Small trailers - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 104 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 01:33:PM Thread Starter
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Small trailers

I am interested in towing a small RV trailer with a new Transit, details TBD (length, height, seat and window configuration, etc.).

Any thoughts on the pros and cons of Casita, Airstream 19' Flying Cloud, ParkLiner from North Carolina, etc. would be appreciated.

In particular, the stand-up stand-alone shower of the AS unit is appealing. Any other small trailers with separate showers?

Thanks.

http://www.airstream.com/travel-trai...pecifications/

http://casitatraveltrailers.com/

http://www.parkliner.com/

Last edited by PeterR; 08-24-2014 at 01:37:PM.
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post #2 of 104 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 03:02:PM
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Wow the price of the Air Stream is proud. Could get 2 of the others and have money left. The resale value of the Casita is very good too, particularly since fuel prices went up a few years ago.

A good discussion group is Casitaforum.com and another which seems to have a better classified section is casitaclub.com Lots of great ideas on how to modify to get the most out of them.

The shower in my Casita is not too bad, I use it most every trip. Holding tank is enough if you conserve, however due to the design of the tanks being very flat, they do not have any kind of level indicators.

The weight of mine is about 2700 lbs so is easy to tow even when fully loaded with gear and water. That is why I may be leaning towards the Ecoboost with 3.31 drive train. But I want to try pulling with one first before making a leap of faith.

Depending on where you are located you should try and find one to look at. The are harder to find outside of Texas and the southwest since that is where they are made. I was lucky to find in an hour away here in Ky. Not the exact one I was looking for but close enough. Mine is a 2006 and I suspect I paid the original owner close to what he paid new for it. But that was still a good price for one.

I do a lot of astronomy Star Parties and there are a number of casitas that show up to them. In west Texas at the Texas Star Party last April I think there was 6 of them, and next month another star party will be in the western tip of Ok and we will have at least that many. Good following, probably like the airstreams and all popular brands.

Dean
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post #3 of 104 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 04:58:PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dean for all the information -- appreciate it.

Starting back with the Transit -- yes, EcoBoost with 3.31 rear-end should do just fine for trailers under 23' IMO. Low or Medium Roof? Not sure here, per pros and cons on the other thread.

When you have time to review your trailer and compare it to the ParkLiner and Airstream, I would appreciate your thoughts.

At 2700 lb. weight, which Casita do you have, the 17'? The overall length is 17' for their larger units, and height of 8' 11" according to their website. Are you able to hook up to city water and use it instead of the holding tank, and can you divert the grey waste water into a sewer hose for constant use, if living in the unit for a longer period?

Is the only available toilet the porta-potty with a removable canister which must be removed and dumped when full? I don't see a black water holding tank option, nor a flush (macerating?) toilet. Is the awning standard?

The ParkLiner company is new in North Carolina and make only one trailer I believe, which they have put a lot of thought into. Here are the stats:

2100 lbs. dry weight [PeterR edit -- not gross loaded weight]
Approximate tongue weight: 220 lbs.
Overall Height – Clearance: 8′ 3″ [PeterR edit -- almost exactly the same as Medium Roof Transit
Overall Length: 15′
Overall width: 6′ 10″


Bath seems similar to yours, but black water tank and macerating marine toilet in porcelain is optional. Not sure if black water waste can run direct to sewer hose. Also not sure about fresh water feed for city water. Ditto for awning. Base price of $16,400 will certainly climb a few thousand with most of the extras. Nice feature -- they use fabric from North Carolina mill, and permit custom upholstery fabric for only a $300 upcharge. Other fabric choices seem good.

Optional A/C goes inside body under dinette -- neat to tuck it in here to keep roof very clean IMO


Running out of time on the "Edit" clock here, so will post about Airstream Flying Cloud 19' next.

Thanks for your time.

Peter

Last edited by PeterR; 08-24-2014 at 05:05:PM.
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post #4 of 104 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 05:27:PM Thread Starter
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The Airstream 19' Flying Cloud is like a shrunk-down version of the Excella 25' rear corner bed I had many years ago, which took us: up and down the east coast from Prince Edward Island to Cape Hatteras; cross-country to Texas, San Diego, San Francisco, Napa, New Mexico, Texas, Florida then back home to reality (as we both worked full-time back then, and had to get back to work). I bought this unit used, kept it for 10 years, and sold it for a cost of $700 per year (excl. maintenance etc.). All in all, Airstreams hold their value if purchased used, and I have heard that Casitas do as well. Not sure about the ParkLiner, as it is newer to the marketplace.

The dividing line here, between the 15-17 foot units and the AS Flying Cloud, is the stand-up shower in its own separate stall. Secondary is the ability to have running water and sewer possible, as the Mrs. gets a vote in this purchase . . .

This is clearly a larger unit. Is it worth the upgrade for domestic tranquility? Having gotten used to towing the 25' unit all over the country, the 19' unit should be fine, even with its single axle. Curious to have feedback on the towing characteristics of single axle units in general.

Exterior Length 19' 2"
Exterior Width 8'
Interior Width 7' 7"
Exterior Height with A/C 9' 5"
Interior Height with A/C 6' 4.5"
Hitch Weight (w/LP & w/o options, water & cargo) (lbs.) 550
Unit Base Weight (w/LP & w/o options, water & cargo) (lbs.) 3,852
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (lbs.) 4,500
Net Carrying Capacity (NCC=GVWR-UBW) (lbs.) 648
Fresh Water Tank (gal.) 23
Gray Water Tank (gal.) 21
Water Heater w/electronic ignition (gal.) (XT) 6
A/C w/heat pump (BTU) 13,500
Furnace (BTU) 16,000


These are all standard features, so a good quality used unit might make sense IMO.

Running out of steam here -- thanks for any feedback you might have when/if you have time.

Peter
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post #5 of 104 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 06:32:PM
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I stopped at the Casita factory on I-45 just south of Dallas a while back to visit their showroom, and while I liked the trailers in general I found that the rounded shape that makes them more aerodynamic also reduces storage capacity significantly. Upper cabinets are tiny compared to common rectangular trailers. Lower cabinets are rather small too.

I liked the largest 17 foot trailer with the two dinettes best so that rear dinette could be left as a permanent bed when traveling with only my wife (almost always), but if so larger table would not be available as extra countertop for meal preparation. The trailer didn't feel much larger than a big Class B van.

One thing about Casitas is that they do hold their value. Units as old as 10 years old sell for nearly the cost of new. I don't get it unless original price was much higher due to options.
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post #6 of 104 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 07:41:PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Chance, that is the configuration I like for the same reasons.

I am wondering if they would build a pull out sofa type bed against the front wall, and add a tip-up table (with flip out extension) near the cook top? All that seating on the left and right sides is unnecessary for us.

Quality RV units do seem to hold their value. Supply and demand I guess.
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post #7 of 104 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 08:10:PM
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The casita has holding tanks and hook ups just like any RV. I have never filled the black tank up in a 10 day trip so it must be large, and my wife always tells me I am full of chit so it must be huge, haha.

Yes can connect to city water as well.

I have the 17' Freedom Deluxe, it has the bucket seats on the side instead of the like the more popular Spirit Deluxe that has a dinette that makes a single bed on the side.

I travel alone so I have made the back bed into a single wide, this leaves 18" on each side to sit on, opens up it more. As for storage, yep not much outside for sure, but it is amazing how much stuff you can fit into all the small compartments. In the hanging locker I have added some shelves on the side to hold more smaller items.

I have 2 friends that ended up buying one after seeing mine at a star party. One of the guys has a 43' Newmar tag axle 4 slide coach yet wanted something easier to grab and go. Personally I'd take the big arse coach any day if I could swing it.

Dean
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post #8 of 104 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 08:23:PM Thread Starter
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Thanks.

Very helpful.

Peter
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post #9 of 104 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 10:38:PM
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There are a LOT of small bumper pull travel trailers out there. This is a list I bookmarked:

Manufacturers | The Small Trailer Enthusiast

1983-1997 I drove a 1981 E150 with a queen size bed, cassette toilet, a pair of hand pumped 5-gallon GI cans for fresh water, and one for gray water. 1997 when it died I could not find another used van so ended up with a 1995 F-150. I have looked at small trailers. I really do not want a bumper pull trailer.

The closest I came was a Scamp 19 ft 5er. I went to the Scamp Backus MN factory

Scamp Lightweight Travel Trailers & Small Campers - Scamp Trailers

I was VERY impressed with both the people who worked there and their final products. However, really, I much prefer to be able to slide out of my drivers seat and step into my living/bedroom without going outside.

I will not buy a new vehicle I prefer used two years old. So I am just on here reading and learning and waiting.

Greg Hayden
Vista, CA (San Diego North County)
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post #10 of 104 (permalink) Old 08-24-2014, 11:04:PM
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I don't want a travel trailer but reading this stuff makes me want to dust off the 8" reflector SG! I'm guessing you're hauling a light bucket in addition to a Maksutov or Schmidt, am I right? The seeing's never really good in the Summertime here, but I figure there will be some time between the end of the outdoor daylight activities and the delivery of the Transit, so maybe I'll clean the Plossels and get back into it. It's been quite a while for me.
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