Cold weather worthy - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-29-2016, 08:29 PM   #21
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And ALL, all molded towables are good. It depends on the owners needs, wants, budget and tow vehicle. Once you get that all figured out, buy what suits you.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:29 PM   #22
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Ellpea in CA,
BTW, Misting while motorcycling; a pure stroke of genius!!!! I remember riding in the desert how brutal that heat is! I had to stop frequently to recharge the water soaked bandana I used to cover my nose and mouth in an attempt at protecting myself from a scorched airway.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:36 PM   #23
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Jack L,

I forgot to mention that I've been looking at smaller (13' - 20' max) trailers and my tow vehicle is a midsize SUV.
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Old 10-30-2016, 05:58 AM   #24
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Tow ratings on "mid-sized SUVs" are all over the map, from as little as 1500 pounds up to around 5000 pounds depending on model, year, drivetrain, and options. What is yours rated to tow?

I'm also still a little confused about what kind of cold weather camping you plan to do... Are we talking about camping in the snow in January for winter recreation? Or are we just talking about extending your camping season into the spring and fall? Are we talking about campgrounds with hookups and heated bathrooms or boondocking? Lots of developed campgrounds in snow belt areas close for the winter, or shut off plumbing.

Escape offers cold-weather upgrades (spray-on foam on the underbelly and dual pane windows) adequate for shoulder season (spring and fall) use, but it's not a true 4-season trailer. It lacks ducted heat and enclosed heated holding tanks, two things that are normally needed to keep plumbing systems operational in extended below-freezing conditions. The wall and ceiling insulation is pretty thin, too, compared to Bigfoot or Oliver. Pretty much any true 4-season trailer is going to require a truck or full-sized SUV to pull. The smallest 17.5' Bigfoot might be possible with a 5000 pound tow rating and weight distribution hitch.

On the other hand, with a porta-potty, jugs of water, a furnace and/or good winter sleeping bags, almost anything can become a hard-sided tent for a few days of snow play.
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:36 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WaltP View Post
Hi Pamela.
I just re-read my post about the Escape and I don't see where the "such praise" comment comes from. I just intended to point out that it's another option and with the 4 season upgrades it's still less pricey that either the Bigfoot or Oliver.
Walt
While Escape does offer some options to improve the trailer for warmth in cold weather they do not claim it even with the options added to be a 4 season trailer.

They have suggested it to be better suited to 3 season.
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:44 AM   #26
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Hi WaltP,
So I'm curious what is it about the Escape that makes you give it such praise? Being obsessive/compulsive I have scoured the Bigfoot, Oliver & Escape websites and tried to read as many reviews as possible. The Oliver is extremely attractive because of its aluminum frame and double insulated & heated fiberglass shell but it's also ridiculously expensive. The Bigfoot is the only other trailer which comes with the 4 season package standard as opposed to an option as in the Escape. I have found another trailer, the Travel Lite Idea i15Q which does offer a Polar package as an option which can be purchased for under $20K BUT it is NOT a fiberglass egg and thus does not have the longevity. I might consider that as a short term option because ultimately we might consider a class A if we want to become full time nomads.
Pamela
Trailers are just like cars.

Some people have the funds to purchase a car that is considered to be the top of the class in luxury while some only have the funds to purchase the consumers reports best value pick of economical family sedans.

Just like cars the price of a trailer can quickly climb depending on which options you choose. ;-)
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Old 10-30-2016, 12:07 PM   #27
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Just like cars the price of a trailer can quickly climb depending on which options you choose. ;-)

Boy, that's for sure.

Walt
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:36 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by punkpup View Post
Ellpea in CA,
BTW, Misting while motorcycling; a pure stroke of genius!!!! I remember riding in the desert how brutal that heat is! I had to stop frequently to recharge the water soaked bandana I used to cover my nose and mouth in an attempt at protecting myself from a scorched airway.
Pamela: Clearly genius motorcycle-riding Pamelas think alike!
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Old 10-30-2016, 11:55 PM   #29
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note anything with external propane tanks, you'll have virtually zero gas pressure when the propane gets below freezing, so if you're relying on that built in propane heater to stay warm, you could be in serious trouble. Also, lead acid battery capacities drop precipitously when the battery gets down around 0F, and the output voltage droops quite a bit too... no electricitty == no fans for the heater, no water pump, no lighting.
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:17 AM   #30
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Having owned 9 campers over the past 8 years, including 3 Escapes, and winter camping in all of them, here are some observations. Egg camper and Casitas and Scamps are 3 season campers unless special provisions are made. Lance Trailers with the winter package have heated tanks, but they are not fiberglass. Escapes can be custom made with heat pads on the tanks, enclosed tanks and extra insulation with thermal pane windows. About as good as you can get and still roll down the road. The other issue is finding cg open in the winter and if they are most do not have water. A heated water hose is needed thus you will need 120v hookups.
I had a little Dutchman T@da with a cassette toilet which I filled with automotive windshield washer to flush with. I kept water inside the heated trailer for other uses and camped down to -0- one year, with electric and propane and hand sanitizer it can be done, but with proper planning.
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Old 11-07-2016, 12:00 PM   #31
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My 17' foot Escape drains almost completely from only two drain plugs: one for the water tank and one for the water heater. Then you have to drain the waste tanks too, which isn't hard. And then you a tad of anti-freeze into the toilet trap and the two sink traps. Then you're done.

Unfortunately the two water system plugs drain everything EXCEPT a U-shaped plastic hose that feeds the toilet. This is a design flaw in my opinion. That hose could and should drain too, perhaps from a small petcock at the bottom of the U. But it doesn't. If you don't drain it a plastic part will freeze crack and break. Replacing that plastic part requires removing the toilet. Which isn't fun. I did it once.

The only way I know to really clear that short U-shaped toilet feed hose is to buy a fitting for the water supply port on the side of the trailer, and then to blow the system out with an air compressor, while someone else holds the toilet lever down.

You can buy a $30 USA dollars air compressor that plugs into any 12 volt cigarette lighter socket. That works. So does my $600 dollar air compressor. But using either one is a pain.

It should be easier. I love my Escape. I couldn't live without it. It is very well build, not counting the one drain flaw mentioned above. But I have to call it like it is. It could be easier to winterize. It could be fixed. It should be fixed.
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Old 11-07-2016, 12:27 PM   #32
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Colin
You have actually described the "standard" blow-out method of winterizing.
It's exactly what I do to make sure there are no little pockets of water remaining, that could damage fittings, etc.
The little device you mention is called a blow-out plug, available at all RV shops and even many Walmarts in their RV section.
It sounds like in your case, installation of drain plug of some kind would be a simple and easy mod.

Walt
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Old 11-07-2016, 01:21 PM   #33
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Colin

It sounds like in your case, installation of drain plug of some kind would be a simple and easy mod.

Walt
Yes. Once you know how to winterize it's not hard. I could modify the aforementioned U-shaped plastic drain hose myself, with a brass petcock and two compression fittings for the rubber hose. It would be difficult to do without pulling the toilet one more time.

If they did this at the factory there would be no need for an air compressor blow out. Everything else drains completely, with gravity. That's all I'm saying.

I do love my Escape. Light tight and easy to pull. Well built. Comfortable. I've camped twice in driving rain storms when we were dry and comfortable. And when the tent people looked like they'd landed in purgatory.
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Old 11-07-2016, 01:32 PM   #34
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Colin - have you posted on the Escape Forum? Escape Trailer Owners Community I've not seen this issue discussed there, but that's where I'd look for answers.
Thetford redesigned their toilet at one point and that resulted in the low-point drain being ineffective so other solutions had to be found.
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Old 11-07-2016, 03:07 PM   #35
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A separate but related issue is installation of a cutoff valve in the supply line to the toilet, in case of a leak there, from freezing or any other cause. Another easy and worthwhile mod while you have the toilet out.

Walt
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Old 11-27-2016, 04:31 PM   #36
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Escape Drain tubes

When we had our Escape 17 built in 2004 Reece, at his suggestion because we use our trailer year round, added a couple of drain tubes which exit the bottom of the trailer just ahead of the black/grey outlets. After draining all the tanks I open them and water exits, I don't know where they are connected to inside though. Reece could tell you. This eliminates my need to winterize with anti-freeze, which would be a pain for us with non-use usually only being a few weeks.
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Old 11-27-2016, 04:50 PM   #37
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Escape had the "low point drain" installed on trailers until Thetford change the design of the toilet in a way that trapped water and it couldn't make its way to the "low point drain". It would freeze and damage the toilet valve.
Escape has eliminated the drain and come up with a solution that works with the new toilets.
My 2008 does have the "low point drain".
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Old 11-27-2016, 04:51 PM   #38
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Escape no longer installs low point drains and recommends the use of air or rv antifreeze for winterizing
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:12 AM   #39
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note anything with external propane tanks, you'll have virtually zero gas pressure when the propane gets below freezing, so if you're relying on that built in propane heater to stay warm, you could be in serious trouble. Also, lead acid battery capacities drop precipitously when the battery gets down around 0F, and the output voltage droops quite a bit too... no electricitty == no fans for the heater, no water pump, no lighting.
Unless you are camping near Fairbanks in January the propane shouldn't be a problem. There are plenty of houses and cabins in the north that use propane heat.

Pat in Minnesota
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Old 12-03-2016, 02:54 AM   #40
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Propane in cold weather worked just fine.

it was a sunny 5į day when we left Backus. The first two nights it was 14į and 21į and the propane furnace was worth it's weight in gold!
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