Looking for a Camper To Pass On to Your Kids? Canada May Have the Answer Yet Again

Escape 17 13 photos
Photo: Escape Trailer Industries
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What is it we look for in a camper or travel trailer? Honestly, it really all depends on who you ask, but most folks want something that's inexpensive, won't give out after the first excursion, and can offer all the necessities of home.
Well, one Canadian crew, Escape Trailer, has made a name for itself by building affordable and nearly indestructible campers since 1993, and while exploring their lineup of fiberglass and Boler-like machines, I stumbled across a unit that neatly wraps all that we want in a trailer into one very neat and nearly bulletproof package.

First off, take a nice long look at the image in the gallery to have something to associate the following words to. What you're looking at is nothing more than what Escape Trailer considers to be the very baseline necessary for a family to up and explore the greater outdoors, and there are some clear reasons why I chose to bring their 17A and 17B units to light.

The question is: how much do you think what you just witnessed will run you? What if I told you that the four-person habitat you've just witnessed starts off at no more than $33,300 (€30,700 at current exchange rates)? What then? Do you head up to Canada for a few days to get your hands on one of these composite abodes?

Escape 17
Photo: Escape Trailer Industries
Well, you may just have to because, as far as I can tell, Escape is the sort of crew that seems to like cutting out the middleman and supplying their future customers directly. You might, however, find one floating around some dealership, so be sure to search for that needle in a haystack.

Now, the best way to help you understand what it is you're buying without boring you with paragraph after paragraph of specs and features is to invite you upon a short trip through imagination into what a life lived with a 17 may be like, and all that starts with you at the wheel of your truck or 4x4, family at your side, and this puppy hanging onto that ball hitch behind.

Driving along, a single torsion axle will be supporting a vehicle that weighs 2,290 lbs (1,039 kg) dry and can be loaded up to 3,500 lbs (1,588 kg). This also means that you shouldn't be using this camper for romping around on broken roads. Sure, a gravel road will be fine, but that's about it.

Yet, once you've nestled yourself and your family in the shade of some oak tree in a trailer park, you'll be able to see what really put Escape on the map. It's at this stage that I invite you to take a step back and really analyze this camper's shell.

Escape 17
Photo: Escape Trailer Industries
If its shape looks familiar, it might be because we've seen countless fiberglass campers coming out of North America, and often, they follow a build pattern the likes of Bolers, the one and the same born in the Canadian wilds back during the 60s. They were known for being light, nimble, and capable of standing up to the elements better than wood and particular metals, mainly because of their fiberglass shell.

What makes the 17 so dang special is its dual-hull design, meaning that there are four half-shells that create what we see, and in between, there's plenty of insulation, wiring, and plumbing to keep four guests alive and comfortable for days, even if you somehow manage to end up in the middle of nowhere; with some extra cash, you can take a 17 and make it off-grid-worthy.

With that in mind, let's get close to your unit once again and start preparing your campsite. First, you may want to unload any gear you've thrown onto the roof, take out your toys and outdoor dining set from the storage bays, extend that awning, unfurl your solar panels, and before long, you're ready to kick back and relax.

Since campers like these are all about the outdoor lifestyle, take a moment and create your own mental picture of what your campsite might look and feel like. Once you're done, let's head inside to see what's in store for tired and adventure-worn bones. But, before you do, be sure to clean off outside as one of these floorplans - the 17A - doesn't have a wet bath.

Escape 17
Photo: Escape Trailer Industries
Upon entering your 17, you'll find yourself in the center of the action with a bedroom to your right, suitable for up to two guests, and to the left, a large four-person dinette that can shift its shape to accommodate another two tired humans in need of R&R. Straight ahead, on the other hand, an equipped galley block places a two-burner top and sink at our disposal, and a large fridge/freezer vis-a-vis.

All that's supported with storage options all around and windows to let natural light in. It's not a complicated or showy layout, and it doesn't need to be; it just needs to work. With a tad more attention to any extras you may need or want, you'll be looking at a camper that can take quite the abuse, house four people with ease, and may very well be in the family for decades to come; fiberglass units such as these have been found in working order after decades of sitting around in some garage.

Think about that before you go for one of those panel-filled campers we see these days. After all, some still make 'em like they used to; you just have to know where to look.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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