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Posts from the ‘Trailer Build’ Category

I’m Hitched and have Final Production Photos!

Today I spent 6 hours at Trademaster’s Automotive getting hitched! The staff could not have been more pleasant and competent. I’m now the proud owner of a B&W Patriot 16 5th wheel trailer hitch! A special shout out to my friends Lucy and Charlie for their excellent recommendation!

Wild Thing has her Hitch

 

and a big Thank you to the Trademaster’s staff for your most excellent service and your “Yes We Can” attitude!

After the hitch was installed I traveled back across the border to Sumas, WA and retrieved all my stuff from the storage unit. I wasn’t sure how much room the hitch would take up and whether I would need to bring the trailer to the storage unit but I was glad to see that it was possible to get everything back in the truck. That will make one less stop on Friday! I’ll just load the goodies from the truck bed right into my new home.

Back at the hotel I fired up the computer and found the final round of Wild Thing Production Photos waiting for me! There is a small amount of detailing left to do tomorrow and she will have to pass all her QC checks tomorrow but Wild Thing is essentially done! It is so exciting to see these final photos and I think she looks beautiful!

I’m so happy tonight but also very tired! It has been a long journey here and I’m finally feeling the physical effects. Thankfully I planned that tomorrow would be a day of R & R to recharge my energy before taking possession of Wild Thing on Friday and beginning the next part of this adventure. I plan to lay low in the morning, then take a hike to a waterfall I heard about today that is near here.

Leave me your comments here or on my WildThingEscapes facebook page and let me know what you think about how she turned out!

I Made It to Chilliwack!

After 3,383.5 miles….I made it!!

I’m really really here in Chilliwack BC!

I’m so thankful for a safe journey. My angels have been watching over me the entire way.

Today was a busy day. I just couldn’t sleep last night. I kept tossing and turning, my mind racing and I found myself waking up every hour. Finally, I gave up at 5 am and got up for good. I was on the road at 6:30 just as the sun was beginning to rise. It was foggy and raining in the higher elevations again today and I90 took me up over the Cascades and through a challenging stretch of road called Snoqualmie Pass.

Heading Out Day 9

Construction coupled with the poor weather made this another day of focused driving.

I90 Heading into Seattle

Traffic came to a standstill just 6 miles before I  branched off I90 onto I405 and this congestion slowed me down for about 45 minutes.

Traffic Jam I90 and I405

My spirits were not dampened though since I knew the end was near. Once down from the mountains and out of the city traffic, the sun came out and dairy farms dominated the landscape. It was quite reminiscent of the countryside in Vermont where I grew up. I was nearing the end of my audiobook, “Glass Houses” by Louise Penny. This is the 13th in her Inspector Gamache series. I love this series and it was quite fitting that this series of  books are set in a small town on the Canadian Border near Vermont! It all ties together now doesn’t it?

I405 Farm

I405 Countryside

 

I arrived in Sumas, WA just before lunch and located the Sumas Mini Storage facility where I had a unit waiting for me. I unloaded the bulk of the items I brought with me for the camper and re-arranged the remaining stuff into some semblance of order in the truck.

Sumas WA Welcome Sign

Rain threatened overhead in the form of big thunderheads but did not materialize and everything was safely stored in the dry locker in short order. I stopped by the mail service center, Ship Happens, and learned that my package had arrived but was still being processed so I decided to take a lunch break and enjoyed a celebratory steak salad lunch at Bob’s Burger and Brew.

Bob’s Burgers and Brew

Bob’s Steak Salad Sumas

After days of a diet consisting mostly of yogurt, fruit, trail mix, and cheese, I was ready for some steak! Lunch was yummy and a real treat!

 

 

 

My package containing the cable for the cell phone antenna was waiting for me after lunch and after picking it up I headed for the border crossing.

I was faced with the usual questions: “ Where do you live?, Why are you visiting Canada? Is the trailer paid for?, How much cash do you have? Are you bringing any meat, alcohol, tobacco, fruits, or vegetables into the country? How long are you staying?”  and after answering all and presenting my passport, I was waved through. A short 20 minute ride up the road and I was in Chilliwack!

I decided to stop off at Escape Trailer Industries and bring them the cable needed for the antenna and say “Hi”! When I arrived, a man stopped me in the parking lot to talk. He was from Vancouver and considering the purchase of an Escape Trailer. We had a lovely conversation and after about 5 minutes of chatting, a woman came out from the office and said “You must be Sarah! I want a hug!!”  It was Meagan, one of my customer service reps who has been helping me and sending me all the lovely photos of the daily progress on Wild Thing!

I must give a big shout out to Meagan, Sarah, Lori, Erin, Verena and all the staff at Escape. They do an amazing job and are always ready to help. Thanks also to Nigel and the entire Escape Production Team. You make it all happen and are so willing to go above and beyond to make our camper dreams come true! The owners of Escape, Reece and Tammy, have built a formidable team who share their vision of a quality custom product and a happy end customer! Having spent a large part of my professional life in Customer Service, these are my kind of folks!

Thank you Escape Trailer Industries from Wild Thing’s Mom!!

Erin and Verena Escape Trailer Rock Stars!

After my quick stop at Escape, I checked into the Rainbow Motor Inn and then took a 3 mile walk down to the grocery store for you’ve got it…cheese, fruit, & yogurt!! At least enough to hold me for the next couple of days until I have my real kitchen! I so needed a good walk to stretch out the kinks. I also picked up a bottle of bubble bath and a nip of  Jameson’s Irish Whiskey. It is indeed time to relax and celebrate a bit tonight!

Today’s Driving 233.4 miles. 4 hours.

Total Trip Miles: 3383.5 Ashland to Chilliwack

Total Trip Driving Hours:  56:16:30 Ashland to Chilliwack

And here are the trailer build update photos for today, thanks to Meagan! These are the 7th in the series. The details of my camper are really coming together. The countertops have been installed in the kitchen. The sink, faucet, stovetop, and range hood are installed.  The blinds and the valances are hung, the microwave and heater are installed, and the cabinets are finished. That’s just what I can see from the photos! I know there is also plenty of work being done that is not evident in the photos.

I’ll be up early tomorrow and scoot down to Trademaster’s Automotive where they will install the 5th Wheel Hitch and I plan to have them give the truck a check-up.  Then I’ll have a little time to rest and get ready for the next leg of this grand adventure!

Tonight, though,  I am just overwhelmingly grateful for the wonderful and amazing journey that has brought me to this place, at this time, with you.

New Build Photos, Montana, Idaho, and Washington

I started this morning, day 8,  heading for the hills of Montana…

Montaña del Norte was the name given to the entire mountainous region of the west and the name Montana is derived from this Spanish phrase meaning Northern Mountains. This morning’s drive was through, around, and over some of these beautiful ranges.

Unfortunately, it was raining and foggy so the drive required much more focus and care than any other day of this trip. The steep grades and winding curves led me through Montana and across Idaho into Washington State.  Another time change at the Idaho border brings me to 3 hours behind the east coast. Not much wildlife out today, just a few hawks. The other animals must have been cozied up to stay out of the weather.

Once I came down out of the mountains, the landscape changed dramatically.

Washington State

As I approached Ellensburg, Wa my destination for the night, I began to see the landscape change again, this time into rolling soft hills.

Approaching the hills in WA

I found a scenic area that provided a great place to stretch my legs, enjoy the view, and snap a few photos.  A nice gentleman offered to take my photo so there are a few without the selfie stick today! Thank you!

I also want to give a shout out to Rich at ShowMeCables.com. I received word on Friday that the Cellular Booster Antenna I had provided Escape Trailer Industries to install on Wild Thing had not included the cable. Drat! Of course, it’s not just ANY cable. It’s an Ultra Low Loss Coaxial Cable with FME-Female and N-Male end connectors. Try to say that three times fast! Amazon had one but it was not listed with Prime service and I could not reach the vendor to expedite shipping.

ShowMeCables.com had the cable I need and their customer service rep Rich was most helpful. But where to ship it? I’m on the road and I didn’t want to pay to ship it to Escape Trailer Industries in Canada.  ShipHappens.com to the rescue! This mail service center in Sumas, Wa will receive the package on my behalf and I will pick it up from them on Wed afternoon. The service will cost me $4.00 but that’s a pretty small price to pay to get this job done.  Don’t you just love the internet?

I saw another Escape Trailer today on I90 in Washington at mile marker 217. An Escape 19 with blue graphics. Hi, fellow Escapee!

I stopped for a late lunch/early supper at a cute place called the Red Horse Diner. It was decorated with vintage signs from gas stations.  As I gazed out the window waiting for my food I saw a large bust of a Native American across the highway. He must be my Spirit Guide for today!

 

I received more photos today of the progress on Wild Thing! She has windows and doors, cabinets and kitchen countertops and her awning. I have dark blue screw covers for the kitchen countertop that I’ll install when I get there instead of the tan ones you see there now. Details, Details, Details… It won’t be long now until she’s complete!

I can’t believe I’ve made it all the way to the West Coast! Tomorrow I have a short drive (4 hours/210 miles) to Sumas Mini Storage to drop off some of my stuff, then across the border and up to Chilliwack. Wednesday the hitch will be installed on the truck and I’ll scoot back to Sumas to get the cable. Thursday I will rest and clean up any remaining details, then Friday it’s time for Trailer Orientation and Delivery of the Wild Thing! I am one lucky (and very blessed) girl!

Wild Thing Production Photos #6 Update

At long last Wild Thing has her graphics! What a beautiful sight!

Wild Thing #6 Exterior Graphics

The interior is coming along nicely too! Only 7 more days until she’s complete!

Wild Thing Interior Rear #6

Wild Thing Interior Forward #6

3rd Set of Build Photos for Wild Thing

Here’s the third installment of production photos for Wild Thing. The team made good progress yesterday on the interior!

 

Wild Thing Interior Rear 3rd Photo

Wild Thing Production Photo 3 Front View

The exterior still looks the same….waiting for the Wild Thing graphic!

Wild Thing Production Photo 3 Exterior

Wild Thing Production Photos 2

I received the second round of production photos for Wild Thing! It’s so exciting to see the details of the build process. These photos may look a bit curious to you now but as the trailer build progresses you will be able to better visualize what’s happening!

2nd Build Photo Front Wild Thing

Here’s the exterior viewed from the front. I can’t wait for them to get the Wild Thing Graphic on the nose!

This second shot shows the interior facing the rear of the trailer. The wall that looks like a C on the left will be the barrier between the stove/oven and the U-Shaped dining area at the back of the trailer. The refrigerator/freezer and microwave will be installed on the right.

2nd Build Photo Rear View Wild Thing

 

This view shows the progress on the front of the interior. On the right, you can see a full height closet with a storage cubby at the bottom. There will be a 2nd closet on the left by the bed platform. Stairs will lead up to the queen sized bed loft. A deep pantry frame can be seen on the left. The “wet” bath will also be on the left. The little bathroom will have a sink, toilet, medicine chest, and a  detachable shower wand. The entire room is waterproof and serves as a shower stall. A nifty cover pulls down over the toilet paper dispenser to keep the paper dry and there is a drain in the floor. The bathroom also has a window that opens and a vent! This trailer is compact but filled with features and the design is quite clever. I can’t wait to see what they do next!

 

First Photos

I received my first photos of Wild Thing! The outside shell has been built, I can see the insulation and the solar panel on top.

My lovely gray flooring has been installed inside.

It’s getting pretty exciting around here!

Custom Options for Wild Thing

One of the many things I love about Escape Trailers is that the company allows for quite a bit of customization when building your travel trailer. Most other RV companies are limited to stock options and to their inventory on hand, and often can’t accommodate any custom requests. Each Escape Travel Trailer is built to order, entirely from scratch, and to each customer’s specifications. In addition to cosmetic changes like fabric finishes, flooring, and counter tops, Escape also allows you to choose from a wide variety of add-on options.

I chose several options including a custom cabinet next to the front door, flip top tables, additional electrical outlets and additional lighting fixtures.   I added a switch by the front door to make it easy to turn on all the overhead lights when entering the trailer and an additional exterior light to aid me when unhitching in the dark.  12v wiring drops are being placed in several areas of the trailer so I will have the flexibility to add components in the future without difficulty.

A custom cupboard is being added that can be accessed from a door inside the trailer as well as a separate hatch door outside the trailer. I plan to use this area to keep muddy shoes!  Instead of a  small counter top beside the loft area, I’m having that space built out into a full wardrobe closet. This little trailer will have more than enough storage space for all my gear.

Here’s a peek at some of the custom decorator options I chose for the interior:

Dinette Cushion Fabric for Wild Thing

Custom Cushion and Valance Fabrics for Wild Thing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can see I went quite bold in my choice of fabric for the dinette cushions, but what else would you expect in a Wild Thing!! The solid blue fabric resting on the seat beside the floral print will be used in the narrow window valances throughout the trailer. I think these choices reflect my personality better than the tan and brown standard option that you see in the trailer model.  The fabrics are indoor/outdoor weight and should wear well. Luckily, I am a seamstress so I can  make a few different sets of cushion covers and change the look of the trailer periodically.

I chose neutral blue/gray for the counter tops and flooring to provide the greatest flexibility in future decorating options!

Custom Counter Top Formica for Wild Thing

 

This Formica will cover the kitchen counter tops, the dining room table, and the small flip up table extensions located at the end of the kitchen counter and on each side of the dinette area.

 

 

 

Custom Flooring for Wild Thing

The flooring is also a gray neutral that should wear well, blend with a variety of decor options and lend itself to a colorful area rug!

 

 

 

Interior Model Escape 5.0TA

 

 

 

The cabinets in Escape Trailers are a honey oak color and should look great with my colorful fabric choices.  I can’t wait to see the interior finished! I should start seeing photos of the production build of Wild Thing starting next week. How cool is that?!