Curious about Hi-Lo Campers? Thinking about buying a Hi-Lo camper, curious, have questions? Ask them here
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:19 PM   #1
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Default Considering a Hi Lo

Hello;

I just joined because my wife and I are considering getting a older (AKA cheaper) Hi Lo trailer. Our main use will be for gold prospecting trips, rock hunting trips and camping at the beach. We would like to be able to sleep 3 adults and we want a hot shower. I like the hard walls of the Hi Lo as opposed to a tent trailers because we go to the desert in the winter and the mountains in the summer for comfortable daytime temperatures, which usually means cold and often windy conditions at nights.

My main concern is ground clearance and off road capability. Although we could leave the trailer at a camping area with easier access, ideally we would like to be able to camp at the claim with our prospecting club. Most of the claims we frequent are accessible by high ground clearance 2 wheel drive vehicles. Would a 21' trailer be able to negotiate a road that a 2 wheel drive pickup can handle or would I need to lift it? How difficult would it be to lift a Hi Low trailer?

We drive a Hummer H3T Alpha which has a 5,900 lb tow capacity.
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:45 PM   #2
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Default Considering purchasing a HiLo

Portager,Welcome to the forum. I'm sure some of our male members will be able to answer your questions. They are better with the technical questions. If you decide to look at a HiLo do a search for the buying checklist in a previous posty. Your description of how you will use your trailer is good to know before you buy any RV.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:27 AM   #3
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Welcome

A couple of things to keep in mind with a trailer when considering rougher terrain are:

Off tracking of the trailer to the inside of curves may present a problem on narrow back country roads with sharp curves.

The rear of the trailer may drag in dips in the road such as dry run crossings. Particularly vulnerable are the discharge pipes for the holding tanks.

The trailer will have a lot of resistance to being pulled through lose surfaces like sand which could overcome the tractive force of the tow vehicle. The contribution of the front wheels to tractive force will diminish as the trailer's resistance increases. Beach driving and back country road conditions can change quickly over time and location.

I would be concerned about how resistant the trailer tires would be to damage from rocks/stones on back country roads.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:21 AM   #4
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Welcome

Hi-los tend to have a lower ground clearance and accompanying center of gravity than many newer units being manufactured by other companies. Though it makes for great towing- care must be taken for dips etc. Many folks on this site use them for boon-docking and accessing national forest sites- so I guess it depends on what the terrain is like where you are headed. Some people have raised them by adding steel "spacers" between the frame and axle. Search for posts related to this. It takes some welding skills or a decent shop to do it but its not that complicated an operation over-all. The rear "drain" pipes tend to be low and the most susceptible to getting damaged or bent.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I am concerned about the ground clearance, but I think I'd have the same problem with a tent trailer. To minimize clearance issues due to overhang, I think I should get the shortest model that meets our minimum requirements.

What is the shortest model that has a king or queen bed?
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:17 AM   #6
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Best bet is to look through the brochures in the reference library. Hi-Lo's are out there.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:03 AM   #7
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We had a 1705T that had the dinette and couch that went together to make a king bed. That is the smallest model with that size of bed.

http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f52/...-2005-hi-lo-7/

You could consider raising the HiLo as was done by DaveL, my wife's cousin, in this thread:http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f26/...-241/#post1602 It worked out very well for him.

There are off road models of popups that have lots of ground clearance.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:57 AM   #8
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I hate to recommend anything but a HiLo, but have you looked at these? Adventure Trailers - Off Road Trailers & Overland Equipment We saw one at Mesa Verde a couple years ago. It was an extremely nice off-road trailer. Could be maneuvered into place by hand, used the same tires and wheels as the tow vehicle, slept two comfortably and had good storage.

No shower or potty though.

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Old 03-19-2013, 09:20 PM   #9
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Default Low clearances

I have a 24' Hi-Lo Towlite (it's actually a little bigger than we wanted, but it was what was available near us, looked decent, had the right pricetag, etc.).

The previous owner evidently scraped and bent the protecting bar that protects the black water tank in the rear. I am amazed, actually, at the low clearances that the Hi-Lo seems to have. But it tows wonderfully. On open road.

It has not been easy trying to figure out exactly how to repair this: parts are not necessarily available, and yes, others can be adapted, but it comes at a cost of either your time, your wallet, or both.

For what you are describing, those off-road campers pointed out in the previous post are what I would run toward. . . . good luck!
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:00 AM   #10
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Thanks RichR;

The 1705T looks almost perfect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
I hate to recommend anything but a HiLo, but have you looked at these? Adventure Trailers - Off Road Trailers & Overland Equipment We saw one at Mesa Verde a couple years ago. It was an extremely nice off-road trailer. Could be maneuvered into place by hand, used the same tires and wheels as the tow vehicle, slept two comfortably and had good storage.

No shower or potty though.

- Jack
Thanks Jack;

I love the adventure trailers. However, my DW's requirements are for a bathroom inside (she is convinced there will be a Mojave Green rattle snake waiting at the bottom of the ladder), a warm shower and no ladders to climb. The adventure trailers basically a rooftop tent on top of a modern version of a military trailer with an awesome suspension and price tag.

Where I want to go isn't extreme offroad conditions, just too rough for an average passenger car. I could lift a 1705T with spacers and see how it goes. Ultimately I'd like to replace the torsion axle on a heavy duty axle with 35" tires and double bead-lock wheels to match my tow vehicle.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
I hate to recommend anything but a HiLo, but have you looked at these? Adventure Trailers - Off Road Trailers & Overland Equipment We saw one at Mesa Verde a couple years ago. It was an extremely nice off-road trailer. Could be maneuvered into place by hand, used the same tires and wheels as the tow vehicle, slept two comfortably and had good storage.

No shower or potty though.

- Jack
I'm with Jack, Did you happen to look at Aliner, Chalet, or Flagstaff A-Frame campers. You can get a unit with shower and potty, but really suitable for only 2 people. I know because we have a 99 Aliner Sofabed model with the off road suspension along with our Hi-Lo. Sorry, didn't see you needed room for 3. Three is doable but crowded.
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