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Old 05-17-2021, 07:26 AM   #1
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
Massachusetts
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Our Casita Isn't Big Enough!

Howdy all. Haven't been here in a while. Camping with the 2013 Casita Spirit over the last couple of years has been limited for various reasons. But it's come in handy this past year when we might have taken the train down to Virginia, as I refuse to wear a face diaper all day; instead we spend the night in a Pennsylvania state park about half way (usually Locust Lake). Back at the end of March it was so cold at night we had to use the heating strip in the AC unit, but that worked well (at 27º F in the morning I was worried about the pipes—I had 'summer-ized' the trailer—but they did all right).

Anyway, we have gotten so old and creaky (or maybe cranky) that the 'double' bed in the back of the Casita is really only good for one. So the other has to turn the side dinette table into a bed. That of course is too narrow for grown-ups, so we added about 4" of width with a couple of plywood sheets and a strip of 4" foam between the wall and the cushions. That works passably, but it's a pain to set up, and takes the table out of use if one of us (usually me) wants to stay up.

So I find myself wishing we had a trailer with two regular beds plus a two-seat dinette. Casita has a 'Liberty' model with possible twin beds in back, but no dinette at all—just some kind of little table between the beds. Does anyone here find that workable? They also offer an 'Independence' model with twin beds and no table at all that I can see.

Escape has announced a new 23' model, with a twin-bed option, that also has a full-size table in the front. That would be ideal, but they're still working on the prototype, and Escape is notoriously slow at delivering finished product. I did put my name on their Waitlist, though.

Does anyone else offer two beds and a table—at a reasonable price? Bigfoot does offer a 25B25RT, but it lists at $75k or so!

I really don't want to move to a sticky. And no, I don't want to go back to a tent, either.

/LEJ
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Old 05-17-2021, 07:37 AM   #2
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I too like the idea of the twin beds as it allows a Usuals upper set of cabinets around the sleeping area.

Escape is far from slow, they are ramping up productivity constantly, as much as they possibly can. The delay comes from the high demand for their trailers creating a huge list of buyers.

They now have the moulds for the 23, so we should see producing of the prototype starting, though still lots of detail design to work on as they build it.

I really like the Bigfoot twin model, but you are starting to get heavier and more costly than I like.

Sticking with my Escape 5.0TA for quite a while yet.
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Old 05-17-2021, 07:45 AM   #3
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We went from a Scamp 16 to a 17ft Casita SD to get a bigger bed (44” vs 54” )to an Escape 21 for more room
After 12 years of owning FG trailers and with plenty of hind sight , I wish we would have bit the bullet and bought a Bigfoot
The problem in my estimation is that most FG trailers are too narrow limiting the number of layouts / configurations
As my Dad use to say “You can’t put 10 lbs of S__T in a 5 lb bag

Beyond that I will keep my comments to the first part of your post to myself !!
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:05 AM   #4
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Name: Lynn
Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
The problem in my estimation is that most FG trailers are too narrow limiting the number of layouts / configurations. . .
I think you are right. My daughter and SIL have a vintage (1963 I think) Avion aluminum trailer, 20' long, and the first thing I notice when I go in is how much more spacious an 8-foot wide trailer is than our 7' Casita.

The new 23' Escape is 7.5', which should help a lot.

/LEJ
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:16 AM   #5
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The Oliver Elite 2 shows how to put twin beds, a separate dinette, and a bath in a narrow 7’ configuration. It doesn’t have the spacious feel of a wider trailer, but it’s an easier tow. I suspect it would feel more spacious if it had larger windows.

I personally like narrow. Don’’t like towing a trailer that sticks out nearly a foot on either side of the tow vehicle and requires long mirror extensions. I’d rather pull a longer trailer than a wider trailer. Like all things, there are trade-offs.

I think it partly depends on your style of travel. For longer stays in one place with less driving, the trade-off might tilt toward the wider trailer. If you do a lot of cross-country travel, and especially if you head off-highway, you may find a narrower trailer easier to manage. Perhaps 7.5’ will be a sweet spot for you. It adds about a half foot on each side over your Casita.
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:24 AM   #6
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Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
The Oliver Elite 2 shows how to put twin beds, a separate dinette, and a bath in a fairly narrow configuration. It doesn’t have the spacious feel of a wider trailer, but it’s an easier tow. I suspect it would feel more spacious if it had larger windows.

I personally like narrow. Like all things, there are trade-offs.
True, like not needing mirror extensions.

I've always like Olivers, but they're up there with Bigfoots (Bigfeet?) in price.

/LEJ
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Old 05-17-2021, 09:04 AM   #7
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I replaced my Bigfoot with an Escape partly because I didn't driving or parking the 8' wide Bigfoot.

Walt
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Old 05-17-2021, 09:49 AM   #8
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Escape slow? Not IMHO. When you consider the models and changes they have made in the last -15 years, and compare it to their competitors, they are second to none.

Let’s take their fifth wheel. They are on their third set of molds. Used to make a 13 and a 15. They are on their second molds for the 17, 19 and 21, and now they are rolling out a 23. Casita meanwhile is using the same molds for decades, ditto Scamp. Maybe Scamp has finally changed molds for their new door?

Want two beds and a dinette in one rig? The Escape fifth wheel with the twin option is the way to go. The twins are 36 inches wide, nearly residential size. Meanwhile, the Casita Liberty has 23 inch wide twins and even the Independence has only 30 inch wide, with no separate full time dinette. No thanks. Had a Liberty before the Escape 19. I can’t fit anything larger in my storage space at home. I do figure the TA5.0 could fit due to better maneuverability.
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:10 AM   #9
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Agree that Escape has been very aggressive in making frequent changes and far more committed to expansion than other molded manufacturers. For now they own the middle of the market in terms of size and price. And they apoear to be working hard to keep it that way.

But fast is relative. The mold-making process does not allow for the rapid introduction of multiple new models every year like the conventional RV makers do.

And the long-awaited 23’er does seem to be taking more time in development than some of their previous new models.
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Old 05-17-2021, 10:52 AM   #10
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Mr Lynn, we met you at the Schodack rally a few years ago. We have a Casita SD 17. My wife says; she really liked a Whitewater Retro camper that we got a look in at another rally. Mainly because it had bed access from both sides, as you slept with you head at the rear wall. Also it had a nice front dinette and a big fridge with top freezer. I believe the owner said the walls had aluminum framing. A couple of years ago we went with a camping friend to look at a Casita SD 17 that was being sold by the kids whose father had died.The father also had a Airstream, maybe a 21 foot or so. Way more room than the Casita. I had to almost drag my wife out of that Airstream, although we could have bought it at a real good price. EDIT; and that Airstream was in your home state of MA.
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Old 05-17-2021, 05:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Escape slow? Not IMHO. When you consider the models and changes they have made in the last -15 years, and compare it to their competitors, they are second to none.

Let’s take their fifth wheel. They are on their third set of molds. Used to make a 13 and a 15. They are on their second molds for the 17, 19 and 21, and now they are rolling out a 23. Casita meanwhile is using the same molds for decades, ditto Scamp. Maybe Scamp has finally changed molds for their new door?

Want two beds and a dinette in one rig? The Escape fifth wheel with the twin option is the way to go. The twins are 36 inches wide, nearly residential size. Meanwhile, the Casita Liberty has 23 inch wide twins and even the Independence has only 30 inch wide, with no separate full time dinette. No thanks. Had a Liberty before the Escape 19. I can’t fit anything larger in my storage space at home. I do figure the TA5.0 could fit due to better maneuverability.
Sorry for maligning Escape's production. All I remember is looking at their estimated delivery times for orders a few years ago, which were on the order of a year, during which time they wanted to hold a hefty deposit. Maybe they've gotten faster. I'm definitely interested in the 23', if it becomes available before I get a lot older.

Bill, I didn't know that they offered a twin-bed option on the 5.0 fifth-wheel unit. Don't see it on their website or list of options, but those can be off.

I've long thought that the fifth-wheel trailer is a better solution than a bumper-pull, both for safety and ease of handling—more like the way the big rigs are connected. But to get one we'd need to buy a pickup, so add that to the cost of the trailer.

I like pickups, but we have to tote visiting kids and grandkids sometimes, so our 2013 Ford Expedition is a better all-round option—and with the seats down, it's pretty much a truck for hauling stuff. It's also good for camping if, like us, you 'travel heavy'—secure stowage, out of the rain.

I'd spring for the pickup/fifth-wheel combination if we were going to go in for a heavy travel schedule, but I'm something of a homebody, and I also want to take more train trips, so I guess we'll settle for the traditional 'caravan', as the Brits call them. I'd still like the 23' Escape, though.

/LEJ
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Old 05-17-2021, 09:18 PM   #12
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Trailer: 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17, purchased from original owners May, 2016
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
Mr Lynn, we met you at the Schodack rally a few years ago. . . The father also had a Airstream, maybe a 21 foot or so. Way more room than the Casita. I had to almost drag my wife out of that Airstream, although we could have bought it at a real good price. EDIT; and that Airstream was in your home state of MA.
Howdy Bob— I remember you and Mary; that was a pleasant gathering. Let me know if you hear of any meets this coming year that aren't too far.

There's a new modest-sized Airstream down the road from us. Beautiful to look at; don't know the owner, so haven't been inside. Expect it's well out of our price range, and from what little I've read, their quality control is not up to the levels we Molded Fiberglass fans like.

/LEJ
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Old 05-18-2021, 08:39 AM   #13
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Yes, let's list the new models that Casita and Scamp have added in the last ten years.

Here's the list.......




In the case of Casita, they eliminated two sizes, the 13 and the 16, so their product line has compressed.

They are the two largest molded FG producers in the USA. Sold out, no new models, and in fact fewer models. The incentive to innovate and expand product line while you are sold out for a year or more in advance is low. It takes some really forward thinking management to invest in developing new product during such times. I do give Scamp credit for updating their door. Thats a nice improvement, but pales compared to the changes Escape has done. Escape is pretty unique in discarding molds, updating existing products and adding new ones.


And on the topic of deposits, I do not think Escape's deposit is very "hefty", at $2,000 US. And this deposit is fully refundable, less a payment processing fee of $150 US. They are not taking deposits on the 23 footer, as it has not been rolled out yet. I think this is wise. Compare this to the huge deposits people put on Lil Snoozys and lost it all.
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Old 05-18-2021, 06:07 PM   #14
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. . . And on the topic of deposits, I think Escape's deposit is very reasonable, at $2,000 US. And this deposit is fully refundable, less a payment processing fee of $150 US. They are not taking deposits on the 23 footer, as it has not been rolled out yet. I think this is wise.
It was not the amount of the deposit that concerned me, but back then the length of time they would hold it.
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Old 05-18-2021, 06:18 PM   #15
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It was not the amount of the deposit that concerned me, but back then the length of time they would hold it.

The length of time has increased because orders have increased and production has expanded.
I wanted my trailer before the end of summer and beat out two others getting my deposit in. Of course the wait was not long back then.
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Old 05-19-2021, 07:06 AM   #16
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Hi: Mr Lynn... On a rainy day no fiberglass trailer is big enough. I'm looking for a fiberglass trailer that's as big on the inside as any 40'er and only a little bigger than our 5.0TA. on the outside. If you find one let me know!!! LoL
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 05-19-2021, 08:50 AM   #17
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It was not the amount of the deposit that concerned me, but back then the length of time they would hold it.
Would you build someone a $50,000 custom trailer without asking for some money up front ?
Patience used to be a virtue but I guess that is no longer the case when it comes to FG trailers . I waited 62 years to get my first one !
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Old 05-19-2021, 09:49 AM   #18
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That's such an interesting remark. I wonder what's behind it.
I hope this thread continues down it’s current path and not get side tracked
I don’t need or want an explanation for the remark , I can and have figured out the why on my own
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Old 05-19-2021, 10:28 AM   #19
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Hi: Mr Lynn... On a rainy day no fiberglass trailer is big enough. I'm looking for a fiberglass trailer that's as big on the inside as any 40'er and only a little bigger than our 5.0TA. on the outside. If you find one let me know!!! LoL
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
Howdy Alf— Maybe one of those expandable travel trailers? Not the canvas-wing hybrids, but the full hard-shell ones that collapse into a smaller unit for towing, e.g. the Trail Manor:

https://trailmanor.com/3124series/

Expands to 28 feet (not 40, though). Maybe there are others.

Not molded fiberglass, though. I expect it would be hard to build an MFG one.

/LEJ
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Old 05-20-2021, 11:31 PM   #20
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Snoozy 2 offers a twin bed model, and still has a table in front of a love seat. Build times are only a couple months. Snoozy 2 had bought the defunct Lil Snoozy company, and I have heard nothing but praises about the new product and the new owners.
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