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Old 07-22-2015, 11:00 AM   #61
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As newbies ourselves (we get our very first trailer - a 5.0TA, Sept 8th) we read the threads over and over. Yes, there are plenty of threads about mods, but mods are done after you have your trailer and have camped with it, right?

It was mind boggling at first to read all the options possible, but if you know how you camp you only get what you want. As new to the whole camping thing, we surely benefitted from READING what options people ordered and WHY, because we don't have a "camping style" yet! We ordered in January and had until the end of June to submit our final build sheet. We are thankful to all the members for sharing their expertise which helped us make our choices. And we had 10 versions of build sheets before our final. Those ordering now have about a year to find out what options would be the best for them. Don't get stressed out about what to get or not to get!

Thank you to rbryan4, gbaglo, Jim Bennett, padlin, Donna D and all the other members who have graciously answered our sometimes monotonous questions! You all are experienced campers and we are thrilled to be part of this forum community.


We met several members at the Bluebonnet rally in Bandera, TX in April and they were all great to meet and shared their trailers with us. We also were lucky to have met Reace and Tammy there too, who took the time to talk with us about a few things that we needed clarification on. We were very lucky to have stayed with MacMan while there who was a gracious host, and also getting a 5.0TA (a few weeks before us). He and Charlie shared their build sheet lists and discussed why they were getting or not getting certain options. We are looking forward to meet more members on the road! Especially looking forward to meeting EDarby on our way out to Chilliwack!


Lucy
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:20 AM   #62
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Thank you Lucy.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:29 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Charlie & Lucy View Post
Thank you to rbryan4, gbaglo, Jim Bennett, padlin, Donna D and all the other members who have graciously answered our sometimes monotonous questions! You all are experienced campers and we are thrilled to be part of this forum community.
Ditto.... and well put, Lucy!

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Old 07-22-2015, 11:33 AM   #64
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Dual batteries, we are never plugged in so we need the capacity.
Solar Panel, again we are never plugged in so this is a must.
This is part of my point above. While a solar panel can be useful for many, it is not a must, all dependant upon how long you go out for, and what your 12V needs are. As I am sure all realize by now, being "plugged in" is a rarity for me. I do have the dual 6V batteries, and have camped for up to 4 nights with temps hovering around, or below, freezing, and have yet to deplete my batteries. Once I retire, and have more time to spend in the boonies, I will then rethink my solar needs.

So many RV'er, mostly the big units, all have solar power, yet only camp where they can be plugged in. Not much need for the solar there.

Though, I do believe it trumps the use of a gen set, at least in my view.

I did buy a 40W portable from Canadian Tire a few years back, but have only used it a couple times, and not likely really needed. Once I get a chance to go for longer trips, a larger solar panel will most likely be in the works at that time.

An option for those not sure they need solar, is to prewire for it, so installation is a snap if later desired.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:40 AM   #65
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It seems there are two distinct groups of people who are looking for information on mods. On one hand if you are spending around $30K for a trailer- which is neither high or low, but is still a significant sum- many buyers want to eliminate future regrets generated from having omitted something that would have been easy to do during build however they just don't know what all is out there. They look to this forum for answers. Here is just one example: a light switch inside near the door to control the driver's side outside light. Otherwise you have to walk around the trailer to turn it on/off.

The other camp seems to want every option/mod under the sun for whatever reason. To each their own, however it is a shame that Escape will not do one or both of two things. 1. List the most popular modifications done(that they are willing to still do) and 2. offer for a fee some consultation with a qualified staffer who can help the future owner decide what the right list for them is.
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Old 07-22-2015, 11:53 AM   #66
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It seems there are two distinct groups of people who are looking for information on mods.
Good point. There are those where camping has been a big part of their lives forever, including backcountry camping, and sleeping in tents, like me, and think that even the barest of Escape trailers offer a great luxury. Others, who have camped very little in the past, and see it as a great thing to do (and that it is) often see it more like roughing it, and are looking for more of the comforts of home being brought with them. Neither of these attitudes are wrong, and as long as they get their butts out enjoying life, it is a great thing either way.

In theory, I really like the idea of Escape offering some design assistance for those new to Escape, and what they can offer. Not sure they would, or could, even offer this, as it would put a lot of onus on the person helping the buyers out to make certain they do not miss covering anything. There is no way they could list what they are willing to do, as often some of these mods have multiple options too. I think their list of upgrades, items that are a definite "can do" is quite adequate.
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:07 PM   #67
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My 2 cents

We don't have any fancy sensors, no custom upholstery, no custom Formica, no power jack, no radio, no big fridge, no jack antenna, no microwave, no stove, no fancy fan, no extra shelf's, no inverter, no spray foam, no solar, no duel 6 volt batteries, and many other no's.

Not that anything is wrong with any of this stuff if you feel you really need it. We did not. More gadgets equal more problems to me. We still consider camping roughing it a little (although the Escape is not really roughing it) and don't think of it as moving our house to the woods. We do have fancy aluminum wheels and some standard options because I just wanted them. You get the idea.

Our 19' is such a great camper compared to our previous campers and is still just over the top to us every time we go camping to us after 2 years.

There are not any wrong options. We have a friend that spent many thousands of dollars more on their 19' than we did but guess what, we have just as much fun!

The funny thing is IF we were to decide to sell our camper we could probably get what we paid for it or more because of the increase in prices and it would probably be sold in less than 24 hours. NO ITS NOT FOR SALE!
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:16 PM   #68
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Others, who have camped very little in the past, and see it as a great thing to do (and that it is) often see it more like roughing it, and are looking for more of the comforts of home being brought with them.
This is where we're at. We've never camped and are quite clueless about it. We do not want to rough it - that's not our style and never will be. I did a month long RV rental by myself and was overwhelmed by it at times, esp when something would go wrong. I got very stressed by it.

Reading this forum and making notes on what all I want on the trailer has been a huge benefit. If I can get something on the trailer that will reduce my stress level while traveling, I will. If I can add a higher cabinet so I have more room to stash stuff, I will.

I love that I have those options. But I also want to know that I can ask questions without someone getting all pissy about it and commenting on "why is this still being discussed" or "stop stressing about it", "take a chill pill", etc, etc. If you don't like the discussion, stop reading it! And have more patience with those of us that are new to it all and are trying to learn.

I've learned a lot on this forum about the trailers and what all I want on the one we eventually order. But, I've also learned to not ask as many questions that I would like to ask about some of these options or even camping in general. I don't feel like having a wet blanket thrown on the discussion. Or having that bounty still listed for me (mentioned in another discussion).

I'm really looking forward to when we can finally order the trailer. I'm already planning things for it and it'll be great fun to see it come about. I thoroughly enjoy reading some of the threads on here.

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Old 07-22-2015, 12:27 PM   #69
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Ditto that Lucy!!!

p.s. Have I ever mentioned how much I love and appreciate this Forum? Oh yeah . . . I have. Have received nothing but kindness and support. Won't mention names because I wouldn't want to forget anyone. Thanks to all!


"Especially looking forward to meeting EDarby on our way out to Chilliwack!"
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:49 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
This is where we're at. We've never camped and are quite clueless about it. We do not want to rough it - that's not our style and never will be. I did a month long RV rental by myself and was overwhelmed by it at times, esp when something would go wrong. I got very stressed by it.

Reading this forum and making notes on what all I want on the trailer has been a huge benefit. If I can get something on the trailer that will reduce my stress level while traveling, I will. If I can add a higher cabinet so I have more room to stash stuff, I will.

I love that I have those options. But I also want to know that I can ask questions without someone getting all pissy about it and commenting on "why is this still being discussed" or "stop stressing about it", "take a chill pill", etc, etc. If you don't like the discussion, stop reading it! And have more patience with those of us that are new to it all and are trying to learn.

I've learned a lot on this forum about the trailers and what all I want on the one we eventually order. But, I've also learned to not ask as many questions that I would like to ask about some of these options or even camping in general. I don't feel like having a wet blanket thrown on the discussion. Or having that bounty still listed for me (mentioned in another discussion).

I'm really looking forward to when we can finally order the trailer. I'm already planning things for it and it'll be great fun to see it come about. I thoroughly enjoy reading some of the threads on here.
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:40 PM   #71
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I joined this forum almost three years ago. In that time the number of members has quadrupled; this is significant and comes with all the attendant problems of a growing community of like-minded--or not so like-minded--folks. That being said, I truly do notice a substantial increase in the level of stress evinced by potential buyers. Some of this anxiety is self-imposed by the buyers themselves but some of it is imposed simply by someone saying that an option is a must-have. No option is a must-have. That's why it's an option. What I find a silly addition to a perfectly good unit, someone else may find a necessity because of physical limitations or other reasons. As others have said a zillion times, a bare-bones Escape is a beautifully equipped trailer. Just go for it...
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:49 PM   #72
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Let me reiterate that I appreciate EVERYONE'S input! I'm not sure I'm "stressing" over all the options, although it does remind me of when we had our house built. So many decisions! Just trying to minimize the "I wish we had..." or the "I didn't know we could have...".

I have to keep reminding myself that we tent camped for 20+ years - up until 2014 - so an Escape trailer (or even our current Casita) is luxury by comparison.

One of the threads mentioned prewiring for a backup camera qnd power tongue jack, but Crystal just told me they don't do this (I guess this is a recent change). Also, they charge $50 to install Horst probes, which puts those at about $125us when you include shipping both ways, so I may decide to keep it simple and just skip all the "custom" stuff.
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Old 07-22-2015, 02:52 PM   #73
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I joined this forum almost three years ago. In that time the number of members has quadrupled; this is significant and comes with all the attendant problems of a growing community of like-minded--or not so like-minded--folks. That being said, I truly do notice a substantial increase in the level of stress evinced by potential buyers. Some of this anxiety is self-imposed by the buyers themselves but some of it is imposed simply by someone saying that an option is a must-have. No option is a must-have. That's why it's an option. What I find a silly addition to a perfectly good unit, someone else may find a necessity because of physical limitations or other reasons. As others have said a zillion times, a bare-bones Escape is a beautifully equipped trailer. Just go for it...
Well said

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Old 07-22-2015, 03:06 PM   #74
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I joined this forum almost three years ago. In that time the number of members has quadrupled; this is significant and comes with all the attendant problems of a growing community of like-minded--or not so like-minded--folks. That being said, I truly do notice a substantial increase in the level of stress evinced by potential buyers. Some of this anxiety is self-imposed by the buyers themselves but some of it is imposed simply by someone saying that an option is a must-have. No option is a must-have. That's why it's an option. What I find a silly addition to a perfectly good unit, someone else may find a necessity because of physical limitations or other reasons. As others have said a zillion times, a bare-bones Escape is a beautifully equipped trailer. Just go for it...
Yes, well said Karen. I couldn't, and definitely didn't, put it better myself.
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:18 PM   #75
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We recently returned from our first extendend time in our new 21 and can't be happier. I can't tell the difference in towng between the 19 and 21 , in fact I think the 21 is little smoother but this is likely due to the Anderson Hitch. For three of us and a dog there was more than enough storage for a two week trip to not even use all the storage. Spent a fair bit of time inside during some poor weather on a couple of days and was all good. We have most of the options but nothing custom other than a different colour couter top and I honestly can't think of anything that I would do differently. By the way the new two door fridge is a vast improvment, was 36 C one day and on maximum level kept the fridge to 3 C and ice cream was still frozen. thats good enough for me.
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Old 07-22-2015, 03:23 PM   #76
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Thank you Karen.
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:42 PM   #77
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Another perspective. I also come from a back country camping background where luxuries are few and far between. When we bought our Escape, we loaded it up with most of the available options at that time. Some of them I didn't see an immediate need for but imagined they could be quite useful in the future (air conditioning). Others such as solar, front storage box, and external propane quick connect surprised me at how truly useful they are. What surprised me most was that I spent a good amount of time before the build worrying about the stereo and speakers to get; but now that we have had the trailer for two years we find that they are seldom used. The custom fabric, Formica, door handles and hinges look nice but they are not as important to me now as they were pre-build.

Our next Escape will be much easier to decide on features.
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Old 07-22-2015, 05:58 PM   #78
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I joined this forum almost three years ago. In that time the number of members has quadrupled; this is significant and comes with all the attendant problems of a growing community of like-minded--or not so like-minded--folks. That being said, I truly do notice a substantial increase in the level of stress evinced by potential buyers. Some of this anxiety is self-imposed by the buyers themselves but some of it is imposed simply by someone saying that an option is a must-have. No option is a must-have. That's why it's an option. What I find a silly addition to a perfectly good unit, someone else may find a necessity because of physical limitations or other reasons. As others have said a zillion times, a bare-bones Escape is a beautifully equipped trailer. Just go for it...
Beautifully said!
We have just a few functional options, mostly because of the way I tend to think(function over everything else)
Compared to my 12x12 canvas pyramid tent, sleeping on an 8in mattress is all the luxury I can handle
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Old 07-25-2015, 01:47 PM   #79
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Folks;
As long-time campers (over 50 years including backpacking and car camping and having owned a Tab for 9 years), we knew how we camped (and were likely to in the future). Thus, option choices were not very stressful for us. We're getting our 17B on Aug. 14th. What has become somewhat stressful is the apparent marginal to poor performance of the 3-way refrigerators. Going from an icebox to a refrigerator was one of the primary reasons we are upgrading from the Tab. Hopefully, we will not experience the problems that other people are reporting. The possibility of buying a highly regarded Escape and getting a problematic refrigerator is stressful!
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Old 07-25-2015, 03:52 PM   #80
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We also moved directly from tent camping (50+ years) to an Escape with the 4.3 fridge. We've never lost any food to spoilage. We still maintain car camping habits. Travel with refrigerator items in a good cooler and transfer when camped. We use up items by most likely to spoil first. We try to shop every 3-4 days. We have never monitored either the fridge temperature (or cooler temperature) but the beer has always been cold. When in doubt, we keep items in the cooler knowing that it is top opening like a chest freezer.
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