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Old 07-18-2013, 11:34 PM   #1
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Location: Tacoma, WA
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Looking into a Jay Feather Hybrid

Our camping has taken a bit of a U-turn this season getting into boondocking. We're looking to do the unthinkable - trade in our pretty new trailer on something smaller that can get to more places. We really want to go to more forest service campgrounds and actual boondock spots. We are looking at Jay Feather hybrid models (and maybe the rear-slide model). Our first trailer was a Jay Feather and held up pretty well for its age. I didn't like the floor (seemed to get misshapen) but I think that was partially due to such a big slide on that trailer.

How are the newer trailers holding up for those of you with them? We want something that can handle a fair amount of gravel forest service road. I know ground clearance isn't the best, but how many are using their trailer in this manner? We started looking at the off-road pop ups but a hybrid seems like a nice compromise, keeping a real bathroom and all. Does anyone have the 2" lift option?

Any concerns of leaks, delamination, or other concerns? We've been really happy with Jayco so far - I wish they made something just a bit beefier in a hybrid.


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Old 07-19-2013, 09:09 AM   #2
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You might want to get in touch with RoyBrady.....

He does a lot of boondocking and he has a Jayco pop-up. The heavy duty off-road model. I can't think of which one it was. But I'm sure he can give you a lot of info.

Based on what you describe, I'm not sure a hybrid would be the ideal type to get.

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Old 07-19-2013, 10:26 AM   #3
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I don't think it would take to many miles on unpaved forest service roads to really put a hurting on a TT/HTT. If you could swing it, I would consider getting a used PUP (preferably a lower cost used one) that you could swing in addition to the QBH. This way you have something to boondock with and have to worry so much about damage to a $20K+ plus TT.

Not to mention, if the values in WA are much like CA you are going to take a pretty might hit on the '12 QBH to trade it in. We would really like upgrade to the QBH (ironically enough), but to get the ~30% off MSRP for the QBH we are only being offered 55% of what we paid for the '12 26BH in Fall 2011 for a trade in. I could sell private party, but I guess we don't really want the upgrade that bad to deal with the hassel.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:25 PM   #4
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we wanted the big comfortable trailer for vacations and such but still wanted the capability to go to remote areas. I don't think anybody understood why we did it but we did exactly what clubhouse said. we bought a used pop up and now all is right with the world. i think the pop up added like 32 dollars a year for insurance and permanently registering it was 90 dollars. last weekend we took the big trailer to Idaho and next weekend we head for the mountains with the pop up to pick huckleberries. not for everyone two trailers is,but for us we are very pleased.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:35 PM   #5
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I agree with glsimms, I would not use a hybrid to go off road and expect it to hold up. I had a 2005 19H which lasted us until this past year.
We took it off road a little and I was nervous doing it. The off road pop ups are the way to go IMO.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:54 PM   #6
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I am not clear on just what you are wanting to do by off road do you mean off blacktop and on gravel then I think you would be ok. I know for me that my TT is to big or almost to big for most forest service camp grounds around my area they were made for Tents or smaller trailers most of them were made befor camp trailers were as long and as wide with slides my slide is 37 inches deep and a lot of spots in forest camp grounds arent wide enough unless you can get a double. but as long as you are not planning on pulling a Hybrid where you need a 4x4 to get in and out of it should be fine just take your time on gravel roads IMO.
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:49 PM   #7
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A few years ago on one of the hybrid forums I was on at the time, there was someone who took a 17ft hybrid and did a lot of modifications to make it useable for rugged off road use. He built his own custom lift kit, flipped the axles, put on 16 in wheels with knobby tires, and a host of other things. If you want to use a hybrid off road, a DIY project may be your only option.
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Old 07-22-2013, 02:52 PM   #8
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We were just in Glacier NP, this past week. I do not recall the name of the NP CG (Kitla Lake???). But it is on the west side of the park almost to Canada. Up to the park entrance was a mix of gravel and paved roads. Those roads I would have no issues taking my HTT on. The last 15 miles was all narrow rough gravel. We saw a 24-26 foot TT coming down the road towards us. He was traveling really slowly, as the road was rough. At times I was considering putting my truck in 4x4 mode as I was slipping (no trailer). That road would have been the extreme of what I would want to take my HTT on. Mostly because of the distance with the road condition.

I have been down a lot of gravel roads over the years with my parent’s trailers (PU, & TTs). We have never had any major issues. One thing we (as a family) have always done is rip out the sewer pipe connects at some point on every trailer. Once my DW gets more comfortable with boondocking and not having reservations, we will take our HTT to more remote locations.

If the road is rough take your time. Check your tires and your spare before your leave. We have traveled 100’s of miles down gravel roads at decent speeds, and have had very little issues. Just if you do, note that you will have dust inside the TT.

On my HTT (23B) I do not believe I could put on bigger tires, even if I had purchased the 2” lift kit. The tires are just too close to each other.

Someone on the forum last fall purchased a skylark (V nose) single axle (??) and made a custom lift, with larger wheels. It looked like he made a nice off road trailer, it was light, and short, and had good ground clearance.

If you can swing it, I like the idea of having a second trailer as a PU.

Best Adventures to you,

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