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Thread: Echo 6 Trailer

  1. #1
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    Default Echo 6 Trailer

    Hi Community

    family and I recently took the plunge after years of saving and considering options and bought a Echo 6 4x4 trailer. I am sure a lot of these questions can also be answered by Echo 5 owners.

    After searching the internet I have noticed that there is very little info to support a new owner. There is no owners manuals etc.

    I would love to have all the tips on:

    1 packing the trailer / balancing tips
    2 setting up the trailer (we are new)
    3 when parked at home what do we do? Plug in fridge? Handbrake on?
    4 tyre pressure tips
    5 out tow bar seems lower then trailer so it tilts forward - what angle is too much?
    6 Cleaning tips for trailer and canvas
    7 Electrical tips - what to do etc. how everything works. With such a cool system, what additional tweaks can we do to maximize the usage. how to add plug points around trailer etc.
    8 What geyser is best - where did you install.
    9 What solar is needed for total off grid camping with this setup.
    10 Any other advice and tips you have learnt from owning one of these.

    thanks a mil

    Brad
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Brad_living_the_dream; 2023/01/19 at 05:39 AM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Echo 6 Trailer

    Congratulations on your purchase. I am sure you will enjoy it no end. My Dad has the Echo 3 now for 12 years already. That thing has seen roads and adventures few trailers see over a lifetime and still functions as expected. The tent has a few tears in at at the corners, but still looks very good.

    See some guidance below based on my viewing of camping with my Dad and how he operates.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad_living_the_dream View Post

    I would love to have all the tips on:

    1 packing the trailer / balancing tips ‚Ä‚ÄčI see the fridge and other packing space is in front of the axle. You therefore need to balance this carefully by adding weight to the back so that the trailer is not too nose heave. Not sure where your water tank sits on the Echo 6. On the 3 it is below the A-frame, so My dad uses that to balance out the weight in the back as he doesn't have the fridge like the Echo 6 does.
    2 setting up the trailer (we are new) ‚Äč‚ÄčIt is actually very easy, but see if someone can show you. There are a few 'tricks' to make opening/closing the tent a little bit easier
    3 when parked at home what do we do? Plug in fridge? Handbrake on? ‚Ä‚ÄčI store my trailer plugged in to to 220v to keep the battery charged, with the fridge running. Handbrake off
    4 tyre pressure tips ‚Ä‚ÄčVery much road dependent but if I am not mistaken, there is a 'tip sheet' in the front door (fridge slide door)
    5 out tow bar seems lower then trailer so it tilts forward - what angle is too much?
    6 Cleaning tips for trailer and canvas
    7 Electrical tips - what to do etc. how everything works. With such a cool system, what additional tweaks can we do to maximize the usage. how to add plug points around trailer etc.
    8 What geyser is best - where did you install.
    9 What solar is needed for total off grid camping with this setup. ‚Äč‚Äč obviously depending on your power needs and battery capacity. Just operating the fridge and lights, 150w-200w should work fine. My dad uses 150w solar panels with a 105ah battery
    10 Any other advice and tips you have learnt from owning one of these.

    thanks a mil

    Brad
    Gert Grobler

    VW Touareg V6 Tdi Escape; Land Cruiser 200 V8 D4D
    Bush Lapa Ratel 4i 1906

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Echo 6 Trailer

    Hi Brad,

    I hope you still have your trailer.
    I also purchased an Echo 6 beginning of 2023 as my first trailer camper. It has almost exactly the same specs as yours. It is similar to the Echo 5 tec. Some notes below. Let us know what you have learned so far.

    All the best.
    Bernard

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad_living_the_dream View Post
    Hi Community

    family and I recently took the plunge after years of saving and considering options and bought a Echo 6 4x4 trailer. I am sure a lot of these questions can also be answered by Echo 5 owners.

    After searching the internet I have noticed that there is very little info to support a new owner. There is no owners manuals etc.

    I would love to have all the tips on:

    1 packing the trailer / balancing tips. I try to keep my trailer as light as possible and load most heavy things in the back of my Defender 130. I travelled with two 40L fridges at first, one on the nosebox slider and the other in the kitchen. But the tow hitch gets very heavy, especially when you load two bags of wood on the nosebox!. So I moved one fridge to the main slider for long stays. Then I eventually moved that fridge to the back of the defender to lighten the load in the trailer. I also leave the sides, wind barriers, shower, geyser, solar panels unless I know that I will definitely need them. I always travel with an empty water tank. When I need all the extras, load as much as possible in the car.
    2 setting up the trailer (we are new) Find a good spot. This takes the longest of the whole setup for me. As with all camping it is a compromise between (in order of importance for me):
    a. campsite layout: The Echo 6 is a BIG unit when all the awnings and add-a rooms are put up. 7x9m peg to peg. Most camp sites will be fairly cramped for this. My nose and tail awnings do not detach like some echo tents and this is important if you need to fit into a tight spot. I have however devised a temporary solution by folding the front and rear awning on top of the tent and then securing for short stays. More about that in "other advise"
    b.orientation of the sun: I prefer my kitchen area to not face north.
    c.strong wind direction (sometimes predictable): If at all possible I think the tent annex side is best facing the wind. A difficult decision to make when camping next to the ocean and most weather comes from the direction of your best view. The setup is vulnerable to heavy winds and it takes some cleaver strapping down when things get rough. Two possible strategies here. Put the sides up and try to strap the thing down with storm straps, netting etc. I use two ropes per post at 45 deg angles. I pull storm straps over the kitchen, back and front awning. It stops the awnings from lifting in the wind. This is obviously a must with heavy and prolonged rainy weather like what we experienced at Jongensfontein recently. The awnings will puddle under these conditions. If rain with less wind, I have read about a clip and rope that can pull the awning down between posts and create a funnel son the water runs off.
    The other strategy is to not have the sides up and loosen the ropes somewhat. The awnings will be less rigid and offer less resistance to the wind. Yet to test this in storm conditions. Best is to not camp when the weather is bad.

    Set up:
    Get a level spot! Your tent will not erect correctly if you have to level the trailer with the lifts too much. If the site is at a slope, set up with the slope. The trailer and annex tent cannot have different slopes, it just does not work.
    Try to get a firm spot if possible. The loaded trailer is heavy and the nose wheel will bog down in soft surface if you have to move it into position.
    Once the orientation and level is set, I first get all the pegs, ropes power lead out the back. The light inside the tent is left on when I pack up, so turning the main switch will turn that one light on in the tent - useful later. Close the back again. Pull the cover off the tent and lay it out of the way. I get on the nosecone and my wife and eldest gently pull on the annex awning corners while I open the tent. Once you get it going it is fairly self erecting. I then go inside the annex (the light is on) and roughly level the floor out. My wife feeds the two back vertical poles through the provided holes and I secure them to the U bar at the back. She secures the feet with the velcro strips on the outside. The ladder is used to get on the bed and prop the loose post between the front and highest horizontal bars. Put a mat under the ladder feet to protect the floor. It is important to now first set up the front awning and pull the ropes tight. I have done the annex awning first and this pulls the whole tent skew. Set up the other awning post and then lastly the annex awning posts. Back inside the annex, we open the closet and secure the little hooks of the zipped flap into trailer holes provided. Have a beer. Lay the lead to the power box. Klaar. ground sheets only if needed. Wife likes to use the water from the kitchen tap so I fill tank from the nearest tap with a garden hose. Connect the gas burner hose to the gas bottle. Peg down the annex if needed.


    3 when parked at home what do we do? Plug in fridge? Handbrake on? Best to keep charger plugged in and on (the rest off) for prolonged periods. During camping season I just uncouple the battery. Fridge off. Handbrake off and use the chocks provided.
    4 tyre pressure tips
    5 out tow bar seems lower then trailer so it tilts forward - what angle is too much? All I know is slightly lower or level is better that higher.
    6 Cleaning tips for trailer and canvas. Wash the trailer like your car. Grease the coupler regularly. Canvas with a wet rag. Mine did not have a cover and was standing outside until I got one. In six months the trailer leaked in heavy rain and I have some surface rust on the slides. The fenders outside also flaked the paint due to rust. The quality of the paint job on the slides and fenders are not good. Bottom line, get the thing under roof or buy a good cover. Moist inside will rust the non galvanised parts. Try to get some alluminium plate to protect the front and fenders from chips. I'm going to install on mine.
    7 Electrical tips - what to do etc. how everything works. With such a cool system, what additional tweaks can we do to maximise the usage. how to add plug points around trailer etc. I put a multi plug in lowest closet drawer that plugs into 220V. It runs off a two pin plug so that I can swop it to the inverter if needed.
    8 What geyser is best - where did you install. I have a 7l/min gas geyser but it is not fixed. The fixed places for these are either on the inside of the one nose-box door or inside the back door. The problem with the 6 is that due to the fancy back door lifter, you cannot use it for this purpose and if you trailer has the front slider like mine does, it will also not fit in the nose-box. Thus, the only solution is to remove the front slide and fit in the nose-box. The more extre option is to convert the back door to horizontally opened like the newer models are.
    9 What solar is needed for total off grid camping with this setup. Mine came with 2x50W panels in a padded bag. Have not used the trailer off-grid yet, but used them for a while on to keep the battery charged up. They seem to work fine.
    10 Any other advice and tips you have learnt from owning one of these. As mentioned before, I have recently started to fold the front and back awnings over the top before collapsing the tent. This packs the tent much neater and tighter, less creases in the awnings and allows you to set the tent up in tighter spots, provided that you can keep the awnings from blowing off in the wind. I have three extra telescoping poles and I use one of these to push the awning over the top of the tent. I'm tall enough but you can use the ladder from inside to do this. I get on the nosecone to spread it out. It takes a little time, maybe 5-10 extra min if the wind is not blowing. But it could save you some time when setting up for short stays.
    I also pack the two folding mattresses and sleeping bags (opened) for the kids onto of the main bed before packing the tent.


    My tent got these pin holes above the doors and I discovered that the plastic protectors over the frame bolts fell off. In transit the edges of these bolts caused the pinholes.

    Other comments: How much do the Echo 5/6 weigh unloaded? I've never weighed mine but would love to know.


    thanks a mil

    Brad
    Defender TD5 130

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Echo 6 Trailer

    Quote Originally Posted by Wynboer View Post
    Hi Brad,

    I hope you still have your trailer.
    I also purchased an Echo 6 beginning of 2023 as my first trailer camper. It has almost exactly the same specs as yours. It is similar to the Echo 5 tec. Some notes below. Let us know what you have learned so far.

    All the best.
    Bernard
    thanks @Bernard. Really appreciate the time you took to write this.

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