I wouldn't discard the idea of the hybrid. The hybrid is a good choice for those in between a pop up and a travel trailer. We owned a pop up for several years. Yes we had to take it down wet. If it wasn't raining at the time we took it down, we would use a towel and wipe down the canvas before putting it inside. If it was raining, then we did the best we could. Either way, when we got home, we opened it up and aired it out. No different than if tent camping. It's no big deal. We never had a leak on our pop up. The benefit of the hybrid is you can get more room in one than a tt of the same length. Plus you get a real bathroom and kitchen over that than a pop up. Generally hybrids are lighter than TT's as well.
You have to decide which is the best fit for you. Honestly if it were me and the price was making the differen, then I would go with the cheapest one and decide if I'm going to like camping or not. If you like it, but hate dealing with the canvas, then sell it and buy a hard sided TT. In that meantime, you will probably also realize that there are other options that you want and some you can do without. I wouldn't expect to get exactly what you want with your first purchase. And as time goes by, your taste may change.
You know until you really spend some time in a rig you just don't know what you like. We bought a B, and it was to small, we bought an A and I hated not having a drivers side door, We bought a C and I wish it had a slide....We aren't buying another ever
The lesson I learned from it is important -- slide-outs help immensely with the crampedness, and I wanted something more agile for smaller campsites where backing up even a smaller trailer is difficult for one person.
I looked at class Bs, and love the agility of their size, because other than parking garages, I could take one to work on Friday, then head off to wherever after the day ends. On Monday, I can come back and drive the class B to work, sleep/shower/shave in it. However, when parked and the weather is inclement (and too windy to risk an awning), they do get cramped, especially if 1-2 people want to join me on some expedition.
I like the amenities of a class A, however, where I am in central TX, there are no real places to get them serviced, and most are too large for some of the more rustic campsites in the state parks. Plus, there is upkeep on the rigs.
So, after factoring others out, I'm looking at a class C for my next rig. The cabover will be useful if others want to join me (or just extra storage), and I can find them in a length that can fit in some of the smaller CG places, but not so small that the walls start closing in if stuck inside due to a day or two of inclement weather.
It sounds to me that you have some really good experts right at your door step. As this will not be your last rv I would look at it a different way. Get a used unit thats in great shape (your dad should know) and a great price. Treat this unit a a learning tool as what we want and what we don't want. You did not say anything about pets or kids those will add another thought process to the decission.
You will find the more you look that you will not find the unit that has all you want. I guess (for me) I would stay away from canvas in anyform. Look at your life style and go from there.
Excellent advice! Everyone I know who has some kind of RV is on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc unit. The first one you buy is like RV training wheels. You don't know what you don't know until you buy it and use it. It won't take you long to figure out that you like your walk around queen bed and slide out, but you don't like your tiny bathroom or setting up the dining room table as a bed every night. Your second unit will be more suitable than your first unit because you will be seasoned RVers by then.
I would strongly advise you to stay small unless you plan to upgrade your truck pretty soon. Personally, I prefer smaller trailers anyway. We've had pop-ups before, plus a little 19ft trailer and a 30ft trailer. As our needs changed, our RV changed.We're at the point now where the kids don't camp with us more than 1-2 times/year, so we don't need the bunks and all the extra space. We bought ourselves a nice, clean,older TT in January. It's 25ft and no slide. Got the queen size bed, great storage,full size sofa and big bathroom. We elected not to have a slide. Which works out fine, because we spend a lot of our time outside anyway. But even when it rains, it doesn't feel too small for us. Now if we had little kids in there, it would be too much, but just the two of us? Perfect.
"Those who dwell...among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life."--Rachel Carson, environmentalist, 1956
2009 Ford F250 XL
2006 Dutchmen 25F
Me & DH in non-parenting mode!
AS I mentioend years ago we had the pop up (and I wouldn't have a problem having another one right now if that is all I could have), we now have a 31' bunkhouse. While it's roomy enough for us, we have learned that the set up is not all the best for us. We hav one child and we got the bunkhouse so she would have her own area and because we thought she would have friends come with her. We are on our 3rd year with it and no friends have come with us and she prefers to sleep on the sofa! So the space in the bunkhouse is wasted for us, except for some storage. We would like our bathroom and bedroom are to be a little bigger. Kitchen and living area is fine, but the sofa could be more comfortable. We also want more windows. WE had considered moving up to a 5th wheel. It's something we could do right now, but we are also considering a Class C. One benefit is not towing something as large as long trailer with a long truck. No hooking up/unhooking (unless we have a toad). We will also go with the smallest we can stand. It will be a couple years before we can even think about getting one and our daughter will start getting older as well. Soon she will not want to go with us. We figure it will be our camper before we retire. Then when we retire, we will get something else. As it is now, we bought a truck to pull our camper. It really doesn't get driven much any other time. With what we pay for our truck and camper monthly right now, we could have a nice Class C paid for in about 7 or 8 years...and thats not including the down payment.
Get what you feel is right for you and your budget.... just know that once you get something, the bug will bite and you will end up with something else later on...lol
When deciding on what to get you need to look at what your camping style is. Will you be camping in RV resorts with full hook ups (water, electric and sewer hook up at site), state parks with partial hook ups (ie water/electric sites), or boon docking (no hook ups)? This will determine how big of tanks (fresh, grey and black) you need. What seasons and weather will you be camping in? Do you need extra insulation (ie a polar package)? From what I understand, State parks out west can also dictate the length of what camping unit you get (ask others for max length in these parks).
Next look at your needs. Do you have kids? If so do you need bunks? A quad bunk is probably out for your TV but 2 bunks is not necessarily out. How many people do you need to sleep? What styles do you like? ie murphy bed, queen bed, rear bath? etc. Go sit as a family/couple in a few different trailers (or whatever types of RV's you are considering) with the doors closed. Imagine how you would use the unit. Think about where you would put things (ie DW's clothes in that cabinet, dishes in this cabinet, chairs under the bed etc). Act out your daily activities (ie DW cooks, DH watches TV, walks to bathroom, any kids play etc), imagine walking around pets etc. This will help you to narrow down your choices. We created a spreadsheet with options that were important to us across the top (ie bunks, weight, tank size etc) and model/make down the side. This allowed us to determine what models would work for us and helped us to narrow down our decisions.
Once you get an idea of what you are looking for in a floorplan come back to us and we can help you to come up with some options. Happy hunting!
One thing to remember is you are the one buying and using the RV. Take your MIL and Father's advice, but temper it with the fact that your needs are different from theirs. I bought my last TT from my parents when they decided to move to a MH. Some of the things they liked about that TT, were the things I liked the least. My current TT was bought for my needs, not theirs, although their opinion mattered when I was looking.
I want to say thanks for all the advice. We have eliminated hybrids from our search. I just wont have time to give the canvas the attention it will need to prevent failure. We don't have the ability to put a RV in the drive way, so we will be storing at a facility.
We went and visited all the major RV dealers today in the area. Kept notes and took pictures. The good news is we have narrowed to two different vendor models from the same dealer.
Started the financing process. Yippie. Now the last question for us to answer is.. To Airbag or not to Airbag?! that is the question..