When we first decided to leave the tent, I thought we were headed in the direction of a Scamp Camper. As we started to look into it, we found out that there are several lightweight fiberglass Egg makers so my Hub, the consummate researcher, began his internet queries and a spreadsheet was born. We started with a dream list of requirements: Towable by our Honda Minivan being first and working down to esthetics. The field quickly narrowed down to Scamp, Casita and Parkliner. Parkliner dropped off rather quickly because of reliability issues we kept seeing on forums at the time we were looking.
There are many small differences between Scamp and Casita–things like choice of wall covering (S:headliner C: carpet), floor construction (S: wood based C:wood based encapsulated in fiberglass so it’s less affected by water leaks from plumbing), bigger models (S: biggest pull behind is 16 –not including their 5th wheel C: 17 foot), door construction (S: curved C: flat so there is less stooping), window, fridge and bed size–and this varies by model, the cabinets (S: has a very nice upgrade of birch doors that hold up much better than their standard issued laminate C: has a heavy marine grade laminate that holds up to moisture and humidity without failure but isn’t very pretty IMHO). Wheel size (S: 13″ C:15″), window treatments (S: curtains C: mini blinds). Casita also has a really handy back shelf option.
Another big reason we went with Casita is the after-market private support people like Orbital Machine Works and Little House Customs, in Texas. This husband, wife (and Bassador Barney) team have figured out all the upgrades that one would have wished to purchase from the factory. A day after pick-up we were at their home and they were adding on a list of practical devices.
In the end, we knew we would be happy with either a Scamp or a Casita but the real deciding factor for us was the Casita Independence model, itself. It’s 17′ with a flat floor and taller roof and when travelling with two dogs, the extra foot counts. Most important was the King bed (convertible to two “wide” 30″ beds if we want when we are older). The Scamp has something they call a Big Bed, but it’s still not even quite queen size. And second runner-up was the really big windows the Independence has. This model also came with the larger fridge and I honestly don’t know how people camp with the smaller one on long trips. And Casita offered the outside shower which we needed for boondocking (since we didn’t want a wet bath) and muddy dog feet.
So, what options did we go with?
Options from Casita
AC plug above stove and DC plug in microwave cabinet (we don’t use a microwave at home or camp–and thank goodness, because there is no other good pantry space in our model)
High Lift axle
LED lights interior
Shelf and sink & stove cover pkg
Little House Customs
Bug guards: furnace and water heater
Power cord mouse/bug guard
Lighted switches for water pump and water heater
Three-way porch switch
Fridge button guard
Fridge hinge bracket
Screen door bar
Steel water heater latch
Water “star-shaped” gripper
Battery cut-off switch
Max air II vent cover–smoke
Coiled brake breakaway cable
Orbital Machine Works
Undermount bike rack with weight distribution problem solved.
Collapsible mixing bowls
7-way connector rubber cap
Brass 90 degree elbow water hose connector
Spray out wand
Square Kleenex box mount
Under bed bins
Plastic Fridge Bins
Stainless steel suction bins
Small silicone ice cube trays
Clear plastic suction hooks
Clear plastic “Command” bins
Suction Cup atomic shower clock
Suction Cup Bluetooth speaker
Orange Lynx chocks, locking level pads and flat caps
Three way 12V splitter with dual USB ports
Adjustable Aluminum step (grommet rug cover/modified)
Hitch lock Master Brand
Wheel Boot/Club Tire Claw by Club
25′ extension cord
30-50 Amp adapter
25′ water hose Aqua Pure
Kelty Noah 12×12′ tarp w/ poles
12V portable fan
Red LED porch light
Round white door bumper ball (protector)
Rolling 8 Gallon water bin and 2, 6 gallon carry bins as well as a big cup funnel
Bed Bath & Beyond
Small Britta Pitcher
Silicone measuring cups, spoons
Flat plastic cutting board/sheets
The Golden Rabbit
White enamelware dishes
Small grey super absorbent dish dryer pad
Old Time Pottery
Narrow silver cushion mat for standing in front of stove
There have been many edits and additions since making this list and I’ll try to update it from time to time. We have added solar and a Honda generator but those details are on older posts.
We have only one regret in our initial options selection. We thought we would need the cabinets under the bed for storage so we did not opt for the larger water tanks. As it turns out, we never take the bed down so we can’t access that storage anyway.
We are very contented with out porta potty and outside shower as we needed the front bunk for our dog and we have found the outside shower very enjoyable when boondocking and campground showers more than satisfactory, otherwise. We camp all year so having the porta potty makes post winterizing easy.
There are things we wish we could have gotten but weren’t available from Casita or any other maker but that will be a topic for another post.
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11 thoughts on “The options we chose for our Casita”
Thank you for sharing your list! Will consider as we close in our delivery date.
Scamp 19′ is the largest.
True but that is a 5th wheel and can’t be pulled by a minivan so it never made our list. It’s a nice unit though. If I were looking in that direction, I would look at the Escapes with it.
Love this list! Thank you so much for posting! If you don’t mind answering, were you able to haggle at the dealership? I’m very curious about this and can’t find much info.
The Egg makers (Scamp, Parkliner, Oliver, Casita et al) don’t use dealers. They sell all of their production each year and have long wait lists. So, there is no negotiation. You can “build” yours with less or more features to keep your costs down and Casita was good about letting us add a couple “special placement” extra outlets to suit our needs.
Owners are always proud to point out that these Eggs hold their value for resale in a very, very strong way. As for us, we love ours so much we’ll just let the heirs bury us in it! Lol. We never plan on selling it. If age makes pulling tough, it will be a guest cabin on the property.
You can take a road trip to Rice TX, and with an appointment, tour the factory. We ordered ours without ever seeing one in advance. Just knew it was the right one for us.
Love this post! So helpful! Do you have a breakdown on the cost of these upgrades? Also the time frame it took to complete them. I live in Illinois so I can’t travel back and forth to Rice. I have so much research and planning to do! Camping is a new experience for us. We’re also looking at the Casita Independence model and need to transport 2 bicycles. And since mine has pedal assist and a battery, its much heavier. Thanks for sharing your insights!
We had the mods done at Little House Customs the day after pick up from Rice. We scheduled the appointment far in advance and told them which mods we wanted when scheduling. If you go to their webpage, you’ll see all the prices. You’ll need a reservation at a campground nearby. They did all of ours in a couple to three hours and we were on our way back up Saint Louis–touring Indian Mounds in Louisiana we’d always wanted to see.
We bought the bike rack from Orbital machine works for the back. There is a rack that can go over the propane tanks which might be better for the heavy bike but you’d have to lift it higher. I’d ask Orbital what they think–and Larry at Little House, too. Both are very, very helpful.
Good luck! We love our Independence and you will, too. If you are in the STL area, feel free to look us up and you can see our (no bath).
Have you posted pictures of your kitchen area? I see a wooden sink cutting board/tray that looks beautiful. We have an ID, always looking for ideas. Your sleeping area is lovely.
Thank you. Yes, I did post about that. I have to ask you to scroll through the posts to find the two posts on the sink board invention. (I am up on top of a mountain and have almost no internet reception right now or I would find it for you.)
We love that little addition because I cook inside in winter and it makes food prep possible.
I hope you’ll enjoy yours as much as we do ours.
Thank you for sharing your choices. I found your blog because of your comment about towing with a minivan. I wonder if you could tell me more about that as a minivan will be our initial tow vehicle. I’m sorry about your accident, but glad you are okay.
Well, our camper, empty, weighs about 2400 pounds. The minivan was rated up to 3500 towing . We packed very light and didn’t travel with water on board.
It was fine in the mostly small hills of the Midwest. Before long we moved up to the Traverse (with an added transmission cooler) which towed up to 5000lbs.
But then, we bought a home on a mountain with a half mile, steep driveway. At that point (traveling extensively in the mountains) we had to get a truck and went with a Silverado 1500RST.
So it depends on where you will travel and how light you are willing to pack. Remember, we chose a Standard model Casita (no bath) both for the dog and so the minivan could tow it. I still miss the minivan…such a practical and easy to drive vehicle.
Hope that helps.