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Old 08-13-2014, 10:46 AM   #21
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Got Mud?

Along the Klondike Loop last month!

Steve

Oh and the front storage box provides great protection up front.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:00 AM   #22
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I would agree with an earlier poster that pulling a 17 offroad would be better than the 19 or 21. The more length you have the harder it will get to negotiate offroad. We have only had our trailer since April, but recently did a 36 mile section of dirt road that was potholed and washboarded. We took it slow over the rocks in the road and luckily we did not come upon anyone in the narrow sections. Narrow roads are my biggest concern since it can be hard to find spots to let others pass. Idaho is full of dirt roads so we ended up getting the highlift package which was good since I have already gone over a number of tall rocks without hitting anything.

My biggest concern in the future is the durability of the tires. We run an 8 ply offroad tire on the 4 runner and wish I had though about upgrading the trailer tires. I have sliced open the sidewall on a passenger tire and had bad punctures on passenger tires while driving offroad so I think that would be the biggest liability with the escape since the rest of it seems bomber.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:08 AM   #23
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I would agree with an earlier poster that pulling a 17 offroad would be better than the 19 or 21.
Actually, both have their own individual benefits. A tandem axle will ride over potholes way better, as in most cases there is usually still one tire out of the hole supporting it at a more even keel, thus not as much bobbing up and down. The shorter length to the 17 would be a bit advantageous in reversing into tight places, but not all that much. The 19 is a bit wider, but you would have to be pulling through some super tight tolerances to have this be an issue.

Put it this way, I would bet there is nowhere you could tow a 17, that I could not get the 19 into.
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Old 08-13-2014, 11:55 AM   #24
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After seeing a local 19' I was concerned about the fresh water tank being so vulnerable. In regard to the high lift kit- I got the impression that you only gained about 1" (25mm). Smilycook- was yours higher or was that enough to avoid rocks in uneven roads?

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Old 08-13-2014, 11:57 AM   #25
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sjnuss- from the picture, it looks like the door seals are more than adequate to keep out mud. How about dust intrusion (doors and windows) as well as water from crossing through creek and runoff over roads?

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Old 08-13-2014, 12:19 PM   #26
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... How about dust intrusion (doors and windows) as well as water from crossing through creek and runoff over roads?

Mark
The Escape trailers definitely have some degree of ruggedness that would allow them to be hauled over reasonably rough terrain. I know that, from the factory, the door on my 19' had some gaps in the weather stripping that allowed light to be seen from the inside. I fixed the gaps with some additional foam, but under severe dust or water conditions, I would expect that the door seals would like some. There is no way that I would cross any significant creeks or water bodies with my 19'. Would definitely not do this:
But who knows, others here may wish to do so.
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:11 PM   #27
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Hi Mark,
Here's a for sale ad from a couple years ago for an "off-road" customized Escape. If the seller's contact info is still current, maybe you can hit him up for more insight.

http://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f3...00-a-1824.html

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Old 08-13-2014, 01:51 PM   #28
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This wasn't the worst road we've been on but it had the potential to be based on the many warnings that we had about using the Moki Dugway Highway as a short cut.

It switchbacks up the face of a butte and is steep, has sections of washboard and in some places, is narrow.

We tried it, uphill, and it was just fine. The trailer handled it well without any problems

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Old 08-13-2014, 02:09 PM   #29
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Went up this "Road from Hell" as my daughter-in-law called it (she and my son went down it). I had to have a friend drive as I was terrified. There's no way I'd haul a trailer either up or down it.
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:17 PM   #30
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Went up this "Road from Hell" as my daughter-in-law called it (she and my son went down it). I had to have a friend drive as I was terrified. There's no way I'd haul a trailer either up or down it.
Well, that's kind of the comments we heard Then there was this little old lady who said, "I haul my horse trailer up and down it all the time"

I have to say, compared to my previous single axle Scamp, which would have danced all over the road, the tandem axle smoothed the washboard right out.

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Old 08-13-2014, 02:31 PM   #31
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My friend had no problem with it either. I just have a irrational fear of drop-offs. I can drive east on Hwy 2 in Washington State but not west and I can drive west on Hwy 20 but not east. I just hope it doesn't get to the point where I can't even leave Bellingham.
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:42 PM   #32
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After seeing a local 19' I was concerned about the fresh water tank being so vulnerable. In regard to the high lift kit- I got the impression that you only gained about 1" (25mm). Smilycook- was yours higher or was that enough to avoid rocks in uneven roads?

Mark
The 17 defiantly has more ground clearance than our 4runner. I am not sure if it is 1 or 2" of extra height, but the blocks can be changed out to give you different amounts of lift. My biggest regret is not getting offroad tires put on.
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:48 PM   #33
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sjnuss- from the picture, it looks like the door seals are more than adequate to keep out mud. How about dust intrusion (doors and windows) as well as water from crossing through creek and runoff over roads?

Mark
The door and widow seals worked great. We had no dust or mud inside during travel, but things do get dusty when stopped and opened up. We really did not do any creek crossings, at least nothing of any significance.

Steve
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:19 PM   #34
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Well- how about this for an idea. Since I will have to buy a tow vehicle anyway- how about doing a Fuso FG (4x4)/Escape Camper van? I love the idea of the Earth Cruiser vans- but the $200,000 U.S. is too much for me to justify. For somewhere well south of $90k complete with off-road suspension, snorkel and improved tires-imagine a 17' to 19' Escape mounted on a custom truck tray (ala XP Campers) made by local truck bed maker (could have lots of storage and additional water, batteries, etc). Just have to ask Reace if any special internal bracing would need to done. Fuso FG's can turn inside of a Mini Cooper and are pretty well respected around the world for parts availability and a long warranty.

Probably something wrong with this idea- but seems doable and in proximity price wise.

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Old 08-13-2014, 05:34 PM   #35
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Something similar has been done with a Casita (sorry don't have a link for you, but you may be able to search this out).

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Old 08-13-2014, 05:40 PM   #36
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Steve-

Thanks for the tip. The link is

Mitsu Fuso Camper examples - Expedition Portal

The Casita is the first one.

Mark
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:42 PM   #37
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Steve-

Thanks for the tip. The link is

Mitsu Fuso Camper examples - Expedition Portal

The Casita is the first one

Mark
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:53 PM   #38
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Since I will have to buy a tow vehicle anyway- how about doing a Fuso FG (4x4)/Escape Camper van?
...
For somewhere well south of $90k complete with off-road suspension, snorkel and improved tires-imagine a 17' to 19' Escape mounted on a custom truck tray (ala XP Campers) made by local truck bed maker (could have lots of storage and additional water, batteries, etc).
This is actually a well-established idea. Trailers are really not ideally suited to mounting on a truck, but it is so much easier to start with one than build a good custom unit that it has appeal. Edit: now that I see the link above - posted after I started to reply - I realize that you know this already...

I have not seen this done with an Escape, but Escapes are relatively new. Other moulded fiberglass travel trailers have been used, such as a Casita as mentioned above. You might find these discussions in FiberglassRV.com interesting:I would not attempt to put an Escape body on a bed floor without the Escape frame or an equivalent; instead, it seems safer to keep the frame with the tongue cut off (or build an equivalent) and mount that frame to the truck at three (not four) points. Additional storage can be in boxes mounted to the truck frame.

From the same forum, here's a thread very relevant to the original question (not the truck-mounted idea):
Best Off-Road/4 Season Egg is....
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:19 PM   #39
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Someplace in the archives was a fella who wanted to marry a classic 5.0 to a truck frame and do exactly what you're describing. Sounds grand to me!
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:38 AM   #40
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I suppose making your own "earth cruiser" would be a cool project from a technical standpoint, but I don't see the practicality. Can you imagine the fuel you'd eat? The whole idea of an efficient lightweight towable goes right out the window, and now you're driving a delivery truck you can sleep in. But hey, different strokes....
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