So who wrote this guide?
Hi there! My name is Denny Johnson and I love small travel trailers. We got our first one, which was a small pop-up, back in the 90s. Of course we fully enjoyed it, but it only lasted a few years. When our son got older, he lost interest. As a result, we stopped camping and sold it.
We decided to take up camping again when I retired in 2014. Our goal was to keep it small again. But this time, we also wanted easy setup and a bathroom. We bought a 17' Casita and have traveled with it ever since. In fact, and our trips have covered the U.S. coast to coast.
When you start out with a small travel trailer, you might feel like there is too much to learn. You may also worry about things going wrong when you are traveling. However, you will quickly realize that it's all quite easy. If other people can do it, there is no reason you can't too. You must first learn what matters, or in other words, what's important. After that, you will have to learn what works well and what does not. You will run into too many ideas of things that sound good, but then find that they don't really matter.
This is what led me to writing this guide. My goal is to let others know what has worked well for us. In addition, I am putting all the info in one place. While it's easy to find in other places, you you will find a lot of opinions that don't agree. In other words, it's easy to get confused.
My Beginner's Guide to Small Travel Trailers covers buying, owning and traveling. It is the result of what has worked well for us, as well as what has not. I hope it will help you will get started and save you time searching all over the Internet and having to sort out the info you really need.
thanks for taking the time to complete such a big project and share your expertise with others.
Thanks for the encouragement Rick. It’s been a great hobby, and always nice to know that it helps someone else.
Wow, great resource, thank you!
Thank you SO much for this! It has exactly what I need to know. You’re awesome!
Glad you found it Tammy! Send me a note if you ever have questions.
Regarding the hookup checklist (p 72). We check electric hookup as step 1. That way if it’s bad and you have to move to another site it’s a lot less effort.
Regarding storage. There’s no reason to remove a fully charged battery from the trailer, and if you have a modern inverter that float charges the battery simply leaving the trailer plugged in is equivalent to having it on a trickle charger. (You’re correct that an older inverter can overcharge and destroy a battery).
Goodyear recommends removing tires or overinflating 25% if left on vehicle (if rim can withstand pressure). https://www.goodyearrvtires.com/tire-storage.aspx
Great suggestions Gerard. Thanks for taking the time to send them. I’ll work them into the next release of my guide.
Denny, very well written guide ! One minor point. You refer to the possibility of the “inverter” overcharging the battery. It’s actually a “converter” that changes 120volt AC to 12 volt DC. An inverter changes 12 volt DC from the battery into 120 volt AC.
Nice catch Ben. I’ll correct it in the next release.
Wow. This is fantastic. thank you Denny
So glad you think so Eric. Thanks for the feedback!
Very helpful overview of considerations for someone just starting out and great review material for those who’ve been on the road a while. Thanks for the reminder to service the bearings.
Thanks for the positive feedback Terrence. Glad you found it helpful.
Much useful information for a beginner or not so beginner. Thanks for your effort.
Thanks for the encouragement Tom!
Thanks for being so generous with your time and knowledge. So appreciate all the information in one place for beginners and not so beginners!
Thank *you* Donna for your kind words. So glad you have found value in some of the information. – Denny
This is a great resource and I appreciate all the work you did to compile this information and thank you for sharing! Happy trails in 2022.
Thanks for taking the time to comment Suzanne.
RV’rs since 1994, great wealth of information. Thanks for taking the time to put all of this info in one easy to access place.
Great that you are still interested in discovering new ideas. Thanks a lot for your comment. -Denny
This was the guide that helped me realize my dream: a 13 foot rebuilt 1961 Mobile Scout. We had a fabulous year of camping in 2021 to state parks all over California, and hubs even installed solar! I love this guilde because it breaks everything down into easy chunks. Thanks so much!
Wow…thanks so much for your comments Carrie. It’s really great to hear when something on tinyTowable has really helped someone.
Great read, lots of great advice and tips
Thank you for the positive feedback Roy and Beth!
Thanks for the guide- super helpful!
Glad you like it Sara. Thanks for your comment.
In this capitalist world where everything has a cost attached to it, I was amazed and so appreciative that you freely give such valuable information! As a newbie, I was overwhelmed when I purchased my first Casita (March ‘21). I knew I wanted a Casita (after hours of internet research), but fears of operating and towing was having me second guess my decision. Your Beginner’s Guide is a valuable resource for quelling my fears and experiencing just how wonderful it is to travel and camp with ease and comfort. You’re ‘storing up treasures’ Denny. Thank you for your labor of love that all campers can enjoy! God bless you and Fay, enjoy your new home, and happy trails!
Thank you so much for all those kind, encouraging words Ann. I’m so glad you have found my guide helpful. I hope you have years of enjoyment ahead with your Casita. Please do not hesitate to drop me a note anytime you think I could be of help. – Denny
What a great little guide! I just got a 1973 1300 Trilly so I’m consuming all the info I can! Thanks so much!
Thanks for the note Jennifer. Don’t hesitate to drop me a note any time you think I could be of help.
Thank you for creating this. The time, effort and thoughtfulness put into this guide shows. As a brand new Casita owner (2016 Freedom Deluxe) and having never towed so much as a Just Got Married string of tin cans, your book has become my go-to manual for all things Casita and travel trailer adventures. I rely on your checklists, totally trust your product recommendations and advice. I find that most of the questions I think up are answered in the guide. As I read through it, I could feel my confidence growing. Your Facebook page is also terrific. Lots of great conversations going on where I gather additional tips and ideas. I’m getting ready to embark on my very first towing and camping adventure – solo – and simply cannot wait to enjoy the heck out of my little egg! Thank you, Denny!
Thanks for taking the time to write such a kind note. I hope you have as much fun with your Casita as we have had with ours. Don’t hesitate to contact me should you ever think I could be of assistance. -Denny