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post #11 of 27 Old 09-12-2016, 07:13 AM
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@jshel101 will now surely ban me for life for finally going 'off-topic' absolutely too far :-0

Haha, it's all good.

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post #12 of 27 Old 09-12-2016, 11:43 AM Thread Starter
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And then there's the experience of pulling into a campground for the night during a thunderstorm .... :-0 Obviously @DaveNW , based on his BTDT comments in post # 5, understands what compromises he's willing/not willing to make in that regard, as do many others who choose the 'walk-in trailer' solution.
Precisely. I'm interested in a four-season, walk-in, hardsided trailer I can tow with my Escape, where I can do the "pull over and have lunch" thing, and not have to hassle with a ton of set up. I owned a Coleman tent trailer that was great, if parked in a campground for days at a time. When set up and ready to use, it was an excellent solution. It towed like a dream, and I could park it in my garage. But it was a P*I*T*A to set up, even after I got it down to a "30 minutes or less" model through my experience and lessons-learned shortcuts. I don't want to go back to that much work. I'm interested in something simpler. When I travel with a trailer, I often only stay a night or two before moving down the road to see something else. For me, it's most often about the journey, not just the destination.

I appreciate the discussion you guys are having. I'm learning a lot. Thanks.

Food for thought: What do you think of the fibreglass trailers called Escape? Made in Canada not far from me. I really like them. It'd be a kick to own an Escape towed by an Escape. Escape Trailer Industries ? Chilliwack, British Columbia

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post #13 of 27 Old 09-12-2016, 01:00 PM
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lil snoozy ...

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a little lighter and somewhat aero

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post #14 of 27 Old 09-12-2016, 02:36 PM
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.... What do you think of the fibreglass trailers called Escape? Made in Canada not far from me. ....
Both the Escape and the Lil Snoozy are new to me. Interesting to see more of the construction popularized for RVs I think by "Scamp" then used by Casita: a bonded upper and lower fiberglass shell. Obviously from my earlier comments I'm very happy with that construction as executed by Casita.

I think you've got the concepts for things you need to consider in terms of weight, balance, frontal area, etc. About the only thing that really catches my eye about both of those is the way they present weight data:

Escape 17 mentions "Dry axle weight" and higher "Total dry weight". I'd want a bit of clarification about exactly what those different expressions mean (perhaps without/with 'standard' water, propane loads and battery?). Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is an understood and clear term.

Lil Snoozy only mentions "Overall weight" .... that one definitely needs more specificity, some sort of 'empty' vs GVWR so you have a real idea of the starting point and the cargo capacity. That sort of 'single weight spec' is a bit of a 'red flag' for me, the mfr should know that isn't sufficient for prudent consumer evaluation.

Obviously when weights are a critical factor as they are with the (Ford) Escape, I'd ask for representative trailer and tongue weights for a unit equipped exactly as I want it. Just like with cars, the published weight is almost certainly based on 'bare bones' equipment to make it look as good as possible; RV 'accessories and options' you may consider 'necessities' can make a big difference. Any reputable mfr will be able to provide that info to a very close degree when they know you are a serious potential customer.

Both of those, especially the Escape, still have the expected relatively substantial 'frontal area' of a 'walk-in' trailer. The Lil Snoozy is slightly smaller in dimensions so perhaps a bit of an 'edge' in that regard; IMHO the 'aero shape' will have relatively little impact on power and fuel needed to tow at highway speed for the reasons already stated ..... that bugga-boo "A" (gross frontal area) is what rules, the benefit of swoopy shapes is relatively minor in comparison.

Searching for user reviews can be very useful .... while 'fiberglass shell' may be a good construction concept, the devil is in the details, quality of fabrication and assembly. There's no shortage of RV mfrs that have come-and-gone as a result of 'lack of execution' with their chosen materials and methods, earning bad reputations while others using similar concepts survive the test of time.

Happy hunting and do keep posting what catches your eye, it's interesting to see 'the latest' in a market I really haven't kept up with since I'm not a current shopper.

Even having now seen these two new-to-me options, I stand by my earlier statement that I've still not seen a 'walk-in' trailer that I'd pull with any Ford Escape. I'm sure that both the size and loaded weights just would not let the 'rig' perform as I would want on the type of highways and terrain that I travel (too much wind-drag at highway speed and too much slowing/downshifting on the hills). But that's me.

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post #15 of 27 Old 09-12-2016, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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Even having now seen these two new-to-me options, I stand by my earlier statement that I've not seen a 'walk-in' trailer that I'd pull with any Ford Escape. I'm sure that both the size and loaded weights just would not let the 'rig' perform as I would want on the type of highways and terrain that I travel (too much wind-drag at highway speed and too much slowing/downshifting on the hills). But that's me.
I very much appreciate your comments. The voice of knowledge and experience in this area is always helpful to me. It may be time for me to give up the search, and go the other way, to a place I've been before, and look into getting a full-on RV that can tow my Escape.

Dave

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post #16 of 27 Old 09-12-2016, 02:53 PM
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^^^^ WOW, that's certainly a different tack in terms of, well everything, not the least being investment !


I hate to sound like a total 'ray of darkness' but check closely about using your Escape as a "Toad" (towed-vehicle in RV vernacular ;-). With AWD I don't think you can do that even with a front-end dolly (which would work with the FWD Escape), you may have to put it on a trailer so no wheels are on the ground when towing lest the rear drivetrain be destroyed.

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post #17 of 27 Old 09-12-2016, 02:58 PM
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Fair enough, but your comments suggest you're not thinking like an engineer...
As you've already indicated that you understand, likely the only way to make a "Huge difference" is to significantly reduce "A" .... but that's in conflict with the primary functional requirements for 'walk-in' trailers! Those willing to accept the functional trade-offs for significantly reduced "A" pull one of the many types of 'fold-down' (either 'soft' or 'hard-sided') or 'crawl-in' (mini/teardrop) trailers, just as some folks drive a small "A" Prius rather than an Escape or a Suburban .... but each has very different tradeoffs involved and they don't meet the same overall user needs/wants.

E.g. the ability to pull off the road, walk into a trailer and make/eat a lunch, stretch-out comfortably and get back on the road with zero hassle, is a convenience that every 'low "A" ' trailer owner has envied at some point in their RV-ing experience.... a convenience they sacrifice in return for 'hugely' better aerodynamics, the ability to tow with smaller vehicles, smaller engines and with less fuel. And then there's the experience of pulling into a campground for the night during a thunderstorm .... :-0 Obviously @DaveNW , based on his BTDT comments in post # 5, understands what compromises he's willing/not willing to make in that regard, as do many others who choose the 'walk-in trailer' solution.
All those things make small incremental differences which even when all are applied pale in comparison to significantly reduced "A". Even then, they all also involve 'compromises' in terms of cost, ease of use/maintenance, and aesthetics. Just to choose one: why don't all cars have skirted wheels and flush hubcaps? Because the market (and you can bet they've done market research on it) won't bear the various cost and function compromises involved even though Mfrs would LOVE what the incremental improvement would do for their CAFE ratings! It's the same for all those sorts of things (FYI, Airstreams have had full smooth belly-pans for decades with only a few waste-drain pipes hanging below). For some it's worth it, but evidence (what people buy) suggests that for most it's not if there's any sacrifice of immediate cost or convenience involved.
So, when a manufacturer employs, within the constraints of the primary engineering requirements, a handful of design features of exactly the sort that 'ecomodders' suggest for gaining incremental improvements, you discount that effort as (and I paraphrase) 'marketing hype'.

C'mon Thenorm, I'm a (retired) engineer, too. Put on your engineer hat and really think about the challenges of meeting the requirements of an always ready walk-in RV and imagine what an aerodynamicist can do with that to make a "huge difference" in terms of towing drag or required towing power within that engineering "program". Don't forget that a significant part of the overall aerodynamic equation is a variable you can't 'fix' (the shape and size of the tow vehicle ranging from SUV to pick-up to van). Think about things like the cost of developing, implementing and maintaining a radically improved AC solution for RVs (which BTW, have become much lower profile in the last few years while still meeting the requirements of 'universal fit' on standard RV vent hatches, minimizing loss of interior space and directing most of the noise 'up' where it causes the least disturbance to neighbors in RV park/campground settings). Don't forget you need substantial ground-clearance to avoid dragging the ends on those nasty gutter-then-steep driveway approaches one encounters.... etc, etc, etc.

I don't mean to give you too hard a time, but I honestly think you've failed to employ your smarts to develop realistic expectations for the engineering challenge at hand and give credit to the RV industry for its efforts in this regard: there are RV's that offer 'Prius-like' aerodynamic performance and function .... just as there are those that offer 'Suburban-like' aerodynamic performance and function. And there's undoubtedly room for incremental improvements of both. But just like with cars, the laws of nature preclude 'having your cake and eating it too' and the laws of human nature legitimately drive the need/want/market for both.

No, I don't think there's much room for "Huge (aerodynamic) improvement" within the bounds of the functional market requirements for full-size walk-in RVs, even with dedicated aerodynamicist involvement in the design. And IMHO it'll take the feds stepping-in to mandate CAFE-like standards to make the incremental aerodynamic improvements that only a few RV manufacturers currently consider more ubiquitous.


@jshel101 will now surely ban me for life for finally going 'off-topic' absolutely too far :-0
what I'm hearing is people are the problem, and i would have to agree. the collective "people" suck.

they want to walk into their fully furnished house on wheels, and don't want to pay for a proper design, and wouldnt accept it because it looks odd/different.
Cost is likely the biggest driver. funny thing is, because of the fuel costs involved, some of these costly improvements probably would pay for themselves in fuel savings.

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post #18 of 27 Old 09-12-2016, 03:13 PM
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little snoozy has some interesting features.

they actually put the AC/vents on the back.
a great feature for reducing the Cd, and the frontal area.

now for the wedge shape. all that effort, but no real improvement. could have a front end like the Escape trailer (nicely rounded corners) to gain real head and floor space with no aero penalty.


i have the same issue with roof top carriers. the should be tear drop shaped, not bullet shaped.

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post #19 of 27 Old 09-12-2016, 03:33 PM
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what I'm hearing is people are the problem, and i would have to agree. the collective "people" suck.

they want to walk into their fully furnished house on wheels, and don't want to pay for a proper design, and wouldnt accept it because it looks odd/different.
Cost is likely the biggest driver. funny thing is, because of the fuel costs involved, some of these costly improvements probably would pay for themselves in fuel savings.
Your words and conclusions, definitely not mine. IMHO that's a sad commentary.


Your choice to drive an Escape and not a Prius or one of the more expensive and perhaps more 'efficient' hybrid SUVs doesn't bother me one iota. Nor does anyone's choice in RVs bother me or cause me to think 'they' or 'the collective' "****".

I'm an unabashed and unashamed optimist. I believe in the capitalist market system. I'm grateful to live in a place where we (at least some of us, wish it were more) can exercise choices, albeit not infinite and not always perfect choices (ahem, prescient that thought is for folks in the US at the impending moment of decision).

As I've said on this forum before, my Dad raised me to gratefully accept "That's why there's 31 flavors" even though I don't care for some of them (and might wish for one more). We both did 'our little bits as vets' to enable all of those flavors and shortcomings. It'd be a mighty boring place if everyone only ate low-cal vanilla.

'14 Escape SE 2.0 FWD (25 Sep 13 build); 201A SE Convenience Package; Power Liftgate; Leather Comfort Package; Oxford White on Med Light Stone Leather (SYNC 2 w/8" MFT screen)
I love my hard-working '05 F-150 XLT 5.4 V8 trailer-towing truck, too !

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post #20 of 27 Old 09-12-2016, 03:45 PM
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.... they actually put the AC/vents on the back..... a great feature for reducing the Cd, and the frontal area.....
And as those that have done it before know (it isn't a new idea), a total 'bear' to keep water-tight over the long miles due to the shocks and vibrations of travel with the AC weight hung out there so far from the axles ("moment of inertia" is the relevant property if I'm not mistaken, but could be). Those hung on the front of the trailer between the trailer axle and the tow-vehicle axle seem to fare a bit better, the 'ride is smoother' there.

But a residential wall/window AC is definitely cheaper than a rooftop RV AC of similar BTU.

Trade-offs and compromises .... define your priorities, make your choices; that's the essence of engineering.

'14 Escape SE 2.0 FWD (25 Sep 13 build); 201A SE Convenience Package; Power Liftgate; Leather Comfort Package; Oxford White on Med Light Stone Leather (SYNC 2 w/8" MFT screen)
I love my hard-working '05 F-150 XLT 5.4 V8 trailer-towing truck, too !

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