Which options to get in Casita Spirit Deluxe 17'? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-08-2016, 08:21 PM   #15
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Name: Steven
Trailer: In the market
North Carolina
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Good advice, thank you all

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to comment.

Most of my adult "camping" has involved traveling to a NASCAR track and staying for 3 or 4 days. There are no hookups and I do not plan on purchasing a generator. I like to visit Bristol in the spring and Martinsville in the late fall, so there is no question in my mind that I need the furnace. I have spent numerous nights in popups and tents absolutely freezing, and that is something I do not wish to continue doing.

Obviously, I would like to do more weekend or week-long camping once I get a travel trailer. For instance, I plan to visit Fontana Lake in Western NC where my mom's side of the family is originally from. I'm sure I will explore plenty of other places as well.

Some options I have questions about

1. Vinyl flooring. A lot of people say the vinyl makes it much easier to clean the trailer. However, I'm not a huge fan of the appearance of the vinyl. I've seen photos where people were using carpet runners on top of the existing carpet that they could take outside and clean if necessary.

2. Microwave. I don't really use a microwave at home all that much, so I can certainly do without it while camping.

3. TV Shelf. Someone mentioned that it could be removed, so that makes me think it might be a good idea. I'm sure there are times when it comes in handy and other times when it's in the way.

4. Electric tongue jack. Someone mentioned that they started out without this option and added it later. I've never used one.

5. Friction anti-sway control. I already have a sway control bar that I used with my old popup. I wonder if the same one can be used with the Casita?

6. Flat screen HD TV with DVD player. $334 seems like a steep price for a TV and dvd player. The point was made that the idea of camping is to get away from things like TV and get back to nature. I would say that sometimes I will want to do just that, but other times I will want to watch a game or a movie before bed, or keep up with the NCAA tournament (just an example!). My thought was that I could mount my own TV or just place one on the stand.

7. TV Antenna w/ amplifier and cable ready. There may be times when I am at a campground with cable, so it seems reasonable that I would want to be able to enjoy that. However, I doubt that I will get very good reception on the antenna in the places I will typically go. Is the antenna something people might care about if I were selling the unit?

8. The big question I have concerns the awning. Most people seem to be of the opinion that the awning is nice and will help resale value. At nearly $800, this is an expensive option. I had an experience with my old popup in which the awning was ripped clean off the camper by a sudden burst of wind at Bristol. People often say, use common sense and put the awning away when the weather is bad. But in this case there was no time to react, and I'm afraid that while using the awning I would constantly be in fear of a similar incident occurring. I read a post the other day where someone was using a much cheaper standalone awning (Ezy Awning Plus - LARGER Version - Gray). This idea appealed to me because if it were to be destroyed by weather, I would only be out $150 with very little risk of damage to the trailer itself.

I suppose in retrospect I should have listed all my concerns in the original post, so I apologize for taking the long way around. Nevertheless, if anyone has any further comments or advice, I will greatly appreciate it.
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:52 PM   #16
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
Massachusetts
Posts: 324
Steven: Re the vinyl flooring, our used 2013 has that option. It's cold on bare feet. So my wife found a piece of pristine commercial-grade carpet in the attic, made a template using kraft paper, and cut a carpet to fit. If we need to take it out, we can; nothing holds it down except a threshhold I installed by the door. So we've got the best of both worlds.

Re microwave: We do use one at home, but don't see the need at campsites (usually without AC power, anyway). The large cabinet in ours was pre-wired for a microwave, but none was installed. It makes a great pantry.

Re awning: Wells State Park (MA) in June was suffering from a Gypsy Moth infestation, and the caterpillar poop rained down constantly. The awning made a nice cover for the picnic table (as did our daughter's screen tent at another campsite). Last week at Dennison Lake State Forest (MA), the weather was perfect, we had mixed sun and shade, and no caterpillars. We didn't bother deploying the awning. But had it been raining, we sure would have. YMMV.

/Mr Lynn
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Old 08-08-2016, 09:47 PM   #17
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Name: Wayne
Trailer: Casita
Connecticut
Posts: 108
Options

Hey Steve,
I'll give you my opinion on the items you listed.

1, Vinyl flooring vs Carpeted floor- I have the vinyl floor but if I had to do it again I might opt for the carpeting. A runner will protect the carpet from the inevitable dirt that's tracked in and provide additional warmth. Something to consider is that you're probably not going to throughly clean the carpet or runner until you have access to shore power for the vinyl all you need is a broom.

2, Microwave-i have an after market microwave and appreciate having it. If I'm boondocking I can remove it for the extra storage space, either way it's a decision that can be made down tbe road.

3, TV Shelf- I have it I like it, wife loves it.

4, Electric Jack-We don't have one and at this point I don't feel the need for one but everyone's situation is different

5, Anti-Sway- I have one along with a WD hitch. It's my first experience using one and I'm happy with the results

6, TV Antenna-We have the antenna and the trailer is cable ready. I haven't had an opportunity to use cable but I can say in my expierence the amplified antenna isn't great. I'm having a Jack antenna installed by Little House Of Customs this January and if you have the factory antenna installed, it's an easier install for a larry and less expensive.



7, Awning- We have the awning and again it's a situation where I like it but my wife loves it. I am always a little paranoid when deploying the awning for the reasons you mentioned. I could do without the awning in favor of a clam shelter and I think the lines of the trailer are certainly cleaner without it. I know my wife would disagree with me on this one.

I hope that helps. Overall we love our Casita and I'm sure you'll feel the same. Let the adventures begin. Peace!
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Old 08-08-2016, 10:11 PM   #18
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Name: Peggy
Trailer: 17' Spirit Deluxe ordered
Washington
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We decided not to get the vinyl flooring & plan on finding & installing vinyl plank flooring of our choice.

We're not really into camping camping any more as we did in our younger days. We go to overnight square dance events & festivals & like staying onsite with our own "portable motel room." We've had two Coleman tent trailers, the current one we've had for 27 years. We know what we want & need in a trailer.
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Old 08-09-2016, 04:25 AM   #19
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
California
Posts: 2,818
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Originally Posted by sy48497 View Post
Thanks to everyone for taking the time to comment.

Most of my adult "camping" has involved traveling to a NASCAR track and staying for 3 or 4 days. There are no hookups and I do not plan on purchasing a generator. I like to visit Bristol in the spring and Martinsville in the late fall, so there is no question in my mind that I need the furnace. I have spent numerous nights in popups and tents absolutely freezing, and that is something I do not wish to continue doing.
Obviously, I would like to do more weekend or week-long camping once I get a travel trailer. For instance, I plan to visit Fontana Lake in Western NC where my mom's side of the family is originally from. I'm sure I will explore plenty of other places as well.
Some options I have questions about
1. Vinyl flooring. A lot of people say the vinyl makes it much easier to clean the trailer. However, I'm not a huge fan of the appearance of the vinyl. I've seen photos where people were using carpet runners on top of the existing carpet that they could take outside and clean if necessary.
2. Microwave. I don't really use a microwave at home all that much, so I can certainly do without it while camping.
3. TV Shelf. Someone mentioned that it could be removed, so that makes me think it might be a good idea. I'm sure there are times when it comes in handy and other times when it's in the way.
4. Electric tongue jack. Someone mentioned that they started out without this option and added it later. I've never used one.
5. Friction anti-sway control. I already have a sway control bar that I used with my old popup. I wonder if the same one can be used with the Casita?
6. Flat screen HD TV with DVD player. $334 seems like a steep price for a TV and dvd player. The point was made that the idea of camping is to get away from things like TV and get back to nature. I would say that sometimes I will want to do just that, but other times I will want to watch a game or a movie before bed, or keep up with the NCAA tournament (just an example!). My thought was that I could mount my own TV or just place one on the stand.
7. TV Antenna w/ amplifier and cable ready. There may be times when I am at a campground with cable, so it seems reasonable that I would want to be able to enjoy that. However, I doubt that I will get very good reception on the antenna in the places I will typically go. Is the antenna something people might care about if I were selling the unit?
8. The big question I have concerns the awning. Most people seem to be of the opinion that the awning is nice and will help resale value. At nearly $800, this is an expensive option. I had an experience with my old popup in which the awning was ripped clean off the camper by a sudden burst of wind at Bristol. People often say, use common sense and put the awning away when the weather is bad. But in this case there was no time to react, and I'm afraid that while using the awning I would constantly be in fear of a similar incident occurring. I read a post the other day where someone was using a much cheaper standalone awning (Ezy Awning Plus - LARGER Version - Gray). This idea appealed to me because if it were to be destroyed by weather, I would only be out $150 with very little risk of damage to the trailer itself.
NASCAR, Steve I like you already .
Others have given you their thoughts so I'll add mine to the mix. I only boondock, think I've had maybe a dozen or so nights with hookups but I do carry a Honda 2000 for the micro and coffee pot. Probably less than 10 minutes a day run time. Have had a number of RVs, most with vinyl but like the carpet better and use a runner as it's easier to shake it out. My SD came with the TV shelf, took it out as it was in the way more than usable for us. Have never had an electric jack on anything. The manual jack works fine with my 365# TW. I don't use a WDH or sway as it isn't needed with my SD and tug. Your sway unit should work with your Casita with the ball mounts added. We don't use a TV but sometimes bring a CD player although it is plumbed with the factory cable jack on the shell. If you look at pics from members you'll see that most all TVs are mounted on a wall or cabinet, not on the shelf. I feel your pain with an awning. Being I've been desert camping for over 30 years the wind can be an awning killer. 0 to 60 with the flip of a switch. I can roll up the standard RV awning in less than a minute. The case/bag awnings from what I've seen would take way to long, at least for my camping location. I don't have an awning on the SD. Like you stated, a stand alone EZ Up or Clam type shade may be the way to go. Something attached can always be installed.
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Old 08-09-2016, 05:26 AM   #20
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
Massachusetts
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Steven: Note that the Fiamma awning that Casita sells can be extended part way and fixed to mounts on the camper (included), which I would think would make it less susceptible to gusts of wind, but still offer doorway shelter from the rain.

Others will have more experience than we have, though.

/Mr Lynn
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Old 08-09-2016, 06:49 AM   #21
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Originally Posted by PeggyD View Post
We decided not to get the vinyl flooring & plan on finding & installing vinyl plank flooring of our choice.
..
Maybe investigate further... I don't know about Casita but for Scamps I have unconfirmed information that the reason they charge more for vinyl flooring is not because the material costs more, but instead because they have to do more work to get a smooth floor that will not telegraph imperfections through the vinyl. With carpet, a rough floor does not show up. It's the same reason carpet is used in homes sometimes, the carpet and padding does not require a smooth floor so it quick and easy.

So even if you want to do you own flooring, it might be worth paying a little extra to get a good quality floor that you can use as a foundation.

If your vinyl planks are thick enough it might not matter, but I would talk to Casita and look into it to make sure it works out the way you want.
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Old 08-09-2016, 07:05 AM   #22
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
Massachusetts
Posts: 324
Is the carpet Casita installs easily removable? If not, do what we did: get the vinyl option (it came with our used trailer) and cut your own carpet to fit. Then if you want to clean or replace it, you can just take it out. My wife made a template with kraft paper, then cut a piece of remnant to fit, and even made holes for the table posts. Works fine.

An advantage is that with vinyl under the carpet, spills are easily manageable.

/Mr Lynn
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Old 08-09-2016, 11:00 AM   #23
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Name: Peggy
Trailer: 17' Spirit Deluxe ordered
Washington
Posts: 7
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Maybe investigate further... I don't know about Casita but for Scamps I have unconfirmed information that the reason they charge more for vinyl flooring is not because the material costs more, but instead because they have to do more work to get a smooth floor that will not telegraph imperfections through the vinyl. With carpet, a rough floor does not show up. It's the same reason carpet is used in homes sometimes, the carpet and padding does not require a smooth floor so it quick and easy.

So even if you want to do you own flooring, it might be worth paying a little extra to get a good quality floor that you can use as a foundation.

If your vinyl planks are thick enough it might not matter, but I would talk to Casita and look into it to make sure it works out the way you want.
I have read quite a few post in various places on this & I did speak with Casita. I have seen the vinyl flooring Casita installs & don't care for it. We are not going to pay nearly $300 just to put something else over it.
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Old 08-09-2016, 01:25 PM   #24
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Name: Gordon
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Originally Posted by PeggyD View Post
I have read quite a few post in various places on this & I did speak with Casita. I have seen the vinyl flooring Casita installs & don't care for it. We are not going to pay nearly $300 just to put something else over it.
$300?
OUCH!

Scamp charges $75 for the vinyl "upgrade" and IMHO that is a fair price for the smooth floor. But 300? I can do a lot of work on the floor myself for that kind of money so I sure see your point.
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Old 08-11-2016, 03:15 PM   #25
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Name: Jim
Trailer: 2015 Casita 17SD
Miami, FL
Posts: 127
Hi Steve, welcome to the cult!

We have a 2015 17SD which we purchased used in March. It has every option except:
- power jack
- factory microwave (previous owner installed a small micro)
- sink cover (planning to stick rubber feet on a plastic cutting board so that they are held in place.)
- LED lights (I recently replaced them - they can be had a lot cheaper than what Casita charges.)

We live in S. Florida and have only camped locally so far, so the A.C. gets a workout.

Regardng some of the items you mentioned:

Vinyl floor - we are very happy that the floor isn't carpeted (then again our entire house is ceramic tile, so....) However, the vinyl looks fine - doesn't make a statement - and is easy to keep clean. Have read about people adding wood floors, but seems like a lot of work for something you won't see that much. I recommend a small rug or two.

Awning - we love it and find it very convenient. You can extend it for a couple of feet and attach the posts to the trailer to shade the side of the trailer. Fully extended it makes a very nice shade area. I would never leave it extended if there were any question of high winds, but if you tie it down it can be pretty secure against all but the biggest gusts. We also bought a Clam screen shelter but don't consider it a replacement for the awning. This is a small trailer, and the awning and shelter more than double your "living space."

Furnace - haven't used it yet, but glad we have it when we head farther north. Note that the A/C does have a heat strip.

TV - we use it more than we expected - I sometimes go out in the Casita when it's parked in our yard for a siesta or to watch a movie. Also, if you get rained in, it's not a bad thing to have. The antenna that comes with it is crap and will be replaced soon. I do like that it's a combo TV/DVD. You can probably find a nicer one on Amazon, however.

High lift axle - a must, imo. Otherwise, I don't think i would be able to back the trailer into its spot in my back yard.

Sway bar - you can use an existing bar. You just need the "mini-ball" welded on the frame and next to your TV hitch. Pulling the trailer with our Tundra, it feels the same with and without but it's good to have. Can be added later.

We're very pleased with our purchase so far. The only thing I've needed to do to it is to replace the battery.

If we were ordering a new one, we would get it pretty much as ours is equipped. Maybe go with the slate cushions. Also, I would choose not to mount the tire on the back. We are currently carrying it in the bed of our pickup but are looking at other options.

In terms of aftermarket, I strongly recommend the receiver hitch from OMW. The bumper on the Casita is not fit to hold anything, and the hitch allowed us to move our bikes out of the TV and onto the back of the trailer. It's a custom fit for the Casita and is a bolt-on install. If you don't bike, you can carry anything that will fit in a 2 inch receiver.
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