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Old 11-21-2005, 12:51 PM   #1
Mike R
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I've been looking at the fibreglass trailer option since last summer and have viewed both the Casita and Scamp from happy owners of each. But, it is a long drive from Nova Scotia to pick up one these little darlings.

I have also come across the Escape Trailer made in British Columbia - and that's a long way off too. The promotional material has a number of desirable features but there's nothing like talking to an owner to get the straight goods. Apparently Esape is trying to establish a dealer network but don't seem able to keep their nearest dealer stocked, let alone move units to distant dealers.

Is there any first hand knowledge on the Escape out there?

Thanks ... Mike
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Old 11-21-2005, 01:29 PM   #2
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This is not first-hand knowledge, but when the issue of Escape's dealer stock was discussed recently in this forum, the information (indirectly) provided from Escape was something like this:
  • Escape is going to a dealer-based distribution system
  • dealers are not available until trailer stock is available
  • the plant is in the process of making some upgrades to the design and construction of the trailer, so production has been paused.
The member who contributed the information the first time can probably correct these points.

The Escape Trailer home page currently has an announcement about the 2006 version, "coming in December".


British Columbia is a long way from Nova Scotia, but at least it's in the same country, which offers (in my opinion) some advantages. Bringing in a new trailer from the U.S. is certainly possible, and many have apparently done it without problems, but in anything bureaucratic I tend to be a pessimist. Besides, any real Canadian should look forward to driving most of the length of the Trans-Canada Highway!
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Old 11-21-2005, 01:46 PM   #3
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My wife and I looked at umpteen egg brands at the 2005 Oregon Gathering - the Escape was the only one we saw that caused us to contemplate upsizing from our 13ft UHaul. It appeared to be very well designed, very well constructed, and very good value for money. We ultimately decided to stick with our UHaul for size, convenience and character. But if I were shopping for a bigger egg, I'd go straight to the Escape folks.
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Old 11-21-2005, 03:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brian B-P@Nov 21 2005, 03:29 PM
This is not first-hand knowledge, but when the issue of Escape's dealer stock was discussed recently in this forum, the information (indirectly) provided from Escape was something like this:
  • Escape is going to a dealer-based distribution system

  • dealers are not available until trailer stock is available

  • the plant is in the process of making some upgrades to the design and construction of the trailer, so production has been paused.
The member who contributed the information the first time can probably correct these points.

The Escape Trailer home page currently has an announcement about the 2006 version, "coming in December".


British Columbia is a long way from Nova Scotia, but at least it's in the same country, which offers (in my opinion) some advantages. Bringing in a new trailer from the U.S. is certainly possible, and many have apparently done it without problems, but in anything bureaucratic I tend to be a pessimist. Besides, any real Canadian should look forward to driving most of the length of the Trans-Canada Highway!
The member providing the information was Reace, who in addition to managing the company is also its owner. I'd take anything he has to say about company operations at face value. Since Reace doesn't visit here that often, its more efficient to get his response by emailing him.
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Old 11-21-2005, 07:20 PM   #5
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As for first hand knowledge we have walked through the Escape in Chilliwack, B.C., last year. Personally, I think it is a fine fiberglass unit. I've owned several of these eggs and currently drag a 17' Bigfoot around. I would certainly consider the Escape if we were in the market again for some reason.
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Old 11-21-2005, 07:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Benita@Nov 21 2005, 02:20 PM
The member providing the information was Reace, who in addition to managing the company is also its owner... Since Reace doesn't visit here that often, its more efficient to get his response by emailing him.
Indeed, the member profile for Reace says "Escape Manufacturer" for RV Type. I knew that, at some point in the past. I plead middle-age loss of memory.

I actually did submit a message earlier today via the Escape site suggesting that he have a look at the forum.

I plan to do the factory visit at my next opportunity, but passing through Chilliwack (east of Vancouver on Hwy 1) is not a really frequent occurence for us.
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Old 11-22-2005, 12:35 AM   #7
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Thanks for the heads up Brian!

Escape Trailer Industries is in the process of setting up a dealer network primarily in Western Canada with inventory arriving in early December.

Being a small manufacturer, we are trying to take small steps. I appreciate all the kind words and thanks to this chat room, the Escapes' reputation for quality is spreading faster and farther than we can easily reach.

At this time, if Eastern customer would like an Escape, a beautiful drive out West is the best option.

Reace
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Old 11-22-2005, 06:14 AM   #8
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Hi Folks,
Thanks for the positive responses. I've been driving my '97 Pathfinder around nearly 9 years now and am beginning to think that maybe I should modernize.
It just occurred to me, prompted by your responses, that I might fly to Vancouver from Halifax, pick up a new vehicle, grab an Escape and take a month to drive it back home ... say in June. That would make a nice pre-retirement trip!

I notice that most eggheads have "handles" (if that term is still around today). I do a bit of oil painting so maybe mine could be called "Escape Artist".
Cheers ... Mike
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Old 11-22-2005, 08:31 AM   #9
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Mike: The drive from Chilliwack east through the gorgeous Okanagan country and over the Canadian Rockies is spectacular (well worth putting up with the subsequent Big Empty of eastern Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba ). We've hauled our egg from BC to NS in the past two summers, and enjoyed it all!
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Old 11-22-2005, 01:09 PM   #10
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Hi. I've been browsing and enjoying your site for some time. We had a new 2003 Trillium 13' and really liked it but found the size wasn't quite right for the amount of camping we ended up doing. After a fair bit of research, we decided on an Escape. Reace was very helpful and I was impressed by his factory and his committment to his product.

We picked up our new Escape this summer and have since done hot weather and cold weather camping. The trailer is great and I'm very happy with the layout, quality and performance. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.

Andy
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Old 11-22-2005, 07:26 PM   #11
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I too can attest to te Escape line, not from first hand but from knowing Reace through his budding trailer company. He has done some minor mods to our 13ft. Trillium and in doing this I found out he has vast knowledge about Glass Eggs, having owned and modified a few himself in his younger years. I would take his word for gospel ANYDAY.

Friends of ours have just bought an Escape with plans on using it in their retirement. The trailer shows as all his units do, nothing but first class. I understand that if you plan to buy one, make arrangements with him beforehand and while its being built, he can make/do almost any mods you desire.

It would also be worth your while if you plan to come to B.C. to arrange to have your tow vehicle shipped here and YOU take the train!! The trip especialy through the Canadian Rockies is NOTHING short of spectacular. Reace has in the past even helped new Escape owners get their tow rigs set up to safely tow the trailer home!
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Old 01-24-2006, 09:46 AM   #12
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I think the Escape, Floorplan B is the ideal set up for a small family. The dinette/gaucho bunk in front has a higher weight rating than the side mounted Casita couch/bunk and can be separated from the rest of the trailer with a curtain. The outside shower option is a definite plus for hosing down the kids after a hard day playing.

The Escape has a larger bathroom than the Scamp and has a little more room for 4 people.

If you know anyone that is interestd in FG trailers and has one or two kids, I suggest you mention the Escape.
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Old 01-24-2006, 10:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
The Escape has a larger bathroom than the Scamp and has a little more room for 4 people.
I love the Escape. I like the layout, the look, the quality, etc, so please don't think I'm being critical when I say this. While the bathroom in the Escape may be larger (or no smaller) than the Scamp with the side bath, it is considerably smaller than the front bath on the Scamp or the Casita.

When they first came out, I wrote Reace and asked it's exact measurements. This is the response I got from him: "The area size is 37" x 23" and 65" tall." Unfortunately, it was a tad too short and small for me as I do use my indoor shower a lot and I really prefer one I can stand in. Since I am 5'7" tall, the Escape bathroom won't work for me unless they increase the size of it.

As I said, I'm not being critical, just trying to make sure that the record is correct.
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Old 02-19-2006, 11:54 AM   #14
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Good catch on the bathroom size. I was only considering the side mounted bath on the Scamp since the front bath replaces the gaucho bunk. I am 5'10" and plan on being a bathroom hunchback because of the low ceiling but the wife and kids (4 and 5) will fit just fine.
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Old 02-19-2006, 03:51 PM   #15
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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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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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