New Member with Older 13' Casita - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-22-2016, 09:02 AM   #1
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Name: TERESA
Trailer: 13' Casita
Florida
Posts: 9
New Member with Older 13' Casita

Hi all! I have a 1992, 13'ft Casita. It has been sitting in my backyard for a few years while I decided on a tow vehicle. I traded in my Toyota Corrolla for a Toyota Highlander 6cyl. I have been truly blessed with a neighbor that has been willing to do some cosmetic work on the inside as long as I provide the materials. I have only towed the Casita a few times, but have yet to stay in it. This year I have been sinking a lot of money into safety features (tires, lights) to get it roadworthy again. I have a lot of questions, especially about towing (sway bar or not? max speed limit), but suppose I should put that in a different thread. I plan on taking it out this summer from Florida to Colorado. My mom says I should do a small trip here locally before I go out to Colorado, so of course I will do that. I am taking time now to iron out anything I think needs to be worked on or added to the Casita for comfort. Any Girl Campers here in Florida or South East? Been looking into Sister on the Fly, but don't know if there are any members in Florida. I would love it if a sister-friend could take my hand through some of my anxiety. I sure am looking forward to this new adventure. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Teresa
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Old 03-22-2016, 10:06 AM   #2
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Name: Emily
Trailer: 2005 Scamp 16 Layout 7
Colorado
Posts: 456
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Hi Teresa! And welcome! We have a 13 foot Scamp and tow it with a Toyota Highlander, as well. We towed around 3000 miles last year and it towed like it wasn't even behind the car. We don't have a sway bar and we never drove over 65 miles per hour. Definitely make sure your axle, wheel bearings and tires are in good condition, too! Enjoy your adventures out to Colorado! It's a lovely, lovely place
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:45 AM   #3
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Name: Walter
Trailer: 2017 Escape 17B
SW Virginia
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Hi Teresa.
Make sure the trailer has working brakes. I towed a '95 13' Casita for a couple of years and never felt the need for an antisway bar.
I'll alert a couple of solo gal Casita campers to your post.
Also look on the rallies here to an upcoming rally in GA.

Walt
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:38 AM   #4
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Trailer: Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
Florida
Posts: 72
The anitsway bar is an added bit of safety, to dampen any sway before it becomes a disaster. By the time you are saying "I should have had that on the rig" it will be too late and you will be lucky to escape uninjured. It doesn't cost much, is easy to hook up and well worth it. All you need is some idiot to cut in front of you, or a deer or something to run out of the woods and it can be all over in a heartbeat.

Maximum speed for trailer tires is 65 mph, you will find you get better gas mpg when you go slower. I generally stick to about 62 mph.

There are some good places to camp in FL and getting out for a few nights is a good idea before taking off on a long trip. The more familiar you are with your trailer, all the things in it and towing the safer you will be and them ore you will enjoy your trip.

feel free to PM me.
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:26 AM   #5
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Name: Alex
Trailer: Casita Spirit Deluxe
Florida
Posts: 11
Hi Teresa

Here's some good advice: Always listen to Jean Clark she is very knowledgeable and capable.

I travel single but belong to an informal group which is mixed couples and singles. We all have or had Casitas so you could get a lot of info from anyone. We camp around Florida (not in summer) at intervals so PM me with your email if you would like to be included.

Sincerely, Alex
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Old 03-24-2016, 03:31 PM   #6
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Name: rita
Trailer: currently shopping
Massachusetts
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresa View Post
Hi all! I have a 1992, 13'ft Casita. It has been sitting in my backyard for a few years while I decided on a tow vehicle. I traded in my Toyota Corrolla for a Toyota Highlander 6cyl. I have been truly blessed with a neighbor that has been willing to do some cosmetic work on the inside as long as I provide the materials. I have only towed the Casita a few times, but have yet to stay in it. This year I have been sinking a lot of money into safety features (tires, lights) to get it roadworthy again. I have a lot of questions, especially about towing (sway bar or not? max speed limit), but suppose I should put that in a different thread. I plan on taking it out this summer from Florida to Colorado. My mom says I should do a small trip here locally before I go out to Colorado, so of course I will do that. I am taking time now to iron out anything I think needs to be worked on or added to the Casita for comfort. Any Girl Campers here in Florida or South East? Been looking into Sister on the Fly, but don't know if there are any members in Florida. I would love it if a sister-friend could take my hand through some of my anxiety. I sure am looking forward to this new adventure. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Teresa
Hi Teresa, I tow with a 07 Hylander 6 and I have towed big rigs and small rigs with this car since I have owned it and I love this car. I had electric brakes installed the day I bought it. I drive the mountains and you should really have them, No matter how small a camper you have behind you. I am looking for a 13 ft scamp right now as I want to sell my 07 Starcraft pop up camper which needs the electric brakes due to the size of it. Have fun, and don't worry about towing, it's a breeze and I am 72 and go alone all the time.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:10 PM   #7
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Name: Mitzi
Trailer: LilSnoozy 12/01/16, Tug 2012 Dodge Citadel
Florida
Posts: 406
Hi Teresa. Another Floridian. You may want to post your questions in General Chat. Not everyone checks the Hi, I am...part of the board in any forum. It's just the nature of the beast. (funny story- General Chat is the name on a different forum I frequent where the topics of the day are sex, religion, and politics- no holds barred- so it took me awhile to check out General Chat here.) But here its the main board for about anything not specifically covered in the other forums- not a freakfest at all..
I think there are links to female RVer groups over at www.rvtravel.com.
I would suggest an early summer trip to the Keys, which generally has the moderated climate with trade winds making it bearable. You may be able to stay comfie with fans and alcohol for sponge baths middle of the night (my trick when it;s too hot for me in the middle of the night) Or perhaps O'leno, and tube the Ichetucknee while you're there. I used to tent camp there with my Boy Scouts in May and my son , then my grandson, in July. Battery powered fans and the alcohol sponges helped me to get thru the nights then, but I can no longer tolerate heat- one reason why ANY camper I get will have AC.
Going to General Chat to ask about transmission coolers now...
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:37 PM   #8
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Name: Kenji
Trailer: Scamp
Arizona
Posts: 119
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The number one thing I would do for safety (besides re-packing the bearings on the trailer!) is to install an electric brake controller in your vehicle, and electric brakes on your trailer if it doesn't already have them. I love my Hopkins Insight brake control.
nSIGHTâ„¢ Flex-Mountâ„¢ Brake Control

You can find it on Amazon for a good price. It's great because you can put the manual override slider wherever it's easiest to reach. This is super important especially in the hills and mountains of CO. Being able to gently actuate the trailer brakes without hitting the vehicles main brakes during a sway event is the number one way to stop it. It's also a proportional brake controller rather than a cheap time based one. This means it will apply braking force that mirrors that of your tow vehicles. Rather than counting to ten or so and being at max brakes even when you are barely hitting the pedal.
You don't want the trailer stopping the car, that will thrash the electric drums and trailer tires in short order.

That aside, you should have no issue with your trailer/TV combo so long as the weight is distributed nicely. Always keep weight towards the front of the trailer as a basic rule.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:09 AM   #9
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Name: TERESA
Trailer: 13' Casita
Florida
Posts: 9
Hi Emily and thank you for being my first response. I have never used any forum before, so I'm still getting used to the system. Emily, is your Highlander a 6 or 8 cyl? Mine is a 6 cyl and everyone I have talked to says it should be fine towing it. Thank you for your advice about the sway bar. How about brakes on your 13'? I'm getting a lot of people telling me to get brakes. I didn't think I needed them, but will probably call dealer to see how much to put them in. All tires are new and they checked axel and wheel bearings and they're good to go. Thank you again.

Teresa
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:13 AM   #10
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Name: TERESA
Trailer: 13' Casita
Florida
Posts: 9
Walt, I'm assuming your 13' had trailer brakes? Did you tow for a while without the brakes and did you notice a big difference in handling? Thanks for the advice and telling the solo gals about me.
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:19 AM   #11
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Name: Emily
Trailer: 2005 Scamp 16 Layout 7
Colorado
Posts: 456
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresa View Post
Hi Emily and thank you for being my first response. I have never used any forum before, so I'm still getting used to the system. Emily, is your Highlander a 6 or 8 cyl? Mine is a 6 cyl and everyone I have talked to says it should be fine towing it.
Ours is a 6 cyl. It does have the tow package, which means (in our case) that it came with the wiring installed, heavier duty brakes and transmission cooling system. It will tow up to 5000 pounds. My understanding is without the tow package, you would be limited to 3000 pounds. I did JUST read, though, that Toyota is making the tow package standard on all 2016 models, which would be nice!

Edited to add:
Our 13 foot does NOT have brakes. We've not had any swaying, or issue stopping it, even driving through the Rocky Mountains. We tow at about 62 mph, give a good lead time for stopping, so we don't have to slam on the brakes. I don't see us installing trailer brakes, unless at some point we replace the axle, but our axle is new, so probably not

Edited again to add:
When driving through the mountains, we drive in a lower gear, which also helps keep from riding the tow vehicle brakes and gives a little more control over speed on curves and steep grades. We have had zero issue with braking and we towed about 3000 miles last year!
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:56 AM   #12
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Name: TERESA
Trailer: 13' Casita
Florida
Posts: 9
Thanks Rita. Well, if you are able to do it at 72, then I have no excuses. It's just like anything else, once you start doing it, you'll feel more confident, right? I am definitely going to look into brakes.
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Old 03-25-2016, 10:25 AM   #13
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Name: Walter
Trailer: 2017 Escape 17B
SW Virginia
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Teresa
My 13' did not have brakes. That never caused me any problems with the exception that I was careful to leave extra space from the vehicle in front on downhills. The downhill braking distance was clearly lengthened.

Walt
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