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Old 09-24-2017, 08:39 PM   #1
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Our 19 Orientation and On Wisconsin

It has been over a week since we picked up our Escape 19 and traveled to Wisconsin. Here is our recap of our exciting last few weeks.

Our 19 was finally finished and orientation scheduled for September 15 at 11:00. We live in St. Louis area and have kids in Seattle, so we headed West on Wednesday, Sept 6. After a stop in Fort Collins and a weekend in Salt Lake City to visit friends, we arrived in the Seattle area on Sunday, 9/10, to visit our kids.
On Friday, our orientation day, we got up early and drove to Chilliwack. We thought it would take 3 hours, but only took a little over two. We were early but checked in at Escape to see if we could start early - no dice. So, Erin suggested Cookies Grill for breakfast, a place I would also recommend. (get the sausage over the bacon, it is really good stuff.)
So, back at Escape, we had Reace for our orientation. The normal person was not around so we got the boss! Reace explained he was rusty at this, but offered very good advice. It took over 2.5 hours for the orientation.
Dennis hooked up the trailer to our Outlook to make sure everything was ok and then we disconnected so Randy (a part time trailer mover) could hook up for the trip to Sumas. Randy beat us over the US border as we had a 40 minute wait in the line. Our 19 was waiting for us at Bob's Burgers.
We hooked up and off we went. This was our first time towing a travel trailer, but all things went smoothly. We headed back to Seattle and stayed in an RV park in Bellevue, WA. The RV park is just off I-90 and not very scenic, but it was friendly and had a pull-through so I didn't have to back up. We spent the weekend trying to organize our stuff.
Here is a picture taken by Reace of our new Escape and our resting spot at the RV Park in Bellevue.

More to follow...
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Old 09-24-2017, 08:53 PM   #2
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Two big smiles on the picture!! Congratulations!!!
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:08 PM   #3
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The saga continues...

Our goal was to get to Wisconsin for my wife's 50th high school reunion, scheduled for Saturday, 9/23. Using guidance from the forum that traveling 400-600 miles a day was the norm, we figured we could make it by leaving Monday. We plotted stops along I-90 at about 450 miles and each night called ahead for a reservation.
It turns out most the RV parks close October 1, so we were lucky our trailer was completed early allowing us to attempt this trip.
We headed east Monday morning on a 2000 mile trek to Wisconsin. As we were totally newbies to this whole business I was expecting problems, issues and trouble of all kinds. Fortunately that didn't happen.
The Outlook is a full size SUV with a tow package rated at 5000#. It managed towing the Escape pretty well. It struggled a bit on the mountain passes and had to downshift often to accelerate, but seems none the worse for wear. On level ground it could keep us going at 70mph. The trailer tracked and braked beautifully. After a few hours we seemed like pros.
The only major mishap was spilled oatmeal on the floor. The container of goodies under the sink was heavy enough to bang the door open and hit the floor. The oatmeal lid did not stay on. It might help to have a little lip on the door opening to stop items. We solved it with a small bungee cord around the door handles.
The other sore spot, literally, was banging our heads on the cabinet end cap in the dinette area. Each time we went into the storage under the cushion we banged our head on the way up. ETI should offer a padded option.

I did have to make a minor tweak to the trailer. We have the U shaped dinette and the trap doors on each side of the under cabinet storage hit the long cushion that goes the width of the trailer. We felt this could snag or damage the fabric over time so I removed the doors and cut about 3/4" off the offending end.

The storage box is a great option and recommended. It should almost be standard as it is so useful for all the set-up stuff you need.

We made it to Alberton, MT the first night and Garryowen, MT the second. Man, Montana is a big state. The Alberton site was right next to the Clark Fork river. The Garryowen site was on a ranch very near Custer's last stand and had a beautiful view of the prairie. Here's our sites on these stops.
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:21 PM   #4
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As we were making good time and not running into issues, we decided to take a side trip to Devil's Tower in Wyoming on Wednesday. It is about 30 miles off of I-90 and a worthwhile site to see. The plaque said it was the first designated National Monument assigned by Teddy Roosevelt in 1906.
The visitor center has limited RV parking but we found a spot on our second trip to the center. ( The road is a loop and if you don't find a spot you have to keep driving back down the road as there is no place to stop and wait for a spot. )
There is a buffalo in the second picture. The last picture is close up showing 4 climbers going up the tower. Climbers have to register before they can attempt the effort.
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:33 PM   #5
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We spent Wednesday night in South Dakota and Thursday in Minnesota. The unseasonably warm weather in the Midwest was accompanied by 20-30 MPH southerly winds, which was a cross wind for our travels.
BTW.. We used the app: RVParky and found it very accurate and useful.
We made it into Wisconsin on Friday afternoon with plenty of time to make my wife's reunion.
We stayed with Katie's sister and it was my first attempt at backing up the trailer. (I ensured we always had a pull-through at each stop prior to this.)
Here's a picture of our Escape backed into the driveway. Backing up went pretty well for a first attempt. Only a few tweaks needed.

We are going to hang in Wisconsin for few days and then head to the Mississippi River rally next weekend. See you there!
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:21 PM   #6
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Your Tv. Is it v8 or v6. As we are trying to decide. 17b or 19
Thanks
We have a Tacoma V6 4wd
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:28 PM   #7
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Your Tv. Is it v8 or v6. As we are trying to decide. 17b or 19
Thanks
We have a Tacoma V6 4wd
We tow our 21 with a V6 4WD Taco rated at 6400 lbs. The 21 weighs in at 4200 lbs - no problems. Tows much nicer than our Casita 17LD did.
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:43 PM   #8
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....
Here's a picture of our Escape backed into the driveway. Backing up went pretty well for a first attempt. Only a few tweaks needed....
I'm sure I've read about this before... usually followed about copious amounts of alcohol Truly, glad you were successful
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:47 PM   #9
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Thanks. We have a 16' Casita now
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Old 09-24-2017, 10:48 PM   #10
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I think we met at a Nog
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Old 09-25-2017, 12:32 AM   #11
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Your Tv. Is it v8 or v6.
...
We have a Tacoma V6 4wd
Bob & Katie's Saturn Outlook has a 3.6 L V6 engine, very similar in size and design (and comparable in power) to the V6 in a Tacoma. It is one of GM's "High Feature" engine family, found in all GM brands and many models; a newer and more powerful version is the gas V6 found the Chevrolet Colorado / GMC Canyon pickup trucks.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:46 AM   #12
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Trip Report

Bob and Katie
What a nice looking Escape and thanks for the positive, well written, trip report. Looking forward to seeing you this coming weekend. Did not know if you realized it or not but at Devils Tower and several other National Park/ Federal Facilities we have visited there is a trailer parking lot where you can drop the trailer while you tour the park or drive a scenic loop etc. Some facilities do not allow trailers on these loops and some do but it's a lot easier getting in and out of scenic overlooks without the Escape on the back especially in steep country. The next time I go to a class reunion I'm taking a poll among my acquaintances to tally knee and hip repairs and a ticker tally for work on the pump too. Can't sit still, gotta keep rollin. See you soon, we will toast all the new Escapes in the last year. There are several.
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Old 09-25-2017, 06:58 AM   #13
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Bob and Katie thanks for the trip details and the pictures. Dave, we'd have to want to see something really bad for us to unhitch on a travel day. Maybe if we didn't have the Anderson hitch it wouldn't be such a big deal. Terry keeps saying that it is overkill but on the other hand the trailer tows so well that we don't like to mess with success.
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Old 09-25-2017, 07:47 AM   #14
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Drop the rig

Ruthe
I can well appreciate not wanting to drop the trailer. Heck, if it's possible I prefer not to unhook at an overnight campsite if I don't have plans to need the tow vehicle before I leave in the morning and there's enough room that I don't stick out onto the road. I usually figure this all out after I have pulled into a dead end situation then I WISH I had dropped the trailer but instead the reality is a back the trailer up for a quarter mile on a narrow road, in the gathering darkness, while Rita walks along the trailer on a curvy West Virginia road in a steady October rain. It was cool outside but turned frosty once she got back in the Highlander. I should have listened to her, AGAIN
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:04 AM   #15
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Bob and Katie - sounds like a great time so far, and we look forward to meeting you and seeing your beautiful new trailer at the Rally.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:13 AM   #16
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Yes, we had a great time and look forward to the Rally this weekend to meet some of our forum acquaintances.

As Brian said, the engine is 3.6L V6. The Outlook, no longer in production, is comparable to a Traverse or Acadia. Ours is a 2009 with 128K miles on it. I do have to watch oil levels as is does leak and burn a little more than normal.

I did notice the trailer drop site on our second pass. We didn't need to make that call to unhitch as we found a spot.
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Old 09-25-2017, 08:43 AM   #17
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Ruthe
I can well appreciate not wanting to drop the trailer. Heck, if it's possible I prefer not to unhook at an overnight campsite if I don't have plans to need the tow vehicle before I leave in the morning and there's enough room that I don't stick out onto the road. I usually figure this all out after I have pulled into a dead end situation then I WISH I had dropped the trailer but instead the reality is a back the trailer up for a quarter mile on a narrow road, in the gathering darkness, while Rita walks along the trailer on a curvy West Virginia road in a steady October rain. It was cool outside but turned frosty once she got back in the Highlander. I should have listened to her, AGAIN
Dave
Dave, I think it was the Chesapeake Bay Bridge that we were on some 20 odd years ago with our 31' Airstream and they actually had a rest area on the bridge --- we pulled in and immediately recognized that we'd made a mistake -- there was no turnaround and the way the rest area was configured we'd have to either unhitch or leave by an exit that would take us back the way we'd come and the bridge is many miles long. The only way we'd be able to leave without unhitching was to attempt to do more K-turns than I like to think about. Terry didn't think we could do it, but I told him I'd direct him and after what seemed like a very long time and a thousand backups, we finally were able to turn around. NEVER want to go through that again.
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Old 09-25-2017, 09:03 AM   #18
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Really nice read, Bob. Nothing beats that first big drive home from Chilliwack ... always the most memorable, very best, most delightful drive, no matter which direction. Welcome to the club.
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Old 09-25-2017, 02:51 PM   #19
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The saga continues...


The other sore spot, literally, was banging our heads on the cabinet end cap in the dinette area. Each time we went into the storage under the cushion we banged our head on the way up. ETI should offer a padded option.
Ouch! I agree, we sort of solved that problem with some small command hooks on the end of that cabinet and making sure we have something on them that hangs down a bit, like the dog's leash or a sweater. Seems to make us duck more or something.
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Old 09-25-2017, 03:05 PM   #20
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I kept bumping my head so frequently I thought I would need a helmet to be in the Escape. Eventually, I "saw the light" and used double-sided tape to mount a cut piece of pool noodle foam. The goal was to finally train myself in avoiding contact. That never happened.
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