Casita- high-lift axle or standard? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 08-29-2022, 09:26 AM   #1
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp 16 Deluxe
Colorado
Posts: 246
Casita- high-lift axle or standard?

Seven years after we sold our old Scamp, I find that my wife's love of those little trailers is unabated. In light of the scarcity of good used trailers in our region, we're about to to put down a deposit on a 2023 Casita Spirit Deluxe...for just 10x the price of the very used 1980s Scamp 16 we bought 15 years ago! That's life these days, I guess.

Looking over the options list, most of my questions involve tow-related choices:

1) Should I get the high-lift axle package? It's free this month. It raises the clearance from 8 to 11 inches, which I don't think we need, but it includes bigger 15" wheels, which sounds like a good idea. Our last Scamp had 13" wheels, which looked inadequate. Our Scamp seemed to rattle down the road. At the end of every drive, cabinet doors had come open and scattered contents all over the floor. I'd expect a larger tire diameter would give a smoother ride and handle high speeds better. But it also raises the trailer and causes more wind resistance. What's best?

2) What about the two sway control options? I know what a weight distributing hitch is, and don't think I need it. Our 16' Scamp never showed the slightest sway on the road. They also list a friction anti-sway control; what's that? At only $90, it might be a good idea.

Does anyone have real-world experience with these options?
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Old 08-29-2022, 09:50 AM   #2
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17' SD
Washington
Posts: 1,887
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John McMillin View Post
1) Should I get the high-lift axle package? It's free this month. It raises the clearance from 8 to 11 inches, which I don't think we need, but it includes bigger 15" wheels, which sounds like a good idea. Our last Scamp had 13" wheels, which looked inadequate. Our Scamp seemed to rattle down the road. At the end of every drive, cabinet doors had come open and scattered contents all over the floor. I'd expect a larger tire diameter would give a smoother ride and handle high speeds better. But it also raises the trailer and causes more wind resistance. What's best?

2) What about the two sway control options? I know what a weight distributing hitch is, and don't think I need it. Our 16' Scamp never showed the slightest sway on the road. They also list a friction anti-sway control; what's that? At only $90, it might be a good idea.

Does anyone have real-world experience with these options?
1.) Even if it wasn't free I'd get the high lift axle. The high lift axle may seem to be unnecessary, but only until you go to try and dump your holding tanks. Besides the additional ground clearance which will never be a bad thing. Folks who don't have the high lift axle often complain that there is very little room under the trailer to hook up your sewer hose. I have the high lift axle and wouldn't want it any other way. The extra ground clearance will definitely be better all-around. Just my take on it. And get the 15" tires and wheels as well.

2.) Use of sway control and WDH is one of those things that will largely depend on what you are using for a tow vehicle. If you have a smaller or midsized vehicle like I do, (2004 Nissan Frontier p/u,) I find that the WDH and the sway bar are very much necessary. When we tow with my wife's full-size Chevy Silverado w/V-8, we just use the friction sway bar and forego the WDH. The bigger rig doesn't need it. Also, don't forget that comparing the 16' Scamp to a 17' Casita SD is apples and oranges too. The Casita is much heavier than the Scamp, and the Casita tongue weight will run you between 350 Lbs. on the low end, and as much as over 430 Lbs. once you load out the trailer. Just things to consider when choosing your options.
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Old 08-29-2022, 09:59 AM   #3
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Name: Jerrybob
Trailer: casita
Washington
Posts: 454
I would get the high lift axle.....the few inches of clearance and larger tires is a nice feature.....your plumbing equipment will appreciate it. As for wind resistnce.....don't think it matters at all. As for the WD......that would depend on your tow rig.....I tow our Casita with a 2019 Ram 1500 with a tow package......it doesn't know the trailer is back there....no WD is needed...no squat. Lighter smaller tow rigs may need some help. Good luck.
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Old 08-29-2022, 11:27 AM   #4
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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An aged out axle is another possible explanation of the harsh ride of your Scamp. Probably more likely than the size of the wheels. As rubber torsion axles age, they tend to sag a bit, and the rubber gradually becomes stiff, reducing the flexibility of the axle arms as you traverse road imperfections. Worst case, we've seen vintage trailers still rolling on the original axle and completely frozen, so the tires provided the only springs.

I agree with getting the high-lift axle for the larger tires (more choices and better availability) and better plumbing clearance.

As to WDH, depends on your tow vehicle. If its a FWD-based crossover, I'd say yes. If it's a full-sized truck, probably not. Mid-sized trucks are a toss-up. Your owner's manual may have something to say. Figure 400-450# TW for a Casita 17D.

The Anderson WDH supplied by Casita also controls sway, but if you don't require WDH, a stand-alone sway bar is inexpensive extra insurance. Sway is not usually an issue with the tongue-heavy Casita, but in an emergency maneuver or heavy braking in slippery conditions it could help.

The price increases at Scamp and Casita are crazy. Glad we still have our 13'er. We've decided to make it our forever RV.
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Old 08-29-2022, 03:46 PM   #5
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Name: Joel
Trailer: Casita SD
Texas
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Originally Posted by jerrybob View Post
As for wind resistnce.....don't think it matters at all.
Nope - have never seen any comments that it affected fuel economy or handling at all.

The 15-inch tires have a higher maximum weight-carrying rating than the 14-inchers, which is reason enough to get them.

You might try a little bit of towing without any hitch accessories first, to see if you really need anything more.

I tow a 17' SD with a mid-size 2nd-generation Frontier, and have never felt the need for a WD hitch or sway bars. It's nice not having to deal with them when hitching or unhitching.

(There are 3 different generations of the Frontier, each with significantly different towing capacities.)
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Old 08-30-2022, 08:31 AM   #6
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Name: Cotton
Trailer: Casita ID
KY
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For my use, I'd get the high lift and a larger tow vehicle.
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Old 08-30-2022, 06:15 PM   #7
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Late thought... To further smooth out the ride, there is an aftermarket shock absorber kit for the Casita. It's designed for the high lift units but appears to be out of stock at the moment.
Casita High Lift Shock Absorber Kit

Lots of other tempting stuff on that site.
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Old 08-31-2022, 06:10 AM   #8
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Name: Jack
Trailer: Casita Liberty
Virginia
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Get all the options you can afford. It is better to have it than need it & don't have it. This does not include the microwave option. Microwaves are $30 at Walmart.
As for towing, I have a midsize pickup. When I picked up my Casita, they told me all I needed was the sway bar.
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Old 09-03-2022, 07:45 PM   #9
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Name: Darrell
Trailer: Scamp Deluxe 16ft
Alabama
Posts: 309
100% agree with Jack and rest. Larger tires "flat" hold up better on bad roads, I've "went" through 3 new 13 in tires on one trip that was just from N. Alabama to South Alabama... really just B-ham the roads there did in tire on way down then on way back within 5 miles of each other. Puns not with standing. 🙂 Let alone having to dump tanks valve(s) so low that it can be a P.T.B. to dump or get broken off if you hit a pot hole.
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Old 09-03-2022, 08:46 PM   #10
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Name: Frank
Trailer: Casita 17' LD
Florida
Posts: 16
After four blowouts with 14" tires on our Casita, I replaced the axle with a high lift and went to 15" tires. Worth every penny. No more tire problems.
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Old 09-03-2022, 09:23 PM   #11
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Name: John
Trailer: Scamp 16 Deluxe
Colorado
Posts: 246
I agree

The 13" wheels on my old Scamp 16 looked like a joke. It always performed well, though.
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Old 09-04-2022, 08:48 AM   #12
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Name: Jonathan
Trailer: Casita
Massachusetts
Posts: 86
Ours came (2nd hand) with the high axle. minus: higher step-up height, plus: easier dump. If it's a no-cost choice, get the lifted one and buy a folding step-stool. Stow the stool until the trailer leveling requires blocks under the right side and the stretch to the factory slide-out step is higher than comfortable.

Friction anti-sway bar: I say yes. I think it saved my butt once, and that was enough. And, No, I don't want to try again without it to see if there is a different outcome.

WDH: Personal choice. Install some steel beams between the tow vehicle's rear axle and frame if "squat" and "level appearance" is your criteria. Mine is to NOT have tongue weight levering the front of the tow car up. Thanks, anyway, but I'd rather maintain steering and braking. (see friction bar above). A WDH lightens the effective tongue weight on the rear axle and puts some of that back on the front.
The trade-off is there is more stress on the camper frame so don't link-up a 10,000 lb capacity WDH at 10,000 lb when the camper is nowhere near 10k
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Old 09-12-2022, 11:05 PM   #13
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Name: Charles
Trailer: Bigfoot
Georgia
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Add my vote for the high lift.

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