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Casita or Scamp 13' or 16'


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#1 ScottR

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 02:43 PM

Hello,

I am considering a Scamp or Casita 13' or 16' TV. I could do either the 13' or 16' but am focusing more on something that well give me some flexibility
in dealing with the high cost of gas. With the 13' I could also eventually go smaller vehicle that would at least give me maximum gas mileage around town (even though I do have a Rav4 6 cylinder that gives me 23mpg combined).
My question is will the 13' give me better gas mileage than the 16'. Will the lighter Scamp give me a hedge in this area.
Also are both the Casita and Scamp equal in quality ?
Should I look for something other than a fiberglass TV ?

All input is appreciated.

Scott

#2 Bobinyelm

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 03:38 PM


This is slightly apples-to-oranges, but I have some data that may bear on your questions.

I have over 100,000mi towing with my current TV, a Ford turbodiesel van, with a pretty wide variety of trailers behind it.

My overall conclusion is that weight has relatively little effect on fuel mileage, especially compared to the wind resistance of the towed trailer.

I get about 20mpg with the van (about 5600 pounds empty) when not towing. Even when I load 2000 or more pounds inside (as much as 9500 pounds gross), the mileage stays within statistical variation of that same empty mileage, even in various terrain conditions.

*Hook a 4000 pound car behind on a tow dolly (low profile), and the mileage drops to about 18.5 or so.
*Hook my 17SD Casita (3300 pounds perhaps) behind and I see 17-18mpg.
*Trade the Casita for an empty 102" wide (same as an 18-wheeler) X 22ft enclosed cargo trailer (3600 pounds) and I get about 16mpg.
*Put a 3500 pound car inside the trailer (now 7100 pounds trailer weight) and the mileage drops to 15mpg.
*Trade the 22ft cargo trailer for a 32ft one of otherwise similar size (4800 pounds) yields 15mpg.
*Load 9000 pounds inside that trailer (14,000 pounds trailer weight) and the mileage falls to 11.5-13mpg (depending upon terrain).

Conclusions:

As you can see, longer trilers of similar profile caused almost no additional fuel.
Adding weight alone has less effect that one might expect on fuel mileage.

Weight DOES make a performance difference in mountainous terrain, though driving conservatively, causes little additional fuel consumption.

Gasoline engined TVs may vary somewhat with the differential between not towing and towing, of course.

I think your point about planning for TVs with less towing capacity is a good one. I recently was shown that in a few years, only about 1% of vehicles likely to be sold non-commercially will be able to tow even a Casita 17 foot trailer.

As they say, "Your mileage may vary."

Bob

#3 NaturalWoman

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 07:06 PM

QUOTE (ScottR @ May 24 2008, 02:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hello,

I am considering a Scamp or Casita 13' or 16' TV. I could do either the 13' or 16' but am focusing more on something that well give me some flexibility
in dealing with the high cost of gas. With the 13' I could also eventually go smaller vehicle that would at least give me maximum gas mileage around town (even though I do have a Rav4 6 cylinder that gives me 23mpg combined).
My question is will the 13' give me better gas mileage than the 16'. Will the lighter Scamp give me a hedge in this area.
Also are both the Casita and Scamp equal in quality ?
Should I look for something other than a fiberglass TV ?

All input is appreciated.

Scott


Hi Scott,

I have been very happy with my 13' Casita. It's the deluxe (with bathroom) model; I had it weighed when fully loaded recently and it was just under 2,000 pounds. I bought my trailer and tow vehicle (see below) with the specific intention of maximizing fuel mileage--including, as you mentioned, getting decent mileage from my tow vehicle when it's not towing. In other words, I own one vehicle, and I didn't want to spend more for gas than I had to, whether towing or not.

The lighter weight of the 13' trailer allowed me to get a 4-cylinder Tacoma, which gives me 22-25 mpg when not towing, and an average of 18 mpg when towing.

As for relative quality of Casita and Scamp, I bought a Casita because a Casita owner convinced me that the fiberglass bottom was a plus. Now that I'm in love with my Casita, when I visit a Scamp the details look funky to me. But I'll admit that that's probably just because I'm accustomed to my Casita, so everything else must be inferior, eh? I know Scamp owners who feel the same about their Scamps. smile.gif

I've never been sorry to have a tiny little trailer, but if I did move up to a longer model it would be for the side dinette.

Good luck, whatever you choose!
Carol
2001 Toyota Tacoma - "Jack"
2000 13-foot Casita Patriot Deluxe - "Cassie Blanca"

#4 mike712

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 07:52 AM

ScottR: You can see what we have by the signature. We also have an Avalon and a 2008 Rav4 V/6 2WD with tow package. I am prejudiced toward Casita, but have a neighbor who loves his 16-foot Scamp. These V/6 (with tow package) Rav4s are rated to pull 3,500, but, as you will learn on this forum, experienced trailer pullers really prefer and advocate for towing at half or two-thirds of rated capacity.
My thoughts are go 16-foot if you plan to camp for longer than a few days at a time; go 13-foot if you plan to pull long distances in the mountainous West (or East!). Go with 13 or 16 Casita or Scamp if you find a go buy on a used one nearby. These fiberglass units and those of lightweight European design will likely be the future RV of choice in the USA. Cordially, MIke

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#5 NaturalWoman

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 09:23 AM

Having read Mike's wise input, I want to add another thought: In selecting trailer size, ask yourself what kind of camper you are. I consider myself to be a tent camper who opted for a bit more comfort. I've camped without discomfort for weeks at a time in my 13-footer. I know a couple with two dogs who camp for extended periods in their 13-foot Scamp. Not everyone needs three more feet to last beyond a few days!

Cheers,
Carol
2001 Toyota Tacoma - "Jack"
2000 13-foot Casita Patriot Deluxe - "Cassie Blanca"

#6 Don in OKC

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 10:34 AM

QUOTE (ScottR @ May 24 2008, 05:43 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hello,

I am considering a Scamp or Casita 13' or 16' TV. I could do either the 13' or 16' but am focusing more on something that well give me some flexibility
in dealing with the high cost of gas.

If gas prices are a problem, stay home. Rving is a luxury! Tho this generation has trouble distinguishing differences.

With the 13' I could also eventually go smaller vehicle that would at least give me maximum gas mileage around town (even though I do have a Rav4 6 cylinder that gives me 23mpg combined).
My question is will the 13' give me better gas mileage than the 16'.

What does you instinct tell you?

Will the lighter Scamp give me a hedge in this area.

Scamp is not lighter. Scamp posts lighter weights due to a greater exclusion of 'options'. That and the fact that Scamp built it's reputation back when many were built with very few of the creature comforts that we now think are necessary. Equip both with the same 'options' and take em to the scales.

Also are both the Casita and Scamp equal in quality ?

Not much difference.

Should I look for something other than a fiberglass TV ?

Careful how you say 'fiberglass'. There are lots of 'fiberglass' trailers....... but Casita and Scamp are molded fiberglass. The lack of seams is one thing that give them their great resale value......fewer leak sources. Another plus is the aerodynamic shape that contributes to the great tow handling.

Casita or Scamp is definately where you should be looking. Other manufacturers are belly up or soon will be. Forget any type of 'stick built' trailer, even if it has fiberglass sides.

A 13 deluxe has one bed/dinette area, a 16 deluxe has a separate bed and dinette area. For many folks this is a big difference. Well, this is why the 16 was 'invented'. Before 'deluxes' a 13 could have a bed in back that stayed down and a bench in front for sitting/dining.


All input is appreciated.

OK, want to save gas? Consider a standard and not a deluxe. Use a porta potti and take sponge baths. Or use public facilities. No tanks and plumbing fixtures to haul around means weight saved. Weight saved equals better gas mileage. And you gain space within the trailer.

Picking a still smaller tow vehicle is not necessarily a way to get better gas mileage. I think of the old addage that towing with a pick-up mileage would improve if you traded from a 454 engine to a 350. Sometimes it got worse because of the lack of power (depending on the load).

Enjoy your shopping and picking and choosing. If you find 'almost' what you're looking for and it's near your home, jump on it. If you order new, take some extra time to make the pick-up trip a special event. rolleyes.gif

Don in OKC


Scott

Edited by Don in OKC, 25 May 2008 - 10:49 AM.

Don in OKC - (Useta have a) 2000 16' LD, 98 Chrysler T&C

#7 breckenridge

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 06:30 AM

We recently bought a Casita 13 ft Delux after 20 plus years of camping in several VW pop tops; so the size issue was not that important to us. In fact the Casita inside area is larger than our VWs.

Additionaly the 13 ft model could be towed by our current vehicle a 2003 Subaru Forester. We get 30 MPG with out the trailer and 18-22 MPG towing depending on the conditions.

What ever your choice: Good Luck.
13' Patriot Deluxe/2008: Sold
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#8 ScottR

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 02:24 PM

Hello,

I am taking all of you smart and experienced people's recommendations in to consideration.

Size and shape can be a major consideration in the TV's gas mileage.
Make sure the trailer fits your needs ie. large enough for longer camping trips.
Can you afford this luxury.

I am going to continue to explore all of my options. This weekend I will look at a Chalet RV. Because of its ability to flatten out I may get better gas mileage and can also tow it with my Rav4 or even a smaller vehicle if needed. I could also store it in my garage.
I like the idea of the Chalet and the 16' Casita because of the larger sleeping space. I think the 13' may be a little small except as suggested for a few days. If it was just me it would be no problem.
I know that RVing is a luxury and with the price of gas it is getting to be more and more of a luxury. I still want to keep all of my options open if gas continues to go up. A friend of mine just got back from Europe and was paying 9.45/gallon.

Is anyone familiar with the Chalet who could comment on any comparisons between it and the Casita ?

Does anyone know the exact size of the bed in the 13' Deluxe Casita and of any possibility to make it larger ?

Thanks a lot,

Scott





#9 Rich & Penny

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 05:15 PM

Scott, I don't think there is any way to make the bed in the 13' any larger as it comes right up against the refridgerator and stove/sink cabinets.
Another thing to think about is the kind of towing you want to do. I live in the Rocky Mountains, and a lot of towing is up hills. For that reason, I made sure that this time I bought a TV that was up to the task. My previous TV died an early death because I was always asking it to do more work than it was really designed to do. A friend of mine told me that his father always said "you can tow a trailer with a small engine, but you can't tow it for long". I think I learned that lesson the hard way.

We just purchased our 17 SD in March, which was bad timing as far as gas prices are concerned, but at least we didn't drop 650k on a huge MH that only gets 6 MPG on diesel. Everything is relative. Our other RV is a 1986 VW Westfalia that we bought new. It gets about 18-20 mpg and can go almost anywhere due to its' high ground clearance. In my mind, it was just about perfect, except Penny wanted a bathroom and shower. Needless to say, even though we now have the Casita, the VW is not for sale...Rich

#10 TNHausKat

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 06:58 PM

I hear ya about that VW...........I'd really like to have my '66 VW Beetle about now. Everytime I see an original one on the street, I get a flood of memories of the adventures I had in that thing. It was one of the few consumer items that did everything that the marketers said it would do and it was dead-on dependable.

Don/Memphis

#11 Vivian W.

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 07:27 PM

Scott,

There may be a Chalet owners group on Yahoo, and you could search there for information.

Edited by Vivian W., 04 June 2008 - 07:28 PM.

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#12 John G

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 08:14 PM

hello Scott.

We tow a 08 Casita 16SD with our 06 v6 rav-4. we average around 17 mpg with the trailer on. wind and terrain do efect that to a great degree. The setup handles well enough and has plenty of power for the hills. I do not know how it will efect the car in the long run but its not like we tow every day. If you have any qestions give me a shout. h2ocoolerman@msn.com

John G.

PS our 16 SD fits in our garage.

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Edited by John G, 04 June 2008 - 08:19 PM.

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#13 friz

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Posted 04 June 2008 - 08:41 PM

> Is anyone familiar with the Chalet who could comment on any comparisons between it and the Casita ?
I'm a former Chalet owner, and posted this message several years ago + an update.

> what are the advantages of the a-frame over a 13- or 16-ft fiberglass egg.

If you have a tow vehicle substantial enough to tow a Casita, I would recommend against the A-Frame. The A-Frame is good for getting into those tough places that a regular trailer won't fit. After rough use, the door won't close, pieces that fold together won't, etc. The body of the trailer is mounted to the frame, but doesn't provide much strength. The Casita body provides it's own stability, so even if the frame bends, the doors & windows still close.

I owned a Chalet A-frame for 4 years, and now own a Casita 16' fiberglass trailer.
I sold the Chalet some time ago and I missed it for awhile.

The A-frame is much easier to tow, adequate for personal comfort but has rubber seals & moving parts that can break. (not near as bad as a tent trailer) I could get it into parking garages and small campsites. Could see over it and watch for traffic behind. The new line of "Tab" teardrop trailers should be easy to tow also, and don't have to be set up. They cost almost as much as a Casita. My Chalet didn't have a bathroom, so was only 1500 lbs. They do make one with a bathroom.

The fiberglass "egg" type is very sturdy, much quieter inside and no leaks. There is more wind drag, depending on the tow vehicle size. A large SUV, p/u or van tow vehicle is ideal.
Smaller vehicles may want to install a "wing" to deflect air over the top of the Casita. I was getting 15-16 mpg towing the A-frame, get 14-15 mpg towing the Casita. I do notice the extra weight starting off or going uphill. Heavy headwinds will slow you down and decrease mileage. If you had a 13', towing at 70mph on level ground might not be much different from a 16 or 17 footer.

Update: I was previously towing with a Ranger 4L p/u. I bought a Ford F150 w/4.6L V8, and get the same mileage towing. Comfort is so much better, the Casita doesn't buck it around as much as it did the Ranger, and my back thanks me. Non towing mileage was only 1 to 2 mpg better with the Ranger. Ranger only had 20 gal tank, a nuisance. If you order an F-150 get the 35 gal tank instead of the stock 27 gal.


There are trade-offs in this RV business. You just have to decide what's important to you.

.... friz

Edited by friz, 06 June 2008 - 09:00 PM.


#14 Rand

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 03:53 PM

Hi,

What I read several times was the Chalet = Leaks. Don't know where I read that but there you go...

Anybody else hear that?

Rand:-)
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#15 geri

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Posted 07 June 2008 - 06:43 AM

Chuck and I get 15-17 miles per gallon pulling his Oliver with my Chevy Trailblazer 6 cylinder 4wd. He says we get better mileage with my Trailblazer than he gets with his Chevy Silverado Truck, also 6 cylinder. I notice no difference in gas mileage towing my Casita vs Chuck's Oliver.

Getting a moulded fiberglass trailer is the best investment you are going to make camping wise! I have to admit I have fallen in love with Chuck's new Oliver Elite just because it is so well thought out in so many ways. I will keep my Casita, but will admit to having "green eyes" when camping in Chuck's Oliver!
Geri
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