Escape Trailer - How It's Made - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-06-2018, 06:20 PM   #1
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Escape Trailer - How It's Made

Recently there was a very interesting thread talking about the construction differences between the various brands of fiberglass trailers.

Escape recently released a video showing their process of construction that I found quite interesting. Lots of skilled people are involved in the building of a fiberglass trailer, whatever the brand.

https://youtu.be/Wi6_KR_n_As
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:59 PM   #2
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Great to see how it is made. I like how they join the two parts of the shell before they remove it from the mole and the care in which the fibreglass is laid into the joint. The fibreglass on my Boler joint looked like it had been thrown on from 10 feet away...had wrinkles that made the trailer leak like a sieve.
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Old 04-07-2018, 03:22 AM   #3
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Just watched a stick built trailer being built and fiberglass trailer being built, you will soon see why the fiberglass trailer cost so much more and how well they are built to last many more years then the stick built ones. For myself I have always purchased items that were quality built and the extra money spent paid off in the long run. We all know the resale on fiberglass trailers in high, like anything else it starts with quality construction. I was really surprised when I looked under my new Casita and discovered the floor was all fiberglass just like the rest of the outer fiberglass egg, wow, now I know why they call in an EGG.

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Old 04-07-2018, 04:03 AM   #4
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Good build video. When they lifted the shell out of the mold and set it on the frame with only the one axle and rolled it away....I was waiting to see if that was when it hit the scales for the dry weight .
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:31 AM   #5
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nice stuff

looks like some great craftsman in that place I saw a lot of love for work going into those trailers!

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Old 04-07-2018, 09:05 AM   #6
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Great to see how it's done.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:18 AM   #7
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We were right next to the factory in Chilliwack. Right next to pick-a-part on Hwy-1. We were looking for a hard spare tire cover for our Boler.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:45 AM   #8
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Great article in the Wall Street Journal on the stick built RV companies. Unemployment in Elkhart, IN where a lot of them are made is under 2%. Turnover is over 100% per year, many of the companies give a longevity bonus if you stay for one month! Many no longer drug test either,. Imagine you paid $500,000 for a brand new motorhome from a company with such turnover. Quality comes from processes, but it also relies on a stable, well trained and experienced workforce.

I managed factories during my working years. No way we would have been successful with 100% turnover. And RV manufacturing is a hands on process, it’s not automated like a car factory.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:50 AM   #9
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Love how the next video to come up on YouTube is “Building a Jayco trailer in 7 hours”. Yes ... SEVEN HOURS!
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:36 AM   #10
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I was impressed by several aspects. One was how the shell layers were in colors. Starting with a red mold, there was a white outer layer, then blue, and black, and so forth. I can see how that provides visual cues of coverage thickness and what step they are on.

I was also impressed that I was no heavy, brittle, particle board. Of course woodwork needs to be light.

Finally, it appeared they tested for leaks by developing pressure inside. Nice.
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Old 04-07-2018, 03:21 PM   #11
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Given the good reputation of Escape trailers I am totally surprised at some of primitive manufacturing methods and the use of so much wood in the manufacturing of an Escape trailer as shown in this video. Having never been to their factory personally to see their manufacturing process in person I expected a much more modern structural design, assembly methods and use of more modern materials than is depicted in this video.

After watching this video showing the Escape trailer manufacturing process and the materials used in production of the Escape brand of trailer I now find MYSELF far more impressed with the design, manufacturing methods and materials used to build the Oliver brand of fiberglass trailers than I was before watching this video. I have personally toured the Oliver trailer plant during the production and witnessed a far more "Modern" method of production and use of more "Modern" materials in their trailers.

Yes the Oliver is more expensive however in my opinion I now can clearly see that this added expense to purchase an Oliver brand trailer to "ME" would be well worth the extra money spent when comparing the these two reputable fiberglass trailer manufacturer's products and manufacturing process's.
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Old 04-07-2018, 03:35 PM   #12
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I felt like I was looking at my Trillium 5500 being built.
Construction is *very* similar, very little differences.
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Old 04-07-2018, 03:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post

Yes the Oliver is more expensive however in my opinion I now can clearly see that this added expense to purchase an Oliver brand trailer to "ME" would be well worth the extra money spent when comparing the these two reputable fiberglass trailer manufacturer's products and manufacturing process's.
Yes, for those with the $$, an Oliver is tough to beat. Budget is certainly a limiting factor for me.

As far as the assembly process, I've been to Casita's plant and it was underwhelming for sure. I did like how they made interior fiberglass furniture.

The videos I have seen on stick built trailers is really underwhelming, particularly given their relatively high production volumes. I would love to see videos of Bigfoot, Lil Snoozy, and Scamp production.
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:02 PM   #14
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Fiberglass trailers are like most products , in that you usually get what you pay for. I watched the video , and it confirmed many of my beliefs . All in All it was an interesting 15 minutes!
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Old 04-07-2018, 05:21 PM   #15
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Bill, did the wsj article give a reason for the high turnover? Stressful? Dangerous? Uncompetitive pay?

The video, with all the hand crafting and labor intensive tasks, made me marvel that ETI does not have to charge more than they do. If Oliver's methods are so much more modern, the labor savings should enable a much lower production cost compared to ETI... so is Oliver raking in the dough, or what? It has me wondering.
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Old 04-07-2018, 07:24 PM   #16
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I'd be more than happy to plunk down the money for an Oliver, but their layout doesn't work for us. In the end, quality is very important, but if the layout doesn't meet my needs, the quality alone isn't enough for me to ignore the rest. I think Escape fills a niche in the fiberglass market - one of high quality, versatile layouts and multiple sizes, and all at a more reasonable price.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
Bill, did the wsj article give a reason for the high turnover? Stressful? Dangerous? Uncompetitive pay?

The video, with all the hand crafting and labor intensive tasks, made me marvel that ETI does not have to charge more than they do. If Oliver's methods are so much more modern, the labor savings should enable a much lower production cost compared to ETI... so is Oliver raking in the dough, or what? It has me wondering.
Unemployment is under 2%, when most consider under 4% to be full employment. Companies were hiring without drug tests, doing work programs with local prisons and more. Since there are so many RV plants in the area, workers could jump from company to company. Jobs are very physical, lots of lifting, stooping, climbing, kneeling, and more.

This is one reason being concentrated in one area can be a real problem. Its pretty hard for workers to jump from Scamp, in MN, to Casita, in TX, and then to Escape, in BC.
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Old 04-07-2018, 08:26 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Unemployment is under 2%, when most consider under 4% to be full employment.
I think you are being generous saying 4% is full employment.

At least 5% of the total US workforce is UNEMPLOYABLE for all sorts of different reasons!

Don't believe it?

Just go out there and try to hire a good employee/worker. Most are just a warm body looking for a check!
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:02 PM   #19
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mike I don't agree with you on this one with those boards sealed up I cant see much to go wrong. I admired the way those workers handled themselves and it appeared to me they loved their jobs thus a good quality trailer.


interesting they had their own woodworking shop also those trailers sure didn't look like they were thrown together.


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Old 04-07-2018, 10:33 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k0wtz View Post
mike I don't agree with you on this one with those boards sealed up I cant see much to go wrong. I admired the way those workers handled themselves and it appeared to me they loved their jobs thus a good quality trailer.


interesting they had their own woodworking shop also those trailers sure didn't look like they were thrown together.


bob


I agree!
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