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Old 05-18-2015, 07:36 AM   #11
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Like many others we started with a pop-up. After several years and experiences of setting up and taking down in the rain we bought a new Jay Feather X23B. We live in Kentucky. We have been to Alaska, twice to California and back in this camper. No leaks no problems. Love it. We feel like we get a lot more living space while towing a shorter lighter trailer. In bad weather we just turtle in. Sort of the best of both worlds.
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:42 AM   #12
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There is a lot of personal choices out there. We have a 2012 23B, absolutely love it. There are only three of us, plus the dog. Plenty of room. We did make a number of modifications so it fits our needs and requirements. I think the beds are very comfortable, the DW sleeps over the hinge area, and never complains about it, and I have asked if she can feel it and she says “no”. We love the amount of space the 23B has, especially when setup.

As for leaks, we have had three. One I think any TT could have. We were caught in extreme driving rain, while driving through many miles of road construction, would have loved to pull off as I could not see to drive safely, but there was nowhere to go. The leak was where the pipes go through the floor into the FW tank, the driving rain made its way between the belly FW tank and the floor, and up the hole. That area now sealed up nice. The other two leaks were from closing the bunk hatches with a piece of canvas skirting stuck in the door seal. Only fixed for that issue is by making sure we watch the canvas as we close the bunks. I have had zero issues with the canvas.

All the campers have issues with Condensation. In the HTT, we unzip one side window a few inches and leave the roof vent open a ˝” (we have a Max Air vent). Since doing that we have no condensation issues at all.

As for making the beds, you are us to that in a PU. We work as a team setting up. From the outside I unzip the window screen and canvas curtain, and help make the bed from the outside, while the DW is inside making it. It works very well, and very quickly.

One of the features I like about the 23B, is the ability to “turtle”. That is where you can sleep in the unit without opening the bunk ends. As a family of three, it works quite well. We have done it a few times, such in Yellowstone, Walmart parking lots, even rolled into a CG at 1 am (brother had a mechanical issue on the way to camp, I helped get it fixed, so we were REALLY late)

You mentioned you have looked at several campers. My recommendation is go to the dealer(s), have the sales person open up the units you like, and then ditch the salesperson, just sit in each unit, dig through all the cabinets, and imagine where and how you are going to use the space. As for a HTT, I would also have the salesperson, open and close the hatches, and do it yourself once or twice.
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:02 AM   #13
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One of our thoughts with buying the 23b was that if there were only 2 or 3 people on the trip we can make an overnight stop in rainy weather without deploying the tent ends. Between the J steel sofa and the U dinette bed we could easily get by. Not as comfortable, but we prefer to keep the tent ends dry before packing up the beds.

As has been mentioned already, the hybrid is not at all like deploying a pop-up. To consider them the same is missing some of the hybrid features. Unlike prepping a pop-up for travel or camping use, all your things in a hybrid remain basically in place within the trailer. You have real cupboard and storage spaces. There is much less unpacking and packing with a hybrid. The only real operation is tipping out the beds.

Again, as has been mentioned, the hybrids give lots of space with less tow weight. We like that the tent ends make it a little more like camping. That said, we don't do much winter camping.

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Old 05-18-2015, 09:06 AM   #14
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The hinge area on a Jayco hybrid bunk is relatively flat. We had a Rockwood PUP and were inclined to get a Roo until we saw the stair step like transition from coach to bunk for the 2013 model year. The transition is one of the design features for the Jayco I liked over FR.
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:13 AM   #15
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I've had pop-ups and hard side TT's. Last year, I sold the PUP, it was just to much work and very limited space when I had the kids and grandkids. I was looking for a hard side TT when I stumbled across a used 23b. I was quite hesitant on a hybrid, bunkends and space but mine has a slide and the bunkends are super easy to deploy, leaving more time to relax with the kids.
I can load the HTT with our clothes and provisions before leaving, which leaves more room in my truck. I don't have suitcases and such laying all over as I did with the PUP. I love being able to unzip the sides for fresh air, especially on cool nights. I can turtle it on cold fall nights. Love that its lightweight for towing.
I would say the only downside is noisy neighbors at night. We had a family pull in last fall at 2 am and decided that was the perfect time to set up camp and I heard EVERYTHING.
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kennedy64 View Post
I've had pop-ups and hard side TT's. Last year, I sold the PUP, it was just to much work and very limited space when I had the kids and grandkids. I was looking for a hard side TT when I stumbled across a used 23b. I was quite hesitant on a hybrid, bunkends and space but mine has a slide and the bunkends are super easy to deploy, leaving more time to relax with the kids.
I can load the HTT with our clothes and provisions before leaving, which leaves more room in my truck. I don't have suitcases and such laying all over as I did with the PUP. I love being able to unzip the sides for fresh air, especially on cool nights. I can turtle it on cold fall nights. Love that its lightweight for towing.
I would say the only downside is noisy neighbors at night. We had a family pull in last fall at 2 am and decided that was the perfect time to set up camp and I heard EVERYTHING.
x2 We have had our hybrid for 5 years. No problems with leaks or condensation. Everything still works like new. The biggest problem is the noise after 10pm. We usually need to run a small portable fan or the AC fan so the kids can get to sleep.
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Old 05-27-2015, 12:28 PM   #17
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We've been out 3 time now in our new to us 23B. We skipped the PUP stage and went right from tents to the 23B.

We're loving it, during our early April trip had some pretty good storms and had no problems with leaks.

The last time out, we went with friends who had a PUP. The bunkends on the 23B are much, much easier to setup/take down. I'd second the recommendation to try it for yourself at the dealers; Also it rained the morning of our last day. Had 4 kids and 4 adults sitting inside for breakfast. We fed the kids and then stuck them in the bunk to play while the adults sat down to eat.

I can't tow anything bigger, so for us you just can't beat the available space in the HTT vs. TT.
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Old 05-27-2015, 12:45 PM   #18
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Hybrids are nice - you get a lightweight trailer with that airy pop-up feeling, but you have the amenities of a travel trailer. I seriously considered one myself when we moved up from a popup.

But there were two things that changed my mind:

1. If you set up or pack up during a rainstorm, your bed is gonna get wet. Same problem with the popup.

2. If you are camping in a National Park, in bear country, you cannot keep anything in your fridge, and you must empty the trailer of all "smellables," such as toiletries, soap, pots & pans, dishes - anything that could possibly have an odor that could attract a bear. The fold-out beds would put you in the same category as a popup.

When we visited Yellowstone in our popup, we even had to remove the stove. The rules are strict and are enforced - with fines. When I questioned the Ranger about locking up my water jug, he replied in this way . . . "Suppose you make hamburgers for supper tonight. After you make the patties, you need to wash the grease off your hands. So you grab your water jug and pour out water into a wash basin. You just left meat scent on the water jug handle. the bear doesn't know that - he just smells meat and will come looking for it."

We opted for a lightweight TT instead. But I don't know your camping spots, so that may not be of concern for you. Me - my sister lives in Idaho, so I travel westward frequently and like to visit the NPs along the way. So it made sense for me.

PS: those rules apply in Acadia NP (Maine), Great Smoky Mt NP, Tetons, Yellowstone, Rocky Mt. NP, Glacier NP, Yosemite NP, and many more I haven't been to.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:21 PM   #19
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see my notes below in red

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoutr2 View Post
Hybrids are nice - you get a lightweight trailer with that airy pop-up feeling, but you have the amenities of a travel trailer. I seriously considered one myself when we moved up from a popup.

But there were two things that changed my mind:

1. If you set up or pack up during a rainstorm, your bed is gonna get wet. Same problem with the popup. We have setup and torn down in the rain many times. Not an issue, how the seams are done, they will hold the water and pool in the canvas, but it does not leak onto the beds.

2. If you are camping in a National Park, in bear country, you cannot keep anything in your fridge, and you must empty the trailer of all "smellables," such as toiletries, soap, pots & pans, dishes - anything that could possibly have an odor that could attract a bear. The fold-out beds would put you in the same category as a popup. When we were in Yellowstone a few years back, we "turtled" it, camped with the bunk ends closed, and slept on the dinette and j-sofa, no big deal, just not as comfy

When we visited Yellowstone in our popup, we even had to remove the stove. The rules are strict and are enforced - with fines. When I questioned the Ranger about locking up my water jug, he replied in this way . . . "Suppose you make hamburgers for supper tonight. After you make the patties, you need to wash the grease off your hands. So you grab your water jug and pour out water into a wash basin. You just left meat scent on the water jug handle. the bear doesn't know that - he just smells meat and will come looking for it." that is what was nice about turtling

We opted for a lightweight TT instead. But I don't know your camping spots, so that may not be of concern for you. Me - my sister lives in Idaho, so I travel westward frequently and like to visit the NPs along the way. So it made sense for me.

PS: those rules apply in Acadia NP (Maine), Great Smoky Mt NP, Tetons, Yellowstone, Rocky Mt. NP, Glacier NP, Yosemite NP, and many more I haven't been to.
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Old 05-27-2015, 01:49 PM   #20
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We tented for many years, then had 2 pop-ups over an 11 year period, one junky one for a year, and one new one that we had for 10 years.

We bought our first hybrid in '03, a 17' Jayco Kiwi 17a. Wonderful trailer, we had it for 10 years. No leaks save for a small one where a roof seam dried up, and that can happen on any trailer. Aside from a few stains from tree drippings, the canvas was like new when we traded it. One of the best parts about it was that setup/take down time was cut dramatically. That hybrid still used poles to hold the bed like the old pop-ups used. We could do it in 20 minutes if we don't setup all our lights and whirligigs.

We loved the hybrid so much that it's replacement is a 2013 X20E. So we're in our 13th season with hybrids and we've loved every minute of it. Especially the slide out! We were tenters so the little bit of noise we get is no big deal to us. We'll take that over being locked in a box and having to turn the AC on just to get air moving. They aren't for everyone though. Setup is even better on this and other newer ones. The bed uses cables instead of poles and the canvas is permanently attached. It's literally unlock the bed, drop the wall, put in the shepherds pole, lay out the mattress. Less than 5 minutes for each bed.

I will say this about the beds and setup in general, we just throw down a flat sleeping bag and throw blankets and pillows on top of that. Some folks try to do fitted sheets. So you can make setup as hard or as easy as you choose. It's your home away from home, do what works best for you.

Having so much experience with hybrids now, I guess I've never really understood the concern about packing up wet. You have to keep in mind that the entire bunk end is vinyl covered canvas, unlike older pop-ups that had real canvas on many exposed areas. When that stuff get's wet, it takes the better part of a day to dry out. I really hated packing up in the rain when we had the pop-ups. Packing in the rain doesn't bother me in the slightest now. Most times if it's wet and not raining when packing up, we just take a towel and dry the bunk ends off. It's just vinyl. And the rare time or two we've had to pack in the rain, the bunk ends dry off in 20 minutes or so when we get it home and open them up. It takes longer to unpack our food and clothing.

EDIT: I worry more about rolling up the awning wet.

I will say this, there is one big negative, and it's the same if you got a full walled travel trailer, they are expensive to tow. It's a box, and your towing mileage will suck. For us it's well worth it though!
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