First off: Yes, I am still getting the teardrop and I can’t wait to have it! But, as I’ve been saying since the original announcement, it won’t be ready until this fall.
So in the meantime, I’m continuing to enjoy my Casita and today I have an answer to a question I get asked often: what is it really like to live in one? Having lived in mine since April of 2012, and having traveled in it full-time since September of 2012, I’d say I’m pretty well qualified to answer this question. But as with all things RVing, what’s true for me is not true for everyone, so if you’re in the throes of deciding which RV will be best for you, I suggest doing some further reading.
Truthfully, it feels strange to write about this at all, because for me living in a Casita is just so easy.
Being of the mindset that less is more, I have no problems with storage space in Cas, everything I own fits between him and my truck quite readily, aside from a few things that don’t travel well (like a painting my grandpa made) that I store at my parent’s house.
In fact I’ve never lacked for space at all when traveling solo, even living space. I make a point these days to follow the good weather, so I use my outdoor living space at the places I camp to good advantage, and even on days without hiking adventures I usually take a walk to avoid that antsy feeling that can crop up from being sedentary too long. In the places I camp, prolonged rain just isn’t a thing.
I lived in Cas on two separate occasions with my best friend (four months that first summer I owned him, and again late 2014 and early 2015 for an epic road trip), and that did get hard for me as a Casita is basically one big room with no privacy. You’d have to be very close to anyone you traveled with to make it work long-term – most people who full-time in Casitas and other small trailers of that size are singles. Not to say that it can’t be done as a couple, it just requires a very close and understanding relationship.
What about amenities?
The shower is a pain. It’s small and cramped, and the 6-gallon water heater is not enough for what I would consider a “real” shower with how thick my hair is. Plus, my Casita has the smaller fresh-water tank. So, I simply don’t use it. I stay in campgrounds and parks that have a shower I can use, and when I’m boondocking (which is most of the time right now) I use wet wipes and sponge-bathe to keep clean enough in between visits to town.
The toilet however, is great. It might gross you out a little to talk about this (get use to it, it’s a part of RVing), but on a Casita the black tank is directly below the toilet which is super handy, because then you always know how full it’s getting. No worrying about if those fancy tank sensors some RVs have are working properly (they so often don’t), and guessing how much time you have left before it’s time to go dump. One quick peek down the hole when flushing, and you know. It also makes it easy to check that when you dump, things are emptying properly.
The fridge is also great. The 17′ deluxe models come with a 4.6 cubic foot fridge, which is surprisingly large for a camper of this size. That size is great for full-time living and stocking up for long trips without access to a grocery store, but it can make it a pain to change the fridge if it dies in an older model, where the fridge is literally too big to fit out the door in one piece.
Let’s see, what else. My older Casita comes with an apartment window style A/C mounted in the front which is super effective in a space this size. The stove is adequate, two burners but really unless you’re using small pots and pans only one can be used at a time. The flip-out stove cover that was added after market offers a nice bit of extra counter space… not that I’m really a cook. I love how many windows the Casita has, it just makes the space feel so much bigger and more open.
Maintenance and upkeep. Casitas are pretty simple without a lot of bells and whistles, and there’s little maintenance that needs to be done to keep them in good shape which is a huge plus in my book as someone who doesn’t like playing handywoman. The fridge and A/C should be serviced occasionally, the anode rod in the water heater should be checked twice a year or so (maybe more depending on the water composition of the places you camp), the wheel bearings should be replaced every so many miles (differs depending on who you ask, I go with about 20,000 miles). Best of all – not having seams means there are fewer entry points for water to get in, and even a leak does develop around a window or rivet, there’s no wood in the ceiling or walls to rot. This is why they last so long.
Casitas are also easy to tow. They’re pretty lightweight, not very wide, and come with electric breaks. With a max weight of 3,500 lbs they’re towable by a wide variety of vehicles. (Always check your tow vehicle’s Owners Manual to see what it’s capable of towing!) The hardest part of my travel days is not the towing so much as the preparing to move and unpacking once I arrive at my next destination.
Overall, a positive experience
I really don’t know what else to say. Six years of living in my Casita and I’m still happy with the decision 28-year-old-me made. There’s no such thing as the perfect RV, but Casitas make good little homes for people who can handle their small size. I’ll be moving on to a teardrop later this year because I’m ready to explore other styles of travel, but I do not regret the time I’ve had in my Casita and I still recommend them and other molded fiberglass trailers as a solid choice for full-timers on a budget who want something small, simple, and easy.
Want to learn more about my Casita? Visit the About Page for more info and links to several Casita posts I’ve written over the years, as well as a video walkthrough of Cas.
Interested in purchasing Cas once I’ve switched to the teardrop? I’m waiting to put him up for sale until I hear from Hiker Trailer the date that my teardrop will be ready, it wouldn’t do for me to sell too early and be homeless! I can say that as I’ll be picking up my teardrop in Denver Colorado, that’s likely where I’ll be selling Cas from. I’ll make an announcement here and on my YT channel when it’s time, to give everyone a fair chance.
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To those of you in the US, happy 4th of July!
You probably haven’t noticed much of a change on your end, but IO has been moved to a higher quality, faster hosting company! For a while yesterday (Tuesday) evening readers were reporting security errors as I was moving the hosting over and getting security measures set up again, but now everything should be good, so if anyone is still seeing security messages, please let me know so I can look into it!
All the big images on this new site meant that my old budget hosting option wasn’t loading pages as fast and it was time for an upgrade. It’ll take me a while to get all the optimization work done, but I’m confident that this will lead to a faster and better experience for you once it’s all keyed in.
And on a related note, I’m aware that the form to subscribe to the IO e-mail list has been down for about two weeks, and I’m working to get it back up. There’s always gotta be something. 😉 Onward and upward!