1. I am not sure about the appliances,etc. I DO know that when they give you the big pack of instructions, manuals, etc on all the applicances, the axle, etc, several of them (i.e. the Dometic refrigerator) have warranty cards with a VERY NARROW time frame in which to send them in. .For instance, Dometic (the fridge) gives you only 10 days (that's including weekends) from the day you take possession of the camper in which to send in the warranty card. If you wait until after the ten days they won't honor it. Oh, they want a copy of the Proof of Purchase too.
The warranty on the fridge is good for one year. I can tell you from sad experience, the Dometic refrigerator is junk. Ours has never worked right. When we used the warranty to cover repairs Dometic dragged their feet and did not want to honor it. They claimed we'd abused the fridge but we didn't. It just didn't work right. But because we'd sent them the card immediately, they were bound to cover the repairs. Which didn't work..;-(
So take a cooler. No matter where you go, if you can get fuel, you can get ice.
What is advised is that you drive about 45 miles from Rice to a camp ground for the night. Then run EVERYTHING, make sure everything works. Look under the sink for leaks from the sink (another problem we experienced but didn't think important enough to turn around), run the range (make sure you open the vent over the range, and it helps a lot to open the roof vent when you operate the range.)
This way, if something that Casita is obligated to fix doesn't work (or things fall off, i.e. rivet caps) you aren't so far that it's a PITA to turn around and go back. Right now that may be a problem...Clover (one of our Texans) says that many of the State Parks are closed due to flooding and damage. I would make a decision as to what campground you're going to stay at and call the Texas State parks (I'm sure there's a website) to find out the status of the park.
One of the things I've heard mentioned that we did not experience was the first night, after a drive, there's a fine dust of 'stuff' that gets shaken out of the carpet, etc on the first ride. Also some folks have mentioned a 'new car' smell or a 'new carpet' smell. That we did not experience, either as we had to wait a few months before we could pick ours up so it sat on the lot.
2. Not being an employee of Casita, I can't speak to whether they test the appliances or not. I believe they do not.
I don't know why they don't fill the propane, but fear not, there is a propane place not very far at all from the factory, you can get there by staying on the frontage road. When we went there the young man was very familiar with Casitas and filled up our tanks.
Nor do I understand why they don't so something as simple, and professional thing as spin balance the tires. When we picked up our 2011 there was some propaganda in the packet saying the tires were top notch and didn't need balancing. When we got home we bought REAL tires, (Maxx 8008) which were very expensive but have definitely paid for themselves in ride, trustworthiness and wear. are the original tires bad? In my opinion, they were cheap Chinese junk tires. We drove ours about 5000 miles and noticed tread wear! Some folks here on this forum are quite happy with the original tires, and more power to them, but I'm far happier with the Maxx tires.
3. I don't see why you couldn't test at least the fridge and the AC/heater strip in the ceiling, the fans, etc. at the factory, but it would probably entail your using their electricity. I don't know if they'd allow it. Beware-if you run the fridge on DC it will drain your battery like THAT. If you're going to stop for more than an hour, disconnect the Tow Vehicle connection. Don't forget to reconnect, that connection is not only your running lights but your BRAKES as well. Stopping is WAY more important than going.
The furnace runs on 12 volt so you can at least see if it works, even before you get propane. The furnace is LOUD but it will warm the Casita up like that. The hot water heater is very dependable. Make sure you have water in it before you turn it on and MAKE SURE they show you how to open the valve to it! Have them tell you how to adjust the Sway Bar, make sure the indoor lights work (also 12 volt), check the running lights, the brakes, etc. About the only thing they did for us was fill up our water tank, which allowed us to test the faucets and toilet. If you're going to be in hot country make sure you haven't blocked off the air vent to the power converter underneath the bed, it's right next to the hot water heater compartment. I'm not sure if I have the correct name for it but it will come on automatically if you're running a lot of appliances at once.
4. Most of the folks here on the Forum disconnect the battery and remove it completely from the camper when we are putting them in storage for a while. We put ours on a trickle charger. So I would say yes, it's probably smart to disconnect the battery if you're going to store it for a long period of time. If you have access to power when it's in storage and you live in a damp climate(I live in the Pacific Northwest where it rains a lot) it doesn't hurt to run a dehumidifier to keep things dry inside. The Dry-Z-Air packs work, too, but in my climate they last about three days.
5. Have a good safe trip. YOu will find tons of good information on this forum and the only stupid question is the one you don't ask. And enjoy your Casita!
Edited by Meadowlark, 21 June 2015 - 06:38 PM.