Best hybrid travel trailer manufacturers and their top models

6 Best Hybrid Travel Trailer Manufacturers and Their Top Models

Updated on February 9th, 2024

Many camping enthusiasts love tenting but like the security of a hard-side travel trailer. In the past, a pop-up camper was the only solution to this problem, but now, there are hybrid travel trailers that expand your RV purchasing choices.

Hybrid travel trailers offer more features and sleeping space than you expect, which I showcase in this guide of the top manufacturers of this niche RV segment, along with the models customers rate the highest.

There’s nothing like camping with the smells, sounds, and fresh air nature provides within the safety of your hybrid travel trailer, so stay here to learn more!

What Is a Hybrid Camper?

A towed hybrid camper

A hybrid travel trailer merges the hard sides of a traditional bumper-pull camping trailer and the fold-out, expandable features of a pop-up camper.

You can find hybrid trailers in a wide range of lengths and floorplans, which enables owners to select the features and sleeping quarters they require, along with plenty of other fun amenities you may not expect.

Most hybrid travel trailers have a slimmer profile, enabling them to go off-road through single-lane roads to reach remote campsites. The narrower body also gives your family more outdoor space at traditional RV park campsites.

Hybrid camping trailers feature expandable bays similar to those found in pop-up campers. These bays contain beds, greatly enhancing the trailer’s sleeping capacity and making it perfect for bigger families.

Many hybrid trailer models use fold-out bays to expand the kitchen and living space, making the entire RV much more spacious and providing room for more appliances and amenities not found in other recreational vehicles.

Lastly, hybrid campers are lightweight, easy to tow, and often more affordable than a standard travel trailer, making them an excellent choice for RVers on a budget.

6 Best Hybrid Trailer Manufacturer Models

Next up are the best hybrid trailer models by the top manufacturers, with all the details about features, price, and weight for easy comparison shopping.

1. Keystone Bullet Crossfire 2190EX

Basic Specs:

Length25′ 4″
Sleeping capacity4 up to 10
Dry Weight4,515 lbs
Cargo Weight1,785 lbs

The Keystone Bullet Crossfire 2190EX has an aluminum and fiberglass shell that keeps the trailer lightweight yet durable, which is one aspect that adds to the high ratings from customers.

The trailer’s interior has a luxury feel, with three queen-size expandable beds, two convertible sofas, and a single slide, allowing plenty of room for large families to spread out and relax.

The kitchen space features a large U-shaped dinette and a full array of appliances to cook up meals. The model also boasts an outdoor kitchen to increase camp-cooking convenience.

Other top features include:

  • Full bathroom
  • Pass-through storage compartment
  • 6 cubic foot refrigerator
  • 15-ft awning with LED lighting
  • Quick-recovery LP/Electric water heater
  • 43-gallon freshwater tank
  • 30-gallon grey/30-gallon black wastewater tanks

2021 Keystone Bullet Crossfire 2190EX (Video)

2. Jayco Jay Feather X23E

Basic Specs:

Length26′ 8″
Sleeping capacityup to 10
Dry Weight5,235 lbs
Cargo Weight910 lbs

The Jayco Jay Feather X23E hybrid travel trailer is a bit heavier than other similar models, but the quality build and ample storage both inside and out are worth the need to pull it with a truck. The addition of self-adjusting electric brakes lets you tow the trailer safely.

The floor plan includes three fold-out beds along with a slide that houses the huge U-shaped dinette across from a jack-knife sofa. Foot traffic isn’t an issue, as the entire center of the camper is free of furniture or cabinets getting in the way.

The kitchen has two pantries, a large dinette for dining and gaming, and standard appliances, including a microwave, for easy meal preparation. The full bathroom keeps the shower separate, so there isn’t the mess a wet bath leaves behind after washing up after a fun day exploring.

Other top features include:

  • Full bathroom
  • Four large exterior storage compartments
  • 6 cubic-foot refrigerator
  • 19-ft awning
  • Water, mold, and scratch-resistant tent material
  • Vacuum-bonded bed platforms
  • 6-gallon water heater/30,000 BTU furnace
  • 48-gallon freshwater tank
  • 30.5-gallon grey/30.5-gallon black wastewater tanks

Jayco Jay Feather X23E Hybrid Trailer (Video)

3. Forest River Flagstaff Shamrock 233S

Basic Specs:

Length24′ 10″
Sleeping capacityup to 9
Dry Weight5,111 lbs
Cargo Weight1,645 lbs

The Flagstaff Shamrock 233S has a gorgeous open floor plan and light-colored flooring, cabinetry, and upholstery that visually expand the living space further.

The residential-style kitchen makes cooks feel right at home, while the full bathroom keeps all your camping guests comfortable and avoids the need to use the campground public bathrooms, especially after dark.

You can choose several other Flagstaff hybrid trailer floor plans to accommodate your sleeping needs, including bunks or convertible sofas. This model features front, rear, and side queen-bed fold-out bays, a deep slide that includes exterior storage, and a flip sofa for extra sleeping capacity.

The 233S model has an entertainment center for family relaxation during the evening or rainy days, and the U-shaped dinette can seat everyone comfortably. In addition, you can upgrade your camping experience by choosing heated mattresses or a pole-free cable bed system as an option.

Other top features include:

  • Full bathroom
  • 13,500 BTU ducted air conditioner/35,000 BTU ducted furnace
  • Double door refrigerator
  • Power awning with LED lighting
  • Solid surface kitchen countertops
  • Water-Pur filtration system
  • Outside griddle w/LP quick-connect
  • 54-gallon freshwater tank
  • 30-gallon grey/30-gallon black wastewater tanks
  • Power tongue jack

Shamrock 233S Hybrid Trailer by Flagstaff

4. Palomino Solaire Expandable 147X

Basic Specs:

Length19′ 1″
Sleeping capacityup to 9
Dry Weight3,073 lbs
Cargo Weight742 lbs

The Palomino Solaire Expandable 147X hybrid travel trailer is possibly the lightest travel trailer you can get that can accommodate up to eight overnight guests.

With no slideout and only two self-supporting fold-out bed bays in the front and rear, you can easily fit the RV into tighter campsites.

Enjoy the perks of heated mattresses, tons of storage, and a private bathroom with a separate shower stall. In addition, the booth dinette across from the sofa sleeper provides enough seating for your entire crowd.

Other top features include:

  • Full bathroom
  • Large 11 cubic foot refrigerator and glass-top flush mount range
  • Stainless steel sink with cover
  • 10-ft power awning with LED lights
  • Durable glossy gel-coated fiberglass exterior
  • 13,500 BTU air conditioner
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • 44-gallon freshwater tank
  • 30-gallon grey/30-gallon black wastewater tanks

Palomino SolAire 147X Expandable Travel Trailer (Video)

5. Dutchman Aerolite 174E Hybrid Travel Trailer

Basic Specs:

Length18′ 5″
Sleeping capacityup to 8
Dry Weight3,188 lbs
Cargo Weight662 lbs

The Dutchman Aerolite 174E hybrid travel trailer is all-in with a premium design, a thoughtful floor plan, and amenities that make camping trips both efficient and comfortable.

Enjoy a separate tub/shower in the bathroom, a compact but fully functional kitchen, a roomy booth dinette, two fold-out queen-bed bays, an entertainment center, and a sleeper sofa. The trailer provides everything you need to wash up, eat, work, play, and relax during any RV trip.

Customers appreciate the power awning that eliminates the time and stress of manual operation, with quick retraction in the event of bad weather. There is also no lack of storage space for all your camping gear.

Other top features include:

  • Full bathroom
  • Touchscreen control panel
  • Outdoor speakers
  • Water and tear-resistant tent material
  • StabiliTrak suspension
  • Furnace and 13,500 BTU air conditioner
  • 52-gallon freshwater tank
  • 39-gallon grey/28-gallon black wastewater tanks

Super Light Hybrid Travel Trailer! Aerolite 174E (Video)

6. Kodiak 206ES Hybrid Travel Trailer

Basic Specs:

Length24′ 8″
Sleeping capacity6 up to 8
Dry Weight4,295 lbs
Cargo Weight2,305 lbs

The Dutchman Kodiak 206ES hybrid camper delivers on quality construction and functional design so you can enjoy comfortable camping while still getting that tenting experience. In addition, the ultra-light build makes towing this RV smooth and economical.

The layout is different from other similar recreational vehicles as the Kodiak places the massive U-shaped dinette just in front of the frontal fold-out queen bed. This feature may be troublesome if you don’t want to climb over the dinette to get to the bed, but overall, it’s a much better placement in terms of the usefulness of the living space for daily eating and relaxing.

The remotely-operating command center allows you to control all the trailer’s features, including outdoor lights, from a single location. You can even open and shut the power awning using the command center.

Other top features include:

  • Full bathroom
  • Lots of interior and exterior storage
  • Enclosed underbelly
  • Power awning
  • The kitchen features a 3-burner stove, sink, pantry, microwave, and fridge
  • 52-gallon freshwater tank
  • 39-gallon grey/28-gallon black wastewater tanks

Pros and Cons of Hybrid Campers

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Like any style of recreational vehicle, there are pros and cons of owning a hybrid travel trailer, which I detail below.

Hybrid Travel Trailer Pros

Feels More Like Tent Camping

Not only do most hybrid campers fit into more narrow campsites and down back-country roads, but the screened expandable bays bring in loads of fresh air and views without the bugs, so you can better commune with nature.

Should bad weather occur, you can close the screen covers to shield against wind, rain, or dust. If the temperature drops significantly, activating the heated mattresses available in certain models can enhance comfort during extreme camping conditions.

More Living Space for the Price

When you compare square footage cost in a hybrid travel trailer versus a standard bumper-pull camper, the hybrid wins out. The extra space the fold-out bays provide leaves the primary footprint of the camper box bed-free for more living areas and convenient amenities.

The mechanisms and materials that go into the pop-out platforms aren’t exceptionally costly but add tons of extra square footage of living and sleeping space, keeping the overall price per square foot very reasonable.

For larger families, the ability to expand the walls to create more sleeping quarters is priceless, as any other travel trailer or fifth wheel that can sleep six or more gets very expensive.

Hybrid Trailers Are Lighter and Easier to Tow

Hybrid campers will nearly always weigh less than a similar-sized standard travel trailer, as manufacturers use aluminum framing and fiberglass siding for a strong yet lighter box.

The “walls” of the hybrid’s extensions are mesh and fabric, which helps keep weight under control so you can pack more supplies and camping gear on RV trips. Slideouts on a traditional travel trailer have heavy mechanisms that only add weight per every square foot of space you gain.

The steeper front angle on a hybrid trailer is very aerodynamic and reduces drag at highway speeds for lower fuel expenses and for helping maintain a smooth ride with less sway or vibrations. In addition, less movement of the trailer during travel means fewer repairs from trim work or parts shaking loose.

Lastly, the towing capacity of many SUVs or minivans can handle the weight of hybrid camping trailers, which means you don’t always need to have a truck to pull your RV to your camping destination.

Hybrid Travel Trailer Cons

Provides Less Protection from the Elements

Hybrid campers, even when you shut the flaps to keep out the rain, aren’t going to buffer you as well against some typical campground experiences such as:

  • Smoky campfires
  • Flying debris during severe storms
  • Noisy neighbors or wildlife
  • Extreme cold or hot temperature swings

No matter how you slice it, the mesh and fabric are no replacement for the protection a solid wall delivers.

Some Campgrounds Don’t Allow Them

Due to the dangers of wildlife (like bears) that could tear open the fabric extensions if they smell something good inside your RV, some campgrounds don’t allow hybrid campers.

Some private RV parks may also discriminate against hybrid campers for personal reasons, just as many won’t allow truck campers or school bus conversions.

Always inquire before making reservations if you aren’t sure the campground you wish to stay at allows hybrid travel trailers.

More Chance of Mildew Inside the Trailer

The open mesh of the extensions will allow a continual flow of air from the RV’s exterior, which means humidity and moisture can build up inside the trailer and encourage mold or mildew to grow.

By keeping a fan running inside or allowing the camper to air out on sunny days, you can help prevent mildew from forming. Still, you must remain vigilant in monitoring the situation to avoid damage.

The Best (and Worst) of Hybrid Travel Trailers (Video)

Final Thoughts

Hybrid travel trailers don’t get enough attention from RV shoppers, but they can be an ideal fit for those looking for a specific camping experience or for families who require more sleeping space.

I trust that the leading hybrid camping trailers highlighted in this guide will inspire you to explore this RV category on your own. The ample interior space, paired with the full range of standard RV features and conveniences, plus excellent towing ease, might surprise you!

"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide

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