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Old 12-10-2023, 05:40 PM   #1
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Quality Control

I am working on my build sheet now for a 21C. The trailer will go into production in March and we'll pick it up early June 2024. I am worried by the posts I read on Facebook about quality problems in new Escape trailers. Any advice for when we pick up the trailer - what to look for and expect? We are spending US$63,000+ and are hoping to get a good quality product. I am not a good DIYer so getting a unit with problems is a scary thought!

We plan to stay near Chilliwack for a week after we get it (we live in Minnesota). I am not a good DIY - what should I look for in making sure it all works? We are getting a full solar package with 4 batteries and just about all the options you can add.
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Old 12-10-2023, 05:51 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by scottarue View Post

We plan to stay near Chilliwack for a week after we get it (we live in Minnesota). I am not a good DIY - what should I look for in making sure it all works? We are getting a full solar package with 4 batteries and just about all the options you can add.
Nothings perfect and the forum tends to have comments from folks that had to deal with something or other but the not so many comments from those who pick up their trailers and head off without any major issues.

You have lot's of time to run and test all the systems, open up all the cabinets etc. and generally have a very good look at your trailer. If there is a problem ETI will take care of it.

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Old 12-10-2023, 05:54 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reassurance, Ron. We have been anticipating the trailer for 2 years (while I wait for retirement) and now that we are at the stage of having it built, I am getting cold feet, wondering if I am getting in over my head. Not sure how things have been effected at Escape since Karl Kenny left.
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Old 12-10-2023, 06:19 PM   #4
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Problems

Many of the issues that buyers have are NOT directly ETI's fault. Furnaces, stoves, fans, AC....all the electronic and running gear (axles, tires, brakes, etc.) are in the same category. Those items come with their own warranties. What is their responsibility is the wiring, cabinetry, fiberglass shell and assembly. Not much you can gripe about with a bad run of some accessory they installed.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, is perfect. And nothing is forever, and nothing lasts. And trailers, as sage Donna says, are earthquakes going down the road. They take a beating. If your tinkering skills are not developed, develop them or find someone who can repair your rig or help guide and advise you. Stuff will break, issues will happen, guaranteed. Maybe minor, maybe serious, but overall, the Escape trailers are put together much better and most importantly use a long lived construction material and design (fiberglass monocoque shell) than a lot of other rigs.

Lot's of problems noted with Airstream and other brands. Somewhat, you pay your money and take your chances.

I have a 2016 rig and have had no issues other than the Max-air vent mechanism breaking. Ton's of folks with that fan model, and with other makers of trailers had the same problem. A bad batch of a component. Not Escapes fault.

Be prepared to deal with issues now and in the future. It is the nature of the beast. The more skills and knowledge of the trailer systems you have or can acquire, the less fretting you'll have and the more enjoyment. And if you have a fat checkbook balance, 'fuggit 'bout it.'
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Old 12-10-2023, 06:34 PM   #5
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As my friend says me: "It's a camper. Things always need fixin'"
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Old 12-10-2023, 08:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottarue View Post
... now that we are at the stage of having it built, I am getting cold feet...
I don't think buyers remorse or second guessing is unusual with any big purchase. We were certainly trepidatious after we committed to our Escape, as well as to our house, new cars, etc.

We'd never had a trailer before so the whole affair was disconcerting. We took a few very pleasant days around Chilliwack, too, to read the manuals, get used to the systems, try things out and generally familiarize ourselves with the new experience. We didn't have to call ETI with any questions or problems at all. Then we took off for a big long trip and didn't look back.

We've never made a warranty claim for anything in the Escape, I can't think of anything that has broken. I did replace a propane regulator switch recently but that's after 8 years of ownership and Google told me exactly how to do it. Plus, if something does go wrong, there is always ETI to help you out or this forum where you can seek guidance.

There are lots of ppl here who like to do mods to their trailers and ppl who are very handy at fixing things and they are quite active on the forum, which is a godsend. But I'm guessing there are as many Escape owners or more who are not active on the forum, who just use their RV and enjoy themselves with no worry about the "what ifs". Stuff might come up but that's the same with any RV.

If something goes wrong with your car, do you fix it yourself? Personally, I like to be as self-sufficient as possible but I often don't fix our vehicles. I've got a guy who fixes anything I can't handle. Same with the trailer.

I guess my point is, you don't need to be a jack-of-all-trades to own a travel trailer. You've decided on a quality RV, now you get to enjoy it.
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Old 12-10-2023, 09:11 PM   #7
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Thanks for the encouragement!
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Old 12-10-2023, 09:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by HABBERDABBER View Post
I have a 2016 rig and have had no issues other than the Max-air vent mechanism breaking. Ton's of folks with that fan model, and with other makers of trailers had the same problem. A bad batch of a component. Not Escapes fault.

Mine broke as well. Is there a way to resolve this other then replacing the entire fan?
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Old 12-10-2023, 09:36 PM   #9
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Mine broke as well. Is there a way to resolve this other then replacing the entire fan?
What is the isssue with your Maxxfan?
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Old 12-10-2023, 09:40 PM   #10
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We bought about 2.5 years ago. We did have an initial quality problem where Escape had offered an option for the first time and did not know how to install it correctly. We weren’t that happy with them. But, the problem did get fixed under warranty. Aside from that, we have been happy with our camper.

We are not very handy at all. That has a price but not worth sweating. We have paid folks (mobile techs, etc.) to do stuff for us - including modifications (so we are happy to show off our nice mods, hoping no one asks how ). The most critical factor, however, is the community of posters here. It is incredibly generous, even though we feel awful that we aren’t able to return the favor and help others solve their technical problems! Folks here are very very helpful and some have even got on the phone / FaceTime with us to help us fix the problems! With this forum as support, you will be fine
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Old 12-10-2023, 09:51 PM   #11
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I try to Fix things as they come up, I donít let them accumulate.
And yes things will come up, just google whatís the problem is and there will probably be a hundred other people who have had the problem and just as many examples on how to fix it.
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Old 12-11-2023, 02:43 AM   #12
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Yes, indeed

Quote:
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Mine broke as well. Is there a way to resolve this other then replacing the entire fan?
What shattered all on its own was a "pot metal" geared lift mechanism for the fan exterior vent cover. Replacement cost was $30 on Amazon or some RV parts supplier. It must have been a bad melt of metal as it was a frequent event, with no user involvement and sometimes newish installations.

There are posts by me and others on this replacement. Whatever you do, do the swap from the exterior, atop your rig. By laying a chunk of 1" or 2" thick foam board and then some plywood atop that, you can safely work and not stress the roof.

PM me if you need specifics, but a forum search may address the details.
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Old 12-11-2023, 08:36 AM   #13
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What shattered all on its own was a "pot metal" geared lift mechanism for the fan exterior vent cover. Replacement cost was $30 on Amazon or some RV parts supplier. It must have been a bad melt of metal as it was a frequent event, with no user involvement and sometimes newish installations.

There are posts by me and others on this replacement. Whatever you do, do the swap from the exterior, atop your rig. By laying a chunk of 1" or 2" thick foam board and then some plywood atop that, you can safely work and not stress the roof.

PM me if you need specifics, but a forum search may address the details.
Just like Tom (HABBERDABBER), my gear lift mechanism on the MaxxFan shattered on its own. It was a PITA getting up on the roof (on a piece of plywood to distribute weight) to replace it, but mechanically, it was an easy fix. I would gladly pay $100 for a replacement if the replacement was machined aluminum or machined steel rather than pot metal, because I believe it is destined to shatter again. But in reality, any problems I have had in the 8+ years I have owned my Escape, (and there have been very few) have been with the parts and components manufactured by other companies. In addition to the lift mechanism, I had to replace the Thetford toilet flush valve ($25) this past summer, easy even for those who consider themselves ďnot handy,Ē (I repaired the defective valve with a $.30 O-ring so I have a back-up) and the European Dometic refrigerator, parts hard to obtain, was replaced with a Norcold 12v compressor refrigerator. I had a mobile RV repair company install the new refrigerator because I was 600 miles from home and did not have the necessary tools, time, or most importantly the desire to do it myself as it is heavier than I wanted to lift and fit into place. Honestly, I wouldnít be concerned about feeling less than competent to address any issues as there are many here who can walk you through things, and as you do them, you will gain confidence in your abilities.
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Old 12-11-2023, 10:18 AM   #14
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I am working on my build sheet now for a 21C. The trailer will go into production in March and we'll pick it up early June 2024. I am worried by the posts I read on Facebook about quality problems in new Escape trailers. Any advice for when we pick up the trailer - what to look for and expect? We are spending US$63,000+ and are hoping to get a good quality product. I am not a good DIYer so getting a unit with problems is a scary thought!

We plan to stay near Chilliwack for a week after we get it (we live in Minnesota). I am not a good DIY - what should I look for in making sure it all works? We are getting a full solar package with 4 batteries and just about all the options you can add.
Coming up on our 1yr anniversary with our 5.0 and lots of camping. Only one issue with a poorly installed shower valve set. Aside from that, the camper has been flawless.
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Old 12-11-2023, 11:35 AM   #15
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Mine broke as well. Is there a way to resolve this other then replacing the entire fan?
My 2014 maxxfan broke the gear box that lift/closes the lid, it was a replaceable part, but this was prior to Maxxfan being bought by Airxcel.
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Old 12-11-2023, 11:58 AM   #16
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Thanks for the reassurance, Ron. We have been anticipating the trailer for 2 years (while I wait for retirement) and now that we are at the stage of having it built, I am getting cold feet, wondering if I am getting in over my head. Not sure how things have been effected at Escape since Karl Kenny left.
We picked up our 5.0 in October (ordered 2 years previously, retirement plans as well). We camped at Fort Langley to test everything. Didnít find anything wrong. Weíre newbie campers.

You have to remember these forums can be self biased. Many folks with new trailers who donít have problems you will never hear from. But that one person who has an issue you will definitely hear from.

Just based on anecdotal posts on here and the Facebook group Iíd say customer service has improved since Karl left. Much more responsive. Quality has improved since Covid, a lot less complaints online from what Iíve seen.
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Old 12-11-2023, 12:23 PM   #17
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But that one person who has an issue you will definitely hear from.
Sometimes over and over again.

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Old 12-11-2023, 01:53 PM   #18
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I am new to RV ownership, but have reached the following conclusions regarding the subject of quality over the last couple of years:

- One must manage their expectations with respect to quality. Do not expect automotive-level reliability on any RV.
- Most RVs (even the "premium" brands) are-hand built and not designed nor manufactured using automotive-level Quality Management methodologies.
- The same applies for the manufactures of the various RV components. There are only a handful of vendors that supply the entire industry. The quality/longevity of these components tends to be inconsistent at best.
- For better or worse, it seems to be an industry norm to expect teething issues with new-manufactured units. This is most evident with the high-volume "Elkhart Indiana" based brands.
- Boutique manufacturers, such as ETI, tend exhibit better quality than the industry average. However, that doesn't necessarily translate to perfection.

In my own experience, I have encountered a handful minor issues since taking delivery last spring. These consist of a poor 12v electrical connection, failing cabinet latch hardware, a poorly installed drawer slide, and an inoperative SeeLevel tank sensor.

I am able to fix most of these issues myself, but may need to get a local shop involved to address the tank sensor under warrantee (I don't feel like chipping off foam insulation in order check the electrical connection).

More importantly, all the critical elements (such as the frame, axles, brakes, plumbing, shell, seals, etc) have been defect-free. Additionally, I have not encountered issues with any of the appliances or systems after 5 months of continuous use (except for the tank sensor).

FWIW, my advice is to make sure that you thoroughly inspect your new trailer upon delivery, test out all the systems while you are still in the Chilliwack-area. I would feel confident that ETI will work with you to resolve any immediate concerns, should any be detected.

However, I think you can expect issues to crop up periodically during the ownership experience. If you are not comfortable completing small repairs/routine maintenance yourself, it would be advisable to seek out a trustworthy local shop that you can rely on for service.
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Old 12-11-2023, 06:32 PM   #19
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I am working on my build sheet now for a 21C. The trailer will go into production in March and we'll pick it up early June 2024. I am worried by the posts I read on Facebook about quality problems in new Escape trailers. Any advice for when we pick up the trailer - what to look for and expect? We are spending US$63,000+ and are hoping to get a good quality product. I am not a good DIYer so getting a unit with problems is a scary thought!

We plan to stay near Chilliwack for a week after we get it (we live in Minnesota). I am not a good DIY - what should I look for in making sure it all works? We are getting a full solar package with 4 batteries and just about all the options you can add.
I have as some on here have a covid build, it had mainly problems with the electrical system. Poor quality workmanship created a few issues that eventually lead me to a much greater understanding of my camper. I have found the silver lining theory can be true if you step back a bit, beats being bummed out and angry anyway.

Everything was difficult during covid and Iím sure for Karl it was no different. It seems theyíve been able to address many of the concerns, on here anyway-Iíve no clue what Facebook is saying.

Escape has been helpful with the few issues Iíve had, but get this one. I noticed something odd on my floor, purple writing. It didnít wipe up and it wasnít something I did. From doing a bit of construction work I had a good idea what happen. Someone during the build used a heavy sharpie on the plywood for measurements, it took awhile but it bled thru the linoleum.

I sent pictures to escape, it didnít take long and i was given the go ahead to have it replaced. It was a bit of a job and did cost them a good amount. They have used this example to instruct the builders not to do this anymore.
Jasmine handled this and not even a hint of them not owning up to it, Iím very pleased with the outcome.

I'd say you should be ready for a learning curve and hang in there while youíre getting to know your camper.
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Old 12-11-2023, 06:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Ooshkaboo View Post
I have as some on here have a covid build, it had mainly problems with the electrical system. Poor quality workmanship created a few issues that eventually lead me to a much greater understanding of my camper. I have found the silver lining theory can be true if you step back a bit, beats being bummed out and angry anyway.

Everything was difficult during covid and Iím sure for Karl it was no different. It seems theyíve been able to address many of the concerns, on here anyway-Iíve no clue what Facebook is saying.

Escape has been helpful with the few issues Iíve had, but get this one. I noticed something odd on my floor, purple writing. It didnít wipe up and it wasnít something I did. From doing a bit of construction work I had a good idea what happen. Someone during the build used a heavy sharpie on the plywood for measurements, it took awhile but it bled thru the linoleum.

I sent pictures to escape, it didnít take long and i was given the go ahead to have it replaced. It was a bit of a job and did cost them a good amount. They have used this example to instruct the builders not to do this anymore.
Jasmine handled this and not even a hint of them not owning up to it, Iím very pleased with the outcome.

I'd say you should be ready for a learning curve and hang in there while youíre getting to know your camper.
Like the results!
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