exterior access hatch and exterior shower - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-11-2011, 12:47 PM   #1
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exterior access hatch and exterior shower

We just ordered our new Escape. We went back and forth between companies and finally settled on this 17B.

My spouse and I are going back and forth on a couple of options. We disagree on this and since neither of us knows the first thing about either camping or camper trailers, we thought we would ask you all.

I hesitate to put holes in the fiberglass shell unless it is really necessary. My spouse wants the outside shower (well, we already have an inside shower) and the access hatch. The access hatch is a way to reach into a storage compartment from the outside of the trailer -- maybe people put hoses and stuff like that in there. We have a pickup truck with a camper shell, so we do have places to store things...

If you have these options on your campers, do you think they are worth having?

Thanks!
Aimee L.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:54 PM   #2
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Access hatches are a worthwhile investment, as they enhance the usability of the storage areas.

Outside showers are one of the greatest wastes conceived for travel trailers. We simply use a "Y" adapter on the campground water source and attach a water hose a spray nosel.

This allows outside rinsing and the cleaning of things we do not want inside the trailer.

We also do not have the "Winterizing" to worry with of the outside shower.

"AN OPINION" (everyone has one)
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Old 05-11-2011, 01:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aimeelightsey View Post
We just ordered our new Escape. We went back and forth between companies and finally settled on this 17B.

My spouse and I are going back and forth on a couple of options. We disagree on this and since neither of us knows the first thing about either camping or camper trailers, we thought we would ask you all.

I hesitate to put holes in the fiberglass shell unless it is really necessary. My spouse wants the outside shower (well, we already have an inside shower) and the access hatch. The access hatch is a way to reach into a storage compartment from the outside of the trailer -- maybe people put hoses and stuff like that in there. We have a pickup truck with a camper shell, so we do have places to store things...

If you have these options on your campers, do you think they are worth having?

Thanks!
Aimee L.
Don't know about the shower, but exterior access hatches are great, especially if you want to keep the rear bed made up a lot of the time, or have extra mattresses or stuff on it. I am surprised that fiberglass trailer manufacturers do not off them as an option.

I installed them on my previous Boler, and also just a week or two ago on our current Trillium. Thread is here: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f56/trillium-exterior-access-doors-46237.html

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Old 05-11-2011, 01:45 PM   #4
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YES YES to outside access hatches!! Wish I had some! Think you will find that it really helps in packing for a trip if most things you need are always with the trailer rather than having to pack them up every time in the back of the truck/car. Things like extra hoses, leveling blocks, bq and chairs . Also helps when setting up at camp if everything is easy to get at. Cant tell you how many times I have forgotten something at home doing the packing and unpacking to the car thing.

Re the shower - this came up here as a topic just the other day - cant find it now but I seen to recall the general feeling was that most could live well without them. Most ended up using them for rinsing things off - which can also be done by using a simple splitter on the water supply and putting on a short hose.
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:07 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rick G View Post
Don't know about the shower, but exterior access hatches are great, especially if you want to keep the rear bed made up a lot of the time, or have extra mattresses or stuff on it. I am surprised that fiberglass trailer manufacturers do not off them as an option.

I installed them on my previous Boler, and also just a week or two ago on our current Trillium. Thread is here: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f56/trillium-exterior-access-doors-46237.html

Rick G

Wow, must be nice to be able to do stuff like that yourself. You are quite handy! Looks professional.
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Old 05-11-2011, 02:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by LSChilders View Post
Access hatches are a worthwhile investment, as they enhance the usability of the storage areas.

Outside showers are one of the greatest wastes conceived for travel trailers. We simply use a "Y" adapter on the campground water source and attach a water hose a spray nosel.

This allows outside rinsing and the cleaning of things we do not want inside the trailer.

We also do not have the "Winterizing" to worry with of the outside shower.

"AN OPINION" (everyone has one)
Yes, we did not think of the winterizing thing. Good point.
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Old 05-11-2011, 03:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
YES YES to outside access hatches!! Wish I had some! Think you will find that it really helps in packing for a trip if most things you need are always with the trailer rather than having to pack them up every time in the back of the truck/car. Things like extra hoses, leveling blocks, bq and chairs . Also helps when setting up at camp if everything is easy to get at. Cant tell you how many times I have forgotten something at home doing the packing and unpacking to the car thing.

Re the shower - this came up here as a topic just the other day - cant find it now but I seen to recall the general feeling was that most could live well without them. Most ended up using them for rinsing things off - which can also be done by using a simple splitter on the water supply and putting on a short hose.
Ok - that settles it. No outside shower and add the access hatch.

Thanks!
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:35 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by aimeelightsey View Post
Ok - that settles it. No outside shower and add the access hatch.

Thanks!
You will not be sorry and IMHO you have picked a great trailer!
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Old 05-13-2011, 01:44 PM   #9
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Wow, must be nice to be able to do stuff like that yourself. You are quite handy! Looks professional.
Thanks for the thought. I have built up experience over the years, but actually it takes more nerve than skill, if you are patient and think about what you are going to do before doing it. I think that anyone with normal abilities can do this type of modification.

Have faith, and measure three times before cutting once.

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Old 05-14-2011, 12:56 PM   #10
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Hi Aimie,
We are 6 weeks away from getting our Escape 17b and where faced with the same dilemma.

My thoughts on the access hatch where that I didn't want any more water access points in the tub of the trailer than necessary. We are getting the tounge box so storage for wet and dirty docking accessories and chairs etc can go in there. Even though the storage areas under the seats and bed may be more difficult to access, they are more secure from both moisture and theft without the exterior panels.

We ordered the exterior shower because 1) it was not expensive, and 2) we camp with tenters in places without campsite showers and we where tired of "friends" asking to shower in our RV. Now we can point them to the outside facility.
Its also just handy to have the hot water connection accessible outside.

Enjoy your Escape! See you on the road this summer.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:06 AM   #11
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For dry camping when there is no water hookup some people have changed the fresh water drain by connecting a spigot to it on the outside of the trailer. No hot water, but if all you are doing to rinsing off it'll work fine.

A simple change. I've thought about doing it.
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:09 AM   #12
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I like the Y in the hose that someone mentioned earlier, what's that a couple of $'s and a piece of hose?
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Old 05-17-2011, 10:35 AM   #13
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I've always had the "y" on my hose for city water hookup. It's great.

But dry camping is another story.
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Old 05-17-2011, 12:25 PM   #14
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I keep thinking I'll add an access hatch as soon as I see a need for it. It seems like a really neat modification and I'd love to have an excuse to do it, but we just haven't had the need yet. We have plenty of easy storage in rubbermaid bins that we slide under our bed - and, like you, we have a pickup truck so we just put the extra bulky gear in more bins in the pickup bed. The access hatch would allow us easier access to the side storage areas under the camper bed, but honestly, we just haven't ever had that much stuff that we need to use it, and I really don't want to cut another hole in the camper unless I can justify it.
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Old 05-17-2011, 04:49 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Gord W. View Post
Hi Aimie,
We are 6 weeks away from getting our Escape 17b and where faced with the same dilemma.

My thoughts on the access hatch where that I didn't want any more water access points in the tub of the trailer than necessary. We are getting the tounge box so storage for wet and dirty docking accessories and chairs etc can go in there. Even though the storage areas under the seats and bed may be more difficult to access, they are more secure from both moisture and theft without the exterior panels.

We ordered the exterior shower because 1) it was not expensive, and 2) we camp with tenters in places without campsite showers and we where tired of "friends" asking to shower in our RV. Now we can point them to the outside facility.
Its also just handy to have the hot water connection accessible outside.

Enjoy your Escape! See you on the road this summer.
Hmmmm.... yes maybe the tongue box instead of the hatch. I feel the same way you do about holes in the shell.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:14 PM   #16
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We have the access hatch and outside shower on our 17B because the original owner ordered it that way.
We've found its nice to have hot water available outside for dirty little dogs and people to clean up from the beach before invading the smallish living space. Its also useful to clean out dutch ovens that can't go in the sink.
The outside access hatch is wonderful.
I was amazed at how much dirty stuff I can pack in there that I would never haul through the cabin and store under my bed. Things like the patio mat, leveling blocks, charcoal starter chimney... before I had that space available, that stuff would end up in the back of our Trailblazer.
A front box might be nice, but my 17B is a little tongue heavy now (350#) ...no problem for my Chev, but if I was to go down to a smaller vehicle I might regret it.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:41 AM   #17
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We have the access hatch and outside shower on our 17B because the original owner ordered it that way.
We've found its nice to have hot water available outside for dirty little dogs and people to clean up from the beach before invading the smallish living space. Its also useful to clean out dutch ovens that can't go in the sink.
The outside access hatch is wonderful.
I was amazed at how much dirty stuff I can pack in there that I would never haul through the cabin and store under my bed. Things like the patio mat, leveling blocks, charcoal starter chimney... before I had that space available, that stuff would end up in the back of our Trailblazer.
A front box might be nice, but my 17B is a little tongue heavy now (350#) ...no problem for my Chev, but if I was to go down to a smaller vehicle I might regret it.
Good point there, too. I forgot about the fact that there is the hot water option.
We are even considering the 19 ft Escape, but trying to make sure our Tacoma V6 will be ok with it. They say the propensity in that case is the tongue weight to be a bit low since people stuff a lot of things into the large storage area under the queen bed.
Since you mentioned having the 17B -- just wondering how folks fit two people into the 49" wide bed. We are not large, but still... Not to mention the fact that the dog is a real bed hog (even though she is just an 8 lb. yorkie mix).
We loved the 17B but for the one thing -- the bed width. We started looking at the 19 because of it.
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:12 AM   #18
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Hi: aimeelightsey...We have the outside shower but no locking access hatch. Sure wish it were the other way round. If I were installing the access hatch tho I'd consider puting it upside down so the door falls open instead of needing to be propped up. As for the outside shower...we have no dog to wash and I just can't see me out there in the alltogether with a bar of soap in one hand and the wand in the other. p.s. We tow with a V6 Nissan Frontier 4dr. Crew Cab. Coming home from storage the truck just toyed with our 5.0!!!
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:18 AM   #19
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Just reading through past posts to help in my renovation for our trailer. Its funny, how one post can help you out so much. We are going to remove the shower from the bathroom and put it outside. It was really only to rinse off so we'll just be adding a "y" to the outside hose coming in!
Thanks!
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:14 AM   #20
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I guess you are talking about curb side access on 17B which is factory. Street side may not be practical because your electric, water heater is located there, not much room for anything else. Front curb side dinette front may have some use but your awning may eliminate that and street side is where your black tank/converter is located, not much room for access from outside. I think you will have better use thru interior access to these places, particularly when the bed is not made. Better use is the middle of rear dinette, maybe plastic tubs?
Exterior shower is another potential leak not only for water but freezing air to enter. I have had it on 4 campers and used them -0- times. Washing dogs is not practical unless you have a ton of towels to dry with and then what? I travel with 2 labs and they get bathed at home. A more practical use would be having the shower on the curb side and use it like an exterior sink for washing dishes, but not sure than can be done on a 17B?
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