Converting Casita from Captains Chairs to booth - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-25-2019, 07:37 PM   #1
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Name: Lisle
Trailer: 2018 Casita Spirit Deiuxe
Massachusetts
Posts: 64
Converting Casita from Captains Chairs to booth

Just bought a very nice 2018 Casita which is perfect except it has Capt Chairs. They take up too much room and I'd like to have the storage space under the little bench seats, as well as the option of converting to a bed. Can someone direct me to information about making this conversion? And what do you do with the electrical panel which is now on the partition instead of on the outside of one of the little benches? I'm not handy so would need to hire someone to do it. I could live with the Capt Chairs til I'm in Texas and could pick up appropriate parts from Casita. Is there a place down there that would do the conversion for a reasonable price? I'm hoping you guys and gals have some answers for me as you always have in the past.

Lisle
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Old 06-26-2019, 06:24 AM   #2
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
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I'd call Casita and ask if they could do the conversion for you. I know at one time they did service work at the factory.

The folks at the factory have the knowledge, tools, and parts to do this conversion. If you find someone local, they will have none of this and they will be learning on your $$. And may botch it up. Spirit Deluxe is my favorite Casita layout.
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Old 06-26-2019, 06:41 AM   #3
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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Sounds like you want the Spirit Deluxe model which is what we have. Bench type seating, larger side table that goes down to make a narrow bed. Looks like maybe the seating sections could be individual fiberglass pieces, but not sure. You'll have to ask Casita. We have one Casita captains chair in our Uhaul camper and use a couple small Uhaul cushions in our Casita for arm rests.
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:11 AM   #4
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17 SD
Washington
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Seeing as how you're from Massachusetts, I would seriously doubt that you are at all inclined or interested in taking it all the way back back to Texas to install two molded fiberglass boxes, (bench seat cabinets,) but then, maybe you're up to a good "road trip."

They can just be ordered from Casita, but be prepared for some major sticker shock on the price of those bench cabinets, and the shipping charges for them. They're still expensive, for what they are, even if you take the trailer to the shop in Texas to have it done there.

FWIW, they are fabricated from molded "chopper gun" fiberglass over gel-coat in a mold, and are made in the manner that the trailer shell is created. The only wood in them is glassed in strips around the perimeter for mounting them to the floor with wood screws, (like the factory does.)
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Old 06-26-2019, 10:53 AM   #5
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Name: bill
Trailer: 2013 Escape 19; 1977 Trillium 1300
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“I could live with captain chairs until I am in Texas” sounds to like they will be there. Choice between getting just parts at that point or getting it done, for someone self described as not handy seems kind of obvious to me. In fact they were asking about finding an installer in Texas.


+10 to John's comment below. Sell your trailer and buy a Spirit Deluxe instead (assuming you like everything else about the Casita). Our first FG trailer was a mistake, we sold it and moved on. No reason to punish yourself. Life is too short. Since FG trailers hold their value well, the mistake didn't really cost us that much either.

Biggest mistake we made was not going to a rally first. Shortly after we bought our first FG trailer, we went to a rally. Ouch! We saw what we should have bought.... Second biggest mistake we made was not realizing how important a place to sit was to us. Odd, as it was not our first RV either. First long trip with bad weather and we realized the mistake.

There is so much variation between brands, sizes and floorplans. In the stick built world, trailers are much more similar. A 17 foot Casita is nothing like a 17 foot Bigfoot, which is nothing like a 17 foot Escape. Then you have the variations within brands: Freedom is different than Independence, which is different than Liberty, which is different than Spirit. Escape 17A is a lot different than 17B. And so on.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:01 PM   #6
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Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
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quite frankly, I would shop for a similar Spirit Deluxe model, and sell the Freedom, rather than trying to convert it.
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:14 PM   #7
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Name: Lisle
Trailer: 2018 Casita Spirit Deiuxe
Massachusetts
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Hmmm. That's an interesting option I hadn't thought of. It being late spring and since I live in New England, there have been VERY few Casita or Scamp 16' trailers for sale anywhere near me. I'll be retiring shortly and plan to full time starting mid August. So really wanted a trailer to get going. Which is why a trip to Texas to have the conversion done sounds OK to me -- will probably be in Texas by January anyway. But I will keep my eye out for a trade, maybe this fall, and save on the conversion.


Thanks everyone! Very helpful as usual!
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Old 06-26-2019, 12:27 PM   #8
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I have a casita spirit 16, and found the dinette seats not very comfortable to sit in for more than a short meal. That's one of the several reasons we upgraded... on a stormy day/evening/whatever, there's just not much room inside the C16. the U-shaped dinette on our E21 is so much more comfortable for lounging.

btw, I don't think there's much storage under the left/rearmost seat, the wheel well and power center is mounted right there. the right/frontmost seat is all storage, about a cubic foot or two, in ours, thats was the games-books-and-other-entertainment storage.
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Old 06-26-2019, 02:47 PM   #9
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
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Here's a couple of links outside of FiberglassRV that show how to convert a FD to a SD:

Big Project Begins - The Casita Club Forum - The Casita Club Forums


This one is on the CasitaForum and you must be a member to view:

http://www.casitaforum.com/invboard/...sd-conversion/
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Old 06-26-2019, 04:58 PM   #10
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Name: Lisle
Trailer: 2018 Casita Spirit Deiuxe
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Thanks, Donna. just joined that forum and will check out the link. Lisle
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:09 PM   #11
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Name: Tom
Trailer: Casita
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I did this mod myself. I called Casita and had them send me out everything. If you are handy it is not a hard project. If you aren’t too handy you should have the factory did the mod. While taking out the Captain chairs and table I took out the main area carpet and put in a laminate floor.
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Old 06-26-2019, 08:48 PM   #12
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Name: Jann
Trailer: Casita
Colorado
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Originally Posted by Lisle View Post
Just bought a very nice 2018 Casita which is perfect except it has Capt Chairs. They take up too much room and I'd like to have the storage space under the little bench seats, as well as the option of converting to a bed. Can someone direct me to information about making this conversion? And what do you do with the electrical panel which is now on the partition instead of on the outside of one of the little benches? I'm not handy so would need to hire someone to do it. I could live with the Capt Chairs til I'm in Texas and could pick up appropriate parts from Casita. Is there a place down there that would do the conversion for a reasonable price? I'm hoping you guys and gals have some answers for me as you always have in the past.

Lisle
Those little bench seats are not comfortable at all. We have the captains chairs and love them. The bench seats won't give you much more room in the aisle. Go to Walmart and buy one of those plastic drawer units for less than $20 remove the top drawer, frame and top of the unit. Should measure about 12" wide, 16" deep and 10" tall when you take the top drawer off. Put it under the captain chair between the chair pole and wall by the bathroom door. That would give you more storage. Then use a box or other plastic item that fits under the other seat between the chair pole and the little partial wall by the big dinette and use it for storage. We put all our can goods in the box and clothes in the plastic drawer. Those drawer units come apart at each drawer. We bought a single one that is smaller and put it in the bathroom next to the toilet for storage. They are light weight, can be moved and you can have storage and comfortable seats. We've sat in the bench seats and you can last a few minutes until your back hurts. We keep the big dinette made into a comfortable sleep number type bed. Put your imagination to work and you can come up with a lot of other ideas to help. We mounted our DVD player under the back cabinet with construction grade hook and loop tape and will be mounting a little tv on a swing down arm soon next to it. We cut down a DVD storage tower with movable shelves that's about 9 inches wide and 6-7 inches deep to fit under the small table and mounted a vehicle stereo in it. We store DVD's, CD's, our remotes, etc in it. We put little chains across the front to hold the things in and put rubber shelf liner in it so things don't slide. To keep it in place we put hook & loop on the top of the cabinet and stuck it to the little table. It sits on the area that is higher along the wall and of course it is exactly the height of the space up to the bottom of the table. Twelve years and it is still in place. You could even use a little book case as long as it doesn't stick out past the area where we sat it on. You can find a lot of these in thrift stores or used furniture places. You can buy plastic tubs on wheels that you can roll under the big dinette so you can move it out when you need stuff from it. That is more storage. We've had our Casita since 2007 and I'm always looking to improve on anything I can. Before you change to a bench seat or trade off your trailer go sit on a bench seat for a couple of hours if you can last that long. I think you'll change your mind.
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:14 PM   #13
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
Oklahoma
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We have a 2018 with the captain's chairs and love them. The majority of my sitting time is in these chairs. My Wife has a bad back and can sit in these for a long time. Unless you need the extra bed you might consider leaving as it is for a while. Our TV is a short bed Colorado truck w/topper which provides plenty of protected storage. The ledge around the chairs allow for small plastic or metal storage bins. Great for tablets and cell phones charging. We have modified shoe holder pockets to go on the walls along with other creative ideas. The bench seats are painful to sit in for extended periods. Moving the bed to table position is very comfortable for us but there is a lot of room for pillows and such to make it so. So don't use that as your gage for comfort of the bench seats. My .02.
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:22 PM   #14
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Name: Lisle
Trailer: 2018 Casita Spirit Deiuxe
Massachusetts
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Thanks everyone! Lots of good ideas here. I love to do yoga in the morning and was thinking I'd spread my yoga mat on the floor. With bench seats, it fits. With Capt chairs it doesn't. AND good idea to try them out for an extended period before converting. I'll be taking off full time in August and wouldn't get to Texas til maybe Jan, so I'll have time to check out all the options you've suggested.
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