We’re sure there are some of you who feel limited when they use their traditional campers. Like that feeling that you’re not close enough to nature. Or wishing you can have a bigger space to accommodate more people for sleeping without necessarily breaking the bank. Or hoping that you won’t be limited by the kind of vehicle you have to use to tow your trailer.
How cool would it be if you can combine the features of different RVs and come up with one that’ll give you all of these benefits to help ease your mind, right? Wait, what? There’s a hybrid travel trailer out there that offers all of these and more?
Join us as we get to know more about hybrid campers and what are the best ones offered in the market today.
Is there a hybrid RV?
Yes, apparently there is! They’ve actually been around since the late 1990s but they aren’t typically included in RV type lineups that’s why most people are not aware of them.
We think it’s unfortunate that they’re not given proper recognition as an RV type. This would have made it possible for a lot of people to own an RV that’s within their budget and can fit in more people than the average travel trailer.
How exactly does a hybrid RV do that? Continue to reading to find out more about this interesting breed of travel trailers that’s a cross between a pop-up camper and a bumper-pull travel trailer.
Basically, a hybrid travel trailer is a blend of a hard side trailer and a pop up camper. When traveling, this camper looks like a small to medium-sized trailer.
But there’s more to it than meets the eye when you set it up at your campsite. A hybrid travel trailer can have 2 to 3 queen size beds, a dinette, cooking area, and a bathroom. The beds are usually sticking out in the front and rear portions of the trailer.
Hybrid RVs or hybrid campers are lightweight and spacious, making them a good choice for families who love to go camping. The pop-outs and slide outs make it possible for these hybrid campers to offer these benefits.
The pop-outs are usually made of canvas that’s why they do not add much weight to the trailer while extending the interior space of the campers. And it is these pop-outs and slide outs that give it more space without necessarily adding on the weight of the camper.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid travel trailers?
Let’s discuss what makes these hybrid RVs great and also the drawbacks when you use them for your camping adventure.
Read on to help you decide if a hybrid camper is right for you.
These are the reasons why hybrid campers have increasingly become popular among RV enthusiasts.
This is the main advantage of a hybrid camper. You can have more beds and bigger sized too so it has more sleeping capacity than any other RVs out there. Aside from the queen size beds sticking on either end of the trailer, the dinette also converts into a bunk bed. There could also be a folding couch and some offer more bunk beds as needed. This is the answer to large families or group of friends who love to go an camping adventures!
This is also one of the main advantages of hybrid campers. With their pop-ups and slide outs, they are able to provide more space for their users and expand their capability to accommodate more people for sleeping.
Since the beds do not take up space in the camper’s interior, the main floor can accommodate other features for your living space that would make your camping more comfortable such such a kitchen, dinette, and bathroom. You also have more space to move around in the living area and store your stuff.
This is also where hybrid travel trailers differ from pop-up campers. You have to fold pop-up campers so low that they do not offer much space for you to enjoy your creature comforts while on the road.
With a hybrid camper, you have more space so you can enjoy a bigger kitchen area, have a large refrigerator, and still have room for your storage solutions.
Since the pop-ups are made of canvas, they don’t add much weight to the trailer. Thus, you have a travel trailer that has more sleeping capacity without putting on extra weight. They can be towed using most SUVs and light trucks with a decent towing capacity.
Easier on the budget.
A hybrid camper is generally less expensive than other travel trailers that have the same size and offer almost the same features for less the p.
Easy to Set up.
New models of hybrid campers can be set up with just a push of a button so that the pop-ups will be extended and then you do some securing on latches and you’re good to go.
Easier to store.
Most hybrid campers can fit in a standard garage or driveway. This also means you get to save on storage fees when your camper is not in use.
Feel closer to nature.
For travelers who love the feeling of being close to nature, the hybrid camper lets you experience the sights and sounds of nature. It really feels like you’re camping in the wilderness and it’s one of the best experiences out there. You won’t get that feeling when you’re camping in your motorhome or traditional travel trailer. With those kinds of RV, it sometimes feels that you’re so near yet so far from nature. But with hybrid campers, it’s as real as it can get.
This type of camper has its drawbacks and here are the common feedback from users.
Fluctuation in Temperature.
You will notice differences in temperature between the main part of your camper and your pop out portions. Since the pop outs are made of canvas, they don’t offer proper insulation to shield you from the heat or cold.
But many users of hybrid campers have found a way to fix this issue. They swear by using a mini fan to keep the air circulating all throughout the camper. Some also use pop up gizmos to help block off the heat from the outside.
Condensation inside your hybrid camper happens when warm moist air meets the cold surfaces or walls. This usually happens in the sleeping areas because people breathe out warm air. There’s condensation build up on the walls, mattresses, and beddings.
This can be quite a hassle as you have to let everything dry out properly otherwise molds and mildew will buildup.
Hybrid travel trailers are not for everyone. But they are a great option for large families and groups who like to go camping. The sleeping capacity is definitely amazing! You also get to maximize the space in your car to bring everyone together and they are easier to tow since they’re lightweight.
Plus it’s easy to set up, store, and they’re not as expensive as similar sized traditional travel trailers.
However, these hybrid campers are not for full-time campers. These are best used for camping during nice weather to guarantee that everyone will have a good time.
What is the best hybrid travel trailer?
We’ve done our research and here are the best hybrid campers offered in the market today.
- Rockwood Roo Travel Trailers
- Jayco Jay Feather 7
- Kodiak Hybrid Travel Trailers
- Flagstaff Shamrock Travel Trailers
- Starcraft RV Mossy Oak
- SolAire EXpandable Travel Trailers
- Aerolite Hybrid Travel Trailers
Let’s discuss each of them one by one to see what makes them a great choice for a hybrid travel trailer.
Rockwood Roo Travel Trailers
- Exterior Length: starts at 21’2″
- Exterior Height: starts at 10’5″
- Exterior Width: 96″
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: starts at 4,056 lbs
- Goodyear Tires Now Standard with Tire Pressure Monitoring System & Dexter TORFLEX Suspension Axels
- 6-Sided Aluminum Framed Construction with Aluminum Framed Bed Bases And Dinettes
- MorRyde Fold Down Entry Steps (Strut Assist Where Available)
- Fully Laminated Azdel Sidewall, Roof, Back Wall, and Slide-Out End Walls
- 5/8” Residential Tongue And Groove Plywood Floors
- TWO MaxxAir Fans with Rain Guard Vent Covers
- Square Bunk Ends with Easy to Reach Latch System
Rockwood Roo from Forest River is a good investment for RVers because this manufacturer knows about excellent quality and proving what travelers need while outdoors. This is available in different models and 6 floor plans so buyers can choose which options for the living area suit their needs.
For example, the Forest River Rockwood Roo 183 model has 3 expandable tents that can easily fit 7 people for sleeping. There’s a pantry, shower and toilet, refrigerator, 13,500 BTU Roof A/C, sink, microwave, dinette, and several cabinets and shelves for your storage solutions. The living space is a complete set-up for a comfortable vacation outdoors for a large family.
Jayco Jay Feather 7 16XRB
- Exterior Length: 18’10”
- Interior Height: 78″
- Exterior Width: 85″
- Dry Weight: 2,925 lbs
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 2,845 lbs
- Minivan towable hyrid with front & rear tents
- Single axle
- Water-repellent, scratch resistant Jayco DuraTek vinyl tent material with zipper windows includes 5-Year warranty
- Sleeps 6-7
Like other hybrid campers, Jayco Jay Feather 7 16XRB’s sleeping areas are at the front and rear portion. The hard sided main body houses a living space with a shower and toilet, refrigerator, a dinette, and a bench sofa.
But what you’ll really love about it is their Jayco Climate Shield Ultra Weather Protection. Jayco has proven again that they’ve been listening to the concerns of the RV community and came up with engineering and design solutions to solve this primary concern regarding hybrids offering little protection from the heat and cold.
Well, not anymore! Jayco has ensured that campers stay comfortable whatever the weather, even during extreme heat and cold. This is made possible with their Flexfoil insulation, G20 tint windows, heated underbelly, double layer fiberglass, and Pex plumbing technology.
Let Jayco take you to your destination and you’ll have the adventure of a lifetime wherever you go, whenever you want to go.
Kodiak Hybrid Travel Trailers
- Exterior Length: 21’8″
- Interior Height: 6’6″
- Exterior Width: 8 ft
- Gross Vehicle Weight: 7,600 lbs
- 10 c. ft. fridge
- Separate bunk room
- Quad Bunk
- Pass through storage
- Power Tongue Jack
This is another self-contained hybrid camper in the market that’ll make your family outing fun and comfortable. It proves that small does not mean less. With its compact size, it is able to sleep up to 8 because of its triple bed extensions and a convertible dinette.
The hard sided galley has everything you need – a two-burner stove for you to cook hearty and delicious meals, a microwave for heating for food, refrigerator to keep your ingredients fresh, and sink for cleaning up. There’s also a shower and toilet area that makes it so convenient for everyone when nature calls.
Dutchmen, Kodiak’s manufacturer, also offers a 3-year warranty which gives buyers peace of mind as they know the quality of the workmanship that was given to each hybrid camper being sold in the market.
Flagstaff Shamrock Travel Trailers
- Exterior Length: starts at 21’2″
- Exterior Height: starts at 10’5″
- Exterior Width: 96″
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: starts at 4,056 lbs
- Vacuum Laminated 1 Piece Roof and Walls
- Insulation Factors R-7 Side Wall, R-12 Floor and R-14 Ceiling
- Radiant Foil Insulated Underbelly and Slide-out floors
- 4 Frame Mounted Stabilizer Jacks
- Square Bunk Ends w/ Attached Boots & Aircraft Cable Rated at 900 lbs Capacity
- Quick Recovery Water Heater w/ Interior Gas and Electric Switches
- Tinted Bonded Frameless Windows
This is another masterpiece from Forest River. It just combines everything campers need – larger living space, spacious beds with heated mattresses, and if you want to bring your ATV and other travel gears, you can do so. Plus you get to enjoy the comforts of home even if you’re miles away.
The Forest River Flagstaff has 6 floor plans to choose from. Each has a large refrigerator, microwave oven, sink, kitchen countertops, and 13,500 BTU roof A/C.
This hybrid travel trailer also made sure that those who stay here are well-entertained – from the LED TV w/ multi-directional antenna, WiFi Ranger WiFi Booster Sky 4, multi-zone stereo w/ DVD/CD/AM/FM and Bluetooth control, and outside speakers.
It is also pre-wired for solar and backup camera for your additional traveling necessities.
Starcraft RV Mossy Oak
- Exterior Length: 29’1″
- Exterior Height: 10’11”
- Exterior Width: 7’11”
- Gross Weight: 6,950 lbs
- Dual Entry Bath
- Stainless Steel Appliances
- Electric Awning
- Single Slide
The Starcraft Mossy Oak 23RLS allows you to be one with nature not just in location but in the design of your hybrid travel trailer. Its made of natural earth elements that make it suitable for the outdoor lifestyle.
The floor plan is excellently laid out to provide comfort, convenience, and interaction. The sleeping quarters in the front area has access to the dual entry bathroom. The slide out booth dinette gives you more space to move around during daytime and more sleeping space at night. There’s sofa at the rear portion for you to relax and the exterior LED lighting gives you the light you need when you still want to enjoy the outdoors at night.
Starcraft Mossy Oak 23RLS’ main floor is made with a moisture barrier material. They also offer a 12-year warranty because they know that this camper can withstand the outdoors and the demands of outdoor camping adventures!
SolAire EXpandable Travel Trailers
- Exterior Length: starts at 19’1″
- Exterior Height: 10’1″
- Exterior Width: 96″
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: starts at 3,073 lbs
- Power Awning w/LED Lights
- Dexter Tor-Flex Torsion Axles
- Aluminum wheels
- Barreled full walk on laminated roof
The Palomino SolAire eXpandable travel trailer offers 3 floorplans to choose from, each has been carefully designed and detailed to suit your travel needs.
There are different models to choose from. The 147X floor plan has 2 queen size beds on either end plus the dinette and sofa sleeper offer more sleeping space. It also has a bathroom, kitchen sink, microwave, 13,500 BTU Ducted A/C, and 8 cu ft refrigerator. It comes with a Furrion HDMI DVD/Bluetooth/HDMI Stereo for your entertainment.
But what we like about it is that they have options for upgrade that’ll make your hybrid camper better suited for traveling in all kinds of weather. You can choose to upgrade your unit to have a Create a Breeze Fan, heated holding tanks, Thermo foil barrier for the slide out and floor, 2-30 LB LP tanks, and heated tank pads. They also have an off-road package for your extreme adventures.
Aerolite Hybrid Travel Trailers
- Exterior Length: 37’5″
- Interior Height: 82″
- Shipping Weight: 8,598 lbs
- Cargo Carrying Capacity: 2,402 lbs
- Fiberglass Exterior
- Radial Tires
- Painted Fiberglass Front Cap w/LED Lights
- Power Awning w/LED Light
- Shaw Flooring
- Stainless-Steel Appliances
Dutchmen, the manufacturer of Aerolite, has comfort in mind when designing this hybrid travel trailer. Its exterior and interior features are well-designed to make sure that campers have a great time outdoors. Each of these features is offered with a touch of elegance.
Aerolite has a large refrigerator, water heater, glass fireplace, 3-burner range with oven, microwave, Jensen Audio Soundbar, LED lighting all throughout, and a porcelain toilet.
It also offers so much storage space with 3 wardrobes, under-seat storage, a big linen closet in the bathroom, and a large pantry.
The Aerolite is very livable and will surely make your camping adventures extra delightful.
Wrap Up: Are hybrid campers worth it?
For us, yes! It gives the RV community more choices for their campers. Hybrid travel trailers make it possible for large families or a group of friends to go camping together and have fun outdoors while enjoying creature comforts. There are even hybrid campers out there that provide not just comfort but luxuries while you’re on the road.
What we like best about them aside from the larger space they offer is that they are also a more affordable choice for people out there who are concerned about their budget but still want to experience the RV life. It’s great to know that there’s a hybrid travel trailer out there that’ll give them the space they need without having to spending too much.
Before we end this article, we want to address the most common question regarding hybrid travel trailers.
Do hybrid travel trailers leak?
This is one major concern among hybrid camper users. Different weather elements make their presence felt inside the camper – the heat, cold, wind, and yes, sometimes even the rain. This is because the canvas walls can let the water in.
Even if the rainwater doesn’t get inside, there will be condensation and the fabrics inside your camper can get a little wet. This also means who have to dry them out so that they won’t have molds and mildew.
Hybrid campers also tend to leak in those areas where the canvas and hard sided walls meet. You have to ensure that they are properly sealed so as not to cause significant damage on your unit.
This is why they say hybrid travel trailers is not fit for full-time use. It cannot fully protect you from harsh weather conditions. Use this camper when the weather is nice so you won’t have a miserable time.
But if you choose the right hybrid travel trailer from an excellent manufacturer, you’ll find that they’ve already provided answers for concerns regarding condensation buildup so you can take your camper with you anytime. There are also DIY solutions for this such as