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Old 11-12-2014, 02:51 PM   #1
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Popup? or Hybrid?

I'm wanting to take a road trip across the USA with two of my children this summer. A 16y boy and 10y girl. I have a 31ft camper but I'm not interested in pulling it across country for numerous reasons, one being time, and another is I'm a single mom! I was thinking of buying either a hybrid or a popup solely for this adventure. My question is which is the better choice? I will most likely sell it after our adventure is over. I really like the hybrid choice because of the working bathrooms and showers, and plenty of bed space. My biggest concern is does a Hybrid leak as much as I hear?? Which one is easier to set up and take down, we will be traveling and sightseeing and need a place to sleep! Which choice sells better?
Thanks
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Old 11-12-2014, 03:19 PM   #2
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Not sure where exactly you plan to travel, but my understanding is that in some areas you cannot stay in a camper with tent ends because of bears. Also, I don't think you'd have to worry about a hybrid leaking any more than you would a pop up. My personal preference would be one of the 25' or so travel trailers with bunks in the rear and a single small slide. With your 3/4 ton truck you'd have no problems and could camp almost anywhere. I'd look at something like this:

New Forest River Rockwood Mini Lite 2504S Travel Trailer RVs For Sale at The Original RV Wholesalers
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Old 11-12-2014, 03:27 PM   #3
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I would suggest a small 3-door hybrid like the Rockwood Roo 183. The small size/weight will help with resale by keeping your trailer in the SUV/Van tow range and the 3-door will give each of you your own sleeping area. Although it will tow easy like an 18' once opened the true size will be closer to 25' which is the beauty of the hybrid.

You've touched on a couple of the key points for the hybrid as well. Toilet/Shower - A/C and furnace - fridge/stove are usually standard equipment although I'm seeing a few pop-ups with these as well.

Neither of my 2 hybrids leaked but you need to be extra vigilant with managing the tent ends when they get wet and you need to close them up to travel. If the tent ends are closed when traveling you'll need to open then ASAP rain or shine to let them dry out and keep water away from the decking and hinge assembly. When I was traveling and the tent ends were closed wet I'd periodically wipe down the surfaces around the tent ends to manage whatever moisture I could.

Good luck. Sounds like you have quite the adventure planned.
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Old 11-12-2014, 03:32 PM   #4
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We've owned both. For this type of travel I would definitely go with the hybrid. As a kid, we did the trip across the west, and it was lots of one night stops. For that type of travel, a hybrid would be much easier. With our combo we can put the front bunk down while still hitched. Get a pull through site and you save a ton of work. Plus you have more kitchen space and more storage. Much easier to deal with when all the food and clothes are not stored in bins or duffle bags.

Hybrids by there nature are more susceptible to leaks than popups, but for something you are going to use one season and sell, I wouldn't even worry about it. Just find one that doesn't have any issues to start with and you'll be fine. And I wouldn't worry about bears either. Yellowstone has 1 or 2 of their several CG's that are hard-sided trailers only. Otherwise, I have never encountered that restriction.

It will be the trip of a lifetime and something your kids will never forget. I wouldn't think twice about doing that trip in a hybrid. I wouldn't want to be moving a popup every day or two - it just cuts into the time you have for exploring and see the sights.
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Old 11-12-2014, 03:53 PM   #5
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And I wouldn't worry about bears either. Yellowstone has 1 or 2 of their several CG's that are hard-sided trailers only. Otherwise, I have never encountered that restriction.
I knew I had read something about dealing with bears- apparently it's not a big deal, though. I still say that you'll have a much easier time with a regular travel trailer. No worries of wet tents. Your don't HAVE to get up at daybreak(or attempt to sleep through it). You'll possibly encounter storms- I like the thought of more than a piece of canvas between me and hail/lightning/falling limbs, etc. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of hybrids and popups, but I'm not sure it's gonna work out as well as a travel trailer for a "summer home." Even the die hard popup/hybrid owners typically give warnings that there are shortfalls with them and you need to be realistic about what your camping experience will be like.
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Old 11-12-2014, 04:34 PM   #6
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FWIW, my wife and I had a pop-up and my parents had a hybrid. We both upgraded to 30í+TT at the same time.

They sold their hybrid almost right away. We had a heck of a time selling our pop-up. It took months and we eventually had to drop our asking price way down even though we were only the second owners. My parents bought it brand-new and we bought it from them.
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Old 11-12-2014, 04:42 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dustman_stx View Post
I knew I had read something about dealing with bears- apparently it's not a big deal, though. I still say that you'll have a much easier time with a regular travel trailer. No worries of wet tents. Your don't HAVE to get up at daybreak(or attempt to sleep through it). You'll possibly encounter storms- I like the thought of more than a piece of canvas between me and hail/lightning/falling limbs, etc. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of hybrids and popups, but I'm not sure it's gonna work out as well as a travel trailer for a "summer home." Even the die hard popup/hybrid owners typically give warnings that there are shortfalls with them and you need to be realistic about what your camping experience will be like.
Right, but the OP has a tt. The question was popup or hybrid. Can you take a long trip with either - absolutely. Wet tent ends - so what if you are opening them up again that night. Its only an issue if you put them away wet and leave them closed. I sleep just fine past day break, even with a tent end. Falling limbs maybe that's a risk you have live with. Falling trees - probably doesn't matter if you have canvas or a plywood roof over you.

Our first long trip with our hybrid was 2,700 miles in 12 nights with 9 one night stops. One of our all time best trips. To the OP's question - I would not have done that trip if we still had the popup. And we traveled through a lot of cities, heavy traffic, tight spots. Having the smaller trailer was a huge help. Then, set up in 10 minutes and expand the living area significantly. 20 minutes max to be packed up in the morning.

No argument that lots of people don't like hybrids or popups and like any rv they have pros and cons. But if you have a chance to take your kids across the country and want/need a small trailer, this is a very good solution.
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Old 11-12-2014, 05:58 PM   #8
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For single nights and traveling days, it's really hard to beat an A-frame for quick setup, light weight and manuverability into those special campsites, and still have most of the "camping" experience of a pop-up.

The drawback is the limited amount of interior room - less than either a pop-up or a hybird. We use our A-frame as a comfortable sleeping cabin for long weekends and little else. Our time is spent outside - we cook and clean and socialize around the picnic table and go sight-seeing by car or foot.

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Old 11-12-2014, 06:33 PM   #9
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For what you're planning to use it for, I'd also chose the A-frame. I had a hybrid and it leaked in the front bunk while driving in rain. I had a 2011 and it didn't leak through the seams like I hear some of the newer ones do. My popup never leaked, not one drop.
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:48 PM   #10
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Consider renting the trailer if you're gonna sell it after your trip. Just my two cents
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