What's the difference between 16' and 17' Casita's - Fiberglass RV
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Old 06-23-2019, 10:33 AM   #1
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What's the difference between 16' and 17' Casita's

After selling my Oxygen we are looking for a new rig. Until that perfect rig comes along we are considering other trailers that we previously never considered. Not only have I never owned a Casita I don't believe I've ever been in one. I know that the ceiling height of the 16 is lower than the 17 but I understand that the 16 is quite a bit lighter. Is this the case?
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Old 06-23-2019, 02:00 PM   #2
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So we had a 17' FD and our friends had a 16'SD. The biggest differences besides the 6 years were:

Lower roof - pro or con depending on your needs.

Smaller bed - probably an issue.

Front air under the closet instead of on the roof.

I think everything else was about the same and the 12" difference was in the bed. The crawl-over bed was the main reason we sold ours.

Ours weighed in at 3300 # at the Oregon Gathering loaded for travel with bikes on the back. If the Oxygen beds didn't work for your wife, I doubt that either Casita would unless you could find an Independence.
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:11 PM   #3
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Dave, the main reason the Oxygen bed didn't work was with the kitchen on one side and the bathroom on the other the opening to the bed was less than 2 feet wide. With the gel mattress topper, although comfortable, you tended to sink and there was nothing to grab onto to pull yourself out lol. Not a lot of room for maneuvering. I think if we were young and skinny and frisky it would have been fine. But two old folks heading for the bathroom in the middle of the night not so much.
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:14 PM   #4
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I forgot Dave which trailer did you have at SAFE last year? Was it a casita?
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Old 06-23-2019, 03:34 PM   #5
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Steve, one other big difference between the 16 & 17s is all the 17s have the flat door.
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Old 06-23-2019, 04:06 PM   #6
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Also I think the 16’ has a smaller frig
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Old 06-23-2019, 04:26 PM   #7
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What about weight? Are the 16's that much lighter than the 17'?
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Old 06-23-2019, 04:35 PM   #8
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I forgot Dave which trailer did you have at SAFE last year? Was it a casita?
No, that was our Trailswest Campster. It's a lot smaller a less comfortable than the Casita but is easy to hide in the carport. Just used it Friday night dry camping and last week as a guest house.
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Old 06-23-2019, 04:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Fish View Post
No, that was our Trailswest Campster. It's a lot smaller a less comfortable than the Casita but is easy to hide in the carport. Just used it Friday night dry camping and last week as a guest house.
That's right, you pulled in late on the other side of Kai. I just keep seeing Casita on your Avatar.
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Old 06-23-2019, 05:17 PM   #10
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we had a 2008 SD 16

indeed, smaller fridge, no freezer. smaller grey tank, smaller water tank. about 5'10 inside, but even tho I'm 6' tall, it didn't bother me much, as the trailer is so small you don't stand around in it. the SD16 dinette is a foot smaller. the front closet is smaller because the AC is in the bottom of it. less kitchen counter space. much lower roof line due to no AC on top == might fit in a garage. 16' trailers are in a different legal catagory in California, and qualify for a PTR, Permanent Trailer Registration, so you save on annual registration (its just a couple $100 for our escape 21, so not that big of a deal).
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Old 06-23-2019, 05:59 PM   #11
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John how do you like your Escape 21 as compared to your Casita? I don't mean comforts of home as I'm sure the Escape is a fine trailer, but how does it tow, gas mileage, wind resistance, practical stuff.
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Old 06-23-2019, 06:04 PM   #12
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Responding to a post that seems to be deleted now...

Similarly, there is one Casita 16' Standard in Fred's database and it was 1780 pounds. Not 1100 pounds.
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Old 06-23-2019, 08:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
John how do you like your Escape 21 as compared to your Casita? I don't mean comforts of home as I'm sure the Escape is a fine trailer, but how does it tow, gas mileage, wind resistance, practical stuff.
well, after towing the Escape home from Dallas Texas to Santa Cruz California, by way of Reno Nevada, we retired our Tacoma 4x4, and got an F250 diesel. at the elevated speeds of the southern interstates, the Tacoma was getting 9-11 MPG, while the F250 gets 13-15 (its the older 7.3 diesel, the newer 6.7 probably gets much better mileage). Most importantly, the tacoma's payload was only 1200 lbs, which with 500 lbs on the hitch, and 500 lbs of driver+copilot, eeek, not much left for gear, and we tend to bring quite a bit of stuff on our extended road trips, music festivals, astronomy events, and so forth.... also important, the Tacoma only had a 18 gallon gas tank, the F250 has a 38(!) gallon diesel tank. its really nice being able to cruise for 500 miles before thinking about the next fillup.


We love the Escape, the bed is much more comfortable for the two of us, the big fridge with freezer, a dinette large enough that the two of us can lounge, the propane oven under the stove. the dark tinted double-pane windows with pulldown blinds are far superior to the funky venetian blinds on the casita. the escape stays far cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold weather due to its better insulation. the Carefree awning is larger and more stable than the Fiamma on the Casita. Love that the escape has a big cargo bin on the front for carrying all that trailer junk (blocks, tools, etc). Love the rear hitch point where we mounted a double-bicycle rack.



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Old 06-24-2019, 09:25 AM   #14
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One other possible difference worth expanding on.
Back in the early 2010s there was a lot of discussion on Casitaforum regarding the inadequacy of the front mounted, window air conditioner on the 16', and modifications attempting to improve the airflow. I don't know if that's still an issue.

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Old 06-24-2019, 11:08 AM   #15
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Talking Dry Weight - 2007 17' Spirit Deluxe

After delivering a small load of scrap at our local recycling center, when I was weighing out my pickup after unloading, I asked if I could bring my Casita in to weigh it on their drive-on scale.

Subtracting the weigh-out for my pickup, the DRY weight on my 2007 17’ Spirit Deluxe Casita (manufacture date: 10/2006) was 2896 lbs.

Notes:
- no awning
- 15” wheels
- Anderson sway bar
- furnace
- fresh water tank empty
- hot water tank empty (after winterizing process)
- fridge empty
- microwave empty
- one full propane tank and one partially full propane tank
- Calmark cover (26?? lbs.)
- RubberMaid shelving unit installed in closet (10?? lbs)
- MaxxAir vent cover for Fantastic Fan
- 23” flat screen TV
- Maybe 20 lbs of misc stuff (jack, wheel chocks, pots/pans, crock pot, etc)
- two rolls of toilet paper in bath
- ½ roll of paper towels in kitchen

Casita currently lists the dry weight for the 17’ Spirit Deluxe as 2480 lbs.
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Old 06-24-2019, 11:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
After selling my Oxygen we are looking for a new rig. Until that perfect rig comes along we are considering other trailers that we previously never considered. Not only have I never owned a Casita I don't believe I've ever been in one. I know that the ceiling height of the 16 is lower than the 17 but I understand that the 16 is quite a bit lighter. Is this the case?
What's the difference between 16' and 17' Casita's?

Steve,

First off, my sympathies regarding selling the Oxygen. It's got to be tough to let go of such a unique trailer. I keep telling the Mrs. that I need some acreage so I can adopt "a few" stray trailers, but so far we have sensibly resisted the allure.

The listed dry weights of the 16 and 17 only differ by about 300 lbs. However, the 17's tend to be very tongue-heavy, particularly for the DLX models.

Casitas have very little storage in the back under the dinette seats, and the overhead cabinets are actually quite small due to the roof design. A large closet is located forward, and we basically used the forward wet bath as a closet and pantry. We converted the bed to permanent by replacing the dinette cushions with a mattress.

The tongue weight on our 17 FD tended to exceed 400 lbs, even with 11 lb LP cylinders replacing the stock 20 lb ones. I countered the high tongue weight by moving gear back to locations under the bed and close to the axle during travel.

With our tow vehicle rated at 440 / 4,400 lbs, we were able to tow with no WDH. This simplified hitching and unhitching. I appreciated this as we often take day trips away from the campsite.

All of this may or may not be a concern with your tow vehicle and your style of travel. Then we would reshuffle the gear a bit each time we arrived or departed.

By the way, my "perfect" trailer combines many of the attributes of a larger model Bigfoot or Escape with a telescoping (fiberglass) hard shell similar to the way Alaskan brand campers operate. Please let me know when you locate this!

"All Alaskan Truck Campers feature a top that raises and lowers hydraulically for safety, comfort and better gas mileage. This provides more interior space, while offering less wind resistance when driving."
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:18 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Civilguy View Post
What's the difference between 16' and 17' Casita's?

Steve,

First off, my sympathies regarding selling the Oxygen. It's got to be tough to let go of such a unique trailer. I keep telling the Mrs. that I need some acreage so I can adopt "a few" stray trailers, but so far we have sensibly resisted the allure.

The listed dry weights of the 16 and 17 only differ by about 300 lbs. However, the 17's tend to be very tongue-heavy, particularly for the DLX models.

Casitas have very little storage in the back under the dinette seats, and the overhead cabinets are actually quite small due to the roof design. A large closet is located forward, and we basically used the forward wet bath as a closet and pantry. We converted the bed to permanent by replacing the dinette cushions with a mattress.

The tongue weight on our 17 FD tended to exceed 400 lbs, even with 11 lb LP cylinders replacing the stock 20 lb ones. I countered the high tongue weight by moving gear back to locations under the bed and close to the axle during travel.

With our tow vehicle rated at 440 / 4,400 lbs, we were able to tow with no WDH. This simplified hitching and unhitching. I appreciated this as we often take day trips away from the campsite.

All of this may or may not be a concern with your tow vehicle and your style of travel. Then we would reshuffle the gear a bit each time we arrived or departed.

By the way, my "perfect" trailer combines many of the attributes of a larger model Bigfoot or Escape with a telescoping (fiberglass) hard shell similar to the way Alaskan brand campers operate. Please let me know when you locate this!

"All Alaskan Truck Campers feature a top that raises and lowers hydraulically for safety, comfort and better gas mileage. This provides more interior space, while offering less wind resistance when driving."


How do you like your Escape 21 as compared to your Casita. Is the weight difference and tow ability quite pronounced? Was the tradeoff worth it?
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Old 06-24-2019, 03:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
Dave, the main reason the Oxygen bed didn't work was with the kitchen on one side and the bathroom on the other the opening to the bed was less than 2 feet wide. With the gel mattress topper, although comfortable, you tended to sink and there was nothing to grab onto to pull yourself out lol. Not a lot of room for maneuvering. I think if we were young and skinny and frisky it would have been fine. But two old folks heading for the bathroom in the middle of the night not so much.
Steve, the opening to the bed is only 2 feet wide in the Casita.

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Old 06-25-2019, 11:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Hammel View Post
How do you like your Escape 21 as compared to your Casita. Is the weight difference and tow ability quite pronounced? Was the tradeoff worth it?
Steve,

I've posted on this before, and am somewhat conflicted.

For ease of towing and gracious living combined, I would basically like something like what they featured in the Jetsons cartoon where a small house or tent would pop out of a small handheld bundle.

The Casita was an easier tow, though probably even more weight than what I would personally prefer. Combined with a 440/4,400 lb rated Audi Q5 the stability and the relatively low wind resistance were excellent. We never used a WDH.

Now, with a 720/7,200 lb rated V-8 JGC, it's just "a bit less perfect" than the thoroughly excellent experience we had with the Casita/Audi combination. I have been dithering with the idea of trying a WDH to better stitch the trailer to the tow, but it would be an expensive experiment to try. Meanwhile, I am watching the loading and the tongue weight.

The ultimate answer is that the missus and I are very happy with the 21 in camp, and I manage just fine on the road. Highs for us include much more storage, the tongue box, the ability to walk by each other, the relatively large countertop area and the much larger refrigerator as we do quite a bit of cooking.

Admittedly, I do sneak looks at canvas pop-top trailers on occasion, but she's mainly tolerant of my roving eye as long as I'm reasonably discreet about it.
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Old 06-25-2019, 06:36 PM   #20
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Dang, I'm starting to realize that maybe there really aren't perfect setups out there. I may regret selling the Oxygen far more than I thought I would. I had a Bigfoot 17 before the Oxygen and felt it towed like a brick with a parachute on it. The Bigfoot was very well designed, big fridge, comfortable. The Oxygen was a "pleasure" to tow. I'd never experienced anything like it but it did need some reworking to be comfortable.
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