New to fiberglass RVs and considering a Casita or Armadillo! - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-30-2020, 12:42 AM   #1
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Name: KC
Trailer: shopping
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New to fiberglass RVs and considering a Casita or Armadillo!

Hi there! I'm new here and I've gone down such a fun rabbit hole this past month, researching trailers that we could use with our 2018 Toyota Sienna AWD. We're a family of 5, and we're physically smallish (but mighty!), so I'm hoping a 14' Armadillo Backpack or a 16' Casita will work. Basically, we're looking to upgrade from a tent and feel a tad bit safer from bears. We live in Alaska, so the inventory is pretty limited for both new and used trailers. We're definitely willing to buy new, but we'd have to get the trailer up here. We'd prefer not to drive the Alcan Highway after October...!

We're keen on the Armadillo (the triple bunk won my kids over), but i haven't been able to get a hold of anyone there...no response to phone or email. Anyone else have better luck with them?

Do any of you wise and experienced folks have advice or guidance about buying a trailer from or in Alaska?

Thanks! Love looking through the posts and reading about others' experiences and fun adventures.
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Old 06-30-2020, 10:01 AM   #2
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Name: Bob & Jackie
Trailer: 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe
CA,AZ
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Bears in AK

Going from soft taco to crunchy taco in the eyes of bears. Still need to be careful with food, pets, etc.
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Old 06-30-2020, 12:34 PM   #3
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Name: Randy
Trailer: Casita 17 FD
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Strong Casita

Casitas are basically old-school in terms of their construction. The fiberglass is very thick and strong. It uses the kind of technology that was used to build early fiberglass boats well over 50 years. I have a hard time imagining any bear could break into one...maybe do some damage to windows or doors, but not just like a crunchy taco.

That is why Casitas are relatively heavy, just like an old-school boat hull weighs about twice as much as modern boat hull of the same size.

However, as an owner of a 17 FD, I cannot imagine any way to pack family of 5 into a 16' Casita, let alone into a 17. If you find a small trailer that you can fit the 5 of you into, that probably would be what you have to buy. Plus, remember, there is a strong tendency for lilttle children to grow very fast.

Keep safe....from bears or virus...
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Old 06-30-2020, 01:55 PM   #4
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Name: Brittany
Trailer: Casita
Illinois
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We were tenters for the past few years but decided to upgrade and purchase the 17 ft Casita Spirit Standard. It works wonderfully for our family.

I’d highly suggest looking at it, I have pictures I can upload if you’re interested.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:19 PM   #5
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Gator, it's true--those kids grow too darn quickly. We figured that the trailer would simply be a warm, cozy place for us to sleep at night and to keep most of our camping stuff so that we can save time packing for each trip. We were considering some pop-ups as well, but the fiberglass ones just seem better built.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:21 PM   #6
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Thanks, Brittany. Would love to see how you have your Casita set up for your family for inspiration.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:34 PM   #7
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Name: Brittany
Trailer: Casita
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I wouldnít hesitate getting the Casita.

Itís everything you NEED and nothing you donít.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:38 PM   #8
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I would have to say the thought of 3 kids in anything less than a factory floor plan 19' FG camper would be terrifying. Of course you could modify a 16' or 17' camper if you are willing to forgo a bathroom or galley. I have a 17' Boler that I am redoing because it had no interior when I got it and it could easily sleep 7.

The more I think about it if your youngest is a baby/toddler and you don't mind them in the bed you do king across the back, loose the overhead storage and replace with bunks in something like a Casita Liberty.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:38 PM   #9
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That small pop up tent houses our Porta Potti and may be used for outdoor showers.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:40 PM   #10
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Thanks, Brittany. Looks great. Just trying to get past the carpeted walls, but I think they'll grow on me.
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Old 06-30-2020, 02:44 PM   #11
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Trailer: Casita
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I too thought the carpeted walls would be a nightmare with small children but it hasn’t bothered me one bit.
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:19 PM   #12
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
Arizona
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New to fiberglass RVs and considering a Casita or Armadillo!

Scamp also sells a 5-berth 16'er (Layout 7 on the website). It's likely a bit lighter than the 16' Casita, the upper bunk has a higher weight rating (150# vs. 90#, though I personally think 150# would be pushing it), and the factory is several hundred miles closer if buying new.

The 17' Casita has a larger main bed, which is nice, but with five people in your van, I think the weight (and especially tongue weight) of the larger Casita will be very marginal.

Having camped many nights with four people (two smallish teens and two adults) in a 13' Scamp, five in a 16'er sounds luxurious! It can be done, assuming your camping style is more like...well... camping. We spend most of our time outside doing outside things.
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Old 07-01-2020, 08:46 AM   #13
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Name: Alan
Trailer: 2010 Little Joe / 2010 2 Dr Jeep Wrangler
Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Scamp also sells a 5-berth 16'er (Layout 7 on the website). It's likely a bit lighter than the 16' Casita, the upper bunk has a higher weight rating (150# vs. 90#, though I personally think 150# would be pushing it), and the factory is several hundred miles closer if buying new.

The 17' Casita has a larger main bed, which is nice, but with five people in your van, I think the weight (and especially tongue weight) of the larger Casita will be very marginal.

Having camped many nights with four people (two smallish teens and two adults) in a 13' Scamp, five in a 16'er sounds luxurious! It can be done, assuming your camping style is more like...well... camping. We spend most of our time outside doing outside things.


Check this site it might help
A lot of different trailers for sale ( all fiberglass)

https://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com/
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Old 07-02-2020, 01:13 PM   #14
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Name: Bob & Jackie
Trailer: 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe
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Not even a bear

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Originally Posted by Bob & Jackie C View Post
Going from soft taco to crunchy taco in the eyes of bears. Still need to be careful with food, pets, etc.
Not even a bear and same door construction. Bears want in and dogs want out.
Need to teach them both how to open door!
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Old 07-02-2020, 06:53 PM   #15
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Name: MANLEY
Trailer: Happier Camper
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Bears and dogs oh my!
Those two posts were hilarious!
Ok got it....No food or dogs left alone, allowed in the trailer.....EVER.

My son-in-law, as a boy scout, on a boy scout camping trip, left cookies in his leaders car (after being told not to leave any food in the car), while camping in the Sierra's in California. When they returned to the car a week later, the door was ripped off the car. Yes, the leader was not happy and yes he did have to find a ride home with another boy scout leader.....

I do not know how to get in touch with Armadillo but I did see them in person in Winnipeg at the Boler 50 rally. I love the the big drawer under the trailer. Nice trailer.

My thought and experience is that when camping everyone is outside all day long and we only use it for sleeping. We only use the trailer during the days for naps for the little ones, or grandpa, although if its raining, it's nice to have a dry place to be where everyone fits.
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Old 07-02-2020, 07:03 PM   #16
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New to fiberglass RVs and considering a Casita or Armadillo!

Just to be clear, the non-structural fiberglass sheeting used on conventional laminated trailers is thinner than that used in an all-molded trailer. A dog could not punch through the shell of my Scamp. (Okay... a really big and strong dog might do some serious damage...)

However, a bear is another matter. In bear country, we cook outside well away from the trailer. Overnight we use bear boxes if available; otherwise food and kitchen gear goes in the car overnight in tightly sealed containers. We throw blankets and other stuff over the food and icebox because bears have learned to identify them by sight.

If the worst does happen, Iíd rather they trash my car... because we are not in it.
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Old 07-02-2020, 07:33 PM   #17
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Name: Bob & Jackie
Trailer: 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe
CA,AZ
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The Scamp door is bomb proof "well maybe", but the door on a Casita and stick trailers are built very much the same in that they are lighter weight materials and can break easier in the case of a very hungry wild animal.
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Old Yesterday, 07:48 AM   #18
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New to fiberglass RVs and considering a Casita or Armadillo!

Good point- I hadnít thought about the vulnerability of the thinner non-molded door on some molded trailers. I wouldnít call it ďbomb-proofĒ but the molded door with wood core on my Scamp would not allow a smaller animal to break through the skin directly.

I guess it depends on what kinds of wild animals youíre talking about.

I feel very confident that a molded trailer will keep out most of the smaller critters, raccoons being the most common and most likely to cause trouble. Theyíve gotten into stuff weíve left outside, but Iíve never had one try to get into the trailer.

In mountain lion country, youíre also relatively safe in your trailer. Their claws could rip through a screen and do some serious damage to the fiberglass shell, but Iíve honestly never heard of that happening, and I think it unlikely they would even try to claw into a tightly closed molded trailer. Thatís not the way they hunt. Out alone on a hiking trail, thatís where youíre at risk.

Bears are a unique menace in their strength and ability to grip and pull open doors and windows as well as their indiscriminate eating habits. No camper, vehicle, or even home can keep out a determined bear if you give it a reason to want in.

Most of the time theyíd rather stay away from people, especially the more prevalent black bears. Itís usually a combination of drought and careless human activity that brings them into close and aggressive human contact. In bear country pay attention to posted warnings regarding recent activity, follow recommended practices, and keep food and food smells far from sleeping people.
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