QUOTE(KentuckyCampin @ Jul 18 2009, 09:22 PM)
We have a Gulfstream Mini SL hybrid. It is the 23GBH. It has one drop out on the left rear corner, dinette that turns into a king size bed and bunkbeds. As far as the room we upgraded from a 1981 Palomino Mustang XL hardside. It was a large pop up and we just outgrew it. The Gulfstream is a nice camper, but there are a couple of things you should consider when buying a hybrid, or any other travel trail.
This list are things one should consider:
1. counter top space - make sure you figure on things like coffee pot, preparation space, etc..
2. double kitchen sink - nice to do dishes in a double sink, and not the little mini single sink stuck in many campers.
3. Shower/toilet - I have the combination shower/toilet, and wish we had a normal shower. Having a shower in the camper is nice, but a seperate shower/toilet would be nicer!!
4. Cabinet space for pots and pans and things you use frequently while camping!!! More space that is accessible without lifting seats/opening outside doors is a plus.
5. Hybrid drop down - Two drawbacks to the hybrid trailers is noise and leaks. It is just like a pop up when it comes to the noise in the campground. We have a fold out on the side, and we have slept in it maybe 2 times due to the noise in campgrounds. And also the seal leaks on our door. Every time it rains I have to open it up and dry it out. A new seal is supposed to be on order from Gulfstream to fix this.
If I had it to do over again, I would not have bought a hybrid, as I have not used the fold out very often, and it limits the other space I could have had in that area of the camper that normally would be used for storage etc...
6. Single axle vs. tandem axle - go with a tandem axle, they tow a heck of alot better than single axle. My Mini SL tows fine with my chevy truck, but it has the Z71 suspension. However to tow it with my Tahoe, I had to purchase a load distribution hitch and an anti-sway control. And my Tahoe is 4X4 as well, just does not have the Z71 suspension and is alot softer ride than my truck.
As far as set up, the Mini SL is alot faster to set up than my old pop up. I can be completely set up in about 20 minutes, this includes leveling, water hook up, electric hook up, awning out and hot water heater running. I have used my camper quite a bit, and once you get it down to a science, it is no problem!!
Gas mileage did change. I went from around 15 mpg - pop up, to 10 mpg with the Mini SL. That is both the Tahoe and pick up.
Canvas is the same material that pop ups use.
Heating is no problem, we camped last october in 40 F temps at night, and the heater kept the camper nice and toasty.
Hope this helps!!!
Thanks for the response. Attempts to help are ALWAYS appreciated. We will weigh the many differences with our needs when the time comes to trade. I like the sleeping space of a pop up. You just can't find a small camper with as much sleeping space, and not have to fold down a table or fold out a couch. I like the ease of towing and GAS MILAGE. I like the large trunk storage on the front. You never really see this on travel trailers. What I don't like is the set up/take down, especially in the 90-degree heat. I don't like the mildew problems with the canvas. Looks like this would still be a problem with a hybrid. I don't like being limited to camping in warm places or warm times of the year. Although the beach is our favorite destination, we want to see the whole country. I don't like the noise issue at some campgrounds. While I love the sound of birds, insects, streams, ocean waves, etc., I hate being able to hear other peoples conversations, music and the like at all hours of the day and night. This, again, would still be an issue with a hybrid. I guess our main draw to hybrids is their midrange size with the pop up sleeping space and no table or couch take down/set up, but travel trailer bathroom, kitchen, and easier set up.