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.
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.