Back in 2013 we made our first attempt to live on the road full-time. Thinking we needed as much room as possible to fit our house in to an RV, we bought a 30′ long travel trailer and the very thing we bought to live in turned out to be the very thing that killed our desire to live on the road. That trailer was so large and cumbersome, it took a lot of fun out of the travel for us. It was hard to drive down narrow, windy highways and we weren’t interested in attempting to get it down any forest or BLM roads. After one winter on the road, we sold it and moved back in to our house that had coincidentally only been rented out for the winter.
This is how we ended up with our utility trailer. We sold our travel trailer in Arizona and needed a way to get all our belongings back to Colorado. We found that gem on Craigslist and not only did it serve the purpose of getting all our things back home but it became the perfect tool for our extended camping trips. The next time we headed out for an extended trip (6 weeks) it gave us the opportunity to bring along all kinds of extra resources. At 14′ we could take the thing just about anywhere the truck could go.
Fast forward to this Spring and the idea of full-timing again is a hot topic in our house. We knew we didn’t need anything more than the setup we currently have, BUT, we couldn’t help but float the idea of having a few more amenities than what the camper and utility trailer offered. Enter the Mali Mish family (@mali.mish), a family of 5 and fellow Four Wheel Camper owners. They’d been living full time out of their FWC for over a year and decided to purchase a Casita. A small, lightweight fiberglass travel trailer. We were intrigued. So as we do when we become interested in something, we began intensive research on these trailers that we knew nothing about.
Now, feeling like the Goldilocks of travel trailers, we felt like we’d found the perfect match for our needs/wants/desires.
A few things we desired that our current setup didn’t offer and a Casita would:
A shower. We have a sweet camp shower setup. It’s done the job well for years. But its a lot of setup and teardown and sometimes we choose to just be dirty than set it all up. And in cold weather, standing outside to shower was a no-go for me.
A comfortable area out of the elements. We LOVE our Four Wheel Camper, that’s no secret. But when the weather makes a turn for the worst is when that small space makes two adults and two dogs feel like they’re trapped in a sardine can. We wanted a way to be able to ride out bad weather comfortably.
A dedicated workspace. I thought I could work in the utility trailer but editing photos and videos in that thing proved to be a challenge. I’ve been known to sit in there with a towel over my head as to get rid of the reflections on my computer. The problem inside the camper was if I was working nothing else could get done. You only do one thing at a time in the camper and some sort of conversion has to be done to do the next thing. I wanted to be able to work and leave my work station set up throughout the day.
A separate space. I think one of the hardest things about living in such close quarters with your spouse is having to be on the same schedule. If you’re not going to bed and waking up at the same time, you’re going to wake up the other person with just about any task. We loved the idea of a space where one of us could stay up late and watch a movie or wake up early and go to work.
An indoor kitchen. This never felt like a major priority for us as we love cooking outside but going full-time meant cooking three meals a day outside. That requires a lot of good weather. Being able to cook inside was just another element that would add to our comfort.
A few reason the fiberglass trailer seemed like such a better fit for us than the traditional box trailer:
Dimensions. Casitas aren’t as tall or as wide as other travel trailers. And the model we were looking at was 17′ in total length, only 3′ longer than the utility trailer. Driving down our favorite narrow, windy highways wouldn’t be a problem and we felt comfortable that we could get it to most of our favorite BLM and National Forest campsites.
Durability. We owned our stick and staple travel trailer for only a few months. We bought it brand new off the lot and it was starting to fall apart by the time we sold it five months later. From what we read about the fiberglass trailers, they hold up much better. And since they’re exterior is made of two fiberglass pieces (a top and a bottom) fit together, they are air and water tight.
They hold their value. These little trailers are highly sought after and for good reason. They’re well-built and are hard to find. If you do a Craigslist search for “travel trailer” you’ll likely get a lot of results but chances are there will be few to none of the fiberglass variety.
On Monday, a Casita came up for sale less than an hour away from us. I was so excited to go see it on Tuesday that I could hardly sleep that night. At this point we had yet to see one in person. The moment we stepped inside we knew it was the perfect fit for us. Not too big, not too small. Just right. And not only was it close to home but it was in perfect condition. The seller’s could not have been kinder people (we love buying things from good people) and the transaction could not have felt more meant to be.
We are now the proud, very excited new owners of a 2012 17′ Casita Spirit Deluxe
Yesterday we removed and painted all the cabinets and as I type this Mark is installing new flooring. Not because these projects were necessary but because we think this Casita is going to be perfect for us and we want it to feel like home.
I have so much more to share in regards to how this all fits in with our Four Wheel Camper and more but for now, we’ve got a house to get moved out of and it’s time to get to work!
Stay tuned as we embark on our most exciting adventure yet!