Howdy—Still Looking in the New England Desert! - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV

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Old 05-12-2016, 09:30 PM   #15
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David B.'s Avatar
Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Posts: 1,296
Mr Lynn, congratulations on your casita purchase. You now can change your trailer information from looking, to Casita owner. The brake drums probably have some surface rust on them, so setting the gain on a low setting at first will probably get the brakes working, or stay with your original idea of using 0 setting until you get home to take things apart for inspection and wheel bearing servicing. Happy Trails and start making memories.
Remember that fellow forum family members love to see pictures.
Dave & Paula

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Old 05-12-2016, 09:34 PM   #16
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Name: Charlie Y
Trailer: Escape 21 - Felicity
Posts: 976
Originally Posted by Mr Lynn View Post
OK, here's the news:


We had been looking at stick-built campers. The last was just yesterday, an Idea i15Q, about the size of a Casita 17, with a similar layout (permanent bed instead of table/bed, and two-person side dinette). This was a previous-year model that had been sitting a year, and it smelled like it. It was also remarkably junky inside; the dinette table wobbled, the bench seats were too short, and the paneling looked like it would fall off at any moment. But once my wife said the size was OK, then it was obvious: we wanted a Casita.

And, as luck would have it, I had been corresponding with the owners of a 2013 Casita Spirit 17 in New Hampshire, only an hour and a half from here. This charming couple had advertised only on Craig's List in NH, which I had seen only by extending my search beyond the Boston area, but I got in first. So today we were able to drive up and buy this pristine Casita; looks like new, inside and out. The owner says he has had six RV trailers over the years, and this was by far the best built of any of them. But they're probably going to rental cabins, so they decided to sell the Casita, which they bought new in Texas three years ago.

What I like most about the Casita is, after looking a several stick-built campers, how bright and cheerful it seems inside, what with the light wood (the commercial folks seemed to be enthralled with dark wood), white fiberglass cabinets, and the big, sunny windows). It just makes a compact trailer seem more open and welcoming.

I do have some concerns about the running gear. They had not rotated the tires, nor repacked the bearings, and the owner did not know that the trailer had electric brakes (!). He was towing with a medium 6-cylinder pickup, with no brake controlller, and says he never had a problem going up mountains, or coming down.

My 2013 Ford Expedition has a brake controller. My concern is: what are those brakes going to do when I connect the 7-wire plug and start driving (it's still in NH; I have to get a tag tomorrow)? Chances are the drums are quite rusted—and the shoes? They haven't been used in three years.

My inclination is to set the trailer brake gain to -0- until I can get it home and pull off a wheel and look at the brakes. Or maybe have someone do it. If the previous owner had no problem with a smaller vehicle, I'd assume I won't either—but you know what they say about assumptions. . .

Advice welcome.

/Mr Lynn
I would stop at a shop that does brake jobs and have them pull a wheel to look at the brakes.Be vigilant and do NOT let them put a jack underneath the axle; use the frame right behind the wheels.

Charlie Y

Don't drill holes, try custom storage you design:
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:41 PM   #17
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
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Nice going!!! Congratulations!
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:45 PM   #18
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Name: kootenai girl
Trailer: 2005 Casita Spirit 17
British Columbia
Posts: 1,260
Congratulations, how exciting. Make sure you post pictures once you have picked it up.
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Old 05-12-2016, 10:47 PM   #19
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Name: Cathy
Trailer: Escape 19' sold, 21' August 2015
Posts: 684
Congrats on the big find! May you have many wonderful journeys in it.
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:16 AM   #20
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Name: Walter
Trailer: 2002 BigFoot 17'
SW Virginia
Posts: 829
If I had that situation I would be cautious but not be too worried about all that. With only three years on them the tires should be fine if they still have good tread and have not sat unmoved for a long period. I assume it has a spare in case one of them should go.
I would hook up the brakes and just test and check them and the bearings. Go slow and stop periodically to see if the hubs/wheels/tires are over heating.

A more cautious approach would be to arrange for a garage near the owner to check it all out before you head home. Since you are only an hour and a half away it should be possible to take care of it all in the same day.
Congratulations on your find. You have a lot of fun ahead of you and I hope to see you down the road.

Past owner of 1995 13' Casita, 1994 16' Casita, 2012 Parkliner.
Current owner of 2002 17' Bigfoot
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:57 AM   #21
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
Posts: 3,703
That Casita will surely have the EZ lube axle, a grease fitting under a rubber cap. Do some research on how that works. I would tow it home, testing the brakes on the way, and pull the hubs when you get home and inspect it all. I recently replaced the brake assemblies on our '96 Casita because of rust, wear, and adjusters seized. You can buy the whole assembly, backing plate with shoes and all the parts. Price depends on if you get original Dexter parts or aftermarket
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:05 AM   #22
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Name: Cindy
Trailer: 1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud
Posts: 2,404
Don't trust 3 year old tires. Perhaps it was the brand on our VT, but one of our 3 year old tires blew last year on our way to FL. Cover yourself. Make sure the spare is good.

1988 Bigfoot Silver Cloud, "The Egg Carton"
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:28 AM   #23
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Name: Emily
Trailer: Scamp
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:49 AM   #24
Name: Carrie
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 52
So glad you found what you really wanted! (And let me know if you find reasonable service in the Boston area. We decided to just forget about putting brakes on our Scamp 13 unless we can do it in Minnesota because the quotes we were getting here were ridiculous.)
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Old 05-13-2016, 09:19 AM   #25
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Name: Patrick
Trailer: R-Vision Trail Lite
New York
Posts: 576
A few thoughts...Tires...if the original owner covered the tires they should be fine. Age is always a concern as UV damage compounds over time. If they were covered they should be fine...inspect for cracks in rubber side walls and between the threads. I'm not a fan of what some call EZ Lube fittings as it is too easy to pump lube greese into the brakes (not good).

The brakes: use your controller to test the brakes the first time you roll. You might hear some squeaking as any surface rust is scuffed off the drums.

After purchasing any used trailer have it inspected (tires, bearings, and brakes) at an RV dealership. I suggest an RV dealership because all too often the local auto repair shop uses the wrong parts. Best example of this is using the wrong wheel bearing seals and that caused you to leak bearing greese (not a good thing). Because your unit has had little use and is almost new the other items like appliances, water heater, air conditioner and water pump should be fine (I assume you tested them prior to purchase).

Good Luck and Happy Camping.
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:53 AM   #26
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Name: Jaye
Trailer: Scamp
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Happy Camping!
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see my past projects here:
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Old 05-13-2016, 04:17 PM   #27
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
Posts: 248
Got it home with no problems, except interminable rush-hour traffic on I-495.

Brake controller recognizes brakes; I set gain to -0- so as not to even actuate them until I've had a chance to look and experiment next week.

Tows well, and looks great. Spare tire has been covered and never used. But two side tires seem good (no cracks or rot, good tread). I may rotate them, though then I'll have one much newer on one side. Not really a problem for a trailer, I guess. . .

/Mr Lynn

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Old 05-13-2016, 04:24 PM   #28
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Name: Glenn
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
British Columbia
Posts: 3,420
Escape advises to rotate tires on the tandem axle trailers front to back, not side to side. So, I don't think you want to rotate, or it's best to investigate further.

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