If you’re looking for an RV with more living space without adding extra weight and length to your fifth wheel, a hybrid travel trailer might be just the thing for you. They’re easy to pull and give you more living space than you’ll find in travel trailers of the same size. Not to mention they’re lighter than their traditional cousins (which also saves you gas money at the pump). If you haven’t looked at hybrids, you definitely should add them to your list.
If you’re not familiar with hybrid travel trailers (HTTs), they look like traditional fifth wheels. They’ve got hard sides and hitch up to any towing vehicle you would use for a normal fifth wheel...until you’re ready to set up camp. The sides or ends hide popouts generally made of canvas like you’d find in popup campers. Most people who choose to purchase hybrid travel trailers have lighter towing vehicles that can’t pull much weight, camp only for short trips or travel in warmer climates.
Why Get a Hybrid?
These babies can comfortably sleep extra company without converting any of your living space. Pretty rad, right? This means no converting the table to a bed for a couple to sleep on and then back again for daylight hours. You don’t have to worry about folding out a couch and then folding it all back up again. Best of all? You get more floor space in your living area. Since the sleeping quarters are completely outside, there’s more room to entertain and enjoy whatever life brings your way on your travels.
Hybrids are great for traveling in warm weather and offer an experience closer to tent camping, but with the luxuries of home you find in your fifth wheel. The set up isn’t as intensive, making it appealing for those folks who long for that natural camping feel. Unlike tent camping, if you get caught in a storm you won’t have to worry about water leaking through your tent. The canvas is extra waterproof to shield you from the elements Mother Nature throws your way.
Speaking of foul weather, it is possible to travel with hybrids no matter what happens outside. When you hit an especially soggy day or chilly night, hide out inside! It’ll be a little more crowded if you’re trying to pack six people in there, but you can still enjoy your camping trip. And make some fun memories in the process.
But Here’s the Kicker
In the interest of full disclosure, there are a few things to watch out for in your hunt for a hybrid travel trailer. Some popouts are made with a wooden floor that the mattress sits on and can be particularly rough on your back and joints when you’re sleeping. But don’t let this make the decision for you! A quality mattress topper or choosing a new mattress to fit your sleeping style can help. Another bit to consider is set up. While it’s quick and easy to do with one person, it’s much easier with two. Hey, who wants to RV alone, right?
Another thing that you should think about when looking at hybrid RVs is where you’ll be camping. If you live in an area with a lot of dangerous wildlife (like bears), any campers that don’t have hard sides are generally prohibited. Canvas sides are easy for big predators to cut away if they smell food inside or get curious. The hard sides not only keep the smells in but deter wildlife from coming into your RV.
Light sleepers beware. Unlike in traditional fifth wheelers with hard sides, you’ll be sleeping with a much thinner barrier between you and your neighbors. Whether you’re boondocking or at a campsite with other RVers, you’re more likely to hear generators, propane tanks and general noise. Just the canvas between you and outside also means that you’ll need to be more cautious about your noise level for your neighbor's’ sake.
It’s All up to You
Choosing an RV is a personal decision that needs to fit your lifestyle. Naturephiles will love the feel of tent camping, and people who are more into a modern lifestyle of tech and comfort will enjoy the balance of the comforts of home. If you’re looking to save a bit of money while still investing in your Good Life, a hybrid travel trailer might be the right fit for you.