After a brief, but intense, search for a molded fiberglass travel trailer (which if you’re interested in the gory details or in camping trailers, I describe at length in my personal blog, Walking Creek World; click HERE) we bought a 2013 Casita Spirit Deluxe 17′ trailer from a friendly couple in New Hampshire. They had purchased it new from the Casita factory in Rice, Texas (not far from Corsicana, which of course always reminds me of Billy Jo Shaver’s wonderful song, “The Corsicana Daily Sun”), and driven it back East with their Nissan Frontier pickup.
Like most molded fiberglass (MFG) trailers the Casita is modest in size and weight, but is fully equipped with 4- and 2-person dinettes, both of which turn into beds (we’ll leave the big one down as a mostly permanent bed), a galley with 4-cubic-foot ‘fridge (that runs on 110V AC, 12V DC, or propane), small bar sink, and a two-burner propane stove, as well as a ‘wet bath’ in front (the toilet and shower share the same enclosure). It is our first factory-built RV, after years of occasional tent camping. You can find plenty about Casitas at the company’s website, HERE.
We hitched up the trailer to our Ford Expedition, helped by the sellers Janet and John, as I fumbled with the unfamiliar routine, and prepared to depart. Here we are (smartphone photo taken by Janet, who was sad to see their Casita depart). Though my Expy is more than capable of handling such a light trailer (‘dry weight’ c. 2,700 pounds, maximum 3,500), I had never pulled anything more sophisticated than a U-Haul 14′ box trailer. So I edged uncertainly out of their driveway, and headed south down Route 125, a busy commercial road with stoplights. I found myself looking into the side mirrors every few seconds, just to make sure the trailer was still there—though I could feel it well enough.
To ease my mind, I put on the Smithsonian-Folkways CD, Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys: Live recordings 1956-1969, in the Expy’s CD player. And there on Track 4 came one of my favorite Bill songs, “Close By.”
“That’s it!” I said, “That’s the Casita’s name!” I was constantly looking back to make sure it was, indeed, Close By.
Fortunately, nothing went awry with my hitching, and Close By stayed close by all the way home (hey, another song: “Look What Followed Me Home”!). Here’s a young Bill, introduced by another country legend, Ernest Tubb:
A commenter on the YouTube video, ‘E1719552’, notes, “That line up is about as good as it gets. Monroe on mandolin and vocals, Red Taylor, Gordon Terry and Bobby Hicks as the trio of fiddle players, legendary Nashville session man Ernie Newton on bass, Jackie Phelps on guitar and Charlie Cline filling in on banjo.”
And here’s our new-to-us Casita, now Close By in the side yard:
If it looks a little different, I’ve added a rain cover to the Fan-Tastic Fan. /CL