For questions about ordering/shipping etc see about us
For ultimate peace of mind in your Casita, Always..
Balance your wheels
Replace tires that are over 4 years old
Fit shock absorbers
Run with a tire pressure monitoring system
The first 2 are on you. The others we can help with.
How old are my tires? Click here
Some commonly asked questions about our products.
Does the Mach 8 hush kit really work? How?
Yes it does work. We are seeing results from many customer installs that back up our test findings. Typical noise reduction is about 10 dBA. Thats a big difference. Check out the testimonials
page for some real examples. How did we do it? Basically we slowed down the new fan to match to airflow of the original (very noisy) fan, and cleaned up the grille. Read the full report here
.Do you do customer installs?
Rarely. We refer people to Larry over at Little House Customs
. Larry has an air-conditioned shop and carries all of our products. Often the first place folks go on leaving the Casita factory at Rice is over to Larry's. We only have an outside concrete floor. Very hot in the summer, very wet in the winter.
If you are heading West after picking up your new Casita, we also recommend Konrad Szelock in Camp Verde, AZ 86322 Little House Customs Arizona
. He has most of our more popular items in stock ready for installing.
If you are having Little House Customs install our products please order through them - with enough lead time to make sure we can make it, and get it to them.
And don't forget Andy's shop (Andy worked at Larrys for quite a time) in La Mesa N.M. 88044 email@example.com
Why do Dexter #10 axle wheel bearings apper to fail so often?
Here are some answers
to this often asked question.Help me with the options for the shock absorber kit.
The purchase options are set correctly for the most common configuration. If you have a bolt-on, high-lift axle, and you have not
added our blue3 inch lift kit
then you do not need to read any further.
The Casita shock kit has 4 major components on each side.
Monroe shock absorber.
The first 2 are common to all kits and have no options.
The Axle bracket comes in 3 different styles depending on your axle mount method.
You will need 2 pieces of information to make this selection. First is your axle bolted-on or welded on? Look at the section below that shows you how to make that decision. Next you need to know if you have our 3 inch lift kit fitted. If you are not sure just look under your trailer - it is a 3" high 10" long blue tube that mounts between the axle bracket and the frame.
Once you have this information it will be possible for you to select from the following options:
Bolted-on WITHOUT 3 inch lift kit fitted
Bolted-on WITH 3 inch lift kit fitted
The Tower bracket comes in 2 lengths, depending on if you have a 'high-lift' or 'standard' axle installed.
High-lift axles start with the trailing arm (that holds the wheel) pointing down at 10 degrees relative to the frame.
That is called the start angle as it changes when you load the axle with the weight of your trailer. It usually ends up pointing up at about 10..15 degrees with the weight of the trailer on the wheels. So with the wheels on the ground, if your trailing arm points up 10 degrees its actually a High-lift.
'Standard' axles (lo-lift) start at 10 degrees up (with the wheels off the ground) and move further up to about 35+ degrees up when loaded with the weight of the trailer.
Once you know this information you will able to select from the following options:
High-lift axle (10 degrees down)
Standard axle (10 degrees up)
Does my Casita have a bolt-on axle?
Casita finally started bolting on axles some time in 2005.
So if you have a 2006 or later you are probably OK.
But there are some later models that somehow got welded axles. Easy way to check - just look at the end of the axle. If you can see 2 large bolt heads (for horizontal bolts) fore-and-aft of the axle then you have a bolt-on.
Check out this photo - notice the horizontal bolt and no welds between the axle bracket and the bracket welded to the frame (this is actually a Dexter #9 axle on a Scamp)
How much weight can your Casita Hitch handle?
Lots. But just because it can doesnít mean you should! Remember that every 10 pounds you add at the back removes about 6 pounds from the front. Put enough weight on the back and the front will be off the ground. See the FAQ about weight and balance below. Also remember that all the weight is carried by the axle and tires which have their own limits.
Now to answer the question. We use a Curt Class III 2Ē receiver tube welded to a 3/16" wall 2Ē square cross tube at the rear and 1/8" wall 2" square cross tube at the front, with 10-GA mounting plates welded on the ends. We supply grade 8 bolts for you to install it to your Casita C-Channel frame.
Grade 8 3/8Ē bolts have a shear strength of over 8000 pounds each and we use 8 of them.
The weakest part of the hitch may appear to be the end plates Ė but even these will actually support over 12,000 pounds each, and we have 4 of them. So structurally the hitch will support an enormous static load Ė much more than the axle can support. But in reality any weight you hang off the hitch is multiplied by not being directly over the mount points Ė and by you rattling down bumpy roads at high speeds.
To ensure a massive margin of safety, Orbital Machine Works recommends no more than 200 pounds evenly distributed at a point about 1 foot behind the back edge of the receiver. And donít forget about tongue weight.
Weight and balance considerations when adding a rear hitch.
Trailers that are tail heavy will sway more (or at a lower speed) than the same trailer in a nose heavy configuration. Thats just the way it is. That is why trailer manufacturers generally put the axle(s) in a place that will give some amount of weight on the tongue. The allowable tongue weight is usually specified as a percentage of total weight and is often somewhere in the range of 6% to 15% of total weight. 16 foot Casitas are a bit tongue-light to start with so this is important.
If your tongue weight is too low you add weight in front of the axle. You do this by either loading the trailer with the heavy stuff forward, or carrying batteries/generators/gas cans on the nifty OMW utility shelf over your propane tanks.
If your tongue weight is too high you need to remove some weight from the front, or add some weight to the back. Thats where the OMW Receiver hitch comes in.
But you need to know how much adding weight to the back will affect the tonque weight. Assuming that you have our receiver installed, and it sticks out 3" behind your "bumper", and any weight you add is centered 12" behind the back of the receiver, here are the official figures
For every 10 pounds added at the back, on a
- 13 foot Casita 6.3 pounds is removed from the tongue
- 16 foot Casita 6.3 pounds is removed from the tongue
- 17 foot Casita 5.7 pounds is removed from the tongue
For example: If you add 100 pounds to the back you must also add 57 pounds to the tongue on a 17' Casita.
More information for you to consider:
First, putting enough weight on the rear that eliminates a tongue weight of at least 10% of your trailerís loaded weight will make towing it unstable. Also remember that the further back from the rear bumper you weight is, the more leverage the weight has, and the more weight will be needed up front to compensate.
I should also explain the effects of leveraged weight, created by extending a bike carrier or luggage basket / cargo carrier out too far from the trailer. You can magnify a 100 pound load very quickly by simply extending its weight rearward from the trailer. Itís like using a lever or pry-bar to increase the rear load, so try to keep the extension at a minimum.
[BTW, this is also true of using an extended hitch on the rear of your car or truck to clear opened tailgates. It gives away the vehicleís stability and leverage at the rear wheels and converts this influence to the trailer, which now uses that length behind the vehicle like a long lever arm to impose more influence on the rear of the car when a trailer tries to sway. It begs the question: whoís supposed to be in charge of your vehicleís steerage Ė or sway? Not the trailer! For an example: place a twenty foot long extension of ľĒ wall thick 2 inch square tubing in your carís hitch receiver. With that leverage you can then grab the end and scoot your vehicle pretty much anywhere you want by hand.]
Q- Can I tow a car with it?
ANS- No! Itís certainly stout enough, but thatís not the issue. A car weighs more than your trailer, and even if it didnít, itís still too heavy for the two vehicles in tow to travel without exceeding the coupler strength on the front of the Casita. Also, check with each stateís laws concerning multiple tow trailers, such as a Casita trailer attached. Some allow it. Most donít.
Q- Whatís a good guide for the weight on the tongue of my trailer?
ANS- The major concern about getting enough tongue weight is to eliminate the tendency for a trailer to sway. The tongue of your Casita should be heavier than the rear of the trailer. No matter what you do, you want at least 10% of the total of your trailerís weight on the tongue. In other words, if your trailer weighs 3000 lbs. loaded then your tongue weight should be at least 300 lbs. If itís 3200 lbs. then your minimum should be 320 lbs. on the tongue. Those weights are about the average overall weight with a trailer loaded in a weight conscience manner. Any less tongue weight than 10% of your total and the trailer will have a tendency to sway Ė especially when going downhill at highway speeds. If you need to, add weight in the front of the trailer, such as in the bathroom or closet to compensate for rear weight.
PS. I never carry water in the fresh water tank on the highway. Itís at the rear of the trailer, and at 8.35 lbs. per gallon, just 10 gallons adds 83 lbs to the rear, and takes weight away from the tongue. Wait and fill it when you get near your destination.
Q- Can I go over the 10 to 15% of tongue weight they recommend?
ANS- You bet - so long as your vehicle can handle it without sagging at the rear suspension. This is where your choice of tow vehicle comes into play. Vehicles that have a stout suspension, like some SUVís and some of the larger pickups, are your best friend when it comes to towing. The best are a select few of the true SUVís because a pickups light rear end requires softer springs to keep it from riding like a go kart on the rear. Research the internet before you buy whatever youíre going to tow with. Tow vehicles should also weigh more than your trailer does, especially in cases when the trailerís wheelbase is short, such as on Casitas and Scamps.
BTW, if you travel with your rear water tank full you may experience a tendency for the trailer to sway. That adds up to a lot of weight (over 160 lbs). Instead, fill it up when you get near your location. Rear weight that isnít compensated for at the front end of the trailer is what destabilizes your trailer while towing (especially when swerving or going downhill). IF your tongue weight is already 10 to 15% of the total trailer weight, compensate for added rear weight by adding 1/3 of the weight added to the rear to the front of the trailer, or to the hitch coupler/propane tank area up front. For every 10 lbs added to the rear hitch, add 5 lbs up front. Thatíll neutralize the balance front to rear.
When you are done - get the trailer weighed. You need both total weight and tongue weight just to be sure you are safely within the load limits for both the trailer and the tow vehicle.
How much does the Casita Receiver Hitch weigh?
It weighs about 42 pounds including the attachment hardware.
Shipping weight is nearer 60 pounds by the time we add the shipping frame and put it into that expensive box.
Installing the hitch in the stock location will lower your tongue weight by about 18 pounds.
Can I install the Casita Hitch Receiver myself?
That is the intention. We have made it as easy as we can. Without the help of some floor jacks though it is a 2-person job. For some idea of what is actually involved, check out this great set of install photos that were taken by one of our customers Don Dayton. We recently had another customer take the time to write up his real-world experience of installing a hitch here.
How can I touch-up the gold end on the hitch before my wife sees that I scratched it?
Don't panic. For that touch of bling we add a coat of Rust-oleum Metallic brass 1936830 followed by a coat of Rust-oleum Gloss Clear 249117. Both can be found at Home Depot.
How much does the Scamp Receiver Hitch weigh?
It weighs about 24 pounds including the attachment hardware.
Shipping weight is nearer 40 pounds by the time we have it ready to ship.
How much does the Casita Spare Tire Carrier weigh?
It weighs about 15 pounds including the attachment hardware.
How much does the Open Tank Utility shelf weigh?
It weighs about 40 pounds and ship weight is almost 50 pounds. Just fitting the shelf will add about 34 pounds to your tongue weight.
Will the Open Tank Utility Shelf fit on my Casita?
For sure it will not fit if you have any sort of Weight Distribution Hitch that has hardware that sticks up above frame height. (The standard side anti-sway ball fitting is OK)
The bottom frame measures 32 by 12.5 inches (outside dimensions). It is made of 1.25 inch square tube
The total height is 22 inches, and the top measures 32 by 17 inches. Here is one method to see if it will fit on your Casita.
Remove your propane tank cover.
Level the frame of your Casita fore-and-aft.
Find the fore-and-aft center line of your propane tanks and mark it on the frame on both sides.
Lay a tape measure or string across behind the tanks with the back edge 6.25 inches behind the center line of the tanks,
then imagine a line going straight up (use a level!) at the center of the Casita (the tightest spot).
If you can go straight up for 22 inches, and you are still no closer than 1 inch to the body of the Casita , so far so good.
Move the tape/string to have its front edge 6.25 inches in front of the propane tank center line.
If that sits on the lower part of the frame (ie it is back behind the sloping part) then we are still good.
Check that there is nothing sticking up above the Casita frame where the 32 by 12.5 by 1.25 bottom frame would fit.
Final item to consider - will the top clear your jack?
The top is 17 inches front-to-back.
What are the pros and cons of installing the Axle lift kit?
The Axle lift kit raises the body 3 inches. It does not raise the axle itself. It was originally invented to allow owners of older bolt-on axle trailers, without the high-lift axle, to move up to 15 inch wheels. But it also gives 3 other benefits.
More ground clearance for the trailer extremities, thereby reducing the likelihood of bottoming out when crossing dips into gas stations etc.
More clearance in your wheel wells which may mean less chance of damage from road debris or damaged tires.
Easier dumping as your valve is more likely to be above the height of the dump station, allowing gravity to do its work.
We have had no reports of reduced MPG from the raised body, and stability appears to be unaffected.
The only drawbacks are:
Since you have raised the trailer, you must also raise your tow-ball to match.
You will have to step up an additional 3 inches to get in the door! (but the double-step kit from littlehousecustoms solves that problem)
Will the Axle lift kit work if I have a welded-on axle?
Well actually yes - but it will be a lot of work.
You will need cut off the old axle without either damaging the axle or the frame, then dress the old welds to get them flat, weld on a new pair of AP-166 brackets from Dexter, and finally bolt on our axle kit.
In reality you won't be able to this without damage.
The sensible advice is to only do this when your old axle has reached a point where it needs major work. (Bearing failure, rubber failure after 15 years of service, new brakes etc),
Then you cut off the old axle - keeping clear of the frame, and damaging only the failed axle, and replace the axle with a new one.
You will still need to weld on those brackets from Dexter, but now you have a bolt-on solution.
A related Casita Club forum discussion can be found here.
When will the closet shelf system be available again?
This was a great solution for efficiently using the awkward space in the closet, but it was far too expensive to produce. So sorry - it will not be available again.
How secure is the LowPro LockDown generator security mount system?
We believe it is as secure as the item you bolt it to.
Here is how it works. The system consists of 2 laser-cut steel plates. One plate we call the base plate and this one you bolt down onto something secure, using the supplied stainless steel hardware. Although it is only bolted down, once the generator is in place there is no access to the bolt heads so it cannot be removed.
The other plate (the red top plate) is bolted between the base of the generator and the 4 rubber feet that it stands on. Again the heads of these bolts are not accessible once the generator is locked onto the base.
You then place the generator onto the base plate by locking the tongue of top plate into a bracket on the base plate. This prevents the left side from being pried up. On the right side, the two plates are secured to each other with the supplied Master Lock 6271 shrouded padlock.
There is no access to the shackle or hasp from the top (the padlock is in the way) the sides (covered by 2 overlapping steel tubes) or the base.
The underside of the top plate is also reinforced at the padlock end by a strip of tool steel, which is designed to prevent hacksaw or sawzall attacks.
Check out this video for a quick product tour.
Check out this video to see a generator running while secured. (and yes Jim is left-handed!)
To download the install instruction go here.
Can you ship the LowPro LockDown generator security mount system to Canada?
Yes we can ship the Honda EU2000i version to Canada but it will cost you about $59.95 to ship instead of the usual $19.95. Why? - because that is how much USPS charges. FedEx would be even worse and you would need a customs broker with all those fees. Canada Post may also hit you with GST/HST for your province (some are 5%) and a $10 fee for collecting the tax.
To ship a EU3000iS or Yamaha EF2400i Ssystem to Canada will cost you about $99.64 instead of the usual $24.95 (plus your taxes)
We are getting requests to ship to UPS stores on the US side of the border, so that customers can drive across to pick up. West Coast folks sometimes use Pic It Up in Sumas Washington State.
We'll update this section as we get more feedback from our Canadian customers.
Phone or email us first if you need Canadian Shipping.
Can you ship the LowPro LockDown generator security mount system to the UK?
Yes we can ship the Honda EU2000i version to the UK but it will cost you about $96 to ship instead of the usual $20.
You will also be responsible for any taxes/duty. One customer reported that it cost him 43 pounds.
Please also read the Canadian section above.
Can you ship the LowPro LockDown generator security mount system to Australia?
Yes we can ship the Honda EU2000i version to Australia but it will cost you about $125 to ship instead of the usual $20. You will also be responsible for any taxes/duty at your end. Please also read the Canadian section above.
How do I fit the Honda EU2000i generator security mount system to my front utility shelf?
All of the new Universal utility shelves are pre-drilled (through the steel part) for H2000, H3000 and Yamaha2000 LowPros. All you need to do is use the relevant holes mark the aluminium top, drill through that and bolt it on.
Why don't you make generator security systems for my Honda 3000 handi
We made one (you can see it in the "family" photo on the generator security page) but it was too fiddly to produce at a sensible price. The problem is the wheels. We had to make a complicated plate to bolt on underneath and ramps for the wheels and it just wasnt practical.
Do you have any recommendations for bicycle racks for our Casita?
Here is what Dan has to say on this often brought-up subject.
For what itís worth, I thought it might be helpful to give a few tips related to hitch mounted bicycle racks. After logging well over 25,000 miles each, my wife and I have tried everything in the way of bike racks. In the end, thereís only one style of bicycle rack that Iíd recommend if youíre hauling more than one bicycle. All of those Iíll recommend lock the bikes in place without using the frame of the bike as a fastening point. Thatís important!
All other methods are likely to lead to scratches and dings on your bicycle, and are slower to load and unload. Most will require some extra padding between bikes and plenty of bungee cords.
The complaint Iím sure to hear is that the oneís I recommend are expensive. Yes! They are. Those are the facts. Sorry! I canít help otherwise Ö and I wonít recommend any of the others. If you want to conduct the same experimentation only to find out what I have, go ahead.
The only four hitch style bicycle racks I recommend are:
- Thule T2. Buy it for the 2Ē hitch if youíre using the Orbital Trailer Hitch Receiver. The cost is around 395.00 from most places. Weíve used one for years. Great product
- Yakima Holdup The Yakima costs 368.00. Not quite as stout as the Thule but still a great rack.
- Kuat NV (pronounced koo-at) This is the top of the line - the Mercedes of all bicycle racks Ė and the price is like it too. It sells for 529.00. This model also has an extendable post with a clamp so you can also use it to do bicycle maintenance. Extremely well made!
- Kuat Sherpa For the price conscious, the Sherpa model is the same rack as the NV model but without the extendable post for maintenance. It sells for 429.00 Very very nice.
All of the racks above accept most styles of bicycles (mountain, hybrid, cruiser, and road bikes) except for tandem bicycles. They also weigh about the same.