The process of elimination I used to narrow down which rig I’ll hit the road with has been covered over a few posts. First, in the post An Egg and a Funnel, I figured out a fiberglass trailer was the best option for me. Second, in The Matrix, I narrowed the fiberglass trailers down to five manufactures though each manufacturer had multiple trailer options. Today, I’m down to the final four (maybe five) trailers.

Because there is lot to say about each, I am breaking this into three posts.  I try to keep posts bite-size because I don’t want to induce information overload. In this post, I’ll discuss the Casita.  The post in two weeks I will share my thoughts on the Oliver and Escape trailers.  Finally, in the third post, coming in November, I will write about the Bigfoot trailer as a possible future home.

17' Casita Freedom

     17 foot Casita Freedom

I just can’t seem to get the Casita off my list. When I had the inkling that fulltime RV living might be for me, Casita was the first trailer I seriously considered. I admit, part of the reason it stays on the list might be sentiment.  But, at $20,000, the price is an even bigger reason.

Casita makes five models.  The Patriot, at 13 feet and with no bathroom, is not a viable candidate.  The remaining four models come in 16 or 17 foot, making them all quite similar.  The difference is the inside layout.

I didn’t consider the Liberty or the Independence because neither had a second dining area so once the bed was made up, there wouldn’t be any place for me to sit with the computer. You might remember this was one of my priority features.

For the longest time the Spirit model appealed to me.  It has two dining areas (one seats four and the other seats two).  Both convert to beds.  I would leave the bigger one permanently in the bed position and still have a space for sitting, dining and writing.  A bonus to this layout is the hidden storage available under the seats of the smaller dining area.  Storage is a big consideration especially when looking at such a small trailer.

Freedom Floor Plan with Captain's Chairs

Freedom’s Floor Plan with captain chairs.  Click to enlarge.

But as time went on, I looked seriously at the Freedom model.  Instead of molded seating in the small dining area, this model uses two captain chairs.  At first glance, it isn’t a good option because of the loss of  valuable storage space.

Over and over, I’ve heard and read dining areas of RVs are uncomfortable.  Add sitting for long periods of time such as when using the area as an office and it borders torture. The back and neck ache.  Arms and wrists are sore because the angle and height aren’t ideal.  I haven’t read  anyone raving about comfort in the dining area though I have read about hacks people have rigged to make it less uncomfortable.

Interior Casita Freedom.

Interior Casita Freedom showing one of the captain chairs.

Enter captain chairs. First, just by design, the swivel captain chair must be more comfortable, more fitted to a sitting person. The swivel makes getting in and out easier. Second, if the table height is a problem, you could swivel the chair and set up a little table at the proper height for comfort and good ergonomics.

Stuffing things around and on the other captain chair is an option for storage, albeit an ugly messy option that could cause problems when  driving if not strapped down. Casita is a trailer bought directly from the manufacturer. My vision, if I go this route, is to ask them not to install the second captain chair which would leave a nice wide gap of space.  Space where I could secure bins thus creating storage space I’d lose by choosing captain chairs.

The Casita is manufactured in Rice, Texas.  Upgrades and add-on features can be included in the build but the number of upgrades and add-on features is limited. Things important to me, like solar, would have to be done elsewhere and post purchase.

Casita Pros:

  • Cost
  • Can fit in smaller camping spots
  • Easy to handle

Casita Cons:

  • Size which means small cargo capacity
  • Only 2 season
  • Wet bath that’s tiny (Many Casita owners actually never use the shower)

So there you have it.  The first trailer I’m contemplating as a home.  All four manufacturers, I should pause to say, have several things in common.  All have thriving online forums.  Some have annual owner rallies.  Customer loyalty is high.  I write that here so I won’t need to say it four times over in the descriptions.  Just know customer satisfaction and loyalty, in my analysis, is fairly even across the board so this wasn’t a deciding factor either for or against any of the choices.

One final note about the prices I list above and in the two future posts.  I take the price for the basic model and add to it the costs I estimate for upgrades and add on features I want for the rig.  These are realistic totals for the home I’m creating for myself.  Solar, for example, is important to me because I want the ability to boondock, so every rig figures in this cost.  If you were to purchase the same rig, your total cost would be different based on what’s important to you.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the Casita.  I would especially love to hear from anyone who has experience with a Casita.  And come back next week for a BIG announcement.

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