When we began learning about RVs in general, and Casitas specifically, we were impressed by how popular it is to personalize your camper by making modifications (mods) to it. The months leading up to delivery of our Casita were filled with anticipation, research, education, and planning. It was a great time of excitement for us, as we began the process of personalizing our Casita even before we picked it up.
We prepared a list of desired mods to the Casita, and began prioritizing it in preparation for our delivery day. Frank made arrangements with Little Home on the Road, in Haslet, Texas for our first set of mods to be added on 19 April 2019, just two days after we picked it up.
First, we added front scissor jacks for stability. The Casita comes from the factory with rear scissor jacks installed, but the front end is on a single tongue jack. So these will eliminate any shaking from wind or movement inside the trailer.
Next, we had the Orbital Machine Works (OMW) shock kit installed to reduce vibrations on the road. Vibration is the enemy of rivets!
The front porch light could only be turned on from the outside, so we had them add a light switch on the inside by the door to be able to turn the light on and off from the inside (especially for inclement weather).
Everyone in the Casita world emphasized the need for stronger hinges on the refrigerator, because the plastic hinges from Dometic will fail. Not if, but when! So we had the stainless steel hinges installed.
For ease of seeing when our water pump and water heaters are on, we had the lighted switches installed.
And, because horizontal surfaces are at a premium in the Casita, we added a folding shelf next to the sink for additional meal preparation space.
The folks at Little Home on the Road (“We know Casitas”) truly do know these trailers inside and out. They are free with their advice, but they never push any recommendations on you. They are friendly, fast, and efficient. I highly recommend them to anyone owning a Casita that wants some work done on their trailer.
Once we got her home, it was Frank’s turn to start working on some mods. Our first mod was to build a couple of towel rods affixed to the vent pipe behind the toilet. It was an easy design that we got from Alan at RV Adventures on youtube. We also followed Alan’s method of installing command hooks around the top of the shower area to hang a full size shower curtain to keep the toilet area dry when we take a shower.
We also purchased a “butt guard” to protect the buttons on the front of the refrigerator from being accidentally bumped. Refrigerator power management is very important in these trailers, so you don’t want it being switched to another power source without knowing about it. This was the easiest mod of all! Just peel and stick!
So far, the mods I have described were completed before we went to the Bluebonnet Casita Rally just one week after we picked up our camper! We learned a great deal more while at the rally. One of the most important mods was to secure the awning to withstand stronger winds. During the Egg Parade (where we all walked around looking at each other’s Casita mods), I took pictures of how one guy had secured his awning using painter’s poles and strong clamps from Harbor Freight. He also used some 12” lag screws to secure the legs of the awning by drilling them into the ground. I was amazed that they back out as if they were in wood. We now have a secure awning that we can trust in moderate winds.
Casita has begun equipping their new deliveries with bug guards over the vents for the water heater and furnace. However, the water heater vent is larger than the square vent cover installed by Casita. We purchased the rectangular bug guard while at the Bluebonnet Rally, and installed it in place of the square guard that didn’t fully cover the vent.
The 7-pin connector that provides electricity from the tow vehicle (TV) to the trailer is normally wrapped around the tongue jack when not in use. This exposes the connections to the weather, so Frank installed a cheap holder designed to cover the connector, thus minimizing corrosion or dirt from contaminating it.
Debbie found a nice spare tire cover that had the state of Texas boldly displayed, so we purchased it and Frank installed it. Someone at the rally told me to take the spare tire off, then turn around the cover to protect the fiberglass from the tire, because it tends to make permanent marks on the fiberglass. So, when I installed the Texas cover, I reversed the original Casita cover for that purpose.
We made two modifications to the Casita’s door. First, I cut a piece of plexiglass the size of the lower screen, and velcro’d it to the inside of the door frame. We were afraid that the Two Terriers would go right through that screen someday in their excitement to get at something. The second mod to the door was to add some louvered shades to the window so that we can close it off at night, and see what’s outside when we want to!
We recently took the trailer up to All Pro Window Tinting in Decatur Texas to have window tint installed for reduction of heat. We chose the ceramic film one shade lighter than limousine black to get maximum UV protection without making it too dark inside the Casita. We LOVE the results.
Our most recent addition has nothing to do with the Casita itself, but adds to the camping décor of the campsite. We learned this one from Jerry at “I love RV life” on youtube. He takes 4×4 posts, and turns them into wonderful camping lights using cheap solar lights you can buy just about anywhere. We had a very old 4×4 post down at the barn, so Frank made a couple of these lights. We like them so much, we are planning to make a bunch of them and sell them at the Casita rallies.
Future mods will include a PVC toilet paper holder similar to the towel rods, a larger tube for the sewer pipe affixed to the bumper, and some window awnings over the back window and street side window. We will also add some stick-on gutters above the windows. Debbie is busy planning for a valence over the windows and a rag quilt for the bed.
Now to get out there on the road an enjoy “Our Happy Place”!