Pros and Cons of Hybrids

Discussion in 'PopOut (Hybrids)' started by mtbkski, Jun 22, 2007.

  1. mtbkski

    mtbkski New Member

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    OK, I am looking at moving up to a hybrid since I need more space with all the grandkids going camping with us.

    I have been reading as much as I can, and talking to people at campsites. But I wanted to hear from those of you that have Hybrids and have been using them.

    Are there any "Good Points" or "Bad Points" that you guys can point out to us soon to purchase types?
    Any thing that we should look for?
    Any thing that doesn't work as well as you liked or thought it should?
    Cable or pole supports for the beds? Which one do you like better? Any advantages or disadvantages to what your using?
    What about the split bed cushions? Any comments or fixes suggested?

    Pros and Cons. Come on all you hybrid owners share your thoughts with those of us that are thinking about going over to the Popout Side.

    Randy, Patty, Christina and Katie
    2001 Viking Pop-up.

    19 Days Camping 2006
    8 Days camping 2007

    Check out pics of our camping adventures at
    http://www.mtbkski.smugmug.com/Camping%20Adventures
     
  2. mbopp

    mbopp New Member

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    We had a Viking PU for 2 years before moving to the HTT.

    First off, what are you towing with, and how many people & how much gear are you packing? Mostly it's DW & me, maybe DD & DS on occasion. We're 'tween - between kids & grandkids. So we don't really have that much "stuff" to carry.

    I'll assume you're in Pa & have some hills up pull up. To me that automatically means going with a bigger TV. The Envoy / 21SSO does OK but it's max'd out and some hills are a slow climb. The next TV will probably be a Tahoe / Yukon or Expy. BTW - we stayed at the Outflow & did a raft trip to Ohiopyle several years ago.

    Pros - DW likes the ready access without having to pop-up. And she likes the larger 'fridge and real shower (the main factor in moving up.) We like the slide - the couch and dinette slide out, giving us a lot more room. The setup & teardown times are a lot quicker. For early or late season camping our 1500 watt heater does a better job in the HTT than the PU, there's more insulating R-value in the walls than canvas.
    Big pro for DW - you can use the bathroom on the road. And access the fridge for drinks, snacks, or lunch.
    One thing about our combo is that it's short. I can back into sites that people with larger rigs can't.

    Cons - Gas mileage! I get 20 MPG solo, 14-16 with the PU, and 10-ish with the HTT. 150 miles & I'm looking for gas.
    The 21SSO Starcraft and 21SS Forest Rivers have almost identical floor plans and the same problem - no counter space. DW really liked a Jayco 25 but I knew the Envoy wouldn't tow it comfortably. You start to get counters space with the 23' models. With grandkids you may want to looks at a 3-bunkend model like the Roo 233.
    I used to be able to get 2 canoes on the Envoy's roof rack. Now I'm limited to a single canoe. If you're used to hauling bikes on top of your PU that'll be an issue. I use a 2-bike carrier that fits on the back of the Envoy, some people put them inside the HTT.
    IIRR Viking uses 4" mattresses and has rigid foam insulation under the bunkends. You'll probably find the HTT mattresses thinner & colder on fall camping. Lots of people use a mattress topper or memory foam.

    Starcraft uses poles & most everybody else uses cables. The poles take a minute or 2 longer to set up but you don't have the cables in the way when unzipping the bunkend canvas. And while it doesn't seem to be an issue I was worried about the cable attaching ends loosening up over time. I prefer the poles.

    Check out RV Wholesalers in Ohio. Even if you don't buy there you can use their pricing on a Roo (Forest River) as a guide for local dealer prices.

    You'll need a Class III hitch & brake controller if you don't have one. And a WDH (weight distribution hitch.) Sway control is optional but recommended, I went with a Reese Dual Cam but many people prefer an Equalizer.

    IMHO and from reading other forums Starcraft & Forest River seem to have the fewest problems. Some people have issues with bunkends leaking in the rain when travelling but ours is fine. As far as appliances all the manufacturers seem to use Dometic, Suburban and Atwood.

    I hope this helps.

    '04 Envoy
    '05 Travel Star 21SSO
    17' Wenonah Kevlar & 16' Dagger Royalex canoes
    And DD's Necky kayak
     
  3. angelsmom10

    angelsmom10 New Member

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    You may also want to look at how the bunk ends attach... with the Starcraft the front of the bunk ends are perm attached to the side while others use velcro.. depending on the size of the grandkids they may fall out if the velcro comes unhooked...

    We have been looking for several months and still deciding, one thing we liked was floor plans that had the sofa opposite the table.. most when the sofa is laid flat, you can sit 1, maybe 2 people to eat at the table as well..

    The Cub 21' has large counter space

    <font face='Comic Sans MS'><b><font color=purple>Nancy '55
    Tom '58
    Cincinnati, OH
    2000 Dodge Dakota
    2004 Starcraft Centennial 3606
    DD '82
    DD '85
    4 Dogs!!!!</font id='Comic Sans MS'></font id=purple></b>
     
  4. mtbkski

    mtbkski New Member

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    I always stop and talk to hybrid owners at any campground I go to. I had one guy tell me that he actually couldn't sleep on the bed that folded out cause the weight of him and his wife started to separate the bed from the camper at the seam where it joined the camper. He would soon be falling thru the bed onto the ground. He showed me and it did look like a cheap way of connecting the bed to the camper (Can't remember the model). He told me he had to put some kind of support in it to keep it from fall thru. He then told me that him and the wife just sleep inside on the couch, and save the outside beds for the grandkids. Anyone ever hear of this before.

    Randy, Patty, Christina and Katie
    2001 Viking Pop-up.

    19 Days Camping 2006
    11 Days camping 2007

    Check out pics of our camping adventures at
    http://www.mtbkski.smugmug.com/Camping%20Adventures
     
  5. mtbkski

    mtbkski New Member

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    Anglesmom, I'm confused by something you said. You said you like the models with the couch across from the table. one thing we liked was floor plans that had the sofa opposite the table.. "most when the sofa is laid flat, you can sit 1, maybe 2 people to eat at the table as well".. Don't you mean that the sofa blocks the table? Wouldn't you have to walk on the couch to get into the table? That was something I was concerned with.


    Randy, Patty, Christina and Katie
    2001 Viking Pop-up.

    19 Days Camping 2006
    11 Days camping 2007

    Check out pics of our camping adventures at
    http://www.mtbkski.smugmug.com/Camping%20Adventures
     
  6. StarVol

    StarVol New Member

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    Mtbkski,
    The model you talked about in earlier post was some of the cable brands. They use the hinge for support against the trailer and use the cable for the other support. I sell both Cable bunk ends and Pole system. The pole system is my Starcraft XP, Travel Star and Antigua. The brand I sell with the cable is Aerolite Cub. I sell them both but only sleep on the pole system. (I am close to 375 pounds and DW is (lol I'm not that stupid to say)... We enjoy the hybrids.
    Starcraft uses the pole system to take the weight away from the hinge and send it back down to the frame, this keeps the bunk end from getting out of shape. You are support from underneath and not from above.

    Hope this helps

    Rick Cathey
    2006 Starcraft Centennial 3608 Demo
    2007 Antigua 215SSO Demo
    www.Catheysrv.com
    (888) 425-5271
    GO VOLS!


    Edited by - StarVol on June 28 2007 18:26:07
     
  7. Lost in Space

    Lost in Space Active Member

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    I had a Rockwood Roo and loved it before (believe or not) selling it and buying a popup. TV went bad and didn't want another big truck. It used poles to support the bunks. We never had a problem with the bunks and wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Rockwood to anyone. Lot's of value for the money. Don't know anything about hybrids with cables.

    --------------------
    Dana & Claudia
    The Happy Campers
    '05 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
    '04 Palomino Pony 280
     
  8. johnandangela

    johnandangela New Member

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    I went from popup to hybrid for practical reasons. I camp mostly solo with the kids. The hybrid has a full bath, no more locking my kids in the camper to go to the bathhouse. We use our own toilet for pit stops on the road. I really love that part! The hybrid is so easy for me to set up and tear down by myself. I have poles on the tent end, and triple bunk beds on the other end. On more than one occassion, I have turtled, slept on the couch made into a bed and the boys still have their bunk beds. I will agree that the biggest con is the gas mileage, but that is about it.
    Angela

    John and Angela
    '86DD, '99DS, '02DS
    1997 Dodge Ram 1500
    2004 Palomino 235SDSL
     
  9. mommadukes

    mommadukes New Member

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    As a newbie to popup camping, can someone explain to me what the difference in a popup and a hybrid is?

    The Noels
    Sharon & Dan

    2007: 3 nights in May - can't wait for the next outing!

    http://community.webshots.com/user/mommadukes124
    2000 Coleman Utah
     
  10. jhower

    jhower New Member

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    A hybrid looks like a travel trailer (hard sides and roof), with the exception of the bunk ends, which fold out and look like a pop-up.


    John & Cindy in Pennsylvania
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle> 2007 Flagstaff 620ST purchased 05/07
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_hardhat.gif border=0 align=middle> Mods started 5/07!
    --------------------
    '89 Coleman Sun Valley, sold, and now in Louisiana
    --------------------
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle> '95 Dodge Dakota 4x2 3.9L
    His <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> & Hers <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> Pelican kayaks

    Nights camped in 2007: 8

    http://community.webshots.com/user/jhower55
     
  11. mommadukes

    mommadukes New Member

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    Thanks, jhower. I actually did a little searching around and found a picture. Think I'll stick with my PUP!

    The Noels
    Sharon & Dan

    2007: 3 nights over Memorial Day, 4 nights late June, .. waiting for 4 more in mid July!

    http://community.webshots.com/user/mommadukes124
    2000 Coleman Utah
     
  12. angelsmom10

    angelsmom10 New Member

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    mtbkski ... sorry missed your post... some when the sofa was laid flat, you could still slide across the sofa and sit at the end of the table (making it kinda "U" shape seating at the table)... not all "blocked" the table... you had room to sit on the sofa edge and be close to the table to eat or play games or whatever.. hope that helps

    when you get a chance to lay down the sofa, you may understand what I mean..

    <font face='Comic Sans MS'><b><font color=purple>Nancy '55
    Tom '58
    Cincinnati, OH
    2000 Dodge Dakota
    2004 Starcraft Centennial 3606
    DD '82
    DD '85
    4 Dogs!!!!</font id='Comic Sans MS'></font id=purple></b>
     
  13. Bonair 1200tt

    Bonair 1200tt New Member

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    We are looking to upgrade as well to a hybrid. 08 Starcraft Antigua 215SB. With the two kids, Emily 6 and Liam 10 months, we are finding it's taking way to long to set up. Ya I know it's all part of the fun of camping but quite frankly that part isn't fun any more. I love camping but setting up and taking down is really taking the fun out of it. Emily wants to play, Liam wants to be picked up every 2 seconds. He's teething right now. Ya! Lots of fun...Any way, what I would like to know is how much easier and quicker is it to set up and take down? Was it worth taking that next step? A couple of weeks ago we were caming at a provincial park setting up and along came a TT. He parked it, set it up and the whole family went off on their bikes all with in a 1/2 hour. I was still tring to pull out the beds. I looked at my wife and said "we must be doing something wrong......really wrong"

    Shane, Michelle, Emily and Liam

    2006 Ford Explorer
    2004 Bonair BA 1200 TT
     
  14. angelsmom10

    angelsmom10 New Member

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    all you have to do is back it in.. level it... and techincally you can take off right then, and open the bunk ends later, or just unlatch and you are done... yes I would say the max is 30 minutes... (depending on how level the site is..).. unless you're like us and forget to fill the water tank before you set-up... arg.....

    <font face='Comic Sans MS'><b><font color=purple>Nancy '55
    Tom '58
    Cincinnati, OH
    2000 Dodge Dakota
    2004 Starcraft Centennial 3606
    DD '82
    DD '85
    4 Dogs!!!!</font id='Comic Sans MS'></font id=purple></b>
     
  15. Bonair 1200tt

    Bonair 1200tt New Member

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    Thanks anglesmom10.
    I almost did the same thing. I'm really leaning towards the hybrid. The only small problem is storage. I guess I'll have to find a storage yard.

    Shane, Michelle, Emily and Liam

    2006 Ford Explorer
    2004 Bonair BA 1200 TT
     
  16. angelsmom10

    angelsmom10 New Member

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    that's our problem as well and we're so close to the downtown area, not many storage places around and what few there are don't have any open spaces..

    so along with deciding which one, we have to consider how much storage will cost, where it's located....

    <font face='Comic Sans MS'><b><font color=purple>Nancy '55
    Tom '58
    Cincinnati, OH
    2000 Dodge Dakota
    2004 Starcraft Centennial 3606
    DD '82
    DD '85
    4 Dogs!!!!</font id='Comic Sans MS'></font id=purple></b>
     
  17. Bonair 1200tt

    Bonair 1200tt New Member

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    I know around here there are 3 places that will store it and they're around $30-35 per month. Not bad I guess a buck a day.
    I found out that the dealer that I deal with has a storage yard that I could leave the hybrid in. He just purchased a bunch of land around him so that he could do just that. It's a bit out of the way but I think that might work out nicely. I know he winterizes all types of trailer and in the spring he'll get it ready for you too. I'm not sure if that's part of the monthly fee and I doubt it. Do any of the dealers in your area offer storage? Might be something to look into.

    Shane, Michelle, Emily and Liam

    2006 Ford Explorer
    2004 Bonair BA 1200 TT
     
  18. angelsmom10

    angelsmom10 New Member

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    that's what our fees are running as well...

    lucky you..... if you can have it maintained as well..

    <font face='Comic Sans MS'><b><font color=purple>Nancy '55
    Tom '58
    Cincinnati, OH
    2000 Dodge Dakota
    2004 Starcraft Centennial 3606
    DD '82
    DD '85
    4 Dogs!!!!</font id='Comic Sans MS'></font id=purple></b>
     
  19. mtbkski

    mtbkski New Member

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    What does filling the water tank before leveling have to do with anything? Seen that in another post.

    Randy, Patty, Christina and Katie
    2001 Viking Pop-up.

    19 Days Camping 2006
    11 Days camping 2007

    Check out pics of our camping adventures at
    http://www.mtbkski.smugmug.com/Camping%20Adventures
     

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