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Old 04-07-2014, 08:32 PM   #1
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First night

I took delivery of my Escape 21 today and am camping in Deception Pass State Park in Washington. I am at a site with no hookups, and intend to stay here for several days to give the trailer a "shake-down" and get accustomed to the idea of dry camping. I have no recent RV experience. What should I be checking, looking for, testing, etc? Fire away.

It tows really well, btw. No problems there.

thanks,

Mike Lewis
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:35 PM   #2
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I can't help Mike. I don't dry camp. But wanted to step in and say TERRIFIC. Enjoy every moment. There's only ONE FIRST time.
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Old 04-07-2014, 08:37 PM   #3
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Watch you solar read out and monitor your volt reading, keep it above 12.0 volts and the next morning when the sun comes up watch the solar recharge and watch the volts climb back up. Run your furnace and water heater after purging the propane lines going to the stove. Then turn the refer to propane or auto mode. See if everything works. Turn on your water pump and pressurize your system and enjoy.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:15 PM   #4
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Make sure you have ear plugs. The night we camped at Deception Pass there was a ton of air traffic in and out of a nearby air base. Based on my experience, check the fit of the main door in the morning and make sure there is no light coming in around the seals. Read the manual on the surge protector so you understand the code letters flashing on the LED panel...helps when it shuts the power off and you don't know where to start looking to fix the problem. Make a pre departure check list and use it. Otherwise..just sit back and love your new Escape!
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:18 PM   #5
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The water heater element can burn itself up in a hurry if there is no water in the water heater before you turn the water heater on.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:27 PM   #6
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Am I the only one that thinks those-in-the-know would really help newbies out by having some sort of "new ETI trailer owner" check list available in the doc center? I'm gonna be one of those folks the last part of June...
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:33 PM   #7
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There is the orientation that Escape does, there is the video that I did with Tammy going through trailer systems ( much of it still valid - shot in 2008 ) and there is the instruction manual.
That's not to say another checklist wouldn't be helpful.
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Old 04-07-2014, 09:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Am I the only one that thinks those-in-the-know would really help newbies out by having some sort of "new ETI trailer owner" check list available in the doc center? I'm gonna be one of those folks the last part of June...
Donna - You are SO right!!! We were the lucky recipients of the new Escape manual but, even so, there are little things that we were unsure of (e.g., does the water fill the hot water tank automatically when you first turn on the pump, and how to do we know that before we try lighting the hot water heater ...). We went through the video several times AND the orientation; however, it was pretty overwhelming and, even though there were two of us taking photos and notes, there were things that we second-guessed ourselves on when we were on our own. Thankfully, SantaCruzer came over this weekend and we were able to ask him questions (thank you Bob!!).
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:26 PM   #9
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I would love a departure check list. It sounds like there are many things that if forgotten could cause problems
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:28 PM   #10
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How do you purge the propane tanks?
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:49 PM   #11
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Don't make our mistake ... Run the refer off propane ...
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
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How do you purge the propane tanks?
That's one of those options from ETI. Otherwise, you haul your tank(s) to a propane dealer and tell them to "purge and fill."
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
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I would love a departure check list. It sounds like there are many things that if forgotten could cause problems
http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/at...0&d=1396063684
Here is a good list
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:07 PM   #14
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I have a camping departure checklist. WALK AROUND AND LOOK! I'm asking about a brandnew trailer check list. When I bought my Scamp, it was already 15 years old and I've been a camper for years.

For instance, I know at least one owner had a leak in the bathroom from the sink plumbing. Easily fixed by hand tightning. But still... what should I check out that first night?
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:10 PM   #15
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I suspect you may not want the fridge off...just check your power source for it. My screen retracts automatically ... so I would want it open ... but then I would have to walk through it to get out of the trailer if it were closed.

You have an ongoing debate about running the fridge on propane vs batteries when traveling...I'm not going there.

That list is almost exactly like ours. I tend to drive off with the step out...but it's on the passenger side so it's "her fault."
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:18 PM   #16
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Thanks this list will be helpful I am new to camping with a trailer. well I camp but I sleep in my goose neck horse trailer def dry camping not used to managing all the doodads it's easy to forget something.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:25 PM   #17
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Here is the list as text ( before Brian B-P made it all pretty ).
You can edit this, adding or subtracting.
If you don't have a salt grinder that comes apart during travel, for instance.
I sized it and had it laminated so it hangs conveniently on a hook at the door.

Drive Away Checklist

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 OFF
Fridge Door Shelves LIGHT
Fan OFF
Roof Vents ( Bathroom / Fan ) CLOSED
TP and Paper Towels SECURED
Salt & Pepper Grinders SECURED
Door LOCKED
Step STORED / SECURE

Outside Checks:

Tire Pressure 40-45 (Min 30 / Max 50 )
Note: Lower Pressure = Lower Load
Gas OFF
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, 7 views)
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:44 PM   #18
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Nice I will do the same
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:45 AM   #19
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Mike, if you are taking several days at Deception Pass, then simply look through each booklet that came with each appliance, and test all of the regular operating instructions, and get familiar with the controls for all the equipment, and feel confident that everything works OK.

It seems like a whole lot of information at first, but most everything gets pretty simple once you have done it once or twice.

If you are dry camping with no hookups, check your tank levels once a day or more to gauge how fast you are filling your tanks. Totally depends on what you put in them.

If you have a hour or so to kill one morning, try a hookup to your tow and visit the dumping station for a practice run, then unhook back at the same site. It gets easier each time you do it.

Refer to the Escape checklist before leaving your campsite, if you are really worried about forgetting about something important.

My 19' is my first trailer, I just got back from my first trip a week ago. Can't wait to go on the next trip.

You will feel like a pro before long.
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Old 04-08-2014, 05:26 AM   #20
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I can feel your unease! I will pick up my 19' at ETI on May 2 and then begin 10 weeks of towing and camping. I have been on the forum for a year and am still a little nervous about going from 50 years of tent camping to a newbie trailer camper. Luckily, my wife and I can't wait to begin this new adventure.I am also fortunite that this is the start of another phase of life - retirement. Please share with us what you learn. And remember - it's all good!!! Good luck and happy camping!
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