A hybrid travel trailer is ideal if you want a lightweight RV that can be easily taken out on the weekends for a quick trip, and despite its smaller size, it can accommodate a large family comfortably.
Hybrid travel trailers feature manual pop-outs and often have additional slide-outs too, but with so much going on in this bite-sized camper, there are some common problems that “pop-up.”
Let’s take a look at some of the most common problems with Hybrid campers.
1. Too Much Noise with Fabric Walls
Traditional trailers have hard sides; however, hybrid campers have fabric walls that do not block the noise.
Generators in a hybrid are extremely loud, and the canvas walls, unfortunately, do not offer any protection against the noise levels emitted from the generator.
Here is another negative offered by the canvas sides. While you can hear the noise all around you when you are inside the camper, everyone else around you can hear the noise coming from inside the hybrid trailer too!
It may get a little tricky with small children and trying to eliminate the incoming and outgoing noise.
Others who may be camping around you may hear your crying baby or even a light conversation you may be having with the family.
This means that privacy is certainly limited in a hybrid camper.
2. Reduced Weather Protection with Fabric Sides
The canvas exterior of a hybrid trailer does not bear well during weather extremes.
You may find yourself checking the weather carefully before taking a trip with your hybrid camper.
Rain and Condensation:
You may be able to sleep soundly during a light rainstorm, but that does not mean that condensation is not getting inside your camper.
You may even find that your bedding is a little damp, even if you are dry.
One problem can lead to another if condensation occurs on the fabrics inside the hybrid camper. You need to always ensure you dry out the camper to prevent mildew and mold from growing on the fabric.
Protection from water is one of the main problems that hybrid camper owners share, especially since canvas only offers limited protection against the elements.
If you want to stay dry in your hybrid camper, then consider a pop-up gizmo to cover the hybrid sections of the camper trailer.
If you are not a big fan of cold weather, then you may not enjoy camping in a hybrid trailer.
Very little insulation is offered by the canvas walls, which are used most often in the summertime.
There is some good news; however, you can insulate pop-up extensions against the cold to a certain degree.
Another problem that is common with hybrid campers is the fluctuation of the temperature inside the camper.
As the nights get colder, the main middle section of the hybrid tends to stay warm because of the furnace; however, the pop-out beds can get really cold.
The opposite can occur during the summer, where the middle area of the camper is cooler, but the pop-out bed areas are very hot.
The quick-fix to maintaining the temperature throughout the camper is to fit smaller fans and heaters throughout the unit to regulate the temperature fluctuations.
Bad weather can hit a hybrid trailer pretty hard.
You may need to think twice when considering high altitude camping because the canvas extensions will not favor the strong winds.
3. Light Control
The sun often rises between 5:30 and 6:00 AM during summer mornings, and if you have ever spent the night in a tent, you will know that the fabric sides do not offer a block against the incoming sunlight.
It is quite possible that you will not be able to sleep in late when sleeping in a hybrid camper, but that’s not a huge problem for most campers who know what they are getting into.
4. Leaks Between the Canvas and Hard Sides
We briefly touched on the common problem of condensation and rain, causing the bedding and interior fabrics to get wet.
However, in addition to that water problem, there is also the issue of water leakage between the canvas of the hybrid camper too.
Leaks in trailers and RVs are a common problem across various makes and models, and, unfortunately, hybrid campers experience this problem too.
Leaks in a hybrid camper can cause a significant amount of damage, especially if they are not attended to quickly.
General Pros and Cons of the Hybrid Camper:
Here are a few common pros and cons for hybrid campers that you should know about:
Hybrid campers offer excellent convenience because they are lightweight and can extend to offer more sleeping areas for more family and friends.
Most standard travel trailers or RVs will feature only one queen-size bed, and then it is all about pulling out the furniture to find sleeping space. More people can sleep in the same sized campsite, and the hybrid camper offers more room to sleep inside of it too.
A hybrid camper can be towed by smaller trucks as well as many SUV’s. If you want to truly “feel” one with nature during your camping experience, then hybrid campers are a great option.
Hybrid campers offer canvas extensions that promote healthy circulation and airflow.
Hybrid campers offer great, open floor plans. This is because manufacturers are able to include more pop-outs without the concern of the camper becoming too heavy.
- Little to no noise control from the inside and outside of the camper.
- Condensation problems
- Temperature fluctuations within the camper
- Water leaks between the canvas and the hard sides of the camper
- Poor light control
- Over time the canvas can tear, mildew, rip, and wear-out.
- Limited privacy and security
- Sometimes hybrid campers fall within a similar price range to hard-sided trailers and RVs.
What Do the Reviews Say?
Most customers and review sites of these hybrid camper trailers complain about the time it takes to set up the camper.
“Setup and takedown time depends on your hybrid and how many pop-outs you have, but I’ve heard from multiple hybrid owners who report an average setup time of anywhere from 5 minutes to 35 minutes, but really it’s very quick.”
Other customers complain about the chill and condensation, but not nearly as much as the time it takes to set them up.
What’s the Resale Value on Hybrid Campers?
|Make and Model||Year||Price|
|Jayco Jay Feather 23BHM||2020||$37,900|
|Jayco Jay Feather X23E||2019||$29,900|
|Jayco Jay Feather X17Z||2018||$29,620|
|Starcraft Travel Star 239TBS||2016||$18,995|
|Starcraft AR-ONE 15RB||2011||$8,499|
Hybrid campers are great for the whole family to enjoy, and with some extra care and maintenance, they can offer years of durability, especially when set up carefully and packed away dry.
While they are lightweight and easy to hook-up to an SUV or light truck to get away for the weekend, the setup and pack-up time favors longer stays rather than short campouts.
You may feel rushed in nice weather to get fully set up, but you are certainly going to regret the rush-job if bad weather settles in and may be forced to cancel your camping trip.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.