Curious about Hi-Lo Campers? Thinking about buying a Hi-Lo camper, curious, have questions? Ask them here
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Old 04-06-2020, 07:33 PM   #1
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Default 1508T Advice

Wife and I are considering a 2008 1508T. Reading the forum, we see postings about roof leaks and hydraulic repairs. Are these regular issues and easily fixed by an old guy? Is this a good model for 2 people?
We would be towing with a Chevy Silverado 1/2ton with small V8.

We previously camped in a tent but are getting too old for that. Always saw the Hi Lo campers in parks and thought they had a great concept. We also are concerned about parts availability and costs.

Thanks in advance for advice and opinions.
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Old 04-07-2020, 06:28 AM   #2
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bk1486, Welcome to the forum! A well maintained camper has few problems, but DO arise no matter the make. In our reference library, click the Hi Lo Owners Manual. There you'll find a "sticky" with videos relating to the systems on the Hi Lo. Maintenance tips also. The leaky roofs are often reported on trailers with "pin holes" that happen on the metal (aluminum) roofs on some models. It's not poor maintenance, but a humidity problem. The rubber roofs also need maintenance, but can suffer minor rips. All camper roofs need inspections and periodic coatings.
The hydraulic system is very simple, but of course needs maintenance. The cables need lubing with oil and kept clean as well as the guide rod and piston. Like any other trailer maintenance is the key.
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PS: the forum can help with ALL your questions, glad to help.
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Old 04-07-2020, 09:23 AM   #3
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Treeclimber, Thanks for the tip. There is a lot of information on the videos. How much wood is used in the Hi-Lo camper? On pop ups, we found several with rotten plywood floors.
Thanks again
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Old 04-07-2020, 09:56 AM   #4
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Welcome to the Forum!

The framework in the walls is metal. The flooring is structure wood. I don't know any major problems with the flooring.

Here is a link to the 2008 brochure:https://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f52...2008-hi-lo-10/
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Old 04-07-2020, 10:36 AM   #5
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bk, welcome to the forum and possibly to the HiLo family. I had typed a lengthy response to your questions last night, but then lost it! I was not in the mood to start over then.

I'm 79 and have done quite a few things to our trailer. I'd say if you are in reasonably good health, "handy", not afraid of work and able to look up things you may not be familiar with, you should have no trouble maintaining a HiLo trailer. That said, I have NOT had to repair damage caused by water leaks, but many forum members have done that so I know it's do-able.

We have the 17ft model and it suits us very well. We don't "live" in the trailer, but use it for sleeping and to get out of the weather when camping. Otherwise, we are outside. It is very similar to the 15ft model but has a somewhat larger sleeping area.

You should be able to tow a 15ft HiLo easily with a 1/2 ton Chevy truck. I think you SHOULD have a Weight Distributing Hitch (WDH) so that all the tongue weight is not concentrated on your rear axle. Not having one lifts the front of your truck, removing weight on the steering axle which effects handling and adversely effects braking. Adding cargo to the bed of your truck can easily put the weight on your rear axle over it's gross weight limit too.

The parts in HiLos are mostly generic and can be found in many places. The only thing that's really unique is the lift system and those parts are available too. As Rich said, pinholes in the roof are a common problem, but I've not had this happen to mine. I've had no troubles with the hydraulic system. Regular, fairly easy care is the key.

Hope we've answered some of your concerns.

- Jack
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Old 04-07-2020, 10:37 AM   #6
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Thanks Rich. That has a lot of the information that I wanted.
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Old 04-07-2020, 10:41 AM   #7
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Thanks JackandJanet. Lots of good information to keep in mind.
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Old 04-09-2020, 10:17 AM   #8
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If you go to the top of the screen and click on search you can find info that had been put on the forum. Put in a keyword like "1508T" and see what comes up.
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Old 04-09-2020, 12:51 PM   #9
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Thanks Rich. That saved some time!
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Old 04-17-2020, 09:49 PM   #10
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I purchased my 1509 in 2010 and have probably towed it 50,000 miles with my 2002 Toyota 4 Runner 6 cyl, 290,000 miles. With the sway bar I seldom have difficulty when being passed by semis on I 70 and I 80. My greatest challenges are the I 70 tunnels, Vail and McClure's passes. My paraplegic wheelchair bound neighbor said she had difficulty with McClure's Pass when doing Ride The Rockies five day bicycle ride through the mountains of Colorado. Your vehicle will do great anywhere. I would prefer more power but am not in a position to purchase something newer.

I leave the table down and have used different types of foam on top of the seat cushions for a more comfortable bed. There is no room to place the foam and all bedding but the counter space is adequate for food prep and eating while sitting on the bed which is approximately the size of a full/double bed, not a queen.

Last year when I had the bearings greased something was not done properly on one side eventually requiring a new axle. Insurance covered most of the cost. More recently I needed a new hitch coupler so I paid for some cosmetic work as well. I have done other things myself or with a friend.

The heater would cut off requiring resetting until we changed the vents. Now only one goes to the back closer to the door and the other, much shorter vents under the table. This has worked well for years though I supplement heat with a Mr. Buddy propane heater or, when connected to electric, a very small space heater. I live at 7,600' and just brushed 10" of snow off the roof.

I can go for five days using just battery power. Any longer and I use a Honda generator as I seldom camp where there is electricity. I have a metal roof and even after a hail storm when I needed to replace both skylight vents and the air conditioner cover the metal roof has never leaked.

The flush toilet has been a saving grace at times. I would not own a camper without one. The person sleeping on the 'inside' will either crawl over or move the person on the 'outside' of the bed on the way to the bathroom during the night.

I wish I had known about this forum ten years ago as I have learned so much so you are already on the right track. Everyone here become your best friend so don't hesitate to look up already presented information and/or ask, ask,ask and enjoy,enjoy,enjoy.

Richard
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Old 04-18-2020, 09:53 AM   #11
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Thanks for the information. The forum has been great.
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Old 04-18-2020, 10:40 AM   #12
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I purchased a 1987 Fun-lite Hi-LO. The hydrolics are good on ours seem very easy to maintain just a starter motor which can be purchased at auto parts store. As for the roof I did notice a leak in the fall and I went out and purchased Flexseal along with brillow pads it only took me 2 1/2 hours to clean old seams with brillow pad waite for it to dry then apply Flex seal. This prroduct was amazing No more water leaks We areready to go.
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Old 04-18-2020, 11:45 AM   #13
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Glad you've had good luck with Flexseal on your roof. It didn't work so well where my house gutter was leaking so I'll look for something else.

1509 Hi Lo: Mine does not seal when up so I added the brown 'rope' sealer, (don't have the name) which I have used around my doors at home, around all inside edges that are supposed to seal. This material comes in lengths and has an adhesive which is exposed after peeling off the plastic. I've found that I need to use additional adhesive as this separates when my camper is raised and lowered. On colder nights I still place towels or clothing around the edges to limit the draft. I haven't checked this forum for other options. I believe the outside should seal when up but that is not the case with mine.

I have used a lithium lubricant for the shaft and pulleys but need to do this more often. I also sprayed undercoating underneath the camper for further protection from dirt, mud and more. I think my face has more that the camper. Will this protect me from the COVD 19 ?

I've learned about the small circuit breakers which protect the 12 volt system and are located in the front box with batteries, etc. I now use a quality surge protector everywhere but at home.

I have raised and lowered the top with the hand pump to see how many strokes it takes to get the top into place. This gave me a greater appreciation for the electrical raising and lowering. I try keeping the battery box as clean as possible which is impossible because of the dirt roads I frequent.

The electrical breaking system is critical and I use it separately on occasion when crossing icy bridges or when going downhill during icy/snowy conditions. Don't use it much, just tap, tap. Jackknifing on a interstate in these conditions is extremely stressful and only because those following me had already stopped is why I am here today.

Even with these things that have happened 99 % of the time I have happy memories of my ten years of travel and camping with my 1509 Hi Lo. For the just in case I do have AAA Plus which has come in handy for me and a couple of my friends.

With temperatures above freezing I must ready my camper for our next trip.
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Old 04-18-2020, 09:45 PM   #14
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The 2008 15’ has a GVWR of 3000 lbs. I’ve towed that kind of weight with a modern half ton, and it’s no problem.

Most half tons today have at least a 5k max tow. So 3k is well under that.

Recently towed a 16’ that’s listed as 2500 empty. I don’t believe that weight, though it maxes at 3500 GVWR. I towed it (empty) with a mid-size, 260hp, high mileage, v6 pickup (so probably down 20hp). Got 16 mpg across the flat states, and 12mpg in the hills. Felt the weight accelerating, but cruising at 60mph it was easy. Rpm was down to 3000, and the truck pulled it fine even in overdrive once at highway speeds.

While I generally agree that a WDH is preferred, when you’re this far under max, and you don’t have a billboard behind you (because HiLo’s are low in tow), it’s much less of a concern. As a matter of fact, got passed many times by big rigs and barely felt them. And this without having the camper ideally balanced (seems it was lighter on the tongue than I’d prefer).
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Old 04-19-2020, 10:44 AM   #15
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Weight distribution with Hi Lo's seems good though I do like more weight on the tongue. I normally fill my water tank at home so I know I'll have 'good' water when I arrive at nonofyourdamnbusiness camping area. 2,200# empty is what is listed for my 1509. Since I live at 7.600' and travel west going over 10,000' is normal.

Table/bed. I have had the table slip to one side then that side dropped down leaving me in a V position at 3:00am. I have since added small but long pieces of wood on both sides where the table rests when down for a bed. That solved this issue.

The board that fits in front of the table when down and rests on each side is weak and could be easily broken if stepped or rested on. I now have a sturdy piece of metal which is attached (screwed ) to the underside of that board so should not be an issue when someone is getting into the upper bed when it is down. I still carry a two step ladder for that purpose plus when cleaning the awning and other useful times.

Having needed my transmission replaced from always pulling the camper in overdrive I now always have my 4 Runner out of overdrive when towing. At 60 mph on the open highway I can get 15 -16 mpg. 13 mpg is my normal as I mostly drive in the mountains.

I believe the listed towing capacity is at sea level so I, and others with campers in the mountains recommend starting with 1/2 that weight. i always have a lot of 'necessary stuff' which adds more weight. I would not want to be behind me on a two lane highway going over a steep grade like Teton Pass. I now bypass that and find other very scenic routes to my destination.

Safe travels and camping !
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Old 04-19-2020, 11:37 AM   #16
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Richard-
You’re absolutely right, towing in overdrive is a no-no. So for most people: don’t do what I do!

Regarding towing at elevation - check your owners manual, it should have a chart or formula to calculate towing capacity loss per thousand feet of elevation. For example, my TV loses 2% per thousand feet, so at 10,000ft I’m down 20%. I would imagine most vehicles with a similar drivetrain (normally aspirated V6 in the 250HP range) would have a similar loss (it’s a result of reduced air density, so similar engines will have similar reductions).


I believe your 4Runner has a bit more HP, so may lose a little less.
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