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Casita Mods-- What Kind of Mods Have You Done or Wish to Do?


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#1 DebinMO

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 11:42 AM

I'm planning to take my Casita to Larry Gamble's shop in May.  One mod I'm not sure about is the kitchen Hepvo.  What is the advantage?
I want to get everything done that I might need/want at this time. Please share your thoughts and suggestions, my friends.

My current plans include:
install Maxx Air window vents
install furnace
Hepvo shower mod
install battery cut off switch
install battery slide out tray
change out standard HWH for electronic
add lighted switches for water pump and HWH
install hard start capacitor

I also wondered about the fast gray mod. What are your thoughts?

I know this is going to cost a hunk of money but I want to get everything done while I am working this parttime job. Do you suggest I do anything else while I have the trailer there?

Thanks, Guys!
Debbie

#2 Colorado Kathi

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:04 PM

Can Larry install a slide out battery tray?  I am hoping to have him do some mods when he comes to Colorado in Sept.  I didn't know that he would/could do that which I would like to have if possible.

Boy, Deb, those mods sound like a million dollars. That's great if he can change the HWH-I know you really wished you had that. Kim and someone else had the bathroom mod, which I think I am going to do.  She loves it.

Good Luck!  If you get all that done, you better plan some trips and get on the road!

Kathi

#3 Sister932

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 01:15 PM

Hi Deb,  A good reason I had the kitchen hepvo done was Diane Mason CaGal, built a shelf so I could have a place for my pots & pans.  Without the hepvo, the plumbing took up the space.  Do you have an outside shower? I wish I did.  Good luck and see you around. Sandi

#4 Plucky

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 02:49 PM

You will really like having a battery disconnect switch for sure!  It does make a difference with helping to keep the battery charged.
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#5 DebinMO

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 06:15 PM

No, Kathi, I don't have the outside shower.  Pete showed me how he uses an adaptor to attach to the city water supply that splits it two ways. Then, you attach two clean white hoses ... one for your trailer and the other for your rinsing hose.

I think I read somewhere that Larry can install a battery slide out tray but maybe I dreamed it. I did mention it to him (via email) after he had given me prices for parts and installations for the other things but he just said that lots of people add more things they want after they get there so I'm not totally sure about that one. I'll let you know later.

I priced the furnace and HWH installations with the factory and Larry said he would need the same amount since it is so labor intensive. I decided to give him the business even though he says he's only 75 miles from the factory.

A shelf under the sink would be great. I know I'm going to lose some of my storage with the furnace installation.

Terie, I ordered the battery cut off s. from Larry a year ago and haven't had anyone to install it for me so I am really anxious to get it done.  Then, if I can get the battery slide out, it won't be so difficult to check the water in the battery.

#6 Plucky

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Posted 06 April 2012 - 06:40 PM

I don't have a Casita but I did get a batteyr disconnect switch installed.  It just makes things a lot easier to deal with.

I have trouble getting the lid off the battery box since it's a very tight fit between the propane tanks and trailer.  Usually it's a good 20 minutes battle and another 10 minutes to get it back on.  The other day I found out that the lid will come off easily by removing it from the side and not by the front - wished someone had told me this from the start.  I don't know where your battery is located but I started using a squeeze bottle when adding water to the battery instead of pouring from the jug.  It's must easier to handle and control the amount of water.  The squeeze bottles are about a dollar at Walmart in the kitchen section.

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#7 Arizona Eileen

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:29 AM

Deb --

Sounds like you've got it all covered. Can't think of anything not on the list. If I do, I'll let you know.

Oh, except that I'm jealous.

Eileen
07 17 SD ~ Casa de Suenos | 09 Ford F150 XLT ~ White Night
Casita Owner's Guide / Store / Nametags / http://www.LoveMyCasita.com/store.html

#8 vermilye

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 08:28 AM

I don't have a Casita, but have made a number of modifications to my Escape 17B: Trailer Modifications
Jon Vermilye LakeshoreImages

#9 Plucky

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 01:43 PM

Don't mean to highjack the thread but:

Vermily - Thanks for providing the link for your trailer modifications.  Great workmanship!  You have done a great job with your mods making them look so professional.   I was surprised to see that you installed a surge protector but glad you did.  I know I feel safer having using one just in case...  I'm impressed with your shelves especially since I have shelf storage on my mind.  The idea of using a gym mat under the mattress or for tent camping is a great idea.  When I was tent camping I would use those gargage mats that locks together like puzzle pieces along with a floor rug but I like the idea of the gym mat better.  You mentioned the weight of your trailer is about 3000 lb ready for camping - did you actually weigh it at a CAT scale or is it an estimate?  I don't have any regrets of my trailer choice but it nice to know it could be possible to have my beloved choice of a Rav4 and a trailer.
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#10 vermilye

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:40 PM

Our local dump has a scale - they will weigh for free as long as you don't need a DMV form filled out.  Actual weight last week with 1/3 tank of fresh water & empty grey & black, full propane & everything but food & clothes on board was 2890 lbs.  By the time I add what I'll take on a 5 month trip I'm leaving on next week I should be close to 3K.  I'll weigh it again when packed.

The RAV4 definitely feels the trailer when towing (drops from 24mpg to 15mpg). Since I prefer secondary roads & avoid interstates as much as possible & tow under 60mph, it works for me.
Jon Vermilye LakeshoreImages

#11 lane

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:57 AM

Velcro 1

Velcro, I love it!
I use a patch on the outside of my door-side rear window to hold a motion-sensor light when I'm camped as well as "dots" in the same place for the external sensor for one of those cheap WalMart indoor/outdoor thermometers as well as a strip on the inside for the little read-out.  I'm always on the look-out for new uses.

Lane and Phoebe, the Poodle Girl who ignores velcro other than to bark at the noise it makes when it releases.

#12 mimiko70

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 09:59 AM

View PostColorado Kathi, on 06 April 2012 - 01:04 PM, said:


Boy, Deb, those mods sound like a million dollars. That's great if he can change the HWH-I know you really wished you had that. Kim and someone else had the bathroom mod, which I think I am going to do.  She loves it.

Good Luck!  If you get all that done, you better plan some trips and get on the road!

Kathi

Yes, Debbie, i DO LOVE my shower!  and he put a new faucet on the kitchen sink and on the bathroom sink. I did the hepvo on the shower so i wouldn't have to worry about anti-freezing it.  I personally have enough time to wait on the gray/black water to drain since now I'm going to have more time than money.  My dad's favorite saying was "all it takes is money".
Kim, Maggie & Velvet

#13 Colorado Kathi

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 12:19 PM

I want the hepvo which I am going to have Larry do, so I don't have to go outside to open the drain. (and remember to close it to travel)  At least you guys have it in the closet, don't you?  The outside one you about have to be on your knees to see it and pull it. Yeah, if we could only have time and money at the same time.

Kathi

#14 Arizona Eileen

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 12:29 PM

View PostColorado Kathi, on 09 April 2012 - 12:19 PM, said:

The outside one you about have to be on your knees to see it and pull it.
Kathi

Especially attractive when the only thing you're wearing is a towel and a shower cap.

Eileen
07 17 SD ~ Casa de Suenos | 09 Ford F150 XLT ~ White Night
Casita Owner's Guide / Store / Nametags / http://www.LoveMyCasita.com/store.html

#15 DebinMO

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 03:41 PM

That reminds me of getting in the shower and turning the water on to discover that I had no hot water.  The pilot light had blown out (twice) while I was parked next to Pete at Pagosa Springs.  I put on my robe and tried very carefully NOT to bend over as I had to relight it outside!

Back on the furnace mod idea, I doubt that I will ever make it to Quartzsite (since it's in the winter and so darned far from home) or to camp by myself in the desert.  (I marvel at RVSue!)  I really like electric hookups so I'm rethinking the furnace installation.  I could get by with a Little Buddy or some-such for a whole lot cheaper.

I love hearing from you guys!  Thanks for your ideas and for helping me think this through.  Lord knows, I need all the help I can get!  

Debbie

#16 Colorado Kathi

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 08:27 PM

Deb, keep in mind very few national parks have hookups. I wish they did. I too love hookups-it just seems most places I want to camp don't have them.  As I hate being cold, I love my furnace and can't imagine being without it. I imagine it is expensive to put one in.  I always read about Wave 3 heaters people have put in their Casitas. You might look into them.

Kathi

#17 mimiko70

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 06:28 AM

Speaking of no hot water - AHA, went camping Easter weekend and had NO hot water coming thru to my kitchen or bathroom.  Called Larry Gamble since he changed all the plumbing around, but there WAS hot water in the water heater, since i had sense enough to check it thru the pop-off valve - 'twas plenty hot!

somehow, my bypass valve, which was in the HORIZONTAL position, was shutting it off.  when the bypass valve was turned to vertical position, here came the hot water!  have no idea how that happened, my instruction book from the factory said "horizontal is open" just like Eileen's book said.

By the way, Eileen, your book looks great, and I'm eager to start the serious reading (next week on the plane to Dallas)!!
Kim, Maggie & Velvet

#18 Arizona Eileen

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 07:54 AM

Kim --

Oh-oh. That's bizarre about the bypass. Got to check into that the next time I go over to my trailer! Thankfully, it won't be difficult since I keep the back dinette up.

Eileen
07 17 SD ~ Casa de Suenos | 09 Ford F150 XLT ~ White Night
Casita Owner's Guide / Store / Nametags / http://www.LoveMyCasita.com/store.html

#19 mimiko70

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 02:16 PM

Eileen, you can't imagine my surprise because i had it on "vertical" while it was in storage this winter.  Nothing froze but I was totally shocked when it released the hot water in the vertical position!  I'm fairly sure that handle was never removed for any reason.
Kim, Maggie & Velvet

#20 lane

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Posted 18 April 2012 - 11:44 AM

Shelves

I put those shelf standard strips on both sides of the wooden divider and add shelf supports and shelves when I'm stopped.  They're adjustable and with baskets can hold almost anything up out of the way.  Lane

#21 DebinMO

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 01:01 PM

The trip to the Gamble's was great!  Thought I'd share with you a mod that I absolutely love!  With my short legs, I no longer have to worry about turning an ankle or kicking over a stepstool.  The steps are equally distanced and very sturdy.  I added other mods after I got there, as well. Larry worked hard for 3 days to get my Casita ready to tow back to Missouri.   I can't wait for a chance to get away to experience my changes. Thanks to MMoe for sharing her steps with me!  Once I saw hers and walked up and down them, it was a no-brainer to add this mod.  

Thanks to Joan, I got the AC mod.  Being able to just set the thermostat to whatever temperature you want it to be inside your trailer is great.  The air conditioner (or furnace) kicks on and off by itself. No more constant air conditioning noise!

Sandi, I did get the kitchen hepvo so I gained some space.

Thanks, everyone, for your ideas.

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Edited by DebinMO, 22 June 2012 - 09:07 PM.


#22 MMoe

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 08:27 PM

Not a problem spending your money.  Just kidding!  I too love my double step. No need to carry the extra step any longer.
MMoe, Curly and Larry




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