PUP To Hybrid Reduced Setup and Packing?

jonshonda

Member
Aug 22, 2016
68
WOW, I never would've thought the Lexus would have such high numbers. That's 1/2 ton truck payload territory, if I was a betting man I would've lost money. I assume the Lexus has no trailer frontal area limitations? The vehicle and hitch are OK with a WDH?

The weak point is the max tongue weight of 600lbs. The camper will have around that number once it is properly loaded. Then the WDH will add another ~100lbs to the tongue weight. Is that the hitch capacity? Is the rating higher when using weight distribution? Might have to look at an aftermarket vehicle hitch with a higher TW rating if available. Other than that the numbers look good.

Adam

Yeah, very under the radar SUV. Shares 90% mechanical w/ the 4runner. 4.7 V8, full time 4wd with 4Lo and Locking Center Diff. Downhill Assist, you can turn off the roll over airbags when getting crazy on steep stuff, 2nd gear start for slippery roads, and very good "simulated" front/rear LSD.

Best part is they are usually owned by mall crawling rich moms who take them in to Lexus for every single service exactly when they are supposed to. Lexus quality is second to none, that is why I laugh when someone suggests a GM or Ford product. They don't hold a candle to Lexus for quality of materials and fit-n-finish, reliability, or longevity.

Regarding frontal area, no idea. The 4.7 V8 has a great rep and plenty of power. The 600lb hitch is from Lexus and there is nothing else out there that increases the capacity. WDH should be a non-issue, it's a body on frame SUV. Strong like bull.
 

Adam H

Active Member
Aug 22, 2015
552
California
Does it share a 4runner frame also? Does Toyota have a stronger hitch that would work? Reason I ask is I would be concerned that the hitch is not strong enough. A lot of times if the hitch does not mention WD, it is not designed to handle it. How is the hitch mounted? Does the mounting part to the frame extend forward on the frame 12-18 inches or is it just attached to the rear most part? Hard to explain on a forum.
With modern vehicles power is almost never an issue, I remember my parents towing boats/RV's with 70's sedans with maybe 200hp on a good day and the rear bumper dragging the ground, we survived.... I would research further since you are aware you will be exceeding tongue weight. I've done it plenty of times and survived so I am not grilling you, just research as I did.

Vehicle = more than capable
Hitch = ?????

Adam
 

flash82

Active Member
Jun 24, 2008
455
Northern KY
Hi. A couple of things. Yes, there is a hybrid with a king bed. Look at the Starcraft 186rd.
We moved from a Coleman pop up with shower to a Jayco hybrid. The setup time is cut tremendously. Beds just fold down with cables, no pole supports. Little things like in order to start using the water on the popup I had to get the aquatainers set. Now I have on board tanks. Getting ready for a trip...'oh, forgot to put in the toiletries". No big deal, open up the door and put them in. Now the outside stuff (chairs,grill, etc) go in the outside storage. Can put away anytime instead of a certain order before the top went down on the pop up.
 

jonshonda

Member
Aug 22, 2016
68
Well, a lot has happened in the last two weeks. We bought a 2018 Rockford Roo 19 Hybrid. It checked all the boxes, and then some. I have gone bat sh!t crazy w/ upgrades already though....killing that bank account. But it's all in an effort to better organize the Roo, better access for kids, and to allow dry camping abilities like we had in or pup.

So far I have:
1) added (3) AGM batteries inside the Roo under the dinette seat, just in front of the front axle. I swapped out the 8ga wire from the converter to 4ga.

2) Stinky slinky fence post mod

3) Step stabilizer

4) Added a handle at the bottom of the screen door to allow our 3 & 5yo to open the door easily.

5) Cut (6) 6x6" treated blocks for the stab jacks and tongue jack, put handles on them so they are easy to carry.

I plan on adding a storage box to the tongue of the camper for our chairs, awning, fishing poles....etc.
 

cma7777

Super Active Member
Jan 26, 2011
797
North Carolina
I switched from a pup to a hybrid a few years ago for more storage room and a quick setup. What I found is with more storage room, I take more junk to setup. So, my setup time basically is the same.
 

jonshonda

Member
Aug 22, 2016
68
We have completed 3 great wknds w/ our new hybrid, and are liking it. I have done some mods to allow the kids to get in and out of the camper easier (additional handles on screen and exterior doors). The thing I have noticed is there isn't much room for storage of things like our chairs, fishing poles, and canoe paddles.

So I took it upon myself to build a storage box to mount onto the tongue. Although there is minimal room up there, the batteries are moved into the camper under the dinette, and the propane tanks are slid as far forward as possible. This leaves me w/ roughly 12" to work with. While the box is narrow, its 22" tall and almost 7' long. It will hopefully work perfect for the things we don't like having to haul in/out of the camper.

I have built it strong enough to hopefully mount our kids bikes on top. Now I just need to paints it and mount it. I will post pics when done.
 

Aneemal33

Active Member
Aug 25, 2016
182
Minnesota
I am in the same boat as you. I take a lot of gear. Love our pup and I have been adding mods since I first got it. However, I agree the slide takes up valuable storage room inside. Since I scout camp and use the pup I can't store a lot of gear in it just for pup use. Things like stoves, chairs, etc. often get used for both types of camping. Thus for every trip I have to set it up to load all the stuff, then drop it back down and do the same thing after I get home. Because of the design I can't just throw stuff in, everything has to go in a particular order to fit, and if I bring something new sometimes that requires changing how stuff goes in.

Just this last weekend I forgot to put our clothes drawer back in the pup during tear down. By the time I realized the error the beds were in and the roof was already coming down. I ended up making it fit in the TV as I would have had to pull the beds out in order to get it in the right spot for travel.

I am really close to deciding a TT is better for me from an ease of use standpoint. The ability to load and unload prior to a trip without having to set up and tear down is super appealing. Also easier to deal with my camp kitchen stuff.

For me on a typical trip my setup process includes the following:

Drop trailer, level and raise roof.
Hook up power
Forget about the PUGS, drop roof to install PUGS
Raise roof again
Pull the bunks out
Fight with the front bunk before remembering I need to give it a shove from inside
Go inside and realize I still need to pull out the dinette for the extra room and fold the galley back over
Pull out Coleman road trip grill, dutch oven and other gear that is stored under the upside down galley
Push the front bunk over the lip
Cuss when I realize I forgot to pull out the gear from the front storage bin. Push front bunk back in, unload storage and then pull the bunk back out.
Fight with the bunk to get it fully extended. Son reminds me that I usually need to push it from the inside.
Go inside and give it a final push. Pinch my finger and cuss some more
Turn on AC
Get canvas secured and set the door in place
Forgot to hook up the LPG extension hoses, undo canvas, push front bunk back in so I can pull off the fiberglass cover and install the tees/hoses
Cuss while pulling the front bunk back out. Cuss some more when it won't pull all the way out, then cuss at myself because I forgot I need to push it out from inside
Resecure canvas
Open up shoilet area
Plug in fans and set to high oscillate to help cool down the camper
Turn on the faucet and realize I haven't hooked up the water yet
Go back outside, tell myself I have to remember to hook up the water before pulling the rear bunk out so I don't hit my head while trying to connect the hose
Hit my head connecting the hose
Turn on the water and get sprayed by a leaky fitting. Turn it off and discover an o-ring went missing from my hose.
Cuss a lot. Thankfully I have another hose and pull it out. Swap out the hose. Hit my head again. Realize I could have just pulled the o-ring out of the spare and saved myself some effort.
Turn the water on, no leaks
Go inside, water spraying from the shower. Cuss and turn it off. Need to remember to check all the faucets before turning the water on next time
Mop up water with a towel
Hook up icemaker
Set up dinette. Pull out reflectix and install in windows.
Set up tension shelves. Cuss when I discover the cup mount thingie came off the velcro gain. Look around for it. Great, it managed to fall between the counter and the dinette slide. Cuss some more as we take out the pole and pull in the slide and jack with it until I can get it out and reattached.
Set up shelves, drop one on my foot. Cuss loudly and bang my knee while jumping away. Cuss some more.
Finish installing shelves
Set up bunk shelves
Move spare fridge into pup, and hook up cooler to plug outside camper
Bring clothes in and throw the duffle bags onto each bed
Realize I have to still make the bunks, pull out bedding and fight with the mattress to get the sheets on.
Hit my head on the newly installed bunk shelf. Cuss a little.
Throw on the pillows and comforter
Go outside, realize I forgot to unroll the awning
Cuss
Grab stool, reach up and unzip awning. Get it unrolled.
Fight with the awning to install the tension poles.
Cuss some more
Drop rod on my head when it slips
Cuss again
Finally get awning set up. I really need to remember to do this before raising the roof next time. Pretty sure I told myself that last time
Start setting up the kitchen.
Cuss when I realize the pad has a sharp dropoff so I have to move the tables farther from the camper. Rearrange things so my grill can still use the camper LPG port
Go back inside, decide I am not going to bother putting clothes away and just leave them in the duffle bag. Put the now empty drawer unit on the counter.
Roll out the rugs inside the camper.
Cuss as I realize I never rolled out the outdoor rug under the awning. Open the door, then go back inside. Not worth the effort to reset everything.
Go to wash my hands, cuss as I realize I forgot to hook up the tote and drain
Go back outside, squat under the rear bunk to unlatch the tote. Hit my head again. Cuss.
Twist my knee again while squatting and trying to maneuver the tote. Cuss and try to straighten my knee until it works itself out.
Hook up the tote and drain vent.
Go back inside, wash hands.
Cuss as I notice the sink is not draining
Mess around with the system, try blowing it out, snaking it, then find a small bend in the drain hose. Straighten it and everything works again.
Dig out the bunk lights and get them all hooked up. Turn on the bunk fans and lay down.
Tell my son I really think a TT might be a better fit.
His response: "Well, I really like the camper. It is more like camping because you really have to work on it to make it happen."
Resign myself to another year of "working at camping"
Cuss some more

Soooooo... what's the problem? XD

We don't have nearly that much stuff to set up with our pup and we are STILL upgrading to a HTT this spring because of room and easier set up.
 

penny

Super Active Member
Nov 9, 2017
766
I've enjoyed reading this thread. I don't think I'll ever feel I have the "perfect" camper and have decided I'm glad we have a B+ rv and the little pop up. each has it's best uses. one thing that makes it easier to get either one ready is that we have both campers completely outfitted with what ever we need while camping or traveling. All we have to pack is clothes, pillows and dogs. and if we are taking the pup, we pack fresh and frozen food in the van. in the rv, we just put it away before we go.
we do have two sets of everything! I keep each unit stocked with dry and canned food, a complete kitchen of everything we use on a trip for camping. Each one has bedding packed, towels, soap, really pretty much everything. I do leave a list in the camper of what I need to restock before we go again. usually stuff is replaced when we open it to clean it out from the trip.
it is true, and something we have to constantly try to guard against, you just keep taking more stuff.
sometimes I wish I'd brought an extra table, or a lantern or string of lights. but I don't really miss them. not with all the stars!
 

MaeKay

Super Active Member
Oct 18, 2017
764
Utah
Yeah, very under the radar SUV. Shares 90% mechanical w/ the 4runner. 4.7 V8, full time 4wd with 4Lo and Locking Center Diff. Downhill Assist, you can turn off the roll over airbags when getting crazy on steep stuff, 2nd gear start for slippery roads, and very good "simulated" front/rear LSD.

Best part is they are usually owned by mall crawling rich moms who take them in to Lexus for every single service exactly when they are supposed to. Lexus quality is second to none, that is why I laugh when someone suggests a GM or Ford product. They don't hold a candle to Lexus for quality of materials and fit-n-finish, reliability, or longevity.

Regarding frontal area, no idea. The 4.7 V8 has a great rep and plenty of power. The 600lb hitch is from Lexus and there is nothing else out there that increases the capacity. WDH should be a non-issue, it's a body on frame SUV. Strong like bull.

Wow, I could have written most of this post myself! 3 and 5 year old kids, dog, plus a 4th gen V8 4wd 4Runner (my husband didn't like the feel of the Lexus, mostly the right swinging rear door vs overhead on the 4runner...plus the Lexus is twice as expensive to repair parts wise...although it has a taller head room). He's your height as well so all those dinky short double beds in travel trailers are a no-go for us.

My biggest fear is driving a high profile vehicle with our short wheel base. Like with you, everyone keeps asking me what our frontal area is for the 4runner and like you, I HAVE NO CLUE! I cannot find it anywhere on the internet. How comfortable do you feel when a semi blows past you going 80 mph? What's your regular gas mileage and what do you have when towing your hybrid? We currently get 17 mpg and only drop to maybe 13 when towing our Fleetwood Bayside (3500 pounds loaded, 440 tongue weight, both measured). We tow it (or plan to...it's still newish to us) all over the place and up over the mountains everywhere west of Colorado. (Big trip planned to Washington this year...)

Gah...the neverending search for a trailer begins again...
 

bikendan

Active Member
Feb 26, 2012
567
What's your regular gas mileage and what do you have when towing your hybrid? We currently get 17 mpg and only drop to maybe 13 when towing our Fleetwood Bayside (3500 pounds loaded, 440 tongue weight, both measured).

ALL gassers will get 8-11mpg average when towing a hybrid or regular travel trailer. it's because of the air resistance of the barn door you're pulling.
doesn't matter weight of hybrid or size of tow vehicle. you don't have that much air resistance pulling a popup that's lower profile.

if you want better fuel mileage, get a diesel or stay with the popup.
 

MaeKay

Super Active Member
Oct 18, 2017
764
Utah
I think I’m still curious of what his towing experience is with sway, etc. We have an almost identical vehicle.
 




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