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Old 10-16-2021, 10:05 AM   #1
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My three year review

Hello all, I have been meaning to post my two cents about the escape we purchased three years ago. We wanted to go fiberglass because we wanted something light and around 19’ (was trying to downsize a bit), that was hail resistant, aesthetically pleasing and had a twin axle. Overall, escape has delivered. Balancing price and the above desires, it is a solid trailer. There are some minor issues that I want to point out. Perhaps any future buyer will get some value from this.
1. The grey drain piping leaked on day 5 of ownership. They handled this and other maintenance issues well by sending me a drain kit. It was basically lazy, sloppy gluing of the drain piping. There was dried glue dripping everywhere. It was like a fourth grader did it. Makes you hope the same guy/gal did not do all the plumbing. I ended up using a snap ring glue on option since it is low pressure, grey drain rather than cutting out the drain kit. It worked.
2. Cabinets: On three separate cabinets now I have had to replace the hinge on the opposite side of the closer. I suspect this is because of how the hardware was mounted, or the imbalanced shear force of just having a closer on one side. Pain in my ass.
3. EZ lube axles. I have researched this issue, discussed it with heavy truck/trailer mechanics, and contacted the manufacturer of the bearings. Bottom line, the whole EZ lube concept on a travel trailer is a load of bunk. The manufacturer told me this was intended to be used on boat trailers where the grease gets washed out regularly, not travel trailers. The mechanics all remove the bearings and grease them the old way. Too easy to blow out the seal, or improperly grease your bearings.
4. AC filter access hatch: This is a gripe with the AC manufacturer. You basically will end up brutalizing your plastic snaps on the edge of this access hatch after about a dozen times removing and cleaning the AC filter. Not a big deal, but its a lousy design. Mine is held in place by duct tape now.
5. The vinyl snap on rock guards are a joke. I have already gone through three of these. They don’t even make it through a season without tearing from the force of wind. Better to offer 3M film as an add on in my opinion.
6. Getting to the roof is hard: This is just a consideration for any future owner. I live in hail country. Here it is inevitable that I will have to replace the max fan roof vent cover some day. Instead of just walking up on the roof with other campers, you cannot bear any weight on the escape roof. I will find a way, but an inevitable repair issue that used to be easy will be more of a pain in the butt.
7. They overinflated my tires by 15 psi. Basically whoever filled the tires is an idiot. They basically just read the sidewall of the tire rather than looking at the frame of the trailer. Unfortunately for me, I did not notice this for about 1000 miles. Naturally, this created abnormal wear on the tire. Furthermore, their owners manual gave inaccurate directions to owners on the proper PSI. I pointed this out to ESCAPE, hopefully they have rectified it.
8. You are on your own: Escape has done everything they can from 2000 miles away to give me direction on repairs, maintenance, etc. However, you are still mostly on your own. I have inland truck do any issues with brakes, suspension, bearings, etc, but otherwise I think RV dealerships which already have a very questionable track record for doing repairs properly will have even less knowledge and desire to repair this type of trailer. If you are not reasonably handy and don’t live close to the mothership in BC, you should consider this. Fortunately, I am pretty handy.

Big picture: To be clear, I am generally happy with the escape. I am aware that construction quality for most RV’s is not on the level of one’s home for example. You don’t have plumbers doing the plumbing or electricians doing the wiring, for example. However for the money, if you want a fiberglass trailer, and don’t want to pay for the most expensive brands (oliver), escape is a good buy. Like all things you have to pick what is most important to you.

M
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Old 10-16-2021, 11:23 AM   #2
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Nice write up. Thanks for sharing.

FYI…I replaced the MaxxFan by working from both sides and leaning on the edges of the roof. I wouldn’t stand up there but the roof can take some weight especially along the edges.
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:14 PM   #3
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I repaired our MaxxFan by laying a strip of rigid foam on the roof and kneeling on that. As Rubicon said, the edge is sturdy.
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:21 PM   #4
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Good points, thanks
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:28 PM   #5
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I have replaced the original MaxxFan cover with the smoke lens option and highly recommend you requesting that option. The smoke lens really lets in a lot more "outdoor" than the opaque stock cover.
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:30 PM   #6
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It is easier to deflate a tire than to inflate a tire. ETI does not know if you are going to load your trailer with lead dinnerware or paper plates. It's up to you what PSI to use after loading and weighing your trailer.
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Old 10-16-2021, 12:35 PM   #7
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Then why do they recommend 50 psi, and deliver it with 65? Their own maintenance department admitted it was a mistake on their part. Furthermore you never try to compensate for excessive loading of ANY vehicle by overinflating tires. Overinflation can damage tires quite a bit, as can underinflation. What you do is load the vehicle per manufacturer guidelines. I am not agreeing with your opinion, but you are entitled to have it.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maNE View Post

2. Cabinets: On three separate cabinets now I have had to replace the hinge on the opposite side of the closer. I suspect this is because of how the hardware was mounted, or the imbalanced shear force of just having a closer on one side. Pain in my ass.

I've replace a few hinges of both trailers but then again I sometimes drive on roads others wouldn't. The problem is that the catch doesn't provide any vertical support. On a rough road the door isn't supported by the catch inducing some fatigue in the top hinge. I installed a mirror on the back of the door over the hanging locker. One hinge fatigued and broke so I installed a secondary support for the door. Short of going to marine type push to release type hardware I don't think it's enough of a problem to worry about.

5. The vinyl snap on rock guards are a joke. I have already gone through three of these. They don’t even make it through a season without tearing from the force of wind. Better to offer 3M film as an add on in my opinion.

To each their own on this one. I'm fortunate enough to have both a tongue box and the vinyl guards. Neither of the guards on both trailers had any issues at all. Considering the amount of debris thrown up on gravel roads etc. I'm glad to have them.


6. Getting to the roof is hard: This is just a consideration for any future owner. I live in hail country. Here it is inevitable that I will have to replace the max fan roof vent cover some day. Instead of just walking up on the roof with other campers, you cannot bear any weight on the escape roof. I will find a way,
M

It's a non-issue. Yes, you will find a way. As others have said; 1. you can kneel at the edge. 2. you can put a square of rigid foam down to spread out your weight and lastly you can put lot's of weight on areas that are over the bulkheads.

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Old 10-16-2021, 01:18 PM   #9
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3. EZ lube axles. I have researched this issue, discussed it with heavy truck/trailer mechanics, and contacted the manufacturer of the bearings. Bottom line, the whole EZ lube concept on a travel trailer is a load of bunk. The manufacturer told me this was intended to be used on boat trailers where the grease gets washed out regularly, not travel trailers. The mechanics all remove the bearings and grease them the old way. Too easy to blow out the seal, or improperly grease your bearings.
Swing and a miss!!!

West Marine
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Selecting Trailer Brakes


Few boat trailers are equipped with electric brakes, but they’re used on many RV and utility trailers. RV-grade systems, with painted automotive-grade components, are not intended for submersion, especially in salt water. Submerging a pair of electromagnet actuators and their wiring is generally regarded with the suspicion that occurs whenever you mix water with electricity.

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Old 10-16-2021, 01:23 PM   #10
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Then why do they recommend 50 psi, and deliver it with 65? Their own maintenance department admitted it was a mistake on their part.
Yes, people sometime make mistakes.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:28 PM   #11
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5. The vinyl snap on rock guards are a joke. I have already gone through three of these. They don’t even make it through a season without tearing from the force of wind. Better to offer 3M film as an add on in my opinion.
I agree no one should order the trailer with the snap on rock guards. I don't know why anyone would not get the storage box for this very reason. In addition to being a very handy storage place and a locking battery box. It has a white rubberized coating. It provides excellent protection for the front of the trailer.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:32 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by maNE View Post
8. You are on your own: Escape has done everything they can from 2000 miles away to give me direction on repairs, maintenance, etc. However, you are still mostly on your own. I have inland truck do any issues with brakes, suspension, bearings, etc, but otherwise I think RV dealerships which already have a very questionable track record for doing repairs properly will have even less knowledge and desire to repair this type of trailer. If you are not reasonably handy and don’t live close to the mothership in BC, you should consider this. Fortunately, I am pretty handy.
Poor service from RV dealerships seems like a reason for Escape to stay factory direct. Anyone buying an RV should understand that RVs are subjected to forces that cause things to break and come loose. Those that can't take care of things themselves or afford to pay an independent mechanic to take care of them shouldn't be buying any RV.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:52 PM   #13
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5. The vinyl snap on rock guards are a joke. I have already gone through three of these. They don’t even make it through a season without tearing from the force of wind. Better to offer 3M film as an add on in my opinion.
My vinyl snap-on rock guards are original to 2008. They are not pretty any more, but they are still functional.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:52 PM   #14
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Swing and a miss!!!

West Marine
The West Advisor
Selecting Trailer Brakes


Few boat trailers are equipped with electric brakes, but they’re used on many RV and utility trailers. RV-grade systems, with painted automotive-grade components, are not intended for submersion, especially in salt water. Submerging a pair of electromagnet actuators and their wiring is generally regarded with the suspicion that occurs whenever you mix water with electricity.

To be clear, my point with the easy lube bearings is not to submerge them like a boat trailer. My point was that there is nothing “easy” about the lubrication of the bearings. In my opinion, and apparently numerous mechanics, they should be disassembled and packed just as we always have with bearings.
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Old 10-16-2021, 01:56 PM   #15
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To be clear, my point with the easy lube bearings is not to submerge them like a boat trailer.
EZ Lube is not the same as Bearing Buddies ( which are made for boat trailers ).
I figure is best to inspect and repack, in any event.
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Old 10-16-2021, 03:00 PM   #16
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To be clear, my point with the easy lube bearings is not to submerge them like a boat trailer.
You stated that the EZ-Lube system is designed for boat trailers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maNE View Post
3. EZ lube axles. I have researched this issue, discussed it with heavy truck/trailer mechanics, and contacted the manufacturer of the bearings. Bottom line, the whole EZ lube concept on a travel trailer is a load of bunk. The manufacturer told me this was intended to be used on boat trailers where the grease gets washed out regularly, not travel trailers.
It is not. I sincerely doubt that Dexter actually told you it was designed for boat trailers.

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My point was that there is nothing “easy” about the lubrication of the bearings. In my opinion, and apparently numerous mechanics, they should be disassembled and packed just as we always have with bearings.
Yes, the EZ-Lube system is not easier for a mechanic.

To properly use the EZ-Lube system is very time consuming. You have to manually pump in the grease, turning the wheel, done properly the pressure from the grease has time to move the old grease out to the end of the spindle and not blow out a the brake seal.

It is easier and quicker for a mechanic to remove and repack the bearing.

The EZ-Lube system is designed to allow owners to repack their bearings with nothing more than a jack and a grease gun.

So, of course a mechanic is going to say it doesn't make it easier for them it doesn't.

A mechanics time is far too valuable for them to take the time to use the system properly. Those that tried to short cut the process, ended up with blown out seals.

None of that makes it a bad system for someone who has the time to use it as designed.
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Old 10-16-2021, 03:26 PM   #17
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To be clear, my point with the easy lube bearings is not to submerge them like a boat trailer. My point was that there is nothing “easy” about the lubrication of the bearings. In my opinion, and apparently numerous mechanics, they should be disassembled and packed just as we always have with bearings.
From the beginning we have avoided the exlube and repacked bearings every other year
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Old 10-16-2021, 03:32 PM   #18
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I must have got a good one: no cabinet issues, no leaks in plumbing except for an improperly tightened water feed under the sink the first week and 2 minutes of work. Did find a broken brake wire, had the control unit for the water heater fail and a improper crimp on the battery feed. Most all of these I fixed in the first year. Quality control could have been better, even pre sale of the company. I don’t like the Oliver’s layout to go upscale. Escapes are climbing in price , in 2017 we got a deal I’d say. That said, we are likely to ordere a Bigfoot for more room
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Old 10-16-2021, 04:31 PM   #19
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Nice 3 year review M! Thanks for sharing. Makes me think of all my friends with stickies and from what they share, I think their 3 year review would include not only 8 bullet points but rather 108! I'm amazed at all the saga of problems they live with, and have to fix constantly. Our fiberglass RV friends on the other hand, are usually more content and are either working on or showing off mod's of their choosing...or they regret selling them! No such thing as a perfect, problem free RV but the overall short and long term benefits of a fully fiberglass RV (like an Escape) seem rather obvious to us IOHO. - Bea
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Old 10-16-2021, 05:18 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by TTMartin View Post
You stated that the EZ-Lube system is designed for boat trailers.



It is not. I sincerely doubt that Dexter actually told you it was designed for boat trailers.



Yes, the EZ-Lube system is not easier for a mechanic.

To properly use the EZ-Lube system is very time consuming. You have to manually pump in the grease, turning the wheel, done properly the pressure from the grease has time to move the old grease out to the end of the spindle and not blow out a the brake seal.

It is easier and quicker for a mechanic to remove and repack the bearing.

The EZ-Lube system is designed to allow owners to repack their bearings with nothing more than a jack and a grease gun.

So, of course a mechanic is going to say it doesn't make it easier for them it doesn't.

A mechanics time is far too valuable for them to take the time to use the system properly. Those that tried to short cut the process, ended up with blown out seals.

None of that makes it a bad system for someone who has the time to use it as designed.
I did the EZ Lube system and it worked well for me. Did it on a warm day so the grease would flow, slowly pumped grease in while turning the tire as recommended.
If you don't put on a lot of miles in a year, it's not a bad method IMO in between repacks.
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