Hi from CA - Fiberglass RV



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Old 04-27-2019, 07:52 AM   #1
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Smile Hi from CA

Hi all, I'm new here although I have been looking and reading all the comments for a while. I am looking for a used Casita or Scamp to pull behind my 2017 Kia Sorento 6cyl all wheel drive. We got the car before my husband passed last Aug. Now I'm looking for something to pull behind it. We did a LOT of RVing over the years, everything from tents, VW campers (3), standard trailers and (2) 5th wheels. I still have our Ram 2500 diesel, six speed but not sure I will keep it as it is pricey to maintain. Over the years after his retirement we did a lot of volunteering, camp hosting, and our last job was working at a Fish Hatchery in Utah for 5 years.

I will probably sell this place and am thinking of full timing with my two Jack Russell's and do some traveling around and revisit some of our favorite places. My sister as expressed interest in being able to go along sometimes.

Have a few questions if I may.


1. How much will a 17 ft Casita weigh with AC, Propane tanks, batteries, etc. I can find the weights but they are always dry weights. Not much about weights with all options?


2. Do you feel that my KIa will tow a Casita with all options plus a little personal "stuff"? Do you think I should put on a trans cooler. Oh, the car did not come with the tow package but I did have a hitch installed a couple months ago.


3. Do these trailers all have ele brakes or is that an option? Also do you feel an upgrade to the heavier axle and larger tires is the better way to go?



I have a couple feelers out on a couple Casita's but as of yet have not heard back. Can't wait to get "back on the road again". I'm sure I will be on here a lot and also learn a lot from the folks. My husband and I did all our own work on the various rv's but not sure I want to tackle a bearing job on my own.
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:39 AM   #2
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Welcome, Georgia!

I believe the Sorento has a maximum tow rating of 5000#. Does yours have everything needed for that rating? What’s in the “tow package”? Sometimes it’s just the hitch and wiring, which are easily added. Trailer brakes are required in CA, so yes, you’ll want them and most 16-17’ trailer will have them. You’ll need to have a brake controller added to your vehicle.

The loaded weight of a Casita 17D is about 3000-3200#, so you’re good there. The tongue weight tends to be pretty heavy- typically north of 400#- which can cause sagging of the rear suspension on some crossovers. A weight distributing hitch might correct that, but they’re heavy, somewhat cumbersome to use, and some crossovers do not recommend using them.

If it were me, I’d look for a 16’ Casita or Scamp, both of which are lighter on the tongue and a better fit for your vehicle. A smaller bed is the main difference, and that won’t matter when traveling solo.

See the thread “Trailer Weights in the Real World” in the General Chat section for good information on loaded weights of various makes and models. Post #297 links to a spreadsheet you may find useful.
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Old 04-27-2019, 04:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. 400lbs, wow that is heavy. Is that with one tank and one battery or two of each? I think I would just do one of each until I figure out my usage.
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Old 04-27-2019, 04:32 PM   #4
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That’s with the standard two tanks. Single battery is in a compartment at the back.
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Old 04-27-2019, 04:59 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply. Guess I missed the part about the battery being in the back. That still seems heavy for hitch weight. Seems the Scamp is lighter on the hitch weight. May have to look at them a little more. I have only see one anywhere near to my location and that was sometime back. will have to do some checking and see if it is still there.

I'm concerned about that much weight on the rear end of the car. I suppose I could always beef up the shocks some. Will have to check on that also. Or maybe I'm over thinking all of this. Or maybe I should just go with the Ram diesel 2500, would not be a problem there, that thing will pull stumps.
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Georgia H View Post
That still seems heavy for hitch weight.

I'm concerned about that much weight on the rear end of the car. I suppose I could always beef up the shocks some. Will have to check on that also. Or maybe I'm over thinking all of this. Or maybe I should just go with the Ram diesel 2500, would not be a problem there, that thing will pull stumps.
Welcome to the forum Georgia. The axles on the 17' Casitas are a bit farther to the rear making the hitch heavier than the 16s. One plus though is that extra weight makes them less likely to sway from how you load items inside. Your Ram is kind of overkill but will work fine. If you happen to see all the different tugs folks use for 17s, it's a broad brush of makes & models. Your first choice may just be great.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:12 AM   #7
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Welcome Georgia! Have fun in your search for your camper!
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:29 AM   #8
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Thanks folks for the welcome. I think this forum is great and there are a lot of nice folks out there and very helpful. I can spend hours on here reading all the different opinions and how to's. This will be fun.
Yes, the Dodge will be overkill and I would rather use the car because that is what we bought it for and what we could afford. Now I have to just make the right decision.



Does any one think that by beefing up the shocks, will help any? Also, I was under the impression that there was just a 17 ft trailer and then the 13 ft trailer (Casita). The measurement from tip of hitch to rear bumper. Or is it box size?
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:57 AM   #9
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All molded trailers are measured tongue to bumper, total length. Cabin size is usually about 3' less.

Casita discontinued their 13' model (10' cabin) several years ago. They now make a 16' model (13' cabin) and a 17' model (14' cabin). Unfortunately the website only shows the 17' model because that's far and away their most popular. The 16' model is available in the same basic floorplans (except the Independence twin bed model). The rear dinette/bed and front bath are a little smaller. The 16' is an older design: curved door, dropped floor in center aisle, shorter interior height, solid rear window, A/C mounted in the front corner rather than on the roof...

Air bags are one way to beef up the rear suspension. Don't know if they're available for your vehicle. Unlike a weight distributing hitch (WDH), they leave all the tongue weight on the rear suspension. A WDH evens out the tongue weight by transferring some of it to the front wheels and some to the trailer axle. It tends to reduce some of the up-and-down (porpoising) motions you may experience with a heavy hitch weight.
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Old 04-28-2019, 10:24 AM   #10
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Thanks for the clarification. That is a big help. Air Bags, don't know why I didn't think of that, we have air bags on the truck. I will have to see if that is an option that might work, if they even have those for this car.
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Old 04-28-2019, 09:14 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Georgia H View Post
Thanks for the info. 400lbs, wow that is heavy. Is that with one tank and one battery or two of each? I think I would just do one of each until I figure out my usage.
Not really. Typical tongue weight recommendation is 13%, some give a range of 10% to 15%. Too little tongue weight and you can get trailer sway.

Check out the listing of "weights in the real world". Manufacturer weights tend to be very optimistic, and as you have noted, don't include any options. In the case of Scamp, almost everything is an option.

And if you are looking at used units, I would not believe the weight figures from a seller unless they actually weighed their trailer. In the end, very few ever do it. So instead, some will just rattle off what they have heard from someone else, or a dry weight from the manufacturer.

Don't overlook new either. Molded FG trailers hold their value extremely well. So a new one will not cost you much over a late model used one.


Trailer Weights in the Real World
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:37 AM   #12
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Georgia, I am looking at the owner's manual for the 2017 Kia Sorento. Despite a 5,000 lbs maximum tow capacity, the maximum tongue weight for the V6 is listed as 350 lbs. Looking through the "real trailer weights," it looks like you could easily stay under that with a Scamp 16 or Casita 16; a Casita 17 or a Escape 17 would be doable but you would have to load properly.

Because you'll be traveling solo, you'll have cargo capacity to spare and have the option to keep more of your "stuff" in the cargo area of the Kia. That has downsides, but it could keep some weight out of the trailer.

The "tow package" appears to be nothing more than a hitch--at least for the 2019 model. V6 models may already come with the transmission cooler.
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We're in the market! Max budget is $15k cash. Looking for a used Bigfoot 17/17.5 (any layout), or Escape 17B within our budget. Also interested in a Casita 17 if it's within a few hours of Chicago.
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Old 04-29-2019, 09:17 AM   #13
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Hi thanks for the info. I would and have been looking at the Casita Independence with the twin beds since my sister has expressed a desire to go camping sometime. Don't like the idea of having to crawl over each other in case of having to get up at night. Can't tell you how often I changed my mind from one day to the next. The only Independence I have found is in Carson City which is about 350 miles from me, I have not heard back on my inquiry. Found a couple over in AZ but again quite a distance away, it would be an over night trip for sure. Seems to be a couple in OR but that is too far away.

I have been looking at the possibility of air bags for the 17' Kia but can't seem to find any. Etrailer had a set but also had a disclaimer saying they were not guaranteed to fit. Most other places did not list any. I can't find any heavy duty shocks either. Maybe the car is still to new for most after market "stuff". I have not looked under the car so don't really know the set up under there. I may contact the guy that installed the hitch and wiring and see what or if he can find something. If I go with the "Indy" I'm thinking new and that way I can put on a few things and leave off others. I would really like to have a solar panel. We had four on our 32 ft 5th wheel and could do just about anything we wanted except the AC. I'm sold on them to say the least. So, that is what I'm thinking on today, tomorrow may change, maybe I'm trying to over think this whole thing.
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:13 PM   #14
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‘10 Santa Fe

I have a 2010 Santa Fe, older, but the Hyundai version of the Kia. I’d caution against using it as a primary tow vehicle. We do tow around town with it, but everything on the car just isnt very heavy duty to deal with the added weight and stress. Transmission, breaks, shocks, etc. you’ll begin wearing things out quickly. So just depends on how long you usually keep a car.

We drive from CA to WI and back every year with 2 humans, 2dogs and stuff. In the high winds through WY and Neb it doesn’t handle as well as a heavier vehicle and while we would like to use it for a casita, we’ve held off. We’re planning to get something a little heavier duty (my old Ford Explorer would have been perfect). It depends on your driving style too and the speed and handling you expect.
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