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Old 05-08-2021, 11:33 AM   #1
a&e
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Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Corvallis, Oregon
Trailer: '21 Escape 19
Posts: 15
Picking up next week - ease my gastrointestinal distress

We're headed to Sumas next week to pick up our new 19! Unfortunately, we are complete newbies and the only thing I've ever pulled behind a vehicle is maybe a neck muscle while looking under the tires for roadkill.

We (or at least I) am convinced that we will arrive in Sumas and realize we have forgotten something critical, so I am asking this community for help. Let's start with what I remembered/learned:

1) printed towing capacity does not equal ability to tow - found this out the hard way and had to trade in our Kia Sorrento (without tow package) for a Dodge Durango G/T with tow package. It has a 7-pin, 2" hitch receiver, and integral brake controller so I think we are good to go.

2) I remembered just last night I need to get the trailer insured and will call on Monday!

3) We think we need a towing mirror. We did get the back up camera option for the trailer but I am not clear whether the trailer camera can run while we are driving. The Dodge's camera can, but that's not going to do us much good other than to allow us to admire the front of the new trailer while driving, which seems ill-advised. Can anyone comment on this?

4) we remembered to find a place to store the trailer since our driveway is super steep.

5) we remembered to pay, lamentably. To make up for that, I forgot to pay our credit card bill which explained why our online taco order was declined last night.

6) we remembered to get the torque wrench. And the thingy that you put on the wrench.

7) we originally planned to have it delivered to Eugene OR, but opted to pick up in Sumas when we learned the Eugene option meant a 3rd party would simply drop it off and go, whereas the Sumas option meant an Escape employee could meet with us and make sure were at least hitched up in a safe manner, because we are that insecure about our first towing experience.

8) we remembered to arrange for baby-sitting although the kids are junior-high age so perhaps it is more accurately house protection rather than baby-sitting.

So I suppose this is a wide-ranging question, but what else do we need for this first trip? We're going directly from Sumas to Any general advice? Also, does Bob make a good burger or are we better off finding other food options in Sumas?
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Old 05-08-2021, 12:04 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a&e View Post
We're headed to Sumas next week to pick up our new 19! Unfortunately, we are complete newbies and the only thing I've ever pulled behind a vehicle is maybe a neck muscle while looking under the tires for roadkill.

We (or at least I) am convinced that we will arrive in Sumas and realize we have forgotten something critical, so I am asking this community for help. Let's start with what I remembered/learned:

1) printed towing capacity does not equal ability to tow - found this out the hard way and had to trade in our Kia Sorrento (without tow package) for a Dodge Durango G/T with tow package. It has a 7-pin, 2" hitch receiver, and integral brake controller so I think we are good to go.

2) I remembered just last night I need to get the trailer insured and will call on Monday!

3) We think we need a towing mirror. We did get the back up camera option for the trailer but I am not clear whether the trailer camera can run while we are driving. The Dodge's camera can, but that's not going to do us much good other than to allow us to admire the front of the new trailer while driving, which seems ill-advised. Can anyone comment on this?

4) we remembered to find a place to store the trailer since our driveway is super steep.

5) we remembered to pay, lamentably. To make up for that, I forgot to pay our credit card bill which explained why our online taco order was declined last night.

6) we remembered to get the torque wrench. And the thingy that you put on the wrench.

7) we originally planned to have it delivered to Eugene OR, but opted to pick up in Sumas when we learned the Eugene option meant a 3rd party would simply drop it off and go, whereas the Sumas option meant an Escape employee could meet with us and make sure were at least hitched up in a safe manner, because we are that insecure about our first towing experience.

8) we remembered to arrange for baby-sitting although the kids are junior-high age so perhaps it is more accurately house protection rather than baby-sitting.

So I suppose this is a wide-ranging question, but what else do we need for this first trip? We're going directly from Sumas to Any general advice? Also, does Bob make a good burger or are we better off finding other food options in Sumas?
There is an ice cream place directly across from Bob's Burger. Don't miss it! Some of the best Ice cream I've had.
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Old 05-08-2021, 01:39 PM   #3
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Did you get the E2 Weight Distribution Hitch, and is ETI setting it up for you? I hope so!

The rear view camera installed on your trailer will come with a monitor to mount on/around your dash. I mounted my monitor on my windshield. Your tow vehicle lights must be on for the camera and monitor to work. Simply plug the monitor into the cigarette lighter outlet, and turn on your parking or headlights. The monitor resolution is not the best especially when looking for vehicles some distance behind your trailer. I always check my tow mirrors on my F-150 before I change lanes.

I don't drive over 65 MPH, and slower if in strong cross winds. Stay in the right lane. Semi trucks will be passing you, creating a vacuum, and tend to push you one way or the other on the road. Both hands on the wheel. Towing is dangerous, however with caution and experience it will become natural to you, just like driving a car. Plan/think ahead while driving. If you need to stop for gas take a look at the placement of the gas pumps before you pull into the gas station. Will you have enough room to pull into the pumps, gas up, then pull straight thru the island to get out of the gas station? Since you are inexperienced you don't want to have to try to back up. Look at some YouTube videos on how to back up a trailer in case you have to. Make sure you have a spotter. Also remember the track your tow vehicle takes when making a turn is not the track your trailer is taking. You have to make wide turns and look in your outside mirrors to see where the trailer tires are tracking. Your Durango will miss the center island but you trailer may go over it if you haven't planned the turn properly. Same holds true for gas pumps. If you enter the pump island at an angle you could hit a gas pump with your trailer. When in doubt, STOP, and look. Get out of your tow vehicle and look if you have to. Don't worry about who is around or behind you. Let them wait on you. Stay safe.
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:28 PM   #4
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Where are you going the first night or headed straight home?

My mirror goes on with the headlights but not with the headlights on auto if they aren't on.

Just be careful about pulling in places you might have to back out of. If you need to, go to a big empty parking lot and do some practice. Even when experienced at backing every trailer/tow combo is different. Go slow, take your time, don't feel bad about getting out to check.
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:41 PM   #5
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My experience picking up my 19

1. Book at Cottonwood across the highway first night. If any problems you are close to Escape.
2. Yes you need the WDH. I hope you got the Atwood jack
3. Unless you are a truck driver accept you will be crap at backing the trailer and will need lots of practice.
4. If you value your relationship don't let your partner help you back into spaces
5. You don't need the big mirrors I tow a 19 with a 4runner it is fine
6. Never ever forget you are towing a trailer
7. Leave lots of time for changing lanes and exits people will not let you in
8. Never go into somewhere you can't get out of without backing up
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Old 05-08-2021, 07:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a&e View Post
We're going directly from Sumas to...
To where? Are you camping or going straight home 6+ hours?

Take your time, very large following distances, and WIDE turns! You’ll do fine.
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Old 05-08-2021, 09:19 PM   #7
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Picking up as a newbie

Before we got our first trailer we rented a trailer from a box store rental on a weekday morning when the parking lot was empty. We practiced backing up into parking places for a while. If you have cheap orange cones or other markers that is another way to practice. The second time we rented we took it on the streets for a couple of hours. It was a really cheap way for us to get a little more confidence before picking up the trailer.

Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:06 PM   #8
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By the thingy you put on the torque wrench - you actually need two thingies...the socket itself (I won't try to give the size from memory) and most likely you will also need a short extension. By the way, do you have a plan on how to deal with a flat tire? I'd also suggest having an air gauge and a tire pump of some sort.

You didn't mention having the ball mount and 2" ball set for the proper height....do that.

Theoretically you should have temporary tags although they don't seem to be enforcing it.
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Old 05-08-2021, 10:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by daniel108 View Post
By the thingy you put on the torque wrench - you actually need two thingies...the socket itself (I won't try to give the size from memory) and most likely you will also need a short extension.
Lug nut size is 13/16”
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Old 05-09-2021, 05:07 AM   #10
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Consider driving home on the "red roads". The U.S. highways that aren't interstates.

The speed limits are lower and the impatient, speeding semi's tend to stay on the interstates.

You'll get there an hour later, but at least you'll get there.

In the lingo of our Garmin, it's called "avoiding highways". That knocks out interstates but keeps you on red highways.


See if Escape will put a few gallons of water in the fresh tank. That way you can try the water pump at pick up, and more importantly you'll have your own bathroom on the way home.
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Old 05-09-2021, 12:18 PM   #11
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Hey a&e we are from Corvallis as well. Lucky you getting your new 19. We are still many months away from receiving our 19. I certainly agree with the prior post suggesting secondary roads. If you've studied the map you've seen there are not great "red road" alternatives. We towed an unladen and extra long boat trailer from Lyden (next door to Sumas) to Corvallis. I was concerned about the traffic around Seattle (actually Everett to Tacoma) and Portland. We chose to get through Seattle very early in the morning - it didn't help much. You probably know that Portland can have bad traffic as well although I-205 helps. Cutting over to Hwy 101 can be done at Olympia or Chehalis. It will add a lot of time to the trip (but scenic). Personally, I don't like crossing the bridge over the Columbia to Astoria while pulling a trailer. Heading up the bridge I see too much sky and not enough road. My bottom line remains to carefully select your time of day traveling through the highly populated areas. Waze is your friend. Hopefully we can meet up some day. Bruce
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Old 05-09-2021, 05:03 PM   #12
a&e
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thanks for the advice, everyone! We are going from Sumas directly home to Corvallis, OR (I left that part out by mistake). We're afraid if we're gone too long the kids will burn down the house. It'll make for a very long day - we're headed out at the crack of dawn and hope to be back home for a late dinner.

A few other things that everyone's comments made of think of -

1) downloading RV travel apps - I got FreeRoam which seems to do a nice job of mapping out RV friendly gas stations/travel centers - we'll probably avoid regular gas stations until our comfort level is higher, and instead go to places like Pilot or Love's.

2) go to the DMV for the paperwork - although they Oregon DMV is taking 17 weeks to do something as simple as a registration change.

3) I sent an email to Escape re: the hitch ball - I was under the impression they provided that as part of the E2 Fastway WDH that we ordered through them - we'll see.

thanks again!
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Old 05-09-2021, 10:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hughharden View Post
1.

3) I sent an email to Escape re: the hitch ball - I was under the impression they provided that as part of the E2 Fastway WDH that we ordered through them - we'll see.

thanks again!
The 2" ball comes with the hitch system. The ball is attached to the tongue as it should be. All ETI needs is the measurement from the ground to the bottom of your hitch receiver.
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Old 05-09-2021, 10:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hughharden View Post
1.
4. If you value your relationship don't let your partner help you back into spaces
Every YouTube video I've watched on backing up (and I agree from personal experience) says not to let a stranger help you back up. The best person is your partner; after your partner has been trained. I recommend you and your partner watch some YouTube videos together, and discuss what method(s) you are going to use. If you can go to Uhaul and rent any similar length trailer upon which to practice will be valuable.
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Old 05-10-2021, 01:37 AM   #15
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A&E, First, Congrats on getting your new trailer!! The suggestions to practice towing and backing a rental trailer are spot on. All of the above advice is excellent. The best tip I got when learning to back a trailer was to keep my hand at the bottom of the steering wheel and which ever direction you want the trailer to go, move your hand that same direction. It works! I have a back up camera also but I don’t use it to back up! It’s helpful to make sure your not going to hit something but that’s what your spotter is for! I love having the back up camera to be able to see directly behind while driving. It’s a useful addition to good mirrors.
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Old 05-10-2021, 04:39 AM   #16
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No towing experience.

I would definitely rent a Uhaul car trailer, yes, a big car trailer and spend a few hours towing it around. Ask a friend with experience to join you. Practice backing up and getting in parking lots and in and out of gas stations. I said car trailer, because its big and heavy but you can still see.
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:01 AM   #17
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Being able to see is what makes all the difference and why backing a large camping trailer is much different from a flat trailer. You'll have better visibility when you are backing into a slot on the driver's side vs passenger's side, so I usually try to align that way if possible. There are some free online games that can be helpful for getting the general idea of what you need to shoot for. Beyond all, remember there are no prizes for speed, but plenty of penalties, so take it slow and don't be afraid to pull forward and start again as many times as needed.
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Old 05-10-2021, 12:21 PM   #18
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Turn late

Someone a bit ago posted advice that it's much better to turn a little late than turn too soon. Much easier to adjust. I agree!

I would give credit if I could remember who posted it.
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Old 05-10-2021, 12:40 PM   #19
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when backing place you hand on the bottom of the steering wheel the trailer will go in the direction you steer it- if you are steering from the bottom of the wheel -lots of small adjustments are needed often you have to pull forward at bit to straighten out then continue to back just go slow a spotter is very helpful.
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Old 05-10-2021, 03:23 PM   #20
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1. Please eat at Bob's burgers, it's actually pretty good place to eat.
2. There's a Trader Joe's and Costco in Bellingham
3. There's really no traffic on the five freeway until you get within about 60 miles of Seattle.
4. There is no good time to travel through Seattle.
5. Enjoy yourself, life is short.
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