Escape Trailer - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-19-2006, 03:51 PM   #15
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Trailer: 2005 Escape
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I have had my 05 Escape [plan B] since last September. I like to get away from people, so I tend to camp at Forestry sites[ Remote, no services] in British Columbia. I'm 6 ft. tall and have to crouch or sit to shower,but it beats having to jump in a glacier fed, steam,creek, river, or lake in early spring or late fall, to get clean. "I"can live with the size of the shower,it was not a high priority when "I" was looking for a trailer. I looked at the whole package,and it suited "MY"needs.
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:13 AM   #16
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Hi,

The Escape sounds like a good trailer. I wonder why the company is choosing to go with a dealer network rather than sell by word of mouth as other FG companies do? Seems like a loss of moola to dealers in the long run as it seems all the people writing in about their Escape say they love it. Not being critical...just wondering. To me the more FG companies the better! Wish Burro would make a real comeback as the two I have seen were super trailers.

R.
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:09 PM   #17
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I can't speak for any trailer manufacturer, but I know as a buyer that I want to see the product before committing to it. Having dealers means having a chance to see at least a sample unit, without traveling across the country (or to another country).

Buying from a local dealer also means having someone to go back to if there are any issues, again without long distance travel or remote communications. Of course Casita and Scamp have proven that they can effectively work without the dealers.

The dealer will take a cut, of course, but the expenses associated with them (inventory, sales staff, marketing) exist to some extent whether they are done by the dealer or a factory direct sales effort. In other products, I have noticed that when both retail distribution and factory-direct sales are available, the factory price to an end consumer may not be any lower.

By the way, both of the other current Canadian producers (Bigfoot and Trillium/Outback) use dealers; only the US operations (Casita and Scamp) are factory-direct.

My last comment, just something to think about: would you buy a car from a remote factory without any dealer network? Maybe so, but almost no one does.
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Old 02-20-2006, 06:26 PM   #18
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I wonder why the company is choosing to go with a dealer network rather than sell by word of mouth as other FG companies do? Seems like a loss of moola to dealers in the long run.

R.
Randy, they're just different marketing models. Each has it's benefits.

The factory-direct model allows the factory to build the number of trailers they want to build and they can do it with cash in hand from customers, so each unit can be pre-sold. All profit stays in the coffers of the company. Scamp and Casita both have a network of customers across the country that are willing to show their trailers to prospective customers if you ask. With direct sales, the factory also deals with repairing warranty issues in some fashion.

The dealer network model allows the production facility to focus on building product. There is no factory-customer direct relationship, and hence no need for a retail front-end, or service facility which keeps production costs lower. The dealer network handles all of the sales and service which is ideal because they already have the staff and facilities to handle those. There IS however, the expectation and contracts in place that dictate that the factory will meet the dealer's network demands for production, parts, and engineering assistance. If the product becomes really successful, that could become a burden on a production facility really quickly.

Both models have the ability to fail through mismanagement; Burro and the Oxygen each represent recent examples of a failure of each business model.

Brian, the fiberglass trailer world is significantly different than the auto production world. Unlike the auto world, these trailers are very simple in their design and execution, and are made of 98% identical off-the-shelf parts from brand to brand of trailer. The molded shell, frame construction, and interior cabinetry materials and workmanship are really all that differentiate one brand from another. Essentially, if you seen one, you've seen them all but for a few mold differences and a slight tweak here and there. That means that any RV dealer that services Dometic, or Suburban, or Al-Ko or Dexter, or whatever off-the-shelf part that's causing a problem can fix your trailer. Not so taking your Ford to Chevy or vice-versa. Or, more appropriately in this "world economy" taking your Ford-Volvo-Jaguar to your GM-Suzuki-Kia dealer or your Honda-Infinity or Toyota-Lexus dealer, none of whom stock parts for or have the technical expertise to repair anything but their own products.

Roger
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Old 02-20-2006, 08:31 PM   #19
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I think Reace is maybe looking at a slight change in his business plan, find a way to make and market more units. There are several advantages to this line of thinking, return on investment is the 1st starter.

By selling through Dealers he is exposing his product to a much larger market and also taking full advantage of the marketing advantages that each and every one of those dealers has, many sales staff compared to the 1 or 2 in his small operation.

Higher volumes of units result in reduced component costs because of volume purchasing which will very quickly offset the markups that he needs to give to the dealers to sell the units.

The current wide availability of used Trilliums and Bolers did not come about because of small home business practices, not to shortchange the marketing of Casita and Scamp.

Both Boler and Trillium were marketed across North America through RV Dealer networks. A lot of these dealers were local community business people, and a lot of Trilliums and Bolers would not have been sold if it was not for the Dealers promoting these products within their local communities and at local shows.

I think that Escape is making a smart move to gain market share and presence. He has considerable name recognition catch up to do compared to Scamp and Casita and I can't think of a better way to do it than let many local dealers do it for him. I have seen the Escape and it is an extremely well made trailer of a good size that should get a lot of dealer support, which in turn will grow the name recognition and sales volume.
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Old 02-20-2006, 09:58 PM   #20
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Trailer: 2005 Escape
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The first time I talked to Reace,he asked me how I found out about Escape Trailers. I told him that I saw a trailer pass me going in the other direction and caught the name Escape. I did a search on the internet and discovered the Escape was built 20 miles from my home. That simple!
Reace told me factory sales would end Sept.05,then a dealer network will be set up. I thought it would be a good time to buy,before the factory sales end. I toured the plant, saw the building process from frame welding to complete trailer. I was up front with Reace what I wanted to do [gravel back roads] with the trailer. I asked Reace about 30 questions in regards to ,build,durabilaty and what if's. He did not hesitate to answer any question, to my satisfaction. I placed an order.
Over the next month I talked to and visited Reace a number of times. I could see why he wanted to go to a dealer network. Reace was, owner,boss,forman,sales,PR.and whatever else had to be done. The company is growing and when you are doing factory sales,visitors are walking around the work floor and productivity slows down,same for the custom tweeks he was willing to do, it slows down the process of building. Now he can just focus on building quality trailers. This is my opinion,Reace's may be differant.
I looked for a long time for a trailer suitable for a Import Truck. It got to the point where i could do the big RV.show in a 1/2 hr. I'm very happy with my Escape. I got a good price,and a quality trailer. My first trip I covered 1100 Miles and averaged 18MPG! This with my 1998 Toyota Tacoma 3.4 V6. 4x4, full of gear!
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:25 AM   #21
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Quote:
I have had my 05 Escape [plan B] since last September. I like to get away from people, so I tend to camp at Forestry sites[ Remote, no services] in British Columbia. I'm 6 ft. tall and have to crouch or sit to shower,but it beats having to jump in a glacier fed, steam,creek, river, or lake in early spring or late fall, to get clean. "I"can live with the size of the shower,it was not a high priority when "I" was looking for a trailer. I looked at the whole package,and it suited "MY"needs.
Now you know why we are hardpressed to answer questions like "which is the best?". They are ALL great trailers, so it just depends on each person's needs. Truly, my personal favorite would actually be a mixture of ALL of them. They each have something I like about them. The trick is to find the one that best suits YOUR needs, just like Erik did.

One thing that I've noticed since this forum started is that the majaority of us love the one we have. Sure, we'd like a few changes here and there, but, secretly, we think we have the best one. And THAT is the reason I know they're ALL great trailers and very thankful that this forum exists so we can all have a place to hang out together.
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Old 02-21-2006, 10:43 AM   #22
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Roger is right, of course, about the complexities of auto versus RV sales and service; however, the difference is perhaps not so clear-cut. It certainly is possible for an independent shop to do just about any service any vehicle (although a $200 factory manual is often required), even though it is certainly easier to do this with trailers.

Independent auto shops and aftermarket auto parts suppliers continue to exist, and will for the forseeable future. Some complete vehicles are actually sold factory-direct (usually using engines from a separate major manufacturer), so that business model can work, for special vehicles and customers. The fact that cars made by companies which no longer exist don't have dealers anymore, and those cars can be kept functioning, is proof that life is possible without the dealer - it's just more difficult. My Boler lives on without Boler dealers, but so does my Triumph.

Although I need few auto parts beyond filters (I generally drive stuff that doesn't fall apart...), I have found that dealers very often need to order in the parts anyway, so the idea of stocking brand-specific parts doesn't matter much.

As Roger said: two business models, both of which can work. I wish Escape well in their new plan.
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Old 02-25-2006, 08:07 PM   #23
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An advertising flyer came yesterday from an RV dealer (Woody's), featuring the Escape. I checked, and they had one in the Edmonton showroom, so I went and had a look today.

I took some pictures, overall and of the parts which interest me; the Escape Trailer website has good interior shots, but I also look in cabinets and underneath. The unit in the showroom was Plan B (the one with a bathroom), with options including inside and outside showers, gaucho bunk, TV outlet, and dual propane tanks.

If people are interested, I can post pictures, likely tomorrow.
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Old 02-26-2006, 06:49 AM   #24
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If people are interested, I can post pictures, likely tomorrow.
Yes please Brian, I'd like to see some pics
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Old 02-26-2006, 07:17 PM   #25
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Escape Showroom Visit - Exterior

Here are the first few photos of the Escape which I saw in a dealer showroom yesterday. The more interesting ones will follow as I work my way through the raw images and render them suitable for posting.

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[*]window rockguard is open; dual propane tank option visible[/list]Click image for larger version

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[*]visible features include awning and outside AC outlet (travel trailer in front and monster 5th wheel behind obscure the details)[/list]Click image for larger version

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[*]cropped at the top (shooting under that 5th wheel); battery case on end of frame; Made in BC, and yes, it's definitely at Woody's RV![/list]Click image for larger version

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[*]front front to back along the bottom, outside shower, DSI water heater, water service door, and shore power cord entry are visible (sorry, I didn't get the exposure right on the sunny side; that 5th wheel in the way again at the back)[/list](Edit on 2006 Mar 01 just formatting for readability)
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Old 02-26-2006, 08:09 PM   #26
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Escape Showroom Visit - Chassis

Next set of photos - this time of the important bits which hold everything else up.



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  • Tongue area
  • dual propane tanks inline, instead of the more common across-the-frame mounting; rectangular closed box-section frame tubing, which looks to be about 1.5" wide by 3" tall; 2", 5000lb coupler; slight double bend visible to offset coupler height above general frame height
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  • Front section of frame under body
  • frame rails form A-frame tongue; body forms complete shell (one-piece lower mould includes floor); front dinette post socket visible ahead of first floor crossmember (aluminum); body appears to be held by bolts through both frame rails and (at least) front crossmember (ignore the jacks in the back, they're on another trailer)
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  • Frame at front of axle
  • Step up from main section to rear section is visible (one rail height); bolt-on axle; more body bolts
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  • Frame at rear of axle
  • rear frame stepped up, allowing rubber torsion axle tube to mount at height which leads to horizontal suspension arm when sitting empty; brakes and wiring visible
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  • Placard on streetside
  • GVWR = 1590 kg (3500 lb)
  • GAWR = 1590 kg (3500 lb)
  • ST205-75-R14 tires, 50 PSI cold (800 kg / 1760 lb capacity at 50 PSI)
  • Cargo Carrying Capacity 510 kg (1122 lb), calculated with fresh water tank full (91 kg/200 lb cold plus 27 kg/59 lb hot) and waste water tanks empty
  • Waste tanks full 102 kg (224 lb)
  • ... so the unloaded and dry mass is 962 kg (2116 lb), the freshwater tank is 91 L (24 USgal), the water heater is 27 L (7 USgal, supposed to be 6?), and the grey plus black tanks total 102 L (27 USgal)
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  • Nameplate sheet in wardrobe
  • Atwood 8012 furnace
  • Suburban SW6D water heater
  • Wedgewood DV20 stove
  • Dometic RM2354 refrigerator
  • 30A 110V electrical service
  • same GVWR, CCC and tire info as placard, plus...
    • "This vehicle requires a Class 3 hitch on towing vehicle" (why?)
    • Tongue Load Range 160kg (352 lb)
More to come from about the services (plumbing, etc) and interior, another day...
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Old 02-27-2006, 09:21 PM   #27
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Thanks Brian! I'll add all of these to the Escape Album...but NOT tonight
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Old 02-27-2006, 10:01 PM   #28
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Trailer: Escape 17 ft
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Cool

Thanks Brian.
We are Escapeowners.Our trailer is number 35, we took delivery in January 2005.
Happy campers, thats us.I can not post pictures yet so I really appreciate the work you have been doing here Brian.Our rig is set up slightly different with the propanetanks side by side.Installed an extra battery in a wider tray, also on the tongue.We are towing with Ford 150 4x4 so weight on the tongue is not a problem.We also have the bag awning, which should be good for a few years but will eventually replace it with the new Fiesta model.
Can not say enough good things about Reace and his crew.We were lucky enough to practically see our trailer being built, we realized at the time that it sure interrupted their production but we could make changes as they went along.
We are very happy with our trailer, it is perfect for us two and a Wirehaired Foxterrier (puppy).Been out for eight days down the State of Washington, home for a while to see the dentist and leaving next week for a couple of weeks on the Oregon Coast.The weather will probably be the same as Vancouver, but the scenery is different and we get to spend time in the great out of doors.Our unit is Plan B with the bathroom which is a blessing at two o'clock in the morning. We seldom use the shower since we stay mostly in State or Provincial Parks, but it is nice to have when boondocking.
Appreciate all the great information on this site and we are still learning.
Thank You people.
Allan and Raili in North Vancouver.
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