What's the latest on hybrids/expandables?

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New member
Jul 18, 2018
Why can't we find these on dealer lots or see them often in campgrounds?  Do you own one?  Would you purchase again?  Why or why not?  We are upgrading from a very entry level popup and would miss the brightness with a hardside camper.  Are we asking for trouble with a hybrid?  Many thanks for your response.


Well-known member
Dec 21, 2017
Travel trailers are dark, even our light maple interior is dark. The reason they are dark is because most of the potential window space is full of cupboards, clothe and linen closets, pantry, bathroom and etc. window are few and often not very large.

The folk I met liked their Hybrid because it was light, and when traveling with just one of two people the ends need not be used. They also like the fact that you could access it while on the road.

I have read others complain about the lack of hard sides, the tent like feel and heating and cooling issues.

So much depends on what you want. In our case we are an older couple and wanted, a bed you could exit without crawling over your spouse, a full bath, closet and pantry space plus the ability to stop and eat lunch or camp overnight and go without unhitching. To get this required a travel trailer.

We did limit ourselves to 25 feet so we could wind though city street to find quilt shops and other attractions.

Good luck


Oct 11, 2012
The (first and only) camper we purchased 4 years ago was a 2005 Trailmanor 2720SL -- it could be thought of an expandable; it is (roughly) 20 ft long and 5 feet high while towing and 27 ft long and 9 feet high when set up.  It has plenty of windows, is hard-sided, light enough to be towed by our 2012 Traverse and outfitted nicely.  It can also be set up and collapsed during inclement weather.  We have a couch (convertible to small bed), easy chair, 3-way refrig, stove, oven, 30 gal fresh water, 30 gal gray, sink, bathroom (with rigid walls and a cassette-style toilet), over-the-sink cabinet and wardrobe.  A liberal amount of storage space is also available.  I've added 300W of solar, 2xGC2's and a number of other mods.  I'm very happy with the purchase and would consider another (possibly the larger single-axle models).


Well-known member
May 7, 2015
Western Kentucky
A hybrid is an upgrade from a pop up.  If the canvas does not bother you, then go for it.  Used units should be available at much better prices.  Check RVTrader.com and PPL.com among other sources.

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Feb 2, 2005
At our Silver Springs FL home
A hybrid/expandable trailer IS hard-sided.  It just adds push-out sections similar to the bed areas of a pop-up. Combining the features of hard sides with pop-out bunks is what makes it a "hybrid".  If you are upgrading from a pop-up, you will find the push-out bunk spaces very familiar and no more (or less) trouble than your pop-up bunk spaces.  It's a great way to gain space and features without excessive weight and length.

As RGP says, a hard-sided trailer often sacrifices windows for cabinets and furnishings. Some floor plans have minimal window space to maximize storage, while others provide a more airy & light space at the expensive of furnishings. You can only fit so much in a small area!

We see them in campgrounds, at least in the areas we travel. They tend in be in campgrounds that cater to smaller trailers & pop-ups, not so much in the big rig types.  They are also more popular in northern climates where air conditioning is more of an option.  No rig with canvas-covered push-outs does really well with air conditioning.  I see them for sale at dealers too, so maybe you aren't looking at places that cater to smaller trailer buyers?  For example, the Rockwood Roo is popular and widely sold at places like Camping World.


Well-known member
Aug 9, 2012
Saint Johns, FL
I've never owned one, but I've known a couple folks with them, and they like them.

it seems to me that these things offer
(in no particular order, just how they came to mind)

1) grossly more sleeping space for a given size trailer..great for families
2) Ton's more window area for views, and ventilation
3) Sleeping under canvas is great, (IMO)...way better than inside a box.... except see disadvantage section
4) it's a little bit more like what I call camping

1) storing and dealing with wet canvas
2) set-up and breakdown effort
3) when there's nearby noise from a road or whatever.....
4) in temperature extremes (if you get one, look into "popup gizmos")
5) security &/or dealing with bear restrictions
6) depending on the model, an inability to "turtle".... like sleeping overnight in a walmart parking lot or whatever....while enroute to a destination.... with the bunks stowed either for security or for laziness

edit:  ahh, yes... Gary's post entered while I was typing reminded me of the potential lack of cabinets when compared to a standard TT.  great point Gary!
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