When looking for a travel trailer, you’ve really got to keep a lot of things in mind, some of which might not be too obvious. The choice becomes a lot more difficult when you find yourself considering the choice between hard-side travel trailers and hybrids. There are a lot of real benefits to both choices, but the best choice will always be an informed one.
Here’s a quick look at the factors you should consider before taking the plunge:
While the risk of animals or criminals getting into your hybrid’s canvas sides is negligible, hard-sides have an obvious advantage here. This is especially true when you’ve got the kids or first-time campers along, who might need the extra feeling of security the solid panels provide.
Peace and quiet
As you might imagine, canvas-sided hybrids don’t really do much when it comes to blocking out noises from outside. This can be a real damper on your outing if you’re parked close to other campers or if you’ve got a rather loud generator as main Champion running outside.
As you might imagine, hybrids aren’t really optimized for durability. They will go a long way, sure, but hard-sides ultimately win out on this one.
Hybrids are a clear winner on this score, as you can fit in a number of separate, dedicated sleeping areas, which can be doubly important if you’ve got older children coming along who need their own ‘rooms’.
The popouts that come with a hybrid offer up a lot more flexibility when it comes to floorplan design than most of us give them credit for. You can get a lot of openness with these lightweight popouts.
Authentic Camping Experience
If you’re looking to get as close to the real feel of camping, then hybrids are the way to go. Youll be able to get that outdoor feeling, which doesn’t compare to the insulated, closed-off feeling of hard-side trailers.
This is one of the biggest gripes hybrid users have, as the canvas allows a bit of moisture to get in when it’s raining outside. This gets into the beddings, meaning you’ll have to dry out your stuff after the trip if you don’t want mold. It isn’t a worry when the weather’s good, though.
Just as you can hear all the noises coming in from outside n your hybrid, you have to consider that the outside world can hear all the noise you’re making. Conversations, crying toddlers, and family fun won’t be bothering the neighbors when you’re in a hard-side.
It’s a lot easier to get the air flowing just as you like in a hybrid trailer. Zip open a window or two when it’s hot, and the air will flow freely through your living areas.
Another major concern with hybrids is the issue of leakages between the canvas and hard parts of the trailer. These can be a real problem as moisture can damage the underlying components or bring about mold.
While canvas obviously loses out when we consider insulation capability, hybrids don’t lose out quite as heavily as you might think. Even if you don’t like the additional covers, you could use your heater to get reasonably cozy when it gets really cold out.
While the slide-outs on travel trailers will weigh around 800 pounds, at least, you can get your hands on popouts weighing less than 50 pounds. This means that you can have as many as you want along without significantly affecting the overall weight of your setup.
While the setup times for hard-sides will be about ten minutes, hybrids can go for a whole lot longer. Depending on the number of popouts you have, you might need to plan for an hour or an hour and a half of settling down, sometimes in bad weather. This might not be a major consideration if you’ll be staying put for a week, but it can put a real crimp in your program if you’re looking for a quick overnight stop-and-go.
In a hybrid, you really have no control over how much light gets in at sunrise, meaning sleeping in after a late night around the fire can be difficult. This can be a real sore spot when you’ve got the family along with you.
The best way to make this choice is to take a good look at the people you’ll be camping with, and try and figure out how they would feel about the considerations raised above. Think about what you can and can’t do without for a perfect camping trip, and the choice will be a lot easier to make. Happy trails!
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