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Old 06-21-2015, 05:45 PM   #1
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Name: Van
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Hi

I am a moderately experienced camper (tents, larger travel trailer and currently an older pop-up) who is looking at lighter campers. I joined this forum to learn more.
Our pop-up is more trouble than its worth and we are looking to go either light travel trailer or something else. I have a paid for, low mileage honda ridgeline so a fiberglass RV makes a lot of sense. If money was no issue (but it is) I guess I would prefer a truck camper. A 17' casita or similar however will allow more sleepers and i still have several kids at home.

Look to learn for you all.
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Old 06-21-2015, 07:48 PM   #2
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Welcome Van. To give you a good idea as to who light or not light you can expect the various brands of fiberglass trailers to weigh take a look at the thread Trailer Weights in The Real World.
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:52 PM   #3
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Welcome to FGRV, Van!

Surprisingly, most 17' Casitas can only sleep three and some only two. Although in theory they can sleep up to six (by giving up the side dinette and front bath for bunks), they are almost never ordered in that configuration.

How many berths do you need and are you wanting a bathroom?
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:28 AM   #4
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Jon, I am willing to give up the bathroom. I think 4 (or 5 depending on which kids decide to go) is the number I need to sleep. From what I read almost everyone gets the deluxe version with the bathroom. I am leaning towards the 17' spirit standard with a number of options. I would like a cassette toilet and just use campground showers. At that size and sleeping that many i realize I cannot have it all.
Because of this board I realize there are some bigger options like the Escape 19' but while I thought driving to Rice, TX would be kind of far, British Columbia adds a whole new dimension to "road trip".
Carol, thank you for that list. I know all camper weights are not real. I am surprised that some Casitas get close to 4000! My truck tow rating is 5000 with a class 3 hitch. I sure want to leave a good bit of room for cargo/family.
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Old 06-22-2015, 07:51 AM   #5
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Makes sense, Van. If you are planning to order a new one, then a 17' Spirit Standard can sleep 5-6 and is a reasonable choice. As it seems like you've done your homework, you've probably realized that 4 is the magic number for FG eggs- there aren't too many options with 5 or more bunks.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:01 AM   #6
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Jon-this site has helped a lot already. As I looked I finally realized there are almost no units that are not listed as deluxe. That was an eye-opener.

The fact that there are not a lot of standards out there means that almost everyone must really want the full bath option. That scares me a little in terms of re-sale. But I have never been one to put re-sale/trade in value high on my priority list. Functionality for me and my family is the reason to buy. I still think re-sale of a standard will be better than re-sale of most non-fiberglass models or pop-ups that really lose their value quickly.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:36 AM   #7
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I'm rereading your original post, and it sounds like the kids are older and may not be part of the camping picture for much longer. Am I close? If so, maybe you should think in terms of what you will want to use after they have flown the nest. I don't know what style of camping/travel you do, but perhaps a couple of them could set up a small tent outside. I assume they're old enough to put it up and take it down themselves, so no extra work for you. That would open up a lot more options in trailers. Just a thought...

When I was a teenager, our family had a tent trailer with plenty of beds for all of us, but I preferred to sleep in my own small tent. It was an independence thing, and my parents encouraged it. My own two daughters are still preteens, but sometimes (depending on where we are camping) they sleep in their own tent. At their age, they enjoy arranging and "decorating" their own space, and I do have to help with set-up and take-down, but my wife and I enjoy privacy in the trailer.
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Old 06-22-2015, 08:55 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forum, Van. Whether you decide to go with a unit with a bathroom or not, or with a new unit or a used one, all FG trailers tend to hold their value well. Like you, we've always put our own needs first over re-sale value. We don't discount re-sale value, but it's seems silly to get something you don't want just because sometime down the road you might want to sell the unit. Friends of ours have the Escape 19. It has a queen size bed, full bath and a dinette that converts to a double bed. Escape and most of the FG manufacturers will deliver anywhere in the US. Are you looking for a new or a used unit? Knowing your budget will help forum members make suggestions.

Also, we tow our Bigfoot, which weighs in around 3,000 lbs., with a Ridgeline and love the way the truck handles. Some manufacturers recommend using a weight distributing hitch with trailers of a certain size. I don't know about your year/model of Ridgeline, but our owner's manual says to NOT use a WDH. We do use a sway bar for peace of mind.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:08 AM   #9
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Jon-yes we have to bring a tent if the entire family comes (5 kids) but the youngest is now an 11th grader and typically one kid does not care for camping trips. As kids go to college there will be more times with just my wife and I. Unfortunately she may replace taking kids with taking our dogs Our last trip was a rain soaked one and needless to say our pop-up was less than ideal.

Kathy-good to hear the ridgeline works well. It certainly is more than enough for our older pop-up. We have a 2010 rtl and it is in great shape. I do think I would get a sway bar. I was wondering about We are looking at new or used, but I am leaning towards new. I have only bought used before and I am never able to get everything to work right. I think our upper price limit would be about that of a new casita with most options, but my wife always prefers lower prices over higher. Our older pop-up has become almost a tent on wheels. Only the AC and the stove work-the refrig is just a storage container.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:54 AM   #10
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Van, your kids aren't just older, they're adults! Knowing that, you may want to inquire with Casita about the weight limit of the upper bunks. The bunk on my Scamp (which as far as I know is constructed the same way as Casita) is limited to about 120#.
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Old 06-27-2015, 09:15 AM   #11
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Van, have you seen this one?

2003 Casita 16 Spirit Travel Trailer | Valparaiso, IN | Fiberglass RV's For Sale

Price seems suspiciously low, so I'd be cautious, though the fiberglass-rv-4sale site does a pretty good job of flagging outright scams.
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