Jump to content


Photo

Towing A Casita


  • Please log in to reply
14 replies to this topic

#1 Joe Coss

Joe Coss
  • Casita Club Member
  • 2 posts
  • Local time: 11:01 PM
  • Casita Model/Size:still deciding
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 January 2015 - 08:21 AM

Greetings from Oregon!  I am considering purchasing a Casita trailer and have a towing question.  I own a 1999 Nissan Frontier 4x4 3.2L pickup with a manual transmission and stated towing capacity of 3500 pounds.  Is there anyone out there who tows a Casita with a similar pickup who can share their experiences?  I am most concerned that my truck can "easily" handle the load.  Thanks. 



#2 clairemr1

clairemr1
  • Casita Club Member
  • 1,433 posts
  • Local time: 05:01 PM
  • Location:Lake Dallas, TX
  • Casita Model/Size:2013 Patriot Deluxe - 13'
  • Interests:Kayaking, birdwatching, hiking
  • Gender:Female
  • Trailer Name:Sassie Cassie

Posted 18 January 2015 - 09:26 AM

    joe, look closely at your owners manual and check the limits of your particular vehicle. my 1995 ford ranger was ok to tow the 13 and 16 ft casitas with no problem but not recommended for the 17 fter. i bought the 13 fter last year, because i was unfamiliar with towing, and had no experience handling a travel trailer. i had a year of wonderful trips/rallies/camping outings with new casita friends with "Earl" and "Sassie Cassie", even did a grueling colorado boondocking trip last june.

    i have decided to replace "Earl" this year because i enjoy the casita experience immensely, he has 250,000 miles on him, things like water pump/radiator/transmission/engine are now 20 years old and will eventually fail and i'm getting ready to go even further/for longer stretches of time in 2015. i don't want to risk a mechanical break down while either on the southern utah tour in may or afterward in the pacific northwest this summer. there are many considerations on your tow vehicle choice, besides whether your vehicle can tow the casita,  age of your vehicle/mileage, distances you want to tow and your tolerance for possible mechanical break downs are major factors in your decision and each person has to weigh all of those factors before deciding. good luck with your decision and hope to see you somewhere down the road in your casita! claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle


  • Carol Christensen, Leehman Wexlin and sandyb12 like this

claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle

2015 white toyota tacoma

rally host


#3 Joe Z

Joe Z
  • Casita Club Member
  • 1,998 posts
  • Local time: 04:01 PM
  • Location:New River Arizona
  • Interests:Member Since
    Jan 21 2005
  • Gender:Couple
  • Trailer Name:AZ Snowball

Posted 18 January 2015 - 09:42 AM

The 16' SD is very close in weight with the 13' Deluxe model...... at around 260lb on the tongue and roughly 2300 lbs overall mildly loaded it would be an easy tow for your vehicle.

  The 17' model comes close to 450lbs on the tongue and approx 3500 lbs.

 Hope this helps


Edited by Joe Z, 18 January 2015 - 09:42 AM.

Joe & Linda
Dodge Ram 4x4

 


#4 clairemr1

clairemr1
  • Casita Club Member
  • 1,433 posts
  • Local time: 05:01 PM
  • Location:Lake Dallas, TX
  • Casita Model/Size:2013 Patriot Deluxe - 13'
  • Interests:Kayaking, birdwatching, hiking
  • Gender:Female
  • Trailer Name:Sassie Cassie

Posted 18 January 2015 - 10:20 AM

joe z is correct, i forgot to mention the difference in weights for standard models, which do not have the bathroom and deluxe models, which do.the deluxe models all weigh more than the standard models, regardless of length.

    be careful of tongue weights, however, because they fluctuate wildly. i actually had mine weighed and was surprised it was 380lbs, with the 2 propane tanks and battery on the tongue on a 13 ft casita patriot deluxe. you would need to actually weigh your tongue to accurately judge the tongue weight. same for the weight of the trailer, so much depends on what you carry, where you store it inside the trailer and if your tanks, fresh water/black water/gray water are full or empty. the only way to really know your trailer weight is to weigh it before you head out on a trip.

    you'll also need at least a class II hitch, possibly class III depending on casita length you buy. i chose class III because it was not much more cost and adds a lot more strength. it is mounted under your truck to the frame, not the bumper.

    another consideration, as i mentioned before, is the actual condition of your 1999 truck, it's mileage, and if it has anything added like tow package or transmission cooler which  help keep it from overheating during tow, the elevations you plan to tow in, the higher you go elevation-wise, the harder it is on your tow vehicle. there are many considerations on choosing the right tow vehicle, but as joe z said, your truck most likely won't have trouble with the 13 or 16 ft casitas, but the 17 fters are pushing the limits of your vehicle and may not be suitable. you can always do what i did, use your truck to tow for awhile, see how you like the casita experience, then upgrade your vehicle later if you find it's not up to the task. good luck in your choice, claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle


claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle

2015 white toyota tacoma

rally host


#5 oregonlavender

oregonlavender
  • Casita Club Member
  • 139 posts
  • Local time: 04:01 PM
  • Location:Cottage Grove, Oregon
  • Casita Model/Size:FD 2014 16'
  • Interests:Gardening
    Casita-ing
  • Gender:Female

Posted 18 January 2015 - 01:35 PM

Joe, I tow a 16' FD with a RAV 4 with a tow rating of 3500#. I am in Oregon and cross the Willamette Pass, Santiam Pass and Siskiyu Pass. I have spent a lot of time crossing and re crossing the Continental Divide. Going up my mileage plummets but I don't have any difficulty. I just go slow and steady and let people pass often.
Susan
  • NASA42 B likes this
Susan and Sunshine (a rare purebred brown dog)

#6 chucksper

chucksper
  • Casita Club Member
  • 6 posts
  • Local time: 11:01 PM
  • Casita Model/Size:Freedom 17 ft
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 January 2015 - 04:51 PM

Joe, for a 13 footer, you can get by with most anything, but if you move up to a 17' I would recommend at least a V-6 with 6,000+ towing. The past three years, I towed my 17' Freedom deluxe with a 2005 Nissan Frontier 4ltr V-6, and it was adequate to get over the mountain ranges at about 30mph uphill. Gas Mileage had dropped to about 12mpg my last trip due to the truck's age maybe as I just traded it in with 139,000 miles. I replaced it with a 2014 Toyota Tundra 5.7 V-8 which is way more than enough for the Casita and I'm getting 15mpg towing vs. 12 with the Frontier. Since we're looking at full timing in another year or so, we'll probably move up to a larger trailer which was our reason for the Tundra and it's 10,500 lb capacity, otherwise I would have stuck with another Fronier or Tacoma.

#7 Dex

Dex
  • Casita Club Member
  • 1,184 posts
  • Local time: 04:01 PM

Posted 18 January 2015 - 05:10 PM

Greetings from Oregon!  I am considering purchasing a Casita trailer and have a towing question.  I own a 1999 Nissan Frontier 4x4 3.2L pickup with a manual transmission and stated towing capacity of 3500 pounds.  Is there anyone out there who tows a Casita with a similar pickup who can share their experiences?  I am most concerned that my truck can "easily" handle the load.  Thanks. 

 

 

You should do fine with that.  If you want to increase the towing capacity you could look into changing the gears.   I'd suggest driving a bit with the Casita before making any changes. 

How's the suspension parts?

Does a manual use a transmission cooler? 


2006 17' Spirit owner since July 18, 2006
Tow Vehicle - 2000 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4X4-Sport V-6 3.9L, Automatic Sports Plus Package, 31X10.5 tires, Limited Slip Differential, 4.10 gear ratio, Trailer Tow Group pkg(transmission & oil cooler, class IV hitch, wiring), Heavy Duty package (automatic Overdrive, battery upgrade, front & rear anti sway bars) Package

#8 Don

Don
  • Casita Club Member
  • 1,230 posts
  • Local time: 05:01 PM
  • Location:Trinity, TX
  • Casita Model/Size:2007 Casita 17' SD
  • Interests:Family, home, traveling w/fiberglass trailer, computers, chess, short track stock car racing, bowling.
  • Gender:Male

Posted 18 January 2015 - 09:08 PM

Tongue weight is something that can get very troublesome for many reasons. I can attest to that as when mine jumped up to 615 pounds (Yeah - ridiculous) and my hitch was rated for a maximum of 600 pounds - something had to give. It took both a real egg diet and a WDH hitch before I felt comfortable with the rig.

There are 3 ways to get an accurate tongue weight. One is to use a multiple platform truck scale, found at most true truck stops. A method to use a truck scale is outlined at: http://tinyurl.com/k6xekgq
Another way would be to use a scale designed for weighing trailer tongues, see photo below. Both of these methods will give you an accurate reading. But, if a close result is good enough for you then you can do it on any level spot using some pretty simple equipment, see photo below and a complete tutorial at: http://tinyurl.com/lq4bbhc

SHERLINE Trailer Tongue Scale
PS0184_cr.jpg

BACKYARD Trailer Tongue Scale
PS0183_cr.jpg
  • Leehman Wexlin, NASA42 B and Wally Z like this
Don & Sherian, 2017 GMC Canyon, SLT, crew cab, short bed, 3.6 V6, 8 speed auto trans
factory brake controller and anti-sway control. Made in USA. Custom Casita graphics.
07 Casita 17' SD w/HLA (Egg Motel, room for 2 - to go), also made in USA
Photos of our mods and other stuff: http://tinyurl.com/2dz93g

#9 Joe Coss

Joe Coss
  • Topic Starter
  • Casita Club Member
  • 2 posts
  • Local time: 11:01 PM
  • Casita Model/Size:still deciding
  • Gender:Male

Posted 20 January 2015 - 12:05 PM

Many thanks to all who responded to my questions.  Lots of good food for thought.  Looking forward to getting the right pieces together and beginning my own Casita adventures.

 

till later...



#10 John Craig

John Craig
  • Casita Club Member
  • 7 posts
  • Local time: 12:01 AM
  • Casita Model/Size:Spirit Deluxe 17
  • Gender:Male

Posted 25 January 2015 - 07:03 AM

Hi Joe,

 

I see you've plenty of replies. Since I've gone this far I'll continue with my input anyway.

I tow our 2012 Spirit Deluxe with my 2011 Nissan Frontier. Newer I realize, but it also is a 4 X 4. It's also a 6 cyl, maybe a little more CC's? I never have a problem pulling the Casita. I suppose after stocking up for a trip it's at about 2600 lbs.

On level or slightly uphill travel it maintains fine. But if you get a constant, steep(er) grade I find I have to downshift (mine's a 6 speed) to 5th, and sometimes to 4th. Never lower than 4th and it maintains that speed. I do not have the trans cooling package and hasn't seem to have mattered.

 

Hope this helps. Enjoy!

 

John Craig



#11 highwayfl

highwayfl
  • Casita Club Member
  • 602 posts
  • Local time: 07:01 PM
  • Location:Cocoa, Florida
  • Interests:Long distance hiking, backpacking, seeing what is out there so as to lessen the regrets of mark Twain, plus sea kayak touring, kayak fishing the salt water flats and surf fishing, accumulating memories now, while I can, to remember later, when I cannot.
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 January 2015 - 02:28 AM

Tongue weight is something that can get very troublesome for many reasons. I can attest to that as when mine jumped up to 615 pounds (Yeah - ridiculous) and my hitch was rated for a maximum of 600 pounds - something had to give. It took both a real egg diet and a WDH hitch before I felt comfortable with the rig.

There are 3 ways to get an accurate tongue weight. One is to use a multiple platform truck scale, found at most true truck stops. A method to use a truck scale is outlined at: http://tinyurl.com/k6xekgq
Another way would be to use a scale designed for weighing trailer tongues, see photo below. Both of these methods will give you an accurate reading. But, if a close result is good enough for you then you can do it on any level spot using some pretty simple equipment, see photo below and a complete tutorial at: http://tinyurl.com/lq4bbhc

SHERLINE Trailer Tongue Scale
attachicon.gifPS0184_cr.jpg

BACKYARD Trailer Tongue Scale
attachicon.gifPS0183_cr.jpg

Don, that appears to be only two ways to measure tongue weight. The third would be?


'00 Casita, 16' SD 3936 - "Motel One"
'02 Jeep Wrangler, Straight 6, 4.0 L, 4WD, 5-speed
Pulling the Egglet with Aplomb!

#12 PerfectCasita

PerfectCasita
  • After-Market Product Supplier
  • 413 posts
  • Local time: 06:01 PM
  • Location:Lewisville, TX
  • Casita Model/Size:None
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 January 2015 - 04:27 AM

The 3 ways that Don outlined were:

  • Truck scales
  • Sherline type scales
  • Bathroom scales

Jim


Orbital Machine Works online store
http://www.perfectcasita.com

#13 Don

Don
  • Casita Club Member
  • 1,230 posts
  • Local time: 05:01 PM
  • Location:Trinity, TX
  • Casita Model/Size:2007 Casita 17' SD
  • Interests:Family, home, traveling w/fiberglass trailer, computers, chess, short track stock car racing, bowling.
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:58 AM

Don, that appears to be only two ways to measure tongue weight. The third would be?


Like Jim (widgetwizard) said.....
Don & Sherian, 2017 GMC Canyon, SLT, crew cab, short bed, 3.6 V6, 8 speed auto trans
factory brake controller and anti-sway control. Made in USA. Custom Casita graphics.
07 Casita 17' SD w/HLA (Egg Motel, room for 2 - to go), also made in USA
Photos of our mods and other stuff: http://tinyurl.com/2dz93g

#14 CasitaTravelTrailers

CasitaTravelTrailers
  • Casita Club Member
  • 24 posts
  • Local time: 05:01 PM
  • Location:Rice,Tx
  • Casita Model/Size:All
  • Gender:Male

Posted 13 February 2015 - 12:08 PM

Hello Joe...

 

we weigh every trailer that we produce... when the trailer leaves the factory the tongue weight on a 17' will weigh between 340-360 lbs... full propane tanks will add no more than 40 more pounds.. the 16' tongue weight with propane will be right at 310 and the 13' about the same. a 16' will weigh from the factory about 2400 lbs with all the option and the 17' about 2600 lbs., maybe a little less or a little depending on how thick we spray the fiberglass on some parts.  Also you will receive a certificate with your Casita's weight on it when you pick it up..

 

Also the sale has been extended to 2/28/15... but after that we have the new 2015 pricing... contact me Joe if you would like them

 

Thanks 

 

Jonathan

903-200-4952


  • Dutchman, ArizonaEileen and Wally Z like this

Casita Travel Trailers - Rice, Tx
casita1@casitatraveltrailers.com
Jonathan@casitatraveltrailers.com

800.442.9986
903.326.4717
903.326.5104 fax
http://www.casitatraveltrailers.com


#15 arlon

arlon
  • Casita Club Member
  • 151 posts
  • Local time: 03:01 PM
  • Location:Midland, Texas
  • Casita Model/Size:17' Bunk Delux
  • Interests:Anything that gets me outside, photography
  • Gender:Male

Posted 14 February 2015 - 06:25 PM

If you do tow one with a manual trans Nissan, put it n 4 low when you back it up or you'll be needing a new clutch pretty soon. Reverse gears in Nissans manual transmissions all seem to be to high for backing a trailer. I have a manual X-terra, rated for 5000lbs but it is horrible when backing unless I use low range in 4 wheel drive.. 

 

Air bags for the rear to help keep things level will also make a big improvement in the ride. 


Edited by arlon, 14 February 2015 - 06:28 PM.

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