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Old 12-14-2015, 09:14 PM   #1
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Considering a hybrid

Hello-
We are a family of four who currently have an old, '99 Jayco Eagle 10 pop-up. We are seriously considering buying a lightweight hybrid a few years old. I have a 2014 Ford Flex, which has a 4500 lb. towing capacity. We would love to get the most room that we can from a camper. Would love the x23B, but think that it's too heavy after packing. Looking at a 19xud possibly. We like the idea of having a sofa that can be used as another seating/sleeping area.
We are also concerned with the learning curve on owning a bigger camper! I feel like we'd need camper school for new owners!
Anyone towing with a vehicle like ours? Own an 19xud? Have advice?

PS- We are mostly interested in east coast trips, mainly to beach areas, not often going in mountainous areas.

Thank-you!
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Old 12-14-2015, 09:41 PM   #2
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Not sure what you're asking. I have a smaller truck and moved from a pop-up to a 19h and love it. You'll never regret it.
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Old 12-14-2015, 09:47 PM   #3
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I took the plunge this year. I went from an old Pop Up and picked up a 2005 19 foot Jayco Hybrid.

This was the best thing we could have done. The trailer is a pleasure to use and as a family it is a great fit for us.

There was not much of a learning curve. Ours came with the owners manual and with a little research on You Tube and this group everything is easy.

I pull ours with an older F150, and it does tow differently than the Pop Up. That took a little time to get used to. I spent the money on the Weight Distribution Hitch, Electric Brake Controller and the Mirror Extensions. After some You Tube research and practice I don't look like a rookie anymore.

I say go for it. For my family of 5 it was worth it.

Good luck
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Old 12-15-2015, 06:49 AM   #4
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We love our 23B. The 19H, is its smaller cousin. Do your research. Your Flex, might still be undersized. Tow capacity is calculated with an average size driver and a full fuel tank. Adding three more people plus cargo, reduces your towing capacity, which might eliminate the 19H.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:46 AM   #5
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Welcome to the JOF!

A while back I was a passenger in a Flex towing an empty 12x8 Uhaul trailer. It had 6 people in it and it struggled. There may also be a frontal area limitation to what the Flex can tow.

Yes, towing a box down the road is very different from a pop-up. The wind resistance alone will change the entire dynamic of your driving experience. When you get a trailer do a couple of test drives at various speeds and road conditions. Get to know what noises it makes and how the vehicle feels so you know the "baseline". Expect your gas mileage to be anywhere from 8-12 MPG. Yes, it'll be that bad. Keep in mind that you are towing a box into the wind. But do keep track of mileage. A drop in mileage can indicate a problem with the tow vehicle.

My thought is that even with a 19h you'll have a dismal towing experience. You'll be looking at a large SUV in a short time.
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:23 AM   #6
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Our X23B weighed 4400# loaded (from the CAT Scale), we towed with an '03 Expedition 5.4. It did an adequate job pulling and delivered mpg in the 9's. Our Rear GAWR was 4128# from the sticker and with the WDH engaged the rear axle weighed 3800#. This was with just the Bride, myself and wiener dog aboard. I would expect your Flex to be very close on the rear axle max if not over.
A visit to the scale will tell you what the rear axle weighs, the difference between that and the Rear GAWR is how much more weight you can add. Assuming a tongue weight of 15% of the TT GAW a little back calculation will estimate what your MAX TT should be. (Rear GAWR - Rear Axle weight)/0.15
The CAT Scale is your friend.
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:41 AM   #7
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The flex tv may move on to another home at which time you will move up to a tv with more umpf. I wouldn't go half way with something unless you're sure it will meet your camping needs for a long time. Maybe it would make sence to tried a used hybrid to keep your entry $$ lower and see how it goes.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:39 PM   #8
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You are right to be concerned about your TV. A good rule of thumb is to stay under 75% of your TVs rated capacity. Any more than that and things start to get squirly on windy days, winding roads, passing trucks, hills, etc.

We went from a Starcraft popup to the x23B a couple years ago and pretty much doubled our trailer weight. Our TV was an '06 Tundra Crew Cab V8 with an Equalizer WDH. While it did fine on flat roads with little wind it was not fun to drive under any of the other conditions above. The '06 was the last model year of the smaller Tundra and it was rated at only 7700 lbs. We went with a GMC Sierra crew Cab LTZ with all the bells and whistles, rated at 9800 lbs, and it tows like a dream.

Side note: We are currently looking at bigger trailers with full hard sides. We thought the expandable would be a quicker set up and tear down than the popup but it's really not for us. With the popup we could leave the beds made and just slide them in. With the expandable you have to unmake the bed in order to fold and stow the mattresses. The popup gave us the ability to unhook the sides and stick our heads up under the canvas to make the beds. With the expandable you have to crawl on and sit on the mattress as you make it up. We also use foam toppers to make the beds comfortable and we could leave them on the made up beds in the popup. In the expandable we have to remove them and roll them up. I'm retiring soon and we plan to travel farther so we want something that doesn't take an hour to set up each day and another hour to tear down the next morning. Yes, I know there are sleeping bags, sleep sacks, etc, but my DW likes a properly made up bed so we need a walkaround.

Don't get me wrong though, we love the x23B and all its amenities. We just want something easier to live with. Of course with a bigger trailer we'll have to upgrade our truck accordingly.
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Old 12-16-2015, 01:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXFolk View Post
With the popup we could leave the beds made and just slide them in. With the expandable you have to unmake the bed in order to fold and stow the mattresses. The popup gave us the ability to unhook the sides and stick our heads up under the canvas to make the beds. With the expandable you have to crawl on and sit on the mattress as you make it up.
I often see this as a "drawback" to a hybrid. What puzzles me is why "make the beds"? I can certainly see how that could be a real hassle, which is why we've never done this. Coming up from tents we always used sleeping bags, even in our pop-up. While we no longer use the sleeping bag for sleeping, one does get laid out flat and unzipped on top the mattress with the pillows and comforters thrown on top. Nothing to "make" and it's fast and simple.
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Old 12-16-2015, 02:58 PM   #10
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Like I said in my post, Chuck, cuz that's how the DW likes it. :-)
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