I just bought a used Casita Patriot. It is a 13′ model and I am it’s 3rd owner. I thought that it would be fun to document my experience with my new adventure travel trailer.
I had been thinking about getting some sort of boondocking setup, where I could travel and live in for a time. Since I do all my work online, I basically can work anywhere with an internet connection. The only other thing is then living – with all the things that living entails, like eating, and going to the bathroom, and a place to lay my head.
I discounted things like a truck with a camper top since ‘camper top.’ I don’t know, can’t stand up in it, seems to not be able to detach it easily. Not very convenient to sleep in. Just seemed too much like the hillbillies from “Deliverance” for me.
I also discounted the typical camper van as, I don’t know – too big. I did like Hazel Findlay’s climber van, as well as inspired by Alex Honnold’s, but after driving a Suburu WRX it’s hard for me to think about driving a hulking climber van. Too much like a large RV with house and vehicle in one. I don’t know, something about that. I guess I just wanted a ‘moveable feast,’ where I could separate from house from my car, go to the crag in a fast lightweight vehicle, and then return to my tiny home.
Then, I discovered Alex Johnson’s video featuring her1962 Red Dale trailer, which kind of got me going as a good compromise of adventure vehicle/home.
Soooo, now what? I have my criteria:
- Small(ish) RV
- Needs to be towable by my 4 cylinder Suburu WRX (yes turbo, but still 4 squirrels under the hood). Which means has to be under the 2,000 lbs limit overall, as well as under the 200 lb tongue weight.
- Needs to have the basic small appliances without overloading.
After looking at “canned ham” trailers like Alex’s, I discovered small fiberglass RVs called Casita’s, Burro’s and Scamp’s and Weiss (made in Colorado!) I began my search.
This is what I found:
Her last owner, Shirley, named her ‘Olivia’. The story is that Shirley’s maiden name was ‘Pigg’, and there happens to be a TV series called Olivia the Pig, about a pig who travels around having adventures.
I’m considering naming her “Conchita” which is the diminutive of the name Concepcion (conception, new life, rebirth – get it?), but also means “Little Shell” in espanol.
Conchita the Casita.
She’s the smallest (13′) model of Casita, the other models being 16′ and 17′ long. This model, the 13′ Patriot is a standard model, meaning it doesn’t have the bathroom and shower of the Deluxe model, but also doesn’t have the weight of one either. It weighs just 1,200 lbs, which is way under the 2,000 lb towing limit of my Suburu, so it fits my criteria there as well.
The previous owner, Shirley, has also been great, running through all of the systems: propane, 120 volt and 12 volt battery, and how each interact and work with each other. Also, how to attach, detach and store the rv.
It reminds me of of a boat on land – in fact the fiberglass shell and different power systems are similar to a boat, even calling 120 volt electricity that one might get at an RV park “Shore power.”
For some reason I had a bug in my butt about having a shower and toilet. But, after talking with Shirley she said she just uses a port-a-potty, and that showers can be had at RV camps, gyms like 24 hr fitness (which I have a membership) or the occasional hotel stay. In the meantime there are sponges and wet wipes. No shower also means no freshwater and grey water tanks, and at 8lbs/gallon water would just add to the overall weight. This Casita packs a furnace, a/c, 2 burner stove, a convertible bed/couch, and storage – all within a package that’s towable by my 2002 Suburu. Done!
I plan on writing about my Casita experience, as others might find what I learn to be useful for them as well. It’s a learning curve that I found daunting at first, but have discovered that it is all-in-all relatively simple, that many other people have it figured out, but perhaps I could save others some time by providing my learning experiences from the get-go.
My Casita, there are many like it, but this one is mine!