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Old 02-25-2018, 01:26 PM   #1
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Anyone have cats in a 5.0TA?

I'm new to the forum, longtime RV'er hoping there is a new 5.0TA in our future. We've had a 1999 Sportsmen ultralite 23' fiver almost 20 years and have loved it, several periods of fulltime living and much travel over the years. Alas, it has suffered from repeated roof leaks and now wood frame rot in multiple places and isn't roadworthy for big trips any more. We have loved this small 5th wheel and often been frustrated that no one seemed to make small ones any more until we discovered the Escape recently. It seems perfect for us except for one thing. We travel with our cats - currently three - and in our old rig put their litter box in the small tub / shower pan. We used the campground's showers most of the time, and when dry camping it wasn't too hard to move the box out into the living room temporarily so we could shower. It doesn't look like there's room for a litter box in the Escape's bathroom...one might fit in front of the toilet but would take up the entire floor space and would have to be moved out every time someone needed the bathroom - I expect that would get old pretty quickly. Wondering if anyone out there is traveling with cats in a 5.0TA, and if so where do you put their litter box? And if you're a 5.0TA owner, what are the dimensions of the floor area in front of the toilet?
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:11 PM   #2
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If it were me (I am allergic to cats) I would get the wrap-around dinette and the optional rear access hatch (passenger side) and install a cat door on the wall of the dinette bench. You could then place the litter box inside the bench and service it from the outside when the litter needs to be changed. If necessary, it could also be accessed from the top by moving the cushions and flipping up the top. You could even put a battery powered, motion sensor light on the underside of the bench to provide light for the kitties or for yourself at litter box cleaning time.
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:15 PM   #3
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I'm aware of a BigFoot owner who keeps the litter box under the bed with outside access via compartment door.
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:26 PM   #4
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Thanks Carl - that sounds like a good possibility. What's underneath the various parts of the wraparound dinette? I assume the fresh water tank is on the driver side - are the back and passenger side sections just storage space, or are there any other components down there?
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:37 PM   #5
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What's underneath the various parts of the wraparound dinette? I assume the fresh water tank is on the driver side - are the back and passenger side sections just storage space, or are there any other components down there?
The fresh water and grey waste tanks under the floor in all current Escape models, so you won't find those under dinette seats.

The dinette in a 5.0TA (and a 21') contains all of the electrical gear: battery (or batteries), power center (breaker panel, fuse panel, and converter), inverter and transfer switch (if ordered - they're optional), and shore power cord. In the 5.0TA, the water heater is there as well (on the street/driver side).

With the normal dinette the battery box is on the curb/passenger side, but with the U-shaped dinette it moves to the back side, making the curb/passenger side the likely best candidate for the feline bathroom.
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:33 PM   #6
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In addition to what Brian stated, if you don’t get the wrap around dinette the battery box goes on the passenger side and you cannot get the access hatch. Have ETI make the table slide front to back rather than side to side or you won’t be able to sit behind the table on the wrap around bench unless your legs are only 3-inches in diameter!
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Old 02-25-2018, 05:35 PM   #7
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Is the freshwater tank under the floor?
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:29 PM   #8
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Yes, both the fresh and grey tanks are located outside the underside shell while the black is located within the unit. If you go here Visual Escape - Escape Trailer Owners Community
you can see some pictures of the build of each unit.
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Old 02-25-2018, 07:12 PM   #9
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Is the freshwater tank under the floor?
Umm... yes, that's what I said. Sorry, I had a typo, missing the word "are":
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The fresh water and grey waste tanks [are] under the floor in all current Escape models, so you won't find those under dinette seats.
  • The fresh water tank is behind the axles, and between the frame rails, under the front part of the dinette... under the floor.
  • The grey waste tank is ahead of the axles, and between the frame rails, under the floor in the middle of the trailer.
  • The black tank is on top of the floor, under the toilet and extending into the adjacent cabinet. In the 5.0TA that means it extends forward under the wardrobe.
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Old 02-25-2018, 08:09 PM   #10
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I am used to freshwater tanks being inside, above floor level. Does being below the floor make it more vulnerable to freezing?
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Old 02-25-2018, 10:07 PM   #11
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I am used to freshwater tanks being inside, above floor level.
They are on top of the floor in many (but not all) older small moulded fiberglass trailers (only because the floor is so low), and on top of the floor under the bed in back of many motorhomes (but again not all, and usually not in the larger designs); however, they are under the floor in most modern trailers and motorhomes. Escape is using a well-proven design... even my 1979 Boler has the same tank locations as an Escape.

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Does being below the floor make it more vulnerable to freezing?
Yes, but the top of the tank is still against the floor (rather than outside air), and sprayed-on foam insulation is available which covers the underfloor tanks.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:30 AM   #12
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Back to the original question, we went through a period of time where we thought of traveling with our cat. A litterbox in a 19' is nearly impossible (maybe under the bed ....). We thought in a 21' that we could have an extra door placed under the bed which could be taken off to reveal a litterbox under the bed (maybe a slide-out or even encased in a separate 'box'). In the 5.0TA, we thought about the cabinet just to the right of the door ... have an opening cut, a shelf put in as a 'bottom' and putting the litterbox in there. Everything, of course, was in the 'planning stage'. I do believe, however, that one Escape owner with a 21' has the 'under the bed' litter box or 'play area' for their cat.
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:39 AM   #13
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I didn't realize there was any "under the bed" space in the 5.0TA, I thought the mattress sat directly on the floor. Is it on a platform with storage space underneath?
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Old 02-26-2018, 11:45 AM   #14
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I didn't realize there was any "under the bed" space in the 5.0TA, I thought the mattress sat directly on the floor. Is it on a platform with storage space underneath?
You are correct; there is no under the bed storage in the 5.0TA, at least not accessible from the inside as it is built. There is an exterior storage compartment above the propane tank compartment.
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:10 PM   #15
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Some people have the detachable power cord to prevent insects and rodents from entering the trailer. Might work for cats too.
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:17 PM   #16
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Do a search (Search Site/Google) for 'litter box' and you'll see a number of posts with some unique ideas.
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:18 PM   #17
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In the 5.0TA, we thought about the cabinet just to the right of the door ... have an opening cut, a shelf put in as a 'bottom' and putting the litterbox in there.
That's the compartment with the passenger/curb side jack, right? The litterbox space would have to be above the jack, I assume. Is there enough available height, between the jack and the drawer?

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I didn't realize there was any "under the bed" space in the 5.0TA, I thought the mattress sat directly on the floor. Is it on a platform with storage space underneath?
Almost directly on the floor - there's a panel of foam insulation, too... but no space under the bed for the part of the bed which is in the loft over the tow vehicle.

The rear end of the bed is over the propane and storage compartments. The only floor-level part of that which could be accessed (with an added door) from the interior is the bottom step... which is too small for a litter box (although it's a great place for a heater such as the one that Jim Bennett installed). Of course cats climb just fine, so the outside-accessible storage space above the propane compartment could be opened to the inside, which means an entrance door in a riser of the stairs to the bed.
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
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In the 5.0TA, we thought about the cabinet just to the right of the door ... have an opening cut, a shelf put in as a 'bottom' and putting the litterbox in there.
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That's the compartment with the passenger/curb side jack, right? The litterbox space would have to be above the jack, I assume. Is there enough available height, between the jack and the drawer?
No, there's absolutely nothing in that cabinet. Just a big dark hole New buyers are getting smart. They're having the outside hatch lowered and adding a door inside with a shelf. Might work well for a small cat box, if you didn't worry about the cat escaping out the exterior door...
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Old 02-26-2018, 12:31 PM   #19
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Not sure about the size of the cabinet by the door; however, I remember seeing photos members have posted and it looked to be a decent size (I'll try and find one). As I said, everything was in the 'planning stages'.
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Old 02-26-2018, 01:07 PM   #20
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Looking at the 5.0TA Floorplan with Measurements, I think this is the correct measurements, but it would probably include the area below the outside hatch too:
Sm Exterior Storage P/S 17" W x 36" H x 17" D
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