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#1 NannyD

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 07:53 AM

Hello, I am a retired single female looking at the Casita 17' Freedom. I have a couple of questions. 1. What do you recommend for towing vehicle. Don't really want a mega truck. 2. Is the 17' Freedom big enough for one person to live in full-time? Thanks for any assistance. I have never owned or used a travel trailer before, but have always wanted to travel.

#2 clairemr1

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 08:11 AM

    hi, nannyd, welcome to the casita family. a vast array of vehicles/trucks/suvs can and do tow a casita. it would be hard to recommend just one, but since you don't want to tow with a full sized truck, many of us have the toyota tacoma. and yes, people have and do full time in every size of casita, the 17 ft down to the 13 ft patriot, which is the same trailer as the 16 ft SD but with a split galley and no side dinette. you don't state your location, but i'm in north texas and always welcome another travel companion. good luck with your casita. claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle


Edited by clairemr1, 06 September 2015 - 09:16 AM.

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claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle

2015 white toyota tacoma

rally host


#3 borderbrae

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 08:55 AM

It would help if you update your profile to show where you are, if nothing else what part of what state. I suggest you try to get to some rallies. There you will find a variety of models and sizes to see. The owners will gladly show you theirs, talk about tow vehicles, etc. 

 

I use a full size truck and wouldn't tow with anything less, my choice. It is better to have more tow vehicle than you need than to be under powered for sure, trying to tow with a vehicle not really up to it can be unsafe and very stressful. 


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Jean
2000 SD 17'
2011 Silverado w/Prodigy BC
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much (and take lots of photos along the way)
www.jeanclarkphotography.com
www.borderbrae.wordpress.com

#4 clairemr1

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  • Trailer Name:Sassie Cassie

Posted 06 September 2015 - 09:17 AM

    nannyd, i just sent you a PM. best of luck in your choice of casita. you're making the right decision. have fun! claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle


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claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle

2015 white toyota tacoma

rally host


#5 NannyD

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 09:43 AM

I am in the Ft. Worth/Saginaw area of Texas. Thanks for the input. I was thinking of getting a Jeep Patriot to tow with. Just don't know if it's powerful enough. Manufacture states tow capacity of 3000 lbs.

#6 clairemr1

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 10:18 AM

    in my opinion, you might want to reconsider your tow vehicle choice. a 3000lb towing capacity does not give you much wiggle room when you add in the weight of your gear/food/fresh, gray, black tanks, plus any elevation you might encounter. i'd recommend a tow vehicle with at least a 6500lb tow capacity, that keeps you safe and won't prematurely age your tow vehicle by placing it under unusual stress.


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claire and merlin, excellent schnoodle

2015 white toyota tacoma

rally host


#7 Joe Z

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 11:13 AM

A Jeep Patriot at 3000lb tow is  risky..... The tongue weight on a 17' is about 450lbs and overall close to 3500 lbs.

  It would tow a 16' casita which weighs in about 250lbs on the tongue and about 2500lbs overall.

When shopping for tow vehicles try to find one that can handle at least 500lbs on the tongue and about 5000lbs plus overall capacity (6500lbs better yet)and you should be fine.

  Also a longer tow vehicle tows safer than a short wheelbase..... If the tacoma wasn't so darn expensive i would like one of them


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Joe & Linda
Dodge Ram 4x4

 


#8 Meadowlark

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 11:44 AM

NannyD, there are many folks on this forum who full time in their Casita. Plus there's a solo traveler forum that you may want to check out.

 

I must agree with clairiemr1, borderbrae and Joe Z. When you are thinking of towing the admittedly light weight Casita, you can't forget all the stuff that goes with it. First off, the brochure data gives you the DRY weight of the Camper. That means no water in the tanks/gray water/black water tanks.  Even propane in the tanks adds weight.  Just filling the 25 gallon water tank adds 200 pounds. If you don't have a truck to tow with, much of your gear goes into the Casita: coolers (don't depend solely on the refrigerator), clothing, camp chairs, jackstands, tools, food, etc.  And where are you going to put it when you're in camp?

 

You have to take all that added weight into account. It's not safe to ignore it. An overloaded camper/underpowered or overchallenged tow vehicle can mean disaster.

 

No, you don't need a 'mega' truck but if you get a smaller truck with a cap over the bed, you then have a place to pack all your stuff. Claire makes a very good point about putting unnecessary stress on your vehicle.  I have no idea where you live, but if you plan on traveling, you are going to run into mountains. Going up and down them with a underpowered vehicle can cause problems.

 

There are times when you are glad to have a 'big' truck when towing the Casita. When you're pulling up a mountain in a snow storm, you're glad to have that bulk and capacity.

We drove through Oil country Texas where the oil truckers pass you at 85 mph. Our Toyota Tundra handled the sideblasts with no problems. On that same trip, my husband's back spasmed so badly he was bent over like a paperclip. He couldn't stand up straight without agonizing pain. He was able to crawl into the back seat of the truck and lay down and heal. While I drove and boohoo'ed because I couldn't help him anymore than what I already was doing: driving.

 

 

Girls drive trucks all the time. In fact, this one prefers them.


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These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"

 

"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."


#9 NannyD

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 11:55 AM

I would like a full size truck, but have bad knees and even with the added side step running bar have trouble getting in and out. I will be sure to check out some smaller trucks. Thanks for the advice. I have never done this before. . I have always wanted to but let my kids talk me out of it when I retired forur years ago. I have regretted it ever since. So I am getting my house ready for market and am going to do it. They can complain all they want I won't be here to listen... LOL
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#10 Carolyn and Steve

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 01:01 PM

Hi--We are new owners and have put in 30 nights in the Casita in the last 65 days

We are towing with a 2010 Mercedes ML350 Diesel. 7000 plus tow rating. You

have  many choices. Basically, any vehicle that is rated 5000 lbs or better for tow weight will keep you safe   and give you enough towing power.

We wanted an SUV (car) rather than a truck for addition comfort, quiet and handling.

 

I suggest the "CASITA TRAVEL TRAILER A-Z OWNER'S GUIDE" by Eileen Glick. This book, shipped to you by email is comprehensive. Aside

from not knowing much about trailers and towing, this book has saved our lives, figuratively and literally. It includes tips, instructions  and insights

into using you Casita safely.  It also includes checklists of all sorts.

When you arer tired, sleepy, upset, and can't think of everything or anything  this book will answer your questions.

Well  organized  with tons of photos. Clear explanations about everything in your home on wheels.

 

For first timers, we read  this book over and over again. We printed the book at home and keep a bound copy in the trailer.

Staples and FedEx will not copy copyrighted material. They did laminated and bind our printed copy. 

Well worth the $30.00.

 Much easier to read than the manufacturers manuals and brochures.

The Guide is genius. Thank you Eileen.

 

Also go on YouTube and watch the series of Casita videos. Facebook also has a nice user group. 

 

c'ya on the road,

Carolyn and Steve

San Clemente, CA

"Little House on the Freeway"

 


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#11 borderbrae

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 04:00 PM

There are some rallies in TX you can get to to see trailers and tow vehicles. You don't have to own a trailer to drop in a visit with folks. 


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Jean
2000 SD 17'
2011 Silverado w/Prodigy BC
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much (and take lots of photos along the way)
www.jeanclarkphotography.com
www.borderbrae.wordpress.com

#12 teacher retired

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Posted 06 September 2015 - 04:31 PM

NannyD,

I have sent you a private message or pm. Sandy

#13 Meadowlark

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  • Location:North Laurasia
  • Casita Model/Size:2011 17 ft Spirit Deluxe
  • Interests:Dressage, birding, camping, reading, traveling with my photographer husband and our two cats, cooking.
    Retired US Army, active field biologist.
  • Gender:Female
  • Trailer Name:Grus Egg
  • Casita Club Directory #:958

Posted 06 September 2015 - 06:33 PM

I would like a full size truck, but have bad knees and even with the added side step running bar have trouble getting in and out. I will be sure to check out some smaller trucks. Thanks for the advice. I have never done this before. . I have always wanted to but let my kids talk me out of it when I retired forur years ago. I have regretted it ever since. So I am getting my house ready for market and am going to do it. They can complain all they want I won't be here to listen... LOL

 

You listen to your KIDS? :blink:  Get out there and try it. You don't have to keep camping if you don't like it. One of the nice things about Casitas is they hold their value. While I've not done a statistical analysis, very few Casitas have the For Sale sign hanging on them for very long. So if you find that camping is too much, or not quite what you wanted, or just not what you thought it would be, there's no shame in putting your camper up for sale.

 

As for the bad knees...I gots two of 'em. I don't have any issue with my automatic transmission trucks. The old days of a heavy shifting, manual transmission,  tight clutched truck with strong arm steering and a steering wheel the size of a hula hoop are long gone. My Tundra drives like a car.


These are the voyages of the small ship, "Grus Egg".

2011 17" Spirit Deluxe, "Grus Egg"

 

"Civilization began when we stopped eating horses and began riding them."


#14 NannyD

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 12:08 AM

Thanks Meadowlark for the advice. It's not the shifting and driving of the full size truck that is the problem it is the height of getting into the cab and out. My knees don't let me do step ups. I am going to look at the smaller Tacoma and the Chevy Colorado. I actually really enjoyed driving a full size truck when I could get in and out without hurting.

#15 lem

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Posted 07 September 2015 - 04:13 AM

I would like a full size truck, but have bad knees and even with the added side step running bar have trouble getting in and out. I will be sure to check out some smaller trucks. Thanks for the advice. I have never done this before. . I have always wanted to but let my kids talk me out of it when I retired forur years ago. I have regretted it ever since. So I am getting my house ready for market and am going to do it. They can complain all they want I won't be here to listen... LOL

 

NannyD

We went with the Nissan SV Frontier for much the same reason as you are concerned with. For us the Tacoma felt too high to step in to and also the windshield felt too narrow. We liked the Chevy Colorado but it was slightly longer and would not fit in the garage without a lot of rearranging.  The Frontier works well for us and really like it. Whatever you get recommend the towing capacity is at least 6000 pounds.

Hope you find something that works for you,

Lyle


Lyle & Jane

17 Spirit Deluxe 2015

2015 Nissan Frontier