What is a Casita Travel Trailer? An Owner’s Review


If you’re shopping around for a new travel trailer and are considering a molded fiberglass trailer, you might be wondering, “What is a Casita Travel Trailer?”

Exterior of a Casita Travel Trailer

A Casita Travel Trailer is a light-weight, compact molded fiberglass travel trailer that can be ordered with or without a bathroom. Casita Travel Trailer makes a 17′ trailer that has 5 floor plans.  For the Casita, “deluxe” means that it has a wet bath.  A “wet bath” is a bathroom where the toilet and shower are located in the same enclosure. The standard Casita has bunk beds in lieu of the wet bath and closet.  The top bunk in the Casita is reported to hold up to 100 lbs. Casita is manufactured in the USA. 

casita floor plans
Casita Floor Plans

Why are Casita Travel Trailers so popular?

Casita travel trailers are popular because they are relatively inexpensive, hold their value, are aerodynamic, easy to tow, durable, and more water resistant than conventionally-built trailers.

What are the Casita Trailer Models?

A Casita Travel Trailer has five options for floor plans in the 17′ size. The five model options are the Independence, the Liberty, the Spirit, the Heritage, and the Freedom. In the past, Casita also offered a 16′ and a 13′ trailer. These options are no longer available to purchase new. However, you may be able to find one on the used trailer market. Let’s take a look at the five models of the 17′ Casita:

1. Independence

The Casita Independence trailer has two single beds that can also convert into a king bed. The advantage of the twin bed configuration is that the dining table can be used without having to put the bed away.  Another advantage of the Independence in the twin bed configuration is that neither person is climbing over the other one to get out of bed. I’m frequently asked about the twin bed size.  I find the twin bed size to be comfortable. Each twin bed is 30.5″ wide by 82″ long, which is 6′ 8″ for you tall people.  It is important to note that the interior height is about of the Casita is 6′ 2″.  The Independence has a three-burner stove.  The Casita Standard sleeps 4 and the Deluxe sleeps 2.

casita independence interior
Casita Independence Deluxe

2. Liberty

The Liberty has the most options as far as the bed is concerned.  The bed in the Liberty can be configured as a king, double or two single beds.  The double bed is 54 x 76.  The Liberty sleeps two for the Deluxe and 4 for the Standard.  Each twin bed measures 24″ wide x 80″ long.  Like the Independence, the Liberty also has a 3-burner stove.

casita liberty interior
Casita Liberty Deluxe

3. Spirit

The Casita Spirit has a double bed that is 54″ wide x 76″ long.  It also has a small dinette that converts into a small bed that is 24″ wide x 72″ long, so the Deluxe model sleeps 3 and the Standard sleeps 5.  The Spirit has a two-burner stove.

4. Heritage

If you have kids, then the Heritage model might be for you.  The Standard Heritage has two sets of bunk beds, so it sleeps 6.  The Deluxe has one set of bunk beds and sleeps 4.    The bunks on the wall measure 21 x 74 inches and the bunks on the front measure 24 x 75 inches.  This model has a two- burner stove. 

5. Freedom

The Casita Freedom sleeps 2 for the Deluxe and 4 for the standard. It has the standard 54 x 76-inch bed in the rear.  What makes this model different is the dinette with comfortable swivel chairs.  This model also has a two-burner stove. 

How Many People Does a Casita Travel Trailer Sleep?

The Independence, Liberty, and Freedom sleep two people for the Deluxe and four for the Standard. The Spirit sleeps three for the Deluxe and five for the Standard. The Heritage sleeps four for the Deluxe and six for the Standard.

ModelNumber of People
Independence2 (deluxe), 4 (standard)
Liberty2 (deluxe), 4 (standard)
Spirit3 (deluxe), 5 (standard)
Heritage4 (deluxe), 6 (standard)
Freedom2 (deluxe), 4 (standard)
Number of People Casita Models Sleep

Who is Casita Travel Trailer?

Casita Travel Trailer is a US manufacturer of molded fiberglass trailers that are made in Rice, Texas. It is a family-owned business that has been in business since 1981.

What is the Advantage to Purchasing a Casita Travel Trailer?

There are several advantages to purchasing a Casita Travel Trailer. It’s small and compact, it’s cost-effective, it uses space efficiently, it has larger holding tanks than comparable-sized trailers, maintenance is simple, it’s easy to tow, it’s equipped for safety, the systems are easy to access, it’s water-resistant, and has an excellent resale value.

Small and Compact

A Casita can fit into most campsites. Some state and national parks have a size limit for campsites.  For example, in Yosemite, most sites are only 35’ long.  A Casita trailer can easily fit into these sites.  Plus, it’s easier to maneuver into campsites.

They are also maneuverable off the beaten path. With the optional high-lift axle, you can get a Casita into many locations off the beaten path that you couldn’t manage with a larger trailer. And, once you get there, you’ll have the resources to stay a while with the adequately sized holding tanks.

The compact size assures that the interior warms quickly. Casita offers an optional furnace that heats the space up at a rapid pace and because the area is so compact.

A Casita is lightweight and easy to tow. At 6′ 8″, they’re not overly wide, so there is no need to use mirror extensions. With a 3500 lb. Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, you can tow a Casita with a mid-sized truck or SUV. As always, be sure to check your vehicle’s tow capacity before towing any trailer.

While a Casita camper is small and compact, it’s unlikely that it will fit in your garage. The overall height of 8′ 11″ is taller than most garage door entryways. Most garage door entryways are around 7′ tall, much shorter than the Casita camper. Plus, the air conditioning unit gives the trailer additional height.

Casita Travel Trailer Dimensions and Specifications

Overall Length17′
Overall Height8′ 11″
Interior Height6′ 1 1/2″
Overall Width6′ 8″
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating3500 lbs.
Sleeps2-6 people
Casita Travel Trailer Dimensions and Specifications

Cost Effective

Purchasing a Casita won’t break the bank. Casita trailers are very economical, especially when compared to a high-end trailer, like an Oliver or Bigfoot. Currently, the base price for a Casita right now is less than $27,000.  Of course, this is without all the bells and whistles.  An Oliver Travel Trailer will set you back $57,000 for the base model and a similarly sized Bigfoot RV trailer is around $60,000!

Since Casita trailers are relatively similar in design over many model years, this makes for wider parts interchangeability. This is an advantage when it comes to Casita specific after-market parts and accessories. Because of this, most after-market parts and accessories will work with most Casita model years.

Why are Casita Trailers so Expensive?

Rather than being cookie-cutter trailers on an assembly line, Casita trailers are built to order. Building a trailer to order is far more expensive than building on an assembly line. Each Casita is built using a fiberglass mold. Purchasing the molds is expensive and the fiberglass material is also more costly than materials used on traditionally built trailers like wood and aluminum.

The number of trailers that can be built is limited by how many molds are available and the length of time it takes to process each trailer in the mold. Casita trailers are made in the USA in Backus Minnesota.

Efficient Use of Space

The Casita is well apportioned and makes efficient use of space. As I mentioned, Casita has several designs that make the best use of space. And each Casita has a kitchen, a dining area, and a bed – everything you need to live comfortably.

A Casita has flexible sleeping options.  The Liberty model offers the most flexibility in layout. It can be configured with twin beds, a double bed, or a king bed. The Independence can accommodate twin beds or a king bed.  The Casita Heritage standard has two sets of bunk beds and can sleep up to 6 people.

The appliances in the Casita use limited power and most items (exceptions include the air conditioning and microwave) can be run with solar panels on the roof or in a suitcase, plug-in style solar system.

The 4.0 cubic foot Dometic refrigerator is generous for the size of this trailer. Plus, the refrigerator has a small freezer compartment, which easily stows several quarts of ice cream!

The Casita has a separate battery compartment. This helps reduce the likelihood of theft of the battery.

2013 and newer Casita campers have a molded fiberglass compartment that integrates the sink and provides storage for items like toilet chemicals and toilet paper. In addition, there is a separate toilet paper holder that keeps your toilet paper dry.

The trolley top gives additional headspace where needed. This results in a overall height of 6′ 1 1/2 inches of height inside the trailer. In addition, the trolley top gives additional structural strength to support the weight of the air conditioner. The trolley is the raised rectangular portion of the roof.

Larger Holding Tanks

Compared to other similarly-sized fiberglass trailers, Casita Campers have larger holding tanks. A Casita can be ordered with either a 16 gallon or 23 gallon fresh water tank. The 23 gallon tank is great if you plan to camp in locations where you aren’t connected to water. All Casita trailers come standard with a 32-gallon grey water (sink and shower water) tank and a 15 gallon black water (toilet water) tank. Each trailer has a larger sized refrigerator than most of the smaller fiberglass trailers.

Casita Travel Trailer Tank Sizes

Fresh Water16/23 gallon
Grey Water32 gallon
Black Water (Deluxe Model Only)15 gallon
Casita Travel Trailer Tank Sizes

Simple Maintenance

The durable fiberglass material also makes maintenance fairly simple. Regular cleaning and waxing protects the exterior to help to keep the camper looking new for years to come. While a traditional stick-built trailer can start to look dinged up after a few years on the road, even 20-year-old Casita can look like new. In fact, I made a video of a 2003 Casita Spirit Deluxe and the owners took such good care of it that it looked brand new.

2003 Casita Spirit Deluxe

If you do need to replace parts, they are relatively easy to find, but sold through specific dealers. Here are some dealers that either sell Casita parts or make Casita repairs or sell up upgrades and after-market parts.

Casita Travel Trailer Parts and Service

Parts/Service Dealer NameWebsite
Little Home on the Roadhttps://littlehomeontheroad.com/
Casita Travel Trailerswww.casitatraveltrailers.com
Little House Customshttps://littlehousecustoms.com/store.html
Monica’s Custom RVhttps://www.monicascustomrv.com/
Katy’s Casita Closetshttps://www.katyscasitaclosets.com/
The Handy Camperhttp://thehandycamper.com/shopping/
RV Widget Workshttp://www.rvwidgetworks.com/photo-gallery.html
Casita Travel Trailer Parts and Service

Easy to Tow

The shape of your trailer has a big impact on how it travels on the road. The curved shape makes these trailers aerodynamic.   Fiberglass is easier to shape than aluminum so fiberglass trailers can be molded into a streamline aerodynamic design that performs better on the road. The aerodynamic shape of the Casita improves stability and fuel economy and requires less power to tow than a similarly sized, box-style trailer.

Because the axle is toward the rear of the trailer, on the 17′ Casita the tongue weight is slightly heavier, but this adds towing stability.

The optional high-lift axle and 15″ tires give additional ground clearance to reduce potential undercarriage damage. This makes for a less stressful situation when entering and exiting driveways or driving on rough roads where you might otherwise have some drag on the rear bumper, the undercarriage or the waste-water drain valves.

Equipped for Safety

Casita trailers are equipped with electric drum brakes, which are adequate for the weight of the trailer. This provides for efficient stopping. In the event that your tow vehicle does not have a trailer brake controller, you will need to have one installed.

As an option, Casita offers the Andersen “no-sway” weight distribution hitch. When properly installed and adjusted, this hitch provides for efficient sway control along with easy backing. If you order the Andersen hitch through Casita Travel Trailers, you will get the exact parts that fit the Casita trailer.

A break-away switch, which comes standard on each Casita, applies the trailer brakes in the event that the trailer becomes detached from the vehicle.

Systems Are Easy To Access

she Systems, like the electrical system and the plumbing syste cannot be contained within the fiberglass walls.  Therefore, there is no cutting in walls to access the trailers systems like you would in a traditional trailer.  On most fiberglass trailers, systems are accessible inside cupboards, closets or hatches.

 Water Resistant

Casita trailers, like most molded fiberglass trailers rarely leakmolded so they are more durable than a traditional trailer. There are not many areas on a molded-fiberglass trailer where water can intrude since molded fiberglass trailers are made of two molded parts fitted together. The Casita has the two molded sections fitted together in the middle. The roof is sloped, so water does not collect there. The only place where water can get into the trailer is on the roof, in places where the fiberglass has been cut. For example, water can get in around the roof vents if not properly sealed.

The small, but compact wet bath in the Casita is a one-piece molded fiberglass unit. This insures that there is no water intrusion into the rest of the camper or potential leakage from the walls or floors.

The sealing and function of the flat door resists water intrusion and has superior sealing capabilities compared to comparable trailers that have an arched or curved door. The flat door also holds it’s shape over time.

In addition, the wheel wells are integrated into the lower half of the fibegrlass body shell, creating a seamless assembly that is impervious to water ingress.

Excellent Resale Value

Fiberglass trailers hold their value and the Casita is no exception. A post-pandemic RV demand has created a situation where people are selling their Casita trailers for more than they originality paid for them. Even before that, Casita trailers specifically, and fiberglass trailers in general have consistently seen less depreciation than .stick-build trailers. The reason for this is two-fold. First, Casita trailers hold their value because they have more longevity than traditional trailers. The other reason is the limited availability. Since Casita Travel Trailer is a small, family-owned business, they can only manufacturer a certain number of trailers in any give year. Especially in the current market, this is creating a back log and demand for these highly sought-after trailers. Currently, the wait time for a new Casita trailer is 12-18 months, which, as you can imagine, creates a demand for after-market trailers.

Access to Power

While Casita travel trailers do not have on-board generators, or offer an option of an on-board generator. However, an after-market generator tray or box can be installed on the tongue of the Casita Trailer. Little Home on the Road will install the Stromberg-Carlson trailer tray. Additionally, Monica’s Custom RV sells a box that is installed on the trailer tongue that comes with a locking generator mount.

Casita does, however, offer an option for solar: You have the choice of either a 180 or a 230 watt suit-case style solar panels at an additional charge. These are plug and play panels that include the charge controller.

Of course, Casita has the typically plug for plugging into shore power at an RV park with a 30 amp shore power cord.

Conclusion

Casita Travel Trailer is one of the best options on the fiberglass trailer market. To date, we have not been disappointed with the overall experience with our 2013 Casita Independence Deluxe travel trailer.

Crystyn Chase

Crystyn enjoys traveling to new locations off the beaten path. She's passionate about RV adventure travel and her desire is to share that love with readers. She is married to Doug and has a playful German Shepherd named Trinity. When not on the road, Crystyn enjoys gardening and food preservation.

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