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Old 02-02-2020, 12:24 PM   #1
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Casita Deluxe or Escape 17B?

I am new to this forum, but I've been on the Casita forum for a couple years now. So, first, hi. Next here is my situation I'm hoping some of you can help with.

We currently own a 2014 Casita Spirit Deluxe. We, being my wife and 2 kids, have used it for 2 years and have really liked it. I specifically like how easily it tows. I like being able to cruise at 65MPH and still feel very much in control and not stressing my small V8 or transmission. The problem is that even though I made a sort of bunk over the small dinette table our kids are feeling cramped both in height and width and getting little big for it. So we are currently trying to decide whether to purchase a different layout Casita or buy a 17B Escape with the front bunks. The Escape looks to be a little roomier and has an option of the big storage box in front but we have really grown to like the fiberglass cabinets and interior pieces of the Casita and I worry the Escape wont be as easy to tow. It looks boxier which I do like the way it looks but will the aerodynamics be as good? Weight shouldn't be a concern as there is only a 20 lb difference. I am right on the edge of comfortably staying in overdrive while I tow. I have watched tranny temps while towing and it stays much cooler in O/D with the current set up. If we get another Casita it would most likely be a Liberty Deluxe. The king sized bed would fit all 4 of us pretty easily until the kids got old enough that they would rather sleep in a tent. I have seen pictures of the new Heritage bunk model Casita but don't really think it would offer enough more room on the top bunk then we currently have. I like the idea of a slightly larger kitchen in the Liberty but worry about not having as much "living" space. The Escape is another 3k to 4k at least compared to the 2019 Casita pricing but probably easier to get for me cause I'm a lot closer to Washington then Texas. Wish there was a way to hook up an Escape and go for a short drive. Anyway, just not sure what to do so I'm looking for some help. Has anyone towed both possibly even with the same tow vehicle? Any other differences I've not considered. Anyone owned both? What did you like about each?

Thanks, in advance, for your input.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:57 PM   #2
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I started out by renting a Casita and then bought a 17B. The 17B tows much better. The Casita would sway a bit behind my old Jeep Grand Cherokee, and tug it side to side, but the 17B was solid.

I think the farther aft axle on the 17B improves towing stability but may increase the hitch weight.

Maybe the Casita was bent a bit since it was a rental.

The 17B has more interior storage.

My son is now 5 ft 9 or so and can’t fit into the upper bunk due to the cabinet restricting head room.
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Old 02-02-2020, 01:12 PM   #3
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We owned a 17 ft Casita SD for 6 years . The 17ft Casita has a higher than normal tongue weight for a 17 ft trailer due to the axle being set farther back ( Ours was around 425 lbs ) We never had an issue with sway or the trailer following / tracking properly. with our Casita
They are both nice trailer and a lot depends on what you want , styling ,and what you are willing to pay
In the six years we owned our Casita the only money we spent was for mods , normal maintenance ( washing , waxing , repacking wheel bearings , touching up paint on frame , replacing a couple of rivets ) and tires
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Old 02-03-2020, 03:50 AM   #4
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We owned a 1977 Trillium 4500 15' (like a 15' Escape) when the boys were young. It worked out great. The front had bunks, lots of storage. I towed it with a Tacoma so lots of room for gear.

Later we bought an 2007 Escape 17B, I planned on building bunks for the kids. The spring after I bought it my boys both grew 1 foot. The bunk idea wasn't going to work out at all. The bunks didn't work in the situation because of the bulkhead cabinets. Not enough height to make it work. On our camping trips, the boys would sleep in a tent or one would sleep in the 4Runner.

Today, we ordered a new 19'. The dream was a new Escape Fifth wheel, but I couldn't give up the truck bed in case one of the boys wanted to sleep in the Tundra. As kids get older, they want more space.

Advice, get a motorhome or a tent trailer. Fibreglass trailers are great, but the downside is their small.
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Old 02-03-2020, 08:33 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Doug2000 View Post
Advice, get a motorhome or a tent trailer. Fibreglass trailers are great, but the downside is their small.
Ya. Probably wont be getting either of those. Motorhome is more maintenance, more expensive, no fun to drive, is too big to fit at our house and.... well.... just too big. We used to own a tent trailer years ago and thought about getting another but when we looked at one, both my wife and I did not want to go through the hassle of set up and tear down every night. We sometimes only sleep in a place one or two nights. We also stop along the way to use the bathroom or make lunch in the trailer. Plus there is set up and tear down at home when packing and unpacking. Toilets are nearly non existent unless you are hooked up to sewer. If you're going to pull something, it might as well have a bathroom. Decision has already pretty much been made on getting another small fiberglass trailer. Just which one? We are small people and tight doesn't bother us too much as long as it works well. I'd be surprised if either of my children reach 5 and a half feet tall.
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:06 AM   #6
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My wife , 60 lb dog and I traveled to about 30 states with our 17 ft Casita
It worked cause we forced it to work . It was cramped and tested our commitment to each other . I think the dog got the worst of the deal
If you plan on traveling and camping for longer than 2 or 3 days in a 17 ft trailer all I can say is pray for sunshine
I’m with Doug2000 , a tent trailer may be the wisest and least expensive choice

Good Luck
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:39 AM   #7
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Just a thought....I am an Escape devotee, but I might suggest you look at the largest Chalet AFrame. There is a bunk model (one on the floor level and one at counter level) and it weighs @2000. You can get a bathroom. The big downside would be storage compared to a 17, but the upside is a lot more space. There is some setup and takedown, but way less complicated than a tent trailer. If one kid wants to sleep in the truck, you have a 46 x 80 lower bunk for storage.
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Old 02-03-2020, 08:31 PM   #8
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We are lucky and never have to camp in the rain, so the 17B with a bunk bed works fine for the 4 of us.

We usually leave all the beds set up and sit around a picnic table but we also sprawl around whatever bed space we can find.

The kids are 19 and 18 and the dog is big so we take turns standing around and brushing teeth and such. It would be tight if we had to stay inside. It has worked well for 14 years.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
My wife , 60 lb dog and I traveled to about 30 states with our 17 ft Casita
It worked cause we forced it to work . It was cramped and tested our commitment to each other . I think the dog got the worst of the deal
If you plan on traveling and camping for longer than 2 or 3 days in a 17 ft trailer all I can say is pray for sunshine
Iím with Doug2000 , a tent trailer may be the wisest and least expensive choice

Good Luck
Exactly why we went from 17' Casita to a 19' Escape. Our 100 lb Goldendoodle can now sprawl out on the floor and we can actually step around him. Escape is two feet longer but floor space seems twice as big.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:19 PM   #10
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Thanks for the idea @h2owmn. I hadn't thought of a Chalet. I watched a few videos on them as well as some other A frames. In the end though I don't think it would d work much better then a tent trailer for us. Stopping along the road side to make some lunch or use the facilities wouldn't be an option.

@Thane, Do you have some pictures of your trailer with the bunks in use posted somewhere on here or would you mind posting a few?

Another question I've got about the Escape trailers is: Where are the rivets? It doesn't look like they use them. How do they attach things to the trailer walls?
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:54 PM   #11
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Just below is a video of how they make the Escape. You will see that they fiberglass in wood strips that everything is attached to.
They even fiberglass the two parts together before they remove it from the molds to make a perfect fit.
https://youtu.be/Wi6_KR_n_As
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Old 02-04-2020, 03:41 AM   #12
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Here is a post showing our bunk bed rail and bunk bed in use.

Escape Trailer Bunk Bed Rail - Fiberglass RV

Up to a few years ago, I slept on the lower bunk and my son on the upper. The girls shared the big bed. I like the lower bunk, I don’t have to crawl over anyone.
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Old 02-04-2020, 06:53 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Thane View Post
We are lucky and never have to camp in the rain, so the 17B with a bunk bed works fine for the 4 of us.

We usually leave all the beds set up and sit around a picnic table but we also sprawl around whatever bed space we can find.

The kids are 19 and 18 and the dog is big so we take turns standing around and brushing teeth and such. It would be tight if we had to stay inside. It has worked well for 14 years.
I'm curious as to how you have changed the weather to keep the rain away?
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:44 AM   #14
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Thanks Thane. That is some helpful pics and information.
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:54 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Thane View Post
Here is a post showing our bunk bed rail and bunk bed in use.

Escape Trailer Bunk Bed Rail - Fiberglass RV

Up to a few years ago, I slept on the lower bunk and my son on the upper. The girls shared the big bed. I like the lower bunk, I donít have to crawl over anyone.
Thanks for posting this with the link to fiberglassrv.com. I think your pics are the first one's where I've been able to see and understand how much upper and lower bunk room is available with the gaucho bunk option in a 17 B. That's a nice bed rail you created.
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Old 02-04-2020, 06:47 PM   #16
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Can't imagine spending much time with 4 persons in the 17B. Consider the 19 if you can.
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Old 02-05-2020, 07:25 AM   #17
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4 in a 13

We spent a lot of time, years in a Scamp 13. 2 adults and 2 kids. Fun times.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:37 PM   #18
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Well this weekend we were able to rent a 2012 17B and tow it around town a bit. I was surprised to find that it towed as well if not better than our Casita. Seemed I could easily travel in overdrive at 65+ mph and it didn't sway as much as the Casita does although the Casita doesn't sway bad either. I understand that the trailer got a little boxier in 2016 so hopefully that doesn't effect the aerodynamics much. My wife and I both still like the white fiberglass cabinets in the Casita better. Honestly, the cabinets in the escape left quite a bit to be desired. I was disappointed. They seemed cheap. Looked like they were made out of MDF with a paper veneer. Have they improved quality on cabinets? It looked like in the video posted above the cabinets were made with plywood. I do like the layout of the 17B. I am not worried about having enough room for the 4 of is in there at all. My wife noted that the closet might be a little small and wondered where to put dirty clothes? On the Casita there is room behind the toilet where we put a large laundry bag that we fill through out our trip. The cargo box on the front is really nice and the ability to have 2 batteries is great as well. If I knew the cabinets would be of higher quality I might order one this week.
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:42 PM   #19
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Another plus for the Casita is the fresh water tank is 25 gallons rather than 20. Anyone have a clever way of being able to bring additional water without having to stand holding a heavy jug of water while letting it gurgle into the tank through a funnel?
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Old 02-10-2020, 11:58 PM   #20
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There is no MDF in my Escape 17B. The cabinets are 5mm luan (a plywood) and solid oak. My trailer is 12 years old. The cabinets and hardware are all original with no repairs required, despite taking the trailer over miles of washboard.
I'm not sure how four will fit in a 17B though. I'd be looking at the 19.
How much water you need depends on how you camp. We do not take a shower every morning and night, more like a shower every few days. In any event you have another 6 gallons in the hot water tank. We carry a 5 gallon container for use at the picnic table ( outdoor kitchen area ). I've never transferred water from the container to the trailer fresh water tank.
If I'm even close to running out of water, then the black and grey tanks are likely full. Wife stays at camp in a comfy chair with a good book and I take the trailer to the sani-dump, dump tanks, fill up with fresh water and go to the beer store to replenish supplies.
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