Thursday, November 30, 2023


RV review: Escape 5.0 fifth wheel

By Tony Barthel
For owners of half-ton trucks, there are a lot of fifth wheels that you can look at that claim to be able to be towed by those vehicles until you really look closely. But the Escape 5.0, built by Escape Trailer Industries of Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada, can genuinely be towed by most half-ton trucks.

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Escape Trailer builds their RVs differently, using a proprietary metal frame on which they place a two-piece fiberglass body that is built similarly to the way boats are made. The company includes anchors in the construction for the cabinetry and other interior components. 

The two halves of the fiberglass body are bonded together and then bolted to the frame using molded-in anchor points. 

The design and build of these can be compared to that of sailboats, but these are definitely designed to stay on land. Suspension is of the torsion axle variety with the trailer riding on two pair of 15” wheels which are balanced, something that you don’t usually see in the RV industry. In fact, they even balance the spare. 

Weighing in at a gross weight of just 5,500 pounds, this is well within the capabilities of almost all half-ton trucks. In fact, some mid-sized trucks could manage to haul this around and still have capacity to spare. 

Interiors feature warm wood cabinetry in a choice of either maple or oak and a decent amount of space. The ceiling is covered with a laminated soft-touch material and the appearances are definitely inviting. To my eyes, again, the nautical feeling continues. 

There is one floor plan in the 5.0 which is a queen bed over the overhang/front of the trailer that’s a permanent bed and a dinette in the back. Along the passenger side of the trailer (starboard) is the galley which features a three-burner Suburban stove and sink. On the driver side (port) is a two-way refrigerator and a wet bath. 

The wet bath is where you may lose some folks, but there are always compromises made among weight and size and this is the one chosen for the 5.0. Since the 5.0 does not have a slide room it’s great for stealth camping but, of course, the size is the size. 

There are a large number of cabinets and cubbies, so storage is impressive and Escape trailers also feature things like a MaxxAir fan, Carefree Fiesta manual awning, and that construction based on a 2” x 3” steel frame. 

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 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.

Escape 5.0 specifications
Escape 5.0 specifications

I spoke with the company about warranty and repair work and 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 and, in some cases, was easier to accomplish than for some going to a traditional RV dealer. 

For those looking for the towability of a fifth wheel who already have a half-ton or even midsize pickup truck, the Escape 5.0 is a very worthy contender. With a combination of lightweight and high build quality along with factory-direct pricing and build options, Escape Trailer Industries has created a unique situation. Based on the enthusiasm of owners, it seems that they’ve created a great situation for themselves and owners. 

These RV reviews are written based on information provided by the manufacturers along with my own research and represent the most accurate information and opinion at the time of writing. Your experience is always encouraged.


Tony Barthel has been a life-long RV enthusiast and travels part-time with his wife where they also produce a podcast, write about RVs and love the RV lifestyle.



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Chuck Hermes (@guest_119430)
2 years ago

I would love to look at one before I purchase….how do we connect with owners? Live in Wisconsin.

Bob P (@guest_103199)
3 years ago

I wondering, this being factory sales only how difficult it would be to get service. Some articles of late have addressed service issues with dealers because people didn’t buy from them, so with it being factory only and them being in British Columbia and the border being closed at the present time how would a warranty problem be addressed? Plus if I purchased one and I’m in south central TN would I have to make a 4000+ mile round trip to get something repaired. More info is needed in articles like this. If a journalist is going to “advertise” for a company then completely give the “rest of the story”.

LSgustin (@guest_104538)
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob P

My understanding is that they contract out to other RV service departments for the U.S. folks.

Mike Cassata Jr (@guest_130920)
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob P

It’s an article. Do some homework and call the manufacturer. Your questions may differ from someone else. They did say local RV shops can do repairs and Escape owners are very helpful with just about every question you may have. I for one enjoyed the article and will now do my own research to see if it’s a fit for us.

Perry Butler (@guest_101070)
3 years ago

We own a 2018 Escape 5.0. Without ever seeing our 5.0, good friends of ours found a deal (or so they thought) on a Scamp 19 5th wheel. They were so happy! Then we met up camping at Lost Dutchman and them at a RV resort in Apache Junction. They came to spend a night of food and frolic, and also got a good tour of our Escape. Arriving home that evening, Robin found a used, but like new 5.0 for sale. The next morning Robin called and asked where to post their camper for sale. They couldn’t sell their Scamp fast enough.

There’s no comparison between a Scamp 19 and an Escape 5.0. The Scamp has a small fridge and bedroom area, besides being 2′ shorter and 4″ narrower. It is a 16′ that they added the front for a 5th wheel. The Scamp 19 was designed and built in the 70’s and looks like it. The first Escape came out in 2005 and is now on it’s third set of molds (think version 3).

It’s amazing how well thought out our 5.0 is. We can go anywhere a 17′ pull can.

Different strokes!

errol (@guest_100358)
3 years ago

Looks just like the Scamp 19′ built scamp is built in MI.

Jim G. (@guest_100387)
3 years ago
Reply to  errol

Scamp travel trailers are built in MN. Scamps are good but Escapes are a premium line of travel trailers.

Michael (@guest_100344)
3 years ago

I liked the Pros and Cons sections in previous reviews.

Bob P (@guest_100321)
3 years ago

I’m happy to see a review with specs. Without specs it’s just a glamour story based on the authors personal opinion, kind of like the southern saying, A butt is like an opinion, it’s important to you but no one else.

Warren G (@guest_100305)
3 years ago

Nice to see reviews of some quality niche manufacturers, and not only just the big brands.

Don (@guest_100291)
3 years ago

Happy to see a price in this review. THANKS for adding that essential piece of info…

Lee Cattaneo (@guest_100290)
3 years ago

If it had a dry bath it would be great. There is no way that I am going back to a wet bath. With a little more effort they could make this “semi-dry” like in some pickup campers where you still enter the bathroom by way of the shower pan but you can isolate the shower with a curtain. Having to wipe dry the toilet after your shower is not acceptable.

Perry Butler (@guest_101075)
3 years ago
Reply to  Lee Cattaneo

There are compromises with every camper. We live outside and just want a camper to sleep (queen, non-crawl-over), have a toilet at night, occasional shower, and a decent sized fridge with a separate freezer (6 cu ft).

Some of us don’t want to waste space on a separate shower. We’re fine with a wet bath, you’re not, and that’s fine too. Different strokes!

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