New Casita... Awning? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-09-2016, 11:46 AM   #1
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Casita - on order
Oklahoma
Posts: 5
New Casita... Awning?

Hello world.
Although not retired yet, my wife is and I am one bad project away from it. We like to hike, bike and kayak but are too old/lazy to tent camp.

We just ordered a Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe. Our pickup date is in October and we are still struggling with the awning option.

Pros: Shade, Ease of use, Self storing.
Cons: Cost, Ease of wind damage.

I will read up on discussions of this, but would love any opinions.

Our tow vehicle is a FWD Honda Pilot but we are looking at getting an F150 for bike/kayak storage and excess towing capacity.
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:30 PM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Hi, Mike! Welcome to the forum.

Just a heads up, since I also tow with a FWD '11 Pilot… First, I'm assuming yours is tow rated for 3500/350. There were several years in which they down-rated the FWD versions to something like 2000 or 2500 pounds. Know that tongue weights on Casita 17D's can get quite heavy, often over 400 pounds. That much may unload your front wheels enough to affect traction and steering, as well as overloading the rear suspension. You could use a light-duty WDH (which Honda doesn't recommend, although I'm aware of people that do). You'll probably be okay pulling a brand new, very lightly loaded trailer home from the factory, but for the long term, I'd look at that truck upgrade sooner rather than later.

As to awnings, tough decision. We just use a 10x10 freestanding awning because we usually set up our outdoor kitchen away from the trailer. I can totally understand the preference of many for an attached awning, though. An alternative to expensive factory-installed case awnings that I find appealing, though I have no personal experience, is a Shady Boy awning. I like the hard case, compact size, and flexible, wind-resistant frame. A few people on the forum have installed them and seem to be happy. Perhaps they will chime in.

Best wishes for many adventures with your new trailer!
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:35 PM   #3
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Name: Anne
Trailer: Escape 17 ft 2006 / 2005 Honda Pilot
Oregon
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I use mine more for keeping a dry area by the door when it rains. The sun seems to always be at the wrong angle to use for shade - although people do add clip on sun shade material to good effect. My main complaint is all the deploy/retract to avoid wind damage - rarely leave it out when I leave the trailer.

I find that I use a freestanding shade tent much more frequently - If it blows away, I've only lost a couple hundred bucks (check out paha que brand)

Anne H
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:46 PM   #4
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Three posts, three Pilot owners… what are the odds?

How do you like your 2016, Anne?
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Old 07-09-2016, 02:00 PM   #5
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
New York
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We bought a used Casita SD 17' two years ago. At the same time bought a 2012 Dodge Ram 1500 to tow it. New cab height cap on truck, carry two bikes in truck, and a whole lot of other stuff so it's loaded heavy, but works good to pull that trailer. With the Hemi engine it pulls into gas stations good too LOL. I believe that the awning Casita installs now does not fit tight against the trailer like ours does, so rain will still run down the side of the trailer. I've heard that some owners have come up with solutions to eliminate that issue, maybe using pool noodles or plastic gutter. There's a topic to search. Buying a F150 sounds like a good idea.
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Old 07-09-2016, 05:02 PM   #6
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Name: Anne
Trailer: Escape 17 ft 2006 / 2005 Honda Pilot
Oregon
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I like the Pilot a lot! - but it's a new model - so, I couldn't get the brake controller I wanted (no fit kit yet), had to swap out my yakima roof rack for Thule (same thing - no yakima fit kit for the new style rails).
Then I cracked the windshield with no ETA on Honda getting a replacement in stock.

Sigh. . .

Tows the 19 very well! Could have a tad more power for the mountains, but you can't have everything.

Anne H
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Old 07-09-2016, 06:02 PM   #7
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Trailer: '04 Scamp 19D, Tacoma 4.0L 4door, SB
ex VT, now CO
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I have no experience with an awning since our Scamp's previous owner lost it - Gone with the wind.
However, we don't miss it. A few times we moved our lawn chairs behind the Scamp to sit in the shade. I doubt it is worth the $900 (Scamp option). There has been a long thread here on various screen houses, try to search for it.
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Old 07-09-2016, 09:03 PM   #8
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Casita - on order
Oklahoma
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Thank you for all of the input.

Our Pilot is a 2009 and has the 3500/350 tow rating. We typically drive the wheels off of our vehicles and this car is only at 100K. This trailer may turn us into a 3 car family.

We are leaning towards no awning, but have time to waiver back and forth a few times.

Looking forward to seeing where this trailer leads us.
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Old 07-10-2016, 04:38 AM   #9
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Name: Bryan
Trailer: Casita "Cozy-Casa"
Central Virginia
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Some other options are "bag" awnings and "rope and pole" awnings. I custom did a type of "rope and pole" awning. If I were to do it again I would use rip stop nylon instead of indoor/outdoor fabric. The cost is not that great - a couple $10 extendable camping tarp poles from WallyWorld, some rope, a couple 18" lag bolts to secure to the ground, vinyl "rope" or "welt" from a sailboat supply shop, etc.
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Old 07-10-2016, 05:29 AM   #10
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Name: p@
Trailer: Casita
South Carolina
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there's the cost of the factory awning and the possible damage to the trailer should a serious wind come along. the main reason i avoided the awning was adding that much weight to the already heavy side of the trailer up high. i have a bag awning from busdepot.com (it's designed for a vw camper van). less than 200 bucks or so and packs up very small (fits into a 6" plastic fence post mounted to the rear bumper). it is a bit of a chore to set up solo but, with 2 it's about like erecting a big tent.
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Old 07-10-2016, 08:29 AM   #11
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Name: Wayne
Trailer: Casita
Connecticut
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Awning

Hey Mike,
We have an awning on our Spirit Deluxe. My wife and I are happy with our decision, we are also very aware of the potential problems and act accordingly. If we leave the campsite and there is ANY chance of unsettled weather, it gets retracted. It's definitely a personal decision, if I had to do it all over again I might go with the clam, and getting the awning off of the Casita would be an improvement visually in my opinion. In general if there is option you 're debating whether to get or not, I would say go for it. Most of us are planning on keeping our trailers a long time and fortunately they last a long time and it's easier and more convenient to have it done while in production. Hope that helps. Peace
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:17 AM   #12
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Trailer: Casita
California
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Get the factory awning!
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:22 AM   #13
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Name: Tom and Stephanie
Trailer: Casita 17' Freedom Deluxe
Wisconsin
Posts: 75
To Awn or not to Awn

We bought a 17' Freedom Deluxe with an awning this year. I'm not sure that I would buy that awning again. It stores easy, unfolds easy, and from all that is written, flies away easily and is not all that water proof. The free standing, 45 second to erect CLAM, medium size, screen room with optional walls was the hands down favorite at a recent egg shell rally in Door County, WI, that had about 50 campers.

Check out Amazon for CLAM screen rooms and You Tube for instructions on how it sets up. Having a "no seeum" screen and being able to leave it set up at night or when you are absent makes it very appealing and much better than the attached awning.

Choose wisely!
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Old 07-10-2016, 09:46 AM   #14
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Name: Thomas
Trailer: 2016 ,17ft Spirt deluxe Casita.
Florida
Posts: 20
I have used my awning and find that it is invaluable for shade and also for rain protection. I usually only extend it about 3 ft and use the body supports and that is all that is needed to shelter the opened screen door from rain. I only put it out all the way once in a while.
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