New (to me) Hybrid

Discussion in 'PopOut (Hybrids)' started by rogotoo, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. rogotoo

    rogotoo New Member

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    Well, I'm on my third camper in three years and think this time I've found the keeper for my needs. I recently picked up a slightly used 2017 StarCraft 16RB hybrid.

    I started out getting a Coachmen Clipper Express 180 a couple of years ago and it had some things I really liked. Small and light weight it towed like it wasn't even there and that was with a Dodge Caravan. Easy set up and take down was nice. It was a nice minimalist camping rig and coming from motorcycle tent camping for 40 years it seemed like a palace. But the same reason that stopped me from MC tent camping soon made me realize it wasn't a good long term solution. With severe arthritic hips and back getting in and out of the bunk just didn't cut it and with basically no storage it was time to move on.

    Since I had traded my minivan in on a Ram 1500 I looked for something a little bigger with more creature comforts and got a used Jayco 12hmd A frame. It also had some features I really liked. It was easy to tow and set up. I really liked the A frame high roof and big windows that gave it a roomy feeling in a short box. But the cons on this rig started to wear on me also. Using (and finding a place to store) a porta potti while boondocking was a hassle. And wearing a back brace when all the storage was below waist height got old quick. When it becomes a pain to get your favorite cold beverage from the fridge that sets on the floor it's time to move on. The clincher was on my last outing I got caught in a torrential downpour on the Interstate and pulled into a rest area to wait it out. No way could I set up the A frame so spent the night sleeping in the Ram. If I didn't already have a bad back I would have had one after that.

    This time I researched better for what I needed/wanted for a replacement camper and finally decided that a hybrid fit the bill. I wanted something small and easy to tow that would fit in some of the boondocking areas I like to camp. Something that was easy to hop into for a quick overnight at a rest area or truck stop and get a hot meal, do a little reading or watch a movie, and get a comfortable nights sleep (especially with my CPAP machine). A rig with an actual bath and shower. I usually camp solo but wanted something that was easy to set up and was comfortable for the occasional friend or family that wanted to camp with me. I really like the sounds and feel of tent camping but no longer wanted the to spend the time, hassle and discomfort of tent camping. The hybrid meets all the check boxes. When opened up while boondocking it seems huge and a couple of 12v fans (powered by my portable solar panels) I get great air flow.

    My local Camping World had some good deals on some close out 2018 StarCraft 16RB hybrids so I went to check them out. When I got there I lucked out and they had a 2017 model they had just taken in on a trade. The previous owner had taken great care of it and had even made some reflective window inserts that were really well done. They gave me a good deal and a decent trade in on my Jayco so I'm now the proud owner of my first hybrid. I'll be heading out this weekend on a 3 to 4 week trip and will get a chance to really check it out.
     
  2. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the new hybrid. Let us know how the trip goes!
     
  3. Dusty road

    Dusty road Active Member

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    Welcome from Ohio! It's a new world moving from an 10 foot box to a 20 foot efficiency apartment!
     
  4. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    Welcome from N/W Fl Panhandle. Congrats on the NTU Hybrid, you are going to love the extra space. Hope y'all have many great adventures and make lots of memories in the unit in the future. Good Luck and Keep On Camping
     
  5. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Welcome and congratulations!! Hope it works out well for you!
     
  6. rogotoo

    rogotoo New Member

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    That's a hoot that you're from Ohio, I'm leaving Florida this weekend and heading for Ohio. I'll be there a couple of weeks visiting friends and family. Hope you have some good weather waiting for me LOL.
     
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  7. Dusty road

    Dusty road Active Member

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    I'm sorry to report that it rained all day[{}=]
     
  8. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations.
     
  9. MaeKay

    MaeKay Active Member

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    Congrats! You’ll have to tell me how you like a hybrid. We went through 3 campers in 8 months. Haha! First tent trailer was too small, second tent trailer was big enough but a pain. Sold both (one at a time) for a mild profit and ended up with a small travel trailer that is perfect for our needs. We love that we can just step in the trailer and go to sleep. Especially since it’s been raining the last 3 camping trips. But it’s small enough we can get it into some really nice, remote places, too.
     
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  10. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Congrats. You will like it. I have 1 and enjoy it
     
  11. crosbys2008

    crosbys2008 Active Member

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    Welcome of nwpa, glad you found the one. Have fun camping in it.
     
  12. Athomeinthpines

    Athomeinthpines New Member

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    Congrats on the hybrid! We have a 2012 16 rb model and love it. Easy to tow but just enough room to keep the family happy.
     
  13. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    Congrats. Nice to have everything at working height.
     
  14. rogotoo

    rogotoo New Member

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    Just got back from a 3 week about 3500 mile camping trip and wanted to post my thoughts on the NTM hybrid.

    Towing behind my 6 cylinder Ram 1500 was a breeze. No problems towing through the mountains in NC and WV. I did take a major hit on MPG though. I made the same trip last year with my Jayco aframe and got 16 to 17 MPG. With the StarCraft it dropped to 11 to 12 MPG, but I expected that.

    I really liked being able to pull into a rest area or truck stop, make a meal, use the bathroom without having to make the long walk from rv parking to the facilities and then take a nice nap on the folded down dinette bed but with the ability to still use the couch and a tv tray so I could relax in comfort.

    Once I got to the site where I would be for a while I opened up the ends and that was a breeze. It makes the interior seem huge. I was in Ohio and the first few days was nothing but rain and some really windy thunder storms but everything stayed nice and dry. After that it got hot with temps in the 90's and the AC did a nice job (after I figured out to close the end curtains during the day LOL). For the most part everything worked good with a few minor problems. I couldn't get the cable TV hookup to work with my portable satellite so I finally just ran the cable through the window. The black water holding tank meter seems to be stuck on 3/4 full after I empty the tanks and the black water tank is SMALL at only a 9 gal. Also I hope to someday find an RV toilet that has a seat made for us big guys.

    The only major problem I had was figuring out the sleeping arrangements. When I set up the beds I opened the mattress and it had a nice fluffy top and said Teddy Bear right on the corner. I crawled up on it and instantly renamed it the Grizzly Bear. That thing is hard as a rock and with my bad back and hips it was totally useless.

    I had an air mattress with me and it fit good but getting in and out of the bed was not a fun time. The front bed has a nice and wide entrance but is high in order to clear the propane tank etc. on the tongue and the added height of the air mattress made it a real chore trying to get in and out of it. The rear bed has a much lower entrance but isn't that wide because of the bathroom wall. I didn't want to have to tear down the dinette every night so I finally found a two step folding ladder at the local Ace hardware that solved the front bed height problem. I also ditched the air mattress and just used the dinette cushions. Not a perfect solution but doable.

    Altogether I'm happy with the camper and expect to have many good camping trips ahead.
     
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  15. MaeKay

    MaeKay Active Member

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    Costco has a 4” gel mattress topper, Novoform for $150 that I love and use for our home bed. I need firm support but not rock hard. It provides the give but is still super supportive. We did CampDriveway a lot to get the beds just right because sleep is so important to my mental health and my back isn’t great.

    You’re like us, a week after we got our little travel trailer we took it on a 2,500 mile maiden voyage trip, too. You got better gas mileage than us in a V8 Toyota 4Runner! We get between 6-9.[:!]
     
  16. Grizzly_Wayne

    Grizzly_Wayne Member

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    We added a 4" memory foam topper to our bunk as well. Made a big difference.
     
  17. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    A bathroom and normal size refrigerator ....... isn't it great ......
     

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