Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Modifications

New Taillights

It finally warmed up here in Oswego.  Yesterday it hit 49°F and today at 5:00PM it is still 71°F!  I started some of the modifications & additions to the Escape trailer yesterday.  In addition to the things I haven't thought of yet, I'm adding a set of upper tail/brake lights so I can put a bike or storage box on the rear 2" receiver without blocking the lower lights (well, I will be blocking them, but the upper ones keep it legal).

I did discover something that Escape does different from the norm - standard trailer wire colors are white for ground, brown for taillights, green for right & yellow for left.  For what ever reason, Escape switched the brown & green.  Maybe it is a Canadian standard?  In any case I should, of course, have checked before I wired it.  Instead, I had to do it twice.  It is done & I now have upper & lower lights.

I'm in the middle of a couple of other changes.  The porch light on the Escape has the switch built into the bottom of it.  While that works well when you are sitting outside & want light, it isn't so useful if you want to turn it on (or even more necessary, off) from inside the trailer.  So, I'm changing the single pole, single throw switch to a single pole, double throw switch and running some additional wiring, and making it work like a household 3 way switch.  Since running the wiring is the most difficult part, I'm also adding a second interior switch for the strip light I added last year and a pair of indicator lamps to tell when they are on.

Other additions include adding a fabric cover for the front passenger side of the dinette seat so I can leave the cushions off and use my new high backed chair from West Marine when sitting at the table. I also added a 12V fan to the cooling fins of the refrigerator.  I have a battery operated one I used last year, but I'm hoping the new one will slow down the frosting of the fins.

I'm replacing the cell antenna with one that is rated for Verizon'S 4G LTE frequencies.  I still have not decided if I'm going to switch to 4G Millenicom service but want to be ready if I do.  It is an additional $10.00 per month so it isn't the money, but they use a MiFi device rather than a USB modem, which won't work as well with my WiFi Ranger router.  While the old antenna might work, when I was unscrewing the ground plane laterals so I could tip the antenna down to put the cover on the trailer, one stuck and sheared off at the threads.

One suggestion for others wanting to run wiring from the rear to the front of an Escape - rather than ask to have the wiring run at the factory, ask for a piece of 3/4" or 1" plastic conduit run from the storage cabinets on either side and behind the shower.  That way making a change will be much easier.  I did manage to run a snake from back to front, but needed to use my digital inspection camera to find a path. I did add an AT&T Sleek for my iPhone in the RAV4 & it works well.

In addition to the projects described above, on my list of possibilities are finding a way to add a larger table that attaches to the sink for eating meals while sitting on the bed.  Since I'm adding the comfortable chair to the front table, I may not need the eating table at the rear so I'll probably hold off on that change.

While not a project, next week I'm having the wheel bearings repacked, brakes adjusted, new tires & metal valve stems and the trailer alignment checked.

Until next time!


  1. Glad to find a post from you! Have been checking every day, thinking you would be up to something pretty soon. Sounds like lots of work, but I guess it's "fun" work. Good luck with getting everything done!

  2. Thanks! Since I won't be traveling until June, I suspect the posts will be few & far between until then.