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Old 10-18-2017, 11:15 AM   #1
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4 season capability

I recently joined the forum and am pretty much beginning my research of various trailers with the intent to purchase in the next couple of years prior to retirement. As I stated in my introduction thread the other day, I have become very interested in the Escape trailers, particularly the 19. I have quite a number of questions about the Escape that some of you would have answers to or might be able to direct me to other threads that provide an answer. One of my biggest questions is on 4 season capability. As I research various products on the market, I see a lot of the stick builts (which I definitely don't favor) claim to be 4 season capable with more cabin insulation and have insulated and enclosed tanks and plumbing, among other things. I read where the Oliver Trailers have enclosed tanks/plumbing with ducted heating to the tank compartment. Can anyone enlighten me on what the Escape has specifically as standard and or optional equip. that would enable 4 season use or what modifications might be required?

Besides the usual "camping season use, my anticipated uses are to travel to areas out west at elevation and up north (MN, UP, Canada) during shoulder seasons where nighttime temps will be below freezing, using the TT during excursions to hunt where temps would definitely be below freezing (SD/ND pheasant, CO elk/deer, etc.). I see some pics and read some threads of those traveling to go ski and use the trailer in such conditions. However, I am not clear on what the TT can "handle" and what is required to get there for it to "handle" such conditions. Any help would be appreciated. The more specific the better.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:19 AM   #2
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I believe with the foam underneath, thermal windows and extra insulation you can camp comfortably down to -0- with electric hook ups and running an electric heater. As long as it goes above freezing during the day or you are moving the tanks should not freeze.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:20 AM   #3
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You also may want to invest in a heated water supply hose if you find a cg that has heated pedestals. Some do, even in New York and West Virginia in the winter.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:41 AM   #4
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You won't be able to dump the tanks if temps are consistently below freezing unless you use skirting and heat the space under the trailer. See this thread for complete discussion. Look at Lance trailers or Oliver trailers if this capacity is essential to you.

http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f9...i-go-6260.html
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:23 PM   #5
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You won't be able to dump the tanks if temps are consistently below freezing unless you use skirting and heat the space under the trailer. See this thread for complete discussion. Look at Lance trailers or Oliver trailers if this capacity is essential to you.

http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f9...i-go-6260.html
I think Escape trailers are great, but if you really want a four season trailer then I would recommend you look at Bigfoot trailers. An Escape can work in freezing temperatures, but if four season capabilities is a main criteria then get something designed for it. Of course you will have to pay a lot more and it will be substantially heavier. I personally don't need four season capability so an Escape is perfect for us.
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:24 PM   #6
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I wonder where holding tanks can be dumped in cold climates, all the dump stations up here appear closed in the winter months..
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:54 PM   #7
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You won't be able to dump the tanks if temps are consistently below freezing unless you use skirting and heat the space under the trailer. See this thread for complete discussion. Look at Lance trailers or Oliver trailers if this capacity is essential to you.

http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f9...i-go-6260.html
I really like the idea of 4 season and it is important, but not so much that after a few years of gently bouncing down forest service roads the thing falls apart on me. The Lance and other stick builts just scare me regarding their longevity. I like the idea of a Bigfoot, but the Escape has the perfect floorplan and other features I like. The Oliver is really nice and they are very proud of it ($$$$). I may have to compromise on "true" 4 season and work around it. As it is, MOST of my use would be during the shoulder seasons and during summer months.

That being said, can you guys tell me some about the insulation? I have read a couple threads that refer to buying their Escape with added insulation. Are they referring to the spray on stuff underneath the trailer spraying over the tanks and exposed fiberglass or is it some other added insulation. I saw one thread discussing putting added foam panels underneath and that is something I could very readily do.
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:00 PM   #8
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The added insulation is a separate option from the foam underneath. It's a closed cell foam sheeting material they put under the vinyl headliner. It doesn't have a big R value, but it adds in several ways:
- Insulation from cold and hot
- Sound reduction
- It just feels good to have cushioning under the headliner.

You also need to get the double pane windows.
I really like how this all works in my trailer. You do need to be sure to leave a window cracked and the Maxxfan open and running on 10% to prevent condensation.
Rich
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Old 10-18-2017, 02:51 PM   #9
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I saw one thread discussing putting added foam panels underneath and that is something I could very readily do.
Not sure what thread you viewed, but for your reference:
www.escapeforum.org/forums/f40/spray-foam-option-11339.html#post218211
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:08 PM   #10
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Not sure what thread you viewed, but for your reference:
www.escapeforum.org/forums/f40/spray-foam-option-11339.html#post218211
Yes, that is the thread I saw. Although I have just started this research process, the more you guys respond the more comfortable I am that an Escape would serve my purpose! Lots more research though as I know nothing(!!!!) about solar system, inverters, converters and generators and the like (the rest of trailering). My wife and I know we want to boondock a lot so I've got to get this stuff figured out. Again, thanks to all of you help so far.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:20 PM   #11
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Yes, that is the thread I saw. Although I have just started this research process, the more you guys respond the more comfortable I am that an Escape would serve my purpose! Lots more research though as I know nothing(!!!!) about solar system, inverters, converters and generators and the like (the rest of trailering). My wife and I know we want to boondock a lot so I've got to get this stuff figured out. Again, thanks to all of you help so far.
I recommend reading the blog "The RV Battery Charging Puzzle" Bob really knows his stuff. This forum has a lot of useful information as well. Solar is the way to go.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:42 PM   #12
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Regarding insulation. We have had our 17 b down to -23 degrees but I wouldn't recommend it. The 19 has the same sized furnace as the 17 but I bet it would be ok down to mid teens, especially now that Escape (I believe) has upgraded their insulation since we bought ours. You should also get the added insulation packages/double hung window packages. We have significant frosting of our window frames but the new frameless windows may mitigate that. Dry camping in cold temps works ok. We bring a 2.5 gal fresh water with a spigot and set it up by the sink and drain it into a bucket which gets discharged into a 5 g continer whch we dump peridically. Turn the toilet into a port-a- potty with plastic bags and a dose of biogel like this. https://www.amazon.com/Reliance-Prod...P60PV&pd_rd_w=
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:09 PM   #13
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ETI doesn't install heat tape around the exposed pipes (for dumping), but you might be able to add that yourself or get someone else to do it. We had ETI do it and it was one of the last, if not the last, trailer they did that on.

Just something to keep in mind during really cold weather.

Be sure you get the heat pads for the tanks if you want to use it during cold weather.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Tgent View Post
Besides the usual "camping season use, my anticipated uses are to travel to areas out west at elevation and up north (MN, UP, Canada) during shoulder seasons where nighttime temps will be below freezing, .
The shoulder seasons probably are better than Winter because my little dog hates going out in the snow.

I have the extra insulation but don't have the under trailer foam except for what I added myself.

My view is the trailer's usable 365 days a year. You just have to make adjustments for the season and not expect that it'll be as comfortable as a nice summer day.

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Old 10-18-2017, 05:27 PM   #15
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Regarding insulation. We have had our 17 b down to -23 degrees but I wouldn't recommend it. The 19 has the same sized furnace as the 17 but I bet it would be ok down to mid teens, especially now that Escape (I believe) has upgraded their insulation since we bought ours. You should also get the added insulation packages/double hung window packages. We have significant frosting of our window frames but the new frameless windows may mitigate that. Dry camping in cold temps works ok. We bring a 2.5 gal fresh water with a spigot and set it up by the sink and drain it into a bucket which gets discharged into a 5 g continer whch we dump peridically. Turn the toilet into a port-a- potty with plastic bags and a dose of biogel like this. https://www.amazon.com/Reliance-Prod...P60PV&pd_rd_w=
That is exactly what I would do.
Add some heating blankets (12v) to your gear, and you should be good. Bring some UCO Candlelier DeLuxe Candle holders, just in case.
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Old 10-18-2017, 07:14 PM   #16
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There is so much salt used on the highways around here in the winter for ice management that even if my Escape was suitable for four season use, I would park it in the winter. I have a utility trailer on which the steel frame has really become badly corroded due to winter travel. I will save my Escapes for non winter uses.
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:26 PM   #17
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I consider our Escape 5.0 TA a very nice, capable three season trailer. We do have the spray foam, double pane windows and heated holding tanks. There are multiple places where you can get cold air intrusion. The biggest culprits, are the cargo storage areas. On the passenger front hatch I ended up taping and stapling additional sheets of reflectix with a ensolite lid under the drawer. On the rear bench hatch I installed a ensolite divider/baffle against the battery box with additional pieces of ensolite glued to the sides and top inside the bench. Additional insulation with foam weather stripping around the front gap of the refrigerator has helped keep the trailer a little warmer when camping in the early spring and late fall. Also have future plans to tap into the twelve volt power in the landing gear hatch to run some heat tape around the exposed Pex elbow. Freezing temperatures at night with above freezing during the day, doable with onboard water. Prolonged freezing temps, I keep the trailer dry. Scott

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Old 10-18-2017, 08:50 PM   #18
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In my research, I too was interested in 4 season capability. What I concluded is that NO trailer on the market is truly 4 season capable. Yes, many manufacturers have a “4 season package” or options. But I found no trailer where you can camp in sub freezing temperatures for days on end, without modifying your behavior. You simply HAVE to take measures to function or prevent problems. As has been mentioned in previous responses, there are many things to consider: heat tape wrapping, extra insulation in vulnerable places, skirting the entire trailer, problems dumping tanks, problems with water supply freezes, condensation issues, etc. on and on. As I said, no trailer I found operates trouble free in freezing conditions. So, the compromise is finding something close to your needs and enhancing it and your camping procedures. I chose the Escape (still awaiting delivery) because of the durability to rough roads, build quality, etc. And ETI does offer some add-on options intended for extended use: tank heaters, underbody foam insulation, thermal windows, extra insulation. These will all help with cold weather camping, but will not make it trouble free. You will have to “take precautions”. To my mind, the molded fiberglass and build materials make it more suited to _any_ form of severe duty camping than anything else I could find on the market.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:30 PM   #19
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There is so much salt used on the highways around here in the winter for ice management that even if my Escape was suitable for four season use, I would park it in the winter. I have a utility trailer on which the steel frame has really become badly corroded due to winter travel. I will save my Escapes for non winter uses.
DOT in Alaska is using a brine consisting of 23% sodium chloride with a calcium chloride boost. I call it "Car-be-gone". It rusts out truck Frames and plays he-double hockey sticks with disk brakes. The only solution besides staying home is to wash your undercarriage every night. I wouldn't take my trailer out in that either.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:37 PM   #20
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You don't consider Bigfoot in recent years to have a four-season trailer? I understood that they claim certain models to be four-season and that people had used them for that.

Escape does not claim to be four-season. The only four-season camping that we expect to do is in Texas or similar. We have the spray foam and heat pads and insulation. It can get pretty cold even in Texas. No way we would be using the water system up north.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jking1224 View Post
In my research, I too was interested in 4 season capability. What I concluded is that NO trailer on the market is truly 4 season capable. Yes, many manufacturers have a “4 season package” or options. But I found no trailer where you can camp in sub freezing temperatures for days on end, without modifying your behavior. You simply HAVE to take measures to function or prevent problems. As has been mentioned in previous responses, there are many things to consider: heat tape wrapping, extra insulation in vulnerable places, skirting the entire trailer, problems dumping tanks, problems with water supply freezes, condensation issues, etc. on and on. As I said, no trailer I found operates trouble free in freezing conditions. So, the compromise is finding something close to your needs and enhancing it and your camping procedures. I chose the Escape (still awaiting delivery) because of the durability to rough roads, build quality, etc. And ETI does offer some add-on options intended for extended use: tank heaters, underbody foam insulation, thermal windows, extra insulation. These will all help with cold weather camping, but will not make it trouble free. You will have to “take precautions”. To my mind, the molded fiberglass and build materials make it more suited to _any_ form of severe duty camping than anything else I could find on the market.
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