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Old 04-08-2018, 06:27 PM   #81
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To clarify on comments made in this thread: it is my understanding that there are NO factory tours at this time. I was not allowed a tour back in Aug 2017 or Nov 2017 when I picked up.

This is one reason they published the video, to make up for the lack of tours.

Of course, ETI choice to provide tours could change at any time, but its my feeling they will not likely change their position as their factory only gets larger and busier over time, making it both disruptive to production and unsafe to offer tours.
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:40 PM   #82
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To clarify on comments made in this thread: it is my understanding that there are NO factory tours at this time. I was not allowed a tour back in Aug 2017 or Nov 2017 when I picked up.
Even back in April 2014, when I went to the factory with my build sheet, product for installation and payment, the only time a customer was allowed in the factory was during the lunch break. Quiet machinery and empty factory except trailers sitting in the production line.
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:02 PM   #83
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Even back in April 2014, when I went to the factory with my build sheet, product for installation and payment, the only time a customer was allowed in the factory was during the lunch break. Quiet machinery and empty factory except trailers sitting in the production line.
When we picked up the 21' Reace said that they had had to discontinue factory tours- most likely insurance related .
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Old 04-08-2018, 07:30 PM   #84
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To clarify on comments made in this thread: it is my understanding that there are NO factory tours at this time.
I toured the factory several years ago, and more recently (but still a few years ago) I asked but couldn't get a tour because they were only running during the workers' lunch break. The tour situation changes - I didn't mean to suggest that tour are available now, only that the fiberglass shop was the part I couldn't see even when I was able to get a tour.

Some factories - particularly in food products where the public cannot be allowed in for product safety, and in automotive plants where there is a high level of public interest in tours - set up viewing rooms adjacent to the production floor to allow viewing through windows. This is an expensive feature to build into a facility, and if you can't peer in trailer windows there's not a lot to see on most of the production line anyway. I think video tours make more sense for the Escape factory.
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Old 04-08-2018, 08:28 PM   #85
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Escape video/ Oliver/ Factory tours

This has been a fascinating thread. My $.25 CDN:

1. Awesome video.
2. My 2016 19 with all options $34K CDN. Oliver STARTING at $48K US. Can't tow the Oliver with my FJ. No brainer.
3. It's their factory. They get to decide if there are tours or not.
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Old 04-08-2018, 09:02 PM   #86
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in automotive plants where there is a high level of public interest in tours - set up viewing rooms adjacent to the production floor to allow viewing through windows. This is an expensive feature to build into a facility
And then there's Boeing with their overhead catwalks. Interesting to stop and watch the guys working away a few feet away.

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Old 04-09-2018, 08:23 AM   #87
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I guess Jan and I are lucky. We got the lunchtime tour, hosted by Reace, on our first visit to Escape in April '16. That was informative, but really, not as informative as this video.

Also lucky to have grown up in my time and place, when plant tours were common, albeit with the assumption of a little risk. When I was in fifth grade (1962) we had a class field trip to the Ford Rouge plant, touring the assembly plant (then Fairlanes and Meteors), and walking an open catwalk over a steel hot rolling mill. THAT'D never happen today!

Back in the good ol' days, Detroit area was all about making stuff. Nearly all my friends' dads were involved in manufacturing in some way. By the time I graduated from high school, I'd already been in several manufacturing facilities, so it was pretty natural to follow that career path. In forty years as an engineer of automation systems and components, I've had the good fortune to spend time in hundreds of manufacturing plants. It's ALWAYS cool watching stuff being made.
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Old 04-09-2018, 11:15 AM   #88
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It's ALWAYS cool watching stuff being made.
Yes, and I think that a plant tour when I was in Grade 10 changed my life. Hadn't thought long term too much until then. We went on a plant tour of a paper products company. One of the production lines was toilet paper. I'll never forget the sight of this row of people taking rolls 1 and 4 and stacking them on top of rolls 2 and 3. Like robots with glazed eyes. Probably it's all automated now but it was enough of a kick to get an education and not work in a place like that.

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Old 04-09-2018, 12:45 PM   #89
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I was glad to see in the video that the frame appears to be sandblasted before they paint. Getting it clean first is a good start. I would be surprised if many manufacturers do that. To me this would be a worthy selling point for ETI to state.
Of course this could also be grey primer...
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Old 04-09-2018, 12:55 PM   #90
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Yes, and I think that a plant tour when I was in Grade 10 changed my life. Hadn't thought long term too much until then. We went on a plant tour of a paper products company. One of the production lines was toilet paper. I'll never forget the sight of this row of people taking rolls 1 and 4 and stacking them on top of rolls 2 and 3. Like robots with glazed eyes. Probably it's all automated now but it was enough of a kick to get an education and not work in a place like that.

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Hi: Ron in BC... Sorta gets you ready for the #2 JOB of changing the roll. In our house/trailer... it seems to fall on me. Alf
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:12 PM   #91
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I was glad to see in the video that the frame appears to be sandblasted before they paint. Getting it clean first is a good start. I would be surprised if many manufacturers do that. To me this would be a worthy selling point for ETI to state.
The broken frame thread forced me to finally take a good look at my frame. My trailer is a year old and I found several rust bubbles under the paint that required scraping and treatment then repainting. The majority of the frame looked good - just a few areas needed fixing. Left to fester could have cause problems.

Of course, my frame may be the exception as it was built during the time when the new facilities were being built. Still may be good idea to crawl under the trailer to take a look.

While I was under the trailer, I was impressed with how good the fiberglass on the bottom looked. Made me want to break out the wax and shine it up!
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Old 04-09-2018, 01:17 PM   #92
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Yes, and I think that a plant tour when I was in Grade 10 changed my life. Hadn't thought long term too much until then. We went on a plant tour of a paper products company. One of the production lines was toilet paper. I'll never forget the sight of this row of people taking rolls 1 and 4 and stacking them on top of rolls 2 and 3. Like robots with glazed eyes. Probably it's all automated now but it was enough of a kick to get an education and not work in a place like that.

Ron
My dad was an executive with ALCOA. After my first year in college, students could apply to work pot repair jobs for the summer. The pots in this case were ALCOA's oldest foundry pot (kettles?) line. Once in a while a pot would spring a leak. It would be shut right down. After a day or two, what was called the "bath" would finally cool down enough (maybe 110 degrees) you could just barely stand on it in your steel toed work boots. Then the pot repair crew would come in with 90# jackhammers, wheelbarrows and shovels and clean the frozen bath out of the pot. This was in an environment where the adjacent pots were all working, and the air temperature was maybe 120, maybe more, I forget. You had to wear long underwear under your work clothes to protect your skin from flying molten aluminum from adjacent pots while working. We would work five minutes, break for ten. Ate lots of salt tablets, drank lots of water. Shift work too, one week of days, one week of 4 o'clocks, one week of midnights, etc. I would come home, eat and go to bed. We were offered overtime, I never took it, but regular workers did it all the time. I made a lot of money that summer, but had no life. Took weeks for all the black stuff to come out of my ears and nose. Started with 18 or twenty young men, all about the same age, all with dads who were executives, ended up with only me and one other guy sticking it out through to the end of the summer.

I very rarely think of that summer of my youth, but it had a lot to do with me choosing an office profession.

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Old 04-09-2018, 02:19 PM   #93
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I very rarely think of that summer of my youth, but it had a lot to do with me choosing an office profession.
That was probably their point. When I hear a young kid complaining about a job I tell them that many early jobs in your life are about figuring out what you don't want to do. We've all been there.

When I was younger my father worked a second job at the General Motors plant in Ewing, NJ as a security guard. I got to tour the plant with him at night. I do distinctly remember the bright, air conditioned offices in the mezzanine that were in stark contrast to the loud, dirty production areas. That factory had existed since 1937 and produced Avenger torpedo bombers for the Navy during WWII. That one plant put a lot of food on tables and helped put many kids through college, including myself. Was sad to see it close in 1998.
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Old 04-09-2018, 02:31 PM   #94
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That was probably their point. When I hear a young kid complaining about a job I tell them that many early jobs in your life are about figuring out what you don't want to do. We've all been there.

When I was younger my father worked a second job at the General Motors plant in Ewing, NJ as a security guard. I got to tour the plant with him at night. I do distinctly remember the bright, air conditioned offices in the mezzanine that were in stark contrast to the loud, dirty production areas. That factory had existed since 1937 and produced Avenger torpedo bombers for the Navy during WWII. That one plant put a lot of food on tables and helped put many kids through college, including myself. Was sad to see it close in 1998.
ALCOA is still in Massena, but that old pot line I was on pot repair in is long gone, building and all. The pot lines there now are huge, and all controlled through computers and climate controlled offices high up at the end of the buildings. Pretty much all the fabrication there has moved to right-to-work states over time. From 3,000 union jobs at that site to maybe 600 now.

Heck, from when I was 13 to 15 or 16 (3 or 4 summers, I forget), I worked on a haying crew for Homestead Dairies (now defunct) just outside Massena, close enough to ride my bike. Needed working papers signed by my folks to do that. Again, a result of my dad's circle of friends. That also paid relatively well, and in cash once a week. That was a physically intense job, great for a kid too.

Was not as easy to find jobs then as it seems to be now. Through another contact, I then got a year round "gig" in a service station, for those of you who might remember them! From there I got a counter job in an auto parts, a skill that kept me employed part time in college.

I haven't thought of this stuff in a long, long time! Retirement now is just around the corner...

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Old 04-09-2018, 08:14 PM   #95
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Thanks for posting the video. It emphasized the attention ETI gives to the finish and the fit of components Into the trailer. A good example is how well the precut walls fit the lines of the shell when the worker set them in place. I winced a little when the electrical guy took a razor knife to the vinyl headliner, but his cut was perfect. Things that are adequate but I'd hoped for better were the chopper gun, the use of low grade plywood on the floor, and painting the frame rather than powder coating it.
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Old 04-09-2018, 09:28 PM   #96
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That vinyl cut wasnt perfect on our 21. You could see daylight bleeding through the shell laying in bed and one corner post wasnt wide enough to hide the flaw at another cut. We tallied up a laundry list and trekked back to ETI prior to warranty expiration.
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:53 AM   #97
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Thanks for posting the video. It emphasized the attention ETI gives to the finish and the fit of components Into the trailer. A good example is how well the precut walls fit the lines of the shell when the worker set them in place. I winced a little when the electrical guy took a razor knife to the vinyl headliner, but his cut was perfect. Things that are adequate but I'd hoped for better were the chopper gun, the use of low grade plywood on the floor, and painting the frame rather than powder coating it.
Powder coating things about the same size over and over requires an oven big enough for the item and the person applying the powder. Powder is probably cheaper than paint, or similarly priced, but the product is superior. The big cost is the oven, and the power to heat it it to the required temperature.

I used a regular (old) kitchen oven in my shop for powder coating, but could only handle small stuff. It took up too much space, so I got rid of it years ago. You can buy home hobbyist powder coating guns at many places (like Eastwood).

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Old 04-10-2018, 08:08 AM   #98
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Don’t get me wrong I think the Oliver is very well built...but what happens when something goes terribly wrong between the shells and you can’t get to it to fix it.
Please correct me if you can replace water tanks and everything that appears to be sealed for life.
They access under there by removing the rear bumper.
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:15 AM   #99
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can someone explain if the wood floor sits up for water leaks or is bath-tubbed in like a casita? At 3:00 i could not see any foam the floor sits on or any pontoons the forum mentioned to wood sits up on. Thanks.

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It looks like the plywood floor is stuck directly to the bottom fiberglass. I thought there was spacing underneath for water leaks and such, looks like it just around the perimeter.
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Old 04-10-2018, 08:38 AM   #100
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Things that are adequate but I'd hoped for better were...the use of low grade plywood on the floor....

I thought Escape uses a fairly high grade of marine grade plywood for the floor, no? Unlike some other FG manufacturers...
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