Casita travel trailers are wonderful small trailers. However, all travel trailers have problems and Casita Travel Trailers are no exception. As an owner of a Casita Travel Trailer, I’d like to share my thoughts on some of the common problems that I see with Casita Travel Trailers.
Problems have been reported with the Casita Travel Trailer refrigerator, the waste tanks, grey water issues, low bathroom vent, cabinets, the carpet flooring, the closet, the battery compartment, the bathroom door, the windows and screens, window coverings, the bathroom light, and the lack of lighting in the entryway.
I’ll address each of these issues.
Casita Travel Trailers use the Dometic RM245 Refrigerator, which is a 25-year-old design. The refrigerator has been discontinued, and Casita does not have an alternative at this time.
In the meantime, if you buy a Casita, you’ll have to deal with the design flaws of this refrigerator. Here are some issues Casita owners have experienced with the refrigerator:
- Propane not delivered to the refrigerator
- Refrigerator on DC power – battery drained
- Electrical plug disengages from the socket
- Exterior louver falls off
- Door falls off hinges
- Door trays break
If you’d like to know more about the refrigerator issues and how to fix them, read Casita Trailer Dometic RM245 Refrigerator Operation.
Because of the position of the low drain for the waste, the black and grey tanks do not empty completely. There are two things you can do to further empty the tanks.
1. Level The Trailer
The position of the trailer affects the amount of emptying of the black and grey water tanks.
The most complete emptying will occur when the trailer is level or leaning toward the drain valve. The trailer needs to be leaning toward the drain valve.
Putting a leveler or leveling block under the left wheel may assist in a more complete draining of the tank.
If you want to make sure that the tank is completely empty, you can leave the cap off and the valve to the grey water tank open. I wouldn’t leave the black tank valve open unless you first thoroughly rinse out the tank.
2. Rotate the Fitting Down
Commonly, new Casita owners do not realize that the sewer hose fitting can be rotated to a downward position. This is an easy fix.
With the sewer hose connected, rotate the outlet fitting downward.
Then pull the handle for the blackwater drain valve. The black water drain is the larger diameter valve of the two. After the black water is emptied, close the valve and open the grey water drain valve.
Little House Customs sells a “Fast Grey Kit.” This mod includes installing a vent on the grey tank that makes emptying faster. This mod may or may not increase tank emptying, depending on your specific trailer. If you don’t want to do it yourself, Little Home on the Road will do it for you.
Grey Water Issue
Another common problem with Casita Trailers is that the grey water can back up into the shower pan. This happens when the grey water tank is getting full.
Casita trailers 2014 and older have a shut-off valve handle in the closet. If the valve is open (up), grey water can slosh into the shower pan when the trailer is moving. Closing the valve will alleviate the problem.
Another option is to change out this standard valve with the HEPVO valve. We did this to our 2013 Casita Independence and love the results. You can order the HEPVO valve with all the parts you need from Little House Customs.
If you’d like to see how we changed out our HEPVO valve, take a look at our YouTube Video.
Beginning with the 2015 model, Casita replaced this drain valve with the one-way HEPVO valve. Sometimes, the flap to the HEPVO valve gets stuck in the wrong position.
To fix this problem, simply use a plunger on the drain. Put gentle pressure on the plunger until the water begins to drain.
You can also have a problem where there is a vacuum in the grey tank. This problem can be solved by installing the Vent Mod from Little House Customs, or by having Little Home on the Road install it for you. This mod vents the highest corner of the grey tank and also helps the tank drain faster.
Low Bathroom Vent
Casita Trailers do not have very high ceilings and the bathroom is worse. Because of the curvature, the bathroom has an even lower ceiling than the main trailer. Whenever the bathroom vent is in the closed position, it’s easy to hit your head on it. When not traveling, keep the bathroom vent in the open position. This will help prevent hitting your head on it.
All Casita Travel Trailers come with fiberglass cabinets that have MDF doors and push-button latches. The cabinets give a boat-like feel and the finish on the cabinet doors looks outdated. If you look at the Scamp Trailer, you’ll find that you can purchase a Scamp with real-wood cabinets. The wood in the Scamp gives a very warm feeling.
We’ve had trouble with the latches on the doors and have heard reports from other Casita trailer owners that the latches either won’t open or won’t stay closed during transport. The problem was due to the fact that Casita was using a latch that was improperly sized.
Beginning with the 2020 model, Casita Travel Trailers upgraded the latches. If you have an earlier model of Casita trailer, you can purchase the appropriate size bezel (rosette) for the latch. This fixed the problem for our latches. Casita Travel Trailers sells replacement parts for the whole unit or you can purchase the bezel here.
The Floor Carpet
If you purchase a used Casita trailer, it may come with carpeting. When you purchase a 2023 Casita Travel Trailer, vinyl flooring is standard. While carpet is warm on your feet and it doesn’t show dirt as much as vinyl does, it can become stained, worn, and will absorb odors.
When we bought our 2013 Casita Independence trailer used it came with a grey-colored carpet. The carpet was dirty and smelled terrible. We subsequently ripped it out and replaced it with laminate flooring, but this was a big job.
The Casita Deluxe (option with a bathroom) comes with a clothes closet. Storage space is very limited in the Casita trailer. The closet is large, but doesn’t not make the best use of space.
In the closet there is a clothes hanging bar along with plumbing and electrical equipment so, for the most part, it’s a wide-open space. Many people have created shelves in the Casita closet. In fact, there is a company that make shelving units specifically for the Casita Travel Trailer called Katy’s Casita Closets.
The Battery Compartment
The battery compartment in the Casita trailer is a one-piece molded fiberglass unit that holds one battery. The compartment is completely enclosed from the trailer as Casita’s come standard with a lead-acid battery that off-gasses toxic hydrogen sulfide.
The fiberglass compartment makes it very difficult to work with the battery because the space is so small.
In order to work with the battery at all, it must be removed. The other issue is that the battery compartment will only hold one battery. If you want to have two lead-acid batteries, you’ll be out of luck, because they won’t fit in the battery compartment.
Little Home on the Road will install a pull-out battery drawer to make it easier to get the battery out. They will also install a battery disconnect inside your trailer.
The Particle Board Bathroom Door
The particle board bathroom door is flimsy and cheap and has an old-style screen door handle. Particle board is not very moisture resistant and warps. Over time, the bathroom door becomes misshapen due to the warping of the particle board.
If you’d like to know more about molded fiberglass trailers, read this article that I wrote.
The Windows and Screens
Casita trailer windows are mounted on sliders in an aluminum frame. Over time, the frame warps, making it difficult to open the windows. Similarly, the window locks have a tendency to disengage over time causing them to open during travel.
On several occasions we have entered a very cold Casita because the windows had come open during travel. The window screens are effective in their job of keeping out bugs and letting in air; however, they are very difficult to remove. This makes cleaning the windows and screens a hassle.
If you’re looking for an option to a Casita Travel Trailer, read my articles on other molded fiberglass trailers:
The Window Coverings
If you purchase a new Casita trailer, you’ll have the choice of mini-blinds or roller shades for window coverings. Neither of these is a good option.
The aluminum mini-blinds are fastened at the bottom with elastic fasteners. This keeps them secure during travel; however, when you want to completely open them, you have to unfasten the elastic fasteners.
In addition, the aluminum mini-blinds are not durable over time. Even with the best of care, the slats bend and break.
The roller shades that Casita offers are flimsy and cheap looking. They are made out of vinyl, a material that won’t hold up well over time. The closure mechanism is made from plastic.
They are, however, easy to open and close if the temperature is warm. Casita owners have reported that the blinds will not operate at low temperatures.
The Bathroom Light
Prior to 2020, the bathroom light was located on the inside wall of the bathroom next to the toilet. This was an inconvenient location as you would have to step into the bathroom, and either sit down on the toilet or twist your body around and over the toilet to get to the light switch.
Beginning in 2020, Casita Travel Trailer begin installing a light, with a switch, in the vent fan. This light switch can be accessed before you enter the bathroom. So if you purchase a new Casita, this won’t be a problem. However, if you buy a Casita that was manufactured prior to 2020, you’ll have the old style of lighting.
The Wall Carpet
All Casita Travel Trailers come with carpeted walls. The carpet provides insulation and sound dampening. Some people worry that the wall carpet with become dirty, collect odors, and allergens. We have never had any of these problems with our Casita camper.
We find the wall carpet to be cozy because, if you lean against it, it is soft and warm as opposed to fiberglass, which is hard and cold. Plus, the wall carpet can be steam cleaned with a carpet cleaner. People ask if the carpet can be removed.
Removing the carpet is a big undertaking. And, after the carpet is removed, you’re left with a rough surface and no insulation. If the wall carpet is a problem for you, than a Casita is not the right trailer for you.
If after reading this article, you still want to buy a Casita Travel Trailer, read the article that I wrote on the process of buying one.
As you can see, these problems are minor compared to the problems in many other similarly-sized travel trailers. If you would like to know more about the Casita Trailer, read the article that I wrote.