Newbie; Offroading? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-10-2013, 02:19 PM   #1
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Name: Pete
Trailer: In the market
California
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Newbie; Offroading?

Hi All,

New to the site, but been lurking around for a while. Didn't know which thread was appropriate for my questions so figure it wouldn't hurt to start here

I'm thinking of getting a trailer something like a Casita 16/17 or an Escape. Will tow it with my 95' landcruiser so weight is not a concern. I do go offroading and I'm wondering if anyone here has done so with either? I know these are not built for "extreme" condition, but will use it more of a base camp while driving through light trails and fire roads. Would lifting either change the center of gravity as well?

Tried the search function and didn't really find my answers.

Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.

thank you

Pete
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:39 PM   #2
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Name: Terry
Trailer: 1996 Casita Freedom Deluxe 17 ft
Colorado
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Pete, My Casita has gone on lots of 4WD roads with few problems. I have bent my stairs a couple times but that was in some pretty extreme situations. I tow with a Ford Escape and my FT will generally go anywhere the TV will go. Lifting would probably not change the center of gravity too much as long as you didn't go overboard. Casita offers a lift option that I believe is about 4 inches. The great thing about having a trailer is that you can leave it in the places that are easier to get to and then explore to your heart's content.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:40 PM   #3
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Name: Doug
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It's not a subject I'm familiar with, but I know some Escape's have an optional high-rise axle for traversing rougher roads.
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Old 04-10-2013, 03:27 PM   #4
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Name: Dave & Paula Brown
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Arizona
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I have a 1990 13' Scamp. I had to replace the axle because of age. I went with a flexi-ride axle because I can raise or lower the trailer by just removing a pinch bolt and adjusting the control arms on the splined axle. I use a 6" lift on my Jeep Rubicon Wrangler, and like you, use the trailer as a base camp, and am able to get back where other (large trailers) can not. Whichever fiberglass trailer you purchase, you can have a flexi-ride made for it.
Happy Trails
Dave & Paula
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Old 04-10-2013, 04:28 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2017 Escape 21
Oswego, NY
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I have the inexpensive ($105.00) "High Lift Axle with 15" Tires" on my Escape 17B & while I haven't towed it on any jeep trails, I've done a number of dirt roads & some fairly rough campsites. It also makes it easier to work under the trailer and dump. The only thing I don't like about it is the stabilization jacks need 4"-6" of blocks under them. No problems with stability while towing...
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:00 PM   #6
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Name: Francesca Knowles
Trailer: '78 Trillium 4500
Jefferson County, Washington State, U.S.A.
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I camp offroad a lot but have a first-gen Trillium without a black tank so have nothing sticking down below frame level. Dunno why I thought all fiberglass trailers are that way...I was really shocked the first time I saw a black-tank equipped Casita 17 in the flesh- the black pipe can't be more than eight or ten inches off the ground! I've heard that there are fixes for this for those of us that like to go off-highway, but the axle flip sounds like a good idea, too.

Or, of course, just getting a trailer with a cassette toilet or porta-potty would work, too...

Francesca

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Old 04-10-2013, 06:52 PM   #7
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Hi Pete, to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here and decided to quit lurking!

You'll get lots of answers, and it looks like some are already coming in.

I have nothing to offer, but wanted to pop in and say HI
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:57 AM   #8
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Name: Pete
Trailer: In the market
California
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Originally Posted by Terry G View Post
Pete, My Casita has gone on lots of 4WD roads with few problems. I have bent my stairs a couple times but that was in some pretty extreme situations. I tow with a Ford Escape and my FT will generally go anywhere the TV will go. Lifting would probably not change the center of gravity too much as long as you didn't go overboard. Casita offers a lift option that I believe is about 4 inches. The great thing about having a trailer is that you can leave it in the places that are easier to get to and then explore to your heart's content.
Wow! Didn't check this thread for a few days and didn't know how many quick responses I've gotten! Thanks!

My concern is even with a 4" lift, the body of the trailer is fairly long. I'm a little worried about inclining and scraping the rear. Are the frames on these trailers full steel and all the way through?
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:00 AM   #9
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Name: Pete
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Originally Posted by David B. View Post
I have a 1990 13' Scamp. I had to replace the axle because of age. I went with a flexi-ride axle because I can raise or lower the trailer by just removing a pinch bolt and adjusting the control arms on the splined axle. I use a 6" lift on my Jeep Rubicon Wrangler, and like you, use the trailer as a base camp, and am able to get back where other (large trailers) can not. Whichever fiberglass trailer you purchase, you can have a flexi-ride made for it.
Happy Trails
Dave & Paula
I have a mild 2.5" lift on my land cruiser so it's not as tall as your Jeep. Did you decide to go with a shorter trailer due to the incline and decline angles where you might bottom out the rear of the trailer? Do you have any pics of your set up?

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:03 AM   #10
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Name: Pete
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Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post
I have the inexpensive ($105.00) "High Lift Axle with 15" Tires" on my Escape 17B & while I haven't towed it on any jeep trails, I've done a number of dirt roads & some fairly rough campsites. It also makes it easier to work under the trailer and dump. The only thing I don't like about it is the stabilization jacks need 4"-6" of blocks under them. No problems with stability while towing...
How hard is it to change the axle? Is this something I can do on my own with a couple of car jacks? Will I need to weld any parts?

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:09 AM   #11
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Name: Pete
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
I camp offroad a lot but have a first-gen Trillium without a black tank so have nothing sticking down below frame level. Dunno why I thought all fiberglass trailers are that way...I was really shocked the first time I saw a black-tank equipped Casita 17 in the flesh- the black pipe can't be more than eight or ten inches off the ground! I've heard that there are fixes for this for those of us that like to go off-highway, but the axle flip sounds like a good idea, too.

Or, of course, just getting a trailer with a cassette toilet or porta-potty would work, too...

Francesca

I really like the idea of a working restroom (trying to get the wife and the 2 year old out to the wild with me). Or else, business as usual out in the woods with the fellas!

The point of getting into a trailer is that I can bring the whole family out and not hear the ever long noise of "you're a selfish SOB who only care about you"! Well, at least that's what I'm hearing in my head when she's complaining...

That black pipe is worrisome! If I buy a used unit at around $10-12K, I wouldn't want to tear that piece out on the first run. Is that pipe made of PVC or some kind of metal? Are there mods to tuck that in?

Sorry for the rant and questions.

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:10 AM   #12
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Name: Pete
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Originally Posted by dbailey View Post
It's not a subject I'm familiar with, but I know some Escape's have an optional high-rise axle for traversing rougher roads.
Any suggestion helps!

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:11 AM   #13
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Name: Pete
Trailer: In the market
California
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Hi Pete, to FiberglassRV, we're glad you're here and decided to quit lurking!

You'll get lots of answers, and it looks like some are already coming in.

I have nothing to offer, but wanted to pop in and say HI
Hi Donna! Thanks for the warm welcome! You're all over the board on this forum! You must really enjoy towing. Have you cross country yet? If so, was all stops at trailer parks or some one off sites as well?
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:08 PM   #14
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Oregon
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Hi Pete No, I'm an Oregon and Washington traveler. And usually hooked up to (at least) power and (hopefully) water. At this point in my life, it's about getting away from work and home, not so much about getting out and being in the deep woods. Although I do understand that draw, I did a lot of that stuff in my earlier years. I may do it again. But right now, the Oregon State Park system suits my needs.

Best of luck!
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