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Hybrid RVs Improve Gas Mileage, Easy to Tow

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July 26, 2013 by   Leave a Comment

Active families who are looking for a lighter recreation vehicle for better gas mileage and that can be towed with lighter-duty SUVs and trucks should take a look at the “hybrid” RV.

According to a report by Motor Matters, the hybrid travel trailer is also known as the expandable trailer. Hybrids look like a conventional travel trailer under tow. When parked at the campground, however, canvas-like ends fold out to make room for the beds.

A cross between a standard hard-sided travel trailer and a folding tent trailer, the hybrid’s ends expand out, adding sleeping space without the additional length and weight of traditional travel trailers. For many, the combination gives the best of both worlds.

These trailers appeal to empty nesters and young families who like to camp but don’t want the extra expense of buying a heavy-duty tow vehicle. The fabric-sided bunk ends give larger families the convenience of extra sleeping space without the inconvenience of a longer vehicle length.

Longtime RVer Ron Stockall, a retiree living in California, has owned a number of recreation vehicles, including small-sized conventional travel trailers and tent trailers. He said his 2007 16-foot KZ Coyote hybrid “is the best… it is an easy pull with my half-ton pickup.” Stockall’s Coyote weighs in around 3,300 pounds dry and 3,700 loaded.

Hybrid travel trailers come in lengths ranging from about 16 to 25 feet. There are also expandable toy hauler models with an 8-foot by 8-foot cargo deck that converts into a porch area when the toys are offloaded. The toy haulers range up to about 33 feet in overall length.

According to GoRVing.com, lightweight versions have been designed specifically for towing behind many six-cylinder family vehicles. “It is important to match the loaded weight of the RV to the towing capacity of the tow vehicle. Always check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for towing weight restrictions and have your tow package professionally installed.”

For outdoor enthusiasts and avid tent campers who like to breathe fresh air at night, yet want to sleep off the ground, the hybrid offers more security than the pop-up folding camping trailer with its fabric walls and screened windows. It offers all the nice facilities of a travel trailer and at the same time maintains the outside sleeping experience so many tent campers desire. People can still hear the crickets at night and wake up to the sounds of birds.

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