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Old 03-11-2010, 01:41 PM   #1
PIERCEDRN
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Hybrid Trailer Durability?

So I have finally decided that I am getting an RV in the next year, probably in the fall. We went to an RV show and looked at the Hybrids which I can pull with my Jeep, and my wife was happy with it, and didn't want to look at a pop-up. I love the idea of having a trailer that is truly mobile, not one that I have to leave at a campsite all summer. I don't have a need for a truck so a 5th wheel is not an option.
I am worried though about the durability of these ultralight campers, I have heard they are pretty much disposable if there is ever a leak and get a squishy floor. If I am going to buy one for my family, I want it to last. I plan on taking good care of it, and I will modify my mom's garage to keep it in when I'm not using it.
Most of the "battle wagon" Class C motorhomes from the 80's are still running and in fair shape at tailgates, do you think any of these lightweights ever last even 20 years?
I would buy an older MH but I want to be assured that I will reach my destination, and if my Jeep needs work, I can DIY. I doubt that will be the case with a MH.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:53 PM   #2
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I owned a Jayco Kiwi for about 10 years with minimal problems. Roof leaks are a problem with any TT and probably the number one cause of "failure". It requires annual maintenance - cleaning, checking roof seams, recaulking where necessary. The only issue I had with floor rot was last year in the front storage compartment - the access doors leaked and water ran under the vinyl flooring in the compartment and rotted the floor. I was able to tear up the damaged floor and replace it, and replace the faulty gaskets around the access doors. Again, this could be a problem with any TT, not just a hybrid. Annual (minimum) inspections of all door seals, roof seams and seals around exterior lights should prevent most problems of water intrusion. Slideouts are also a potential water entry problem. I have already discovered this with our new TT that has a rear slide. I found out how important it is to level a trailer with slides - if that water runs toward the coach from the slide, it can run inside. Lesson learned.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:00 PM   #3
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We have an '08 hybrid, so I can't answer the original question, but, I would like to hear from anyone that has an older one, too. Does anyone know what year they started making them? How old is the oldest one? TIA
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Old 03-11-2010, 03:47 PM   #4
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The first one was built in 1919(picture in the RV MH Hall of Fame).

Oh! I think you mean the newer ones. I think Stacraft introduced there first one in 2003/2004 and several others may have been out shortly before that.
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:12 PM   #5
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The oldest one that I have seen in ads is from 2000, and that year the bed ends leaked like a sieve, so there really has not been a lot of solid "history" behind them, hence my concern.
I have heard that the newer crop have resolved those issues and I wonder if they have addressed the near impossibility of fixing a foam-MDF-foam sandwich floor. I saw Kodiak has gone to an aluminum frame vs.wood. I wonder if this is r/t stiffness or to avoid "wet rot".
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:17 PM   #6
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My daughter has a 2004 Starcraft (triple bunk, front, rear, side) and has not had a leak problem. The biggest thing was the latch system and many changed to a much larger and sturdier latch to pull the bunks up tighter against the seals.

I really haven't heard alot of "horror stories" and we camp with a lot of people that have Hybrids as well.
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Old 03-11-2010, 06:33 PM   #7
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My wife and I own a 2006 cub 160 hybred best dam thing we have ever owned works awsom no leaks but then again I keep up on the maintenance, And by the way we have owned them all pop ups class C and tt's we have all the comforts of home and very little maintenace in fact we spend almost two months at the fort in it every winter if you have a chance check out the web site at www.dutchmen.com/cub there you may find you next hybred you are looking for! Good luck on your quest K.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:06 PM   #8
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We have a 2005 Jayco 23B. We bought it used a couple of years ago and it was in great shape. the only issue was there was water leakage around the front door and with the design of the bunk doors that is about the only abnormal issue with hybrids.

We took a sheet of plywood and basically skinned the front bunk from the inside until I get enough time to pull the front door off and rebuild it. I am ordering the updated seal kit as well.

This year we found a hidden leak in the bathroom and where we park our camper the water pooled in the opposite rear comer and started some floor rot. Being a newb with campers I found the caulking on the roof had cracked from age so we repaired all of the possible leaks and now we are repairing the rot. It is also a time in which we are skinning the floor and adding wood laminate for a better look.

But these issues seem to be in any camper no mater what type. I now know what to look for and how to go about fixing it. The pluses for the hybrid type campers are the huge amount of floor space and still having the feel of tent camping. We have just booked a trip to the Fort in May for Wifey to do her first triathlon. But I am now a camper for life after owning ours.





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Old 03-11-2010, 08:47 PM   #9
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This is our 5th summer with our Kodiak hybrid. It's made 4 trips to WDW from NH and gets used frequently on weekends right through the fall. We've even camped when there's been a hard freeze well into October. Knock on wood but no big problems at all. Worst thing we've had to deal with is fixing a cabinet door I leaned a little too hard on.

We live in NH and make sure it's cleaned and securely covered in the winter, but it does stay outside in the yard. If we ever close the ends up damp, we always open everything up to dry thoroughly just as soon as we can.

We thoroughly wash our tent ends a couple of times a year, but other than that that we've done very little with them and they're still in excellent shape. No leaks anywhere - tents, or roof.

The one weird thing we've experienced with ours is condensation between the tent platforms and the mattress. Might be because we have a lot of nights when it's really cool out. If we're camping more than a night or 2 I will prop up the mattress during the day and aim one of the little clip fans at it just to dry things out. If the underside of the mattress is damp when we pack up, I just stand them up in the center of the camper - it's actually easier to close the ends up that way anyway.

We camp with 3 border collies. We setup their crates in one tent end and we get the other. We've successfully pulled off long-terms stays in our hybrid, including 3 weeks at WDW the last 2 years, and 2 weeks the 2 years prior. While we did have to get creative to store extra clothes, we were all pretty comfy, everything fit and we had a great time.

We're currently looking at an Open Range hard side TT - not because we don't love our Kodiak, but mostly because we added one more dog last spring and realize we could use a wee bit more space ...and we're getting very lazy.

While setting up the ends is actually pretty easy, in our case we're also juggling unpacking the dogs' crates from the car and then setting them up in the camper. Sorting all that out tends to drag out the setup process and at this point we're looking to just park, level, and have the crates already permanently setup inside so we can all just hop in and be done.

But all in all, we've logged a lot of miles/hours with our hybrid and have enjoyed it immensely.
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:42 AM   #10
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We went with a TT after looking at hybrids and PUPs. It just seemed that for the same money and almost the same weight, you could have a TT. Infact IIRC TTs were less money. We camp in the poconos intot he winter and have stayed in the TT down to about 0 F as well as in substantial snow. I don't know how possible/comfortable that would be in a hybrid. I would also worry about bears trying to get into a hybrid to get at your food. I realize that they could probably get into a TT as wekk, but it just seems a little better. We have camped in the yukon where there were signs stating,"Absolutely no Soft Sided Campers". Bears are becoming much more common in PA in general.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:40 PM   #11
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We have owned ours for 5 years or so and durability not really a concern. I have one leak on the slide when in storage. Think this is caused by two issue, 1) not being level and 2) the seals needs to be replaced. A project I plan on doing this year.

Other than that, I look at the items I replace/fix are general wear and tear.
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:14 PM   #12
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this is a good forum for more info on all things popup... http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?board=66.0
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftwildernessguy View Post
I owned a Jayco Kiwi for about 10 years with minimal problems. Roof leaks are a problem with any TT and probably the number one cause of "failure". It requires annual maintenance - cleaning, checking roof seams, recaulking where necessary. The only issue I had with floor rot was last year in the front storage compartment - the access doors leaked and water ran under the vinyl flooring in the compartment and rotted the floor. I was able to tear up the damaged floor and replace it, and replace the faulty gaskets around the access doors. Again, this could be a problem with any TT, not just a hybrid. Annual (minimum) inspections of all door seals, roof seams and seals around exterior lights should prevent most problems of water intrusion. Slideouts are also a potential water entry problem. I have already discovered this with our new TT that has a rear slide. I found out how important it is to level a trailer with slides - if that water runs toward the coach from the slide, it can run inside. Lesson learned.
Sounds like you have a lot of experience in this area. Why is this always the number one thing that travel trailer makers can't seem to get right? Wouldn't they have perfected a drainage/gutter channel system of some type by now?
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:24 PM   #14
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We have a 2002 R-Vision Bantam 22S. We bought this in 2003 as a new leftover. I have loved this trailer since we got it. Had a few minor problems with it. Took it out to Ohio one year and to the fort once. Last year we used it for the first time at a seasonal site. Hubby doesnt like it because he wants to park it and be done and he feels it almost as much work as a pop up. Last year it rained A LOT and we had the ends open from April until October. We had a little bit of mold problem with the tent ends, but it wasnt any more than a little good cleaning couldnt take care of. Hubby also made covers out of a broken awning to cover the tent ends and that worked great. We have been shopping for a new trailer but i convinced him to wait another year as our baby will be 18 this spring and we can now buy a trailer for two. Hubby is meticulous with taking care of our trailer both inside and out and was dismayed to discover some floor rot from a leak around the fridge vent on the roof. He cleaned, caulked and sealed it every year before it was parked for the winter. But I think you would have that with any kind of trailer.
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Old 04-04-2010, 03:13 AM   #15
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Friends of ours have a 1998 R-Vision hybrid and are the original owners.I'm sure they've put over 100,000 miles on it by now. We've had a 2001 Starcraft TravelStar, moved to a larger 2004 R-Vision TrailCruiser and just bought a 2010 Passport (not a hybrid)
We had no problems with the hybrids, no leaks or other issues. My DH loved the open air feel. But we're getting older and tireder and didn't want to fuss with the tent ends anymore.
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