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Old 01-17-2021, 03:12 PM   #1
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Classic 17B Front Tool Box

I have wanted a tool box on the front of my first gen 17B since I purchased it, but finding one that fit between the trailer and the propane bottles took a while. Finally found one by Brait that measured 13". Measured (several times) the space to be 14", should fit fine.

When the box arrived took it out to try it out and it did not fit!! #%@. Remeasured, still 14", box still 13". Hmm. First I thought the bulge midway up on the trailer was the problem preventing the box from opening, but no, that was not it.

Finally realized that the problem was the fact that on the first gen trailers the frame is horizontal beneath the fiberglass box, but as soon as it clears going forward the frame is tilted up several degrees. This resulted in the storage box not being level, causing the actual measurement diagonally to be more than 13", contacting the fiberglass.

Solution: Fabricate wedges to lie on the top of the frame, resulting in a horizontal surface. Then, orienting the tool box so the opening is to the rear allows mounting the box and being able to open the lid all the way. (I did have to shift the wdh hooks forward slightly.)
Due to the tool box not being supported by the frame at the rear I also fabricated a piece of pt wood with a bevel so the entire box is supported.

Now I have a place for leveling boards, stabilizer blocks, wdh pipe, chocks and other items I can move out of under trailer storage.


(I will attach photos as soon as I figure out what the problem is)



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Old 01-18-2021, 08:49 AM   #2
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File Type: jpg IMG_20210117_132622514_HDR.jpg (289.2 KB, 21 views)
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Old 01-18-2021, 09:28 AM   #3
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Mike: That is a neat box. Question though - what is holding the wood wedges and back piece from slipping out? Are there fasteners through the bottom of the box into them so it is all one assembly?
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Old 01-18-2021, 09:59 AM   #4
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Are your batteries inside the camper?
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:00 AM   #5
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The two wedges are glued to the frame to hold them in place while installing (did not want to drill any holes in frame, unsure about weakening it). Basically they are only spacers. The beveled back piece is screwed to the box, not fixed to frame. The box is secured to the frame by two U bolts in such a way that the box cannot shift either side to side or back to front.



I figure the weight of the contents will hold the rear of the box down against the frame, and had no good way to secure it to the frame. Have not taken it out yet, will have to see if I need some modifications, possibly to attach the wedges better.


Were I to do it again I would try to get a longer box, but they are hard to find as narrow as I needed.
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:07 AM   #6
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Are your batteries inside the camper?
Batteries for the 17B are on the back bumper.
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:07 AM   #7
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On the classic 17B there are two batteries on the back bumper.
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:23 AM   #8
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I see, thanks. On my 15A they are where you put that box.
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:25 AM   #9
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The 17 adds the 2 feet in front of the axle, so it is more tongue-heavy than the 15. (Also easier to back!) So the batteries in back offset that extra weight.
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Old 01-18-2021, 11:43 AM   #10
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I have my old toolbox that I removed from my 17B that I would give away free to any Escape owners wanting to add a toolbox. I replaced it with the Escape fiberglass box. Only problem is shipping would be a killer so local pickup is really the only option.
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Old 01-18-2021, 03:23 PM   #11
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The 17 adds the 2 feet in front of the axle, so it is more tongue-heavy than the 15. (Also easier to back!) So the batteries in back offset that extra weight.
Yeah, I guessed that was the reason, it doesn't look like they moved the wheels forward for the 17.
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Old 01-18-2021, 03:25 PM   #12
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I have my old toolbox that I removed from my 17B that I would give away free to any Escape owners wanting to add a toolbox. I replaced it with the Escape fiberglass box. Only problem is shipping would be a killer so local pickup is really the only option.
I would have take it, if you weren't 1700 miles away!
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Old 01-18-2021, 04:05 PM   #13
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Yeah, I guessed that was the reason, it doesn't look like they moved the wheels forward for the 17.

Since the 17 came before the 15, the wheels are precisely where they needed to be.
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Old 01-18-2021, 08:45 PM   #14
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I would have take it, if you weren't 1700 miles away!
Bummer!
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Old 01-18-2021, 08:51 PM   #15
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Just a notion....but

With some 1/2" MDO plywood and some cutting, you could make the box you want...bigger...better...and include the angles you may need for fitment.

just a notion....
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Old 01-19-2021, 03:02 AM   #16
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Since the 17 came before the 15, the wheels are precisely where they needed to be.
Sort of... Reace derived the original Escape 17 design from the 15-foot Trillium/Surfside models of a couple decades earlier, by adding length mostly or entirely ahead of the axle (making the trailer stable but tongue-heavy without the battery move). When he did the 15-foot, he basically just reverted to original Trillium 4500 (4.5 metre, or about 15') proportions, but with all of the Escape design and construction details.
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Old 01-19-2021, 03:10 PM   #17
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Since the 17 came before the 15, the wheels are precisely where they needed to be.
[shrug] As long as they get the balance right, that's all that matters.
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