Casita conversion? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-04-2007, 12:49 PM   #1
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My wife and I bought the Casita Freedom Deluxe, mainly because our son had let us know that he didn't want to go camping with us anymore. Then he changed his mind. Since then, he's been mainly sleeping in a tent while we use the Casita. However, we're planning a trip out west next year and we need for him to sleep inside the trailer when we're in bear country in Yellowstone.

I know that Casita sells the parts to change the FD into the Spirit model. Have any of you done this? If so, how much trouble was it?
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Old 03-04-2007, 01:12 PM   #2
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Bob,
Some food for thought.
Unless you've done a lot of very expensive mods like us, it might be a whole lot less fuss to just sell yours and buy a "previously owned" Spirit Deluxe.
We've thought about it, but the extensive changes to our FD frame are what makes "Nuestra Casita" work where we live. We'd have to go through all that again.
Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 03-04-2007, 02:54 PM   #3
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Is a Nissan Frontier a pickup or SUV? Forgive me for not knowing...but if a PU have you considered buying a canopy for it? I can purchase a used fiberglass canopy or use aluminum one for <$300 here in the Portland area for my F-150. Depending on the age of your son, he might be just as happy having his own space and you wouldn't have to do all the mods to your trailer, especially for the short time you'll be in bear country.

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Old 03-04-2007, 03:31 PM   #4
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Donna.. its a pickup.... i think a canopy is a good idea... heck just throw a mattress iin the back....
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Old 03-04-2007, 06:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Is a Nissan Frontier a pickup or SUV? Forgive me for not knowing...but if a PU have you considered buying a canopy for it?
According to his avitar photo, Bob already has a canopy on his Frontier.
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Old 03-04-2007, 06:57 PM   #6
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According to his avitar photo, Bob already has a canopy on his Frontier.
Oh Brother I didn't even look at his avatar...teach me to not look first
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Old 03-04-2007, 07:08 PM   #7
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Is a Nissan Frontier a pickup or SUV? Forgive me for not knowing...but if a PU have you considered buying a canopy for it? I can purchase a used fiberglass canopy or use aluminum one for <$300 here in the Portland area for my F-150. Depending on the age of your son, he might be just as happy having his own space and you wouldn't have to do all the mods to your trailer, especially for the short time you'll be in bear country.

Yep. Pickup truck with a canopy.

I reckon we could toss him back there!
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Old 03-04-2007, 07:12 PM   #8
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Bob,
Some food for thought.
Unless you've done a lot of very expensive mods like us, it might be a whole lot less fuss to just sell yours and buy a "previously owned" Spirit Deluxe.
We've thought about it, but the extensive changes to our FD frame are what makes "Nuestra Casita" work where we live. We'd have to go through all that again.
Kurt & Ann K.
Unfortunately, my wife and I have developed rather a fondness for our Casita. We really love this trailer and don't want to sell it. Yes, a strange passion, but the truth. We've both found that the Casita has been absolutely perfect for us, and [b]this Casita was one of our dreams that came true. We'd hate to sell it just because we want an extra bed.
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:51 PM   #9
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Bob,
Another possibility might be for him to sleep on a seat in the cab of the pickup.
Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 03-06-2007, 11:18 AM   #10
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According to the previous owner of my '89, it was born as a Freedom which he converted to a Spirit. He got the parts/cushiouns from the factory. Since I had to do some refinement to it, I think it could have been done a little better. However, I can't see any reason why you couldn't do it.

Rather than making it a permanent conversion, have you considered removing the two chairs and make a sofa/bed for this trip? If you screw it together, then you could take it apart for storage when you want to reinstall the swivel seats for just the two of you. It'd be much less expensive, easier, and you could still use your swivel seats when it was just the two of you.
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Old 03-06-2007, 04:16 PM   #11
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According to the previous owner of my '89, it was born as a Freedom which he converted to a Spirit. He got the parts/cushiouns from the factory. Since I had to do some refinement to it, I think it could have been done a little better. However, I can't see any reason why you couldn't do it.

Rather than making it a permanent conversion, have you considered removing the two chairs and make a sofa/bed for this trip? If you screw it together, then you could take it apart for storage when you want to reinstall the swivel seats for just the two of you. It'd be much less expensive, easier, and you could still use your swivel seats when it was just the two of you.
Even if I did the conversion, I'd save the swivel seats, which I quite like. So that we could go back to that configuration later.
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Old 03-08-2007, 02:50 PM   #12
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Not sure if the dimensions are right - but I imagine the simplest would be:

1) Pull table and unbolt chairs

2) Shove in a folding camping cot

3) Celebrate with your beverage of choice.

I figure it's 15-20 minutes and $40 tops.

If you wanted something more semi-perminant - I'd stick in something with a wood frame and a foam cushion. Means screwing to the floor and a lot more $$$ though. (Although it'll look a heck of a lot nicer and serve double duty as a couch and extra storage space.)

Course - if you're trying to REALLY be clever you could try to build something that came out into a bunk up above the swivel chairs at night but folded out of the way during the day so the chairs could still be used. Probably the most elegant solution - but it's not immediately obvious to me how to pull it off.

Mike
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Old 03-08-2007, 06:14 PM   #13
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Quote:
Not sure if the dimensions are right - but I imagine the simplest would be:

1) Pull table and unbolt chairs

2) Shove in a folding camping cot

3) Celebrate with your beverage of choice.

I figure it's 15-20 minutes and $40 tops.

If you wanted something more semi-perminant - I'd stick in something with a wood frame and a foam cushion. Means screwing to the floor and a lot more $$$ though. (Although it'll look a heck of a lot nicer and serve double duty as a couch and extra storage space.)

Course - if you're trying to REALLY be clever you could try to build something that came out into a bunk up above the swivel chairs at night but folded out of the way during the day so the chairs could still be used. Probably the most elegant solution - but it's not immediately obvious to me how to pull it off.

Mike
One thing I've been thinking of doing was creating a "bed" frame made of PVC pipe. The middle would rest on the table. The ends would be supported by PVC legs cut to conform to the wheel well on one side and the floor on the other. Easy to put in at night and remove in the morning. Just scribbling on paper for now, but I may go to a building supply joint and see what my costs would be. Should be pretty cheap.
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:56 AM   #14
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One thing I've been thinking of doing was creating a "bed" frame made of PVC pipe. The middle would rest on the table. The ends would be supported by PVC legs cut to conform to the wheel well on one side and the floor on the other. Easy to put in at night and remove in the morning. Just scribbling on paper for now, but I may go to a building supply joint and see what my costs would be. Should be pretty cheap.
What would the actual bed support surface be made of?

If you're thinking of plywood - it'd likely be fine.

If you're thinking of fabric (like a folding cot) - it isn't going to work without modification. The PVC would bow inwards under the weight of the person in the bed.

I built a collapsing cot for my folding camper. It's a modified camping cot with longer legs so it works like a bunk bed. My primary limitation however was that the thing needed to collapse. If it were a non-folding trailer - I'd have done something a bit less flimsy.

Now - this is just my general impression (not having a Casita) - but I would doubt that the stock table could take any serious weight without failing. Seems just as simple to add a third set of legs in the middle and support it that way. I wouldn't hesitate to use the PVC structurally that way. I used some modifying the cot (2" PVC). Even used the stuff to build the ladder the kids use to get up and down without even a hint of problems. My primary issue would be laying it out so there wasn't a chance of it tipping forward and dumping its occupant out into the aisle.

If you DO try it - I'd suggest adding bumpers fore and aft so it doesn't mar the bulkheads.

Mike
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