of curiosity, were you charge a penalty for the last minute outside light add-ons?
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Old 06-13-2017, 12:04 PM   #6
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My wife and I have added the out door shower and see it's use as cleaning fish and washing off muddy outdoor equipment & pets. Sound like you have done a great job on your trailer, should give you many years of happy travels.
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Old 06-13-2017, 12:33 PM   #7
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Very nice report with lots of good feedback. I'm sure it will help future build sheet decisions for folks.
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Old 06-13-2017, 01:06 PM   #8
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Don't know where your outdoor shower is located, but with ours located on the passenger side it gets a lot of use. Doing dishes outside, just tap using outside water access.
For the flooring: ours is light grey, and looks clean pretty much all the time. This has a lot to do with the smoothness of the surface and the pattern you choose.
Glad you are a happy Escape camper QuiltingLady! Hope you can enjoy for many years to come!!
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Old 06-13-2017, 01:07 PM   #9
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Sounds as if you did very well on the trailer, Nancy, and had a good trip and rally.

We have a lighter floor and I love it. Of course, we put a couple of rugs on the floor. We have a little vacuum for it. We purposely have light counters to see spots or stuff to clean up, as opposed to a mottled look where things can't be seen. Many people may not want spots seen.

You owners-to-be have to figure out much of this yourself. One way is not "the best" way but we hear that a lot. It depends upon what it is and your personal preference. We have people with dark counters and floors who love them and others with light counters or floors who love them, and for very different reasons. The same is true for fabric.

We kept the original shower curtain to put back with the trailer when sold and bought others also, including one with a scene that goes across the door.

We had a torque wrench with us. Escape says to check it every 100 miles for the first 300 when picking up, I believe.

But the way, I would say that the truck driver knows nothing about WDHs and small trailers. (We have seen such a lot.) Don't know what your tow vehicle is but many people would not do without their WDH. Good that you have a sway bar but a WDH has another purpose altogether.

You can now change your avatar!
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Old 06-13-2017, 01:56 PM   #10
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That solar controller screen always seemed like it would be a pain. Having to get down low to read it. I believe it has to be located so it is close to the battery, the recommendation is within three feet.

I am not sure what model controller Escape is now using, but is there an remote monitor available as an option for that product? Some models of solar controllers come with a wired remote that you can mount up high for easy viewing. Is that an option? If Escape is using the GoPower GP-PWM-30, there doesnot appear to be a remote screen option.

Another option that I use is the Trimetric Battery Monitor, connects vis a telephone cable. Perhaps too expensive for the results. Zamp makes a Bluetooth model that seems to be out of stock at Amazon, same price issue and poor reviews.
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeS View Post
Thanks for posting all of this! The first thoughts/regrets on a new Escape are extremely valuable to those of us still in the planning stages.

If you did it over would you do a darker floor or is it the specific lighter color that you think looks dirty? Meaning would you recommend darker brown tones of some kind?
WEll, I don't care for brown floors. A dark floor can show up every white piece of lint or whatever is white. The reason I went to such a light floor is that I wanted to open up the trailer so it would look more spacious and it did that. Everyone that walked through our trailer commented on how open and spacious it looked with the light floor, counters and the light turquoise fabric I choose. Several people even asked if I was the interior decorator of the group.

It looks great until you walk inside after a hike. or spill a little something. Even though it does have some gray tones slightly running through it.

I would stil want a light floor, but maybe not this light, something that hides the dirt a little better. I didn't go camping to be able to mop floors, but now I guess I will.
The subtle color I choose looks great with the busy design in the oak cabinets, I don't like putting a busy floor with all the grain of oak. but maybe I should have chosen a little darker color.
Good luck. I spent months picking out all the colors going to several stores with all my samples. I wanted to make sure the floor, cabinets, walls and uphol. all looked great together. If it was too bland it wouldn't be fun living in a little cracker box. When a woman has the cute factor involved they can just about handle anything. Think of all the terribly uncomfortable heels women wear when they find cute shoes. It is great when the men say to their wives decorate like you want.... that is a win win for the both of you. You get an Escape and she makes it livable.
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:56 PM   #12
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I opted for a light floor at home and same thing- it rarely looks spotless! But it does make the room light and open so I am not too unhappy.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:00 PM   #13
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Just out of curiosity, were you charge a penalty for the last minute outside light add-ons?

by last minute, I meant that is was a week or so before we turned in our build sheet. I may have asked for amber light covers after I turned in the build sheet and that was no charge.

I asked for a change in the vinyl stripe on the outside and that would have cost me 300.00 so I decided that the red I had first chosen was beautiful after all.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:11 PM   #14
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If you are having a problem from walking into the trailer with shoes, we leave ours at the door. This makes a huge difference. We have very little to clean up which is some vacuuming once in a while. We have an outdoor mat for outdoors and another at the door inside for indoors. The only actual washing of the floor is done at the end or beginning of a season. We would have a constant mess if we walked in with sand, mud, etc. all of the time. Don't know if this is what you mean. We also have slippers for inside.

Yes, the light floor no doubt makes it look more spacious as you say. I have seen some people's beautiful dark floors though. I like our light, too.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:53 PM   #15
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My wife and I have added the out door shower and see it's use as cleaning fish and washing off muddy outdoor equipment & pets. Sound like you have done a great job on your trailer, should give you many years of happy travels.
I keep telling my husband it will come in handy one day. All he says is that it will make our campground muddy.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:55 PM   #16
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By the way, we bought an exercise step to get into our trailer.
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Old 06-13-2017, 05:59 PM   #17
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If you are having a problem from walking into the trailer with shoes, we leave ours at the door. This makes a huge difference. We have very little to clean up which is some vacuuming once in a while. We have an outdoor mat for outdoors and another at the door inside for indoors. The only actual washing of the floor is done at the end or beginning of a season. We would have a constant mess if we walked in with sand, mud, etc. all of the time. Don't know if this is what you mean. We also have slippers for inside.

Yes, the light floor no doubt makes it look more spacious as you say. I have seen some people's beautiful dark floors though. I like our light, too.
Cathy, I think the slippers are a great idea and what I have in mind. We were camping in the mountains and too lazy to unlash our tennis shoes everytime we went in and out. Now we are down here in hot texas we can wear flip flops and that will make it easy. Because of my achy feet I can't go around without some kind of support though.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:06 PM   #18
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by last minute, I meant that is was a week or so before we turned in our build sheet. I may have asked for amber light covers after I turned in the build sheet and that was no charge.

I asked for a change in the vinyl stripe on the outside and that would have cost me 300.00 so I decided that the red I had first chosen was beautiful after all.
Ah, i understand. When you mentioned that you had gotten lights all the way around, thought that was a great idea when you explained why. My build sheet has been submitted, albeit quite a ways before commencing construction. I kind of just wanted the build sheet done. Wouldn't be worth it for me to pay the penalties.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:08 PM   #19
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Ah, i understand. When you mentioned that you had gotten lights all the way around, thought that was a great idea when you explained why. My build sheet has been submitted, albeit quite a ways before commencing construction. I kind of just wanted the build sheet done. Wouldn't be worth it for me to pay the penalties.
You Can always ask, they don't always add the penalty. I think I added the microwave and they didn't add the penalty.
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Old 06-13-2017, 06:13 PM   #20
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I hear they all love chocolate in the office, maybe worth the surprise package that arrives and then you calling for a change, they may overlook those pesky change order fees sometimes.
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