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Old 07-24-2021, 03:21 PM   #1
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Service Department

I've been wanting to post this for a while now but I've been a bit hesitant as there certainly are, well, I'll just say it, strong opinions when folks read between the lines that were not placed in the original question. At no point in this question am I being critical of ETI.

Here goes, if I were to purchase a 5.0 SA or a 15B or just put it as any used trailer and it needed updates/replacements/additions that perhaps are beyond my skill level what are my choices? If I bought a rig and it had non operable rear windows and I'd like to have one what can I do? If it's 12 years old and I thought a new stove top, water heater, furnace, AC and perhaps new axle, ya know, would bring it back to life, what are my options? These questions are all just setting the stage for my question below:

Wouldn't it be nice to have a service department at ETI that I could take it to? I am not nor have I ever run a business or am suggesting I know more than the folks at ETI. I don't want folks to get tied in a knot over this question. ETI is a only a manufacturing company and does not take on customer projects/upgrades. OK, I'm not critical of that, just opening the question of does anyone else think this would be a nice service for the company to offer? I know some folks are on their 5th or 6th Escape. But if I was looking at it from the standpoint of I wanted to buy my forever camper, my last camper, and I look at a few other trailers that have service departments that will take care of my needs if I bought one today 10 years from now or if I bought used and wanted upgrades. I realize there's no guarantee of the company being in business 10 years but honestly it does factor into the decision making process.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-24-2021, 03:36 PM   #2
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When ETI was smaller under the previous ownership they would do upgrades and repairs for owners, or add optional equipment when feasible. Within the last year or two with the focus on increased production they announced that they would no longer offer any repair or upgrade services.

Their parts and service department is still happy to advise you and offer information about specific parts, vendors, etc. to help you in any repairs or modifications that you do yourself. And most of the appliances and other components are pretty standard throughout the RV industry and repair or replacement of them can be handled by many RV dealers / service centers.
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Old 07-24-2021, 03:57 PM   #3
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Service Department

While I have had no personal experience with them, Casita owners' have long had the option of having services done by "Little House Customs", an independent business that apparently developed to do modifications that Casita was unwilling to do. LHC even developed (and currently sells) custom parts designed for Casitas. Perhaps we Escape owners need something similar?

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Old 07-24-2021, 04:02 PM   #4
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Me too

I read all the great modifications owners are making and sharing on the forum. I am envious. I do not feel like I am able to make these mods myself. I would love to have access to trust worthy techs to do this for me, whether at ETI or local fiberglass trailer shops, of which there are none. In the mean time I will enjoy my Escape 19 as is, which is still pretty good!
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Old 07-24-2021, 04:18 PM   #5
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While I have had no personal experience with them, Casita owners' have long had the option of having services done by "Little House Customs", an independent business that apparently developed to do modifications that Casita was unwilling to do. LHC even developed (and currently sells) custom parts designed for Casitas. Perhaps we Escape owners need something similar?

Dave Smith
The original owner retired and the business is now in its second generation of owners and operating as "Little Home on the Road". And yes, it would be great if there was a similar business for Escapes! https://littlehomeontheroad.com/
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Old 07-24-2021, 04:47 PM   #6
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Once you take title to your Escape it is yours and the factory is only responsible for warranty. No add ons, modifications will be made post production unless arranged with ETI. If you make the right option selections your add on's will be less. Why do you think I'm on my 5th Escape order?? I'm a slow learner.......
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Old 07-24-2021, 04:49 PM   #7
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and do not forget we are here to help you customize and complete your build sheet......so that it is perfect the first time!
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Old 07-24-2021, 08:52 PM   #8
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All these things you should definitely consider, pretty much the same questions you would ask if buying a new or used home.

Only you know your financial situation and hands on abilities, that has much to do with these decisions.

There are many people that have capabilities to do most any improvements, or you can learn how to do some things on your own.
Are you looking for a hobby, or just want things pretty much set to go.
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Old 07-24-2021, 09:34 PM   #9
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You would think that with more and more people buying Escape trailers that some handy young entrepreneur person would start there own modification and repair business to fulfill this need. I think they would do well.
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Old 07-25-2021, 01:03 AM   #10
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You would think that with more and more people buying Escape trailers that some handy young entrepreneur person would start there own modification and repair business to fulfill this need. I think they would do well.
THAT Sir, is a question that has been asked by many of the fading boomer generation.
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Old 07-25-2021, 07:49 AM   #11
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You would think that with more and more people buying Escape trailers that some handy young entrepreneur person would start there own modification and repair business to fulfill this need. I think they would do well.
Maybe there should be an Escape Owner owned investment group to start this repair business.

The Escapee (Fiberglass RV Repair).
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Old 07-25-2021, 09:56 AM   #12
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I'm very handy, but if I were not (or hit something beyond my capabilities) then I would probably mostly not come at any work from the standpoint of an RV repair. I think most RV repair places are not where you want to take your Escape, especially not for customization etc.

These trailers break down into three major systems areas:

Fiberglass hull - I would look into a local company that specializes in repairing boats if I ever needed hull work done that was beyond my skill.

Most mechanical systems - Plumbing, wiring, propane, cabinetry etc - I would come at this like I was hiring a handyman to do work on a house. If you can do basic home repairs (or even slightly more than basic) then you can tackle all these systems.

Running gear - If you have axle or brake problems, find a local trailer shop. NOT an RV shop. There are places that deal with trailers and they are usually very good.
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:00 AM   #13
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You would think that with more and more people buying Escape trailers that some handy young entrepreneur person would start there own modification and repair business to fulfill this need. I think they would do well.
If these Escape owners who wanted custom work all lived in the same place, that would be a viable business. But Escapes are located all over North America, and people will not travel thousands of miles to have work done.

Otherwise I think we are looking at the same reason ETI doesn't offer much in the way of repair. They have no dealer network and the vast majority of sold Escapes are located far away from their single facility.

At the risk of going slightly off topic, this concept of a dealer network is really important when the product is very expensive and complex. I'll buy an Escape because it's actually a very simple item that I can fix. I won't buy an electric car from a startup company because I need a local dealer. Markets like to throw money at these starups in the car business, and I think they miss how much value there is in having a ready to go, nationwide dealer network.
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:18 AM   #14
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I'm very handy, but if I were not (or hit something beyond my capabilities) then I would probably mostly not come at any work from the standpoint of an RV repair. I think most RV repair places are not where you want to take your Escape, especially not for customization etc.

These trailers break down into three major systems areas:

Fiberglass hull - I would look into a local company that specializes in repairing boats if I ever needed hull work done that was beyond my skill.

Most mechanical systems - Plumbing, wiring, propane, cabinetry etc - I would come at this like I was hiring a handyman to do work on a house. If you can do basic home repairs (or even slightly more than basic) then you can tackle all these systems.

Running gear - If you have axle or brake problems, find a local trailer shop. NOT an RV shop. There are places that deal with trailers and they are usually very good.
Great advice.
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Old 07-25-2021, 10:42 AM   #15
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I liked it when improvements or repairs were made at the Escape factory. On out two Escapes both bought at used units, we returned about 1700 miles to the factory for the addition of solar, (Twice), some minor repairs and some modifications. We were able to do this because we are retired, attended the Escape rally and had work done either before or after the rally. And on the 21 we sandwiched the solar install in with a vacation trip to the west coast.

Several owners have noted success with mobile RV tech businesses. At least these folks don’t have special brand requirements through they my have brand related specialties. I see the growth of these businesses in the future. We hire locksmiths who come out to the house, home security firms, electronic dog fence installers, pet groomers etc. It seems logical that mobile RV techs could be successful and affordable. Some of the prices for minor work that are reported on this forum make me wish I was a younger man sometimes.

Many of the needs of the Escape trailer can be learned and performed by the owners or folks with a working knowledge of the component on question.
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Old 07-25-2021, 11:49 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreyG View Post
I'm very handy, but if I were not (or hit something beyond my capabilities) then I would probably mostly not come at any work from the standpoint of an RV repair...
Fiberglass hull...
Most mechanical systems...
Running gear...


Another valuable source are the experienced RV owners within your network (which includes this and other forums). I have 3 neighbours with multiple years of experience owning various trailers, who've all shared methods and provided repair and trouble shooting guidance to me and others.
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:53 AM   #17
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I never expected anything from the Mothership.

Weíre 4500km from the Escape factory. I didnít expect any problems with the trailer itself. I do expect issues with the fridge and furnace and maybe the MaxFan. Those issues I can tackle with the help of the forum or YouTube. Worst case scenario, my RV dealer would be happy to take my money.

It is unreasonable to expect Escape to modify your trailer after the build. Thatís like going back to the Ford dealer and telling them you decided you want the V8 instead and you expect them to swap the motor. I doubt the Winnebago factory is doing post build mods, they leave that up to the dealers.
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Old 07-26-2021, 12:12 PM   #18
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Being a good Iowan I would be remiss if I did not at least post the website of Lichtsinn RV which is a Winnebago dealer a mile from the Winnebago Factory. Regardless of your feelings about Winnebagos I think Lichtsinn has a very professionally done website that promotes a friendly, helpful, professional atmosphere.
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https://www.lichtsinn.com/
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Old 07-26-2021, 12:31 PM   #19
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winnebago

My Escapes are very simple and trouble free but our Winnebago motorhome was our best motorhome except the pack rats also liked it and all the places to build nests.
The trailer makes it difficult for the cute little burgers to find access to inside.
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:11 PM   #20
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Some do some donít some will some wonít.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug2000 View Post
We’re 4500km from the Escape factory. I didn’t expect any problems with the trailer itself. I do expect issues with the fridge and furnace and maybe the MaxFan. Those issues I can tackle with the help of the forum or YouTube. Worst case scenario, my RV dealer would be happy to take my money.

It is unreasonable to expect Escape to modify your trailer after the build. That’s like going back to the Ford dealer and telling them you decided you want the V8 instead and you expect them to swap the motor. I doubt the Winnebago factory is doing post build mods, they leave that up to the dealers.
My not so steel trap fast mind had to flip through a few months back to Fourth of July weekend in 2019 when I had conversation with a nice lady in the parking lot of the HyVee grocery store. She was towing a new Scamp. She told me she was headed to Minnesota to camp and then to the Scamp factory to have an awning and an air conditioner installed. She told me she bought without and tried the camper without and decided she’d like these things added. Scamp does aftermarket work on their trailers.
In addition On the Casita website there is a protocol for owners bringing their trailers in for service that includes removing personal gear, scheduling etc.
So while Winnebago depends on dealers one of which is located a mile from the factory and has a long standing relationship with the factory, cursory investigation reveals that Scamp and Casita both offer Service after the Sale. And Escape used to in the Reace and Tammy days.
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https://www.scamptrailers.com/
https://casitatraveltrailers.com/
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