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Rookie Questions - Escape As Tow Vehicle, And Scamp V Casita


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#1 Azer

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 01:58 PM

hi folks,

I have a family of 4 (me, wife, and 2 girls) and am looking to buy a fiber glass trailer for family trips and camping, but don't have any experience with this. I'd appreciate your help with some basic questions:

1. I don't have the inclination to do a lot of repair, and so I'd like something pretty new. I am considering either a 16' Scamp or 16' or 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe, with bunk beds and toilet. I'd like something from 2000 or later. Does this seem reasonable choice on my part? Can I view the Scamp and Casita as being pretty comparable in quality and family suitability? Or are there big differences I should be aware of? (Sorry, I know this is a Casita board - I hope this question is not "inappropriate"...)

2. Can I use a 2010 Ford Escape as tow vehicle for the above trailers, in Colorado? The spec's are as follows: 3.0-liter V6, Flex-Fuel, 240 horsepower @ 6550 rpm, 223 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm ("ability to tow up to 3,500 pounds"). Will the high altitude be a big issue? Will there be much difference in my ability to tow a Scamp (dry weight + hitch ~ 1900 lbs) versus Casita (dry weight + hitch ~ 2450 lbs) -- perhaps Escape is better suited to Scamp? How critical are anti-sway bar and other accessories? I have talked to some folks who say I will be fine, and others who say I will struggle (especially in mountains)...

Thanks very much!,
Azer

#2 NDbushwacker

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 02:55 PM

It appears your TV should be ok but I would recommend the Weight distribution Hitch. The Casita & the Scamp are pretty comparable.
You might want to post your questions to this forum also. http://www.fiberglassrv.com/
Also check out this page for possible choices. http://www.fiberglass-rv-4sale.com/

#3 KandJ

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:07 PM

I am considering either a 16' Scamp or 16' or 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe, with bunk beds and toilet.
Azer

The deluxe models will not have bunk beds. It comes with a bathroom where the bunk beds would go in a non deluxe model. This is something to consider when looking for a used Casita. You can also get a Scamp with the bunk beds without the bathroom.
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#4 Rob and Linda

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 05:35 PM

Azer...

Welcome to the Casita Club! I'm sure that you will find it a treasure trove of useful information, tips, hints, opinions,(!) and other useful stuff!

You don't say how old your daughters are... their age (and size) will have some bearing on your decision as what might be OK in concept sometimes gets a bit less-OK in actual practice. I hope that some with real-world experience camping with four family members will chime in here... most of us are probably solos or couples. As posted previously, you aren't going to find bunk beds AND a bathroom!

I'm one of those guys who believes in a substantial safety margin in most everything... that said, I would not tow a 17-footer with any vehicle that had anything less than a 5,000 pount tow rating. Most 17' Casitas "on the road" are just one side or the other of the 3,000-pound mark, putting you to within 500 pounds of the max rating; I find this way too close for comfort. You would struggle in the mountains, find it stressful and nerve-wracking! I hate to be so much a wet blanket, just think things through carefully.

By the way, did you know that there is a Ford Escape Forum? Here 'tis: http://fordescapeforum.com/ You might want to look around there, see who is towing what.

Best to you!

Rob

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#5 EdKH

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:39 PM

The Ford Escape towing specs are very marginal for towing a 17 ft Casita. A loaded 17ft Casita weights very close to 3,500 lbs. That gives you no margin of error.

Towing in the Colorado Mountains. At 5,000 ft above sea level you lose 20 percent of your power. In the mountains you will be operating between 9,000 ft and 11,000 ft.

I have been in some hairy situations with a larger more powerful vehicle in the Colorado Mountains. I canít imagine getting into or out of that with a smaller liter vehicle.

The Casita is a better quality trailer.

#6 Muttley

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:51 PM

Kids are very persistent about growing, so be prepared for them to outgrow any small trailer. My grandson is 6'5", I used to pick him up under one arm at one time. We went through this with our kids in a VW Camper. Aside from them outgrowing the bunks, we never had enough room for clothes.

We found that a popup had a lot of room even though it was more work to set up. We lived in Florida then and winter camping was not a problem.

I agree with Rob that a tug rated to tow 5000# is a much better proposition.
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#7 Sue and Sandy

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 04:24 AM

When considering a tow vehicle you should also consider handling and stopping.
How will the vehicle handle an emergency maneuver or sudden stop while towing?
With kids added to the equation you can't be too careful.

Susan

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#8 pemsit

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 07:39 AM

Scamps are a good deal lighter than Casitas. If you decide to go with the Casita the Spirit Deluxe 17 might work for you, one girl if you can convince her could sleep under the back bed and the other on the small table/bed on the side. That way you have the bath room/shower that the females seem to enjoy so much. I did see an article where an inventive Casita owner built a bunk bed over the small bed. Then depending on how old the girls are you could have both sleep on the small bed, that would make for some interesting conversations between the two (shes on my side)My Grandsons are still small enough to sleep one on one end and the other on the other, but still complain.

#9 2Frank

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 09:28 AM

Check out this website to help determine the weight of trailer you can tow:

changingears.com/rv-sec-calc-trailer-weight-tt.shtml

Don;t forget that towing capacity alone is not a safe guide. The total weight of the tow vehicle plus tow vehicle passenger and baggage weight plus the fully loaded weight of the travel trailer (which includes contents, water, propane, etc. is a HUGE consideration.

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#10 2Frank

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:04 AM

Two more things I should have added to my reply:
1)

Ford 2010 Escape Towing Guide


www.ford.com/assets/pdf/towing/10FLMrvESCAPREsep09.pdf

This is place to find tow and weight figures for the 2010 Escape to plug into the calculator

2) in all the sites I've visited and threads I've read I have not seen a single instance in which the Casita loses in comparison with Scamp.

2Frank

#11 Eloy & Irma

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 11:15 AM


I am considering either a 16' Scamp or 16' or 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe, with bunk beds and toilet.
Azer

The deluxe models will not have bunk beds. It comes with a bathroom where the bunk beds would go in a non deluxe model. This is something to consider when looking for a used Casita. You can also get a Scamp with the bunk beds without the bathroom.

I can not imagine getting any model that did not have a bathroom in it , especially traveling with 3 females .

Edited by Eloy & Irma, 05 July 2012 - 11:15 AM.


#12 The Goose Egg

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 12:06 PM



I am considering either a 16' Scamp or 16' or 17' Casita Spirit Deluxe, with bunk beds and toilet.
Azer

The deluxe models will not have bunk beds. It comes with a bathroom where the bunk beds would go in a non deluxe model. This is something to consider when looking for a used Casita. You can also get a Scamp with the bunk beds without the bathroom.

I can not imagine getting any model that did not have a bathroom in it , especially traveling with 3 females .


You can get a Casita deluxe model with a bath/shower and a side bunk bed where the side dinette would be.
We had a 1986 16ft. SD w/ side bunk we bought used in 1993.
The top bunk bed was not very sturdy, but would be ok for a smaller child.
We towed it with a Jeep Cherokee 4.0L - 5000lb. towing cap. Great combination. We avg. 17-19 mpg. towing in different conditions.
With our 17ft SD and E150 Van we only get 10 mpg. Sometimes I miss the 16 ftr.
Here's a link to a previous post with a picture of a Casita SD w/side Bunk http://www.casitaclu...dpost__p__84364
Goose

Edited by The Goose Egg, 05 July 2012 - 12:28 PM.

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#13 Bobinyelm

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 12:12 PM

I can not imagine getting any model that did not have a bathroom in it , especially traveling with 3 females .


"Female" may be the operable word, but I've found a flush porta-potty to be a good alternative to a built-in toilet that needs to be emptied by a messy hose.

The porta-potty is identical to the Casita toilet, but has the "black tank" attached to the bottom that can be detached (and is air-tight), and emptied in any toilet and flushed away.

You use the same treatment chemicals to arrest odor and to help break down the waste.

I carry one in my van camper, and while I prefer to use it for liquid night-time to preclude leaving my bedroom, there's no logical reason not to use it for solid waste as one would a regular RV toilet.

Sometimes, finding and using a RV dump site is difficult, and it can be messy, though a supply of latex or nitril gloves
( http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/B001TQ8B9G ) makes it "nicer."
Harbor Freight sells 'em cheaper, BTW.

#14 Carol Christensen

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 10:18 PM

I'm not sure the bunkbeds in the SD would take up the bathroom space. The small dinette converts to a single bed and the upper bunk fits right over it. I don't see why the bathroom would be changed.

You could call Casita and ask about that.
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#15 Carol Christensen

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 07:45 AM

You can get a Casita deluxe model with a bath/shower and a side bunk bed where the side dinette would be.
We had a 1986 16ft. SD w/ side bunk we bought used in 1993.
The top bunk bed was not very sturdy, but would be ok for a smaller child.
...
Here's a link to a previous post with a picture of a Casita SD w/side Bunk http://www.casitaclu...dpost__p__84364
Goose


Sorry, Goose. I hadn't read your post and have never seen the bunk beds. You describe it well, and it's just as I thought. The deluxe with the side bunks has the bathroom.

Thanks.
Carol Christensen
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pre-Nova was Ova-the-Rainbow 1999 17' LD (sold)



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