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RV Review: Escape 21C travel trailer, from a refreshingly different company

If I were a trailer manufacturer, I would run my business probably just like they do at Escape Trailer Industries in British Columbia. Escape Trailer is an independent trailer manufacturer that makes fiberglass shell trailers much like you may already be familiar with from companies like Casita. 

Here in Quartzsite in the desert I was camping with some friends and one of them used “that Casita trailer” as a landmark. But it wasn’t a Casita, it was an Escape. The couple enjoying it just happened to have picked it up just a few months ago. 

Build

Escape trailers are fiberglass shells on steel frames, for now. The shells are built in top and bottom half molds and then fused together to form one big fiberglass “egg,” so to speak. As part of the molding process, the walls are first layered with a gel coat, then the fiberglass, then interior insulating layers. This type of build quality is really strong. We’ve already looked at one of the company’s trailers in the Escape 5.0 small fifth wheel. 

The chassis for the Escape 21C is a steel frame. There are two axles, each utilizing a Dexter torsion axle suspension. Coming from Canada might be the reason all of these also feature dual-pane windows and great insulation, although even the company’s owner doesn’t lay claim to these being truly four-season coaches—depending on the four seasons where you live. 

They’d certainly be four-season coaches where I live, and that’s one of the reasons I live there. 

What’s inside the Escape 21C

At the present time, the Escape 21C is the company’s largest travel trailer, although they plan to come out with a larger model soon. But in the grand scheme of RVs in general, these are still smaller trailers, at just over 21 feet long and just over seven feet in width. 

So that means that these trailers feature a pocket bed rather than a walk-around bed. But owing to the fact that the decision makers at Escape are clearly RVers at heart, the mattresses in these are so good some folks get one for their homes. 

I should have prefaced that sentence with “get your defibrillators ready.” It’s almost never that an RV company puts in a mattress that even a prison system wouldn’t turn down as cruel and unusual punishment, but Escape does just that. It’s a good inner spring mattress. 

That also means that these trailers have relatively small bathrooms and that those bathrooms are wet baths. This alone will turn some people away, unfortunately. 

The galley consists of a two-burner propane cooktop. The refrigerator in this model is a standard three-way fridge, so you could chill it on shore power or propane and then use the 12-volt mode to keep it cool on the road. It’s so rare to see a three-way fridge nowadays, and I was happy to see it here.

The last thing to note is that the company’s dining tables are on a mount that allows you to move them around almost like a ouija board—so folks of all sizes can be accommodated here. 

Options

Where Escape really shines is in the number of options the company offers. In fact working with them you get a “personalization specialist” who will walk you through all the choices, and there are plenty.

Escape trailers don’t come with an air conditioner, for example, but they are available. The same is true of microwaves with a choice of standard or convection models. You can also outfit your Escape with a choice of two three-burner stoves with ovens, although they are the 17” oven models. 

The wood used in the interior, too, is one of the choices. The upholstery, vinyl flooring and countertops also offer numerous choices. 

There are also solar and solar plus lithium power upgrades, and so much more. While the base trailer is very affordable and absolutely functional, you can really have the factory tailor your trailer so that you get something quite unique but still built by the company rather than modified after the fact. In fact, Escape’s website touts: “Fiberglass Trailers Built for You.
A dealer will only sell you a trailer. Escape Trailer will build your trailer for you. Escape is a no-commission direct-to-consumer manufacturer.”



Boondocking in the Escape 21C

As mentioned, I saw one of these out in the desert in Quartzsite, and they were well-situated for boondocking. 

Escape offers several solar packages including one with two 190-watt solar panels and lithium batteries along with a 1,000-watt inverter. You can also get a choice of either a 12-volt compressor fridge or the standard three-way fridge, which might be the better choice for boondocking. Maybe. 

Another option you almost never see is the available composting toilet. If you really want to save water, this is one way to go. But I’m also a fan of that Laveo™ toilet by Dry Flush I reviewed recently. But the fact that an RV company actually offers a composting toilet as an option is quite surprising. 

In summary

The build quality of these is certainly good, but the company itself is very impressive. They actually have a good website but, even more, a great YouTube presence. The company’s founder, Karl, actually shares regular updates and there is a lot of information presented by the company on their YouTube channel. There’s also a wealth of RVing information on their website “news” page (actually blog posts), here.

I think that any RV manufacturer would do well to adopt this kind of messaging to their customers. With the tools available nowadays, there’s no reason why it should be any other way. But it is. 

For my own personal camping style, this trailer is smaller than what I would want. But the company does have a new 23C coming out shortly. They’ve been very, very open about it on their YouTube channel. It addresses all the things I don’t like about this model, all of which are personal preferences, not qualitative issues. 

Escape Trailer will build your trailer for you

Escape trailers are purchased factory-direct, so this affords you the opportunity to order one to your specific liking. There are options such as solar systems, lithium batteries, higher-capacity air conditioners, various entertainment options, additional insulation, wrap-around dinette, lift kit, frameless windows and much more. 

So how you do you see one in person to make the decision? The owner base is enthusiastic enough that the company has partnered with owners to show you their personal trailers. This kind of enthusiasm speaks to the build quality of these units.

Warranty and repair work

I spoke with the company about warranty and repair work. Since the major components of Escape trailers are from typical RV suppliers such as Dometic, Suburban and such, any RV repair shop can do repairs on these. In looking at groups of owners, it didn’t seem that getting things repaired was a hurdle. Actually, in some cases it was easier to accomplish than for some going to a traditional RV dealer. 

In fact, I would say these are very, very well-made trailers from a company that operates very differently from the majority, and one I would have no hesitancy to recommend to a friend.

I would love to read your comments and suggestions over on our new forums, where you can weigh in and start or join a discussion about all things RV. Here’s a link to my RV Reviews Forum.

Tony comes to RVTravel having worked at an RV dealership and been a life long RV enthusiast. He also has written the syndicated Curbside column about cars. You can find his writing here and at StressLessCamping where he also has a podcast about the RV life with his wife. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with our writer’s own research. We receive no money or other financial benefits from these reviews. They are intended only as a brief overview of the vehicle, not a comprehensive critique, which would require a thorough inspection and/or test drive.

Got an RV we need to look at? Contact us today and let us know in the form below – thank you!

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Mattress quality
Customization
Build quality
Wet bath
Pocket bed

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Dave Allen
7 months ago

One mistake – Karl is not the founder – he is President of Escape Trailer Industries – Tammy and Reece (sp) were the founders who sold the company a couple years ago. That said, Karl is a great guy and communicates well with his customer base.

Ellie
8 months ago

I have had my 1998 17′ Casita for 15 years now. I will part with it–when I can get that 21′ Escape I have been drooling over for years! There is another floor plan for people who don’t want a bed up front, but I prefer the classic model.

Warren G
8 months ago

Great review, Tony. I’ve looked at this model closely (no slide trouble) and had the same issues you mentioned – the pocket bed, wet bath, and just a little smaller than ideal for the two of us. But as you pointed out they’re extremely well built, and have a very loyal owners’ group. And I liked that you could spec it and have it built just like you wanted. The other downside is wait time. When I looked several weeks ago the projected finish time was September 2023. This date would likely move up a bit if there were cancellations. Resale value is excellent; a 2-3 year old model goes for close to new price because of the demand and wait time for a new one.

Steve
8 months ago
Reply to  Warren G

We just sold our 6-year old Rockwood fifth wheel for only $2000 less than we paid for it new. And it 33,000 miles worth of wear and tear and several items no longer working properly. Many used RVs are retailing for incredible prices right now because newbies can’t get delivery on new ones for 12-18 months.

Carl
8 months ago

I have been living full-time in my 19 ft escape for the past 3 years. After this time and comparing my trailer to many others I have seen on the road, I would not have anything but a fiberglass molded trailer. The escape has everything I need and nothing I don’t. Very comfortable and excellent quality construction.

Bob p
8 months ago

Is the stated length the body length or overall hitch to bumper length? Another great review! Just wish the bath was dry instead of wet bath.

Carl
8 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

Hitch to bumper

Warren G
8 months ago
Reply to  Bob p

It’s overall length.

Mike Hancock
8 months ago

We have owned our Escape 21C for two years now and are very happy with it. We have been living in it and traveling the US constantly since last June. No problems with it at all.

RV Review: Escape 21C travel trailer, from a refreshingly different companyIf I were a trailer manufacturer, I would run my business probably just like they do at Escape Trailer Industries in British Columbia. Escape Trailer is an independent trailer manufacturer that makes fiberglass shell trailers much like you may already be familiar with from...

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