Need Casita trailer advise/comments - Fiberglass RV

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Old 10-04-2015, 02:58 PM   #1
Name: denny
Trailer: 2001 Scamp 16 layout 3
Posts: 37
Need Casita trailer advise/comments

Almost bought a scamp 16 but just could not accept compromising on a 44" bed. Casita 17 Spirit with couch/bunks in front and portapot seems like a good alternative since it has 54" bed. Will a Chrysler 3.6L Minivan pull it easily? It has a 3600 lb. tow capacity. Spirit 17 dry weight (before add AC, furnace, and gear probably totaling about 900- 1000 lbs.) is 2210 but is that cutting it too close? (Especially up and down the Rockies)? Also, what are some of the quirks/problems common with this trailer? It probably will end up a new trailer. Would greatly appreciate advise from experienced fiberglassers.

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Old 10-04-2015, 03:14 PM   #2
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Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,914
You didn't mention the year or miles on your minivan, but some of them have a reputation for having weak transmissions. I had one fail twice while still in warranty, and I wasn't towing with that vehicle.

Ask the local dealer service manager and local transmission shops about you specific unit.

At the very least, I'm sure that they will suggest adding an external transmission oil cooler.

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Old 10-04-2015, 03:45 PM   #3
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
Posts: 3,571
Have you also checked into a Scamp 16 deluxe (wood interior version)? Same 54" bed size as the Casita, but lighter, and you don't have to give up the bathroom.

I personally prefer the side bath/front dinette plan. (The side dinette plan has a funky galley design where the stove overhangs the bed a few inches, which I don't care for, but necessary to accommodate a curbside fridge along with the larger bed. The side bath plan solves the issue by moving the fridge to the street side next to the bath.) The side bath is pretty tiny, and you could probably get Scamp to delete the toilet & shower and use it as a porta-potty closet if you preferred for even less weight and cost. It has way more galley space than the Casita. The front can be customized in several ways: storage closet plus dinette/child bed, omit the closet to make a full-width adult single bed/dinette, or sofa/bunks as in the standard version.
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Old 10-04-2015, 03:48 PM   #4
Name: denny
Trailer: 2001 Scamp 16 layout 3
Posts: 37
Minivan is new 2016.

Minivan is new 2016.
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Old 10-04-2015, 03:52 PM   #5
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2011 Escape 17B
Oswego, NY
Posts: 1,275
You might want to check the average tongue weight at Trailer Weights in the Real World or download the sortable spreadsheet I keep at LakeshoreImages.. Both the total weight & tongue weight of a Casita 17 may be a bit high for a minivan - Average actual weights from the spreadsheet are 3286 total weight & 422 tongue weight...
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Old 10-04-2015, 07:23 PM   #6
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Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Posts: 979
3.6L might pull it fine, but the tow rating is also based on suspension and stopping power. I wouldn't do it - had a 17LD Casita with a 3500 lb rated Tacoma and it was marginal up/down hills although it seems to handle fair. Traded tow in for a 6400 lb rated Taco with the V6 and it made a world of difference - primarily the different gearing of the transmission. Now it tows a 4100 lb Escape 21 up and down the Rockies just fine.

Charlie Y

Don't drill holes, try custom storage you design:
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casita, eco

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