Picked up my 17B on the 15th. It is so great, I can hardly stand it! Drove back to Chilliwack after dark and must say I was extremely nervous since this was my first trailer towing experience. But made it back and had my two hour driving class the next morning. My instructor (Valley Driving School, practically next door to ETI) was excellent - went above and beyond. His card is in my truck but I think his name was Howard.
I met Dave and his brother, Bob at the Osoyoos Rally and they invited me to Peachland B.C. to spend some time. I wound up spending five days with them. Their hospitality was amazing and I honestly don't know how I would have survived without having Dave as a one-on-one instructor the entire time. I wrote about it on my blog: My Country Roads | You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. β€“β€“ C.S. Lewis
As I said, I just love my Escape. The solar is working beautifully. The furnace heats up in just a minute or two. The hot water heats right away and there is still warm water at 10 at night.
Thoughts after one week with my Escape (this may change with time):
What I am SO glad I got:
• Solar and dual 12V batteries! One cloudy day in Peachland: still fully charged at end of that day
• The permanent bed in the front. Since I am single, it's perfect and it's great to have the large dinette space for drawing, etc. The bed is super comfortable and because there are little walls on each end, I feel like I'm in a cozy little cocoon. And I can never fall out of bed!!!
• The storage box!!! So great to be able to put all those accessories (hoses, chocks, leveling blocks, water pressure regulator, hook for awning, etc.) in there. A lot of $ but I feel it was worth it.
• Horizontal LED extra brake lights. Makes me feel good to know that I can be easily seen.
• Surge protector. Even though I plan on doing mostly dry camping, it will be good to be safe when I ever do hook-up.
• Foot flush toilet. Just so easy.
• Equalizer hitch. It was hinted at at ETI that it was overkill for my Tahoe and 17' but I'll take every advantage I can get!
• Power jack. Absolutely!!! So nice.
• Opening window in bath. Even with fan, I figure anything that can help get rid of condensation is a good thing.
• Extra insulation/dual pane windows, spray insulation underneath. There was frost on the window this morning. Glad to know I have the extra insulation.
What I could have done without:
• The captain's light over the bed. The LEDs are great and more than enough light for reading. I guess the captain's light would be good for two people so one could direct the light to their book and possibly not disturb the other. Speaking of LED's, the set of seven is wonderful. I don't recall if they are standard or not, but they are wonderful.
• Donna was right - the black counter tops show everything, including the wipe marks from a sponge. But I love the look of the black counters and red fabric. Would have chosen black again but maybe another surface instead of the flat black.
• Not sure but think I would be able to do without the hitch wheel.
What I don't have and would like:
There is a switch at the entry that turns on the outside light. It would be great to have a switch there to turn on at least one indoor light. Entered in completely darkness a couple of times and stumbled around trying to find switch. This may have been an option I missed. I just bought a little $3.00 LED light that I hooked on the cabinet door.
Again, this is only after a week. Things may change. Bottom line: so glad to be doing this adventure and so grateful to have discovered the Escape. Thank you again to all those on the Forum who were so patient with me through the year's wait. I do hope I can pay it back to others in the future.
In the meantime though, wifi access is limited. (at a Starbucks now) Will be switching to Verizon as soon as I can get my hands on an iphone 6S (that's been challenging) and plan on having a hot spot in order to have wifi. Also, still trying to find a way to charge my MacBook Pro. The 12V's I researched were not for the year I have. (15" late 2011)
Hope to see you guys on the road!