Hi y'all. Are there useful guides that compare the various HTTs on the market or does one need to go to all the manufacturer's websites?
My Google skills have failed me.
no, such guides don't even exist for other types of RVs.
visit a few websites and find which floorplan and specs work for you and your tow vehicle.
then go and see the brands that make such a floorplan.
for example, nearly all brands make a 19' hybrid. they all are nearly the same in layout. but you may find differences in quality, fit/finish and features.
Dan- Firefighter, Shawn- Musician/Entrepreneur, Zoe- Faithful Golden Retriever, 2007 Chevrolet Avalanche LS, 2007 Rockwood Roo 23SS w/Equalizer and Prodigy, and 5 Mtn. bikes and 2 Road bikes
Start reading the threads here. Your primary, initial task is to determine just how big a hybrid you can tow -- if indeed you can tow any at all. This is the Tow Vehicle part and is paramount. You need at least 1000 pounds more maximum towing capacity than the trailer weighs loaded. The 1000 pounds allows you to carry passengers and cargo in the truck. "Dry weight" in any travel trailer is pure fiction and the trailer weighs at least 300 pounds more sitting on the dealer's lot.
Once you determine what (or if) you can tow a hybrid start working on a priority list for things you need and then want in the camper. You can't get it all even if you can tow 20,000 pounds!
Also determine if you want to sleep in a tent. That's the main benefit for us in a hybrid but is a major defect for many others. We're more than willing to put up with the hassles of wet tentage to sleep outdoors.
Work on your priority list long before you go looking at trailers. Read the threads here. There are small details regarding features and floor plans that are not apparent to the uninitiated. Things like do you want to have to climb over a sofa or dinette to get into bed -- we do NOT!, others could care less. Can you close the bathroom door when sitting on the potty? The time to determine these things is before you look at them.
Beds should also be considered. Nothing ruins a camping weekend like having to sleep on the sofa or in the dinette. If you need 3 beds you need 3 beds, not 2. There are some nice 3-bed models if your family needs them.
Buy your second camper first. The 17 and 19 footers can be very nice but the 23 footers have "twice" the interior space and convenience features. Buy the largest camper you can tow (and store).
There are two major players in this game: Forest River and Jayco, both with several brand names. And several smaller players. There are also a couple of major dealers in the game headed by RVWholesalers in western Ohio. MSRPs are 30% higher than street prices at RVW and a couple of others. Your local, half-dozen trailer shop may not be where you want to buy.
It's almost September. We go in the barn in 10 weeks and come out in April. The 2014 models will be on the major dealers lots in May or June next year. Unless you're in a 12-month camping area the time to buy is next May or June.
Agree with Chuck_S suggestions. Prioritize. Some things you'll absolutely, positively HAVE to have, some you don't need and some you won't care either way. Does the SF in your sig mean you're in the San Fransisco area?? bikendan is in the NO CA area and can give you into on what you may find and where. As you're making your list, be sure to inclued things like corner shower vs tub, large kitchen couter space vs regular, oven vs no oven, sofa vs no sofa, sofa in front of bunkend vs no. How much storage to you need? Little things that you'll discover along the way. As Chuck mentioned, if you need 3 beds, suggest you address that now rather than be back in a year or two wishing you didn't have to upgrade. Suggest that as you're searching, remember that salesmen are there to sell you something - their advice may not always be the correct advice. "Sure, you can tow that!" is probably the #1 in bad advice. Bring your numbers to the forum and get the best possible help and based on experience. Good luck and happy shopping!
2013 Rockwood Ultra Lite 2604
2003 Ford F-150 with Blue Ox 1000 & Prodigy
5 doggies - We support Adopt/Rescue
Sam, you were the best!
Foxy is our new camping buddy
This is very good info to get started. I am "preshopping" for my inlaws instead of for myself and while I don't know everything they would need I can probably rule out a few things.
Their TV is a recent F150 but I don't have the specifics. When I ask my FIL, he sounds like salesman: "We can do it. It's a truck!".
So that's one reason I'm prescreening. I don't want them bringing home a 5er. I'm giving myself a trailer GVWR of 5000lbs to work with but I really could be wrong. I gotta squeeze more info out of them.
We are in a year-round camping area (Yes, near SF bay, although my inlaws are out in the boonies which is why I can't just check the door sticker) but maybe this year's models will be discounted soon.
They may end up with a small TT, but I thought a hybrid would be good for them since they like to drag along grandchildren. The kids don't minds tents though.
If it's any help.....we tow with an '03 F-150 BUT it does have the factory tow package and seems like I remember tow capacity is 8000#. We have an '06 ROO 23SS and fully loaded, minus anything in the tanks it's 5000# on the nose. If FIL's truck does not have the tow package, it's considerably less capacity. Need to find that out for sure. A truck is not necessarily a TRUCK!!
99% of the time, it's just the two of us AARP members, and the 23SS is perfect. We enjoy fixing really good meals and the countertop space is wonderful. DH can and occasionally does use the corner shower - he's 6'3" - but is generally more comfortable using the shower house. Fine by me, I'm perfectly happy with my corner shower. We deploy the rear bunk when it's just the 2 of us for a few reasons - we like the roominess it gives even in cold weather, if the weather is nice, the open bunkend really lets the breezes come through and lastly, we set the laundry basket back there and any other stuff we need stow, but not in a cabinet, etc. Company is no problem since the rear bunk is there and available and the slide makes for a very comfortable area. Plenty of walk-around room. Add Foxy, the dog, or previously Sam, World's Best Yellow Camping Lab, and there is still plenty of space. Suggest you check it out.