The start to my winter

Nov 13, 2016;  Wickenburg AZ

It's been a busy summer, but now I feel like my winter trip has started.

I've been traveling to see friends, visit family, conduct family business, and other schedule driven activities for about 3 months now.  I had one more chore I wanted to get done before heading down to Quartzite for the winter.  

The SKP RV Park near Wickenburg, AZ has a 'smart weigh' facility.

Now that the trailer and the car are fully loaded for extensive traveling, I wanted to get an accurate read on how much it all weighs.  There is so much room in the trailer and the Pilot that it could be very easy to stuff it until I'm dangerously over-weight.  So, I got an appointment to get everything weighed.

The actual process was pretty quick and easy and I was glad to hear that I'm well under the max weight for the trailer and the SUV.  However, the balance is off - too much weight on the nose of the trailer and too much in the back of the Honda (of course, that's where I stash all the gear!).  So, my challenge over the winter will be to try to move as much weight as I can to the back of the trailer and forward in the car.  I've already put down the second row seats and moved most of my gear to right behind the first row of seats.  This is actually working well in terms of having easy access to various things - but limits the number of people I can drive around.  The smart weigh folks offer a discount on a re-weigh if you come back within 90 days - so, hopefully, the weight will be better balanced by then!

No pictures of the smart-weigh, so I'll show some from nearby Wickenburg!

Wickenburg has a picturesque downtown with a nice historic museum.  The town grew up around mining and ranching in the area in the mid-1800's.  

Outside the museum

Another statue outside the museum

Several 'old-timers' occupy the sidewalks with us tourists

Realistic detail!

Even the lamp posts wear Cowboy Hats


  1. I've enjoyed catching up on your blog from time to time. Love the Wickenburg pix, especially the lamp post!
    I also looked at your earlier posts, and saw some of your paintings/sketches. They are really nice! I hope you find time to do this in your busy life on the road.
    My 19 will be ready in April, and my life on the road will commence. Build sheet deadline is approaching. I was wondering how you like the reverse bed/dinette, now that you have lived with it for a while. I have decided to do this too. And about decided that I want the large table, and not the u-shaped dinette. What kind of table support do you have? Do you have the ETI supplied sliding mechanism, and if so, do you find it steady enough, and not tippy/wiggly, considering that it is supporting a large table top?
    If you have the time and inclination, I would love to hear any advice you might have about living life in an Escape trailer. Thanks! Ursula

    1. I love having the bed in the front! But you really have to think thru the design implications.

      Ask what's underneath the bed - I had assumed that it would be bins like below the dinette - but that wasn't the default.
      Get the graphic that shows where all the outlets will be. They were going to put a 120 outlet under the front bed - works for the dinette but not the bed - I had them move it to the overhead Cabinet. Also the default location for the inverter panel and the solar output thingee are under the front dinette - nearly inaccessible when you have a front bed - see if they can move those (if you're getting an inverter and solar) so you can actually see the readouts.
      I had them do the original style table like in the 17' - hooks against the back wall with a single drop down leg - very sturdy and big (good as an art table). I didn't like the pedestal tables because they're smaller and wiggly. I like the back dinette - plenty of room to stretch out - I didn't find the U- shaped couch to be very comfortable.
      Also there's an overhead light in the middle of the front window (would have been middle of the dinette under the little shelf). Not useful over the bed; I'd see if they could move it to the middle of the back window(under the overhead cabinet) so it would light the dinette.
      Loving my 19 - be glad to chat with you if you have more questions.

    2. Thanks for getting back to me. Glad to hear that you love your 19, and the bed/dinette reversal.

      I have communicated with ETI about this. I will have them build the rear dinette, but not the bed in the front. They say I'll get two dinettes that way, the front one to be converted to a bed by me. Will have to clarify this, I just want the two benches and a piece of plywood in between. No need for two sets of cushions. I will bring a twin size mattress with me when I pick the trailer up. Over the summer I will make my way back to VT (to be former home), and there make the conversion more permanent. Am a woodworker.

      I asked about the electrical stuff, and was told that they would move the various items so that they'll be accessible. I will not be getting an inverter, will run stuff on 12 volts, unless I'm plugged in somewhere, so don't need to worry about that, but will make sure the solar output thingy is in a visible location.

      Thanks for mentioning about the light that would have been over the dinette. I will ask them to move it to the rear, and install a Captains lamp in the back corner of what will be the bed. Someone on the Escape forum mentioned having them change the overhead shelf that is in the front to a cabinet. I'll ask them to do that, and maybe switch the shelf to the back. And I'll have them install 3 or 4 12 V outlets.

      As for your table support: with your set-up, can you still turn your dinette into a bed? Or is the table solidly attached to the rear wall? If it's not fixed, can it slide side to side? I like the idea of a single pole underneath that holds up the table. I've seen sliding drawer units that can be attached on the underside of a table top. Seemed like a good idea. But I've also been thinking of getting one of those Springfield Pedestals that adjust to any height needed. And with a sliding support the table could be moved in four directions. Anything is better, it seems, than the double pole system ETI is currently using.

      BTW, I loved the pictures of Fay Wray you posted at the beginning of your 19 adventures! I used to have an all black cat: Guy Noir. Miss him!

      Any other advice from a seasoned full timer?

    3. Hi Ursula, the table has a big hinge that let's you flip it up and fasten it into 2 slots - thenthe leg folds down. No slide - but the table is about a foot short of the end of the dinette so there'should plenty of room to get in and out.
      When the table is down for a bed, there is a filler board to get the full queen size. I worried that the big table would be heavy, but they'really using something different now - sturdy but light.
      If you're still traveling with a cat, get the tidy cat Breeze litter box system - expensive but really truly no tracking litter all over the place! The best thing I put in the trailer(besides the cat herself😊)

  2. Thanks for the tip on the cat litter box. I do wish I could use it, but, alas, my sweet cat disappeared quite a while ago here at home. We got foxes and coyotes in the woods, so I'm afraid that something like that got him.

    I was wondering tho, what's it like to travel with a cat? Do you have to be very vigilant that she doesn't get out and take off? How is she riding in the car? Mine didn't like car rides, would meow pitifully all the while.

    I do miss having a cat, but haven't wanted to get one, knowing that I'll be on the road starting next April, and not sure yet what this full time RVing will actually be like. Hopefully as wonderful as I imagine it!

    Will be talking build sheet with ETI this coming week, yeah!!!

    1. Have fun with your build sheet!!!

      A lot of people do travel with cats - I worried about mine getting lost the first year. But, she's very old and likes it in the trailer. Took her awhile to get used to riding in the car - I use Rescue Remedy for Pets for her anxiety and find it works pretty well. Even so, she gets a half hour break every 2-3 hours, I try not to drive more than 4 hrs in a day and try not to drive too many days in a row.


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