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Old 01-28-2021, 12:20 PM   #1
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New to trailers whatís your best advice

Hi everyone!
My 5.0 will be delivered (hopefully) in the next 2-3 weeks!
I am new to trailers.
What is your best advice and suggestions?
Anything from lists to driving!
Thanks so much!
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Old 01-28-2021, 12:40 PM   #2
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You came to the right place....you are probably about to receive a tsunami of advice

If this is your first trailer, hitching and backing up will take some time and practice to master, don't be discouraged if it seems like a pain at first. Learn the several steps to hitching up with your particular hitch, and try to have no distractions when you are hitching up, that's a bad time to miss a step.

Escape will probably provide you with a laminated checklist which is a great starting point - use it. Over time you will develop your own checklist, and no matter how long you own your trailer it's always a good idea to go through the checklist every single time you get ready to hitch up and drive. My wife usually goes through the inside checklist, stowing and securing everything, while I am going through the outside items.

It may take a while for you to figure out where you want hooks etc. on wall surfaces - 3M Command hooks are great for that, you can put them up and them easily relocate them if you find that you want them in a different spot.

Go through your big stack of appliance and equipment manuals that come with your trailer and at least see what's there, they are a great first place to check if you have questions or problems down the road.

If your trailer is being delivered it will be shipped with the battery disconnect switch in the off position. The switch is located under a dinette bench near the batteries, until it is turned on 12 volt power will not work.

The adventure is about to begin - have fun!
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Old 01-28-2021, 01:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teegh13 View Post
Hi everyone!
My 5.0 will be delivered (hopefully) in the next 2-3 weeks!
I am new to trailers.
What is your best advice and suggestions?
Anything from lists to driving!
Thanks so much!
Hi: Teegh... Remember!!! We're all prejudiced!!! Alf
escape artist N.S. of Lake Erie
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Old 01-28-2021, 01:18 PM   #4
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Several years back another newbie, NW Cat Owner got a new 21. As she primarily takes it out alone she opted for an RV driving school and says it was a great decision. Near you in Sacramento there is one you could check out:

RV Trainers - 209-223-1924 - RV Driving School in Northern California
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Old 01-28-2021, 07:46 PM   #5
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Sacramento gets hot, especially in a closed up trailer being stored. Command hook adhesive will fail around 140F (read the specs) so don't hang anything breakable on those until you're sure they will hold.
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Old 01-28-2021, 08:14 PM   #6
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Ensure you have 10 to 12 percent of the weight of the trailer on the hitch.

Shop around for a reasonably priced 30 amp electrical extension cord and water hose suitable for drinking water.

Once parked in a camp spot, put the 4 wheel blocks in place.

Watch a few videos on how to best change a tire by driving the good tire up on a block. Make sure you have that block with you and the tools required.

Donít run the hot water heater on electricity if there is no water in it. Drain the hot water tank for the winter as it is an expensive fix.

Know the down falls of using the fridge on 12 volts...I donít recommend it.

I will leave the hundreds of more tips for others to chirp in.

Good luck and enjoy your new trailer.
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Old 01-28-2021, 09:11 PM   #7
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Welcome Teegh!

Congratulations on your 2021 5.0TA. I'm curious which hitch system you installed in your TV? A lot of us, myself included have the Anderson Ultimate hitch which I personally love.

As a newbie myself when we took delivery of our 2019 2 years ago some things I wish I would have done from the start:
- have a digital copy of all of the Escape orientation and maintenance videos with me (I have them all downloaded onto my tablet now); really handy in situations when you don't have a lot of experience!
- at first we did not have a mat or anything on the stairs going into the trailer; we had dirt in the trailer all the time, now I have a wrap on the stairs and a good stiff bristle mat at the landing to brush our feet on the way into the rig, helps a lot!!
- some good pieces of board, I carry two 4 foot long sections of board with me all the time for setting up, we have used these already many times when we're setting up on dirt to prevent our levelling blocks from sinking into the ground after setup - by the way we went with a set of those crescent shaped levelling blocks and absolutely swear by them - she sits outside watchin the level on the trailer and when level, she shouts to stop; takes minutes to set up.
- we bought those rubbery mats for all our cabinets under the the dishware, pots etc, keeps things from sliding around while enroute.
-another really useful item is the multiple wireless digital thermometers we bought as a set; we have one in the fridge, one in the freezer, one on the wall inside and one in the front storage locker so we always know our temperatures. - Speaking of the fridge, make sure you get those telescopic bars to keep your stuff from flying out of the fridge on bumpy roads. Also the advice regarding avoiding running the fridge on 12V while driving is something we heed so what we do often is to freeze a couple of 2 quart plastic juice jugs filled with water whenever we are at campgrounds and place one one the fridge and one in the freezer. we have found that even on warm days the temps in the fridge seldom rise more than a couple of degrees on a day long drive.

Oh well thats a start, Enjoy!
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Old 01-28-2021, 09:29 PM   #8
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That’s fantastic thanks
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Old 01-28-2021, 09:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Ensure you have 10 to 12 percent of the weight of the trailer on the hitch..
a 5.0 is a 'fifth wheel', and those typically have 25% or so on the hitch, whcih sits directly over the tow rigs rear axle.
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Old 01-29-2021, 12:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
a 5.0 is a 'fifth wheel', and those typically have 25% or so on the hitch, whcih sits directly over the tow rigs rear axle.
My mistake on the unit they will have. Good you corrected that.
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Old 01-29-2021, 11:47 AM   #11
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Waving hello from up the hill! I'm sure you'll have many fun adventures!
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Old 01-29-2021, 02:21 PM   #12
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Sacramento gets hot, especially in a closed up trailer being stored. Command hook adhesive will fail around 140F (read the specs) so don't hang anything breakable on those until you're sure they will hold.
I've had a few fail. Had I known about this, I'd have used the outdoor strips which are good up to 125 degress. https://www.command.com/3M/en_US/com...94529207&rt=r3
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Old 01-29-2021, 02:27 PM   #13
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I'd towed trailers a bit years ago, but was really nervous about picking back up, particularly backing in and setting up. The best piece of advice I got was take it slow and remember GOAL. I assumed this was acronym for something complicated. It was simply "Get Out and Look Around" if not absolutely certain of your surroundings. I've taken that to heart. People are remarkably patient with newbies and you'll find yourself adjusting quickly.

Enjoy your new trailer.
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Old 01-29-2021, 02:39 PM   #14
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Backing tip - Always better to be late than early when you are backing around a corner because you can always put more bend in it and spin the trailer in place.


I've known a lot of guys really struggle with the Alley Dock part of the CDL test, and the attached is super handy and something that everyone driving any trailer should know.

One other tip, when backing straight, put your hand on the bottom of the steering wheel and watch the trailer in both mirrors. Move your hand in the direction you want the back of the trailer to go. A little practice and you can back a trailer up fast and smooth.
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Old 01-29-2021, 05:24 PM   #15
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The "hand at the bottom of the steering wheel" method has never worked for me. My mind works differently, I guess. I put my hand at the top and think, "turn towards the side that is getting out of line", knowing that it will make the rear of the trailer straighten out.
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Old 01-29-2021, 06:58 PM   #16
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A Nor CaL welcome, Teegh13!

If you're new to towing, just a quick reminder to stay in the right 2 lanes on freeways and highways...and try not to be in a rush. Take things slow and easy, and if you do, let them pass you on 1 lane mountain roads, whenever you can. Makes their day! And when hitching up your beautiful 5.0 to your TV in a campground and people come over and ask questions about your wonderful trailer, consider asking them if they can chat for a few minutes after you're all hitched up, instead. So easy to miss things when distracted with bystander conversations.

Other than that, you've got a wealth of information about your new 5.0 right here in this forum and should questions arise, please don't hesitate to ask. Amazing knowledgeable, friendly, helpful Escapers here. Congrats & enjoy, -Bea
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Old 01-30-2021, 04:02 AM   #17
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indeed, slow and easy.

thats a good rule for many things in life, tho.

the one part of towing that still scares me is backing up at a sharp angle like when I'm trying to make a 3 point U turn in a tight space. once I'm bent enough backing up that I can't see the back end of the trailer in either mirror, I need a spotter.
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Old 01-30-2021, 08:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
the one part of towing that still scares me is backing up at a sharp angle like when I'm trying to make a 3 point U turn in a tight space. once I'm bent enough backing up that I can't see the back end of the trailer in either mirror, I need a spotter.
I'll go out of my way to back up with the trailer moving to the left (towards the drivers side) so that I can turn my head a look right at it.

Nobody does an alley dock with the trailer going right if they can avoid it. I'll drive around a block if it gives me a left alley dock over a right.

Incidentally, this is why all of us laughed when Tesla put the driver's seat in the middle of their Semi prototype and all the automotive journalists commented on how smart that was. Sure, now the driver cannot turn his head to see the trailer directly in either direction. Very smart.
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Old 01-30-2021, 11:54 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teegh13 View Post
Hi everyone!
My 5.0 will be delivered (hopefully) in the next 2-3 weeks!
I am new to trailers.
What is your best advice and suggestions?
Anything from lists to driving!
Thanks so much!
Congrats on the new trailer!
Driving around will get easier. Don't try to take it down Highway 49 from Auburn to Cool right away!

You'll get used to the trailer with time and experience. You'll learn new skills. It won't all be easy but that's how it goes learning new things.
A lady I met last year had been full-timing for two years and was still learning. Every morning she woke up and said, "May today's lesson not be an expensive one."
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Old 01-30-2021, 03:30 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
a 5.0 is a 'fifth wheel', and those typically have 25% or so on the hitch, whcih sits directly over the tow rigs rear axle.
Random large fifth-wheel trailers do often have about 25% of their weight on the pin, but not Escape 5.0's, due to different proportions and other design features. In previous discussions about 16% has turned out to be typical for the 5.0 (a.k.a. 5.0TA); 25% of the typical loaded weight of a recent 5.0 would be far more than desirable.
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