Advice Please; Used Casita 17SD vs. Escape 17B - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-22-2013, 01:15 PM   #1
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Advice Please; Used Casita 17SD vs. Escape 17B

The DW, and I are interested in getting one of these two trailers. My inquiry runs the gamut from trailer weight to bathroom size. Our tow vehicle is a 2011 Honda Odyssey, it has a 3.5L motor & 218 HP, rated for 3500 lb tow weight. With TV's modest capability the Escape seems to have the edge, as its total dry weight is 475 pounds less than the Casita. How much of a difference will that make when I drive to Yosemite or Rocky Mt. National Park? Some other Escape advantages are it is 10" longer, and the aisle width is more generous. Is it 2" more in the Escape? Some have said that the dinette on the opposite end of the trailer is nice, why is that better than the Casita's? The Escape seems to have more storage inside, or does it really? One Casita Advantage is that it has a wider bed, 54" to 49." Do some of you set up two beds at night in the Escape? We would like to sleep together with our dog in the same bed. She is a 53 lb bulldog mix. Also, the Casita has a bigger bathroom. I am 5'11," will I have trouble standing up straight to shower in either of these units? One plus of the Casita is it is less expensive to buy a used one than a used Escape. I'll look forward to you feedback.
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Old 11-22-2013, 01:22 PM   #2
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Couple of people on Escape Trailer Owners Community have recently switched from Casita to Escape. You might post your question there so you get answers from people who have recently made a choice.
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:58 PM   #3
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Thanks, Glenn: It is now posted on the Escape Community. I will also post it on the Casita Club. I am neutral on the topic and just wanting to get the best value in a used one that I can.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Charles View Post
Our tow vehicle is a 2011 Honda Odyssey, it has a 3.5L motor & 218 HP, rated for 3500 lb tow weight. With TV's modest capability the Escape seems to have the edge, as its total dry weight is 475 pounds less than the Casita. How much of a difference will that make when I drive to Yosemite or Rocky Mt. National Park?
I own a 2003 Honda Odyssey that I purchased new. I feel it is a very capable tow vehicle. It will get the trailer to wherever you want to put it, *but* depending on the speed at which you climb mountains it will cost you in fuel "economy". My Odyssey could tow my Fiber Stream across Kansas at 55 mph and get 17-18 mpg. OTOH on one trip when I went from Denver to Boise and kicked it up to 75 mph because I was running behind schedule, the Odyssey pulled well but only got 8-9 mpg.

Check out http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...rld-43010.html.

I have known Odyssey owners who towed Casitas with weight distributing hitches, but the higher hitch weights of some Casitas are problematic.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:07 PM   #5
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I have a Casita 17 SD that we bought used and are very happy with it. The PO had completed a lot of good mods to it. They are tongue heavy though, when I weighed ours in the summer packed for a short trip (no water in tanks) total 3220 tongue 380.
I have had several different brands and liked them all for different reasons but I would say the Casita is the best match so far. Haven't had an Escape yet though!

Part of it will depend on how soon you want to camp and how much you want to pay. As you know there are a lot more Casita's on the used market at lower prices than the Escapes. You could always buy what you see first and probably sell it for the same price if it doesn't meet your needs and try a different one.They have great resale value.
My husband is 6ft and can stand up when showering (not sure how straight he is ) in the Casita but it is a smaller space. We do like the bigger bed for sure. I really like the side dinette but it is the first time we have one so nothing to compare it too.
Have you called Escape and asked to see one in your area as that could help with your decision.
Good luck.
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Frederick L. Simson View Post
I own a 2003 Honda Odyssey that I purchased new. I feel it is a very capable tow vehicle. It will get the trailer to wherever you want to put it, *but* depending on the speed at which you climb mountains it will cost you in fuel "economy". My Odyssey could tow my Fiber Stream across Kansas at 55 mph and get 17-18 mpg. OTOH on one trip when I went from Denver to Boise and kicked it up to 75 mph because I was running behind schedule, the Odyssey pulled well but only got 8-9 mpg.
Sounds like you paid big to get to Boise quicker! How many feet long is your Fiber Stream?
Quote:

Check out http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...rld-43010.html

I have known Odyssey owners who towed Casitas with weight distributing hitches, but the higher hitch weights of some Casitas are problematic.
What if I put on rear air support for the leaf springs?
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Old 11-22-2013, 07:49 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by kootenaigirl View Post
I have a Casita 17 SD that we bought used and are very happy with it. The PO had completed a lot of good mods to it. They are tongue heavy though, when I weighed ours in the summer packed for a short trip (no water in tanks) total 3220 tongue 380.
I have had several different brands and liked them all for different reasons but I would say the Casita is the best match so far. Haven't had an Escape yet though!
Part of it will depend on how soon you want to camp and how much you
want to pay. As you know there are a lot more Casita's on the used market at lower prices than the Escapes. You could always buy what you see first and probably sell it for the same price if it doesn't meet your needs and try a different one.They have great resale value.
My husband is 6ft and can stand up when showering (not sure how straight he is ) in the Casita but it is a smaller space. We do like the bigger bed for sure. I really like the side dinette but it is the first time we have one so nothing to compare it too.
Have you called Escape and asked to see one in your area as that could help with your decision.
Good luck.
[SIZE="4"]Thanks for your input. I should think that there are more used Casitas than Escapes, because I'd guess Casita historically sells more units. As for buying and reselling I'd rather get it right the first time. I did call Escape and they were quite helpful in commenting but pretty neutral because I will buy used. I doubt they want to refer me to one of their customers because I won't buy new. We went in a 19' Escape and they are really nice, just beyond the budget.

Thank you.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:23 PM   #8
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Last I looked, there was a used Escape 15 on the Escape Trailer Industries web site.
Wife and I sleep in the 17B bed along with a 40lb. beagle. She is very accommodating and finds space between our feet at the bottom of the bed.
My 17B comes in with a hitch weight of 312 - 320 lbs and I use a WDH on the RAV4 ( which has a hitch max of 350 lbs. ).
Member Derek installed air bags on his RAV4 and then got a WDH.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:30 PM   #9
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Steve.....

We have a 2007 Casita 17 SD. Our tow vehicle (2010 Tundra 5.7 liter.) is carried over from an earlier, larger trailer, so we are overtrucked, and have no tow capacity issues.

Based on our earlier years of experience, however, I believe your Odyssey would be very marginal as a TV for a 17' Casita. The old rule that one should have 10-15% more tow capacity than the loaded trailer's weight pretty well defines what produces a comfortable ongoing towing experience.

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Old 11-22-2013, 08:44 PM   #10
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Last I looked, there was a used Escape 15 on the Escape Trailer Industries web site.
Wife and I sleep in the 17B bed along with a 40lb. beagle. She is very accommodating and finds space between our feet at the bottom of the bed.
My 17B comes in with a hitch weight of 312 - 320 lbs and I use a WDH on the RAV4 ( which has a hitch max of 350 lbs. ).
Member Derek installed air bags on his RAV4 and then got a WDH.
Hitch weight in my owners manual states it is ideal for it to be 10% of the two vehicles weight. Less or more could cause problems. I have done a lot of research online in different forums and folks with 17' Casitas and Honda Odyssey are doing fine, even in the mountains. I'll just need to use the following: WDH, Sway Bar, Prodigy Brake Controller, Trans Cooler & maybe a power steering cooler and air lift for the rear leaf springs. One guy uses an a K and N air filter for increased performance, I'll probably do that too.

I am probably looking at a Casita based on availability being better than an Escape.

This is a great forum and all of the support is much appreciated.
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Old 11-22-2013, 08:55 PM   #11
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Not sure that you would need the air lift if you have the WDH.
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Old 11-22-2013, 09:52 PM   #12
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Okay, you're concerned about a bathroom size.. really? My sticks 'n bricks home... I could invite 6 people inside the shower and you know what?... I (we) can get just as clean if the bathroom was the size of a telephone booth and/or if it was just me. Every inch you put into an all molded towable bathroom.. has to come from somewhere. I prefer a bigger bed or more/larger cabinet space for storage. I can use a toilet or get clean in a "shower" that is a HECK of a lot smaller than I expect.. think "Navy." How much time do expect to spend inside there anyway every single day vs other areas?
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Old 11-23-2013, 06:56 PM   #13
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Okay, you're concerned about a bathroom size.. really? My sticks 'n bricks home... I could invite 6 people inside the shower and you know what?... I (we) can get just as clean if the bathroom was the size of a telephone booth and/or if it was just me. Every inch you put into an all molded towable bathroom.. has to come from somewhere. I prefer a bigger bed or more/larger cabinet space for storage. I can use a toilet or get clean in a "shower" that is a HECK of a lot smaller than I expect.. think "Navy." How much time do expect to spend inside there anyway every single day vs other areas?
I've had a good laugh about your question! You have a good point about the space utilization. I'll be thinking of that and also reconsidering a 16' Scamp.
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:35 PM   #14
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I am probably looking at a Casita based on availability being better than an Escape.
Here's the thing, Escapes are like most Canadians and they are snow birds and tend to head south ;-) you actually have a far better chance of finding yourself a nice used 17' Escape in California, Arizona and Oregon than you finding one in BC where they are built. I know as I have been watching the used market for the past year - you actually just missed out by a month on a very nice one in Arizona.
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Charles View Post
Sounds like you paid big to get to Boise quicker! How many feet long is your Fiber Stream?
The Fiber Stream is 16' long, qualifying for California PTI license plates.

Casita started out in 1983.
Escape started in 2001. There are way more Casitas in existence than Escapes.
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Old 11-24-2013, 05:46 AM   #16
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For any towed load greater than 3,000 pounds and 300 lb. tongue weight, I would want a tow vehicle with a FRAME, not a unibody platform. That means something truck based like a Sequoia, Expedition, Tahoe, Yukon, etc. I have also found that V6s tend to suck just as much gas as V8s when they are pulling a load. I could also expound on the benefits of towing with RWD vs. FWD, but I would run into all sorts who use FWD and swear by it. Safety should be your top priority. A loaded Casita is too near the 3,000 pound limit.
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Old 11-24-2013, 11:42 AM   #17
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For any towed load greater than 3,000 pounds and 300 lb. tongue weight, I would want a tow vehicle with a FRAME, not a unibody platform. That means something truck based like a Sequoia, Expedition, Tahoe, Yukon, etc. I have also found that V6s tend to suck just as much gas as V8s when they are pulling a load. I could also expound on the benefits of towing with RWD vs. FWD, but I would run into all sorts who use FWD and swear by it. Safety should be your top priority. A loaded Casita is too near the 3,000 pound limit.
I checked my owners manual and thought more about the TV. I have come to see things differently and should I get a Casita 17' I will change to a ford Explorer (rated for 5,000 pounds), or something similar.

I other option is to get a 16' Scamp deluxe that in true weight would weigh in when loaded at about 2,800 pounds. A loaded Casita would be closer to 3,300 pounds. This might be another option as I do like the Odyssey. Please comment.
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:11 PM   #18
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I met a guy from Shreveport who tows a 2013 17' Casita with an Odyssey. They have towed in the Smokies in hot weather, he says with no problem. I suppose you could try it and see. I personally have never looked under the rear of an Odyssey, so I'm not sure as to the receiver attachment. What maximum tongue weight does Honda list for an Odyssey? The load you are carrying inside the Odyssey would also be a factor.
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Old 11-24-2013, 02:47 PM   #19
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I checked my owners manual and thought more about the TV. I have come to see things differently and should I get a Casita 17' I will change to a ford Explorer (rated for 5,000 pounds), or something similar.

I other option is to get a 16' Scamp deluxe that in true weight would weigh in when loaded at about 2,800 pounds. A loaded Casita would be closer to 3,300 pounds. This might be another option as I do like the Odyssey. Please comment.
Nothing else tows like a Scamp and it has more headroom than the Casita.
The "unibody" is certainly not an issue.I.E... I found many owners of GM fullsized vans who towed enclosed trailers for years and didn't even know the van was "unibody" construction.
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Old 11-24-2013, 04:25 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
Okay, you're concerned about a bathroom size.. really? My sticks 'n bricks home... I could invite 6 people inside the shower and you know what?... I (we) can get just as clean if the bathroom was the size of a telephone booth and/or if it was just me. Every inch you put into an all molded towable bathroom.. has to come from somewhere. I prefer a bigger bed or more/larger cabinet space for storage. I can use a toilet or get clean in a "shower" that is a HECK of a lot smaller than I expect.. think "Navy." How much time do expect to spend inside there anyway every single day vs other areas?
Oooh, Donna, what goes on in your shower? I'll be right over...

Steve, the Casita 17 with front bath can be very hitch heavy, sometimes 400 to 600 lbs with full water in front. It depends partly on how it's loaded. But even the dry hitch weight listed, 365 lbs, may over the limit for your van (3500/350, am I right?). So even though the total weight is fine, the hitch will be so heavy as to affect handling (even with airbags or helper springs) and to possibly compromise the integrity of the hitch receiver mount points. So your idea of an Explorer is good... or a Highlander like mine, or a Jeep Grand Cherokee... something that will handle at least 500 on the tongue.

Other than that, I'd say your van should handle any of the eggs you're presently contemplating. It becomes a matter of personal preferences, mostly. Or in reality, it may be a question of which used egg you can get to first, before someone else beats you to it!

The Scamp bed is 48" IIRC, unless you get the deluxe (wood cabinets) and then it's 54".

Dining and sitting in the rear or on the side is more scenic than in the front, where you are mainly looking out the front window at the rear of your van.

My Highlander has 270 HP, and it does pretty well, but in the high mountains where the thin air reduces HP, this summer I was wishing I had more power. Just something to think about.
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