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Old 04-09-2021, 07:53 AM   #21
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I can’t imagine being cooped up in a trailer with a pet and an active kid(s) for more than a few hours, and the difference between 13’, 17’, or 19’ is relatively insignificant. I do recall one “working” trip in which our kids did their schoolwork at the rear dinette with books, video players and headphones, while my wife and I worked on our laptops on the front sofa. It was too windy to work outside, and we were perfectly comfortable in a 13’ Scamp for half day school/work sessions. Afternoons we abandoned the books and the trailer to spend time with grandma, which was the reason for the trip.

A full day of bad weather... Throw on ponchos and go for a hike in the rain. Jump in the car and head to town or take a scenic drive. On a touring trip, pack up and move on- use it as a driving day.

A whole week of bad weather... Adjust your plans. We cancelled one trip- our first after we bought the Scamp- because it was going to be cold, windy, and wet the entire time. I got my fill of “postal” camping (“neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night”) when I was in the Scouts.

I do agree the 19’ Escape has advantages: more floor space for a large dog, and the front dinette has room for all three of you to eat inside (in the Casita you’d have to convert the main bed) as well as room for your son to bring a friend. Tandem axles make a blowout somewhat less exciting. And the extra space might be nice for longer trips in retirement, though you may find the transverse, crawl-over-your-partner-to-use-the-bathroom-at-night bed arrangement less appealing as you age.
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Old 04-09-2021, 08:27 AM   #22
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Name: Bonnie
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I was going to explain why we chose the Casita rather than one of the folding A trailers, but then I looked up "port cochere".
No matter what my rationalization was, if your access limits mean no trailer over some height, then that's that. Only concern yourself with those that can physically fit.
Jon MB

ps: ..love your screen name, but I don't believe "A frame with wheels" would translate as melodiously.
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Old 04-09-2021, 09:23 AM   #23
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“Chaletaveclesroues," maybe?
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Old 04-09-2021, 09:57 AM   #24
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I have owned two Aliners and they both developed leaks. I would go for a molded fiberglass trailer.
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Old 04-09-2021, 10:03 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casitaconruedas View Post
My wife prefers the Aliner to the Casita, because it felt less cramped, and with better light. Maybe that is the way to go for us, for now.
We tow an Escape 21 as a compromise. Following a stint with a teardrop trailer, we bought a Casita 17 sight-unseen. The day it was delivered my wife excitedly pulled open the door, took one look inside and said "the pictures lied!". She had envisioned something larger. I rather liked its compact design.

We had previously looked at A-frame trailers. They are very airy when set up, which is quite appealing, and they seem to tow nicely. But, they have their disadvantages as folks have noted. Ultimately, I tend to suspect their longevity. Though I could be wrong, I don't think you'll find many people with decades-old Aliners.

The space in the upper cabinets of the Casitas is limited by the shape of the roof. The storage under the dinette seats is also very limited as the water heater, battery, water pump, and freshwater tank take up most of that space. The Escape's cabinets have much more storage space. That said, the Casita is a really well-designed, aerodynamic trailer that has satisfied many owners for decades.

Jon and his family have made a Scamp 13 work wonderfully for many years with a family of four. It clearly wouldn't work for the two us in this household. So, you will have to study the options and understand what would work well for your family.

And, now that you have mentioned tow vehicles, every pickup owner on the forum will soon be weighing in. If there's anything we like to do more than spending your money on a trailer, it's spending your money on a tow vehicle!
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Old 04-09-2021, 10:24 AM   #26
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Trailer: 1980 Trillium 1300, 2005 Bigfoot 21
Free State of New Hampshire
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Fiberglass Eggs

Current owner of 13' Trillium and 21' Bigfoot. Former owner of tent trailers and truck campers. I am convinced that the insuation, set to go immediately, safety, lightweight and that they hold their value.
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Old 04-09-2021, 10:29 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Casitaconruedas View Post
Sounds like if we do go the fiberglass route, covered parking makes a big difference.
I think Jon's original comment about covered storage was actually directed to the Aframe style trailers.

After looking over a great number of travel trailer options, probably our biggest motivation to go with molded fiberglass was our our rainy northwest climate and a lack of covered storage.

Rain can find it's way into any flaws or failures of sealants in any trailer, but molded fiberglass enjoys a strong advantage over most any other type of construction. And, while sunlight can degrade the gel coat, our storage is on the north side of the house in the shade.

That said, I still think about adding a little carport cover here as it's always better to have covered storage.
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Old 04-09-2021, 10:38 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Casitaconruedas View Post
What great advice I'm getting here! Thanks to all. It really helps to hear from experienced vets and just to get out of my own head.

I'm delighted to discover that there are more Escapes around TX than I'd imagined, and one for sale in OK! We still need to square away our towing vehicle situation (Tacoma, 4Runner, or Highlander) before we can make the leap of faith, and we need to actually spend some time inside of an Escape 19 and a (new) Casita Spirit 17 to feel confident in our choice.

We've got reservations for camping (interspersed w/ airbnbs) in the Rockies this summer, so although it would be exciting to have a TT for this summer, it is not essential and would not impede our plans. I'm looking longer range here and want to make the right choice. Even so, Jon's caveat ("time is precious") rings in my head.

Sounds like if we do go the fiberglass route, covered parking makes a big difference.
Escapes are fabulous campers and extremely well made. That makes them among the heaviest FG campers also. Make sure that you purchase a tow vehicle with enough capacity. If I had the money, I would love an Escape.
Between a Casita and an Aliner, the casita would win for me. But Im sure that the Aliner will feel roomier. If you camp in bear country, make sure that Aliner are ok to use as well. I know that tent campers and soft sides are not allowed but not sure about ALiners.
Good luck on the search!
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Old 04-09-2021, 11:30 AM   #29
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Name: Robert
Trailer: 2018 Parkliner
Utah
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Smile A frame or Egg

I live in Utah. Started with a Chalet A frame, used it for several years, then upgraded to a Parkliner.

To me, a big factor is having a shower/toilet. We boondocks a lot in the Chalet and just used pit toilets or paper and shovel. The wife got narrow minded about the rustic life when she got older, and doesn't like to use the campground toilets.

I had to learn to replace bungee cords to lift the roof on the A frame, but the camper was easy to maintain and light weight. The Parkliner seemed huge when we bought it new, but just right now. You are getting into a new learning curve regarding maintenance, dealing with black and grey water tanks, and a lot of new challenges that will present themselves to you in time. No regrets about either camper, and love touring around the West. I'm 80 and wife is 78.
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Old 04-09-2021, 12:11 PM   #30
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Lots of good advice.
Here's yet another angle to add to your analysis/paralysis:
Traveling on a cross country road trip that requires set-up and take-down every, or almost every day. We did it with a pop-up when we were younger, and it got old VERY quickly.
And the real kicker is what do you do when you're ready to set up camp for the night and it's pouring rain, or you finally find a place for the night and it's pitch black dark outside. You shine your flashlight or car headlights and the mosquitos have a feast. Or it's raining AND dark !!!
With an egg, all that's avoided. Open/close the car door, open close the camper door, and go to bed. Don't even have to unhitch the camper. Done/sleeping/dry/unbitten/dreaming.
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Old 04-09-2021, 12:11 PM   #31
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Name: lee
Trailer: trailswest campsterl, 1996 Scamp 16 foot
Idaho
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aliner

Not yet mentioned . Wife and I bought what may have been the precursor to the aliner in Ablerta , Canada back in the 80s . It could of been a home made jobbie ... no springs to assist in raising the roof etc . One big issue was setting up in high wind or worse yet a down pour . Just one more thing to consider . Lee and Norma
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Old 04-09-2021, 01:01 PM   #32
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To raise the roof on my Chalet took about 10 - 15 seconds. Once the roof is unclasped you push the two halves up. They are attached at the top by bungee cords. The top of one section fits into a groove on the other. Next, you then raise and lock in the sides. Wind, however, is a big concern. There are stories of the wind catching a roof section before it is in place and damaging the hinge.

Also, A frames are considered "hardsided" in regard to camping in bear country. That said, I saw a video of a bear ripping off a car door to get to a chocolate bar.
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Old 04-09-2021, 01:02 PM   #33
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Name: Ryan
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Texas
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecmbob View Post
I live in Utah. Started with a Chalet A frame, used it for several years, then upgraded to a Parkliner.

To me, a big factor is having a shower/toilet. We boondocks a lot in the Chalet and just used pit toilets or paper and shovel. The wife got narrow minded about the rustic life when she got older, and doesn't like to use the campground toilets.

I had to learn to replace bungee cords to lift the roof on the A frame, but the camper was easy to maintain and light weight. The Parkliner seemed huge when we bought it new, but just right now. You are getting into a new learning curve regarding maintenance, dealing with black and grey water tanks, and a lot of new challenges that will present themselves to you in time. No regrets about either camper, and love touring around the West. I'm 80 and wife is 78.
Utah. Such an amazing state.

The toilet situation matters a lot to my wife. I'm fine with the luggable loo / bathroom tent set up we currently use, but a happy wife, makes a happy life, so I'll gladly cede to her desires on this point.

I come from a bike-touring and backpacking background (when I was a whipper snapper, which I'm not any more!), and we've lived abroad in tight quarters. We enjoy it, actually, so I don't anticipate problems there. I have to admit that the Casita felt tight, though! My take is we'd do most of our cooking and living outside, and just use the TT for sleeping and bathroom needs. Our normal destinations are NM and CO in July-August and TX/ AR during the academic year. But who knows, maybe the TT will open things up for us, allowing us to comfortably visit family in FL, VT, NJ, and friends all over the US, Mexico and Canada.

I appreciate each and every post in this thread. I've read them all several times. Cool community here!
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Old 04-09-2021, 03:26 PM   #34
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Name: Lisa
Trailer: Boler 1700
Michigan
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My husband puts 8 inch wheels on our trillium 4500 to get it in the garage. He thought it dropped the trailer 6 inches. He also takes the roof vent dome off and then tilts the trailer a bit when it is almost half way in. We have a 7 foot opening on our garage.

Maybe something like that would work to get a shorter trailer like the Hymer into your backyard.
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Old 04-09-2021, 03:33 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Singer View Post
Lots of good advice.
Here's yet another angle to add to your analysis/paralysis:
Traveling on a cross country road trip that requires set-up and take-down every, or almost every day. We did it with a pop-up when we were younger, and it got old VERY quickly.
And the real kicker is what do you do when you're ready to set up camp for the night and it's pouring rain, or you finally find a place for the night and it's pitch black dark outside. You shine your flashlight or car headlights and the mosquitos have a feast. Or it's raining AND dark !!!
With an egg, all that's avoided. Open/close the car door, open close the camper door, and go to bed. Don't even have to unhitch the camper. Done/sleeping/dry/unbitten/dreaming.
I could open my Aliners in under 30 seconds, ready to sleep in, hitched or unhitched. And I could close them in the same amount of time, and if wet, they did not have to opened up to dry. While both of mine developed leaks, they were minor and located along the front hinge. And towing it only reduced fuel economy by 1 mpg. Bet your fuel economy drops more than 1 mpg. 😎
But I would still recommend molded FG over A-frame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee Senn View Post
Not yet mentioned . Wife and I bought what may have been the precursor to the aliner in Ablerta , Canada back in the 80s . It could of been a home made jobbie ... no springs to assist in raising the roof etc . One big issue was setting up in high wind or worse yet a down pour . Just one more thing to consider. Lee and Norma
Aliner produced their first trailer in 1984. I bought my first one in early 1985. So I am not sure if there was a precursor because the inventor spent a few years perfecting the design before marketing.
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Old 04-10-2021, 03:27 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Casitaconruedas View Post
I wish I could see an Escape 19, but it seems more likely to spot the chupacabras than that down here in TX.
Haven't seen any chupacabras lately but I did get a photo of our Escape 19 in front of the Casita hatchery yesterday. We are currently in Ennis, but will be back in Bastrop Tuesday, and then headed to the Bandera Bluebonnet rally on the 18th, where there will be a bunch of Escapes and Casitas gathering.
We faced the same dilemma as you over 10 years ago, Scamp or A-liner, and asked the advice of Dennis Archer, who had one of each. Each had their advantages and disadvantages, but for us we intended to travel a lot, for long distances, and the convenience of being able to just walk back and climb in won. Stopping for a quick potty break on a long lonely highway, or just going back for a quick lunch or nap are things we can do quickly and easily.
Good luck in whichever you choose. Either one can be fun.
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Old 04-14-2021, 08:56 AM   #37
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Name: Ryan
Trailer: In the market
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Originally Posted by Civilguy View Post
We tow an Escape 21 as a compromise. Following a stint with a teardrop trailer, we bought a Casita 17 sight-unseen. The day it was delivered my wife excitedly pulled open the door, took one look inside and said "the pictures lied!". She had envisioned something larger. I rather liked its compact design.

We had previously looked at A-frame trailers. They are very airy when set up, which is quite appealing, and they seem to tow nicely. But, they have their disadvantages as folks have noted. Ultimately, I tend to suspect their longevity. Though I could be wrong, I don't think you'll find many people with decades-old Aliners.

The space in the upper cabinets of the Casitas is limited by the shape of the roof. The storage under the dinette seats is also very limited as the water heater, battery, water pump, and freshwater tank take up most of that space. The Escape's cabinets have much more storage space. That said, the Casita is a really well-designed, aerodynamic trailer that has satisfied many owners for decades.

Jon and his family have made a Scamp 13 work wonderfully for many years with a family of four. It clearly wouldn't work for the two us in this household. So, you will have to study the options and understand what would work well for your family.

And, now that you have mentioned tow vehicles, every pickup owner on the forum will soon be weighing in. If there's anything we like to do more than spending your money on a trailer, it's spending your money on a tow vehicle!
Thank you for this post. It is exactly what my wife said, that the pictures of the Casita lied!

We tent camped this weekend here in North TX and had several epiphanies: 1) as a first step, we intend to buy a Tacoma with the best towing options available. Someone in our circle of friends had one with a hardtop this weekend, so I got a good look at how much storage capacity it has. I'm sold. 2) on the way out of the park we came across the chupacabra! An Escape 19 stared us in the face, lo and behold, what serendipity! And what a gorgeous trailer! Unfortunately, the owner was not present, so we could only drool at the exterior. Wifey and I think it has a good chance to be 'the one.'

If the Aliner were about 10K cheaper, I could justify its purchase. But they strike me as overpriced. I'd rather pay my neighbor some cash to store a fiberglass TT, knowing that it will hold up. And down the road, if and when we move from our beloved historic house, we'll be sure to pick a new home with ample parking space and no port cochere!

The only scenario I could imagine that would make me opt for an Aliner would be if the current 'bear market' for campers abates once we come out of this pandemic, and suddenly supply and demand flip on the used market with buyer's remorse kicking in... and we could pick one up for a reasonable price. But that may take some time, and it is speculative. Carpe diem, and all that.

Thanks, all, for your advice here.
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Old 04-14-2021, 11:22 AM   #38
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Name: Kathy
Trailer: Casita
Oregon
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We owned a Chalet for 10 years and now have a Casita 17ft. The A-frame was light and easy to pull; we could take it anywhere. A couple of times we encountered mountain roads that were impassable with no room for turnaround (Indian Heaven Wilderness, WA). We were able to unhitch, spin the trailer around in place, rehitch and be on our way. We are more cautious where we take the casita. We have, however, encountered winds in eastern Oregon so fierce that we could not set up the Chalet. After 10 years we had a little water damage on the Chalet after winter storage. We sold it for $5000 less than what we paid new, so our 10 years of adventure with it was a bargain. We are now in our senior years and love the conveniences of the Casita, especially the bathroom. It was expensive, and costs more to haul, but it suits our current place in life. Id say, from a womans perspective, having your camper in your own yard where it is convenient to load, unload and clean make the camping trip easier to plan for and less stressful when you return home.
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:19 PM   #39
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Trailer: 2002 Casita 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
Florida
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It appears that you have basically an arch with low overhead. You don't say how low. If it isn't too low, would it be feasible to lower the grade under the port cochere?

It would be important to provide for good drainage.
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Old 04-14-2021, 01:45 PM   #40
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Name: Melissa
Trailer: In the market
TN
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My two cents

My husband and I are educators and travel much the same fashion as you described. Our teen is now 16 and has been tent camping since 4 months old. We love tent camping but first invested in a runaway camper initially after several sleepless nights in high temperature/ humidity summers here and there. It was great...a.c...out of storms, etc if inclement weather or hot yet we still tent when weather is not wet and pleasant. I understand...drying out camp gear is a pain but I love a gentle rain in the tent. Now the Runaway is a bit tight for three grown folks along with nowhere to go play cards if blowing rain. We can cook in the rain under our tarp but it's hard to convince yourself if it's only for a weekend. Trying to dry out then work immediately is a bit more challenging as we get older! We financially went with a Scamp and are still waiting. I think it was 15-16 months wait when ordered in Nov. I went back and forth as I investigated the a-liners and really love them from what I saw. The thing that I didn't like was air among the cracks ( I enjoy winter camping here and there) and having to set up even if just a bit of time. Even on our 31 day trip to Glacier and Canada, we pulled three or four really hard long days to leisurely enjoy the rest. At late nights, we knew the drill and threw up the tent. We tented it all summer and it was great. Cold Canada...windy Montana...whatever. We had a blast. But the final question was...if I have to continually set up/ take down, why not just tent it? The other pull was in our tent camping ( which we will still do some) we were not allowed in certain areas to camp because of bear. We went with our small basic fiberglass because we want to go where we always have tented ( size wise) and no worries about bear areas. It also holds it's value. Unsure if I am too late to respond but as an educator, you sound like us! The 16' Scamp is probably better if you want a bathroom. We just went with 13 and cannot wait to get our little trailer. Traveling mercies and have fun.... whatever you decide.
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