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In this article, lets check advantages and disadvantages of hybrid RV. This will help in deciding whether you should buy them or not.
A hybrid RV takes a hard-sided travel trailer and adds pop-ups on either one or both ends to offer more sleeping room. Some models may even have more than 2 pop outs. Pop outs adds more sleeping capacity at reduced weight and also keeps the price down.
These campers are also known as expandable travel trailers.
Hybrid campers vs hard sided travel trailers
Compared to other travel trailers, a hybrid RV is lighter, more affordable, and can be towed by popular tow vehicles, including minivans and SUVs.
Most hybrid RVs have a length of about 13 to 25 feet. The best thing about these hybrid trailers is their average sleeping capacity of about 6 people. This means that you can go camping with your friends and family.
A hybrid travel trailer is a great alternative to a traditional or standard travel trailer. If you want an upgrade from your tent or pop-up, then a hybrid travel trailer is the perfect option for you.
Check out the following pros and cons of a hybrid RV to help you make the best camper buying decision.
Pros of Hybrid RV
One of the reasons to choose a hybrid RV over other campers in the market is their lightweight. Compared to traditional or standard travel trailers, hybrid RVs are lighter. When you go camping, you will need a lighter trailer to tow for conveniences.
Due to their lightweight, hybrid trailers are easier to tow than other trailers. They are compact when not in use. The additional parts that include bed sections do not add extra weight to the trailer.
Average weight of hybrid campers is between 2,000 to 5,000lbs. Most of them are less than 20 feet, which makes them lighter.
Because of their lightweight features, it becomes easy to store a hybrid trailer. You can easily store the trailer either at home or at the storage. This is a great advantage for people with limited indoor storage for their RV.
2. More Amenities and Storage
When choosing a travel trailer, one of the essential features is the amenities and storage that the RV provides. A travel trailer with more amenities ensures that you have everything you need to make your camping experience fun and comfortable. Different travel trailers come with various amenities.
For Hybrid RVs, they come with a lot of amenities that include expandable beds, bigger kitchens, a cooler to store perishable supplies. Additionally, these trailers come with more storage than other trailers to store your camping supplies, cooking supplies, food, and clothes.
With the many amenities and more storage space, hybrid trailers allow you to go camping for many days compared to other trailers since they enable you to carry much stuff. Moreover, with a hybrid RV, you are able to go camping with your friends and extended family since you have enough storage and amenities.
Some models also include bunkhouse or bunk beds. Added features like awning also help increase the camping area around the travel trailer. Getting special accessories can also help organize the interior in a better way.
Some model also have storage to transport bigger items. These models are called as hybrid camper toy hauler where in you can carry an ATV or bike.
3. Less Expensive
Hybrid travel trailers are known for their reasonable prices. They are less expensive than traditional travel models.
Most of the modern hybrid trailers cost less between $18,000 to 435,000. This makes it more affordable and popular among campers. Expect to pay higher if you want more luxury and modern amenities.
If you are on a budget, hybrid trailers are the ideal option for you. You will not only save on your cash but also you will get a trailer with a sleeping capacity of about 4 to 6 people and one that is lightweight.
Additionally, when buying a hybrid RV, you will find a variety of sizes available in the market at different prices so that you can pick the one that meets your budget. When buying a hybrid trailer, it is essential to note that their cost depends on the amenities and size.
4. Easy and Quick Set-Up
With hybrid RVs, you don’t have to worry about setting up the trailer when camping. You can easily set up the beds, kitchen, and other pop-outs in less than five minutes. This is especially for new models that are well designed for easy setup.
When you out there for camping, you will need a trailer that is not complicated. This is to ensure that you can be able to set it for sleeping, cooking, and when leaving the trailer during the day.
Additionally, after a long day of camping activities such as hiking, you will need a trailer that is easy to set up for the night. When buying a hybrid RV, it is always essential to understand how to set it up.
5. Best Camping Experience
Another reason to buy a hybrid RV is that it gives you the best camping experience. If you are a camping enthusiast, or you want to go camping for the first time, a hybrid RV will give you the best moments and experience. This is because they offer a tent-like experience when you are outdoors.
Hybrid trailers bring you close to nature. While camping, you will be able to experience the weather, watch the sunsets, and enjoy your camping activities. Hybrid trailers are designed with a zip down tents that allows you to see around the campsite and let in fresh air throughout your camping.
6. Easy Towing
If you have a small tow vehicle, you can still experience travel trailer camping through a hybrid RV. This is because they are lightweight and can be towed by any type of tow vehicle.
For other heavy-duty travel trailers, you will need a larger tow vehicle. Moreover, hybrid RVs are smaller in size compared to other travel trailers, which makes them easily towable by a small vehicle.
7. More Sleeping Capacity
If you plan to go camping with your friends and family, a hybrid trailer is the best option for you. This type of trailer allows more people to sleep than traditional travel trailers. The beds can be enlarged to accommodate more people.
Its not that these campers sleep only upto 6, you will find hybrid campers that sleep 6 or 8 and even 10. That’s the beauty with these pop out travel trailers. Based on how many people would be there, you need to choose the right floor plan.
8. Access to the Interior
With a hybrid trailer, you have complete access to the interior. You will be able to utilize the interior part of the trailer when traveling. This includes the storage space for storing your traveling gear and supplies.
Furthermore, with a hybrid trailer, it is not a must that you open up the track to pack your items. This is not possible with pop up campers and traditional trailers.
9. Complete Bathroom
A hybrid RV comes with all the luxuries of a bathroom. The bathroom of this trailer is separate from the shower, which is not the case with traditional trailers.
With a complete bathroom, it becomes easy to take a shower while you are out there away from your home.
Cons of Hybrid RV
Don’t be excited with all the pros that we saw. These campers do have some problems as well. Lets see all the issues with hybrid campers now.
1. Can get very Hot or Cold
One of the major cons of a hybrid RV is problems with extreme temperatures.
Hybrid camper can get really hot specially when you are parked directly under the sun. Since the pop out may not have strong insulation it will heat that region making it hard during harsh weather.
There are ways to make these campers stay cool. Like for example, using Pop up gizmos can help reduce the heat and also cold.
These trailer lacks better temperature and climate control features. The air conditioner will not work at high efficiency as the insulation isn’t great.
These issues are caused by the canvas, which prevents insulation on both the inside and outside temperatures.
When camping with a hybrid trailer during the cold weather, it can get very cold, especially at night, even with a furnace. The same case happens in the summer, where it gets very warm inside when the sun heats the tent.
This can be very uncomfortable, especially if you are spending a lot of time in the trailer or traveling with your pet.
Without proper temperature control, especially during the cold weather, condensation may occur, which leads to dampness and growth of mold and mildew. In most cases, the mattresses are affected when a trailer does not have temperature control.
Even though there are chances that the canvas wont do much in protecting the camper from such weather, these campers aren’t that bad. One can always try different things like putting on pop up gizmos to make it more comforting.
2. Less Privacy
These campers have reduced privacy as the portion of the camper that has tent or pop outs can be visible specially at night when the lights are on. Also, what you speak inside can be heard to certain extend. This is a point that hard sided travel trailers score over these campers.
This can be a limitation specially when you have kids or if you want more privacy in a crowded campground.
Another thing that affects you is when you see sun rays lighting the sleeping pop out area early in the morning. This can be very annoying specially when you are in no mood to wake up that early.
2. More Maintenance
Hybrid RVs require regular maintenance and repairs than pop-ups. The soft-sides are not strong and durable, and therefore, they are easily damaged by extreme temperatures.
This causes both the soft and hard sides to wear and tear with time, and this requires repairs and maintenance. Some maintenances and repairs can be costly since you will need professional services.
Additionally, as you continue camping with your hybrid trailer, leaks may occur between the expandable parts of the trailer. You will need to regularly inspect the trailer for such leaks and fix them as soon as you notice them.
Hybrid RVs do leak between the canvas and the hard side of the travel trailer. The rain and condensation can therefore annoy you with wet bed. This can become a major issue as the water damage is one of the biggest problems that starts all other issues like mold.
If you fail to fix these leaks, they will allow water to enter the interior of the trailer and cause damages. With a hybrid RV, you will be required to air out the mattresses to prevent dampness from condensation.
Most hybrid camper can last many years if proper care and maintenance is done from time to time.
3. Less Tank Space
Though hybrid RVs are compact, they have less tank space. This is to help them lightweight.
The size of the trailer is small when traveling before it’s expanded, and this reduces the space for the tank and storing camping items. Less tank space means that for a long trip, you will need to fill and empty the tanks, which can be tiring and uncomfortable.
On average hybrid trailers have a capacity between 30 to 60gal per tank. This can also limit you on the number of you on the trailer to limit water usage.
4. Can shake
Since hybrid trailers are lighter and have the shape of pop up portions, you will experience some movement, shaking, and bouncing. This is because of the beds that hang off at the ends of the camper, creating leverage.
As you travel, any movement on one bed causes the trailer to bounce, which can be irritating. You may also experience the movement at night when sleeping, which can interfere with your camping experience.
Hybrid RVs combine the benefits of traditional trailers and pop up campers to ensure you have the best camping experience. Despite the various benefits that come with these trailers, there are also some cons. When deciding on the best hybrid trailer for you, make sure it is the right option.
Are they Worth it?
Hybrid campers offer more sleeping capacity due to popouts. These campers are secure enough and also give you real camping experience at reasonable price. These reasons makes them worth a buy. Moreover, their lightweight design puts less pressure on towing vehicle’s mpg keeping the expenses low.
Hybrid campers offer more sleeping space, more features and comfort as compared to pop up campers. For this reason, they are also priced much higher than pop up campers. However, pop ups can fold to a much small box like structure which makes them easy to transport and store.
Because of the unique camping experience hybrid campers provide and due to their popularity, many manufacturers have hybrid campers in their lineup. The ones that are popular include forest river, Jayco, K-Z and Coleman.
Here are some of the best hybrid RVs you can consider.
- Forest River Rockwood Roo 24WS
- Palomino SolAire eXpandable : This is one of the biggest hybrid campers you can buy.
- Jayco Jay Feather hybrid travel trailer
- Keystone Bullet Crossfire
- K-Z Escape E180RBT
- Forest River Flagstaff Shamrock : This hybrid RV comes with 3 pop outs.
- Aerolite Hybrid Travel Trailers : This is one of the best lightweight hybrid campers
Possibility of bear breaking into a camper makes some of the campground only allow hard sided campers. Hybrid camper will have pop outs that a bear can break but would be very hard to tear. Overall it should be secure but even then you need to check with the campground if they have nay restriction with hybrid RVs.