WDH For Casita 16 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-07-2010, 09:09 AM   #1
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New tow vehicle this year. 2010 Ford Flex Limited with all wheel drive and EcoBoost twin turbo. Definitely a peppy bugger. I turned 60 last October and decided for once in my life I’d treat myself to the deluxe version. I work at Ford and it’s a lease. If it doesn’t work out I’ve at least one more lease/purchase before I retire.

I love the inside storage and better mileage. The F150 was great but protected storage was a challenge. I configured a Yakima box over the bed but there were still limitations.

Per the manual, max tow is 4500 pounds and max tongue weight is 450 pounds. All up, the trailer weighs a skosh under 3,000 pounds (remember, my camping motto: “Wretched Excess!”). Tongue weight last measured at 290 pounds.

However, anything over 200 pounds tongue weight and the Flex requires a weight distributing hitch.

The Casita 16 has a relatively short tongue. Most hitches would want the WD hanger right under the propane tanks. Casita says that when they adapt the trailer for a weight distributing hitch, there’s some welding going on. But I don’t have the details for what gets welded where.

I’m thinking the single arm http://www.etrailer.com/p-3205.htm or the light duty (600 tongue weight) http://www.etrailer.com/pc-wdrsc~66152.htm. Both allow the chain attachment closer to the ball (along the length of the bar rather than just at the end). The first would require some welding to allow the cross piece to sit level and would presumably use my existing side bar sway control. The second combines weight distribution and sway control (the bars’ bottom rub on a brake pad like material) allowing me to drop the side sway control but I couldn’t disable the sway control in wet driving.

Decisions, decisions…

Anyone have experience with either of these units. Experience with a Casita (or Scamp)16 would be extra appreciated.
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Old 02-07-2010, 06:25 PM   #2
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Decisions, decisions…

Anyone have experience with either of these units. Experience with a Casita (or Scamp)16 would be extra appreciated.
Steve,

I'm going to watch this with great interest. We're towing at 16' SD with a Subaru Outback 3.0. The gross is lower, but it's good for 250# tongue weight with the factory hitch, without WD. As a matter of fact, they don't recommend a WD hitch. We've upgraded to a Reese Class III, for which Reese still doesn't recommend a WD hitch; however, I'm eyeing the new Hensley Cub. It combines sway control and as much weight distribution as you want to dial in. They provide some sort of adaptor plate for the Casita. I think it's totally a bolt-on unit. It's also really expensive, and I want to get some more miles on this setup before taking such a leap. We've only towed about 500 miles with it, which was without the sway bar connected, and it seemed to tow fine. We'll see.

Now, back to lurking mode...

Parker
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Old 02-07-2010, 08:37 PM   #3
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We are towing a Casita 16 with a Rav4. The only thing I have added are airbag helper shocks. I did this to lift the RAV up 3" to level it. We have traveled over 3000 miles and found the Rav to be all we need. The towing weight loaded is 2600lbs.
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Tongue weight last measured at 290 pounds.

However, anything over 200 pounds tongue weight and the Flex requires a weight distributing hitch.

I’m thinking ... the light duty (600 tongue weight) http://www.etrailer.com/pc-wdrsc~66152.htm.
600 pounds is light duty? That's twice the leverage required in your case. Have you considered etrailer's 350 pound capacity trunnion WDH?
  • Does not require snap-up brackets
  • Works with any 2" receiver hitch
  • Designed for tongue weights 100 - 350 lbs
  • Maximum towing weight: 3,500 lbs
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:26 PM   #5
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600 pounds is light duty? That's twice the leverage required in your case. Have you considered etrailer's 350 pound capacity trunnion WDH?
  • Does not require snap-up brackets
  • Works with any 2" receiver hitch
  • Designed for tongue weights 100 - 350 lbs
  • Maximum towing weight: 3,500 lbs
Yes I did look at this unit. This would be a tidy route to go except...The problem is that the bar length means that it/they end right in the middle of the LPG tank location. There are two angle irons across the A frame that locate the tanks in a fore and aft position and would interfere with the slide to be mounted on the frame and the piece that attaches to the bar(s).

The Hensley looks promising and I like it but it's looking like something in the $1,000-$1500 range. Gimme a break!

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Old 02-08-2010, 01:29 PM   #6
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Steve,
I got lucky with my 16' Scamp, I was able to move my propane tanks forward so I could put my brackets on for my wdh.

Bill K

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Yes I did look at this unit. This would be a tidy route to go except...The problem is that the bar length means that it/they end right in the middle of the LPG tank location. There are two angle irons across the A frame that locate the tanks in a fore and aft position and would interfere with the slide to be mounted on the frame and the piece that attaches to the bar(s).

The Hensley looks promising and I like it but it's looking like something in the $1,000-$1500 range. Gimme a break!
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Old 02-08-2010, 02:29 PM   #7
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At the moment (check in with me later for up-to-date waffling & wavering) I'm leaning towards the single bar unit.
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:34 PM   #8
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At the moment ... I'm leaning towards the single bar unit.
Gina D. uses that one on her 17' Burro/Jeep Liberty combination.
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Old 02-09-2010, 11:44 AM   #9
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Yikes! That's a distressing photograph! And I'm glad you posted it.

My jack is center mounted in that hole up by the coupler. The single bar looks like it would run right through my jack. The brochures say the arm curves around a center jack but it doesn't look that way in the picture.
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Old 02-09-2010, 01:59 PM   #10
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Yikes! That's a distressing photograph! And I'm glad you posted it.

My jack is center mounted in that hole up by the coupler. The single bar looks like it would run right through my jack. The brochures say the arm curves around a center jack but it doesn't look that way in the picture.
Steve,

If you look at that bar in the picture in your first link it looks like it's bent enough to clear your jack.
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:11 PM   #11
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Fred's photo of his and Gina's hitches caused me some angst. I wanted to go the single bar route of Gina's WDH but according to the photo it would start a whole cascade of modifications. Specifically because it appears that the single bar interferes with the center jack. (Briefly, swing up jacks just don't fit on a Casita's short tongue.)

However, it finally struck me that the lift unit mechanism on Gina's unit is installed 180 degrees opposite to the WDH directions causing what appears to be interference with a center mounted jack.

The lifting mechanism doesn't lift the bar at the center point between the A-frame, but rather, offset towards the frame (blue line in sketch). If the lift unit is installed the other way around (red line) as it is in Gina's installation I can see I would have to shift all sorts of parts around.

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For those not familiar with Casitas, I also include a photo of my trailer tongue. The flat spot between the sloping frame brace and the LPG tank covers (a skosh under 26" from the center of the ball) isn't quite wide enough for the lift unit so I will have to build up the flat a little to get the required room. There's always something…

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At the moment I'm trying to find a good price locally. I'm willing to pay a little more in order to buy locally but there's a limit. I just don't know what the limit is.
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Old 03-17-2010, 06:04 PM   #12
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[quote]However, it finally struck me that [b]the lift unit mechanism on Gina's unit is installed 180 degrees opposite to the WDH directions causing what appears to be interference with a center mounted jack.

The lifting mechanism doesn't lift the bar at the center point between the A-frame, but rather, offset towards the frame [b](blue line in sketch).

Attachment 26842

I was sure that there was a bend in the spring arm to specifically bypass a center-mount jack.
I'm glad you could figure it out.
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