Casita 17 vs Escape 17: Which is Better?


Small travel trailers have an appeal for many reasons. They are lightweight, towable with a smaller vehicle, and fit into just about any campsite. If you want a compact trailer, both the 17′ Casita and the Escape 17 are excellent choices. But if you have to choose, (and most of us do), we have a winner.

Based on our criteria, the Casita beat out the Escape in five of nine categories. Here are our criteria:

  • Price and Financing
  • Floor Sizes and Floor Plans
  • Tank Capacities
  • Lead Times
  • Weight Ratings
  • Construction Techniques
  • Refrigerator
  • Interior
  • Options
CategoryWinner
Price and FinancingCasita Travel Trailers
Floor Sizes and Floor PlansCasita Travel Trailers
Tank CapacitiesCasita Travel Trailer
Lead TimesCasita Travel Trailer
Weight RatingsCasita Travel Trailer
Construction TechniquesEscape Trailer
Refrigerator Tie
InteriorEscape Trailer
OptionsEscape Trailer
Category Winner for Casita and Escape Trailers

Comparison Chart – 17′ Casita vs Escape 17

Casita 17Escape 17
Cost (Base Model, No Options) $24,996 to $26,694$27,899 to
$28,995
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating3500 lbs.4000 lbs.
LP Gas Capacity2 – 20 lb.2 – 20 lb.
Sleeps2-64
Standard FlooringVinylVinyl
Fresh Water Capacity16 or 23 gallons20 gallons
Grey Water Capacity32 gallons26 gallons
Waste Water (black tank) Capacity15 gallons (Deluxe Only)13.2 gallons (17B only)
Stove2 or 3 burners (depends on model)2 burner
Interior Height6′ 1 1/2″6′ 2″
Overall Width6′ 8″6′ 8″
Refrigerator Size4.0 cu ft3 cu ft (4 cu ft option)
Specification Comparisons Casita vs Escape 17

Price and Financing

While the Escape and Casita are fairly comparable in price, the price for the base model Casita with no options is slightly less. The Casita Standard, which has no bathroom, is $24,996 with no options, while the Escape 17A, which has no bathroom, comes in at $27,899 for the base model. The Casita Deluxe, with a bathroom, starts at $26,694, while the Escape 17B, with a bathroom, starts at $28,995.

Both Casita and Escape offer access to financing.

Category Winner: Casita Travel Trailers

Floor Sizes and Floor Plans

Both the Casita and the Escape have roughly the same amount of floor space, but the layouts are different.

The Escape 17 has two-floor plans that are very similar; the Escape 17B has two dinettes that convert into beds. The main bed, in the rear, sleeps two while the smaller bed in the rear sleeps one person or two small children. You can also order the 17B with the gaucho, which is like a top bunk bed, that will sleep four. The 17A has two dinettes that convert into beds and has no bathroom. This layout sleeps two on each dinette for a total of four people.

In contrast, the Casita has five floor plans. You can order each floor plan with or without a bathroom. In that respect, it’s as if the Casita actually has 10 floor plans. Casita floor plans are as follows:

ModelSleeps
Independence2 (deluxe), 4 (standard)
Liberty2 (deluxe), 4 (standard)
Spirit3 (deluxe), 5 (standard)
Heritage4 (deluxe), 6 (standard)
Freedom2 (deluxe), 4 (standard)
Casita Travel Trailer Models Sleep

If you’d like to see more information about these models, see “What is a Casita Trailer.”

Category Winner: Casita Travel Trailers

Tank Capacities

If you like to get off the beaten path as we do, then you’ll want to have larger tanks. In this category, Casita beat Escape across the board with larger holding tanks.

Fresh WaterBlack WaterGrey WaterLiquid Propane
Escape2013.2262 – 20 lb
Casita16/23 gallons15 gallons32 gallons2 – 20 lb
Tank Capacities for Casita and Escape Trailers

Category Winner: Casita Travel Trailers

Lead Times

Once you order a Casita Trailer, you won’t be able to pick it up for about 14 months. But if you buy an Escape 17, you’ll be picking up your trailer in 21 months.

Category Winner: Casita Travel Trailers

Weight Ratings

If you’re looking for a trailer that you can tow with a mid-sized SUV or truck, you’ll have an easier time finding one that can tow a Casita, since the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) for a Casita is 3500 lbs. The GVWR for the Escape 17 is 4000 lbs.

Category Winner: Casita Travel Trailers

Construction Techniques

Both the Casita and the Escape 17 are molded fiberglass trailers. Both companies use molds, one for the top of the trailer and one for the bottom.

In Escape 17, a top molded fiberglass piece is attached to a bottom molded fiberglass piece, and those pieces are attached to the interior with fiberglass. On the outside, a rail is riveted between the two sections. A rub rail is attached to that. The whole thing is then bolted to a welded chassis. Certified structural steel tubing is used to manufacture the chassis.

There are several differences in the construction of the Escape trailer vs. the Casita trailer. For one, Escape does not use rivets in interior construction. Instead, Escape uses fiberglass anchor blocks that are attached to points on the interior shell. The cabinets and interior walls are also attached to the anchor blocks. This is a far better technique than using rivets since rivets break under force.

We have had rivets break in our Casita due to torsion, and believe me, we have put it through the test. It’s easy to repair the rivets with a rivet gun, but we have had some rivets that didn’t line up, leaving holes in the wall.

In the Escape, the cabinet doors are made of real wood, not a composite material. Countertops and tables in the Escape are made of plywood.

The Casita walls are covered with carpet. The carpet is used for insulation and sound dampening and does a great job with this. However, some people just don’t like carpeted walls.

While you can wipe down the walls in the Escape, the carpet on the Casita walls requires vacuuming and steam cleaning to keep it clean. Even at that, you can get stains on the carpet that are very difficult to remove. For example, the area next to the air conditioner vent can become stained if the filter is not changed routinely. In the Escape, a headliner is covered with vinyl laminate, which is easy to clean.

Still, the Escape is more likely to build up condensation, due to the smooth walls. Part of the design provides for “areas in the bottom shell designed to channel water through the drain holes to the outside.”

Instead of carpet, the Escape trailer uses 3/8” closed cell foam with an additional 1/2″ of polyethylene foam; This insulation helps to keep the trailer warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Escape trailers are considered 3+ season campers. Thermal windows come standard on the Escape 17 and you have the option of heated tank warmers and spray foam insulation underneath the trailer to add additional insulation for the tanks and the floor.

Category Winner: Escape Trailer

Refrigerator

The size of the refrigerator determines how long you can camp without going to the grocery store. Small trailers usually have small refrigerators and this is true of both the Casita and the Escape. The Casita comes standard with a 4.0 cubic foot refrigerator, while the Escape comes standard with a 3.0 cubic foot refrigerator. Optional in the Escape is a 4.0 cubic foot refrigerator.

Category Winner: Tie

Interior

As far as interior choices are concerned, the Escape trailer will blow your mind with the different options that you have to choose from. There are multiple choices for laminate flooring, countertops, trim, and fabric. Plus, if you find something else that you prefer, Escape will install it for you. In addition, Escape offers oak, maple, or contemporary cabinet finishes.

Casita trailers have limited options when it comes to interiors. For the fabric, you have two options, a bluish-grey color or sea foam green. The cabinet doors come in either an oak color or grey. All Casita cabinets are fiberglass (except for the doors). There is only one option for the flooring, which is a wood-grained laminate.

Category Winner: Escape Trailer

Options

The Escape trailer has a myriad of options beyond the scope of what Casita can offer. For example, a composting toilet is an option in an Escape trailer that you can’t get with a Casita. Standard on the Escape 17 is the 10′ Carefree Fiesta Manual Awning. Plus, you can purchase the optional power awning for your Escape. If you want a manual awning for your Casita; that’s about a thousand-dollar option. And, there is no option for a power awning with the Casita.

The Escape 17 comes standard with a bike-rack receiver. You’d be lucky to find an after-market bike-rack receiver for a Casita. While Casita has no tank or battery monitoring system, Escape offers a monitor panel that displays your holding tank levels and battery strength. Escape also offers a lithium-ion battery as an option, a feature that Casita doesn’t offer.

Escape offers an 8″ mattress as an option, while the Casita comes only with cushions. If you want a mattress for your Casita, you’ll have to order it after-market. With the Escape, you can order either a marine pedestal table or a movable Lagun table. Casita only offers a pedestal table.

There are many other options that Escape offers that Casita does not like LED captain’s reading lamps, additional LED exterior lights, additional 120V interior outlets, additional 12V/USB interior outlets, 12V/USB exterior outlet, a stereo with 2 Speakers, and a wireless back-up camera.

Category Winner: Escape Trailer

Conclusion

Although Casita wins in four of nine categories, perhaps these winning categories are not your priority. Maybe you prefer a beautiful trailer that is customizable over staying off the beaten path longer. It could be that you would rather have a trailer that is better built and more suited to cold weather. I believe you can’t go wrong with either of these beautiful trailers.

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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