17' Casita dlx towing query - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-19-2015, 02:42 PM   #1
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17' Casita dlx towing query

I am preparing to purchase my first trailer and would appreciate the observations of Casita owners. The trailer will be used in a range of terrains, including the Oregon high desert where roads can be rocky, uneven and steep. For a number of reasons I have decided to purchase a new unit, among which Im considering the 2015 Spirit 17 delux. I would prefer something shorter but am looking at the 17 because of the interior height. Casitas quotation form says that the 17 requires a tow rating of 5000 lbs which is above the 4700 lbs rating of my 4Runner V6. When I mentioned this to Casita, I was told the only reason for the 5000 lbs rating is that hitch weight will be 365-400 lbs, which a class II hitch cannot handle. According to Casita rep, we have lots and lots of customers that are pulling our 17ft. Deluxe models with 4 Runners and have no problems whatsoever.* We even have customers that are towing these with mini-vans and small SUV's that are rated for towing 3,500 lbs. What has been the experience of others? Any other suggestions will be welcome as well.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:04 PM   #2
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1) 365 to 400 Lbs tongue weight is unrealistic in my book .We own a 2013 Casita 17 ft Spirit deluxe and our tongue weight is closer to 430 Lbs . I would suggest you check " Trailer weights in the real world" on this website. 2) The Casita trailer itself may take rough roads but I am not sure the contents of your trailer will do as well. We are having the shock absorber mod installed at the GE & Ham rally in March. 3) We have the high rise axle with the 15" D rated tires ,which provides better ground clearance and would be helpful on logging / rough roads. 4) Casita offers a 25 gallon fresh water tank as an option for a reasonable price .
I would take Casita's or any trailer mfgs advice on a TV with a grain of salt.
Their goal is to sell trailers !!
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:17 PM   #3
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I agree with Steve. Our '96 Casita LD rides much better than our Uhaul, and still on normal roads and interstates clothes on hangers in the front closet will bounce off the rod. We also tow with a Ram 1500, a 2012, and it handles that trailer real nice. With a cap on the truck and a load in it the trailer does make the truck squat some. It's the old story of what you can do versus what you should do. I like towing with a vehicle that comfortably handles the trailer.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:58 PM   #4
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It seems that just about any travel trailer will bounce more than the tow vehicle, enough to sometimes knock contents around. Shocks should help greatly. Don't let hangers coming down and drawers opening stop you from having the trailer.

The 4Runner hitch should handle the 17'er tongue weight if you are reasonably careful to not let that weight get too high. If you start out by weighing the tongue as you load for travel, you will see what and what not to do. Water weighs a lot.

As for towing power, the V6 should get you around fine as long as you realize that you'll need to slow down and gear down on the long climbs. If you want to charge up every long grade at 65 mph, you'll want to get a big V8 or diesel pickup. If you were buying a boxy stick built trailer my advice would be a bit different, but the rounded shape and low profile of the Casita allows for much easier towing at speed.
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:48 PM   #5
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I tow my 17ft SD with a 2004 tacoma 4x4. It has the 3.4L v6 and it tows it fine. I also have 2 4runners but i haven't towed the casita with either of them yet. Several members on the casita forum are towing their 17ft casitas with 4runners. I see you mentioned that your 4runner is a v6, is it a 3.4 or 4.0?
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:12 PM   #6
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Hi Bill

For the past 2 years we have towed our 2008 17' Casita Freedom Deluxe with our 2008 Toyota 4Runner V6 through the Canadian Rockies and the Oregon coast. You won't have any troubles, I have never wished I had more power, the V6 has adequate power for legal and safe speed limits. I did install an aftermarket hitch because on the 08 V6 they used a different hitch than on the V8 version, by installing the aftermarket hitch it bolts to the side frame rails rather than just the rear crossmember and was rated for weight distribution hitch which I do use, not sure what your newer version has for a hitch.

We have just purchased a 19' Escape and I am confident the 4Runner will be an outstanding tow vehicle even with the 2 additional feet of length.

Hope this helps with your decision.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:05 PM   #7
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If you look here:
Trailer Weights in the Real World
you will see that the 17' Casita can get right up to the towing limit for your vehicle.
That said, regardless of positive reports out there (peeps tend to NOT report negative problems when towing overweight), towing that close to limit, especially if your TV has some miles on it, may not be the best idea.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:47 PM   #8
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I have towed our 2007 Casita SD with my old 96 Jeep 6 cyl. Cherokee. It worked fine and had a 3500 pound rating. It is a lot more fun though with our new Grand Cherokee with a 6 cylinder gas a engine. More power is nice.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:48 PM   #9
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want to take a guess at the tow-vehicle the boss uses for his 17SD (now actually a 19SD)... The back half is visible here.... Generator Security, Casita Add-ons.. The Perfect Casita by Orbital Machine Works
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:06 PM   #10
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I plan on towing an Escape 19' with a 2014 4Runner V6. One reason I'm purchasing a fiberglass TT is to aviod having a full sized V8 as my grocery getter. Mind you, I will be leaving my 2006 V8 tundra parked at home when we travel this summer. Your 4Runner is a true body on frame SUV with a more than capable engine to tow a Casita.
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:28 PM   #11
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Here we go again...
Towing ability isn't all about engine power. It's about stopping ability, suspension and frame strength, handling with an extra ton of weight behind you, etc and etc.


As has been said, When Joe does the wrong thing 50 times without problems, that still doesn't make it right for Mike.... etc.
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Here we go again...
Towing ability isn't all about engine power. It's about stopping ability, suspension and frame strength, handling with an extra ton of weight behind you, etc and etc.


As has been said, When Joe does the wrong thing 50 times without problems, that still doesn't make it right for Mike.... etc.
That's a trolling comment, eh? Where did anyone say it was all about engine power?
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Old 02-19-2015, 11:57 PM   #13
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The Casita 17s can be a bit heavy on the tongue. My SD17 loaded for travel has 364# on the tongue but I always have the 25 gal water tank full to counter some of it.
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Old 02-20-2015, 12:06 AM   #14
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Looking at the actual weights recorded on the trailer weights in The Real World thread I do not think Casita was kidding when they said they tend to be heavy on the tongue - keep in mind most of these trailers were weighed at a full service campground so its doubtful they were carrying much in the way of water in their tanks.

I do not think a V6 with a 4700lb tow capacity would have much trouble pulling any of these trailers assuming the tug also has a tongue weight capacity of 500lbs. :

ITEM_LENGTH_MAKE_____MODEL____AXLE__TONGUE__ __TOTAL
45___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______2260_____560__ __2820
51___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______2560_____380__ __2940
57___17_____Casita_____Spirit ______2660_____380_____3040
59___17_____Casita_____Spirit ______2740_____380_____3120
67___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______2860_____390__ __3250
72___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______2980_____300__ __3280
73___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______2900_____400__ __3300
80___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______3040_____310__ __3350 82___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______3000_____360__ __3360
83___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______2960_____400__ __3360
86___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______3020_____480__ __3400
87___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______2960_____440__ __3400
89___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______2980_____450__ __3430
90___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______2960_____470__ __3430
92___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______3140_____360__ __3500
93___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______3020_____480__ __3500
94___17_____Casita_____Spirit_______3000_____520__ __3520

Edit: Perhaps some of the heavier trailers but lighter on the tongue where indeed carrying water as Dave suggests he does in order to keep the tongue weight down.
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