2012 Toyota Tacoma and Casita Spirit Deluxe - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-09-2012, 05:53 PM   #1
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Name: Karen
Trailer: Casita
California
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2012 Toyota Tacoma and Casita Spirit Deluxe

I just purchased a 1998 Casita Spirit Deluxe and am towing it with a 2012 Toyota Tacoma with factory installed tow package. We towed the trailer home (CA) from AZ this weekend without problems, however, after reading through these forums, I have the following questions:

Do I need to add a WDH?
and/or anti sway control or both? We prefer the safest side of safe..having just lived through a major accident with my previous Fiber Stream Trailer.

We have already installed a Tekonsha Brake controller using the factory harness and mounting the controller under the dash. This was an easy add and not all that much money to do.

Now the question of the WDH..do I need this? Does it make towing safer/easier/better with the Tacoma V6?

Also, our trailer came with a hitch receiver mounted to the rear bumper of our trailer. A notch was cut into the bottom of the bummer and the receiver was welded into place. I just bought a Reese Cargo Carrier that is 22 inches wide by 60 inches long, which I had planned to carry a large bin of things needed for camping in the trailer. Then I read a thread here about adding a receiver like this to carry bikes...I am thinking now I should take the carrier back.

Our trailer sits low. In fact at a gas station in AZ we pulled in got gas and could not get out without the bottom of the trailer jack hitting the pavement and jabbing in making going forward or back almost impossible without creating major damage. We solved that problem by having an additional hitch with us and switching out our 5 1/4 inch drop to a 4 inch drop.

When we got home..we could not get the trailer into our driveway as the lip is on an incline..not steep just up..the driveway itself is level. That problem was solved by taking the bottom plate off of the trailer jack and rolling up the trailer jack so that it is flush with the a frame. Even in doing this ..we got the trailer in but just barely. The trailer bumper almost hit the incline leave and inch of less..and the front of the trailer just barely made it...but it did.

Now I am worried about pulling into places with a lip and an incline no matter how steep or not. Is there any solution to this problem?

Thanks in advance to all you people with experience who will take the time to answer my newbie questions.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:08 PM   #2
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What is the tongue weight of your trailer? I believe the Deluxe has a front bath, so I'll guess the tongue weight is pretty high. So sway should be unlikely, but you probably have a fair bit of sag in the back of the Tacoma. If the tongue is under 400 lbs. my personal choice would be to go without WD, but YMMV.

If you choose to get something, you might look at the new Anderson No Sway Hitch. It has sway control built in with the weight distribution, plus I think it's the lightest and easiest to hook/unhook.

Does the trailer sit level? If it's lower at the front than the rear, you either want a different drop or else WD will change it some.

I've had happy results from a bolt on, side mount, swing-away jack. Never a worry about scraping it.

Yes, probably take back the cargo carrier. The back of the pickup will hold a lot, right?
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:35 PM   #3
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Flyby, hmmmmm, why does the Casita sit so low? Mine (07) sit's pretty high or at least high enough that I have yet to scrape. I think I would check the axel just to be safe!

I had an older Casita that sat pretty low, but the couple of times I pulled it I didn't have problems with it scraping either.


I pull with a 09 Tacoma tro off road 4 door and I don't have the w/d hitch, but do run with a sway bar. Haven't had problems towing with that set up. I have driven a couple of times without the sway bar on and I do notice a lil bit of difference. Just a tad though............


I totally agree with towing safe as possible! Glad to know there are others that do as well...........


I agree with Mike, you may need a different drop if the trailer sit's un-even. But I am still wondering why it sits so slow that it scrapes? Just dosen't seem right to me! Can you post a pic of it hitched up? That might help us help you.............


Welcome to the forums if I haven't done so as of yet. Glad you joined us..
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:20 PM   #4
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Name: Karen
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Thanks for your responses. I am attaching pics of the trailer. The lowest point on the bottom of the trailer a-frame is 9.18 inches from ground. We are towing with a 4 inch drop and trailer is pretty level..no noticeable tilt front or back.

The Tacoma has the TRD Package and has BF Goodrich Rugged Trail Tires..which are bigger than the ones on my previous Tacoma and this one sits up higher. The trailer does not seem to affect it..meaning there is very little drop from weight of trailer. It's a 1998 Casita Spirit Deluxe. Tongue weight, I think is 360 pounds

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Old 05-09-2012, 10:12 PM   #5
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Well it doesn't look that low.

I will try and get out and measure mine tomorrow and post it for you at least that will give you an idea. Do you have a pic of it hitched?


Looks like a nice trailer. Good find!
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:15 AM   #6
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Yes, it does look nice!

If all you're scraping is the jack, I would go with the pivoting side mount jack (about $25 or $30 at Harbor Freight) and that should solve it. But the next step probably would be to see about a different axle with more angle on the arms, or perhaps larger wheels/tires might be possible if you have enough room in the wheel wells as it is.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:29 AM   #7
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Hello,

I used to tow with a tacoma, I traded up to a Tundra just for more space and power. The casita frame and propane tank placement make it hard to have a WD Hitch. I looked into it while I had my Tacoma. It would have to be a custom instalation or the tanks moved and in my 01 tacoma they did not recommend a WD hitch.

We use a sway bar and have no problems due to the heavy tongue load of the Casita's.

For the height problem, we changed out our rims from 14" to 15" wheels. I called Casita service and asked if this could be done without a high lift axle. They said yes. Just give them your year and model and they are happy to advise you or send parts.

So I recommend a sway bar, and 15" rims and it will change things for you. Happy Camping
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:04 AM   #8
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Name: Bob Ruggles
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Can't speak for Casita but, when we took delivery of our Egg Camper, we were told "DO NOT" use a wdh with it.
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:23 PM   #9
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Name: george
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Missouri
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If it were mine, I would do like I do with all my trailers and tow vehicles: take it the scales and weigh it.

If you are dropping 300 pounds on the hitch, then you are probably removing approx 200 pounds off the front axle. A WD hitch will allow you to put that 200 pounds back on the steer axle.

A Tacoma probably has about 2300-2400 pounds sitting on the rear axle by itself. Adding 300 pounds of tongue weight, plus whatever "stuff" you throw in the bed of the truck, plus passenger (s) and stuff in the back seat means you are going to be very close to, if not over the rear axle weight rating. Lot's of folks will tell you, "aw that don't mean a thing". As you might guess, I disagree with that notion, but whatever, as the captain of that ship, the decision is yours.

Usually the "first thing you run out of" on these 1/2 ton trucks is payload ( rear axle capacity ). That is where weight distribution hitches come into play....they do exactly as the name implies....they re-distribute weight to the steer axle and the trailer axle.

So.....take that however you like, and do with it as you please, and I will bet money that most folks on this particular forum will tell you that you are a-ok to pull it as is. Good luck with it, happy camping, and it sure is a nice looking rig.

To your question, "does a WD hitch make it safer, easier, better ?".....the answer is yes to all three.
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Old 05-13-2012, 05:08 PM   #10
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Name: Karen
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Pictures of Trailer being Towed

First and formost, thanks to all who have responded to my questions..your advice is greatly appreciated.

I have taken some pictures of the trailer being towed after having changed the following items: installed brake controller inside truck that now automatically makes trailer brake when truck breaks. Replaced hitch went from 4 inch drop up to a 2 1/4 inch drop. This adjustment brought the trailer up to almost level..we are now 16 3/4 inches from top of ball to ground and trailer is just off level. Casita states it should be 16 inches from top of ball to ground.

We removed the bottom foot an attached piece of metal with a base that was on the bottom of the trailer jack to offset weight when not being towed. This allowed us to bring the base or stem of trailer jack up far enough so that nothing now touches the ground especially when going over parking lot lips.

On Monday, I am taking the trailer into Camping World to have the wheel bearings packed and get their free 43 point inspection, the fridge fixed and an anti-sway bar attachment installed onto our frame.

If you see anything that wrong with the attached pics..let me know. I want to be confident I am towing safely and correctly.

Thanks again for all your help.
Karen
Attached Thumbnails
Casita 5.jpg   Casita 4.jpg  

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Old 05-13-2012, 05:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmw photos View Post
If it were mine, I would do like I do with all my trailers and tow vehicles: take it the scales and weigh it.

If you are dropping 300 pounds on the hitch, then you are probably removing approx 200 pounds off the front axle. A WD hitch will allow you to put that 200 pounds back on the steer axle.
If we assume a 3' rear overhang and a 9.5' wheelbase, a 300 lb. tongue weight should take 31% of the 300 lbs off the front axle, or 93 lbs.
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:06 PM   #12
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Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
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RE: Camping World
Sorry to hear that you don't have an alternative to Camping World for repairs. I have found that their prices are always higher for any service and that they always find something that "Must" be fixed with their "Free" inspection. Personally I suggest looking for other sources for RV parts and repairs. Just my experience and opinion.....
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Old 05-13-2012, 06:08 PM   #13
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Name: george
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Magee View Post
If we assume a 3' rear overhang and a 9.5' wheelbase, a 300 lb. tongue weight should take 31% of the 300 lbs off the front axle, or 93 lbs.
Mike,
Your numbers would work if there is really 3 feet of overhang. My 2006 Nissan Frontier, which is nearly identical to a Tacoma in overall size has right at 5 feet of overhang ( measured with just a normal ball mount on there. It's a little more than that with the WD hitch head on ).

My rig, as weighed at the CAT scales last month, with right at 460 pounds of tongue weight was removing right at 300 pounds from the steer axle ( WD bars disconnected ). I have my BlueOx swaypro WD hitch set up to put that entire 300 pounds back onto the front axle.

Bottom line is: weight distribution hitches work. When it's raining, and I need all the control I can get, I want my front tires "planted".

"Everybody else's mileage may vary".

George

EDIT, ps, I should have pointed out that the Tacoma is the same WB as the Frontier, unless it's the long bed.
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Old 05-13-2012, 07:16 PM   #14
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Name: Karen
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What do you mean?

Mike and George what are you referring to..with 3 to 5 foot overhang..overhang from where to where or what to what? Please explain what you are discussing and how it matters.. to having or not having a WDH? I am completely baffled.
Thanks
Karen
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