Ultra Lite Hybrid, We realy love ours
Dec 27, 2000
Review by jamiebond
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Very roomy for its size, Tents add a camp like atmosphere while retaining most of the utility of a solid wall trailer, The tent ends of the hybrid model allow greater sleeping capacity and you dont have to tear down the eating area and vice versa as with
Cons:Still heavy at near 4,400 lbs loaded, Lite construction may affect durability over time
We purchased a 2000 Wilderness 721c tent hybrid trailer in November of 1999. We are active weekend campers and this is our first dedicated RV after many years of VW camper with side tents. The Terry, Prowler & Wilderness Fleetwood units all seem to share the design with different graphics and motif's. So what's true for one model should be true across brands, aside from any individual factory differences from the design plans.
Recommend this product?
As this trailer is aimed and built for the younger market who may not have owned RV's I'll summarize some of the features. Be aware that the RV industry on the whole is poorly regulated and it's far more important to do your research than in the car industry for example. Many many dealers *will* sell you an RV that is totally unsafe or unsuited for your needs.
This line of trailers is often marketed as usable by any mini van or light pickup. The first thing you need to establish is what your tow vehicle is rated to tow, do not let the dealer tell you its safe to go over your GVWR on your car door sticker. If your vehicle didn't include a tow package I would definitely have at least a transmission cooler added as well for automatic vehicles. Modern hitches have extra load leveler bars and if needed anti sway devices. We travel at 55-60 (as our state requires) and have enough margin to feel quite safe. At 70 I would feel very unsafe with this rig, as our tow vehicle is to close to marginal in my opinion.
I would not pull any solid wall Ultra Light travel trailer with any front wheel drive mini van, or 4 cylinder mini truck or SUV. You should either consider increasing the size of the tow vehicle (paying attention to towing capacity the manufacture allows) or look at the mid sized tent trailers.
The appliances that go into RV's are of just a few brands, so no matter the manufacture of the RV these items are all third party anyway. Our particular model came with Coleman A/C, Dometic reefer, Samsung microwave, Atwood stove and water heater, therford toilet. I'm not sure about the manufacture of the power converter, water pump and forced air furnace. Its usually an I like Chevy or I like Ford argument when RV'ers get together and discuss their individual preferences on these items. Suffice to say in the year we have camped locally approximately 40 days total we have had no problems with any of these items.
The Ultra Light models come in three basic lengths of 19, 21 & 23 foot. The construction is lightweight aluminum and blown fiberglass. The 21-foot has dual axles, which helps in towing stability. We have used it with the tent ends extended in the mid 20's with rain and snow. The inside remains warm with the forced air heater able to maintain a comfortable temperature. The outside edge of the beds are aluminum with no insulation, they act like mini radiators of cold. We find that placing our clothes in this area works fine.
This camper is not designed for lengthy dry camping use. If you intend to stay in the boondocks without Water, Sewer and 30amp 120V hookups your ability to stay will be affected by the lightweight tradeoffs that went into this model. The battery capacity is a single 12v deep cycle battery; batteries being heavy there isn't any provisions for using the dual 6volt golf cart batteries that allow extended stays. The fresh water tank at 25gal and grey water at 30gal are adequate for a weekend with limited showering/bathing. The black water tank of 30gal (toilet waste exclusively) has been fine for use with 3 teenagers and 2 adults and a toddler over a 4 day weekend.
In summation I would say if your actual use meets the design of the trailer you will be as happy as we have been. If you try and use these trailers outside of their design it will be a poor choice.
The market this *is* designed for.
B)Pulled with marginal tow vehicles (be careful here)I can't stress this enough
C)Not used for extended dry camping sessions.
D)Used for weekends and *not* full time long distance camping.
E)Reasonable quality in construction, and so far no design flaws inherent in framing or construction we have found.
F) Families that may need allot of sleeping capacity on a limited budget (ours sleeps 7 adults comfortably.
Where a consumer *will* have a problem.
A) Many of the tow vehicles this trailer line is supposed to be aimed at.
B) High annual mileage ( I was told by an RV engineer these trailers are designed for 10,000 miles over their lifespan, basically working families that don't travel 6 months out of the year. The idea being they don't have to pay the extra for the suspension and frame for that kind of durability if its used for a two week holiday and weekend getaway vehicle)
C) Non Campground use without hookups for more than overnight.
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