Monday, June 17, 2013

Shopping list

Here is a list of stuff we've immediately identified that we'll need. Doubtless the list will grow as we start work on the project and keep growing for as long as we own the trailer.

  1. Red side (marker) lights - 2
  2. Orange side (marker) lights - 2
  3. Tail lights - 2
  4. Porch light
  5. Round vent covers - 2
  6. Hot water heater cover
  7. City water connection cap
  8. Right fender well trim
  9. Tongue jack wheel
  10. Proper exterior electrical hookup
  11. Replacement side windows - 2
  12. Replacement rear window
  13. Rear bumper replacement
  14. Spare tire and rack
  15. Propane tank and rack

Here is a list of stuff we received with our Casita.

  1. New wastewater pump
  2. Red marker lights - 1
  3. Orange marker lights - 2
  4. Door stop
  5. Black water cutoff
  6. Water heater cover
  7. Sway bar - Reese friction sway control
  8. Levelling jacks (2)
  9. Replacement side windows with trim - 2
  10. All interior compartments and partitions
  11. Original sofa/bed cushions

Finally, stuff we're pretty sure we're going to want:

  1. Roof vents
  2. WindowMaxx window vents
  3. Reflective belly band
  4. LED light fixtures throughout
  5. Rear bumper upgrade
  6. Solar panel(s)

Friday, June 7, 2013

Finding community

We have to get one of these!

One of the first things we discovered about Casita trailers is that there is an active and robust community of enthusiasts who are willing and eager to share information about their Casitas. In April we were privileged to meet a whole lot of those people when we travelled to Bandera, Texas (sans Casita, since Yaga is not yet roadworthy) for the annual Bluebonnet Casita Rally. With approximately 136 trailers in attendance, we had a chance to see what our little egg would have looked like when it was all in one piece. We also came home with a ton of ideas for tweaks, improvements, and modifications inspired by the creative work of other Casita owners. We could not have asked for a friendlier group to introduce us to our new project!

We're also very lucky to have the Casita factory just up the road in Rice, Texas. The next step in our research phase will be a trip to tour the factory and ask some questions about Casita modification dos and don'ts.

How it all began

Once upon a time, in a state not too far away, two displaced Texans lived in a small A-frame house in the mountains. It was a beautiful place, but in the summer we had to be prepared for fires, and in the winter for snow. So we bought ourselves a lumbering vintage Dodge Southwind RV and put it to good use as a combination guest quarters and fire escape pod. We had some wonderful adventures in the Dodge, affectionately named the Yaga Hut, and the biggest adventure of all came when we loaded up two parrots, two budgies, three cats, a greyhound, a border collie, an Irish wolfhound, and a fish tank and moved the entire household to yet another nearby-but-not-quite-Texas state.

Our sojourn there was brief, and when we finally got ourselves back to Texas we no longer had a home to offer our beloved Yaga Hut so we gifted her to a friend. Nonetheless, we never forgot those adventures and we always hoped to have another RV someday. So when the opportunity came to us, we took it.

Going from one extreme to the other, we ended up with a 16-foot 1987 Casita travel trailer. We'd found a Craigslist posting from a young man with a tale of woe, who had completely gutted his trailer before life changed his plans. We looked at each other and said, "Well, we've been kind of wanting to try our hands at building an RV" and thus YagaToo came into our lives. We have many hopes and plans for her, and a long way to go before we sleep, but we're looking forward to the day we can proudly hitch Yaga to our bumper and set out for new adventures.