Tuesday, May 31, 2016

usbackroads product--Living in a Casita Travel Trailer Part 3

usbackroads product--Living in a Casita Travel Trailer Part 3.

The previous two posts were about the exterior and interior of the Casita.  This post is about living and traveling in the Casita. Less fact and much more opinion.

As noted earlier, there are lots of folks full-timing in a Casita. This is a one person traveling in their Casita after losing their partner: http://casitaescapes.blogspot.com/.  The next person travels with three dogs: http://rvsueandcrew.net/.

Her dogs are smaller.  With Bugaboo and his 100 pounds we tend to do a dance when both of us are in the Casita. He is banished to the truck while traveling with Susie. Snowpatch on the other hand roams the Casita with plenty of corners to hide and get out of the way.

Towing the Casita is its best feature. It is narrow so you end up with good sight distance to the rear. A small move of the steering wheel and you can tell who is behind you. Not that there will be anybody behind you in most cases. With the Dodge Ram 3500 diesel I do not notice that the Casita is behind me. Note that the Casita comes with stock TRAILER tires which should not be driven over 65 MPH. So if you intend to drive fast, I would replace the trailer tires with some rated for higher speeds. The axle should be greased every year or 12,000 miles.

The one thing that gave me a moment of concern is the "pipes" for the gray and black water tanks. They are rather exposed. This web store does have a shield for the black and gray lines. So far no issues, but I am very careful on uneven ground.  The picture shows the clearance. The sewer line is just even with the foil wrapper on a wine bottle.

The disposal hose is stored in the rear bumper. To dump you actually rotate the area around the valves. At first this feels rather strange, but it keeps the contents from dripping.

The awning is made by a Italian company. The instructions are pretty much useless. I tried following them with a experienced Casita owner (he had a different brand awning) and we promptly broke one of the plastic pieces. I am now waiting on parts from Italy. Do a search on internet video's to see how the awning is suppose to open. Forget the instructions, even if you speak Italian.

The rest of the outside is pretty standard. We did purchase a front jack with wheel instead of the electric. The Casita is relatively easy to move due to its light weight a single axle. So if you get stuck you can always disconnect and turn it around fairly easily for a trailer. It does have a 7-pin trailer plug.

The inside of the Casita has vinyl on the floor and carpeting on the ceiling and walls. The first time I walked into it I immediately thought of the opening to the Barbarella movie. I would provide a link, but chose carefully it does not look like the web sites posting the video are "safe". Anyway, it is odd, but after a bit you get use to it. Long time Casita owners recommend ALWAYS using the kitchen fan while cooking. This reduces the carpet holding odors and will minimize the carpet cleaning in the future.

The carpet is also on the ceiling. The TV/DVD player is mounted in a corner. It will run off the 12 volt battery, but I recommend that you keep a solar panel attached if you want to do this. It is worth spending the money for the custom TV setup. There is little room in the trailer so this save space, not money.

Inside, the closet right by the entrance door is a real winner. In a small trailer, there is always the issue of where to put things. In our case, since so much of our camping is done during fall, winter, and spring the closet catches all those jackets that would just be laying around otherwise. There is some storage room below the jackets for some shoes or other items.

Next to the closet is the shower, sink and toilet unit. This is a wet bath so after a shower you will need to mop up the extra water. There is a waterproof storage unit for toiletries.  I did replace the shower unit with a Oxygenics Shower Kit. This gives a much better shower experience while using less water. The hot water heater in the Casita has a pre-set thermostat. The problem with this is that in a RV I always set the hot water temperature for that perfect shower and then just use the hot water. Now I waste water while trying to adjust the hot and cold settings. When and if that hot water heater is replaced, the next one will have an adjustable thermostat.

This brings up the issue of holding tanks. The black water holding tank is 15 gallons. There are no sensors to show the remaining capacity. You just shine a flashlight down the toilet to see how much free board you have available. It works.

The standard fresh water tank is 16 gallons. For boondocking we did select the optional 25 gallon tank. The gray water tank is 32 gallons in the deluxe version and only 13 gallons in the standard version.  Our rule of  thumb is once we start running out of fresh waster we dump the gray.

This covers the first part of living in the Casita. Next posting will cover the kitchen.


Jerry Welsh said...

For a bit more $ there is this Airstream...http://www.gizmag.com/nest-caravan/37479/

Happy trails to you!

Vladimir Steblina said...

That Airstream is a nice unit. Really great design.

Susie's criteria was a bed that was always a bed, a dinette that was always a dinette, and a black water tank rather than a porta-potti. She did not like dumping the porta-potti in the tent trailer!!

It is hard to cram everything into a small trailer! We just bought a canopy for the truck where all the stuff will stay. Bike rack up front, kayaks on the boat rack on the canopy.

Is there anything we missed??