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Old 03-20-2023, 02:55 PM   #1
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Name: Dan
Trailer: Casita
New Mexico
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Thumbs up Back to RVs after 20 years :steer

Hi y’all-
We’re getting closer to my wife Alison retiring from teaching, looking forward to traveling more throughout North America at a slower pace. Now that sleeping on the ground has exhausted its appeal and we’d like our own bathroom, I’ve been turning over rocks for the right small FG trailer. Living in the high desert of New Mexico (“So far from heaven, so close to Texas”), that will probably be a Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe, though I’m open to alternatives under 5000 lbs GVW. I’d like to keep expenses low and fuel economy high so will stick to something towable with our trusty Highlander or a minivan, at most a midsize pickup.
Our last trailer was a 1972 22’ Argosy I inherited from my dad about 1998. We have a lot of happy memories of traveling the Southwest and down to Mexico with our young sons, now grown and far from home. Getting the capability of the Argosy in a compact package is my inspiration. I’m grateful to have this kind of resource to call on to keep me out of the chewing-gum-and-bailing wire class of RV owner.
Cheers, Dan
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Old 03-20-2023, 07:51 PM   #2
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Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Welcome, Dan!

Casita is a great couple trailer, and lots of value, especially if you can find a clean used one with some of the more popular upgrades already done. Runs a bit heavy on the tongue, which makes for very stable towing, but might make a light-duty weight distributing hitch advisable for a FWD-based crossover like the Highlander. Most minivans top out around 3500# towing, and Casita recommends 5000#, mainly due to the tongue weight.

Best wishes in your “egg hunt”!
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Old 03-20-2023, 08:45 PM   #3
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Name: Dan
Trailer: Casita
New Mexico
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Best wishes in your ďegg huntĒ!
Thanks, Jon.
I have been reading a *lot of threads on this site, including those on towing and hitch weight. So Iím fully aware of views about marginal tow vehicles. I would love to find a minivan that would tow a Casita, because we would ideally travel with two bikes inside and at least one kayak. My fallback tow vehicle will be a Nissan Frontier, though used car prices are a bit higher than I would like to see.

Iíd be very happy to find an egg in my price range by Easter. Right now what Iím finding is more in the FabergŤ category while Iím a Denver omelet kind of guy. But I imagine the longer I look the more my budget will creep up and the distance Iíll travel for the right 17D will increase.
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Old 03-21-2023, 12:41 AM   #4
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Name: Justus
Trailer: On Hiatus
California
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Originally Posted by Dan Felipe R View Post
Thanks, Jon.
I have been reading a *lot of threads on this site, including those on towing and hitch weight. So Iím fully aware of views about marginal tow vehicles. I would love to find a minivan that would tow a Casita, because we would ideally travel with two bikes inside and at least one kayak. My fallback tow vehicle will be a Nissan Frontier, though used car prices are a bit higher than I would like to see.

Iíd be very happy to find an egg in my price range by Easter. Right now what Iím finding is more in the FabergŤ category while Iím a Denver omelet kind of guy. But I imagine the longer I look the more my budget will creep up and the distance Iíll travel for the right 17D will increase.
The Mercedes Metris is a RWD minivan rated to tow 5,000 lbs with about 2,500 lbs payload in the cargo version. Here is one towing an Escape 17. Owners seem happy with it for what it is. I considered the passenger version for a bit but it's just windows and bench seats slapped onto the cargo version, not much thought for comfort and certainly not worth paying Mercedes entry and maintenance cost for us. It is being discontinued this year due to poor sales.

Have you considered a 16' Casita? They are no longer produced and harder to find used, but the lower tongue weight should open up any current minivan as a tow vehicle.
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Old 03-21-2023, 01:20 PM   #5
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Name: Dan
Trailer: Casita
New Mexico
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Originally Posted by Justus C View Post
Have you considered a 16' Casita? They are no longer produced and harder to find used, but the lower tongue weight should open up any current minivan as a tow vehicle.
Thanks for the ideas, Justus. Iíd look at a Casita 16 footer, though I havenít even seen any mention on the web let alone found one for sale. Iím also trying to stay within about 15 years of new in the hope that keeps parts available and systems more maintainable.
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Old 03-23-2023, 08:18 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dan Felipe R View Post
Thanks for the ideas, Justus. Iíd look at a Casita 16 footer, though I havenít even seen any mention on the web let alone found one for sale. Iím also trying to stay within about 15 years of new in the hope that keeps parts available and systems more maintainable.
You might consider a 16' Scamp which will be lighter overall and at the tongue. As for parts, many here are travelling with long orphaned trailers. Most of the parts that fail were made by others and if they sell parts at all, they are very expensive with a more current model being cheaper. Scamp is the only manufacturer that maintains an online store, worth a visit. That said, I would pick a Casita 17' over a Scamp 16' mostly because I prefer the layout options. And I already have the Frontier.
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Old 03-23-2023, 08:31 AM   #7
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Name: Shawn
Trailer: 2021 Bigfoot 25B25RT. Prior units: 2019 Escape 21, 2001 Casita SD17
Kentucky
Posts: 111
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Felipe R View Post
Thanks for the ideas, Justus. Iíd look at a Casita 16 footer, though I havenít even seen any mention on the web let alone found one for sale. Iím also trying to stay within about 15 years of new in the hope that keeps parts available and systems more maintainable.
Dan,

I would say condition of the rv is more important than year. With a Casita I would shoot for a 2003 or newer as the mold changed that year. The biggest change was the larger rear window, why that is important, the refrigerator should it need to be replaced will fit through the window. On a pre 2003 unit you have to disassemble the fridge to get though the door. Our first molded fiberglass rv was a 2001 Casita and it looked great and everything worked well during its stay with us. 2016-2019
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Old 03-23-2023, 08:56 AM   #8
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Name: Dan
Trailer: Casita
New Mexico
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Raz, I am keeping an eye out for a Scamp 16 layout 6, though I havenít seen any 16s for sale regardless of configuration.

Buellfire, itís good to know 2003 is a pivotal year for the Casita 17. Any bigger windows are a plus for me, I love a bright space.

Iíve only been searching a few weeks but it appears I may need to get back to the early aughts just to turn up something under US $15,000. And be patient.
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Old 03-26-2023, 10:10 PM   #9
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Name: Darrell
Trailer: Scamp Deluxe 16ft
Alabama
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Good luck on finding your Easter Egg. Many are looking that I can verify. I have a few people who just drive up to my place and try to buy my 16ft Scamp every few months or sometimes weeks.
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Old 03-26-2023, 10:26 PM   #10
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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Both Scamp and Casita 16’ers have a smaller main bed than the Casita 17’er (45”W vs. 54”W). Exceptions are Scamp deluxe (custom wood interior) models and Casita Liberty layout.

Casita16’ also comes up shorter on interior headroom (5’10” vs 6’2” for Scamp 16 and Casita 17).

Just some considerations as you shop.
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Old 03-27-2023, 07:34 AM   #11
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Name: Dan
Trailer: Casita
New Mexico
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Darrell, it’s true that this year’s Easter Egg hunt is the kind organized by a particularly fiendish parent who delights in making the kids search high and low for their goodies. So it’s a good thing I am a particularly single-minded person.

Jon, thanks for the tips. At six feet tall I appreciate both headroom and bed room.

Ruth C., you have a PM.
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Old 03-28-2023, 06:51 AM   #12
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Name: Jonathan
Trailer: Casita
Massachusetts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Felipe R
... Iíve been turning over rocks for the right small FG trailer. ... probably be a Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe, .... Iíd like to keep expenses low and fuel economy high ..... keep me out of the chewing-gum-and-bailing wire class of RV owner.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Felipe R
Iíd be very happy to find an egg in my price range by Easter. Right now what Iím finding is more in the FabergŤ category while Iím a Denver omelet kind of guy.
Dan, Duck tape and twine are directly inverse to the FabergŤ entry fee. Dininish one category and there's a increase in the other. You'll need to decide your personal tipping point.
Be ready with open travel plans and cash in the bank so that you can jump when (actually: whenever) the opportunity arises. We scored our mid-teens 17SD that way. And view it/them in person. Don't make decisions to buy (or pass) based on grainy images on a LCD screen.
We had transitioned to hard-side from the very different experience of folding trailers so the trade-off of what we lost to what we gained was beyond compare. Be honest about the memories you have selected to remember about the Argosy. You have to be concious that the Casita (Scamp, Oliver, whatever) is NOT going to be Argosy (Avion, etc.), so please keep that in mind as you review the scant number of pre-owned fiberglass offerings that might become available for viewing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ
....Casita16í also comes up shorter on interior headroom (5í10Ē vs 6í2Ē for Scamp 16 and Casita 17).
Headroom was the deciding factor for us. I'm 5'10" barefoot. The raised roof spine on the 17 Casita is enough, but.... The standing height at the forward located shower is less due to the tapering of that spine at front and rear ends. At the rear the height is moot as that's at the sitting table or the lay down bed. There's also the entry door height, or rather the exit height. Upon exit I tended to hit my head on the top of the door frame. I've finally learned to duck, so no more self-inflicted 'dope slap'.
We tow with a 2 liter Audi and WDH. Fuel use drops from a 27-ish (not towing average of local errands, city, highway) to 17-ish mpg towing (mostly highway).
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Old 04-01-2023, 10:34 AM   #13
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Name: Jack
Trailer: Casita Liberty
Virginia
Posts: 570
Welcome,
We are retired, too, and bought our liberty in 2019 new. We spent a summer seeing the country. We loved it. We Will be doing it again soon. Looking back, we wished we would of gotten the Casita Independence. We are tired of crawling over each other to get up to pee.
The only option we did not get was the microwave. Cheaper to buy one. As for options, we think it is better to it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

For a tow vehicle, a midsize pick-up was perfect for us. The truck bed is a lifesaver.

We get 15 MPG towing. The Chevy Colorado was used. It has a towing capacity of 7500 pounds.

I think the build time is now over a year I think. In 2019 it was two months.

Let us know what you decide.
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Old 04-02-2023, 08:36 AM   #14
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Name: Dan
Trailer: Casita
New Mexico
Posts: 17
Our big Easter egg hunt is done already

I am fresh off a 4-day 1600 mile journey across Texas to pick up a one-owner 2008 Casita Spirit Deluxe. It came from a forum member, so I owe this forum a great debt of gratitude.

Rather than mess with the details of towing (or not) with the Highlander, I drove my brotherís mammoth F-250 crew cab 4x4 diesel, which for the price of 14mpg at $3.80 a gallon gave me rock-stable handling, unlimited power, and luxury tow features (Integrated brake controller, power tow mirrors, backup camera) so I could drive more and worry less. I had one repair delay, a hot hub taken care of at Llano Station where they replaced a bad seal, repacked the bearing and put back me on the road in two hours. Side note: big kudos to the seller, who reminded me to stop and check the running gear after an hour, and passed along copious spare parts including a full seat of bearings and seals.

There are of course the usual things to fix or replace: Dead battery, older tires, wonky cabinet hinges and latches, musty AC smell. But nothing major, so I can focus on taking care of them in plenty of time for summer.

Thank you all again for your considered opinions and the dialogue about choices and possibilities. I donít always take advice, but I do listen carefully. I look forward to more of the same in the next phase of fixing and fettling the Casita to make it a home. Itís gonna be fun.
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Old 04-02-2023, 11:00 AM   #15
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Good call on the truck, at least for this first long slog! Congratulations, and here's to many adventures ahead (hopefully none of the mechanical kind)!
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Old 04-02-2023, 11:05 AM   #16
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Name: Greg
Trailer: 2008 Casita 17' SD
Washington
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[QUOTE=I drove my brotherís mammoth F-250 crew cab 4x4 diesel, which for the price of 14mpg at $3.80 a gallon.[/QUOTE]

Be thankful that you don't live in Washington, where gas is still $4.20/gallon, and Diesel is just a few cents south of $5 bucks a gallon.
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