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Old 07-22-2018, 02:23 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Denver, Colorado
Trailer: escape 5.0ta
Posts: 28
Please help me with my build!

Hello Escape Family!

I知 a soon-to-be owner of the Escape 5.0TA! I知 currently brainstorming ideas for my build which I値l highlight below. I do have some questions and would really appreciate feedback from this experienced community. I will be almost-fulltiming in my escape as I travel the country to see national parks and rock-climbing destinations, so I値l be doing a fair bit of boondocking. Some of the customizations mentioned below are with this in mind. I知 eagerly waiting for the 2019 production schedule so I can get my build started!


I would like to do my own solar installation after receiving the unit. I read on this forum that ETI can make the unit 壮olar ready? As in have the wiring done from the roof to the storage compartment that will hold the batteries, charge controller, inverter? Has anyone done this before? I am wondering how much they might charge if anything and exactly what this option entails(reinforced roofing, wiring, drilling?). I would also opt for the external zamp solar plug which I believe is an option. Can I opt to use my own lithium ion battery rather than the standard battery at a cost savings?

Refrigerator, Microwave, Air-Conditioning:

Since I will be doing a lot of boondocking and have a decent amount of solar power(600 Watts or more) I want to replace the refrigerator with something smaller and more efficient on electricity. I want to use the following dometic refrigerator that only draws 1.3 AH/H.

Question: Has anyone opted not to have the default refrigerator installed(at a cost savings)? This would allow me to purchase the above-mentioned refrigerator. Also would ETI allow me to re-design the refrigerator area to better hold this style of refrigerator? I am thinking to have this refrigerator on glider slides that can be pulled out near the floor, and the space above can be used for a countertop area for a microwave oven and/or air conditioner. I understand that the default refrigerator has vents that exhaust to the outside of the unit. Since I will have additional space in this area I wonder how difficult it would be to install a small 500 btu air conditioner that similarly uses this exhaust to push the heat out. I am not opting for the standard rooftop air-conditioner because I want to conserve rooftop space for additional solar panels. If anyone has experience or pictures of the refrigerator venting that could help me re-consider the design of this area it would be much appreciated! I would love to have a space with this refrigerator near the floor, above which would be a microwave convection oven, above which would be a small a.c. unit venting to the outside.

Composting toilet

The composting toilet will allow me to boondock for longer periods of time especially considering that without the need for a black tank I can effectively double my fresh-water capacity. I can do the installation myself but I will ask ETI to have two freshwater tanks instead of one fresh and one black. I will also ask to see if ETI is willing to drill the required venting whole and 12v wiring required for the composting toilet.


Has anyone installed a ladder on the back of their escape 5.0TA? Is it even an option? I think it would be immensely useful especially with several solar panels up there to keep them clean etc. Does anyone have any feedback as to the strength of the roof, being fiberglass I image walking up there is not at all a concern?

Any suggestions for pre-wiring on the outside to support security and backup cameras?


I read on this forum that installing a marine-style pneumatic pedestal is a worthwhile upgrade. Is this something ETI offers as an option? If not I知 looking for suggestions. I would really love to have one that can rise up enough to serve as a standing desk(I知 6 feet tall).


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Old 07-22-2018, 02:26 PM   #2
Senior Member
dfandrews's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Ventura County, California
Trailer: 2015 Escape 17A -- "The Pullman"
Posts: 2,012
The roof is NOT a walkable surface. Even if it tends to support you, you risk micro-cracking of the gelcoat.
Contact ETI: After we placed our order, I had sent an email to ETI, with something on the order of 30 questions about what we wanted and "could ETI to this or that". They contacted me back (actually, it was Reace himself) with "yes", "no we can't", and "let's see how see can do this" answers.
Don & Teresa
2015 17A: 2011 Honda Pilot
In Orbe Terrum Non Visi / RLTW
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