Casita Project: 13 feet of blank canvas - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-22-2014, 10:55 AM   #29
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 13' Casita
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Slowly making progress.
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Old 09-23-2014, 09:59 AM   #30
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 13' Casita
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I vote for Floor Plan 2--separate bed and dinette, although I'd favor of bathroom, 13' is a bit tight for that, it is essential for the ladies.

I suggest a single 100 watt solar panel, a 100 AH battery, and a DC system with a few outlets for USB and Cigarette lighters, and LED lights. I love my LED lights. It makes and amazing difference on a dark and gloomy night to turn all the lights on, or to simply change the pattern of lights. I use some red LED strip lights most of all. My only regret is that I didn't put these on two way switches--a future mod. Also, you can run a small inverter off the cigarette lighters. I have three USB dual outlets, and use them all.

By the way, it looks awesome behind that white Jeep! I'd consider trying to lift the trailer up a bit and making it more off road worthy. Can you put the same wheels on the camper as are on the Jeep? That would provide some redundancy. I'm thinking about doing that with my utility trailer.
Thanks Conrad,


I am working right now towards floor plan 1.5, half-high storage on front left, full height cabinet front right also housing the AC and a one person bench with a small swivel table in the middle, housing the porta potti.


Like the solar idea. Also thinking about completely dividing 110V and 12V, having 110V for AC and one light for when hooked up to external power and having a 12V system just running off battery and solar. Never done anything electrical so will need a lot of help.


Thanks, I think the Jeep and Casita are a great combination. I already replaced the stock 13" tires with 15" which fit well without any modification to the trailer. As the axle is welded to the frame, a lift is not as easy as it was with my previous '86 Casita. Using the same wheel/tire combo as the Jeep would be nice but require quite some lift - I'm running 34s on the Jeep - and either different hubs or adaptors on the trailer; Jeep wheels are 5 on 5 (trailer 5 on 4.5) and are hub centric, which means they normally don't fit over trailer hubs.
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:14 PM   #31
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For lining the hull, I'd glue on rigid high density foam and then glue carpet on top. If it was a boat I'd use plywood panels or strips of 2.5" wide teak. No need for that in a camper which will be dry.

How can the axles be welded to the frame? Is there no suspension? Or are they torsion axles? In any event it looks like it sits almost as high as the Jeep. You should be able to get pretty far off road with that rig. Probably not worth changing the axles, wheels and tires, but something to consider down the road. I'm planning on making a fueling trailer out of an old utility trailer so I won't have to haul 5 gallon jugs to fill my excavator. I will need bigger axles, so I'm hunting for dually style wheels which will be mounted like front tires. I will need a custom axle and beefier springs also. I plan to put a diesel Genset on it also, so that I can have power for building a house, or for emergency use. I plan to move my truck spare onto the back of the trailer to offset some of the weight, and it will also allow me to carry only one spare, or I can pull a spare off the trailer if I need it for the truck. I think it makes a whole lot of sense to keep the tires and wheels the same for TV and Tow if practical.

I would have an inverter. You will need to run some AC loads off the battery. I'm pretty happy with my inverter. I thought it was 1000 watts but it is actually two 500 watt inverters. I'm only using one half of it, and that part runs all my entertainment stuff very easily, and my electric blanket. A single 500 Watt Pure sine wave would be cheap and serve you well. The only issue would be wiring it in. I took the trouble to design a switch to bypass the inverter when plugged in to shore power, but I never use shore power. I suppose if I ever install Air Conditioning, I might start using it again. So far, even on the hot days, it has been cool here at night. It has been a cool summer with the exception of two short weeks of high temps. I have been getting along fine with fans.
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Old 10-13-2014, 09:41 PM   #32
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 13' Casita
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How can the axles be welded to the frame? Is there no suspension? Or are they torsion axles?
Conrad,

Yes, they are torsion axles; in earlier years, Casita bolted them to the frame which made lifting by simply adding a block very easy. Then they started welding the axle to the frame, which makes installing a lift it a little bit more involved. I'm currently running 205/75-15; looks like 215/75-15 should fit with no lift and no issues, leveling the trailer out with the Jeep with the 3 1/4 drop hitch.


Took my Casita for her maiden voyage to the Overland Expo East near Asheville, NC. The interior of my Casita still is very much under construction: bed in the rear, boxes with my camping stuff and a porta potty in the front. But being inside a camper during a torrential downpour and staying nice and dry is a absolute great feeling no matter how spartan the interior
.
Next will be installing the pantry, then starting with some of the electrics. I decided on a 12 volt system running of a deep cycle battery charged by solar, and a completely separate 110V system just for running the AC and an outlet for my better half's hairdryer when hooked up to outside power, saving the weight for convertors and invertors.
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Old 10-14-2014, 01:13 AM   #33
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It looks pretty good already.

Like Donna said on that other thread. Use it and make improvements as you go. Soon you will have an electrical system and then there will be the next thing and the next.


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Old 10-14-2014, 06:47 AM   #34
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being inside a camper during a torrential downpour and staying nice and dry is a absolute great feeling
Preach it brother! This past weekend my daughter and I were camping at a State Park in Georgia surrounded by what seemed like an inordinate amount of pop-up trailers of most every size and description. I asked her what she thought it would be like to be in one of those during some of the storms we have camped through in Florida. She did not think it would have been fun and prefered our egg. Thatís my girl.

That's a nice looking combo you have there, the Casita is coming along!
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Old 10-14-2014, 08:29 AM   #35
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Take another look at the pics from those storms. Hard side trailers and motorhomes were also blown over.

There's not an RV built, maybe short of an EarthRoamer, that is safe in a big storm. At least the pop-up peeps know they aren't safe. For those that thought they would be safe in an FGRV, I'll send flowers.

Big storm coming? Get inside a building.....

BTW: I keep an emergency NOA weather radio in my Hunter, as should everyone else, especially in the hurricane/tornado belt(s)
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Old 10-14-2014, 09:52 PM   #36
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I have concerns about storms. I managed to survive a bad front, with 70+ mph winds by parking in the lee of a closed service station once when I was towing a trailer. I've thought about bringing a hammer, some rebar stakes, and ratchet straps to secure my rig. One place I'd like to visit with my camper is the top of Mount Washington to see what my range would be with my Ham radio. They have some nasty weather up there.

In any event, Michael will have a lot of fun with that Jeep and Casita. It's a fantastic combination. My Uncle has an old motor home in his back yard. He could fix it up and camp with it, but it's a huge gas hog, can't go off road, and while it is bigger, it is too big. Some things are sized just right.
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Old 10-15-2014, 09:07 AM   #37
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Name: Michael
Trailer: 13' Casita
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Thanks for the kind words, I should have a lot of fun with this combo. Fuel mileage is not too bad, I drop from 19 mpg average for the Jeep alone to about 15.5 mpg with the Casita. It actually slightly improves when I carry my kayak on the Jeep, probably acting like a wind deflector for the Casita. Over all, the Jeep feels very nimble and maneuverable with this (nearly empty) 13 footer and I really will try to keep weight down as I don't want to compromise on drivability.


My main concerns are durability of the Casita on corrugated roads as well as gravel protection for the front of the Casita; need some better mud flaps for the Jeep and maybe work on an Australian style stone guard for the Casita. I don't have any serious off-road or rock-crawling ambition for the combo but the Casita will see a good bit of unpaved roads and these bad asphalt-lined-pothole-kinda roads.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:50 AM   #38
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Michael that is fantastic mileage. I get an average of 13 with my rig.

Rock crawling is a silly idea. But you can certainly go down any logging road and get well off road and reach some nice fishing spots.
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