19' build questions: sink, u-shaped dinette, solar, 12v outlets, oven vs. drawers - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 06-18-2018, 06:15 PM   #1
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19' build questions: sink, u-shaped dinette, solar, 12v outlets, oven vs. drawers

We're working toward our build deadline and have much appreciated the helpful advice we've read in other posts. Here, a few questions we still need help with:
  • Are there any kitchen sink upgrades we should consider? (We know these have to be supplied by the customer)
  • We're considering the u-shaped dinette with the rectangular table. Suggestions/advice from those who have it (or wish they did/didn't have it)?
  • We want portable solar but aren't sure which options we should select. We rarely camp with shore power or generator; no TV or microwave.
  • Given our limited 120v use, should we ask for extra 12v outlets?
  • I'd like an oven, but I'm not sure I want to give up the drawer space. If you have an oven, are you glad you got it, or do you miss the drawers?
Any advice much appreciated!
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Old 06-18-2018, 06:44 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debvan View Post
We're working toward our build deadline and have much appreciated the helpful advice we've read in other posts. Here, a few questions we still need help with:
  • Are there any kitchen sink upgrades we should consider? (We know these have to be supplied by the customer)
  • We're considering the u-shaped dinette with the rectangular table. Suggestions/advice from those who have it (or wish they did/didn't have it)?
  • We want portable solar but aren't sure which options we should select. We rarely camp with shore power or generator; no TV or microwave.
  • Given our limited 120v use, should we ask for extra 12v outlets?
  • I'd like an oven, but I'm not sure I want to give up the drawer space. If you have an oven, are you glad you got it, or do you miss the drawers?
Any advice much appreciated!
We initially didn't opt for the factory installed solar panel, but had it pre-wired for solar. We soon changed our minds and had it retro fitted. The advantage to this is its always on and you don't have to worry about putting it away when you leave your camp site, which you would for a portable set-up. Could you do it cheaper, probably. But for us, its also about minimising set-up effort and having the factory installed panel is, IMHO, a slam-dunk. We are looking at an upgrade and it will be the first option checked.

As to extra 12V outlets, if you don't use any 12 V appliances, it may not be worthwhile. But, its worth thinking about the future. Also, if you have devices to charge (ie phones or ipads etc or computers etc), its useful if you want to take a portable inverter. We run a satellite radio and it plugs into a USB, which an extra set maybe worthwhile. The satellite radio needs an external speaker and it needs to be recharged. So, for the relatively minimal extra cost, I might consider one. Also if you ever decide to get a 12 V TV say, Its useful.
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debvan View Post
We're working toward our build deadline and have much appreciated the helpful advice we've read in other posts. Here, a few questions we still need help with:
  • Are there any kitchen sink upgrades we should consider? (We know these have to be supplied by the customer)
  • We're considering the u-shaped dinette with the rectangular table. Suggestions/advice from those who have it (or wish they did/didn't have it)?
  • We want portable solar but aren't sure which options we should select. We rarely camp with shore power or generator; no TV or microwave.
  • Given our limited 120v use, should we ask for extra 12v outlets?
  • I'd like an oven, but I'm not sure I want to give up the drawer space. If you have an oven, are you glad you got it, or do you miss the drawers?
Any advice much appreciated!
The u-shape: when camping with only two people, it's nice and cozy. But if you travel with more then two people, it gets quite cramped for all feet squeezed in that little square.
Sink: we are good with the standard one.
Solar: With the solar installed on the roof, no hassle setting up and no worries where to store, less chance of damage to the solar.
12v: get at least one with the USB. We are using that one every day for charging cell phone.
Drawers in counter: can't live without it! Reace was so nice to make 4 drawers in ours. I didn't wanted the drawer underneath the closet, as it makes the bottom of the closet flush. Since we use the closet as our pantry, less chance of sliding stuff out the door while traveling. (We keep the heavier stuff on the bottom, and the lighter stuff goes on the shelves)
However, would you use it only for wardrobe (hanging clothes), the drawer underneath might be attractive and you could get your oven.
Advice: imagine yourselves where you gonna store everything you bring camping. Then decide yes/no oven.
Best wishes on all the brainstorming!! Still remember my sleepless nights...
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Old 06-21-2018, 02:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chris & Patricia View Post
We initially didn't opt for the factory installed solar panel, but had it pre-wired for solar. We soon changed our minds and had it retro fitted. The advantage to this is its always on and you don't have to worry about putting it away when you leave your camp site, which you would for a portable set-up. Could you do it cheaper, probably. But for us, its also about minimising set-up effort and having the factory installed panel is, IMHO, a slam-dunk. We are looking at an upgrade and it will be the first option checked.

As to extra 12V outlets, if you don't use any 12 V appliances, it may not be worthwhile. But, its worth thinking about the future. Also, if you have devices to charge (ie phones or ipads etc or computers etc), its useful if you want to take a portable inverter. We run a satellite radio and it plugs into a USB, which an extra set maybe worthwhile. The satellite radio needs an external speaker and it needs to be recharged. So, for the relatively minimal extra cost, I might consider one. Also if you ever decide to get a 12 V TV say, Its useful.
Good point on the potential for extra 12V use in the future. On the rooftop solar panels, my husband was wondering whether they might end up tearing the cover in the wind - we live on the Oregon coast and get a lot of wind in the winter. Any thoughts on that?
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Old 06-21-2018, 02:18 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Marry View Post
The u-shape: when camping with only two people, it's nice and cozy. But if you travel with more then two people, it gets quite cramped for all feet squeezed in that little square.
Sink: we are good with the standard one.
Solar: With the solar installed on the roof, no hassle setting up and no worries where to store, less chance of damage to the solar.
12v: get at least one with the USB. We are using that one every day for charging cell phone.
Drawers in counter: can't live without it! Reace was so nice to make 4 drawers in ours. I didn't wanted the drawer underneath the closet, as it makes the bottom of the closet flush. Since we use the closet as our pantry, less chance of sliding stuff out the door while traveling. (We keep the heavier stuff on the bottom, and the lighter stuff goes on the shelves)
However, would you use it only for wardrobe (hanging clothes), the drawer underneath might be attractive and you could get your oven.
Advice: imagine yourselves where you gonna store everything you bring camping. Then decide yes/no oven.
Best wishes on all the brainstorming!! Still remember my sleepless nights...
I didn't think about feet with the dinette space. Good advice. I didn't know they'd put in four drawers...I'm going to ask about that. And good point about not wanting the flush floor to the wardrobe for pantry use. So much to think about...
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Old 06-21-2018, 02:58 PM   #6
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Most people with covers install those pool noodles to protect the cover from the solar panel. I got the extra drawer under the closet and installed shelves inside the closet. Our clothes are carried folder vs hanging. I also had 3 extra 12v outlets as our tv is 12v as it almost everything else. Between propane and 12v the trailer is operable, unless a/c is needed then you do need hookups.
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:35 PM   #7
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I have a 19 on order, due for pickup in August. One option I really wanted, in addition to the solar panel, was the oven. I had no interest in the microwave since we are planning to boondock most of the time. Plus I have one at home I hardly ever use. The idea of being able to bake while camping, including bread, muffins, cinnamon roles, and things like cornish game hens, potatoes, salmon, etc. WITHOUT having to deal with a dutch oven and charcoal, was too appealing to pass up. Losing the drawers under the counter was indeed a consideration and something I thought long and hard about. To compensate, I added 2 drawers under the wardrobe with the modification fee and am hoping that will be a reasonable tradeoff. Folks who opted against the oven say they compensate with lots of grilling outside, which seems to work well for them. But for me, I wanted the option of baking, especially if the weather is inclement!
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:54 PM   #8
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An oven in a 19 really takes up valuable space. I had one in my 21 and still missed the space. In addition, I never used it once in 2 years, except to carry some extra baking pans inside. The stove is a 3 burner top which I never used all 3 at once. So, unless you are some sort of baker, outside cooking in dutch oven, grilling or camp stove, is always there and if inclement weather there is electric convection ovens, Jon V. cooked blue berry pies for several years while attending rallies with one of those. It can be carried elsewhere or left at home whereas the factory oven is there, all the time.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:51 PM   #9
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We have a 19 and an oven and LOVE it. So cosy to have baked goods in inclement weather and it warms up the trailer in cold weather. We have one drawer under the wardrobe and wished we'd put two. Good choices!
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Old 06-21-2018, 06:02 PM   #10
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I didn't think about feet with the dinette space. Good advice. I didn't know they'd put in four drawers...I'm going to ask about that. And good point about not wanting the flush floor to the wardrobe for pantry use. So much to think about...
Here a picture from our build
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Old 06-21-2018, 06:29 PM   #11
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We have a 19 and an oven and LOVE it. So cosy to have baked goods in inclement weather and it warms up the trailer in cold weather. We have one drawer under the wardrobe and wished we'd put two. Good choices!
TallyHo, thanks for your comments. I don't have my trailer yet, so maybe I did make a mistake, but I don't think so. We are planning to spend much of March, April, and May boondocked by lakes and rivers for early spring fishing in the Pacific Northwest, and rain, snow, and wind are a reality that time of year. I too thought what could be better than baking bread inside the trailer on a cold, rainy afternoon, followed up with a roast pork loin or prime rib and scalloped potatoes?? Heck if you're stuck inside because of weather, might as well crank up the music, open a good bottle of wine, and cook!! I've been a tenter my entire adult life, as well as a river rafter, and I can do these meals in a Dutch oven... but what a pain compared to turning on a knob on an oven... that's my thinking anyway! I can't imagine not using an oven if I have one.
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Old 06-21-2018, 06:46 PM   #12
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Heck if you're stuck inside because of weather, might as well crank up the music, open a good bottle of wine, and cook!!

Absolutely!!
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:51 AM   #13
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We opted for the U-shaped dinette in our 19' and loved it. During a snowfall in Yellowstone while camping with the kids and grandkids, we had four adults around the table plus the two grandkids in the two corners. We're not large people and didn't have a problem with our feet; however, with our new 21', we're having the Springfield table installed ... We had the standard kitchen sink but eventually had the faucet replaced with a high-arc faucet (which will be replicated in our new trailer along with a new, larger square sink). Had the stationery solar panels installed and never regretted it. While in Yellowstone, we were 'off-grid' for five days and never missed the electricity as the solar performed flawlessly (just glad the newer Escapes have 160w panels now). We had two extra 12v plugs installed and never used them (we are having an exterior plug mounted this time in order to use our 12V fans). Didn't have an oven in our 19' and didn't miss it; however, we are installing one in the 21' as we have the room and like the three burners -- we'll see how it goes.

Regarding the drawer under the closet that some have mentioned, it reminded me that we will be bringing a copy of our build sheet during pick-up (and you should too). We had opted for the drawer but there was a mix-up with that and the shelves. Realized when we got home that we paid for some of these options but they weren't installed. Thus, we had a closet with a 'flush' bottom but no drawer which meant we had wasted space in the trailer. Our fault for not catching it during orientation.
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:49 AM   #14
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Re: the oven- my thought was that we could always buy a toaster oven for ~$100 that would meet our baking needs if we wanted to bake. We didn't opt for the microwave, so plan to store the toaster oven there.
Re: the U-shape- we sat in both tables at ETI and liked the U-shape much better- the access was just easier. Most campsites seem to have a picnic table, so we plan to use the u-shape dinette as more of a lounge space.
Re: the solar- we got it wired for the solar panels that mount onto the roof. There is an option to get a zamp port installed (~$100-150?+ you supply the zamp port ~$11) for you to hook up a portable solar panel. When I priced both options out (portable vs. rooftop), the price to get a good quality portable panel almost came out to the same price as a roof top mounted one from ETI. Some helpful comments I also read on the forum were that the portable panels can get stolen, they can also be damaged if the wind comes along and sends them flying, as well as the storage issue when not in use.
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Old 06-22-2018, 08:40 AM   #15
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The 19' has loads of storage space, even more with the front storage box. We have camped for weeks at a time with four people in our trailer and have never come close to using up all of the storage space, and we have the oven as well. If you want the oven get it! We are happy with our decision to get ours, even if it is used only occasionally.
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