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Old 09-17-2015, 10:52 PM   #21
P&L
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Originally Posted by EDarby View Post
Thank you so much for this post - it was very helpful!!! Had you ever pulled a trailer before your Escape? I signed up for lessons (the day after orientation as well) but wondering now whether I should take them. Did they talk about hills (braking, downshifting)? Thanks!
Hi EDarby!

We have been pulling a rather heavy tent trailer---can you believe it weighs more than the Escape If I were to do it again, I would call/e-mail them and let them know my expectations. I had a list of things we wanted to learn, but only did a couple of them in 3 hours for the two of us. I asked about braking, downshifting, pulling into gas stations (a personal fear of mine) and he nodded, and then we didn't review it again (and I forgot to ask). I think if we would have had another instructor it may have been better. Sorry---I don't remember his name. We practiced backing up, and sometimes he got the way we were supposed to turn the wheel mixed up. I know others had a great experience, but it wasn't in the cards for us. We did practice backing up into tight spaces in a jack-knife style.

I think we would do it over again because of the few pointers he had: start backing up into a tight space when the back bumper is where you want to turn, and when making a left turn, start turning when your shoulder is on the center divide.

Happy Travels!
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Old 09-17-2015, 11:19 PM   #22
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True - that's a better method. Thanks.
I gather that you don't let it run all that long, and fill up the grey tank in the process?
Using the pressure relief, I've let it run for several minutes, hoping all the air is out of the system.
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Old 09-17-2015, 11:26 PM   #23
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Back to recording the orientation, I tried to video it, but if you are paying attention to shooting the video, then you're not absorbing the information ( and people are talking and messing up the audio ). So, I gave up recording and returned later to concentrate on shooting an orientation video. Did a shoot with Tammy and then had to come back and reshoot it to correct errors and omissions.
That video was shot in 2008 and has been superseded by the current video on ETI's site.
I recommend you watch that video a couple times and forget trying to shoot your own video. Just concentrate on the information and ask questions.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:01 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Charlie & Lucy View Post
Great write up Lorna! We picked up our 5.0 TA last Tuesday and we also found watching the video a few times before orientation to be most helpful.
We stayed at Hidden Village ioin Lynden. Wish we had stayed at the KOA. Not our best choice. Glad that everything is working out for you! We have been staying either 2 or 3 nights at each campground. Makes a big difference. Helps to learn things about the trailer. We have enjoyed the State Parks in Oregon. Ft Stevens, sunset Bay in Coos Bay and today we are at Harris Beach and saw a beautiful sunset!
Enjoy and safe travels!
Hi Charlie and Lucy! We are right behind you and we are now staying in Ft Stevens for three nights and ready to explore the area. We plan on focusing on the coastal Oregon State Parks before we have to be home Oct 1. We love having the hot water now that we are assured the tank is full, and we appreciate the very comfortable bed. I am trying to figure out where to put things so that my husband will be able to find what he's looking for, too. If any of you have some thoughts to the subject, please share!

All in all, I truly believe that Escape makes a beautiful piece of art and I'm so glad we waited.

Enjoy the rest of your journey!

Lorna
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:22 AM   #25
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Back to recording the orientation, I tried to video it, but if you are paying attention to shooting the video, then you're not absorbing the information ( and people are talking and messing up the audio ). So, I gave up recording and returned later to concentrate on shooting an orientation video. Did a shoot with Tammy and then had to come back and reshoot it to correct errors and omissions.
That video was shot in 2008 and has been superseded by the current video on ETI's site.
I recommend you watch that video a couple times and forget trying to shoot your own video. Just concentrate on the information and ask questions.
Good advice, I forgot about the orientation videos. Perhaps just turning on a voice recorder that could just run would help. That way, questions that arise that are not on the video might be answered and captured.
I ran the awning segment on the Tammy/Glenn one many times (and writing down the steps) to learn how to open and close it. Of course, I forgot where I put the notes and when recently camping and gusts of wind that shook my Escape came up, I was fortunate enough to have Sacramento Dan to call on for help which he generously gave!
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:41 AM   #26
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Hi EDarby!

We have been pulling a rather heavy tent trailer---can you believe it weighs more than the Escape If I were to do it again, I would call/e-mail them and let them know my expectations. I had a list of things we wanted to learn, but only did a couple of them in 3 hours for the two of us. I asked about braking, downshifting, pulling into gas stations (a personal fear of mine) and he nodded, and then we didn't review it again (and I forgot to ask). I think if we would have had another instructor it may have been better. Sorry---I don't remember his name. We practiced backing up, and sometimes he got the way we were supposed to turn the wheel mixed up. I know others had a great experience, but it wasn't in the cards for us. We did practice backing up into tight spaces in a jack-knife style.

I think we would do it over again because of the few pointers he had: start backing up into a tight space when the back bumper is where you want to turn, and when making a left turn, start turning when your shoulder is on the center divide.

Happy Travels!
Gas stations: I look before I leap so I never have to back up (I am not a good backer-upper), making sure that there is a sufficient way out. I look for truck stops that serve cars as well.

Backing up: With hands at the bottom of the wheel, turn and back up slooowly in the direction that you want the trailer to go. (Sometimes for me, even that takes a bit. ) I have found that in most rv parks, there are staff members that are willing to help. (For the first few rally gatherings that I attended, other persons graciously did that for me.) I also avoid that problem by staying where there are pull-throughs, tho that isn't always possible.

Hope this helps. Also this and the fgrv forums have a wealth of information. Good luck.
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Old 09-18-2015, 02:27 PM   #27
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I still screw up most every time I put my awning up or down I stare at it for a while then figure it out I guess eventually I will get it right
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Old 09-18-2015, 06:18 PM   #28
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Yeah! We picked up our 19 a couple of days ago and we are convinced we our the proud owners of a piece of art! Escape offers wonderful craftsmanship and beautiful design.

We have been on the road for the past four weeks, visiting family and seeing sights pre-Escape. The past two nights we have been staying at the KOA in Lynden in our new trailer and I highly recommend this campsite to become familiar with the trailer---a delightful town and we were pleased to have a comfortable bed and our personal washroom (as the Canadians call it!).

On Monday we had our orientation scheduled for 11:00. We were greeted by Barb. It obvious everyone has a huge workload, yet still, we felt welcomed.

I highly recommend bringing a pad of paper and pen when going through your orientation. We took a lot of notes and had many questions. Important to note that if you have aluminum rims, they need to be tightened while on the journey home. Plus---MAKE SURE the hot water heater is filled with water before igniting it---it could be a costly mistake.

The trailer was delivered to Sumas and we appreciated being watched as we hitched up ourselves. Per other blogs, we did give a tip to the driver---Manfred is a very pleasant fellow and very helpful.

We were exhausted and excited and opted to go out for dinner since we were starving by the time we set up in camp. Since we had been on the road for several weeks, our food supplies were down. (Plus I forgot my cooking pan in Seattle). Plus going cross the border you can't bring certain items either way.

We had a great first night's sleep and were awakened by rain---it was a beautiful sound to be warm and toasty and not in our tent! We like to keep the temperature cool, but with warm blankets. The next day we hitched up, returned to Canada for a driving lesson. Jury is still out on that one. It's good to get a refresher and the few pointers we got may come in handy.

So, here is my overview after having our trailer for a few days:

Glad we stayed in Chilliwack the night before. We had breakfast while sipping coffee at a local coffee shop, watched the video one last time, taking notes and writing down questions.

During orientation there is a lot of information. Take notes, photos and ask questions! I typed them up once we got to camp.

KOA Lynden is beautiful and easy to get to, and close to Sumas and Abbotsford. Most of the sites we saw are pull through and have full hookups. Amenities are close by, so you'll find everything you need.

We signed up for driving lessons at Valley Driving School in Abbotsford. It would have been too much to do that and the orientation in one day. Glad we took our time, but then we are retired and are not rushed. Again, for us, we aren't sure it was worth it, but both of us agree it was good to have rather than not to have a lesson.

Border crossings both ways were easy for us. There is a lane for RV's and trailers...we never were asked to look inside---though we got a funny look when we told the Canadian agent that we were taking driving lessons on day two. We had all our papers in order just in case: Insurance, export documents, proof of driving class. Barb from ETI told us to make sure the doors to the trailer are locked as they want to ensure that there is no possibility of someone sneaking into either country (depending on which way you are going).

At the recommendation of this blog, we gave the driver a tip. He was surprised and thankful, and we appreciated that he watched and coached us as my husband attached the Anderson hitch.

As far as the trailer goes, It takes a while to figure out where things should go. When traveling I use travel bags and find them great to store clothes in the cupboards. Like clothing stays together and everything is tidy. I got mine from IKEA several years ago.

So, we are pleased to have our portable Satellite Radio. We catch up on news and politics (ugh!) and like to listen to music from time-to-time.

We have the extra drawer under the wardrobe. Our jackets drag on the bottom of the closet because of it. I like having the drawer, but the small wardrobe is even smaller. Not sure of this choice, yet.

I overdid it with the captains lights---one in each corner. The standard lights are great and do the job. I would probably only install them by the bed if I did it over agian.

We did get the cot for our grandchildren, but when installed, the lower bed only has about two feet of space between it and the top bunk. So, we'll see how this works when we camp with family members.

We got the u-shaped dinette, and I like it a lot, except it does make for a small table Too small for more than two adults if the weather doesn't permit eating outside. If I remove the table it makes for a great lounge area.

We can see fine outside our windows, but it would have been nice to raise the benches for a better view. (Because we got the cot, that wasn't doable.)

Glad we got the front storage bin---we keep it full with tools, blocks, hoses, tarp, etc)

Haven't benefited from solar since we have full hookup, but we will with dry camping.

Still figuring out the hot water heater---need to make sure it is filled before we turn it on. It's not a big deal for me to heat water on the stove in the meantime.

We use the campground showers as the shower is tiny, but will come in handy when it is the only option.

I lined the drawers already as I didn't want to ruin the wood cabinetry in case of spills.

We miss the grandkids so we Facetime/Skype when we can. A few times, Grandpa and I made a short video and sent it to them. My daughter said her 3 year old kept looking at it over and over again.

Perhaps you'll find these notes handy---I know I appreciated the help when we got started. We are looking forward to traveling down the coast and staying in a place for a few days at a time. This is what it is all about. Today we will shop for fresh vegetables and fruit, and I hope to get a grill soon! I actually miss my cooking....

Happy Travels!

Lorna


Very nice report, Lorna! You will have the 3-year-old into his or her own trailer in no time.

On the water heater element, we carry an extra just in case. The situation, however, is that, once you fill the hot water tank in the spring (check relief valve to see tank is full as Baglo says above), it can remain full until you are going to store the trailer for the winter. At that time, you take out the anode to empty the tank.

So elements are usually ruined in the spring because people turn on the water heater but forget to put water in the tank first.

Thanks for the great report!
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:27 PM   #29
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Gas stations: I look before I leap so I never have to back up (I am not a good backer-upper), making sure that there is a sufficient way out.
I think that's excellent advice, and not just for gas stations.

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I look for truck stops that serve cars as well.
This works reasonably well, because truck stops generally have a lot of room, to accommodate the trucks. I'll note, though, that truck stops usually have separate pump islands for big trucks (with only diesel pumps) and for other vehicles (with gasoline and maybe diesel as well). The truck islands have lots of room for any RV, so you're might be set if your tug burns diesel, but the gasoline islands may be no more accessible than an average station.

Even if your tug is diesel, watch for cardlocks - there are truck stops with big-truck islands that are not usable unless you have a fleet card for them.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:07 PM   #30
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There is a Flying J at Hope, BC. Big rigs enter one driveway with vast space to manoeuvre and park and the rest of us jostle for room to access the pumps at another driveway.
There is no place to park a tow and trailer to use the washroom or shop in the store.
I almost was side swiped by another trailer trying to get out while I was pumping gas.
I'm not complaining. I'm just not likely to ever return. In fact, the only reason I went there was to buy a 12V fan, and the only reason I returned, was to return the fan that never worked.
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:21 PM   #31
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That Hope Flying J is exactly the sort of situation I was thinking of.

Don't write off the whole chain, though - the Sherwood Park (beside Edmonton, AB) Flying J has completely separate areas for trucks and others, but the side for the others has lots of maneouvering room, the RV parking spots are pull-through, and they have islands with sewer dump, fresh water fill, and propane all together for RVs.
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Old 09-19-2015, 12:08 PM   #32
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I still screw up most every time I put my awning up or down I stare at it for a while then figure it out I guess eventually I will get it right
My latest aid: I put the sequence in my "notes" on my iPhone.
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Old 09-19-2015, 12:12 PM   #33
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Hi P & L -- I appreciate the feedback on the training. Very helpful. I'm really sorry that you didn't have a great experience!

I am only going to do the two-hour class. Will be sure to get my questions answered on braking/downshifting.

Thanks so much and happy travels to you guys as well!!!
ellen

Quote:
Originally Posted by P&L View Post
Hi EDarby!

We have been pulling a rather heavy tent trailer---can you believe it weighs more than the Escape If I were to do it again, I would call/e-mail them and let them know my expectations. I had a list of things we wanted to learn, but only did a couple of them in 3 hours for the two of us. I asked about braking, downshifting, pulling into gas stations (a personal fear of mine) and he nodded, and then we didn't review it again (and I forgot to ask). I think if we would have had another instructor it may have been better. Sorry---I don't remember his name. We practiced backing up, and sometimes he got the way we were supposed to turn the wheel mixed up. I know others had a great experience, but it wasn't in the cards for us. We did practice backing up into tight spaces in a jack-knife style.

I think we would do it over again because of the few pointers he had: start backing up into a tight space when the back bumper is where you want to turn, and when making a left turn, start turning when your shoulder is on the center divide.

Happy Travels!
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Old 09-24-2015, 12:04 AM   #34
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On the water heater element, we carry an extra just in case. The situation, however, is that, once you fill the hot water tank in the spring (check relief valve to see tank is full as Baglo says above), it can remain full until you are going to store the trailer for the winter. At that time, you take out the anode to empty the tank.

Thanks for the great report!
Great Idea Cathy! Think we will do this!

Also, We now look for easy access gas stations, or, if we don't have a trailer in tow, we fill up before returning to camp--thanks for the advice everyone!

We are on our second week of owning our trailer and the overwhelming factors have faded some. We still laugh at our lack of expertise when opening/closing the awning. Since this is a common tune, it may be a great idea to add a step-by-step photo process in future owners' manuals.

We did have an issue with the electric jack---we think because of the uneven roads a wire came loose. Reace walked my husband through some steps and we had to unhitch manually---I learned what a crescent wrench is. My husband fiddled with the wiring and we are using the electric jack again---another feature we love---sure saves the back!

We also are using the outdoor shower feature to clean off the hoses and sand from our feet.

Haven't used the air conditioner---but we should test it out. Now that we are in Southern Coastal Oregon, things are a bit warmer so we may give it a go. Mind you, we live in a very hot climate and even 60F is freezing for us!

My husband uses every space of the front storage box---excellent place to put the tools, hoses, levelers, and other necessities.

We really love the Oregon Park System and the KOAs have been pretty good, too. We stay at KOAs when laundry needs doing -- I'd rather not sit in a laundromat. We are currently at the Bandon/Port Orford KOA and we highly recommend this one. The owner told us of a nice place to hike/walk and this evening we went to a nearby lighthouse. Although closed, the moon, the light and the ocean's reflections were inspiring. We will return tomorrow.

I'm getting better at backing up and actually look forward to my turn to drive so I can practice new maneuvers! Speaking of driving, it is surprisingly easy to tow---much more so than our travel trailer. Perhaps it is the Anderson Hitch We find it easy to use and are glad we have it.

Best part: During oncoming traffic we waived to fellow Escapees! My first time seeing one on the road!

So glad we made the decision to buy an Escape. We are checking off so many wonderful experiences.

Happy Traveling!

Lorna
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:09 AM   #35
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Sounds like you are having great fun with your new Escape.

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...Speaking of driving, it is surprisingly easy to tow---much more so than our travel trailer. Perhaps it is the Anderson Hitch We find it easy to use and are glad we have it...
With respect to ease of towing, credit should go to where it is due. The ease of towing of the Escape is pretty much due to the folks at ETI who designed and constructed those great trailers. Although, many people like the Anderson hitch, countless others who did not purchase Anderson enjoy the same ease of towing that you have experienced.

Keep enjoying that great trailer!
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