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Old 07-22-2014, 01:30 PM   #1
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1000 Miles in 185RB/2012 Escape

We just got back from a 1000 mile trip with the 185RB and our 2012 Ford Escape. I thought folks might be interested in the very positive experiences we had on our six day trip.

First, the 2012 Escape is a V6, AWD version and it did a great job of hauling the 185RB. We had a mix of 2 lane and Interstate so it was a good chance to evaluate the combination. The sweet spot seems to be 62 mph. If we cruise at 62, mileage goes to about 13 mpg, there is minimal hitch bounce, and it's an easy drive. If the speed goes to 65 to 70 mph, mileage drops to 12.0 to 12.5 mpg, and the TV spends its time changing between fourth and fifth gears. So, on the Interstate, find some Canadian truckers (who are used to driving at 100 Kph) and tuck in with them. We don't use a LBH or anti-swag but all was well - no swaying issues at all.

Second, the 185RB is sweet! We've used it five times since getting it in April and each has been better. On this trip we were camping with friends who are tent campers so we had to run on stored water and battery electrics. (I've installed a second Group 24 battery in parallel with the original.) We used the campground bath house for showering. Still we had enough gray/black water capacity for our dish washing and toilet needs; both were full when we left the site on the sixth morning. We ran the refrigerator (Norcold) on LP and had no problem keeping things cold. In fact, the DW had to turn down the temperature to keep things from freezing. All systems worked, nothing leaked, and it was sure a lot more comfortable sleeping than the old tent!

The AWD was helpful as I had to backup a 20 degree sand and gravel drive to get to the site. It was definitely not an RV site. That's the beauty of the 185RB for us - if we're at a campground with 50 foot fifth wheels we can fit it but if we're off it the boonies it works just as well.

I would have included some pictures but we were too busy having fun to take any.
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Old 07-22-2014, 06:19 PM   #2
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Glad you had a good experience....thanks for sharing!
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:21 PM   #3
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Question

Sounds like a great time and a great trailer for you guys.

You said that the back was full on the 6th day. Curious if you only used the trailer or if you mad other "deposits" in other facilities?

The reason I ask is we seem to get 2 days max on our black. Now that is just going by the sensors but our trailer in only 1 year old so I still trust them and really don't want to push the limits on black for obvious reasons.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:26 AM   #4
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Brett, I should have been clearer in the use of the black water tank. Of course, we used the campground facilities when possible. Our experience is that the toilet (black) water tank holds 20-25 flushes (as each flush is about one quart). The DV and I are reformed tent campers so we're comfortable in "doubling up" on some flushes. This helps limit the fill rate. When using only the trailer toilet we haven't had a problem with 2 1/2 days (Friday night, Saturday, Sunday).

There's some interesting threads here on the reliability of the tank sensors. In our 185RB, the fresh water and gray water appear to be accurate but the black water indicates 2/3 full when it is know to be empty. I've adopted the "flashlight" method recommended on one of the threads, including the strong recommendation to use a flashlight with a tether so it can't fall into the tank. In testing using this method I've gotten over 25 flushes into the tank but this was with nothing "added" in the bowl.
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Old 08-02-2014, 11:11 PM   #5
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I'm curious as to how it towed in hills. I use an 09 Escape with the V6. I'm in completely flat land of eastern NC but would like to take my 165bh into the mountains. 6-7% grades elevation 4500-5000 feet. Want to take it but scared to try it. Would like some feedback.
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Old 08-03-2014, 07:53 PM   #6
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Tugboat - I haven't had the chance to test the Escape and 185RB in the kinds of conditions you describe. Caution is good thing. On our trip north, the elevations were all under 1000 feet and the grades were long and moderate. This weekend I had the chance to try it in the Shawnee Hills of southern Illinois. No mountains but 200 to 400 foot elevation changes with 5% or so grades. In both cases, there were no problems at all. (In fact, the only problem I've had has been some higher transmission temperatures after 10 or so hours of high speed towing.) I might experiment - take a weekend and try it but be ready to turn around and head home as soon as the first problem hits.
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:37 PM   #7
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There's two places I'm worried about. I-40 going into Asheville and I-64 westbound into West Virginia. Lengthy (several miles) of 5-7%grades. Once past them and up there its not bad but I got to get up there first. I know my Dad has a hard time with his 35 foot fifth wheel with a Ram 3500 cummins. I'm also concerned about braking coming back down. Escapes are tough but they don't have the best braking systems out there.
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Old 08-04-2014, 07:04 PM   #8
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I haven't driven I-40 west to Ashville but I know I-64 through West Virginia well. On that road I think the Escape with a 165 might do OK. Just put it in the right lane (with the semi's) and turn on the flashers. As for braking, my 2012 Escape has a transmission "grade assist" function for handling down grades.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:37 PM   #9
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Tugboat, We've got a 2012 Swift 185RB and use a Toyota Tacoma (V6) as a TV. We live in Northern BC so the start of all our trips take us through the Rockies twice and we encounter some 8%+ grades. We use a 400lb equlizer and our Swift has trailer brakes ( not sure if this is standard or not) and we haven't had any concerns with slowing down or stopping. This is the first trailer I've had with brakes and I'm really happy with the way it handles!
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