Our First "Real" Camping Trip with our Casita! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-21-2016, 10:07 PM   #1
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Our First "Real" Camping Trip with our Casita!

Hi All!

Laura and I took our first REAL camping trip last week with the Casita! We left on Thursday, April 14th for the Townsend, TN KOA for the 9th Annual Eggscursion Rally on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We came back on Monday, April 18th. My brother and his wife attended the rally as well in their new ’16 Coleman 19DS.

Here are my random thoughts and comments:

1. Gosh packing the Casita and getting ready to go is a lot of work! I am sure we will get better with time.
2. The Borrego towed the Casita beautifully. I learned a great deal about how to use the transmission when going up/down hills.
3. Setting up is work, too, but fun!
4. The rally was tons of fun meeting all kinds of folks with egg campers (Casitas, Scamps, Escapes, etc.).
5. The Townsend KOA was outstanding; however, they pack you in tight. Given we were there to socialize at a rally, not a problem.
6. Meals and coffee taste amazing while camping. The only meal that we ate out was on the drive to Townsend. All meals were at our campsite except for one hiking picnic and one rally potluck. Eating out is fun, but not really on our agenda for this trip.
7. Slept great in the Casita. Laura’s purchase of a 4” memory foam pad with an additional pillow-top cover on top of the dinette cushions made for near perfect bed.
8. The weather was AMAZING. Each day was 70 to 78 degrees. The nights ranged from upper 30s to mid 40s. The camper was 52 degrees a couple of mornings, but the cube heater would have it 20 degrees warmer in just a few minutes. Good excuse to go back to bed for a few minutes.
9. The Great Smoky Mountain National Park is beautiful. I never get tired of going there. We drove and hiked around Cades Cove. We also hiked Chimney Tops. I did this hike 35 years ago when I was 18 during my spring break of my freshman year of college. I hiked all the way to the top. It looked steeper and scarier through my 53-year-old eyes. My brother and his wife made it to the top. Heck, it scared me to watch them. I think 21 years of parenting has made me cautious!!!
10. Bought a sewer hose extension to make sure that I would not repeat my performance of setting up the trailer too far from the sewer connection relative to my hose during our shakedown night a couple of weeks ago at our local KOA. Guess what happened when I set up? I needed about another two feet of hose, so I broke out my new extension hose only to find out that it did not fit with my older hose despite being the same brand. I am committed on my third trip to park the trailer first and foremost relative to the sewer connection!!! ☺
11. Packing up is work, too! And, a bit of a downer.
12. Unpacking after getting home is also work. Noticed the camper smelled like a campfire and we didn’t even have one, but we did enjoy other’s campfires.
13. Perhaps it is because I am new to camping and RVing, but “normal” daily activities that one does at home require a level of mindfulness and engagement in the moment while camping. I like this. Being in the moment of fixing breakfast, making coffee, taking a shower, etc. I like the focus on the task at hand.
14. As I have mentioned previously, the campground reminds me of what the American neighborhood should be!!!

Looking forward to our next trip next weekend to a KY state park about 2.5 hours away. Perhaps we will be a bit more efficient and effective with our packing, hitching, unhitching, setting up, breaking down, hitching up, unpacking, and unhitching!

Thanks to all for your support and camaraderie as Laura and I have joined the camping, RVing, Casita, and Egg Camper community(ies).

Take care,

Dean
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Old 04-22-2016, 12:19 AM   #2
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Good write up Dean. Just one question.....wasn't it in your first post that you said you were just doing research now for a trailer purchase in 10 years ?
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:08 AM   #3
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13. Perhaps it is because I am new to camping and RVing, but “normal” daily activities that one does at home require a level of mindfulness and engagement in the moment while camping. I like this. Being in the moment of fixing breakfast, making coffee, taking a shower, etc. I like the focus on the task at hand.
dean, i refer to that as "living in the now" and if it ever goes away i may give up camping...

p@
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Old 04-22-2016, 08:49 AM   #4
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Sounds like a great trip, Dean!

Hear you about the packing. It does get easier. It will never go away. Washing the trailer after sitting parked on jacks is my favorite part- like a dog let out of a cage to run free! Loading the bicycles is my least favorite part. But riding them in camp is lots of fun...

I backpacked a section of the Appalachian Trail in GSMNP with my brother while the rest of my family camped in the pop-up. We were both teenagers at the time: he was 14 and a freshman in HS; I was 18 and a freshman in college. One of our last trips as a family all together. Second night I woke up to a raccoon on my legs... Great memories!

Sounds like the Borrego is serving you well. It's funny- they were invisible to me until you got one. Now I see them fairly often. I was surprised at how compact they are- I thought they were more like a Sequoia, but they are actually about the same size as my Pilot.
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Old 04-22-2016, 09:59 AM   #5
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So fun to hear about your trip! It's funny how things in camp are different from home. I dislike cooking daily meals at home, but I LOVE cooking in camp. Perhaps because time slows down, we don't have anywhere to be and I can just enjoy the process.
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:33 AM   #6
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Congrats, Dean!
Although we still seem to learn something new on each trip, it does get easier. 😊

Since ours was apparently the first FGRV rig that you and Laura stepped into, we will
be looking forward to the day that we can actually step into your rig.

Best of luck and success in your upcoming adventures! 😊

Ray


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Old 04-22-2016, 01:16 PM   #7
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Name: carolyn
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First "real" camping

As long time tent campers, then to a pop-up, the Casita SD is SOOOOO much easier. No cooler with ice, no blowing up air mattresses, have a silverware drawer with all the cooking stuff we need! and we can keep the bed up and use underneath for clothes, eat and read at the dinette table, have our own bathroom! You learn to keep the camper always packed with the essentials and only need to throw in your food and clothes when you are ready to go. Keep the bikes and kayaks in the TV with their stuff. Extra tools are always in the TV too.
Enjoy your freedom!
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:54 PM   #8
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Loved your review, your sewer extension saga made me laugh out loud.
I hear you regarding the packing and unpacking we still don't seem to have a really easy system after a couple of years. Seems like long trips are fine but weekends are a lot of work.
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:55 PM   #9
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I enjoyed your write up. Thanks.
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Old 04-22-2016, 02:05 PM   #10
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Name: Lise
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Camping Philosophy

We love camping in our little 13ft fiberglass.

#1 The camp trip starts with the packing & getting ready for the road trip. Love that part! Seriously!#2 The road trip rocks! #3 We love unpacking all our awesome stuff & setting up our camp. #4 Then a beer celebrating our very cool camp. #5 Camping. #6 Packing up all our awesome stuff for the #7 Awesome road trip home.

We have it so together after many hundreds of trips that the only thing we have to do when we get home is empty the coolers & throw some dirty jeans in the wash.

Our philosophy is that camping is the combination of all these steps. Sometimes my back gets sore so we always have stuff on hand to take care of it.

We have friends who complain about the packing/unpacking part of the experience. We don't camp with them anymore. ha ha ha
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
Good write up Dean. Just one question.....wasn't it in your first post that you said you were just doing research now for a trailer purchase in 10 years ?
Hi Dave,

LOL! Guilty as charged. So glad that I realized the futility of waiting 10 years for a motorhome as a retirement plan and that I discovered small fiberglass egg campers as an immediate entry point in to RVing, camping, and travel.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by patrick crawford View Post
dean, i refer to that as "living in the now" and if it ever goes away i may give up camping...

p@
Patrick,

I like your phrase. Much of what I do at work in my professional life is thinking about or anticipating what might happen. Camping is so nice in terms slowing down time and activities and emphasizing the moment.

Thx,

Dean
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:31 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Sounds like a great trip, Dean!

Hear you about the packing. It does get easier. It will never go away. Washing the trailer after sitting parked on jacks is my favorite part- like a dog let out of a cage to run free! Loading the bicycles is my least favorite part. But riding them in camp is lots of fun...

I backpacked a section of the Appalachian Trail in GSMNP with my brother while the rest of my family camped in the pop-up. We were both teenagers at the time: he was 14 and a freshman in HS; I was 18 and a freshman in college. One of our last trips as a family all together. Second night I woke up to a raccoon on my legs... Great memories!

Sounds like the Borrego is serving you well. It's funny- they were invisible to me until you got one. Now I see them fairly often. I was surprised at how compact they are- I thought they were more like a Sequoia, but they are actually about the same size as my Pilot.
Hi Jon,

I am sure the packing/unpacking will get easier!

That looks like a great trip hiking a section of the AT with your brother. When I was 18 and I was camping with my buddies in the GSMNP, we literally would have skunks rubbing about against our stomaches when we were laying around the campfire at night. Not one of my brighter moments!

The Borrego is working out nicely. The size is just fine. In fact, Claire's '05 Pilot is an inch or two taller. I think the Pilot is more versatile in terms of all around usage and the Borrego is definitely more truck like (4 Runner-ish) rather than like the Highlander or Pilot. The non-tow gas mileage could be better, but for the price point, it is an outstanding tug with plenty of capacity.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:33 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by emij View Post
So fun to hear about your trip! It's funny how things in camp are different from home. I dislike cooking daily meals at home, but I LOVE cooking in camp. Perhaps because time slows down, we don't have anywhere to be and I can just enjoy the process.
Emily,

"Time slows down", I like it!!!

Take care,

Dean
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