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#1 alisa

alisa
  • Casita Club Member
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  • Local time: 08:39 AM
  • Location:37602
  • Casita Model/Size:2012 Spirit Deluxe
  • Interests:Backpacking, hiking, biking.
  • Gender:Female

Posted 05 May 2014 - 08:55 AM

Hi there!

 

I am Alisa from East Tennessee and while I may be new to the Casita Club online, I am very familar with and love Casitas. I dated a guy whose first love was his 16' in which he lived and worked; he kept it clean and maintenance-free for what seemed a lifetime. And now? Well, now I am looking to go full-time Casita livin' and am beginning here with this lovely, kind, and ever so helpful group. You guys RAWK! 

 

I am a high school teacher, recently divorced, and want to free myself of apartment-living. I am an avid outdoorswoman-hiking and biking-and am looking to not only downsize but create a new life being totally mobile. As a Casita-lover, I spent much extended time enjoying the freedom that goes along with fiberglass fun and now am preparing to do it full-time.

 

I am currently selling my sweet lil' Honda Fit and am in the market for a V6 to pull a 16-17' Casita for which I am shopping used online. What a tough job it is to find just the right one at the right price before it gets snatched up almost immediately as it's advertised.

 

I will not pose any queries of yet for I am sure all you wise owners will give me the skinny on the pros and cons of full-timing it, plus I welcome any suggestions, advice, and sure fire commands on what NOT to do.

 

Excited and eager Newbie,

 

Alisa


Edited by alisa, 05 May 2014 - 08:57 AM.

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#2 arlon

arlon
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  • Location:Midland, Texas
  • Casita Model/Size:17' Bunk Delux
  • Interests:Anything that gets me outside, photography
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 May 2014 - 09:05 AM

More than a few people have simplified life and moved to a Casita full time. Good luck, good community here.

 

If you plan to travel a lot, get something as much towing capacity as you can find. I've never heard any complaints about having too much towing capacity but there are volumes written by those that have too little. A strong V6 with 5000lbs of capacity would be my minimum though there are many who tow with a lot less and swear it's just perfect. (-:}


Edited by arlon, 05 May 2014 - 09:12 AM.

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2002 17 Casita Bunk Model Delux
2005 AWD Astro van (my solo camper)
Dodge/Cummins quad cab

#3 alisa

alisa
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  • Local time: 08:39 AM
  • Location:37602
  • Casita Model/Size:2012 Spirit Deluxe
  • Interests:Backpacking, hiking, biking.
  • Gender:Female

Posted 05 May 2014 - 10:25 AM

Thank you, Arlon! I appreciate your kind words of advice; yes, towing capacity is a biggie. . .

 

What do you think about a Ford 150? Too, I see that you own a "Spirit Delux." Can you tell me how you managed to wittle it down to the Spirit and the Delux model? Also, should I just go for it and purchase a new Casita? I see used prices for your model are $15-20,000, i think. And, if this is my "little house," wouldn't I want new? I do understand that Casitas retain their worth depending on care from the previous owner and their resale value sometimes exceeds original cost with upgrades, however, I think I can afford to spend $15-20,000 for a new model. How much should I expect to spend on a 16-17' delux model of any Casita series? Sorry to be so verbose :) I do understand the delux models have all the extras. . .If you were me, or had to do it "all over again," what think ye?

 

Thanks for any comments, Arlon!



#4 MrHDHawg

MrHDHawg
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  • Local time: 07:39 AM
  • Location:La Feria TX & Chula Vista CA
  • Casita Model/Size:17' Spirit Deluxe
  • Gender:Couple

Posted 05 May 2014 - 10:36 AM

RE:  a 16-17' Casita for which I am shopping used online. What a tough job it is to find just the right one at the right price before it gets snatched up almost immediately as it's advertised.

 

Welcome Alisa!

 

I have been looking for a Casita for over two years and found that when you find one that appears to be the one, it’s either too far to go take a look or overpriced for the year or the one that is reasonably priced, as you say, gets “snatched up almost immediately as it's advertised”.

Rather than continue the search or buy one that may have unknown issues, I bit the bullet and decided to buy a new 2014 17’ Spirit Deluxe with most all options from the factory for under 20K, out the door.

Good luck on your search.


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#5 alisa

alisa
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  • Casita Model/Size:2012 Spirit Deluxe
  • Interests:Backpacking, hiking, biking.
  • Gender:Female

Posted 05 May 2014 - 10:53 AM

Thank you, Mr. "Hawg," I must agree with you.

 

I am paying about $1000 a month for a really great downtown loft here in East Tennessee with power, water, cable and internet, so I think I can manage budgeting for a new Casita. Probably monthly payments will be at least half that for about 15 years. Too, I will want to pay more than the monthly installment to own it as quickly as possible, no?

 

How should one go about financing? I understand Credit Unions have better interests rates, but I haven't even begun that process yet. And, more importantly, do I have to reveal that I will be living full-time in it to the bank?

 

I have good credit, but this will be my first big purchase, so naturally I am a bit nervous.

 

Also, with the Deluxe models, do you get to specify which add ons you want, or are they all automatic with the Deluxe series? I am studying several posts and apologize to repeat much asked and often repeated questions. Really appreciate it,

 

alisa


Edited by alisa, 05 May 2014 - 10:54 AM.


#6 MrHDHawg

MrHDHawg
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  • Location:La Feria TX & Chula Vista CA
  • Casita Model/Size:17' Spirit Deluxe
  • Gender:Couple

Posted 05 May 2014 - 11:37 AM

Credit Unions are best all around. I don't think it's necessary to reveal that you will live in the Casita full time.

 

The Deluxe models do come with more extras than the standard models, the upgrades to the the deluxe that you would have to select would be, furnace, awning, refrig fan, 25 gallon fresh water tank, outside shower, vinyl floor, friction anti sway control, electric jack, extra outlets, range & sink covers, tv shelf and the video entertainment package. I got every thing but the vinyl floor, the electric jack, outside shower, extra outlets and tv shelf. 

Call Casita Travel Trailers and ask them to send you a brochure, 800-442-9986.

I ordered mine in early March and will pick it up on June 25th, so it's about a 3 month wait.  Good luck.


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#7 Don in Ut

Don in Ut
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  • Location:Salt Lake City, UT
  • Casita Model/Size:'96 16' SD
  • Interests:Exploring the beautiful mountains and canyons of Utah and other western states. I also enjoy off roading - snowmobiling in winter.
  • Gender:Male
  • Casita Club Directory #:1710

Posted 05 May 2014 - 12:11 PM

Alisa

 

Just a couple of things to consider:

 

You already seem to like a good V-6.  I agree that there are a few good vehicles with very adequate  engines for towing.  I prefer a Toyota Tacoma because I find them to be very well made and last a long, long time - with good maintenance limiting abuse.  I wouldn't recommend towing a 17' Casita with a V-6 unless you intend to only tow only in the flatlands.  Just my opinion - don't want to start an argument.

 

If you are looking at buying the SD, or actually any model of Casita, I think you should compare some key differences between the 16' and the 17'.  There is a large difference in the total weight and the hitch weight of the two.  That can make considerable difference in your gas mileage and general wear and tear on your tow vehicle.  In the SD you get eight inches wider bed space, a little more storage room in the closet area, I believe and the "biggie" - a larger refrigerator and freezer.  In my thinking, the larger refrigerator is the only real "step up" where the 17' is superior to the 16'.  You mentioned that your friend lived full time in his 16'er so he coped somehow.  You probably already know how.  I am always amazed at how much food my wife can get in that little refrigerator on our 16' SD.  The 17'er is a bit taller than the 16'er plus the AC is mounted on the roof - both of which creates more "sail area" and increases wind drag going down the road.

 

Just my opinion and suggestions.  Hope you have a great time full timing in your new Casita.

 

Don in UT


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'96 SD 16' HLA 20 degree down start
'98 Toyota Tacoma 4X4 extended cab

#8 oregonlavender

oregonlavender
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  • Location:Cottage Grove, Oregon
  • Casita Model/Size:FD 2014 16'
  • Interests:Gardening
    Casita-ing
  • Gender:Female

Posted 05 May 2014 - 12:51 PM

Alicia, I ordered a 16' FD.  My tow is a 6cylinder RAV 4 and maybe technically I could manage a 17' but I live in Oregon which has a lot of ups and downs and safety and control are very important.  The 17' has a freezer while the 16'does not.  Someday I will get a Tundra or a Tacoma and maybe trade up to a 17'.  At the moment it is too far in the future to let it be more than a passing thought.

I pick up my Casita one week from today.  Buying new lets me get what I want and since they hold value so well, new isn't much more than used and there won't be any unpleasant surprises.

Good luck with your search.

 

Susan


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Susan and Sunshine (a rare purebred brown dog)

#9 alisa

alisa
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  • Casita Model/Size:2012 Spirit Deluxe
  • Interests:Backpacking, hiking, biking.
  • Gender:Female

Posted 05 May 2014 - 01:05 PM

Thank you Susan, Don, and Mr. Hawg,

 

I am always so pleased but never amazed at how helpful Casita owners are; I appreciate your honesty and suggestions. I think I have narrowed it down to a new Spirit but am weighing whether I want the 16 or 17'. You all give much to consider and yes, it seems to come down to personal opinion. 

 

Don, I am looking at a Tacoma too! They are hardly available used (like Casitas) 'cause they are such good trucks. 

 

Can't wait to figure all this out; in the meantime, studying-studying-studying everthing I can get my hands on for full-time Casita livin'. 

 

alisa



#10 tractors1

tractors1
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  • Location:Hillsboro, Oregon
  • Casita Model/Size:ex-LD17, Escape21 now
  • Interests:Scuba diving, old tractors, woodworking
  • Gender:Couple

Posted 05 May 2014 - 01:26 PM

The major difference between a Deluxe and a not-Deluxe is that the Deluxe comes with a bathroom, regardless of model.

 

Charlie Y


ex-owner LD17, Escape 21 now
2013 Tacoma V6 4dr 4wd long bed

Need a widget to hold your stuff?

        Don't drill holes!
http://www.rvwidgetworks.com

 

 


#11 HBarlow

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 03:35 PM

Welcome, Alisa.

 

Your first step should be contact with Casita for a brochure.  Their website is helpful also.  Study the models and corresponding floor plans and decide for yourself.  I believe the Spirit Deluxe 17' is Casita's biggest seller.  It is what a majority of members here have as well.  For full-timing I would "splurge" and buy the 17'.  You'll appreciate the added interior height, the screen door, and an additional foot of space.

 

A Ford F150 or any small V8 powered 1/2 ton pickup with a camper shell would make an excellent tow vehicle.  A camper shell over the pickup bed will provide additional storage for a new full-timer living in a small space.  As a teacher you have to dress well everyday including the changing seasons.  Storage for off season clothing in your covered truck bed would be handy.  You could have the camper shell windows tinted to conceal stored items.

 

Regarding the purchase:  As you've already learned and stated - nice used Casitas sell quickly when advertised, even when overpriced.  Even if you move quickly and agree to buy one as soon as an ad appears you'll then have the challenge of going to get it wherever it may be.  Ordering a new one might be a wise decision.  Any of the sales folks at Casita can advise you on the optional accessories.  Casita will advise you about hitch equipment and a towing wiring harness and connector.

 

If you are a member of a credit union check their website for rates and payment examples.  You should be able to borrow $18,000 and repay the note in four years with a payment under $500 per month.



#12 stratos175

stratos175
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  • Location:Alpharetta Georgia
  • Casita Model/Size:17' Spirit
  • Interests:hiking, kayaking, disc golf and spending time in in our Casita.
  • Gender:Male
  • Trailer Name:Matilda

Posted 06 May 2014 - 04:13 AM

Hello,

I like your style!!!!!!!!!!

 

I live in GA and yes used Casita's are not as plentiful in the SE, I just found my 2004 outside of Knoxville about 2 months ago.

If you plan on living in your Casita than I would assume you plan on keeping it a while so new might not be a bad idea, if that is what you decide to do than picking out the options will be the toughest thing to do I would think. As far as 16' or 17' I would really think about that, yes a 16' weighs less but do you want to give up that space in what already is less space than what you are used to plus the shorter height also needs to be considered. Also I think resale would be much better on a 17' in case you want to do that one day.

As far as tow vehicle you should be good with a 6 cylinder (I tow mine with a 06 Pathfinder) but yes TOWING capacity is just as important if not more important than cylinders so be sure to get at least 5,000 lbs mine is 6,000. You also might want to consider a cooler device for the transmission if you will be doing more hill climbing, not an expensive add on but worth it I think.

Plus you are 100% correct, I have a Roadtrek (that I am about to sell) and main reason I decided on a Casita were these forumus and knowing I would never be alone :).

 

All the best in your hunt for your new home.

 

Steve



#13 clairemr1

clairemr1
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  • Casita Model/Size:2013 Patriot Deluxe - 13'
  • Interests:Kayaking, birdwatching, hiking
  • Gender:Female
  • Trailer Name:Sassie Cassie

Posted 06 May 2014 - 05:41 AM

welcome to the "casita cult" , er i mean "casita club", alisa. you have a learning curve to surmount in this endeavor, but how much fun it will be for you! i'm a newbie as well, bought my "sassie cassie" feb 1 and have had her out on 4 overnights in this horrid winter we just had/in sleet/snow/ice and now a week at my first rally. getting ready to leave again monday on my 2nd rally. am learning alot, these folks on this site are so helpful.

    i'm debating full timing as well, taking this year to travel, see how i like it before possibly cutting the ties i have to this area and getting out there forever! so far, i like it alot out there. there are folks interested in travel together as well, so you don't necessarily have to do it all alone. just do what your comfort zone tells you to do and enjoy!!!! best of luck, claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle


claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle

2015 white toyota tacoma

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#14 MarksAlot

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  • Casita Model/Size:Escape 19 Trailer
  • Interests:Camping to help battle stage 4 cancer.
    (and it's working!) :)
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 May 2014 - 05:58 PM

Before full-timing in a Casita, it may be best to keep your current residence and spend a couple of months in your Casita and see how well it works for you. I have a 2010 Freedom Deluxe and they're well made trailers that offer a lot of comfort. Storage can be a challenge, but with a little creativity, you'll learn the tricks to make you comfortable. Going to any local rallies is very helpful too.

 

Best of luck to you!  :)

 

clairemr1,

We had a Schnoodle for 12 years and he was the best dog we ever had. Brains and attitude in a 30 lb lovable package. Great dogs and wonderful camping companions. Currently I have 2 mini Schnauzers that are my camping buddies. Da boyz. :)



#15 Retired in Reno

Retired in Reno
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  • Casita Model/Size:17' Liberty Deluxe
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Posted 06 May 2014 - 08:54 PM

Hi Alisa, good luck on your new life. We considered getting a used unit, too, but they seem to sell as soon as they go on Craig's List here. Instead of waiting, we decided to just order one, since then you can get just what you want. Besides, it is considered a second home, so there is the interest write off, though it will be your primary home anyway.

The main difference between the 16 and 17 units to me were a trade off between the tongue weight (much greater for the 17), and the inside height. Since I am 6' tall, I opted to go with the 17', and you definitely want a deluxe for the bathroom if your going to full time.
Jeff
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