Travel Trailers need advice

We are going to buy a travel trailer.

We are not sure what would work best behind a Dodge Durango. We will be traveling about 600 miles.

Have any of you ever used a “hybrid” trailer? And do you like it? What about the problems with pop-ups?

We need to sleep at least five in warm weather.

Try RV. net…

Pretty good site, active forums. You’ll want to know the tow rating of your Durango, and not exceed the weight limits.

If you want my opinion of various travel trailer styles, shoot me an e-mail, I’ll explain my veiws.


Another useful info source…

What is the engine in that Durango ?
If it has the power to pull a hard sided travel trailer, I would go with that.

The only problem is to sleep five, you will probably need at least a 25 footer which might be too heavy for your vehicle

Most people with RV’s will tell you that the progression is from tent to pop up and then to hard side.

A big advantage to a hard side is if you pull into a camp site and it is raining out, you can just get right into the trailer and go to bed where in a pop up or a hybrid, you’ll be out there in the rain setting it up.

The big advantage of the pop up and the hybrid is you’ll get much better gas mileage.

As Tom above says, check into

What ever you do, don’t let some RV salesman tell you that you can pull a 6000 pound trailer with your vehicle.

You won’t be a happy camper, and what ever your manual says, make sure you get something that is a lot lighter then the maximum.

I loved the tent, then the pop-up was like going to a castle, and now my hard side is my ultimate, and I would never go back

If you have more questions, just fire away.

Jack L

How difficult are the hybrids to set up?

Can you go inside a hybrid while it is folded up and cook, etc.?

I am not sure, but I would think so
The ones I have seen have the beds that open up like a pop-up.

Why not go to a large RV dealer and see what they have?

Jack L

compact travel trailers
There’s been some good advice so far. I researched travel trailers intensively last summer before we bought one and I’ll share what I found out about compact trailers. We wanted something we could tow with a medium sized pickup or even my 227 hp Volvo turbo wagon. It had to have a toilet and shower, equipped kitchen, heat and AC. I was very impressed with what is available today in the lightweight lines. Many are under 2500 lbs, even under 2000. Take a look at the R-pods from Fox River for examples. We literally looked at over 100 trailers and the R-pods were our favorites. The various fiberglass “Egg” trailers are light and cute (Casita, Scamp, Burro, etc.) but they are pricey, even used ones, and most don’t have a real toilet or shower.

I disagree that you have to have a 25’ trailer minimum for 5 people. If you are used to camping and will spend most of your time outside anyway, you can use a smaller one, set up right.

Of course, it depends on your personal preference and how you will use it. If you plan to cover a lot of miles with multiple camp stops, you likely should focus on the lightest weight you can feel comfortable with and the simplest to set up. If you plan to just drive to a campground and set up once to stay put for a week or more, maybe a larger unit for comfort or something like a tent trailer that requires more set up and packing/repacking would work for you.

For us,since we will use it as a base camp for kayaking, biking and other strenuous trips, we wanted a trailer we could just back into a space, unlock the door and immediately take a shower, cook dinner and go to bed with no fuss or muss in any weather. Or even use it for changing and showering right at a river put-in parking lot.

We ended up buying a used Road Runner 16 footer (stumbled across a super deal – otherwise would have got an R-Pod 171). It can sleep 5 or 6, with a double bed (collapsing the dinette), two upper fold down bunks that would sleep a kid or pre-teen each, plus a 40" x 80" foldout couch that could sleep one adult or two kids. The dinette seats 4 easily and with a folding chair you could seat a 5th or have two eat at the couch with a small folding table. Has a flush toilet, 20 gallon water tank, 20 gallon greywater and 8 gallon blackwater. The foldout awning will shade a table and several chairs. It has a dual fuel fridge (120v electric or propane), range, microwave, heat and AC plus several storage bins. Though it will mostly be just two of us (with bikes on the back and folding kayaks stowed in the bins) we plan to take the nephews camping with it eventually so there will be 5 or 6 folks in it – maybe take along the 7’ x 7’ tent for extra play and sleep space at the campground. Best of all, it only weighs 2,200 lbs, even with the propane tank and a full water reservoir.

We looked at the A-frames and pop ups as well as the “hard-side” trailers with the fold out soft bunks. Decided we prefer the simplicity and security of everything being within the hard shell and not having to fuss with anything to set up. Plus less moving parts to screw up and wear out.

It’s a highly personal choice. Some of the dealers in Western PA we visited also rent many of their models – if you are unsure what would work for you I highly recommend doing that with a couple of different types, even just for a few local weekend trips. Some dealers will let you apply part of the rental to future purchase.

We have an A-liner Expedition, which is a hard sided pop-up. One of its advantages is its low profile behind the tow vehicle (TV in trailer speak). Something like an R-pod or Casita will have more wind resistance and require a bigger TV. Trailers also differ in window numbers and size. The R-pod, for example, is dark like a cave inside. So imagine spending several days in a trailer in heavy rain. This time of year there are RV shows. Dates differ by area of the country but it is worth going to several if you can. And finally, DO NOT believe the salesperson on how much your vehicle can tow and whether it can tow a particular model in stock.

Thanks willowleaf. I’m going to keep investigating.

Can you rent?
If I were looking to buy, I’d want to rent one first, and I believe this is possible in at least some places. Might be worth looking into as the first step.

I know two people who bought the A-Liner trailers and like them. They are definitely minimalist by trailer standards. However, by tent standards they look pretty darned nice if it’s pouring rain! No wet, flapping walls or guylines to worry about in high wind.

It is RV show time
Look for one and you can see lots and lots of trailers and different types all at once. We have a hybrid and you can use it while the ends are folded up. It only takes us about 5 minutes no more to open it up so in the rain not a big deal and the insides stay dry while setting up. Now to unhitch and setup once we are in our site about 10 minutes.