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Old 07-06-2014, 09:18 PM   #1
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6 days til departure-15 days til Escape!

We will soon depart to pick up our Escape 21 and wanted to ask for some last minute advice. We will be completely new to towing and travel trailering though not new to camping. We have been taking notes from the forum since last summer. As tent campers we have amassed a lot of camping gear, and since ordering our Escape we have been gathering items that we need for the trailer and towing. But, we may be missing something, so we would love to hear from you--any advice on "must haves" that we don't want to leave home without? There will definitely be some hands-on learning but as planner people, we would like to be as prepared as possible! As planners, we should have asked for this advice more than 6 days out, but planning got in the way! And we have been taking notes from the collective experience on the forum...thanks so much!
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:22 PM   #2
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http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f7...k-up-3309.html

Just found this thread again...duh..
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:29 PM   #3
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Bottle opener and cork screw.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:29 PM   #4
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Bottle opener and cork screw.
Great minds! Already packed! Gotta have our priorities, right?
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:31 PM   #5
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Sharp knife for that steak dinner!

Actually a zero balance charge card for anything you forgot and absolutely need. And, I'd always suggest a journal.

Most of all, drive safely... both directions and make a ton of great memories!
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:33 PM   #6
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You have to set your brake controller to where the trailer brakes will slow you down, but not lock up. Practice applying your brakes on a parking lot, adjusting up or down until the brakes slow your down without skidding. Mine is around 2.0 setting. Also remember if you feel sway to tap the brake controller manually without applying your brakes, it will bring the trailer in behind you, good luck.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:37 PM   #7
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Maybe search the site for border issues and experiences. Passport.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Sharp knife for that steak dinner!

Actually a zero balance charge card for anything you forgot and absolutely need. And, I'd always suggest a journal.

Most of all, drive safely... both directions and make a ton of great memories!
Making memories will be the best part..for sure! First time to Canada and first travel trailer--it's gonna be a wonderful time!

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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
You have to set your brake controller to where the trailer brakes will slow you down, but not lock up. Practice applying your brakes on a parking lot, adjusting up or down until the brakes slow your down without skidding. Mine is around 2.0 setting. Also remember if you feel sway to tap the brake controller manually without applying your brakes, it will bring the trailer in behind you, good luck.
Thanks for that advice and the wish of good luck! I figure by the time we get back to Illinois, we should be pretty good at towing...right?!?!
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:38 PM   #9
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Maybe search the site for border issues and experiences. Passport.
Thanks...passports--check! Hoping for a good border crossing experience!
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:48 PM   #10
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For setting the brake controller, I prefer the approach of choosing a setting such that it takes only slightly more force on the brake pedal to brake the tug with trailer as it does without the trailer - this means the trailer is doing its share of the braking (but you don't want it doing more than its share and pulling on the tug.

With four 10" diameter brakes on the 21' (and 19'), and not a huge amount of trailer mass, I'm not surprised that Jim finds it doesn't take a very high setting on the controller to get enough trailer braking (although 2.0 on a scale of 0 to 12 is very low).
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:32 PM   #11
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Are you in for a grand experience. Just curious. Did you do anything regarding an Anderson or equalizer hitch? Some on this forum say it helps a lot in a wind and out here on the great plains, empty semis get blown over. Loren
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Old 07-06-2014, 10:40 PM   #12
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"As tent campers we have amassed a lot of camping gear, and since ordering our Escape we have been gathering items that we need for the trailer and towing. But, we may be missing something, so we would love to hear from you-"

See George Carlin's Stuff on Youtube. Less really is more...save room for getting more stuff on the road. Every time I get home it dawns on me that we didn't need "that stuff".

Brake control: on flat pavement at 25 mph activate the trailer brakes from the controller. If they lock up lower the value. I found it didn't take nearly as much as first indicated.

Congratulations & Have FUN!
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Old 07-06-2014, 11:25 PM   #13
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Brake control: on flat pavement at 25 mph activate the trailer brakes from the controller. If they lock up lower the value. I found it didn't take nearly as much as first indicated.
"At 25 mph" means coasting at about that speed (as in neutral), just in case that wasn't clear.
That's the usual procedure described by controller manufacturers such as Tekonsha; however, many people (including myself) have found that even the highest setting - which is far too high for actual use - still doesn't lock the wheels up. This depends on the specific combination of brake size, trailer weight, tow vehicle weight, and tires.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:21 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Loren & Cathy View Post
Are you in for a grand experience. Just curious. Did you do anything regarding an Anderson or equalizer hitch? Some on this forum say it helps a lot in a wind and out here on the great plains, empty semis get blown over. Loren
Grand adventure--absolutely! And yes, we have opted for the Andersen hitch.

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Originally Posted by Rossue View Post
"As tent campers we have amassed a lot of camping gear, and since ordering our Escape we have been gathering items that we need for the trailer and towing. But, we may be missing something, so we would love to hear from you-"

See George Carlin's Stuff on Youtube. Less really is more...save room for getting more stuff on the road. Every time I get home it dawns on me that we didn't need "that stuff".

Brake control: on flat pavement at 25 mph activate the trailer brakes from the controller. If they lock up lower the value. I found it didn't take nearly as much as first indicated.

Congratulations & Have FUN!
Thank you! And you are right less is more--we definitely aren't taking everything! I can't even imagine...whew! It will be unusual in that we won't be able to outfit the trailer from our driveway but we are trying to taking the basics of what we need to get us home.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:28 AM   #15
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You've mentioned being new to towing. I'd consider Valley Driving School (very close to Escape) or something on the other side of the border for professional lessons. Valley trains big rig truck driver wannabes.

We've had discussions on the Forum about this and people have talked about towing/driving lessons.

Liz and I figured that since we are new to towing, since we've already spent $$$ Money on a trailer, since we want to be safe and not to provide too much free spectator entertainment in campgrounds when we back into sites, why not pay for 3 hours of lessons.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:42 AM   #16
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Things to bring:

1. If you're getting an Andersen Hitch, make sure you have either a large adjustable wrench or a 1/2" socket driver. They give you the socket, but you need some way to turn it. Fortunately I remembered the wrench and bought the socket driver once we got home.

2. Some pieces of wood for under the jack stands and hitch post.

3. Passports

4. License plate

5. Purchase paper work, so you can prove to the customs people you already paid for it and aren't carrying 30K in cash.

6. A gas can for your tow vehicle, particularly if you have no idea what kind of gas mileage to expect. I didn't bring one, but it might have offered a piece of mind. There are some stretches going down 101 in Oregon and then again coming back through the high desert where gas stations are few and far between. A lot of the locals were carrying extra gas up and down 101 as there are miles without gas.

7. If you don't get the start up kit, make sure to bring wheel chucks and rubber gloves to empty the water tanks.

8. If you're bringing a TV, make sure you have coaxial to hook the TV into the outlet inside the trailer (not included with the TV prep package) and a piece of coaxial to go from the trailer to the cable hookup at the campsite. I remembered the internal wire at the last minute. Bought the external wire at a KOA in ID.

9. Tire wrench so you can check you lug nuts

10. Screw driver so you can get the hub cap off to get to the lug nuts.

11. Tire pressure gauge.

12. A note pad so you can take notes during the orientation.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:21 PM   #17
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Bill and Ann-Marie---excellent! Thanks much! Would have left home without a few of those things.
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Old 07-07-2014, 08:43 PM   #18
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1. If you're getting an Andersen Hitch, make sure you have either a large adjustable wrench or a 1/2" socket driver....
The "socket driver" name makes sense, but they're easier to find if you look for a "ratchet handle" (or just "ratchet").

Quote:
Originally Posted by bisonbill View Post
6. A gas can for your tow vehicle, particularly if you have no idea what kind of gas mileage to expect. I didn't bring one, but it might have offered a piece of mind. There are some stretches going down 101 in Oregon and then again coming back through the high desert where gas stations are few and far between.
Another approach is to just make a point of filling up before the long stretches, and pay attention to those "No Services for XXXX miles/km" signs. Oregon's only a few hundred kilometers corner-to-corner, so those no-service stretches can't be more than half the range of any reasonable rig. Carrying a full gas can is okay in a pickup truck, but generally not a good idea with enclosed vehicles; carrying an empty one isn't much help because the place you can hitchhike to so you can buy gas will likely sell you a can as well.

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Originally Posted by bisonbill View Post
7. If you don't get the start up kit, make sure to bring wheel chucks and rubber gloves to empty the water tanks.
I'm not sure why wheel chocks are needed for emptying the tanks - is this just to raise one side to make the grey waste tank drain faster?

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Originally Posted by bisonbill View Post
10. Screw driver so you can get the hub cap off to get to the lug nuts.
Unless you have the alloy wheels, which have a centre cap that doesn't cover the wheel nuts (although I would carry a screwdriver anyway!)
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:25 AM   #19
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This is exactly where we are on our Escape timeline. One week away from heading west and two weeks away from orientation. I hope everything is proceeding as planned. We've only received one set of build pictures so far.

It has been a long wait. We agonized over the options and hope we made the right choices. We sold our Casita in April and missed an entire camping season. This six or seven week trip with the new Escape should make up for that.

We never needed any kind of special Anderson type hitch for the Casita so we are assuming we won't need one for the new 19. We tow with a Honda Ridgeline. We will fill the truck bed with what we need to set up the new trailer. We are primed and excited. I wish we had more pictures.

We put a lot of thought into our build. Ad vice and suggestions from this board was most valuable. We'll report back as to what works and what we wished we'd done.

Bon voyage
Harris & Ellen
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Old 08-25-2014, 11:40 AM   #20
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...what works and what we wished we'd done. Bon voyage Harris & Ellen
No looking back! If you agonized over your decisions, you undoubtedly made all the right choices for you--don't let anyone second guess you. Good luck and safe travels...
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