Years ago like most campers, we did the tent thing, but grew tired of the cold and getting up off the ground in the middle of the night. We upgraded to a tent trailer. At that time, they were pretty basic, a box with wheels and a roof, hard to set up, no creature comforts, permanently damp canvas walls and they don’t keep bears out very well. We upgraded again, this time to a used Bonair 13′ trailer. Very good layout, compact and it had a bathroom. After several years, small leaks developed, as they do in most stick built trailers and we searched for a replacement, maybe a bit bigger.
One day we ended up travelling behind a small fiberglass trailer with “Escape” on the back and thought this might be worth looking into. We knew about Bolers and Bigfoots, but not any other makes. In any case, we visited the Escape Trailer Industries (ETI) factory in Chilliwack, BC, Canada. In a small building with few staff, we got a grand tour and were impressed by the operation and that Reace (owner) was able to answer all our questions.
We naively thought that other trailer builders would give us a tour, etc, but were surprised that they did not and referred us to their dealer network.
We knew about and experienced the general poor quality of the stick built trailers. The dealers were cold and dismissive of us because we wanted a small fibreglass trailer. We immediately arranged with ETI for a 17B to be made to our specifications. Reace had a few reservations about building a trailer without doors, drawers, a modified counter and moving fridge/furnace, but he was very accommodating. Since I like to design and build, I wanted the opportunity to put my stamp on the trailer and make it unique. I had a few rules to guide me, any modifications had to look factory built, were true to my standard of quality and built without adding unnecessary weight.
We got the 17B at the end of 2007 and had it until 2014, it did not travel great distances, but it was extremely comfortable, everything worked and when it came time to move on, we sold it for almost what we bought it for. Amazing.
As with all stories, this continues with our latest upgrade, a 2015 TA 5.0. The only thing the 17B did not have was a long enough bed for me, so the idea of a full sized queen size mattress was the trigger for this new trailer.
This blog is about how I went about continuing the tradition of designing and building modifications with the new TA 5.0