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Checklist for Newbies


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#1 Carol Christensen

Carol Christensen
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  • Location:NV - Carson/Reno Area
  • Casita Model/Size:2005 17' LD - "Nova"
  • Interests:Travel, camping, pets, mother nature, wildlife behavior, being outdoors to enjoy it all.
  • Gender:Female
  • Casita Club Directory #:1009

Posted 28 June 2008 - 01:24 PM

Obviously, I'm a list person and an extreme one at that. These lists were made when we picked up our first Casita in 1999 because I was very nervous about towing, having heard too many horror stories of what can go wrong. I realize these look intimidating but very soon these things become second nature. Originally, I printed the lists and kept them in the trailer to use on each trip but after a while they were just used as a quick reminder.

We dry camp 99% of the time, that is without hookups, so you may find things related to having hookups have been omitted. But the basics are here.

Please feel free to add your comments and suggestions. Over the years many suggestions from Casitans have been added to the lists and I try to update every so often. (If you want to download the Checklist, I'm including a link below)

NOVEMBER 10, 2010: THIS LIST HAS BEEN EDITED BY CAROL TO CORRECT AN ERROR IN THE "SANITIZING WATER SYSTEM" SECTION.

For Newbies: CASITA CHECK LISTS plus WINTERIZING & SANITIZING

(1) General Maintenance
Grease hitch ball & if you have a WDH, grease weight distributing hitch (WDH) bars - but NEVER EVER grease the sway bar.
Grease wheel bearings.
Tighten all hitch bolts.
Check hot water anode for wear - replace if necessary. Ours is replaced annually.
Tighten all wheel lugs - use a star pattern, crossing to opposite sides as you tighten; for example, a five cornered star with points numbered clockwise would begin at #1 and follow a 1,3,5,2,4 pattern.

Attached Images

  • Casita_Lug_Nuts.jpg

Attached Files


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Carol Christensen
2005 17' LD Nova & 2001 Toyota 4Runner

pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#2 Carol Christensen

Carol Christensen
  • Topic Starter
  • Rally Organizer
  • 2,455 posts
  • Local time: 08:10 PM
  • Location:NV - Carson/Reno Area
  • Casita Model/Size:2005 17' LD - "Nova"
  • Interests:Travel, camping, pets, mother nature, wildlife behavior, being outdoors to enjoy it all.
  • Gender:Female
  • Casita Club Directory #:1009

Posted 28 June 2008 - 01:26 PM

(2) Trip Preparation
Check battery water.
• Fill fresh water tank about 1/3 full - top it off at or near your destination.
• Open hot water tank bypass valve - handle in vertical position to open, horizontal to bypass.
• Turn on pump & run all faucets (not all at once) from the rear to the front - hot & cold to remove air.
• Run water into toilet to remove air from lines and to add water to black tank before use.
• Plug in electricity (AC) overnight to charge battery & cool refrigerator. Our refrigerator is set at 4-5 the night before, then the next day we load pre-cooled or frozen food and reset it to 2-3.
• Leave refrigerator on AC overnight - switch to DC or off when traveling.
• Fill propane bottles, leave valve closed.
• Check air in tires - fill to recommended psi of tires.

Carol Christensen
2005 17' LD Nova & 2001 Toyota 4Runner

pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#3 Carol Christensen

Carol Christensen
  • Topic Starter
  • Rally Organizer
  • 2,455 posts
  • Local time: 08:10 PM
  • Location:NV - Carson/Reno Area
  • Casita Model/Size:2005 17' LD - "Nova"
  • Interests:Travel, camping, pets, mother nature, wildlife behavior, being outdoors to enjoy it all.
  • Gender:Female
  • Casita Club Directory #:1009

Posted 28 June 2008 - 01:27 PM

(3) Trailer Hook-up
Raise rear stabilizer legs.
Remove hitch lock, raise lever.
Raise tongue so ball receiver will clear the hitch ball.
Position ball under ball receiver, but just a little forward - about a 1/2".
Lower tongue onto hitch.
Lower lever and lock hitch - check lock security by cranking the tongue up a couple of inches until the tongue begins to raise the rear of the vehicle.
Attach safety chains - crossed under tow bar.
If using a Weight Distributing Hitch: using the tongue jack, raise tongue about 2" then attach the spring bars & chains at the proper length and secure in place. Raising the tongue: (1) eases the tension so the WD bars & chains can be easily installed and secured or taken off, (2) acts as a check to see that the hitch ball is securely held in the receiver.
Raise tongue jack all the way up - if using hitch wheel remove & stow.
Attach sway bar, adjust tension - secure both ends w/pins.
Attach breakaway cable to vehicle - shorten slack in cable by threading it through a safety chain or wrapping it around something on the tongue frame.
Attach electrical pigtail.
Remove & stow chocks.
Pull trailer forward a little - recheck hitch to see if secure.
Test trailer tail lights.
Carol Christensen
2005 17' LD Nova & 2001 Toyota 4Runner

pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#4 Carol Christensen

Carol Christensen
  • Topic Starter
  • Rally Organizer
  • 2,455 posts
  • Local time: 08:10 PM
  • Location:NV - Carson/Reno Area
  • Casita Model/Size:2005 17' LD - "Nova"
  • Interests:Travel, camping, pets, mother nature, wildlife behavior, being outdoors to enjoy it all.
  • Gender:Female
  • Casita Club Directory #:1009

Posted 28 June 2008 - 01:29 PM

(4) Campsite Arrival & Set Up
Loosen sway bar tension before backing into site - watch out for low branches.
• Level trailer - side to side.
• SET CHOCKS - front & back of both wheels - IMPORTANT: set chocks BEFORE detaching safety chains or the trailer from the hitch.
• Turn off GPS in vehicle.
• Detach breakaway cable from vehicle.
• Detach electric pigtail.
• Remove sway bar.
If using a Weight Distributing Hitch: Raise tongue about 2" to detach spring bars & chain.
• Detach safety chains.
• Raise tongue - release hitch & move vehicle forward a little.
• Adjust tongue height to level trailer front to rear.
• Lower rear stabilizer legs.
• Open propane tank valve - light a stove burner for a few seconds to remove air from line.
• Switch refrigerator to gas for propane or electric if hookups are used.
• If water hookup is used - use pressure regulator valve with water hose.
• Check water heater for propane odor - light pilot & turn on or use auto ignite on newer models.
• Open stove vent & shower drain.
• Turn furnace electric switch on - older model have switch on the furnace under the sink, newer models do not have a switch.
• Turn on pump - always keep the pump turned off when you will be away from the trailer for a while, like when sightseeing, hiking, fishing, etc.
• Kick back and relax.


Edited by Carol Christensen, 10 November 2010 - 04:41 PM.

Carol Christensen
2005 17' LD Nova & 2001 Toyota 4Runner

pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#5 Carol Christensen

Carol Christensen
  • Topic Starter
  • Rally Organizer
  • 2,455 posts
  • Local time: 08:10 PM
  • Location:NV - Carson/Reno Area
  • Casita Model/Size:2005 17' LD - "Nova"
  • Interests:Travel, camping, pets, mother nature, wildlife behavior, being outdoors to enjoy it all.
  • Gender:Female
  • Casita Club Directory #:1009

Posted 28 June 2008 - 01:31 PM

(5) Departure Preparation
Inside Trailer
  • Air Conditioner - fan & temperature off.
  • Furnace - turn off, thermostat low.
  • Fantastic Fan - close lid, turn switch & speed off, thermostat on red.
  • Refrigerator - check inside, close door tightly, switch off or to DC.
  • Stove burners - off.
  • Pump - off.
  • Blinds - down, closed & tightened securely.
  • Windows / doors / cabinets - closed & secured.
Outside Trailer
  • Stow outside Thermometer.
  • Door - locked.
  • Steps - raised.
  • Shower drain - closed. Located outside under front frame, or inside the closet on newer models.
  • Air Conditioner cover - secure.
  • Awning - secure.
  • Stabilizers (rear) and tongue support (front) - up.
  • Water heater - off.
  • Storage compartments - locked.
  • Stove vent - secured.
  • Propane tanks - valve closed.
  • Sewer hose connection Y - move to UP position for travel, DOWN position to dump.
  • If using hook-ups: Disconnect electric & water - Stow cord, hose and water pressure regulator.
  • Test trailer tail lights.
And if you don't already have the wiring diagram, this one is old but probably the wiring has not changed. The hitch height refers only to the height without the high lift option. And you should be prepared for hitch weights heavier than those in this document.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Casita Wiring Diagram.jpg

Carol Christensen
2005 17' LD Nova & 2001 Toyota 4Runner

pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#6 Carol Christensen

Carol Christensen
  • Topic Starter
  • Rally Organizer
  • 2,455 posts
  • Local time: 08:10 PM
  • Location:NV - Carson/Reno Area
  • Casita Model/Size:2005 17' LD - "Nova"
  • Interests:Travel, camping, pets, mother nature, wildlife behavior, being outdoors to enjoy it all.
  • Gender:Female
  • Casita Club Directory #:1009

Posted 28 June 2008 - 01:32 PM

Things to Remember
After a rest stop always walk around the trailer to check connections, etc.
• When stopped for more than 30 minutes, unhook pigtail from trailer.
• To light refrigerator propane, light stove burner first to get air out of line.
• When cooking, open outside vent & always use hood fan.
• When showering, open shower floor drain (it’s better to open the floor drain before your shower. less embarrassing too, since the handle is outside on some models).
• Close outside stove vent & shower floor drain before moving trailer.
• For hot water, turn bypass valve (located inside) to vertical position.
• To BYPASS hot water heater, turn bypass valve to horizontal position.
• Move sewer hose connection “Y” to DOWN position to dump and to UP position for travel.
• Do not store the trailer without emptying the black & gray holding tanks.

Carol Christensen
2005 17' LD Nova & 2001 Toyota 4Runner

pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#7 Carol Christensen

Carol Christensen
  • Topic Starter
  • Rally Organizer
  • 2,455 posts
  • Local time: 08:10 PM
  • Location:NV - Carson/Reno Area
  • Casita Model/Size:2005 17' LD - "Nova"
  • Interests:Travel, camping, pets, mother nature, wildlife behavior, being outdoors to enjoy it all.
  • Gender:Female
  • Casita Club Directory #:1009

Posted 28 June 2008 - 01:34 PM

Winterizing - depending on the climate in your area
Drain black, then gray holding tanks and flush with fresh water; drain fresh water tank almost completely.
• Drain hot water heater by removing anode, and flush with fresh water - replug opening with PVC plug.
• BYPASS hot water heater or REMOVE anode - bypass lever in horizontal position.
• Add 2 -3 or more gals. RV (pink) antifreeze to water tank (plus 6 gals if WH bypass is not used).
• Turn pump on & open each faucet hot/cold, one at a time - run until antifreeze (pink) shows in sinks, toilet (hold flush pedal down) & shower head (don’t forget the outside shower).
• Turn off pump.
• Add some antifreeze to sink traps, shower drain, toilet, black & gray tanks.
• Close propane tank valves, light stove & burn off excess gas.
• Leave bathroom window open, just a little.
• Leave bathroom door open.
• Leave refrigerator door ajar.
We don’t do these last three items, although they have been recommended by many.
• Turn off circuit breakers at the service panel.
• Cover all vents.
• Disconnect battery, hook-up to trickle charge - keep battery in dry, cool place, not on cement.


Carol Christensen
2005 17' LD Nova & 2001 Toyota 4Runner

pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#8 Carol Christensen

Carol Christensen
  • Topic Starter
  • Rally Organizer
  • 2,455 posts
  • Local time: 08:10 PM
  • Location:NV - Carson/Reno Area
  • Casita Model/Size:2005 17' LD - "Nova"
  • Interests:Travel, camping, pets, mother nature, wildlife behavior, being outdoors to enjoy it all.
  • Gender:Female
  • Casita Club Directory #:1009

Posted 28 June 2008 - 01:35 PM

Sanitizing - Water System
With the fresh water tank almost empty, mix a solution of 1/4 cup household bleach in a gal. of water and pour into the water tank.
• Water heater bypass should be OPEN (in vertical position) & anode installed.
• Add a total of 8 - 9 gals. of water to the bleach solution in the water tank.
• Turn on the pump and open the kitchen faucets, hot & cold, one at a time until a chlorine odor is detected, then do the same at the bathroom sink.
• Let sit for 3 or more hours, then open the hot & cold taps and drain the chlorinated water.
• Refill the fresh water tank & flush the system until the chlorine odor disappears.
• If necessary, a solution of 1 quart of white vinegar to 5 gals. water will neutralize the bleach.
• Then flush again with fresh water. Repeat if necessary.
• Empty black, then gray holding tanks.
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Carol Christensen
2005 17' LD Nova & 2001 Toyota 4Runner

pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#9 Dave&Kathie

Dave&Kathie
  • Casita Club Member
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  • Local time: 08:10 PM
  • Location:Portland, OR
  • Casita Model/Size:2013 Escape 21
  • Interests:Woodworking, Photography, Gardening Birdwatching, Sewing, Astronomy, & Camping!
  • Gender:Couple

Posted 28 June 2008 - 05:11 PM

Carol,

Thanks so much for publishing your lists again. We love them wub.gif . They were invaluable to us when we first started out and now, as you say, they are quick reminders (especially for the first trip in Spring).

Happy Trails,
Kathie
Dave & Kathie
Portland, OR
05 17' FD, 06 V8 Ltd 4Runner
"I do not understand how anyone can live without some small place of enchantment to turn to."
MK Rawlings

#10 Carol Christensen

Carol Christensen
  • Topic Starter
  • Rally Organizer
  • 2,455 posts
  • Local time: 08:10 PM
  • Location:NV - Carson/Reno Area
  • Casita Model/Size:2005 17' LD - "Nova"
  • Interests:Travel, camping, pets, mother nature, wildlife behavior, being outdoors to enjoy it all.
  • Gender:Female
  • Casita Club Directory #:1009

Posted 03 July 2008 - 01:57 PM

Thanks Kathie, I appreciate it. I think list will be more readily available to newcomers here. And hopefully people will still post suggestions for changes and updates.

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Carol Christensen
2005 17' LD Nova & 2001 Toyota 4Runner

pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#11 roka

roka
  • Casita Club Member
  • 57 posts
  • Local time: 09:10 PM
  • Casita Model/Size:2012 17' Freedom Deluxe
  • Gender:Couple

Posted 25 August 2008 - 04:24 AM

Carol,

Thank you so much for your newbie suggestions - very, very helpful. I, too, am nervous about towing our "new" 2005 17' Casita SD. To make matters worse, we just bought and are picking up our "new" Casita on Long Island, NY and will have to tow it through NYC to head west. Although I'm nervous, I am very excited about beginning our next adventure and heading back to Mesa, AZ. I'm sure it will be fine - wish us luck.

Karen

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Ross and Karen
2012 17' FD
2013 Nissan Xterra

#12 Carol Christensen

Carol Christensen
  • Topic Starter
  • Rally Organizer
  • 2,455 posts
  • Local time: 08:10 PM
  • Location:NV - Carson/Reno Area
  • Casita Model/Size:2005 17' LD - "Nova"
  • Interests:Travel, camping, pets, mother nature, wildlife behavior, being outdoors to enjoy it all.
  • Gender:Female
  • Casita Club Directory #:1009

Posted 30 August 2008 - 01:17 PM

I'm sure you'll do just fine. Have a wonderful Casita adventure.
Carol Christensen
2005 17' LD Nova & 2001 Toyota 4Runner

pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#13 CHThursday

CHThursday
  • Casita Club Member
  • 371 posts
  • Local time: 11:10 PM
  • Location:San Angelo, TEXAS
  • Casita Model/Size:Spirit Deluxe / 17 ft.
  • Interests:Chuck Wagon cooking, travel, stereo photography
  • Gender:Male
  • Casita Club Directory #:1714

Posted 30 August 2008 - 03:11 PM

Carol,
I guess I would be an "oldbie" but I still enjoy comparing yours and other peoples lists to my own. I have an abbreviated set that I have laminated that stay with the Hippo. They are my pre and post flight check list. Each item is checked off as I do my walk around. I have caught some very obvious things at the last minute that I would have missed in the excitement of getting on the road. One day when I didn't use it, about 1/2 a block down the street I heard a scrapping noise. I had left my stairs hanging on the side and down. Duh!
Thanks for sharing your ideas. Different eyes are a great way to learn.
Bruce
Bruce
Out in West TEXAS -"200 miles from anywhere"
2004 17' SD "RoadHippo"
2004 Mitsubishi FUSO
FG639 4X4

#14 Carol Christensen

Carol Christensen
  • Topic Starter
  • Rally Organizer
  • 2,455 posts
  • Local time: 08:10 PM
  • Location:NV - Carson/Reno Area
  • Casita Model/Size:2005 17' LD - "Nova"
  • Interests:Travel, camping, pets, mother nature, wildlife behavior, being outdoors to enjoy it all.
  • Gender:Female
  • Casita Club Directory #:1009

Posted 31 August 2008 - 01:55 PM

You are so right. I've incorporated ideas from other lists and suggestions from many Casitans. Even though I've been doing these checks since 1999, it's always possible to miss something. Jack hooks up the trailer and I batten down the inside and do a walk-around to check everything. Once we both missed hooking the safety chains and another time forgot to tighten the sway bar. In fact, just last week Jack caught me locking the trailer with the Fantastic Fan vent left wide open. Shame on me!
Carol Christensen
2005 17' LD Nova & 2001 Toyota 4Runner

pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



Don't believe everything you think.

#15 auntjane234

auntjane234
  • Casita Club Member
  • 5 posts
  • Local time: 08:10 PM

Posted 20 November 2008 - 02:16 PM

THANKS so much for the lists. They're great!
AuntJane in Ohio smile.gif smile.gif smile.gif