Casita Book

Our 2018 (picked up January, 2019) Casita Spirit Deluxe headed home following the Texas Star Party, 2019.

So You Spent Your Life Savings and Bought A Casita!?

I’ve decided to create a book of sorts on this website about All things Casita. This will be a work in progress – ever growing with tips, tricks, and the things a New Casita owner learns as they go along. It is my hope that others will find this page useful enough to consider making a donation on the go-fund-me page linked to ‘Help Fund Me‘ here and on the homepage.

If you are reading this while planning and dreaming of owning a Casita, please contact them in Rice Texas and tell them you want to see a Casita and plan to visit us and see ours. We get a bonus every time anyone sees our Casita and later orders one from the factory, and you benefit from seeing one by new owners who can help guide your choices, including what to plan for in future modifications and products you will need – and others you don’t need. We will also invite you to stop by during our travels and allow you to see one in use while we are camping! You could stick around and enjoy the night sky with us!

Robin and I are new Casita owners, we picked our 2018 Casita Spirit Deluxe up January (25th). So I am writing from the view point of new owners sharing our trials and successes as we go. There is also a review section on this website, and I will be reviewing modifications and products we buy and others sent to us by manufacturers for inclusion in this work.

It is not beyond the realm of possibility that we may eventually go full time in our Casiita. I don’t know how we will be able to afford property taxes as we grow older for one thing. So the idea of selling everything or renting out our home to one of our kids is a good possibility.

Owning the Casita opens doors for Christian Ministry. I already use ours to get out in the State Parks and share and educate the public in Astronomy. Two weeks from now we will be sharing Astronomy with the public at Ft. Griffin State Park, and in October at the Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose TX.

Robin and I celebrate 44 years of marriage next February, and Casita plays a big role in our retirement plans. I have been forced into semi-retirement already due to some health issues. So only time will tell the whole story.

One of the things we have kidded about in our retirement years has been traveling the country together, where the kids and grandkids back home are thinking,

I wonder where mom and Dad are today!

As a Christian I believe every one of us have the responsibility to have some form of ministry. Many times I have thought mine in later years would have to do with traveling, visiting State and National Parks sharing my love of the night sky from the perspective of a Christian Astronomer.

There are so many reasons for us to own a Casita…what are yours?

Casita is the name of a Fiberglass Travel Trailer made right here in North Texas. In Spanish, it means small house. The manufacturing plant is about 40 minutes from where we live! We wanted one since they started making them back in the early 80’s. So many times we passed the lot and saw them sitting out waiting for their owners to pick them up, and vowed, ‘someday.’

There are many competitors in the Fiberglass RV world today, but for the money and overall benefits of Casita make it the perfect trailer to explore this majestic Nation. There are a number of competitors to Casita. Among them are ArmadilloBigfootHappier CamperScampOliverEggcamperEscapeAirstream, etc. Then you get into the larger campers like Jayco, Airstream, etc. We very briefly considered other competitors when we decided to buy our Casita. We’d gotten to the point of narrowing the field, and ruled out such things as Jayco and the like. The quality and reliability just wasn’t there. And they are like a lot of autos where they lose much of their value as soon as they are driven off the lot.

The old saying everything is bigger in Texas doesn’t really apply in regards to Casita! The Casita Company offers 16 and 17 foot travel trailers, they discontinued a 13 foot model just before we placed our order. Many manufacturers offer trailers more than twice the size of the Casita. But what it fails to offer in size it offers in quality and ease of towing.

I like the size, it is small enough to be towed with any modest tow vehicle (we tow with an F150 pick up), while large enough to pack all the comforts of home. I’ve taken it to our Astronomy club’s observing site in south-central Oklahoma and realized anything much larger would be a chore getting into the site and through the gate. The Casita was a perfect fit.

Texas Built

Texas Pride


Everything You Need to Know About Casita

Air Conditioner

On those balmy, high humidity nights when you are literally dripping with sweat, you can step inside and cool off in Air Conditioned comfort inside your Casita! Or what about those cold nights where you need to get inside and warm up a little? Casita supplies their trailers with a roof mounted AC unit that offers both cooling as well as heating. In addition, there is a MaxX Fan that reverses allowing air to be pulled into or circulated out of the Casita if you have your windows open enjoying the night sounds of nature.

Our Casita Spirit Deluxe employs a Coleman Max roof mounted Air Conditioner with built in Heating strip. Why a heating strip? Because there may (or should I say, will) at times be the need to heat the trailer somehow other than with Propane.

Hard Start Capacitors ~ $300

Tammy King on the Facebook group Casita Owners of America recently wrote:

Installed Micro Air Easy Start tonight! Wow what a difference! AC starts so much smoother and no violent thunk on start up. Definitely happy! Honda 2000 should handle it just fine now! 

Hutch Mountain – Run AC with 1 Generator – the Microair Easy Start 364

The idea behind a hard start capacitor is that the capacitor stores an electric charge, and when your Generator tries to start the AC unit that electric charge assists the generator in the startup. It’s called Locked Rotor Amperage, and means to start the AC it requires a great boost of amperage to start the motor.The hard start capacitor eliminates the need for a more powerful generator or the need for two, allowing one 2,000 watt generator to do the job.

One of my most common mistakes is having the air conditioner on and deciding my coffee needs heating a bit or I decide to pop a bag of popcorn. So I open the microwave door and push start. Then “Oh No!” About the time I realize the air is on everything shuts down. The generator overload trips and power goes out! 

Micro-Air Easy Start Kit

The Micro-Air EasyStart 364 comes with an installation kit and costs ~ $300. The Link will take you to RV Upgrades for the self installation kit. Check Google & Amazon for other retailers.

The Micro-Air ASY-364-X20-IP EasyStart With Installation Kit is a one of a kind custom developed soft starter for single phase motors, allowing you to run up to 2 RV air conditioners on a single 30 amp cord. 

  • Supports 100-125VAC, 50-60Hz motors.
  • Compatible with pure or modified sine inverters.
  • The perfect solution that allows an air conditioner or refrigeration compressor to operate on a generator, inverter or limited utility power.
  • Will work for a 120V, any BTU, rooftop A/C unit.
  • Audibly quieter and smoother compressor startups.
  • Enhanced fault detection protects the compressor.
  • Integrated short-cycle prevention.
  • Employs a 4-part start ramp sequence that is self-optimizing, resulting in the lowest possible start-up current.
  • Delivers 65-75% start current reduction as compared to a compressor’s LRA (locked-rotor amperage).
  • Specialized fault checks provide further protection for your compressor.
  • Capable of supporting up to a 36000 BTU (3 ton) compressor.
  • Fully weatherproof casing (IP65), flameproof, a plastic enclosure with an integrated mounting flange, and a 40″ wire harness.
  • Mounts inside the rain shield on a rooftop unit.
  • Dimensions: 7.64″ L x 3.58″ W x 2.50″ H.
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Includes installation kit KIT-364-RT2:
    • 250 Fast On Connector (female)
    • Closed End Splice Connector
    • Conn RCPT FLG Fast 14-16 AWG
    • .250 PiggyBack (blue)
    • Male .250″ 12-14 GA (yellow)
    • Male .250″ 14-16 GA (blue)
    • Wire 14 AWG (black)
    • Cable Tie – 8 inch (black)
    • Double Sided Foam Tape
    • Snap Bushing
    • Quick Connect Receptacle

Air Conditioner Noise

Another problem I hear a lot about is the noise from the normal operation of the Air Conditioner. Not only for you, but also from others around you. Tent campers especially are bothered by the noise. If you add to that Generator noise, it becomes even worse a problem. A solution is available, read below about the Easy Start Hush Kit.

Micro-Air Easy Start 364 ‘Hush kit’

Apps Useful for RVing

AllTrails

RoadTripper

RV Parky

RV Trip Diary

ToGo

TX Markers

TX State Parks

 

Astronomy In Your Casita

Whether you are an amateur astronomer, camper, or just curious about the night sky, the Casita is in many ways like a Starship Enterprise Shuttle Craft.

You may not want to run out and buy a telescope, but every time you take your Casita out you have an opportunity to see something incredible.

A simple tool for astronomy is a lawn chair. You can lay out uner the stars and learn the Constellations and/or lay back and watch for Meteors.

Next to that, the second best item you can employ in Astronomy are those bird watching Binoculars you already own!

In my other life, I am an Astronomer, so you didn’t really think I was going to miss the opportunity to teach you about the wonderful hobby of Astronomy, did you? I’ve been a substitute teacher for some 14 years, and I got a bit of a reputation with my students. Move over Bill Nye – I am the real Science Guy!

That reputation was well deserved, because in all my classes I found a way to get students engaged in conversation plugging Astronomy.

So why should I be any different with you, Casita fans? The Casita Travel Trailer is a fantastic tool for getting modern folks out from in front of  the idiot box to engage nature.

I am shocked how many students I have asked over the years only to find out not only do they admit they have never seen the Milky Way, but I have found many who don’t even know what it is…

How tragic. Bit let me tell you something. A lot of RVers kids go home after a weekend in the State or National Parks still having never seen the Milky Way. How can that be? For the same reason they cannot see it at home – LIGHT POLLUTION!

Truly tragic when their parents take their kids out from the city in pristine nature and bring along with them their light pollution – they string all these pretty little twinkle lights all over their camper and from tree to tree and blind themselves and their family such that they cannot see what is happening above their heads.

I was at Copper Breaks State Park in March, which is an International Dark Sky Association dark sky preserve. I could see these blinding lights encircling these people wondering if they had any clue what they were missing. Then I spotted a very bright meteor, a classic sight. The people under their mobile light pollution modules completely missed out on a fine specimen of the night..

So please excuse me if I am less than impressed with your Casita having a ring of light surrounding it. One of my missions in life is to teach people to help preserve the dark night sky when we are camping. It not only ruins your view of the nighttime sky, but it ruins other campers as well…

When you feel the need, the meed for light, please use red light like we Astronomers use to preserve our dark adaptation…see image of our 2018 Spirit Deluxe below.

Never Transport Optical Equipment in your Trailer!

It has been said that an RV interior experiences the equivalent of a 4.9 Magnitude Earthquake every time it is towed.

I do not recommend carrying delicate optical equipment inside your Casita. Carry all your delicate equipment (Telescopes, binoculars, cameras, computers, etc. inside your tow vehicle when towing.

2018 Casita Spirit Deluxe with Outside Night (and Neighbor) Friendly Lighting

The Shadow is Coming!

April 8, 2024 seems like it is a long way away. However, NOW is the time to start making plans for the Great American Eclipse of 2024. Every camping spot anywhere under the shadow will be booked solid with waiting lists, every hotel and evey restaurant will be full.

Start Planning NOW!

This time will not be like the last one in August 2017. I had to stay home and wound up sharing the partial eclipse in our area wth the public at the County of Rockwall Public Library.

 

Awning

Our Casita Spirit Deluxe set up for Astronomy at the Texas Astronomical Society Observatory site near Caney, OK. The Awning not only cools you – it also cools Telescopes !

Casita offers as an option the Fiamma F45s Awning. The cost was around $800. It’s the most expensive seldom used option we decided on when we order. I am glad we have it, but I wish it stronger and hand;ed wind and rain better..A Fiamma RAFTER is supplied to be attached to the center of the awning.

Other types of regular lot type trailers like Jayco had some very nice awnings for the same kind of money. Most were electric, you flipped a switch and out came the awing. That was kinda cool. 

The Fiamma awning, first of all, is another non-american made item. Casita, impress me and manufacture a Trailer with made in the US options and materials raw materials. We cannot even read the instruction book because it isn’t in English. Seriously?

Ther Fiamma cannot withstand high winds, so gusts over 10 mph are a concern. It also is not made to sit out under in a rain. Disappointing.

I found it handy doing Astronomy. My telescope has to cool down, and having it under the awning allows the cool down process to start much sooner that it would without the awning.

Battery

The Casita Travel Trailer comes standard with a 12V Deep Cycle Battery on all models. The option is offered for upgrade to a Maintenance Free AGM Deep Cycle Battery

 Our Upgrade Battery…

The standard battery the Casita comes with is a lead acid battery. Casita offers a battery upgrade, which we bought, for an AGM Deep Cycle Battery. On the Casita Owners of America  group on Facebook Lon VanOstran wrote:

The sole reason I spent all of that extra money was so I could totally ignore it for the next 5 to 7 years with absolutely no maintenance necessary. I’m not planning to do more than look at the end of it for at least that long. I know it’s a better battery. I know it can do a deeper discharge with LESS damage to it. I know it doesn’t need water. I know it will last longer. Why fret it? Watch your voltage. Keep it above 40 to 50% charge, and let somebody else worry.

That was my sentiments exactly. I wanted the higher power it offered and less maintenance. I am the world’s worst at taking care of routine maintenance and didn’t want the extra worries…

Going to a State Campground, keep in mind they can lose power in storms. That happened to us and I had no way to keep an eye on our battery charge as a result.

When we returned, I had to take Stormy in for some warranty work and bought this monitor for $25.

There are others available on the market. I will come back and add the name when I find my packaging if I haven’t already thrown it away.

Bathroom

Toilet – Casita comes standard with the ThetFord Corporation Fresh Water Pedal Flush toilet. One of the things to note about the use of the toilet is use plenty of water per flush; as someone has said water is your friend! NEVER leave the black water valve on, always let the potty be at least 3/4 full before dumping. If it is not full enough, before you perform a dump while still connected to city water, fill the tank. Once full or at least 3/4 full perform the dump.

I routinely empty the black water then fill the empty tank again. That way I get the tank as clean as possible before heading home.

Also, after you empty the black tank, close its valve then open the brown water valve to empty the Brown Water tank. This cleans the black water and any solids left in the hose. I also refill the brown water and empty it a second time. When we head out we want the Black and Brown tanks empty.

Ventline Overhead Restroom Vent – note. Instruction sheet states “CAUTION: The fan unit has not been evaluated for suitability for installations over tub or shower — not sure why it was considered suitable for use over the Casita Shower!

Bathmats

Our Choice: Oceanstar FM1163 Bamboo Bath Mat

List Price: $38.99 
Price: $28.93  & FREE Returns
You Save: $10.06 (26%)
 
Note: Available at a lower price from other sellers, potentially without free Prime shipping.
 
  • Bamboo
  • Made with 100% natural bamboo
  • Elevated design allows for water to evaporate
  • Modern, stylish and no assembly required
  • Versatile and can serve for many different purposes
  • Dimensions: 1 in H x 23.75 inches L x 17.75 inches W

QY 12PCS Transparent Cylindrical Shape Rubber Non Slip Non Skid Feet Pad for Table Desk Chair and Sofa

Price: $7.98  & FREE Returns
We ordered these non-skid feet. I recommend you start by placing one on all 4 corners,, and the rest spaced out. This prevents it tipping up if your weight is on the ends.
 
12pcs With Screws&screwdriver
 
  • Made from high quality transparent no smell rubber material.We do not authorize this ZFZDR seller to sell this items, please choose the manufacture QY seller when you place the order,
  • Easy to install.
  • Size: 20mm X 18mm X 14mm.
  • Great for desk, chair, sofa and table.
  • Package including: 12 X cylindrical shpae rubber feet pad with mounting screws and screwdriver (as images show) 

Bedding

The 2018 Casita Spirit Deluxe has a large dinette at the back and a small dinette on the traffic side of the trailer. Both of these can be converted to beds, the back a full and the side a twin. Some people even sell or give away the original cushions, so there is no turning back. I think that is a huge mistake. If you try and sell your Casita in the future this could hurt your resale value.

If you like a very firm mattress at home, you will love the Casita cushions, because using them as a bed would be like sleeping on a rock. They are very firm as a mattress. If you are like me, I prefer more comfort than I would get on the cushions.

Many people buy mattresses that cannot easily be removed, so their rear dinette is sacrificed by being converted into a bed permanent and that is how they stay. We wanted to be able to use the rear dinette.

The side Dinette Bed takes the 25″ mattress. I highly recommend buying the storage cases available for both sizes. They are made of durable material and work great!

Millard Tri Fold Mattress 25″, ​$78.99

  • The Milliard Foam Tri-fold Mattress allows you to get a comfortable night’s sleep wherever you go. Simply unfold the foam bed on the floor in any room, mobile home, or tent for a comfortable night’s sleep. This bed easily accommodates all your sleeping needs then folds neatly away for storage in seconds.
  • Foam is known for the therapeutic qualities and comfortable support. The Milliard tri-fold mattress is ventilated for air flow to help regulate sleep temperature for maximum support and comfort.
  • The Milliard Foam Tri-fold Mattress is the ideal solution to temporary sleeping accommodations. Replace your air mattress and use as a camping bed, guest bed or dorm room bed.
  • The Milliard tri-fold mattress is constructed of 4in. 3lb luxurious CertiPUR-US certified Foam for a great sleep experience. Our foam supersedes all with superior high density construction that will not lose its shape.
  • Mattress includes removable jacquard ultra-soft cover with anti-slip bottom. Mattress in flat position measures 75in.x25in.x4in. When folded it measures 25in.x25in.x12in.
Millard Full Bed Mattress $152
 
  • COMFORTABLE – This folding mattress is plush, soft, breathable, and super comfortable.
  • PORTABLE – This mattress folds easily for travel or storage and is perfect for small apartments and tight spaces.
  • CONVENIENT – The removable bamboo cover is machine washable for easy care.
  • DURABLE – Built to last and made of 4” thick luxe certified foam that won’t lose it’s shape.
  • SIZE – Open mattress measures 73”x52”x4”. Folded mattress measures 52”x24.5”x12”.

Southern Mattress offers another option. This mattress is thicker and probably more comfortable, but do not lend themselves to swapping in and out to use the Dinette. 

The custom-fit Casita mattress is designed to 
provide an excellent night’s sleep while traveling.
 

Brake Controllers

Budgeting Your Purchase

As I’ve said elsewhere, Robin and I have learned to live on a tight budget our entire married lives.

I can see how the Lord has groomed us for the future – starting back in my Seminary Days around 2005. I quit work back then (2001 following 9/11) and felt God calling me to go to Seminary. So we were obedient and did so.

I left a lucrative position as a Senior Operations Manager of a Super Regional Shopping Mall, and needles to say savings and other funding ran out quickly. Ever since we have lived on a fraction of what once was necessary.

That being said, we paid cash for our Casita. How you might ask? Robin cashed in Stocks, Stock Options, added bonus money, I threw in some Retirement I cashed in from the school district, a little inheritance, and we saved like heck to raise the funds.

We ordered our Casita in June of 2018 and put down the required down payment. We were due to pick it up in September, but a number of times I had to tell Casita to push up back because we were short of the needed cash.

We finally picked our Casita up on January 25, 2019! It is paid for, the tow vehicle we bought for it is not!

Bureau of Land Management

Cable (For TV)

Checklists

Cleaning Wands

There are a number of options for cleaning wands. Camco 

Clam Shell

Closet

Coffee Makers

Decorating

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Door Lock

Personally, I have yet to find an RV door lock that I am impressed with. Casita uses a Wesco described below. I spoke with the company and there are several keyed models available, and this one is the Model 43610 lock.

FIC Travel Trailer Lock 
(with Keyed Deadbolt)
*includes 2 FIC keys and 
component parts for installation
Approximately 3.47″ x 4.28″
Available in Chrome, Black, or White
Part Number: 43610
$26.60

When I inquired about any ‘high security’ lock offerings, they do not offer anything that is pick resistant like a Medico lock.

The ‘keyless’ lock to the left is a type some Casita owners are using. 

This unit is the AP Products 013-509 RV Deadbolt Door Lock., and retails for around $150.

It does not offer any added security, as someone with the knowhow and experience can pick these using the keyholes for the lock and deadbolt. They are more for convenience than anything else.

The convenience would be nice and I may give it a try one of these days.

3500lb Electric A-Frame Jack

Model # FIC-3500-2 with a lift capacity of 3500lbs

 

Electrical Outlets

The Casita Spirit Deluxe we own has four interior outlets. Yes, you read that right. Only four.

One is located on the ceiling area where the Television is mounted. Another is located on the side of the stove /sink area, one is behind the microwave, one is located under the closet door, and the final one is below the side dinette/bed area.

On the outside, Casita comes standard with one outlet on the Awning side of the trailer. There is another one on the same side where the access ports to the Refrigerator is located, and it is primarily intended for feeding the fridge

Electric Braking System

The Casita Standard package includes Electrical Brakes. Tow Vehicles should have appropriate Trailer Brake Controllers.

Electrical System

This is a picture illustrating a very dangerous and unacceptable wiring we encountered at a dude ranch. I was there a full week, reported the safety issue which was never dealt with. I suspect it remains in this condition to this day.

OSHA should shut this entire camp down until this is fixed IMHO. This is unacceptable. 

It does go to show you some of the things you may encounter in your travels. If you encounter such a shabby electrical  arrangement, take all the necessary steps necessary to remain safe. This arrangement could easily kill someone.

In the situation pictured, bare wiring was visible through the electrical tape, and the post was metal and contained the electric and plumping on the one metal post.

Do not assume the camp you are camping in follows the National Electrical Code. That assumption may cost you your life.

Entertainment System

Casita offers an entertainment system using the ceiling mounted NAXA 22″ TV/DVD system. The Antenna features an “Ultra-Gain” Booster Amplifier – Standard and Cable ready.

Television is mounted using a LCD-CM Under Cabinet / Ceiling Mount rated for a max. 23″ Television and 17.6lbs max

Exterior Water Outles (Shower)

Fiberglass

Casita recommends washing the Casita once every month using warm water and mild detergent. Take care not to spray water into the refrigerator or furnace vents, and remove any tree limbs, leaves, etc as soon as possible to avoid staining the finish.

Wax the fiberglass surface at least once a year using standard liquid or paste wax.Wash and Wax the Casita out of the hot direct sun when the surfaces are cool.

When possible store the Casita out of direct sunlight whenever possible.

Get any damage to the fiberglass repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the interior of the Casita. Temporary repairs should be made using plastic sealing the edges with tape until proper repairs can be made.

Flooring

Free Camping

Friction Anti-Sway Control

Optional on all models.

Full-Timing in Casita (Truly Calling it Home!)

Furnace

Generators

Honda EU2200i – 1800 Watt Inverter generator.

The older version this Generator replaces was the EU2000, the new 2200i gives more power and improved performance. Ideal Generator for camping and powering RV’s. Features the Honda Advanced Inverter Technology including Microprocessor control to operate sensitive electronics. It provides a stable, clean power source in a smaller, lighter package. Engine featured is the GXR120 OHC 4 cycle with oil alert Warning System. The Eco-Throttle runs up to 7.6 hours on .95 Gallons of fuel. Engine auto adjusts speed, optimizing running level based on load. It has a two tiered noise dampering system, providing a super quiet operation in the range of 53 to 62 dB(A).Has a recoil started with color coded start up points. Parallel Operation capable. Engine maintenance enhanced by large spout nd an oil gutter for drainage.

  • Priced at $1049
  • Featured engine is a Honda GX, recoil start, 121cc. Has a 3 year warranty for consumer use and 3 years as well for commercial use. 
  • Has a low oil shutdown alert and cast iron sleeves.
  • CARD Certification
  • Weight is 46.3lbs
  • Rated as a Portable Generator.
  • Length is 20.1 inches
  • Width 11.4 inches
  • Height 16.7 inches
  • Additional model numbers EU22i, EU2200I
  • Voltage 120 Single Phase
  • 60Hz Frequency
  • Inverter Alternator
  • Auto Voltage regulation
  • Surge Watts 2200
  • Rated Watts 1800
  • Gasoline fueled
  • Rated 15 amps
  •  

Westinghouse iGen 2500

The Westinghouse iGen2500 is a 98cc Recoil Start Inverter generator. Uses include camping, tailgating and household use. It features Advanced Inverter Technology providing less than 5% Total Harmonic providing clean, safe power for sensitive electronics. 98cc Westinghouse OHV 4-cycle engine  is designed for easy start and fuel efficiency. It features a low oil shutdown and low oil light LED light., helping prevent engine damage. There is an LED data center displaying fuel level, power output percentage, run time and lifetime run hours. It has overload protection with push reset. Efficiency mode adjusts RPM based on generator load, reducing fuel consumption. Rated to run over 6.1 hours @ 50% load and 7.7 Hours at 25% load.

  • Priced at $650
  • Weight 46 lbs
  • Air cooled
  • Portable
  • Length – 19.69″
  • Width – 11.22″
  • Height 17.91″
  • 3 year Warrenty
  • 120 Volt Single Phase
  • 60 Hertz
  • Inverter Alternator
  •  Auto-voltage regulation
  • 2500 Surge Watts
  • 2200 Rated Watts
  • Gasoline
  • 183 Rated Amps
  • 1 Gallon Tank
  • 6.1 Hour Run Time @50% load
  • Decibel Rating @7 meters (just under 23 feet) 58dB
  • Idel Control and Hour Meter
  • Unfortunately, it is NOT Made in the USA 

Generator Noise

Proximity control is the first option. Under load, all generators produce noise that may be objectionable not only to you but also objectionable to other campers. One way to deal with this is to locate the generator .further from your trailer and other campers trailers as well. We bought a 25 foot extension cord after I realized how loud our Westinghouse iGen 2500 was, especially under load.

Noise Dampening Box

Trailer Trays (for mounting Generator/toolboxes)

Stromberg Carlson Trailer Tray cc-255 ~ $192.94

There are a couple options for mounting your generator and/or tool boxes to your Casita.

Here is the one that I plan to add in the future. Right now we have the Westinghouse iGen 2500 generator, but so far I have not found a matching lockdown kit for that model. Hoping they add one to their line soon.

Good Sam

Robin and I live on a very tight budget, and this is a no-brainer. When we were first starting out, money was tight (as it is now), and we didn’t have it to throw around. We purchased a Good Sam Membership from Camping World for only a year for $29. Our first purchase it paid for itself.

Next time when the membership has to be renewed we will buy a 3 year membership.

After buying our membership, our first purchase we saved $25 for having joined. A two year membership comes with a $25 Merchandise credit, and a 3 year membership comes with a $50 merchandise credit. Membership is highly recommended. 

Now the downside. I do not think I would ever buy an RV from Camping World after our experience before we put down a deposit on our Casita.

We briefly considered a Jayco, and just to see what options we might have we filled out a credit app on one.

Let me just say I was unimpressed and leave it at that. I found the sales department to be dishonest and high pressure. No thank you. Had we bought anything other than a Fiberglass Trailer such as the Casita I’d hate myself right now!

GPS Tracking for Theft Prevention

Here I am listing products offered on Amazon for GPS Tracking for your Casita.

Click item name to be taken directly to our Amazon Associates page for each product:

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Track-4

Grills (BBQ)

High Lift

Humidity

Insurance

Custom Vinyl Lettering

We had our Lettering done by DIY Lettering (click for link) for our Casita. They are very nice people and have a generous replacement promise. If you mess up installing, they will replace them free. Our Casita name was done in large type and RamblingObserever.com for both the trailer and even the Telescope tube!

They provide full instructions, but one thing I learned was to install the lettering, leaving them in place at least 24 hours before removing the top tape leaving the lettering in place. The vinyl needs to set.

Take your time! Remove tape after 24 hours VERY SLOWLY for best results.

I paid extra for ours to get them done in reflective tape.

Leveling

Anderson Camper Leveler 

BAL Tire Leveler ~ $65

The photo to the right is the BAL Tire Leveler, Model 28050 (link is for Home Depot – available on Amazon too) which we purchased and simply love. I need an impact wrench one of these days as with my health limitations is occasionally hard to crank up if the trailer site is quite off level.

But it seems to work wonderfully and a bargain at the price.

There are a myriad of other options for your use in leveling your Casita. Little Home on the Road offers an upgrade you might want to consider.

The Casita supplied stabilizers are not capable of leveling your trailer. They are only designed to stabilize your trailer, not to level it in any way. Little Home can remove the stabilizer jacks and replace them with four 7500 pound jacks that are capable to stabilizing the Casita. But so far my leveling system has proven effective and very easy to do.

You can use an impact wrench like I mentioned which is on my want list but the supplied Tire Lug wrench supplied with your Casita works fine.

Google Trailer Levelers and you will find many choices.

The Anderson Company offers the center leveling set #3605 for $39.99.

  • Level your trailer on the first try!
  • Precise leveling at any increment between 1/2 inch and 4 inches
  • Lifts up to 4 inches
  • Works great on trailers up to 30,000 lbs
  • Made in the USA

With the innovative Camper Leveler you can level your RV or trailer on the FIRST try – every single time! No more guesswork! No more hassle! Simply drive up until you are level and then chock – it’s that simple. The Andersen Camper Leveler provides ‘dead-on’ leveling at any increment from 1/2 inches to 4 inches – no other leveler is this precise – or this easy to use!

Light Pollution

One of my goals when RVing is to educate the public in matters such as Light Pollution. Though new to the RV life, I have already noticed how many campers are oblivious to the problem and bring it with them. Blinding themselves from viewing the glory of the night sky they never realize their loss or even how they are ruining the views of other campern.

Camping in State Parks, I’ve noticed an alarming trend. People go camping in RV’s mostly to get out into nature. There is a desire to escape the hussel and bussel of normal everyday life. Families wish to get their children outside to learn to enjoy nature and wildlife.

But I notice a curious thing. You look out across campgrounds and many, many RVers have brought something with them they should leave home. Light pollution.

So lets define what I mean by light pollution. Google it and you will find such as this:

 
“NOUN – brightening of the night sky caused by street lights and other man-made sources, which has a disruptive effect on natural cycles and inhibits the observation of stars and planets. ‘for many astronomers light pollution has been a disaster'”
 
Light Pollution has many sources. Streetlights, signage, population centers, Casinos, your neighbors mercury vapor lights, city street lights, Oilfield torches, etc. Attending the Texas Star Party 2019 near Ft. Davis Texas and McDonald Observatory. I had not attended this starparty for 15 years, and what I saw was shocking. TSP is held on the Prude Ranch, which has some of the darkest, most pristine night skies in Texas. The north sky was illuminated with a sky glow dome coming from the oil fields. Last time I had been there, you had black, un-polluted sky all the way around the horizon down to the horizon. The light pollution from these oil fields was shocking.
 
We Astronomers travel hours from home to dark sky sites. As I write this I am over two hours from my home at a dark sky site owned by The Texas Astronomical Society. I have us a ;personal lease spot at this location with a 16 foot by 20 foot concrete pad I have my Casita parked on. This site is strictly devoted to Astronomy. White lights are taboo and violate the site use rules. We come here to be able to see the night sky like our ancestors did before the invention of electricity.Trying to enjoy the night sky in the city is frustrating at the very least. Only the brightest stars are visible.
 
Chances are, your children have never seen, and possibly do not even know about, the Milky Way Galaxy. Most have never seen a ‘shooting star.’
 
So families venture out to introduce their children with nature. They set up their campsites, set up their awnings, then string all these pretty little lights all around the Camp Sight and RV.
 
Pretty, right? Wrong. If they would shut off all those lights and sit back with their children on lawn chairs and look at the dark, night sky they would be amazed what they’ve been missing. They would see the Milky Way Galaxy, their home in this vast universe. They would see the constellations, meteors, and a myriad of other sights. Instead, they light up their campsites like Las Vegas and never even know what they and their families are missing. Not only do they rob their families of a mystical, fantastic experience, but they ruin it for other campers as well. Their lighting pollutes the sky. That is exactly why I travel over two hours to see the sky with minimal light pollution.
 
We’ve camped at several campgrounds and experienced this intrusion into our experience by other campers light pollution.
We astronomers use red light to preserve our dark adaptation. Even red light can be a bad thing. As always, too much of a good thing is bad for you, and red lighting is no exception. I have about half our interior lights changed from white to red lights. If I come in to read a star chart or get a snack, when I return outside even the red light has destroyed my dark adaptation, and it takes at least a half hour for it to return. I am completely blinded from the night sky, even mighty Jupiter is invisible to me. Do yourself and your family a favor (and all the rest of us) and cut out the outside night lighting. Leave it home PLEASE!

The State of Texas has had six of its camps designated as Dark Sky sanctuaries. Personally, I wish they would restrict all outdoor lighting just like they do generators. Outside lighting should be prohibited from 10 pm until dawn. For more information, visit Texas Parks & Wildlife Stargazing page (click it its an embedded link).   
 

Insurance

INSURANCE! IMPORTANT MUST READ!! A consistent question that comes up on the FaceBook pages on the Casita. Every now and then someone asks about insurance. Almost always, people start quoting their costs for their Casita, usually saying nothing about their trailer nor their personal life circumstances. Rates are frequently too good to be true (and you know the saying I hope – yes, if it is too good to be true it probably is).

As new Casita owners, we quickly ran into this subject and dilemma. One person almost always comes along and will quote they are paying $50 a year for the insurance on their Casita. Others come along and quote other rates, such as monthly costs they incur in their coverage.

So let me start by making a disclaimer here. No one can advise you concerning what it will cost you to cover your trailer other than an insurance professional. And that professional needs to have some understanding of the field of insuring an RV.

Common sense should tell you you cannot purchase a brand new $25,000 Fiberglass Casita  and insure it for $50 a year. That’s just pure common sense. Nor can anyone compare your rate with theirs. Why? Because your circumstances are most likely not exactly the same. Insurance companies have to produce profit to stay in business. How could a company shell out replacement cost of a brand new RV of any type for a $50 a year premium?

To compare insurance policies, you must sit down with the two policies, and compare them side-by-side, like by line. What are the replacement costs covered? What personal injury coverage is provided? Does the coverage cover weather, lightening strikes, accidental electrical surge coverage?

Other folks use coverage provided by their automobile policies of the automobile used to tow the trailer. So what happens when your trailer is detached from your trailer while you run into town and upon your return the whole trailer and everything in it is gone?

I can assure you all these different folks have little to no idea what they really have in their coverage. The tragic thing is they may not understand their insurance until after tragedy strikes.That’s a bad time to realize your trailer came loose, broke away from the tow vehicle, crossed a median and killed a driver going the opposite direction. Bad time to wonder if you are covered when you are sued by their heirs for the death of their loved ones…

Lighting

Our 2018 Casita Spirit Deluxe came with LED lighting. Inside, there are a total of nine fixtures. Three encircle the large rear dinette/bed area, One is over the sink, one in the vent hood, one at the door entry, one in the Restroom, and one in the Restroom.

Astronomers use red lighting to assist in preserving their night vision. However, even red lighting that is bright causes a loss of your night vision. The item pictured was purchased on Amazon (follow link). I am looking for  LEDS with better fit, these are very tight

LP Gas Detector

Lug Wrench

Supplied as a Standard Accessory on all Models.

Impact Wrench Recommended – I like the Ryobi cordless model.

Jack Block

See Trailer Jack Block

MaxXFan

MaxXFan – 

KeyPad Control Operation

Remote Control Operation

Microwave Oven

Casita offers the option of a Contoure Space Saver, 1CF Built-In Microwave Oven with deluxe EasyClean Interior. . 

Medications

Naming Your Casita!

Now here is a place where you can have some fun. What should you name your Casita?

My wife and I were in High School together (High School Sweethearts). Our School, Mesquite High School’s Mascot was Stormy – a Mosquito. Kid you not!

So we decided to name our Casita Stormy. That works great, because I am also a Weather Geek! The lettering was custom made by DIYLettering (click for link).

The directions supplied with the lettering are clear and easy to understand, but one thins is omitted that I discovered. After you apply the lettering, leave them in place for 24 hours before you attempt to remove the backing.

If you screw up, don’t panic! DIY Lettering will replace your lettering in the event that happens. Great company to deal with!

National Parks

Network Boosters (Cell Phone)

Organization

There is an old saying,

A place for everything and everything in its place.

If you do not follow this old proverb in your Casita, you will not like this lifestyle. How I can lose so much in a space some 14 foot long is amazing. I brought the charger for my fitbit – I know I did. But I have not been able to find it for 5 days now…and that aspirin, has anyone seen the aspirin?

We have 7 upper cabinets, one drawer, one closet and 4 lower cabinets. Plus there are two compartments in the bathroom. One is dry where you can store your toilet paper, towels, rags, etc. The other is not guaranteed to stay dry and is on the side facing the toilet.

If you want to maintain any form of sanity, you must establish a strict storage routine. . Once you’ve had your Casita a while and started to figure out what works best, decide a permanent place for almost everything. Have one compartment for tools, hardware and such. 

When you get a screwdriver out, put it back in the exact same location EVERY TIME it’s used. Keep your cereal in a certain space, and always put it back. Medications? Keep them in the same place all the time. If you do not establish such a routine, you will drive yourself mad. You will always be looking for something. Label your cabinets!

Right now I am wondering where I put my drill driver; when I arrived at the campsite and wanted to watch a DVD on a cloudy day or night, but it took me forever to find it. and I need it to raise my stabilizers. It’s hot outside and I do not want to have to crank them up physically. 

Pest Control

Appliance Insect Screens

For starters, you need to invest in two screen products pictured above. You can get these from a number of sources, including Little House Customs. The item on the right they sell for $18.95 and on the left $25.95

These keep the Dirt Dobbers out as well as such things as Wasps. The item below offered by Little House and is called Shore Power Bug Guard and costs $12.95. I am not sure if it has any effectiveness other than insect – Rodents may be another issue which I will discuss under this section as well.

Concerning Rodents, the first measure we have taken is to stuff Steel Wool which we place in a zip-lock bag into the area around the power cord. It does double duty keeping out the insects. I do intend to order Little House’s Guard but it’s lower priority at the moment.

Refrigerator

The Casita comes with the Dometic Brand Absorption Cooling System 4cf Fridge featuring Automatic Energy Selector System.

Operating Fridge at High Altitude:

All gas appliances experience lowered efficiency (or rating) at high altitude. This is a direct result of lower atmospheric pressure and oxygen levels, and not a defect in the refrigerator.

Reduced cooling performance and burner outage may occur at altitudes higher than 5500 feet above sea level (while operating on LP gas). Always operate refrigerator on electric power at altitudes higher than 5500 feet.

If not operated for an extended period of time turn it off.

Automatic energy selector system: The user turns the refrigerator on, then the refrigerator automatically selects the most suitable source available, either 120V AC, LP gas only (AUTO mode is off).

On 3-way models, the control system can manually be set to DC mode (DC operation). The DC mode overrides all other operating modes.

The Refrigerator controls will work down to 9.6 VDC 

FRIDGE BUTTON GUARD

One of the most common problems I read people have is accidentally cutting off the refrigerator. It has happened to us several times.

I just ordered this product from Little House Customs and will review it under my Reviews tab on this website.

Ingenious product, prevents the accidental push on the buttons resulting in the fridge being shut off, which is an all too common problem. 

It appears to be frequent not only for us but many others as the subject comes off all the time in the forums.

When I installed this I was skeptical of the method of adherence, but it has held now for several days. Great modification everyone needs to do on their Casita.

Well worth the $11 cost and easy to install.

 

The most common problem with the fridge is accidentally hitting the button and shutting it off. Little House sells a guard to prevent this and others have made their own.

So lets look at the fridge for example. We were getting ready to head out for our second trip with the Casita. I walked out heading into the house and heard a crash. The wife calls from inside exclaiming we had a problem. The door to the fridge FELL OFF! Dometic manufactured that fridge with a cheap PLASTIC hinge holding the door onto the fridge…what a sorry, stupid, cheap piece of crap. There is a company called Little House Customs that sells a replacement repair/prevention part for this. I am getting this week to repairing ours finally. The door is held on right now by duck take.

Dometic…there is no excuse for such cheap nonesense. This should not happen, ever, They should manufacture their fridges with quality parts and anticipate such a problem. This is all too common from what I read with the Dometic fridge, no matter what manufacturer you order your trailer from. And knowing this is a problem, Casita should replace that hinge on all new trailers – Casita there is no excuse for you not selling a quality product. If you do not do what would be right and repair these when you install them, then at the very lease alert a new buyer of the problem and how and where to buy the part to prevent this. I was very disappointed with Casita over this, but in all fairness I’ve read about this happening with other trailers using the Dometic fridge in their units. If I were a manufacturer of a travel trailer, IK would INSIST they rethink their manufacturing program and fix this during the manufacture of their fridges. If they won’t do it, then dump them and find a quality prodict.

Little Home on the Road install the repair kit for the fridge door. The state:

Dometic Refrigerator Hinge Replacement Unobtrusive laser cut stainless steel brackets prevent (or fix) the problem of broken refrigerator door hinges. To put it bluntly: Dometic hinges are made from a brittle plastic that just doesn’t hold up. If you have a Casita, at some point, you’ll be faced with a door that won’t close. Reinforcing or replacing the mechanism is, from what we’ve seen and heard, the most common repair.

Acurite 00986 Refrigerator Thermometer with 2 Wireless Temp Sensors  ~ $29.99

It is a good idea to have a digital fridge temp monitor, and the one we chose is pictured to the right.

Remotes

Safety

Safety Egress Window – standard on all models.. Located over the back Dinette/Bed (side window).

Smoke Detector – standard on all models

LP Gas Detector – standard on all models.

Safety Fire Extinguisher – Standard on all models.

Safety Breakaway Switch -Standard on all Models.

Safety Chains – Standard on all models

Dead Bolt Door Lock – Not Applicable on 16 foot models, standard accessory on 17 foot models.

GFI Electrical Circuit – Standard on all models.

Safety Chains

Safety Chains are supplied standard on all models.

Security

Screen Door

We just ordered this Screen Door Push Bar for our Casita from Little House Customs (click for link). I have feared someone was going to put their fist through the screen trying to open the screen. Once received and installed, I will start a review on this product.

 

About the Screen Door Push Bar, Little House Writes:

We like this bar for several reasons. First, it looks good on our trailers. It’s brushed aluminum with heavy duty black ends. It really stiffens the door, it gives us something else to hang onto when we open the door on windy days and we can hang a towel on it to dry in the breeze. Installed high, it could be a curtain rod or just a second towel bar. We take it out of its package and throw the complex cutting instructions away, cut it to fit our Casitas and assemble it all back together. All you have to do is drill four ⅛” holes in your door and install the mounting screws. It’s that easy.

Shocks

Showers

Interior Restroom

The interior supplied shower on the Casita I’d read while planning our purchase had very little eater pressure. So the 1st modification that I did was to install a new Shower head. We have been completely satisfied with our choice. We installed an Oxygenics RV Shower head. 

Exterior Option

The exterior shower was an option that we are glad we ordered. We do not use it to shower and there is little water pressure, but it is a great addition that we highly recommend. It is perfect for washing dishes, dogs, feet, hands, sand from the beach, etc.

Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Myspace, Linkedin, Google+, etc. etc.

I have a love/hate relationship with Social Media. I regularly use Facebook and Twitter, and am starting to play around with Instagram. They are great ways to keep in touch with distant families.

The first rule of Social Media is Don’t be Stupid! Anything you post can and is seen by everyone. So if you post you are away for the next 6 weeks RVing you just targeted yourself for thieves to break into your home.

Also, be aware you are sharing every detail of your lives posting on Social Media. What are your likes, organizations you belong to, political and religious views, pet and childrens names, you name it.

Thieves used to collect your trash and go through it to learn all they can about you for the express purpose of scamming you in different ways. This is for the most part unnecessary these day’s because we share much more than we used to throw in the trash…

Another caution is that the internet is full of jerks! I had a woman block me from her Facebook kingdom because I said the word Lord. I was scolded by this nasty atheist and ordered to remove the statement. I refused and invited her to remove it if she wanted. She blocked me, like she has blocked dozens of other people from all of her pages because I chose to use my Freedom of Speech. Why would anyone buy her book and support that attitude and conduct? The funny thing is a person like her banning people who questioned Casita quality and other issues. Is she unaware Casita is a Christian  owned company? I find it humorous.

I’ve been scolded by people on these Facebook groups more than once. One lady informed me I should’t have bought a Casita because it seemed to her I couldn’t afford it when I stated I didn’t have the money for such-in-such modification or product.

Another example here was a photo I posted on facebook in one of the Casita Groups. The point was a table I was trying and when I posted a pic of it I got skweard. We were just setting the trailer up and had things all over the place, no one apparently noticed the table or commented on it they were too busy expressing their shock everything wasn’t picture perfect.

People have little respect for other posters. It is strange the things we will say to someone we’d never say in person (and I have been guilty a number of times myself).

Solar Power

We do not have Solar yet, but already we have seen the need for it. We did not order the solar, but we did order our Trailer solar ready. For a mere $89 it is a bargain. Now if we buy a zamp solar package, our Casita is ready and solar is simply a matter of plug and play.

I have read many buy the cheaper solar units available and apparently obtain an adapter for plugging in the solar panels.

Stress Cracks (Fiberglass)

Smoke Detector

Casita supplies a Battery Operated Smoke Alarm. Ours is BRK Model FG2500RV

Add Your Heading Text Here

State, National Parks, and BLM Land

Storage

Stove Cooktop

Spare Tire

The appropriate Spare is provided with standard cover.

One of the recommended modifications is the addition of spacers against the trailer body to prevent a ring developing on the trailer body.

Suspension

Torsion Rubber Ride Suspension is standard equipment, with High Lift Axle offered as an optional accessory.

Two welded Stabilizer Jacks are provided on the back section of the trailer. Many owners pay to have additional stabilizer jacks welded to the front section. Others report they use similar jacks manually without having them welded in place.

Surge Protection

Surge Guard Surge Protection ~$370

This is one of those areas you do not want to go cheap on. We bought this before we had our Casita even home.

And guess what, our very first time out we were at a state park and there was a problem with the electrical connection. This Surge Guard alerted us and we contacted the Ranger. They came by and said had we connected to the power it could have fried our entire electrical system!

We bought this at Camping World, because we had a Good Sam Membership and received a goor discount. It retailed for $370 and paid for itself the first time out!

I feel you cannot waist and money on this item – they are well worth the price.

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Trailer Theft Prevention

Theft Prevention os an issue all RVers are interested in. You spend your life savings on an RV to enjoy the outdoors, some even have their RV as their home, living full time in theirs – its more than a Recreational Vehicle, it’s your home. 

We cannot prevent Trailer Theft, if a thief wants to steal your RV, then they will find a way. However, you certainly can make your Casita less of a target. The thief wants an easy buck, many times for their next drug fix. The idea is you want your Casita to be less of a target. You can take steps to make them pass on you and go down the road for an easy mark.

The Trailer pictured to the right is the easy mark. A Bolt cutter and very little effort will defeat this lock – it is only going to take a few minutes for the most amateur thief to defeat this lock and drive off with your trailer.

The best security device I found for the hitch is the Proven Industries Puck Padlock with hidden shackle. This lock poses a formidable theft deterrent.

This is the hitch lock we keep on our Casita, and despite the best efforts of the common thief seeking a quick buck this one will pose quite a challenge.

 

I’ve sought other locks at the usual large box stores like Home Depot and Lowes, but nothing available locally was found that would be hard for anyone with a little knowledge from stealing, and I was once a locksmith.

Proven Industries rates very high on my list of theft prevention devices it was our first purchase for ours, It is model #2178.

Trimax TCL65

As I’ve suggested elsewhere, stopping Trailer Theft is next to impossible. What you are trying to do is make your trailer less a target. You want your Casita to be secured as best you can in order that a thief will see you’ve taken steps to make your trailer less a target. The average thief wants an easy mark – quick money for their next drug fix or something they can easily sell on the black market.

Our first line of defence is the Hitch locks, followed by wheel locks. We have the Trimax TCL65 pictured to the right, they sell for around $50

Trimax TWL100 lock

Eventually I want to try the Trimax TWL100 lock. It looks ‘beefier’ than the one we have, after I try one out I will report my findings under my Reviews section. This model sells for around $135.

Model UMAX-100 Hitch lock

Trimax offers a number of other locking systems for wheels. Tp the right is shown their Model UMAX-100 Hitch lock. This model sells for around $50.

My first response to this model is that I do not like any locking mechanism, that exposes the shankle – it is too accessible for a thief with a grinder or bolt cutter.

California Immobilizer Universal Coupler Lock ~ $50

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Amplock U-BRP2 Coupler Lock ~ $265

Another Coupler Lock worth considering is the Amplock U-BRP2 Boat Trailer, Trailer and RV Coupler Lock, which appears to fit specific Couplers.

Since we use the Proven Industries Lock, this looks like a similar style offering. I hope to obtain one to review.

 

  • Molded to fit the specific shape of your boat trailer, trailer or Caravan (RV) 2 inches when unhitched; validate your measure and coupler with photos provided.
  • Amplock offer the best protection specific to each trailer coupler size and type, if it’s not your trailer coupler on photos, go to www.amplock.com to choose yours and get the right Amplock trailer lock
  • Easy to use with AMPLOCK’s push and lock system
  • The strongest lock to secure your boat trailer, trailer or caravan (RV) made with high quality materials and control and identification key system
  • Materials used by AMPLOCK provide good rust resistance for use in all climates

Master Lock  #389DAT ~$21.70

Universal Size Fits 1 7/8, 2 5/16 Couplers.

  • Universal coupler lock fits virtually all 1-7/8″, 2″, and 2-5/16″ trailer couplers.
  • Bright red finish discourages thief’s from messing with your trailer.
  • Resists rust and corrosion. Simple installation and removal.
  • Advanced locking mechanism resists picking and prying.
  • We can NOT key two (2) of these locks the same. The similar 379KA coupler locks are available keyed alike. The only difference between this one (389DAT) and the 379KA is the color.

While I have been writing this section, I read a report of someone having their Casita stolen. They used both of these locks pictured above.As I’ve said, this is all our worse nightmares. It sounds as though it was not insured due to age.

As I’ve said, you cannot stop trailer theft. If they want it bad enough, they will find a way. But one thing I notice is that neither of these are name brand locks, they look like knock offs. As the old adage goes, “You get what you pay for.” And as I’ve said, any locking mechanism that exposes the shank is an easy target for a thief. 

My recommendation is not to skimp in this area. Buy quality locking mechanisms and name brand products. Try and use locks that are hard to access. And never buy off-brands.

So far, I am most impressed with the Proven Industries brand lock for the hitch. Not only is it a sturdy, rock solid mechanism, but the lock itself is hard to access. That makes picking very difficult if the thief is sophisticated enough to pick locks. 

Casita Door Lock

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I am not sure about  the Casita door lock, as I have not tried it yet, but you would be surprised how easy it is to pick a lock. I even see kits and training offered on the internet, which is a practice I question.

Any type of cam lock should be avoided. I need to practice again as its been about 20 years since I’ve used the skill, but I am afraid to find out how insecure the door entry locks are on RV’s.

I am looking for someone who offers a true high security lock for your Casita door. Of course any such lock can be defeated with a crowbar if the Trailer itself isn’t made with security and theft prevention in mind. Medico is a lock I’d like to see offered on a trailer door. They are as close to pick-proof as they can be.

I will discuss other theft prevention devices under separate headings in this work, such as GPS tracking and cameras and alarm systems.

Thermostat

The Thermostat supplied is a heat only model 161154, 161138, & 161210. 

Tires

Casita Travel Trailers, both 16 and 17 foot models, come standard with 14 inch C range tires, 15 inch D range tires are an option which we chose along with the High Lift Axle.

Tire inflation must be checked before every trip out. Tire inflation for the 15 inch tires is 65lbs. Tire pressure should be checked cold, defined as a tire that has not been used for 3 hours or more, or driven less than one mile. Warm tires can show a difference as much as 6psi over a cold tire. 

NEVER BLEED AIR OUT OF A WARM TIRE!

Tongue Jacks

Supplied Standard on all models.

Tongue Jack Wheel Standard on all models.

Electric Tongue Jack is optional on all models.

Trailer Jack Blocks

Anderson – MADE IN THE USA

I myself highly believe that the American Public needed to stop buying all these foreign products and find alternatives, even when they are a bit more expensive. This item is very reasonably priced and I plan to obtain one to evaluate.

On our Casita, I am learning I’m using my tongue jack too high, and that is one thing this fizes. I hope ot will better stabilize our Casita.

Once I obtain one I will edit this with a full review…

Here is an item IK am anxious to try myself, the Trailer Jack Block by Anderson.

Troubleshooting

Towing

The Casita requires a tow vehicle capable of towing 5,000lbs with a tongue weight of 500#.

Caution – dom not rely on what a vehicle salesperson tells you – see it in writing!  Our experience was that frankly they have no idea.

Our experience is a good example. We went in and told the salesman exactly what we needed to tow our Casita. We were sold a Ford Explorer. They said they would add the tow package bringing it to the point necessary to pull our trailer.

I kept questioning what we were told, and finally made the salesman put it in writing that the Explorer was capable and safe towing 5,000 pound load and a tonuue weight of 500 pounds.

After that was done we drove it home on Friday and were scheduled to bring it back for the installation of the tow package.

In the meantime I took it to their own garage and asked a service advisor. He was unable to verify the facts either.

Monday the wife receives a call from sales telling us they discovered it was NOT capable and to bring it back.

We wound up buying a Ford F150, and were told it had the tow package and brake controller. We are new to RV’s and didn’t know any better. Come to find out it did not have a Brake Controller. The salesman didn’t know he thought it did because it had a tow package.

So in the final analysis, we wound up having the brake controller installed. Ford wanted $850 to install one but I was able to negotiate that down since we’d been told it already had one…

Trailer Trays

See Generators…

Traveling with Pets

There is a couple I have been following on Youtube that go by the name Fate Unbound. They have a 25 foot trailer, and travel with a Rottweiler, two cats and two rabbits. Pretty amazing I have to say!

So far the only pet we have traveled with has been our smallest dog Gumball. She is to us the perfect size pet for traveling in the Casita. I am not sure if we want to try it with Lucky and Lilly – especially Lilly. She’s huge for a pug, around 23 pounds! A  but much I’m afraid. And best of all Gumball doesn’t shed like other her dog family members!

She is always kept on a lease, and we watch out carefully for Coyotes, Owls, etc. And we make sure and clean her messes up everywhere she ‘goes.’ Pun intended!

So for now, Gumball is our adventure dog! We provide for her food and water and protect her from hot rocky paths and concrete burns.

 

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TV - TV Antenna

Water Filtration

Try and ignore the obvious electrical code violations below this picture. I will discuss this under the heading 

Vent Hood

Water Heater

Suburban Direct Vent Gas Water Heater.

Features:

Direct Spark Ignition

2 Year Limited Warranty

Water Leaks

Water Pump

Flojet Triplrejet Diaphragm Automatic Water System Pump is supplied featuring a self priming feature. Dry running.

With pump switch off and battery fully charged, fill water tank, open all faucets, then pump switch on. Water will begin to flow. When the water is is free of air, turn faucets off. member, you are filling the water heater, toilet and shower lines. When all valves are shut off, pump will stop. Should pump fail to stop, turn switch off and see the trouble,e shooting guide. CAUTION – pump surface will get hot to the touch if operated for extended periods of time under pressurized conditions.

Water tanks

Our 2018 Casita Spirit Deluxe is equipped with the additional fresh water tank option – and it is absolutely a must if you ever plan on boondocking. I am on my first boondocking trip in Caney, OK at the Texas Astronomical Society Observatory. I’ve taken one shower…

I arrived with 25 gallons of fresh water and am on day 4 of the trip. My fresh water is now 1/3 full, and I am camping alone. We’d already be out of fresh water most likely if my wife had accompanied me.

25 Gallon Freshwater Tank Gauge

Another offering by Little House Customs is a handsy little sticker to help you know the capacity of your fresh water tank.

It is available for both the 16 and 25 gallon Fresh Water tanks.

Anyone planning a purchase of a new Casita allow me to highly encourage you to invest in the extra capacity water tank. If you wind up Boondocking you will thank me for this advice very quickly!

You do not want to buy a new unit and wish later that you’d had the larger tank installed. Oondocking, I want all the capacity I can get!

Waste Water

The Dreaded Black Water!

Brown Water

We have all most likely seen the scene in the movie Tremors, where Val & Earl are emptying the septic line and it sprays everywhere, including on them.

That is the scene everyone fears when they are dealing with black water dumping. Black water is what you do not want to come in contact with. Need I say, NASTY!

Brown Water is produced when we shower, wash dishes, hands, feet, etc.

Brown water in most RV’s is held in a tank and dumped every time you dump your black water. However, it is used in that process to clean out the unmentionables that might coat the dump line.

Wax on, Wax off...

Polyglow Boat & RV Wax Kit ~ $79.99

I have seen a number of Casita owners recommend this product and plan to try it this fall (2019).

  • Poli Glow is a proven concept in boat polish and is ‘NOT’ a boat wax. It is easily applied. It wipes on without the need for rubbing or buffing. It will not wash off with soap and water. And lasts for over 12 months!
  • This complete Boat Polish kit includes enough products for up to a 32′ boat or a 34′ RV.
  • Poli Glow will work on the following: RV’s, Boats, Canoes, Motorhomes, Painted Fiberglass, Painted Metals, Rubber and Vinyl Lettering.

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Weather

One of the worst downsides to RVing is weather. You do not want to find yourself in the position of experiencing a Tornado in any RV, no matter what size it is. That is my greatest fear.The weakest Tornado would destroy a Casita or any other trailer in a direct hit. Many times such a trailer would be taken airborn by one slamming to the ground with deadly force.

I am a weather geek. I have served for years (25 Years) as a National Weather Service Severe Storm Spotter with an organization called the RACES – The Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Emergency Service. I am also a County Coordinator for the Community Collaborative Rain Hail & Snow Network (CoCoRaHS).

Observatory Clock App on old 8" Tablet
RadarScope on an Old 8" Tablet

The Photo’s above show how I use an old 8 inch tablet for my Astronomy Clock on the left and my Weather Radar on the right. I use a service called RadarScope through an app. It has a very short time delay like if often seen in these free apps from other sources such as various meteorologists.

When severe weather threatens our location, I turn the clock over to Radarscope and begin carefully watching the weather.

Another resource is the use of a SAME capable weather alert radio. However, the one I Currently have does not have the range necessary to receive the NOAA broadcasts. I am looking into adding an exterior antenna to see if that will bring in the necessary signal. 

Lightening

Never underestimate Lightening. If you can hear thunder, you can be struck by lightning, and it is deadly.

I am researching Fiberglass Trailers and what if any protection they offer if struck – I will be  updating this section with that essential information once my research is done.

Photo of Lightening by Marvin W. Huddleston

Lightening

On average, the US experiences 25 million lightening strikes per year with an average of 47 deaths per year (over a 30 year period). The photo illustrates how little the public knows about this danger. The people shown were about to experience a strike.

Lightening averages a temperature of 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, hotter than the surface of the sun.

When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors!

One reference I will point you to right now is an article by Mike Sokel. Mike is an electrical and professional sound expert with 40 years in the industry. He has a book No~Shock~Zone, RV Electrical Safety I’ve heard good things about and personally plan to obtain.

Microbursts

Severe Thunderstorm Watches & Warnings

Straight Line Winds

Tornade Watches & Warnings

Weight Distribution Hitches

Anderson No Sway Hitch:

Buy from Casita and you will have the correct brackets.

Wheel Chocks

Windows

Casita equips its trailers with 5 windows.

Winterizing

The End

America the Beautiful. Isn’t that what RVing is all about? Seeing the sights within the borders of this Great Nation, and catching a glimpse into the history that made Francis Scott Key, in 1814, pen the immortal words…Oh say can you see, by the dawns early light, What so proudly we hailed, at the twilight last gleaming. What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last geaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight, O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming…? And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep, Where the foe’s haughty host in dread dread silence reposes, What is that which the breeze, o’er the towering steep, As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam in the morning’s first beam, in full glory reflected now shines in the stream: Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! And where is that band who so vauntingly swore The the havoc of war and the battles confusion, A home and a country should leave us no more! Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave O’er the lasnd of the free and the home of the brave! Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand Between their loved home and the war’s desolation! Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation. Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.” And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall we O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 

state by state owners of Casita trailers explore the State and National Park systems, and so much more.

Innovation is a term Casita owners espouse in their modifications and solutions. Americans are known for being problem solvers. 

 

So, a number of members pooled the resources and purchased the site for the TAS while the club tried to make a decision. Had those people not have done that, TAS would not have this the best observing site it’s owned in our history today. We maintain an incredible observing site available to any club member for the mere payment of yearly membership dues. It is a bargain!

My use in later years waned because I was starting to have some health issues that made the location of the bunk house, observatory, lavatory, etc. unworkable. As I’ve grown older this situation has escalated. So when Robin and I started discussion trying the impossible dream of owning a new Casita I begin to start thinking how fantastic it would be to own a Casita. where I could have my own bed, toilet, cooking stove, heat and air, microwave, power (via a generator). Such a thing would open fantastic possibilities to me never before imaged.

The perfect choice for families on the go.

 Available in 16′ & 17′ and as Deluxe or Standard

With two separate sleeping areas that convert into dinette tables providing comfortable seating for six, the Spirit lightweight travel trailer from Casita is the perfect choice for families on the go. For convenience, the rear dinette can be left permanently in the double bed position, while utilizing the side dinette which is positioned at a large fully-operational screened picture window for the ultimate in dining enjoyment!

  • Great travel trailer for the family
  • Simple sleep/dine converting options
  • Standard Model (no bathroom) can sleep up to six people
  • Deluxe model features spacious bath and shower
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Casita Freedom

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The ultimate in luxury, with swivel captain chairs.

 
Available in 16′ & 17′ and as Deluxe or Standard

Our Freedom Deluxe lightweight travel trailer allows a couple to enjoy the convenience of a permanent double bed that converts into an extra seating/dining area for four at a moment’s notice. The spacious separate sitting and dining area with plush upholstered swiveling chairs next to a fully-operable screened picture window provides a comfortable retreat for dining, reading, or even a mobile office, wherever your travels take you.

  • Luxury plus travel trailer
  • Swivel captain chairs
  • Standard model (no bathroom) sleeps 4 people
  • Deluxe model sleeps 2 people and features spacious bath and shower
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Casita Liberty

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A combination of versatility, convenience, and comfort.

 

 
Available in 16′ & 17′ and as Deluxe or Standard

Versatility, convenience, and comfort can all be found incorporated into our Liberty Deluxe lightweight travel trailer, with its two dining areas that convert into a double bed, two small single beds, or a large king size bed. The rear dinette can be left permanently made into a spacious double bed with dining and seating for two using the smaller forward table, or both dinettes can be converted into a king size bed. Three large fully-operable screened picture windows provide extra cross ventilation, ample natural lighting and scenic wrap-around viewing.

  • Great lightweight travel trailer for couples
  • Versatile accommodations: two small single beds (or) double bed (or) king bed
  • Standard model (no bathroom) sleeps 4 people
  • Deluxe model sleeps 2 people and features spacious bath and shower
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The Casita Independence

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Enjoy spacious twin beds and extra storage.

 Available in 17′ as Deluxe or Standard

The new Independence lightweight travel trailer from Casita allows a couple to enjoy the convenience of two permanent twin beds for easy access to the kitchen & bathroom without disturbing the other person. The spacious beds allow for more under bed storage with ease of access. The three large fully-operable screened picture windows provide extra cross ventilation, ample natural lighting and scenic wrap-around viewing.

  • Perfect for couples
  • Accommodating twin beds
  • Standard model (no bathroom) sleeps 4 people
  • Deluxe model sleeps 2 people and features spacious bath and shower

The Casita is a dream come true. For use at a site like Atoka, or to take to Astronomy events like the Texas Star Party like I did this past April and to future events like the OkieTex Star Party, the Chiefland and Winter Star Parties, etc. Don’t let it’s small size fool you. In a small package, it packs a punch! With the right tow vehicle, it is a dream to tow. Taking it out for the first time with our 2015 F150 Pick Up I realized the need for a brake controller, which I had been led to believe it already had. So after a little negotiating with Town East Ford, we had one installed.

The second trip out for me was a trip to Ft. Davis Texas for the Texas Star Party. The brake controller worked easily and you hardly know the Casita is back there! I’ve watched the humorous (and tragic) antics of people owning these large RV’s, and thanks, but no thanks. I’ve also seen the tragic results of people loosing control of trailers due to sway and other towing hazards.

Scamp was a serious contender, realizing with a 13 foot Scamp we didn’t need to buy something to haul it with. Then we went back to considering Casita. It had been our dream for so many years. The icing on the cake was when we learned the scamp was fiberglass but the Casita was built with a solid fiberglass design. It is composed of three main structural components. Two fiberglass sections, attached in the middle (upper and lower section) and attached to the frame. That’s it. One of the big problems I read about in my research was the problem of floors literally rotting out. Again, no thank you.

I cannot tolerate heat very well, never have. On the other side, I don’t find freezing my hind end off stargazing all that much fun either. The Casita Travel Trailer is the perfect fix for such things. That’s why I say Casita is a Rolls-Royce warming hut. I’ve always called myself a fair weather observer. I need creature comforts, especially these days with my health challenges. So this fulfills a dream, and can also serve in a way like my dream, a real Observatory, how be it a mobile one you have to still set a telescope in (or as in this case, outside) to use!

It has a 4 cu ft Dometic fridge (when we considered a scamp, it had a 1.9 cu ft fridge…no thank you). The entrance door is flat and has a pull out step. A large rear window offers spectacular views. Interior height is a generous 6’2″. The Spirit (which we have) and Freedom models have a rear dinette/bed measuring 54 x 76″. The Liberty has a king sized bed measuring 81 1/2 x 76′. The Independence model has twin size beds 30 1/2 x 82″. From what I’ve read, sleeping on the cushions in bed configuration is about as comfortable as sleeping on a concrete floor. So if you like a firm bed, you may be all set. But if you are like us, and spoiled to such creature comforts as a Sleep Number bed this may be a problem. Our solution was to buy a Milliard Trifold Mattress. The one we have is 4 inches thick, and I think quite comfortable. I need to order another one as a matter of fact for the side dinette. The big advantage is the price for one thing, and the fact that it can be easily folded up and stored in the tow vehicle if you need the dinette, Many people set up their beds with other mattresses but leave the bed down all the time. For our Spirit Deluxe we bought the Full size 73 x 52 x 4″ mattress.

The side dinette requires the Milliard 25 x 75 Tri-Fold Mattress, which is 3 inches too long. Some Casita owners I read about cut their Milliard Mattresses to fit. I did not want to do that. So we learned with the large bed mattress it was easy to tuck in. The extra length on the side dinette mattress is longer and not so easily tucked in. But I realized that I can fold the extra length and have it simply under the pillow.

The Casita interior features a level interior floor. Another option you can order is a unit with a Television entertainment system. Personally, I think it is way overpriced! Ours is a Naxa brand. It is easily priced where it should be a smart TV, maybe a Ruku? It is not. And the builtin antenna is all but worthless IMHO. Anywhere we have been other than our driveway it has received ZERO channels over broadcast. You run the channel scan and ZERO channels are found. We take DVD’s in case we are stuck inside during rain or whatever. The one good thing is it does include a DVD player.

An option is a microwave which we ordered with ours (others choose not to add this option and add their own). Standard fresh water tank is 16 gallon, we ordered ours with the 25 gallon upgrade – trust me on this. Buy that option! The grey water holding tank on the 2019 models have a 32 gallon grey water holding tank and 15 gallon black water tank.

Other options vary between models such as the 16 foot. There are two color options available. Our’s was the last year they offered the wood grain interior, now there is an  interior color of grey I kinda like…other options are also available, such as solar. We paid an extra $90 to get our Casita solar ready. All we have to do is buy a Zamp Solar unit and it is already plug and play. I read others talking about buying other brands where an adapter is used.

The Casita bathroom was a must for us, other models sacrifice the bathroom and offer a bunk bed system for more sleeping space. The Casita Freedom model only sleeps 2 people, because the side dinette has two captain’s chairs that I thought were wonderful. Some people complain they take up too much space, and you do sacrifice storage space you have in the dinette configuration in the seating area – and let me tell you you need all the space you can get!

PLEASE! If anyone is considering Casita, contact them and let them know you want to see ours (Marvin & Robin Huddleston). We get a $200 bonus showing our unit to anyone who purchases a unit.

There are advantages coming to us as opposed to going to Casita factory for your first look-see. We are new owners, and we have already learned a LOT! From an Astronomy point of view and just as a family camper. We know the mods that are a must have to add and those you don’t need or can add later. We have experienced already some warranty issues and speak to that from a new owners perspective. We bought our trailer before we had anything to tow it with, and experienced a dealership trying to sell us a vehicle that was not adequate to the job and had to take it back and get the dealership to sell us another vehicle, and then found out when they told us it had a towing package including a brake controller that this was not the case. Trust me, a visit to the Huddlestons’ lifelong dream camper is well worth it and you will learn things you cannot learn at the factory!

On the question of weight. Loaded down heading to the Texas Star Party I drove through a Love’s Travel Center in Ranger, Texas, and weighed the Casita/Truck combo. The Steer Axle weighed 6,060 lb, Drive axle 2,940, Gross weight was 9,000 lbs. As soon as I figure our exactly what this told me I will come back and edit this section!!

I can be directly contacted at kc5lei@gmail.com or texted at 214-789-8047 – please don’t call because I never answer unless I know who’s calling. No, I don’t want to sell my home right now unless someone will offer me $290,000 plus another $40,000 for the lot (that is a joke…we live in a very modest home; that figure is around twice its value).and have it adaquately