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Old 12-14-2020, 04:18 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Central Colorado, Colorado
Trailer: 1997 Eurovan Camper (sold in September) Escape 21C (Spring 2021)
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Tools at pickup and first journey??

Hi, I will be picking up my new 21C in early April and could use some advice on what to tools and accessories to have on hand. I plan on taking about 3 days for my journey back to Colorado. I am a first time tower and RVer and could use some advice in the following areas:

1. Towing/hitching/trailer security: I have ordered the E2Fastway with WD from Escape. What are must have tools and equipment? I plan to tow conservatively.
2. Tires/hubs, axel: I saw somewhere that it would be wise to tighten the hubs every few 100 miles, but I really do not know what torque wrench to purchase (brand, foot lbs, style). Any need to service the axel...this is probably beyond my capability. What type of jack is recommended in the event to of trailer flat tire?
3. Gray/black/fresh water: What chemical or other additives should I have on hand to set up the gray and black tanks? Are these just added via the sink or toilet?
4. I know I need to bring some beading and other basic supplies, but if there are other things you recommend for a 3 day maiden journey it would be appreciated.

I have learned a lot from this forum and really appreciate the feedback. Once I gain more experience I am hoping to return the favor. Thanks!
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Old 12-14-2020, 05:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomEscape View Post
Hi, I will be picking up my new 21C in early April and could use some advice on what to tools and accessories to have on hand. I plan on taking about 3 days for my journey back to Colorado. I am a first time tower and RVer and could use some advice in the following areas:

1. Towing/hitching/trailer security: I have ordered the E2Fastway with WD from Escape. What are must have tools and equipment? I plan to tow conservatively.
2. Tires/hubs, axel: I saw somewhere that it would be wise to tighten the hubs every few 100 miles, but I really do not know what torque wrench to purchase (brand, foot lbs, style). Any need to service the axel...this is probably beyond my capability. What type of jack is recommended in the event to of trailer flat tire?
3. Gray/black/fresh water: What chemical or other additives should I have on hand to set up the gray and black tanks? Are these just added via the sink or toilet?
4. I know I need to bring some beading and other basic supplies, but if there are other things you recommend for a 3 day maiden journey it would be appreciated.

I have learned a lot from this forum and really appreciate the feedback. Once I gain more experience I am hoping to return the favor. Thanks!

Here are some things I encountered. Welcome fellow Coloradan.

If you bought X-chocks, you might want standard chocks too. They don't come together. I use both, but the chocks are indispensable.

Wood for the landing gear (4 x 6), or Andersen fifth wheel stands. I use those.

Mat to wipe your feet.

Vacuum cleaner. We use a Dyson.

You will get all the toilet accessories you need if you bought the welcome kit. I think that is what they call it. Otherwise toilet paper (for RVs), stink juice, hand soap, something to cook with and realize you will not think of everything.

If you are going in the Winter and it is cold, then maybe be prepared to winterize it (if needed). You can just fire up the heater and keep everything warm too. Be careful about putting water in the fresh water tank.

Torque wrench. I use a Huffy 60 lb to 250 lb and a 40 lb to 100 lb. The fifth wheel Anderson Gooseneck has some additional torque nuts. So I carry both. You don't need two. Bring the correct sockets.

I really don't know how you adjust the brakes on the road. You might do that when you go home or ask what other people do.

Remember to adjust your electric brakes on your truck when you pick up your trailer. The Lyden KOA is a nice, close shake down spot.
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Old 12-14-2020, 05:41 PM   #3
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I used this torque wrench. https://www.harborfreight.com/hand-t...nch-63882.html

You'll need a socket for it, I think it was 13/16ths but someone else can verify that. Also get one that will fit the water heater anode, 1 1/16".

A digital volt meter, with instructions if you don't know how to use one. Looks like they have a bunch of low cost ones at Harbor Freight or Amazon. Need to know how to check for +12v dc, and ohms to check for opens and such.

Robertson screw drivers

A handful of the basic tools for possible lose screws and bolts.
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Old 12-14-2020, 05:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TomEscape View Post
2. Tires/hubs, axel: I saw somewhere that it would be wise to tighten the hubs every few 100 miles, but I really do not know what torque wrench to purchase (brand, foot lbs, style). Any need to service the axel...this is probably beyond my capability.
That's check the tightness of the wheel nuts, not the adjusting nut in the hub. There should be no need to service the axle and its bearings for at least a year.
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Old 12-14-2020, 06:01 PM   #5
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I really don't know how you adjust the brakes on the road. You might do that when you go home or ask what other people do.
I assume this refers to the mechanical adjustment of clearance in the brake mechanism at each wheel...

Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleTim View Post
Remember to adjust your electric brakes on your truck when you pick up your trailer. The [Lynden] KOA is a nice, close shake down spot.
... then this is about adjusting the gain setting on your electronic brake controller.
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Old 12-14-2020, 06:15 PM   #6
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Congrats on the new 21C!

Like Padlin, we also recommend the Harbor Freight torque wrench. The price is right, and it has worked well for us.

You may also want two locks for the front storage bin. However, we found that the hole for the lock's shackle was smaller than expected. if your shackle is .25" or smaller, you will be OK. However, many padlocks are .30" or more, and these will not fit.

More info can be found here:

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post320570

- Bea
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Old 12-14-2020, 06:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I assume this refers to the mechanical adjustment of clearance in the brake mechanism at each wheel...


... then this is about adjusting the gain setting on your electronic brake controller.

Correct on both accounts and my apologies for not being clear.

Adjust the gain right away. I went overboard at first.

I cannot imagine adjusting the brake in each tire on the road.
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Old 12-14-2020, 06:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bea View Post
Congrats on the new 21C!

Like Padlin, we also recommend the Harbor Freight torque wrench. The price is right, and it has worked well for us.

You may also want two locks for the front storage bin. However, we found that the hole for the lock's shackle was smaller than expected. if your shackle is .25" or smaller, you will be OK. However, many padlocks are .30" or more, and these will not fit.

More info can be found here:

https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post320570

- Bea
If you are worried that the hatches on the front storage bin might pop open, use a carabiner to "lock" the hatches.

A lock on those hatches won't stop a thief - they will just bust off the hatches to steal less than a hundred dollars worth of stuff and create hundreds of dollars worth of damage to the fiberglass storage bin.
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Old 12-14-2020, 07:07 PM   #9
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My list would include:

a digital tire air gauge--I just bought several of them at Home Depot --Husky brand $10

a 12volt air compressor. I small one in the $25 range from Walmart would be good enough. Check for a fairly long cord, at least 12 to 15 feet.

something to roll a tire up on that rises around 4 inches. With dual axle this is how you'd change a flat tire. When the good tire rides up, the bad one is lifted for removal. Andersen levelers, "lego" plastic interlocking sets, or 2x6 wood beveled and screwed together..

a breaker bar. This is something maybe 18 inches long similar to a torque wrench but you just put a socket on it to loosen wheel lug nuts. Bring a socket to fit your tow vehicle and the trailer. A four inch extension to put the socket on it helpful. Practice with your breaker bar on your tow vehicle before you leave home. Loosen and tighten a few lug nuts, using your new torque wrench.

a lock or pin of some sort to put in the hitch at the ball latch. It doesn't need to be that substantial, but you do need something.

a Robertson screwdriver, also known as a square drive. Many trailer parts are held in place by this type of screw that you may not have seen, except in RVs.

Hopefully others will chime in with their extensive lists.
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Old 12-14-2020, 10:42 PM   #10
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Bring something to grease the ball on your hitch, thats critical so it won't stick. White grease I think, I use marine grease on mine. A rubber hammer if you need to persuade the hitch to let go, I used a brass hammer the first time. An extension for your electric, we stayed a few spots where we need that. Same with the sewer hose, thow that was less of an issue.
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Old 12-15-2020, 07:03 AM   #11
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After trying a number of options I settled on https://www.amazon.com/Happy-Campers.../dp/B005XEFADU holding tank treatment.
Many here say https://www.amazon.com/Odorlos-V7701...06XXVC6N4?th=1 works well for them.

I used a powder but think a liquid may be easier to use.
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Old 12-15-2020, 07:26 AM   #12
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This is the air compressor I used. Highly recommend it.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 12-15-2020, 07:39 AM   #13
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This is the air compressor I used. Highly recommend it.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I have the same one - it works great. I also bought a military type tool bag to keep it in.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The compressor along with a tire patch kit fits in it perfect.
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Old 12-15-2020, 07:41 AM   #14
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A few more items:

two 25 foot white or blue water hoses. Garden hoses taste like garden hoses, white or blue RV hoses don't. You'll usually just need one, but you never know.

the blue in-line water filter that everybody has. 2-packs at Walmart are less than one at Camping World. About $25.

a pressure reducer. This is a small brass item you connect to the end of your RV hose that keeps from over pressurizing your trailer at a site with excess water pressure. Walmart.com has an adjustable one with a gauge for $15.21

a 30 amp to 15 amp electrical adapter. $6.99 at Harbor Freight. This lets you plug in your trailer at home or if you stop at a friends house or a camp spot that doesn't have the best electric service. You can't run all your stuff at once, but you can get by.

100 pack of blue nitrile gloves for handling the sewer hose. Some are more worried about this than others. $17.99 at Harbor Freight.
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Old 12-15-2020, 08:26 AM   #15
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So many good ideas so I will just give you my one must have go to tool when I am in my 5 TA or out in my power boat. I always carry a Leatherman multitool. A Surge or the Charge TTI are suggestions.
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Old 12-15-2020, 09:21 AM   #16
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Hopefully Escape still gives new owners the multi screwdriver. That tool never leaves the trailer!

Kinda like this but free!

https://www.amazon.com/Channellock-1...11&sr=8-7&th=1
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Old 12-15-2020, 09:38 AM   #17
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For changing tires on the trailer I bought this:

https://www.amazon.com/Trailer-Aid-T...NsaWNrPXRydWU=
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Old 12-15-2020, 10:06 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by tdf-texas View Post
Hopefully Escape still gives new owners the multi screwdriver. That tool never leaves the trailer!

Kinda like this but free!

https://www.amazon.com/Channellock-1...11&sr=8-7&th=1
A 5/64th allen wrench. I now have one taped to the top of the water pump, but have not needed to adjust since. (I think I tried the Robertson screw driver on my water pump, if so it would not fit, but I have used it many times since on mods etc).

The only issue we encountered on the return trip was the water pump needed adjusting (it ran continuously). Reace addressed the water pump issue in one of his orientation videos. Before encountering a fellow camper who had the correct allen wrench we needed to switch the pump on and off to prevent it from running continually. Besides the the water pump issue we spent 23 days/nights and 1900 miles on our return trip without an issue.

Water pump pressure needing adjustments have been reported by others on here as well.

Many nights and many miles later we have encountered very few issues. I would say we have had few issues involved with the way ETI put our trailer together. 1) we had to adjust a window blind that was crooked 2) we adjusted the entry door striker due to the door closing too hard (too tight).

Off the top of my head so far we have had to, adjust the water pump pressure, adjust one window shade, adjust the propane pressure with a manometer (poor refrigerator cooling on propane), adjust the electric awning (poor alignment when closing) and replace furnace the sail switch.
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Old 12-15-2020, 10:57 AM   #19
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Multi tools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark James View Post
So many good ideas so I will just give you my one must have go to tool when I am in my 5 TA or out in my power boat. I always carry a Leatherman multitool. A Surge or the Charge TTI are suggestions.
I have a couple multi tools. And I probably foolishly have a credit card with “bucks”‘specific to one retailer, To that end, I’m contemplating another multitool “at no immediate cost to me”. I know, it’s costing me but it’s painless. One thing I use all the time is the multiple bit screwdriver that Escape gave us at a rally one year. I liked it so well I bought one when I was at ETI the next time I was there and gave it to my son in law as a stocking stuffer. I also bought the Milwaukee Tool Stubby version. Now I only carry four screwdrivers , the two with the interchangeable bits and two flat blade”abusers”. As a former production packing house butcher, I am a knife person too. I’m not saying how many I might have in the camper, Highlander and in my pocket or on me at any one time but I will say it’s more than I have fingers and I have them all. Several with nicks. One of my all time favorite Boy Scouts became a knife guy too. I named him “Jimmy the Blade”. I see him all the time and he’s 35 now.
Finally, I never travel without a 12 or 16 ounce ball pien hammer. SMFH model.
Iowa Dave
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Old 12-15-2020, 11:35 AM   #20
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For changing tires on the trailer I bought this:

https://www.amazon.com/Trailer-Aid-T...NsaWNrPXRydWU=
I have a Trailer-Aid too and it stores easily through the side hatch under the bed. The Plus is overkill though; I can even get a wheel off the ground with a ramp on top of a 1/2" piece of plywood at home. I prefer this for raising the driver's side rear as you are ramping the front. Rolling forward onto the Trailer-Aid is a bit tricky there as the sewer drain is there.
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