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Old 05-20-2015, 12:25 AM   #1
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Observations from first trip in 17B

Just picked up 17B last week and drove back to Calgary through Shuswap and Jasper, here are my learnings from the shakedown cruise.

1. People at Escape are very nice and very helpful
2. Lots of people look at it when you are driving around
3. Backing up is difficult if you haven't done it before. Especially with an audience.
4. Lining up the hitch to hook up is hard by yourself
5. I'm glad I ordered 2 propane tanks
6. The external storage locker is a lifesaver
7. The FJ tows the 17B no problem with a standard class 3 hitch.
8. I'm glad I went for the custom fabric, flooring and counter. My girl loves it.
9. The outdoor shower is great and is useful for washing things off outside.
10. Cottonwood Meadows RV Park is only 1.2 km away and a great place to get to know the systems.
11. Pay attention when they show you how to retract the awning.
12. FJ has lots of power for the 17B in the mountains, not sure how it would handle a 19 or 21 maybe will find out in the future.
13. Used the outside propane quick connect and hose every night and loved it.
14. I'm glad I bought the leveler at O'Connor RV
15. Can't use my Thule bike rack that fits on the spare of the FJ since it will interfere during tight turns. Glad I ordered the bike hitch receiver at the back.
16. The inverter was used and useful every day.
17. The fridge actually made ice. Of course it was springtime in BC.

All in all an awesome unit and glad I bought it.
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:34 AM   #2
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Sounds as if you are more than content with your choices, Hugh. Yes, I know the awning can be somewhat, well, difficult, not to mention heavy. Glad you verified need for inverter and handy exterior shower. And that you are happy with your flooring because that is what we are getting!
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:46 AM   #3
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I've been opening and closing the awning for six years, and yet, last time I failed to follow the sequence and had to stop and think about it.
I have, in the past, had to review the orientation video to remind myself of the steps.
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
I've been opening and closing the awning for six years, and yet, last time I failed to follow the sequence and had to stop and think about it.
I have, in the past, had to review the orientation video to remind myself of the steps.
I find opening quite intuitive but easy to screw up the closing sequence.
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:01 AM   #5
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This is video I shot years ago, but I think it is still valid. Go to 16 min. 29 secs for awning instruction. I've had to look at it myself. There is another video on the ETI site, but I've not looked at it, and should.

RV Travel TV » Escape Training Video
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Old 05-20-2015, 07:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
This is video I shot years ago, but I think it is still valid. Go to 16 min. 29 secs for awning instruction. I've had to look at it myself. There is another video on the ETI site, but I've not looked at it, and should.

RV Travel TV » Escape Training Video
I watched the new orientation video on the ETI site a couple of days ago. I thought it was quite good, and well worth watching. There is even a 'blooper reel'.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hughharden View Post
Just picked up 17B last week and drove back to Calgary through Shuswap and Jasper, here are my learnings from the shakedown cruise.

1. People at Escape are very nice and very helpful They sure are!
2. Lots of people look at it when you are driving around
3. Backing up is difficult if you haven't done it before. Especially with an audience. Practice makes perfect. Give yourself some time and it will become super easy.
4. Lining up the hitch to hook up is hard by yourself
5. I'm glad I ordered 2 propane tanks
6. The external storage locker is a lifesaver
7. The FJ tows the 17B no problem with a standard class 3 hitch. No surprises there.
8. I'm glad I went for the custom fabric, flooring and counter. My girl loves it.
9. The outdoor shower is great and is useful for washing things off outside. You do have to be careful that you don't show too much skin to the neighbors.
10. Cottonwood Meadows RV Park is only 1.2 km away and a great place to get to know the systems.
11. Pay attention when they show you how to retract the awning. You are not alone. It was my experience also that I failed to retain the awning operations part of the orientation.
12. FJ has lots of power for the 17B in the mountains, not sure how it would handle a 19 or 21 maybe will find out in the future. The FJ does great in the mountains with a 19. Would probably be ok with a 21 also, but may work pretty hard on those 10000 ft high passes with super steep grades.
13. Used the outside propane quick connect and hose every night and loved it. Great option. Glad we have it.
14. I'm glad I bought the leveler at O'Connor RV
15. Can't use my Thule bike rack that fits on the spare of the FJ since it will interfere during tight turns. Glad I ordered the bike hitch receiver at the back.
16. The inverter was used and useful every day.
17. The fridge actually made ice. Of course it was springtime in BC.

All in all an awesome unit and glad I bought it.

Congratulations on your new Escape.
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hughharden View Post
Just picked up 17B last week and drove back to Calgary through Shuswap and Jasper, here are my learnings from the shakedown cruise.

1. People at Escape are very nice and very helpful
2. Lots of people look at it when you are driving around
3. Backing up is difficult if you haven't done it before. Especially with an audience.
4. Lining up the hitch to hook up is hard by yourself
5. I'm glad I ordered 2 propane tanks
6. The external storage locker is a lifesaver
7. The FJ tows the 17B no problem with a standard class 3 hitch.
8. I'm glad I went for the custom fabric, flooring and counter. My girl loves it.
9. The outdoor shower is great and is useful for washing things off outside.
10. Cottonwood Meadows RV Park is only 1.2 km away and a great place to get to know the systems.
11. Pay attention when they show you how to retract the awning.
12. FJ has lots of power for the 17B in the mountains, not sure how it would handle a 19 or 21 maybe will find out in the future.
13. Used the outside propane quick connect and hose every night and loved it.
14. I'm glad I bought the leveler at O'Connor RV
15. Can't use my Thule bike rack that fits on the spare of the FJ since it will interfere during tight turns. Glad I ordered the bike hitch receiver at the back.
16. The inverter was used and useful every day.
17. The fridge actually made ice. Of course it was springtime in BC.

All in all an awesome unit and glad I bought it.
Congrats on your purchase.

ken
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:18 AM   #9
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A great trip report, Hugh -- to the point and tells it all. Some of us [who? me?] like to ramble with too much info.

Klaus
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:23 AM   #10
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Just curious... what leveler did you buy at O'Connor RV?


Thanks,
Mark
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:42 AM   #11
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4. Lining up the hitch to hook up is hard by yourself

We purchased one of these iBall - $149.95, Free US & CDN Shipping, Wireless Trailer Hitch Camera €“ iBallhitchcam.com and my husband declares it's one of our best purchases. It's not cheap, but now he can hook up by himself, plus he discovered that by placing the camera on the ground when we're home and pointing it at the tires, he can even level/position the trailer with ease. We just have to be careful we don't drive off with it still attached ...
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:44 AM   #12
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3. Backing up is difficult if you haven't done it before. Especially with an audience.

We feel your pain. And it's worse when they start clapping after you finally finish.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumstick63 View Post
Just curious... what leveler did you buy at O'Connor RV?


Thanks,
Mark
It was a yellow one and cost around $30 as I recall. Worked fine. I will send a picture tonight from home.
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:30 AM   #14
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thanks for your post, Hugh

#4 on lining up truck to trailer - we use poles (i dunno what they are really called) which magnetically attach to truck hitch and trailer hitch. these have helped a great deal. and its kind of fun to back up until you knock one of the poles off, thus indicating that you've backed up correctly. (although, I notice post #11 on this thread discusses a cool camera - but my poles would be way cheaper!)

and as others have noted the orientation video on ETI website has good directions about how to put up / take down the awning.

enjoy your 17b!

Larry
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Old 05-20-2015, 10:35 AM   #15
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For aligning the ball, we use the tongue twister. If you are within 3 inches or so, you are good to go. Not much more than a hitch ball and safer for your back. One less opportunity to get into an argument with a "helper."
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:13 AM   #16
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I bought one of those iBall cameras several months ago, since my Tundra doesn't have a back-up camera. The bluetooth on the Tundra interferes with the signal, and I haven't found how to turn off the bluetooth yet. It works great on the Tacoma, which has a back-up camera already, but no bluetooth.
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Old 05-20-2015, 11:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hughharden View Post
4. Lining up the hitch to hook up is hard by yourself
I assume that your FJ does not have a back-up camera? The factory installed back-up camera in my 2011 FJ allows me to back in to the correct spot on my own with only a "stop and check moment" to confirm the final placement.
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Old 05-20-2015, 12:33 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ice-breaker View Post
I assume that your FJ does not have a back-up camera? The factory installed back-up camera in my 2011 FJ allows me to back in to the correct spot on my own with only a "stop and check moment" to confirm the final placement.
No backup camera in my 2007 FJ. It is one of the first ones to arrive in Calgary in May 2006, not sure if it was even an option back then. After 5 or 6 hookups I can now get it close enough after 3 or 4 attempts so I can live with that.
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:00 PM   #19
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That is an accomplishment given the field of view out the back of an FJ. Those pillars and the front windshield overhang is what took FJ off my list.
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Old 05-20-2015, 01:24 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
That is an accomplishment given the field of view out the back of an FJ. Those pillars and the front windshield overhang is what took FJ off my list.
The large blind spots in the FJ definitely takes getting used to. Is not too bad for me any more, I hardly ever hit anyone.
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