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Old 02-22-2020, 01:25 PM   #1
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Avoiding Rookie Mistakes

Any Escape / Fiberglass / Camper Trailer rookie mistakes to look out for? Soon to be new to Escape and looking for any advice on avoiding common mistakes that are new to the hobby before we pick up and head out for our first trip. What do you wish you wouldnít have done
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Old 02-22-2020, 01:40 PM   #2
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Chock your wheels before you unhook. Otherwise your weekend will be all downhill. Pull your jocks just before you pull out and put them away.
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Old 02-22-2020, 02:02 PM   #3
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Crank up your stabilizers before you try to hook up!
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Old 02-22-2020, 02:06 PM   #4
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When unhooking, removing safety chains is the last step.
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Old 02-22-2020, 02:17 PM   #5
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Carry with you a pre-drive checklist, same as what pilots do before they fly. It's the best way to avoid rookie mistakes. We use ours every time before we drive off. Try searching for a generic one someone else has posted previously on this forum. If not, create your own. Include everything you can think of. Go over your checklist, item by item, before you clear yourself for driving away. Your list should have things to check on the inside and the outside of the camper. It's best to have a helper, someone who can check to make sure camper turn signals and brake lights are working, for example. Plus, "two heads" checking things are better than one. IMO. -Tom
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Old 02-22-2020, 02:32 PM   #6
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Donít slam closed your manual awning if you have open awning windows in the way of the arms.

Donít over tighten the awning windows.

Donít leave the power awning open fully in a heavy rain storm.

For 2018 and older trailers or is you are visiting and older Escape...donít lean on the open door if the front passenger awning window is open.

Donít drive away with the propane cover hatch latches not done up.

Donít open the waste cap unless both valves are closed. Also stand back as someone may have opened the valves then closed them again...loading up the tube.

Donít leave home without tools to retract the power awning in case of motor failure our alignment problems.

Donít make super tight turns if you have a trailer with dual axles.

Donít forget to drain your hot water tank when winterizing your trailer.

Donít leave any windows or vents open if your driving on a dusty gravel road.

Donít drive with your fridge powered by 12 volts. Your tow vehicle wiring will most likely not be able to provide enough power to keep up with the discharge.

Donít enter a road or a restaurant parking lot unless you know there is a way out.

The roof vent can be open if it is not dusty while you drive but it must be all the way open and the handle pushed to lock.

Personally we donít leave the trailer with the pump on or the external water source on. If a water line fails your trailer can become an aquarium.

Many good recommendations can also be found by watching the Escape U tube video series.

Good luck with you new trailer.
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Old 02-22-2020, 02:35 PM   #7
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Here is mine. You will need to adapt to your situation. I copied some from another forum, where the poster included "Check check list". I have it printed at about 50 per cent and laminated with a hole for a zip tie. Hangs by the door.


Drive Away Checklist

SPARE KEYS

Inside Checks:

Loose Items Stored
Windows Closed
Blinds secure
Tank levels
Battery level
Thermostat OFF
Water Heater OFF
Water Pump OFF
Shower / Sink Drains CLOSED
Stove Cover DOWN
Screen Door FASTENED
Fridge Door Shelves LIGHT
Fan OFF
Roof Vents ( Bathroom / Fan ) CLOSED
TP and Paper Towels SECURED
Door LOCKED
Step STORED / SECURE

Outside Checks:

Tire Pressure 60-65 psi.
Note: Lower Pressure = Lower Load
Range Hood Vent LOCKED
Power DISCONNECT
Water DISCONNECT
Rock Shield DOWN AND LOCKED
Awning LOCKED
Stabilizer Jacks UP & TIGHT
Wheel Blocks STORED
Equalizer Bars LEVEL & SECURE
Chains IN PLACE
Hitch LOCKED
Brake / Signal Lights OK
Step STORED / SECURE
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 3M hooks and check list.jpg (141.7 KB, 23 views)
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What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
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Old 02-22-2020, 05:40 PM   #8
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Make sure the rock guard is securely closed. If the rock guard comes loose, you need to replace the entire window. (Ask us how we know!)

Take your time, don't be in a rush.

Safety first.

From others, we learned that you need to move the vehicle slightly forward or backward (depending on the slant of the camp site) when unhitching. It can catch and your vehicle (not the trailer) will drop, making a huge thump!

We are getting better at it and always pinch ourselves how easy it is!

Lorna
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Old 02-22-2020, 05:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo;

Outside Checks:

Tire Pressure 60-65 psi.
Hmmm, do you have different tires? Our manual says 50 psi..
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Old 02-22-2020, 05:58 PM   #10
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Don't store the egg carton vertically in the 'fridge just to save space. Otherwise - plan on skipping that bacon and egg breakfast.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:04 PM   #11
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[QUOTE=P&L;325285]
Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo;

Outside Checks:

Tire Pressure 60-65 psi.
QUOTE

Hmmm, do you have different tires? Our manual says 50 psi..

Yup. Carlisle load range D. That's why you need to adjust the check list for your situation.
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What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:23 PM   #12
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Don't leave home without a sense of humor and a zero balance credit card.
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Old 02-22-2020, 06:52 PM   #13
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Donna is right. Sense of humor helps, especially backing up. -Tom
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:11 PM   #14
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Do not remove the water heater anode when the water system is under pressure. It will come out like a projectile and hot water in your face will follow. 1 1/16 socket 1/2 inch drive, 4 or 6 inch extension and breaker bar. Three or four wraps of Teflon tape on the threads on the reinstall. Use a magnesium anode about 9 or ten inches long.
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:18 PM   #15
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Make sure waste cap is back on before driving away from dump.
Make sure 7pin connector is plugged into Tow Vehicle before driving off.

I have road rash on both of mine,,,,
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:19 PM   #16
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When hooking up develop a sequential pattern which you follow each time. If u are travelling with someone have that person check your work. This last item is important: when hooking up DONT engage in unrelated conversation with anyone (ie someone from a neighbouring site who comes to say goodbye) cause you may forget something. I did that and drove the Coq without an attached breakaway switch
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:21 PM   #17
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Perhaps other forum members will be willing to share their dumbest mistakes.
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:32 PM   #18
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If you use the closet as a pantry get cupboard bars, just like refrigerator bars, to hold items on the shelves when you hit a big bump. The heavy items hit the closet door and it opens spilling out the items. Tape lids shut on screw lids, such as instant coffee if they are in the closet. Glass jars should not be in the closet, but under the benches. Do not ask how we know this.
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Upfisk View Post
If you use the closet as a pantry get cupboard bars, just like refrigerator bars, to hold items on the shelves when you hit a big bump.

Those didn't work for me. I had canned goods in the shallow cupboard over the axle on my 17B. I tried to use them as instructed. Then I installed screws either side of the cupboard opening and cut a slot in the ends of the bars to accept the screws. Couldn't have made them tighter. Didn't work. Then I added a 1" x 1" lip to the bottom of the cupboard. Then I went back to bungee cords through the handles.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Can cupboard.jpg (219.4 KB, 44 views)
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What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
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Old 02-22-2020, 07:54 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Those didn't work for me. I had canned goods in the shallow cupboard over the axle on my 17B. I tried to use them as instructed. Then I installed screws either side of the cupboard opening and cut a slot in the ends of the bars to accept the screws. Couldn't have made them tighter. Didn't work. Then I added a 1" x 1" lip to the bottom of the cupboard. Then I went back to bungee cords through the handles.
I have canned goods there but they are in a shallow box (used to be a refrigerator tray in an old fridge) and I've never had any problem in my 15A. I guess because it is either all or nothing they've stayed put, so far.
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