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Old 04-13-2009, 12:07 PM   #15
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I also cross-shopped Casitas and small Airstreams. I found a 98 Casita 17' for sale in VT, and drove up to look at it. It was in great shape, seemed to be built like a brick outhouse (unlike the 01 Bambi 16' I looked at with a rotting floor), and had a lot of features for the space. But yeah - the carpet on the walls ruined it.

But why consider a Casita instead of an Airstream? To me, there are lots of reasons. Fiberglass takes less maintenance, with a reduced (but not absent) prospect of leaks and floor rot. Compared to the 16' Bambis I looked at, the beds were bigger. The 01 Bambi (and the 17' Sport) has only one sleeping area, the Casita had two. Unlike a new Bambi 16', the Casita has both grey and black water tanks. It also weighs about 300-400 lbs less, helpful for a 3500-lb rated tow vehicle like the one I own. But it doesn't look like an Airstream, and that carpet inside the cabinets and up the walls is odd.

Small Airstreams (particularly the 16' models) are a finicky bunch for a shopper - you are basically limted to spending $20k+ for one of the recent ones, spending similar money for a restored vintage Bambi or Caravel, or spending less and having something of a restoration project. Part of the reason - Airstream didn't really make a small trailer from 1972-2000.

Got to say, I'm excited that there is a lot of competition heating up in the small-and-light trailer market right now. I would like something a bit bigger than my T@B, but aren't sure I want to plunk down the money for a Bambi CCD (and would like something lighter). There are other fiberglass trailers, rumors of a bigger T@B with a bathroom (that isn't the T@DA), and some shots of a smaller Trailmanor showing up recently.

Tom
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Old 04-13-2009, 12:52 PM   #16
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Part of the reason - Airstream didn't really make a small trailer from 1972-2000.
Too late to edit my own thread - I neglected to mention 20' Argosys, including the very light Minuet (we almost bought one), and Airstream had the 1980 20' Caravelle which is nearly unobtainium.

Still, after that Caravelle, AS didn't offer something of comparable weight until that 01 Bambi 16.' That makes it hard to find something that depreciated into a nice price range for a first-time buyer like I was.

Tom
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Old 04-13-2009, 06:38 PM   #17
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Small fiberglass trailer

We saw one in a campground that had the tongue all the way to the back of the non-pull through site (think it was a Casitas) and I couldn't figure out how it got there. Finally saw the owner and she said they just picked it up and moved it where they wanted it.....can't do that with our Airstream.....sure was cute.....paula
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Old 04-13-2009, 07:35 PM   #18
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We have also owned a Casita - a 1998 17' model - as well as 5 different Airstreams.
Yes, it really does depend on your travel style & personal likes as to which trailer suits your needs. We sold the Casita in favor of a vintage Airstream because, according to my husband, he had to step outside of the Casita in order to change his mind! In his opinion, the Casita didn't off a comfortable place to sit & relax.
Our Casita also had a strange leak - every time it rained as we were driving, the rear of the trailer under the couch became wet as water drove in through the water heater door.
Although it may seem like less maintenance, fiberglass does require waxing just as an Aluminum Airstream or else the gel coat oxidizes more rapidly. Fiberglass has been used to construct boats since the late 50's, so there's a mixed bag of opinions as to how long this material will last. It's also subject to stress cracks & crazing (we've also owned several older sailboats as well)
Aluminum has been used for trailers since the 30's - if properly protected from corrosion, not sure as to how long it will last.
I believe that the Casita is made of solid glass, which is why the carpeting is installed as an interior finish/insulation. This method of construction is practical only for smaller trailers, as it would be way too heavy for a trailer that is longer/larger than 17'-20'. (Fiberglass 5th wheels & motorhomes are laminated with a thin layer of glass on the outside, a core material such as foam, & the interior plywood walls.)
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Old 04-13-2009, 08:49 PM   #19
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I bought a new Casita 17' Spirit Deluxe in 2003. It was our first introduction to travel trailers. They are a good value for the quality and money. You can about buy three 17' Casitas for the list price of a 19' Bambi. I traded the Casita for a new 2007 19' Bamb SE. The reason was to gain a little more space, a dry bath and a different bed configuration. In the Casita, we had to climb over one another to go to to the bathroom at night. My fuel milage only increased about 1/2 MPG and the Airstream is not much different to tow. We really enjoy the Bambi and it suits us just fine. There are things that I liked about the Casita, but the Airstream has a lot more bells & whistles. In comparison, the Casita had slightly larger holding tanks. My Bambi only has a 23 gal. fresh water tank where the Casita had 25. The carpet on the walls never seem to be a problem and it was quite cozy. A wash job and a little wax made the fiberglas shine like it was new. There were several old makes of fiberglas trailers that came to the rallys and just like Airstreamers', they like to make modifications. And like my old Corvette, a paint job can make those fiberglass trailers look like they just came off of a show room floor. Both the Airstream and Casita serve a great purpose for getting all of us out enjoying this great country we live in. Fiberglas trailer owners are just as much of a fanatic about their trailers as an Airstream owner is about his. I agree with most of the other responders that you buy what you want and can afford. I am glad to have choices.
Frank
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:58 AM   #20
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Confession

I must confess, I started this thread to illustrate a point. There is a simular, but basically the exact opposite thread on the Casita forum here: Casita Vs. Airstream? - The Casita Club Forums

My point on that thread, and actually here also, is that if you poll a certain group of people, i.e. Casita owners about Casitas, and Airstream owners about Airstreams, the outcome of the poll is pretty much guaranteed.

Casita owners in general, are biased toward the trailer they own, as are Airstream owners toward Airstreams. As I stated in the other thread, sort of like asking what is better, a Ford or a Chevrolet in a Ford forum. And, like some of the threads I've seen her...."Do you like your X brand truck for a tow vehicle?"

I actually own both, a Casita and an Airstream. I consider them very much different. Sort of like a mini van and a limo....each with their intended use.

Thanks for your participation, and I opologize for the "setup". Have a good one.
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:33 AM   #21
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I must confess, I started this thread to illustrate a point. There is a simular, but basically the exact opposite thread on the Casita forum here: Casita Vs. Airstream? - The Casita Club Forums

My point on that thread, and actually here also, is that if you poll a certain group of people, i.e. Casita owners about Casitas, and Airstream owners about Airstreams, the outcome of the poll is pretty much guaranteed.

Casita owners in general, are biased toward the trailer they own, as are Airstream owners toward Airstreams. As I stated in the other thread, sort of like asking what is better, a Ford or a Chevrolet in a Ford forum. And, like some of the threads I've seen her...."Do you like your X brand truck for a tow vehicle?"

I actually own both, a Casita and an Airstream. I consider them very much different. Sort of like a mini van and a limo....each with their intended use.

Thanks for your participation, and I opologize for the "setup". Have a good one.
So, what point were you trying to make? And to whom? Airstream owners? Casita owners? Yourself?
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:49 AM   #22
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Casita owners in general, are biased toward the trailer they own, as are Airstream owners toward Airstreams. As I stated in the other thread, sort of like asking what is better, a Ford or a Chevrolet in a Ford forum. And, like some of the threads I've seen her...."Do you like your X brand truck for a tow vehicle?"
Owning neither an Airstream or a Casita (but having shopped for both), I've got to ask - did you need a thread to confirm this? I don't think you were throwing rocks at a hornet's nest, but none of this is a great surprise.

I don't think the term "bias" is the right one to use either - it's a loaded word. Both threads showed that a majority of the folks were reasonably knowledgable about the other trailer, and made a decision not based on bias, but rather based on picking the right trailer for their wants, needs, and budget.

My $0.01...

Tom
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:58 AM   #23
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Here's Why.........

I was fortunate enough to spend last week with my family in a state park. Just so happened that a Casita was there also, it was very cute and not a common sight in this neck of the woods.

As an owner of different name brands and types of trailers I certainly appreciate others but this is the only picture I took of any trailer all week long. This is all I will ever need to know what the difference is.

Enjoy........... Greetings from the Tinman --- local artist work
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:17 AM   #24
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I for one found both threads to be interesting - I get a little discouraged at times when posters get challanged on their topics - after all a forums purpose is to talk about all kinds of things..

I also wonder had Wally been alive today, if there would be a fiberglass Airstream trailer - he was one of the first to make a fiberglass trailer back in the 50's - in fact we had the only remaining "Wally Bee" at our restoration rally last year.

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Old 04-15-2009, 10:06 AM   #25
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Owning neither an Airstream or a Casita (but having shopped for both), I've got to ask - did you need a thread to confirm this? I don't think you were throwing rocks at a hornet's nest, but none of this is a great surprise.

I don't think the term "bias" is the right one to use either - it's a loaded word. Both threads showed that a majority of the folks were reasonably knowledgable about the other trailer, and made a decision not based on bias, but rather based on picking the right trailer for their wants, needs, and budget.

My $0.01...

Tom
How true!
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:52 AM   #26
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I am actually not biased toward either brand of trailer over the other. Like I said, they each have their intended use and they do it well.

The point I was trying to make is, if you ask people's opinion of a certain brand of anything, on a forum for that "thing", you will most likely get positive comments. Ask people's opinions of Airstreams on an Airstream form, you will get generally positive comments about Airstream. Ask people's opinions of Casitas on a Casita forum, you get the same generally positive comments. The same holds true of almost anything, hence my comparison to the vehicles.
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:13 PM   #27
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The casita appears to be a neat little trailer that is light weight and functional. I feel that whatever brand it out there they are more functional now days then they used to be. Designers have been very good in utilizing less space. My love for AS started when I was going through a pile of old magazines in my grandmas basement. I was probably 8 at the time. There was a picture of Nixon talking with astronauts. The astronauts were in the back of the AS. I remember thinking how cool the AS was and vowed someday to own one. That picture is now hanging in my current unit. I have never felt that way about any other rec vehicle. I have always wanted one and now I am lucky enough to own one. I cant ever see myself owning any other brand of trailer. I have and have always had aluminitus.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:45 PM   #28
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I know this is an old post. But I just found it.

As an owner of 3 Airstreams and 2 Casitas there is give and take with both. The Airstream may be roomier but the Casita is much easier to tow, repair and easier to get into small camping areas. All of my Airstreams were vintage and my husband and I refurbished each one. (1964, 1978 and a 1974). We actually full timed for 10 years in one.

It's the little things, when we needed parts for just little things we had to get online and look for parts. The Casita we can be on the road and go to Ace or Home Depot and get the parts. Not to mention all the worries with the Airstream's skin.

Don't get me wrong...I will have another Airstream....it's a love affair...But for real great camping in wonderful comfort and not to mention the gasoline.....the Casita has it. The down side is it's not for full timing. (you need a home base because the Casita is more months not years)

I really feel that Wally would of taken a trip in the Casita because it has the same essence that he was producing. Air dynamics, small and light with all the comforts of home.
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