Shopping older hybrids: stay away or okay?

Discussion in 'PopOut (Hybrids)' started by Dingit, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    We're looking for something for a family of four plus dog...and we aren't sure what. It has to be under 7.5 feet wide so that we don't scrape up the house parking it (or under 7 feet tall so we can put it in the garage).

    We've been waffling between popup, TT, hybrid, slide-in, or learning to be more efficient with a tent. So I've been browsing Craigslist because it can be very educational. If I can't find something new that suits me by looking at manufacturers' current offerings, why not grab any of the above used that tickles my fancy?

    I'm liking the tents ends on hybrids. But the older skinny models had considerably nicer options in the than the current ones.

    I'm looking at a mid 2000s Travel-lite Bantam and it looks perfect on paper. 7'3" wide, big fridge, oven, bunks, popout bed, bigger tanks than anything you can find on a modern skinny hybrid...if someone was making these now, I'd have two!

    But seriously. We have pretty forgiving weather here as far as trailers go--low humidity, little rain, mild summers--so is it worth driving an hour to see some random guy's 12 year old $7k hybrid?

    Are there brands to avoid when looking at older hybrids? Any to look for? There is a lot of great info here as to what exactly to check out on a used unit, fortunately.

    (If it's yours, please put up some better photos.)
     
  2. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    I wouldn't think any hybrid would be under 7' to fit in a standard garage...
     
  3. bikendan

    bikendan Active Member

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    There is no hybrid that will fit in a standard garage.
    And the industry stopped building 7.5' hybrids years ago.
    A couple of manufacturers still make a few, I believe KZ and Jayco may still but they are 19' or smaller and have bare amenities.
    They are the 3500lbs GVWR models aimed at those with marginal tow vehicles.

    I hate to say that the worst brand for quality/fit/finish that I've seen in my 13 years of looking at hybrids, were the R-Vision hybrids, like the Trail-lite and Bantam.
    R-Vision hybrids were the lightest hybrids made but that came at a price.
    Lighter/cheaper materials that don't hold up over time. Quality was quite lacking compared to other brands. Less amenities than other brands.
    Based on our extensive hybrid shopping, Trail-Lite/Bantam were alone at the bottom.

    The unfortunate thing was R-Vision invented the hybrid travel trailer. They were introduced in 1998, with other manufacturers coming out with their own hybrids the following year.
    Older hybrids had many growing pain issues, since it was a completely new type of RV.

    My 2007 Rockwood Roo was the last year of the 7.5' models, for Forest River hybrids.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018
  4. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    $7k is way over priced for any 12 year old trailer ...

    On older hybrids, you want to make sure the bunk end latches are NOT the screw type latches...
     
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  5. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Sorry. I was vague. I'm looking for something that is garage-low, or side-yard skinny. Hybrids would fall into the latter category.

    Yeah, $7k is higher than I'd go.

    Thanks for the info on R-Vision. Good to know.

    I'm really not liking my options! :mad:
     
  6. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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    There are plenty of pup's for less the $7000
     
  7. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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  8. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It has a pop top!!!!

    It may be junk. It may be overpriced. It may even smell bad. But damnit, it's awesome!
     
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  9. nhlakes

    nhlakes Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear that the Trail-Lites have a reputation for not holding up well. We bought a new Bantam 21B in 2001 and it was fantastic. Had it for a just a few years, but used it a lot, including an 8wk cross-country trip. Just about lived in it every weekend one winter (real winter, up in NH) while I was doing the electric in the vaca home we were building. Kept it turtled and it was plenty warm. Zero problems with it. Only reason we sold it was that once the vaca home was done we stopped camping for a number of years (other than my solo motorcycle camping trips) so it was not getting used.

    hybrid camper.jpg
     
  10. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    A lot of owners have had favorable reviews of them. I suspect--especially with older models like these are now--it would be pretty obvious if you were dealing with a lemon. Sounds like yours was another good one.
     
  11. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    The problem with the older ones is they often had leaks. The early hybrids were notorious for bad bunk seals. I think there are also a number of ones out there with poorly maintained roofs. When I was looking for my pup I checked out a couple of those early hybrids (1998-2002) and almost all of them had some sort of water damage.

    You might want to look for a mid to late 1990s SunLite or Northwind by Viking. These were pop top travel trailers, mostly on the smaller side but they often had full size bunks plus a dinette.

    Not sure if Trailmanor or HiLo made campers that would fit the width restrictions. I also think Jayco still sells a 7’ model as well.
     
  12. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Thanks--I'll look for them. I knew Sunlite made a popup cabover camper but haven't seen much of them otherwise.

    Jayco does have a 7-wide but it has dinky appliances. Apparently I'm picky. But I already HAVE dinky appliances. I want big appliances in a dinky trailer, like the good old days. :)

    Trailers age well out here, but yeah...risky. I do see how the hybrid technology is just asking for trouble. There's a Trailmanor I'm thinking of checking out locally. TM and HiLo are short enough for the garage so they are exempt from the width requirement.
     
  13. Richard

    Richard Take kids camping. It's great for you and them.

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    I have this camper now. Previous owner re-did much of the floor and the bathroom, and the roof. There is evidence of further cosmetic damage up near the storage at the ceiling. The floor in front of the fridge is soft. All in all, I'll stick with it, but next time I'll get a different brand. These are made to sell, not to last.
     
  14. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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    Their all make the same! Slap it together put a shine on it Sold!
     
  15. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    Hybrids have so much stuff to go wrong, especially when they're located in places where you have weather. We don't have weather here so I suspect used trailers are generally in better shape. (Our last trailer was almost 40 years old when we bought it and in great condition. Of course, it actually WAS built well...)
     

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