We own a party in a box.
More specifically, we built a trailer that can throw an event anywhere. And we mean anywhere. The Escapees event trailer can roll out to the desert with no power posts or resources and host a band, DJs, and speakers. In fact, it’s done that and more. It made an appearance at the beginning of 2020. Since then, it has been quietly waiting for us to gather again so it, too, can hit the road.
Freedom One- The Conception
The idea started simply enough. Our Xscapers Convergence Director, J.P. Smith, needed space to carry equipment for the events. He first thought a small towable trailer would fit the bill, but the idea grew from there. Travis Carr, president of Escapees, wanted to make it functional for events as well. When Bud Carr caught wind of the idea, he declared that we should build it for five years from now, not just what we needed today. It turns out that what Escapees and our members need five years from now makes everyone pretty happy today.
The idea originated in Xscapers because most of the Convergences are held in areas without many resources like rodeo grounds and public lands. Owning something we could bring and create a platform and stage for speakers and entertainment would allow us to make the events even better. We already started setting up tents at some of the Convergences for an extra gathering space and to shield people from the weather. This idea carried into the event trailer, where a tent was constructed that could be connected to one side of the trailer.
Why An Event Trailer?
While it started in Xscapers, the event trailer is meant for the whole club. Escapees National Happy Hour will never be the same. The trailer and tent are going to give us more spaces at Escapade, too.
The trailer will host musicians and a social or two while the tent will serve as a fun space for Kidscapade. It will also represent Escapees at other events, as well. If there’s a need, this trailer will come prepared with two stages, a tent, lights, and more.
With A Little Help from Friends
The build started under wraps in November 2019, right after the Xscapers Halloween convergence. The empty, plain trailer was brought to North Ranch in Congress, Arizona for our embellishment. Our team of staff and volunteers made their way to Congress after the event and swore the residents and guests at North Ranch to secrecy. It was time to make this trailer into a full-blown party in a box.
First up was the power. We needed it to be able to run a full event anywhere without relying on a plug. Our friends at Battle Born Batteries knew just what we needed and set us up with 12 lithium-ion batteries, two inverters, two solar controllers, a Victron color control, battery monitor, and 3000 watts of solar. After the first few runs, we figured out we could keep a band going for two days without sun! At least in theory, as not many bands could play for two days straight.
We were able to finish building out the rest of the trailer, now known as Freedom One, with help from our sponsors and friends. Dometic made sure we had Fan-Tastic Roof Vents to keep the trailer cool and custom awnings to shade presenters on stage. WiFiRanger supplied a new Converge to keep us connected in addition to contributing to the rest of the build-out. Winnebago and Harvest Hosts gave us the ability to furnish the trailer with event supplies and wrap it in a very stylish design featuring members of the community. The icing on the cake for the events are the five e-bikes our friends at SYKL Power Bikes donated so our parking and event crews can get around the grounds with ease.
Debuting Freedom One
After almost two months of hard work to complete the build-out, it was time to show it off and put it to the test. The Xscapers New Year’s Eve Blowout was the perfect opportunity.
In the middle of the desert with no electricity? Check.
Bands and DJs to test our batteries and power consumption? Check.
Lots of members attending that would be excited to see it and help set up the tent? Check and check.
The trailer’s debut went just as expected with everyone excited to jump in and get it set up. We raised the tent fully for the first time and filled it with friends, food, and dancing. The display wall which can serve as a teaching tool for solar power was viewed with oohs and ahhs over the course of those few days. The power setup and stage were given a thorough test with first a full band and then a DJ over the two-night event. They passed with flying colors.
The possibilities of the full set-up were realized just over a week later at the Xscapers Annual Bash. The event was held at the rodeo grounds in Lake Havasu just like the previous year. While it’s a great event space and we’re grateful to have a building on-site, setting up the full trailer and tent combo allowed us to create a whole new activity space. Suddenly, we could have two seminars going on simultaneously and cover a wider array of topics.
We had different areas for entertainment that made it easy to tailor to the act and audience. We could create a space for the kids to have some fun while adults participated in a competition next door. It was a true proof-of-concept. It did exactly what we hoped and more.
Where Is It Heading Next?
The trailer made one more Convergence appearance in Casa Grande before the events of 2020 put events on hold. But this July, Freedom One will get its chance to shine at three back-to-back events. It will start in Salida, CO for Fourth of July Convergence then make its way to its first full club appearance at the 60th Escapade in Rock Springs, WY. Finally, it will represent Escapees at the Winnebago Grand National Rally. We can’t wait for you to see it in action!
The plans don’t stop there. The event trailer will be at events throughout 2021 and the years to come, including HOPs, Hangouts, Convergences, and more. If we need to set up an event on the fly, we now have it covered with the trailer, two stages, adjustable tent, tables and chairs for 300, speakers, lights, and everything else we need! This is an exciting next chapter in the history of events for Escapees, and you’re invited to be a part of it. We’ll see you with Freedom One at the next event
If you spot the Escapees event trailer, Freedom One, as you trek across the U.S., let us know!
Share your fun photos with the hashtag #escapeesontheroad.
Did you like this post? Pin it to Pinterest!