“Basic” Casita Build
This is one of our Basic Casita Builds we provide to address some of the factory Casitas’ shortcomings. Straight from the factory Casitas are great campers because they provide the perfect home away from home for the ambitious and adventurist, but when it comes to taking it off the beaten path, there is room for improvement. Our Basic Casita Build consists of addressing the issues with the chassis, upgrading the axel that is paired with some all-terrain tire and rims, a beefier braking system, and shock absorbers. We then manufactured and installed an all-around new custom jack system and finished it off with some additional storage and efficiency features.
The Chassis and Axle
It started with our upgraded chassis and axle. This foundation takes the Casita to the next level. The upgraded chassis battles the notorious flexing issues that the Casita’s have. This flexing problem is a result of producing an ultralight camper that can be pulled by virtually any vehicle. With the upgraded chassis and axle, the doors are opened to many mods that improve the functionality and performance of this unit. From the factory, Casitas have a 3.5k lbs axle is installed. This does not leave much room for hauling your very basic necessities.
We have installed a 5200 lbs #11 Torsion Axle. This not only upgrades the bearing and spindle size but also increases the available brake power by offering larger brakes. The factory brakes are 10″ drums and our new brakes are 12″. We have also designed and fabricated a shock bracket system that utilizes Bilstein 5100 series shock absorbers. Pairing a set of Bilstein 5100 shock absorbers with a torsion axle gives your camper a much softer ride without a bouncing rebound. The new axle does require 16″ wheels as 15″ trailer rims are not offered in a 6 lug bolt pattern that a 5200 lbs axle is manufactured in. We installed a beefy LT265/75r16 Toyo Open Country ATII Tire. Not only does it look great, but it rides smooth and lasts a long time.
Custom Jack System
On all four corners, we fabricated and installed our High Clearance Scissor Jack system. These are 24″ Husky scissor jacks. When in the stowed position, they are almost tucked up as high as the bottom of the chassis and provides a high clearance at no sacrifice. This eliminates ripping the jacks from the chassis because the factory did not care to develop a mounting solution that keeps them out of harm’s way while crossing a dip or entering an enclosed approach. While we are on the subject of jacks, let’s talk about the tongue jack. We have installed a hundred of these exact model square drop-leg jacks. They provide ease of operation, by simply pulling the pin from the drop leg and raising or lowering it. This keeps you from having to spin the handle seemingly forever!
Storage and Efficiency
In addition to these features, the weight rating is overkill at 7,000 lbs! The tongue of the trailer also features a cabinet we fabricated to house the propane bottles and the generator. As an added bonus, we mounted #Rotopax fuel and water cans to the sides. Moving to the rear, we have a solid platform that can be customized into a basket or toolbox. The rear platform also features a 2″ receiver for a bike rack, BBQ pit, etc. If you take a look at the top of the camper roof, you will notice a solar panel. This is a very basic 15-watt charger. It seems to perform quite well in helping maintain a charge on the dual battery setup we added. The factory battery location was repurposed as a storage compartment for the sewer hose. Dual AGM gel cell batteries were mounted underneath the rear of the camper in front of the rear platform. This provides an extended use of 12-volt lighting.