First Time Out - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-16-2018, 09:02 PM   #1
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Name: Shaun
Trailer: 92 casita freedom 16
Utah
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First Time Out

We finally managed to get our new to us 1992 Casita Freedom Deluxe out of the driveway.

My wive is working on her second degree so having the trailer has helped us be able to get out and still allow her the time to study at a well lit table.

A few things we learned.

1. I need to work on my backing. We did a pretty good job backing it into the spot and avoiding all of the trees and the large rock at the front of the truck, but I tended to over correct.

2. We are very glad that we saw on the forums about people adding mattresses. I don't think I could have taken sleeping on just the cushions. We didn't go full blown mattress but added a memory foam mattress topper that we picked up at Costco.

3. Leveling blocks are a lot easier to use than chunks of 2x6.

A few things we still need to work on.

1. The fridge on propane either drops to below freezing or hovers around 55. I know that the ambient temperature affects this, but it sure is frustrating.

2. I think I put way to much water into the fresh water tank for just a quick overnight trip, and I could definitely tell it was back there when we were moving.

3. We avoiding using the toilet in the casista because we are both still nervous about finding and using a dump station.

It was fun, a lot different then backpacking or car/tent camping.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:10 PM   #2
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Name: Charlie Y
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Oregon
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Welcome to the learning curve. It will get easier after a few more outings...
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:37 PM   #3
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
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When backing, if you start to get out of shape, just pull forward to straighten up, and try again, gently.
You'll find it way easier than backing up a tent.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:09 PM   #4
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Name: Shaun
Trailer: 92 casita freedom 16
Utah
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
When backing, if you start to get out of shape, just pull forward to straighten up, and try again, gently.
You'll find it way easier than backing up a tent.
That is typically what I do in the driveway. With this spot there was a very large rock that I had to make sure I didn't smack the front of the truck into when I was turning and backing. I think it is the gently part I need to work on, I'm still now used to how much of a turn of the steering wheel affects the trailer.
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Old 09-16-2018, 10:29 PM   #5
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
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You do have to remind yourself that the front of the tow vehicle is turning. I've come close to smchucking a tree, a rock and a Toyota Corolla.
I hold the steering wheel at the bottom, palm facing up, and if directed to move the trailer to the left, I move my hand to the left. To the right, my hand moves right.
Keeping it simple allows you to think about the other things, like that tree next to your front fender.
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Old 09-17-2018, 10:37 AM   #6
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Name: Al
Trailer: 19D Front bath Scamp
North Carolina
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Nice looking Tacoma, Casita and campsite; ya done good!!!!!!

And don't worry, expertise in backing and dumping will come with experience.
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:20 AM   #7
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Name: Zac & Cathy
Trailer: Burro & 2006 21ft. BigFoot
California
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toilet

When we take short trips my wife uses toilet bags available at most camping stores, Pro Bass, Cabelas, or Home Depot, Lowes, etc. It is a plastic bag with medical grade gelatin which encapsulates the stuff and are trash able. They save having to dump tanks all the time. I generally use the campsite facilities but when in bad weather its a nice option for me also! Just another option!
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Old 09-17-2018, 07:00 PM   #8
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Name: Jack
Trailer: Scamp 13
Massachusetts
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Yes, I have to agree with Glen. We too are on our initial shake down drive. Picked up our new Scamp 13 In Backus Mn on last Monday 9/10/18 and the first camp site and second were back in's. First camp site took me quite a while, and second camp site was in the dark at 9PM. But like everyone at the sites says, short wheel base trailers are the hardest to back up. You can get in trouble real quickly.

But it's the experience that you need to get to make it easier. I get more confidence each time I back up.

As for using the dump sites, remember that a lot of states require an "air-tight sewer fitting on all RV's". If you do not have one, they will sell you one.

Our trip will take us to Galveston TX to stay a while and then back to MA.

Enjoying the experience. We will rack up quite a few thousand miles by then, presently in Custer/Mt Rushmore S.Dakota.



Jack & Jo-Ann
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:31 AM   #9
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Name: Shaun
Trailer: 92 casita freedom 16
Utah
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Originally Posted by Lockman View Post
Yes, I have to agree with Glen. We too are on our initial shake down drive. Picked up our new Scamp 13 In Backus Mn on last Monday 9/10/18 and the first camp site and second were back in's. First camp site took me quite a while, and second camp site was in the dark at 9PM. But like everyone at the sites says, short wheel base trailers are the hardest to back up. You can get in trouble real quickly.

But it's the experience that you need to get to make it easier. I get more confidence each time I back up.

As for using the dump sites, remember that a lot of states require an "air-tight sewer fitting on all RV's". If you do not have one, they will sell you one.

Our trip will take us to Galveston TX to stay a while and then back to MA.

Enjoying the experience. We will rack up quite a few thousand miles by then, presently in Custer/Mt Rushmore S.Dakota.



Jack & Jo-Ann
That long of a trip would be nice. We just found a secluded site along a river about 45 miles from our house. When we get out we prefer being on our own so we are trying to avoid established campgrounds until we plan lionger trips and have to be sure we have places lined up each night. The nice thing about these short trips and where we are choosing to camp is that it is forcing us to learn backing into tight spots, how to level, and how to use appliances and such with just propane or 12v.
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Old 09-18-2018, 10:36 AM   #10
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when I first had to drive a trailer (initially small boats, towed behind a Volvo 240), I found a great big empty parking lot that iddn't have curbs, and practiced backing up using spaces as virtual markers. I got so I could back that trailer up around a figure 8 staying within imaginary cones, then I figured I had a good idea what I was doing. now, that car had an incredible tight turning radius, and was quite agile, and the boat was light.

a few years later, we were towing a ~2000 lb tent trailer with a Econoline E150. lessons learned by boat were very applicable but again a bit of practice in a big empty parking lot helped a lot. When we got the Casita 16 and Tacoma, I hardly had to practice, I could whip that thing around and back it in like a pro. Now, the F250 longbed + Escape 21 is a lot longer, with a lot worse turning radius, so I'm back to having to be really careful, but still, I've been able to do a U turn of this 40 foot long rig in a 60' area (my driveway), and haven't hit or scraped more than a bush yet.
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Old 09-22-2018, 11:22 AM   #11
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Name: Terry
Trailer: 1974 Hunter Compact II
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It is amazing how much there is to learn with each trip. Soon, you'll get all the "bumps in the road" whittled down. Enjoy the process.
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Old 09-22-2018, 04:49 PM   #12
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Trailer: I now have a 2015, Dynamax DX3-37RV Super-C diesel puller
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Casitas are WONDERFUL entry RVs! Check out LoveMyCasita It's a website by long time Casita owner Eileen Glick. Eileen has written an eBook about Casitas that every Casita owner should have. Another GREAT Casita resource is Home | Little House Customs LHC is another GREAT site that offers mods/customizations for Casita travel trailers. LCH is owned and run by Larry & Debbie Gamble who have owned (and traveled extensively) in their 20+ year old Casita. If you contact either, say hi for me! Regards, John
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Old 09-22-2018, 05:23 PM   #13
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
Maine
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After camping for 20+ years in our Boler 1300, we got a 91 Casita Freedom Deluxe and just returned from a 1200 mile, 11 day, road trip from Maine to NY.
The key to camping in one of these small eggs is consistency where everything is to go.
When you want to find it, it will always be in the same spot.
We had that down pat in the Boler but it is a brand new learning experience with the new trailer.
We find that most of the State Parks in the New England area all have Dump stations.
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Old 09-22-2018, 08:54 PM   #14
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yeah, Eileen's A-Z Casita Guide is a must-have for all new Casita owners. has wiring, plumbing diagrams, has complete detailed information on all the appliances, how to use them, how to maintain them, has towing tips, how to hitch, level, etc.

if you have a tablet (ipad, etc) I recommend saving the PDF on the tablet so you can refer to it on the fly without printing the 300 pages.
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:23 AM   #15
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Name: SamandLaurie
Trailer: Scamp 16' 2016
Virginia
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First trial as well

We have just purchased a 16í scamp and stayed local for the first time. My husband had experience driving and parking a small boat but I will be learning the art soon. Our focus is to practice and arrive In daylight. Lesson learned last week on our first outing was to choose a site that is as even as possible(at least to begin with). We learned the importance of having good leveling blocks and many! Fortunately we were camping with another couple who helped us learn the ins and outs of pumping and backing and leveling. Canít wait to camp more and meet others on the trail. If you know of any scamp/casita blogs or meet ups where people meet each other camping- please share. We live in Northern Virginia and staying local or close for a while until we retire in 3 years. (I apologize for the sideways picture, I didnít find a way to rotate them in the blog because they are right side up on my phone)

Happy scamping
Laurie and Sam
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:57 AM   #16
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Name: bill
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Pretty much every campground is going to have a dump station, so I wouldn't worry about that.

The other thing that is really handy is to consider setting up a dump station at your home. In our case, we have a sewer line cleanup that conveniently is right along our driveway, and on the side when we are pulling in where the dump valves are located. Our last trip, the last two nights were at a Walmart and at a Cracker Barrel. So we used our home dump station.
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Old 09-24-2018, 04:14 AM   #17
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
Maine
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Pretty much every campground is going to have a dump station, so I wouldn't worry about that.

The other thing that is really handy is to consider setting up a dump station at your home. In our case, we have a sewer line cleanup that conveniently is right along our driveway, and on the side when we are pulling in where the dump valves are located. Our last trip, the last two nights were at a Walmart and at a Cracker Barrel. So we used our home dump station.
Bill I too have a "Dump Station" at my house but I'm not comfortable traveling any distance with any fluids in any of my older campers tanks.

Case in point: 2 days into our last trip, I filled with potable water tanks in my 91 Casita, at the filling station at a state park and the bumpy road and weight of water getting back to the site caused the plastic tank to bust wide open. Thank God the tank was a retro-fit and installed under the camper and not in the side bay or the mess would have been enough for us to turn back from our 12 day trip.

I am now on my back putting fiberglass on the 18 inch crack in hope that this will hold.
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Old 09-24-2018, 10:52 AM   #18
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Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
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fiberglass on a polyethylene water tank? probably won't work as the resin won't bond to the soft PE of the water tank. water tanks need to be plastic-welded. I had the tank on our old tent trailer plastic-welded when it split, and it lasted years afterwards.
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:53 AM   #19
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
Maine
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
fiberglass on a polyethylene water tank? probably won't work as the resin won't bond to the soft PE of the water tank. water tanks need to be plastic-welded. I had the tank on our old tent trailer plastic-welded when it split, and it lasted years afterwards.
John the tank may be a hard plastic but the first coat seam to stick well to the tank. I just put second layer on and will fill fibers again tomorrow.
Thanks for heads up and I will not be too disappointed if the whole thing doesn't work and know why now.
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Old 09-24-2018, 01:27 PM   #20
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Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Oregon
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Yup, if it is poly that requires a plastic welding gun; have a shop I work with who builds custom poly tanks.
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