Curious about Hi-Lo Campers? Thinking about buying a Hi-Lo camper, curious, have questions? Ask them here
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:55 PM   #1
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Default considering a hilo or Airstream

Okay you knowlegeable persons...
I read what to look for... for condition... but how can I tell which is the best....? Is 31 foot the longest.. ? Pro and cons of that? I want plenty of room, just us two.. No pets... just chickens... which I could take couple with us just for fresh eggs.......LOL.. will have to give them up or board them....LOL
Doesnot matter about Towing vehicle cause if ours i not sufficient we will buy another used one
We sold our first home and wanna go to warmer climate for the winter....

I used to get on this forum several years ago when was thinking about Hi los...
There is a local couple with I believe, has a 31 foot I believe asking $8000 for it. it is too late tonight, to call and ask them more questions... I saw it once. But they had it under a carport .. That owner,the Hubby was not there either. So the wife could not pull it out to show it properly to me.. I crawled thru it with a flashlight.. could not tell much...
My Hubby was back in big city moving more of our stuff from old house.. LOL
We looked at one Hi Lo,several years ago.. but Hubby wasnot real serious. and the guy would not dewinterize it to show up that the plumbing. worked....
Cant remember much about it but didnt seem like a whole lot of "fake wood" in it. It was a big one too if I remember...
I dislike carpeting and laminates.. So I would put real hardwood in it . not necessarily 3/4 Tand G but maybe the 1/4 " stuff like we had in our house we sold
Please all chime in....
thanks
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:52 AM   #2
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There's probably less to go wrong in an Airstream, since it has no "lifting system", but of course it tows higher and probably forces the tow vehicle to use more gas.

Airstreams look to be very solid on the outside. I wonder if the unpainted metal causes them to be hotter inside if they are parked in the sun?

My advice is to try to find floor plans or actually visit the trailers you are considering. Sounds like you are planning to spend a lot of time in it, so you want it to be "roomy" and convenient. An Aristream would have possibly more interior storage space. We give up some of that for the capability of telescoping in our trailers.

From what you've said, I tend to think an Airstream would be more to your liking.

I think you are planning to use commercial trailer lots. Do they allow chickens?

- Jack
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Old 09-01-2014, 11:51 AM   #3
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Default From Ky again any more Kyers here ???more questions

what are commercial lots?
My Hubby says chickens gotta go.... Maybe there is a list of people willing to let a trailer.... stay or park for cheap for a day or two... I would if they had no dogs and they seemed trustworthy and just a couple like us, just a traveling
called the local people here with the Hi-Lo... lady was packing for Florida where they are moving too...
I asked her to get the info off that identification tag.. and call me back
She said it is 32 foot dual axle.. 1998 model....$8000......
doesnt that seem high????
we had a weight dist hitch bought off Cl. but had it for a year or so.. never got a trailer so resold it....
Got lots of irons in the fire.... so Hi lo etc has been back of my mind
what questions should I ask ?????
More comments please..... $8000is a lot of money to waste
thanks yall
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Old 09-01-2014, 01:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyearth View Post
what are commercial lots?
My Hubby says chickens gotta go.... Maybe there is a list of people willing to let a trailer.... stay or park for cheap for a day or two... I would if they had no dogs and they seemed trustworthy and just a couple like us, just a traveling
called the local people here with the Hi-Lo... lady was packing for Florida where they are moving too...
I asked her to get the info off that identification tag.. and call me back
She said it is 32 foot dual axle.. 1998 model....$8000......
doesnt that seem high????
we had a weight dist hitch bought off Cl. but had it for a year or so.. never got a trailer so resold it....
Got lots of irons in the fire.... so Hi lo etc has been back of my mind
what questions should I ask ?????
More comments please..... $8000is a lot of money to waste
thanks yall
NADA guides are a little over but a good reference.


1998 Hi Lo Price, 1998 Hi Lo Values & 1998 Hi Lo Specs | NADAguides

Also, see what is being asked for the same trailer elsewhere.\ and negotiate from there.


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Old 09-01-2014, 01:37 PM   #5
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What I call "Commercial Lots" are the ones that rent you space and probably full hookups like what you find at KOA, etc. They are favored by those that own BIG RVs. That is opposed to "boondock" camping which generally has no electricity, sewer, or water at the campsite, but may have water close by and may have picnic tables, fire rings, and toilet facilities. Examples of these are Forest Service campgrounds and what you find at many National Parks. A 31-32 foot class trailer would find camping space to be extremely scarce in many Forest Service campgrounds.

The commercial lots are fairly expensive, and, they park you right next to your neighbors in most cases. But, they are "civilized". You can often get phone, internet and cable at these places. Almost like being at home, which makes a few of us wonder why we'd even bother to leave (home, that is).

It all depends on what you want from a camping experience, and I did not mean to denigrate either choice. Thankfully, we don't all like the same thing.

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Old 09-01-2014, 08:04 PM   #6
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Default Welcome to the forum To buy a HiLo or an Airstream

Ladyearth Welcome to the forum. HiLo did make a few 33ft. RVs.Also 31ft. You need to use the HiLo "what to look for checklist in a used unit". Seems like the seller needs to sell before they go to Florida. If they won't take the time to have the ref, Ac operational and let you thoroughly check the RV out then pass on it. Set a budget for this purchase. The 31ft. would be a classic with the better cupboards. Becareful about weight in your choice of replacement flooring. Just use the RV as is and then you can see about changing the flooring out. Do a search on the Net for courtesy parking of your RV at someones home. Something to consider. Friends of ours bought a used fifth wheel and had a transport company tow it down to a campsite that they stay in for several months in the winter. This is in Florida. The campground owner is very accomidating. This way you could see if the life style is for you. We both have an interest in Airstreams as DH is a retired sheet metal fabricator. For the past two yrs. I have been a guest on the www.airforums.com website. Would love to have an Airstream. They tow very well. However they are very expensive and do hold their $ value. Even older ones have many problems and need to be refurbished/restored. It usually takes three yrs. to do this and about 35.000.00 just in parts. That doesn't include your time ect. The rear end of the units separate causing water to damage the floor. Often times the frame need extensive welding or parts replaced. Complete revamp of all the appliances and pluming. The windows all have to be repaired. Many don't have black or grey water tanks. The modernization list goes on and on. Even the new Airstreams come with cheap mattresses,leaky storage doors and filiform corrosion of the metal. On an older model you are basically buying a shell. My Dh is 68 and doesn't want three yrs. of work. An Airstream is not in our budget. Airstreams can be kept cooler with Fantastic Fans and Awnings on all windows.The smaller Airstreams have a storage crunch. The longer units would have some more storage. You have to be willing to spend days and $ for materials to polish and keep your unit to a mirror shine. Don't take my word for this. Get on the Airforums and study the posts. They have classified ads with prices. If money were not a consideration I would get a new Airstream to please DH. I hope this information is helpful to you. I mean no disrespect to Airstream owners.
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Old 09-03-2014, 01:20 AM   #7
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Default still thinking

Sam and others
did you mean $35,000.00 dollars. surely(such word?) too many zeros....LOL
wanna be snowbirds....on the cheap....
Not too may Hilos for sale around here.... so cant compare much there...
I don t want to spend lots of money for staying at a site...
what is the cheapest any of yall have spent during the winter for a nite or week??? yeah, read lots about dry docking... I dont care about Tv but would miss no elect, and running water....
so bigger Rvs have more problems in parking etc ??? and find spots????
I dont really want to camp.. just travel on the cheap during the winter... get away from the cold winters...
The airstream forum ,been on even several years ago.. but cant remember my email etc I used....
Now to sign up it looks like you have to give your name and way too much info(for my taste) just to post messages and questions.

cant stand carpeting so that would have to go right away in a trailer.. rather have vinyl than dirt holding carpet/////
Matter of fact I pulled this carpeting up in this(money pit) house (days after moving here) even the basement here had old shag carpeting.....
we borrowed an 18 foot trailer from Uncle several yeats ago and went to Elvis....area.. no hurry there. since we are retired...
But not enough room for me.. in that old 18 foot trailer.... it was in the late fall.... cheaper prices etc....for staying from Ky to Memphis...
One thing good about various places we stayed ...was that we usually had the shower or bath house to ourselves..... Cause most of those big Rvs used their own facilities..... LOL It was just so cramped etc in that old 18 foot unit....
wish we could afford just to travel and stay in motels....the kind that has cooking facilities
I told Hubby if we dont buy soon(some kind of trailer) we will end up spending the money from the sale of our old home on odds and ends.. esp fixing up this money pit house(pergtory<hubby calls it.) If we could turn back time we would NOT..not have bought this house we live in now.....
It just us, two... no "family" really, or estranged from that is....
matter of fact wish we could sell and move to Mexico or someplace and never be hot or cold again.....(dream, dream, dream) LOL
thanks all Dang its late and chickens get up early>>>>>LOL
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:15 AM   #8
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The airstreams have one distinct advantage over the Hi Los. Weight. My brother has a 29 foot Airstream that weighs in around 4700lbs. My 20 foot Hi Lo weighs 3900. The Airstreams are all aluminum frame and skin which is lighter and more durable. Because of the riveted panels (including the windows) They don't tend to develop leaks as easy as a normal trailer. My brothers has been sitting idle for around 6 years and hasn't taken on a drop of water in that time and it's 45 years old. I can't say the same for my Hi Lo that's a little over half that age.
If you are camping at a place that doesn't have electric and water, there is a 12 volt battery that runs the lights and a pump that pumps water from a holding tank that you have to fill before going to the campsite. So you aren't totally without electric and water. These are both limited so you do have to conserve. Battery will go dead in time and need a re charge. There are some 12 volt appliances such as coffee makers Etc. but these will use power. The fridge and stove should operate on propane during these times but that too is a limited comodity. The only distinct advantage of the Hi Lo is the top drops to lessen the wind drag. The Airstream shape lessens its wind drag but probably not as much as the Hi Lo. Main factor is going to be cost. Airstreams aren't cheap by any means but overall in my opinion (and no offense to any group member here) the Airstream is a much better trailer. Better than most any trailer out there on the market. That's why they are expensive. You get what you pay for.
In looking at a Hi Lo, I would recommend feeling the walls of the upper section at the very bottom especially under the windows. Press in on them a little and see if it is spongy feeling. The wallpaper hides rotten wood from leaks. The windows are notorious for leaking if they have never been resealed. Plumbing and electrical problems aren't very hard to fix. Rotten wood on the other hand is a major job to fix on these trailers because of the 2 seperate sections. Rotten wood would be my first concern when looking at a Hi Lo. There was only one noticable spot in mine and I figured that wouldn't be too hard to fix. I have since found about 5 more spots that couldnt be seen and I'm starting to think some of it may be a structural problem which will be a major repair (rot around the pulley areas).
Overall, there is an extended stay motel chain that is called Value Place that rents by the week or the month and has kitchen areas. it's around twice the cost of an RV spot in an RV park for a week but all you have to do is pull up in your vehicle and go inside. No extra fuel costs. No trailer maintenance. No headaches or worries with finding a spot big enough for your trailer. This might be something worth looking into for your winter excursions. Good luck!
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Old 09-03-2014, 09:09 AM   #9
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I don't know that you "save" money with any travel trailer. Besides the up front purchase cost, there's the cost of maintenance, insurance, and the increased cost of fuel when you travel. If you have to store it away from your home, you'll pay for that too. Your travel time is longer, due to the slower speeds (65 mph max) while towing. And, you have to be careful where you take it, so that you don't get into a spot you can't get out of.

There ARE some camping spots that are totally free, but they are what you would term "primitive" - generally no toilets, tables, water, etc.

A breakdown when traveling can be a BIG hit in the pocketbook, and, they DO happen.

Not trying to turn you off, but you can stay at an inexpensive motel a long time before you end up paying what you might be paying for the "trailer experience".

We got our trailer so that we could stay in the forest or at National Park campgrounds when we traveled. There was never any thought of saving money. We just wanted to live in what we were going to see.

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Old 09-03-2014, 11:20 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
I don't know that you "save" money with any travel trailer. Besides the up front purchase cost, there's the cost of maintenance, insurance, and the increased cost of fuel when you travel. If you have to store it away from your home, you'll pay for that too. Your travel time is longer, due to the slower speeds (65 mph max) while towing. And, you have to be careful where you take it, so that you don't get into a spot you can't get out of.

There ARE some camping spots that are totally free, but they are what you would term "primitive" - generally no toilets, tables, water, etc.

A breakdown when traveling can be a BIG hit in the pocketbook, and, they DO happen.

Not trying to turn you off, but you can stay at an inexpensive motel a long time before you end up paying what you might be paying for the "trailer experience".

We got our trailer so that we could stay in the forest or at National Park campgrounds when we traveled. There was never any thought of saving money. We just wanted to live in what we were going to see.

- Jack
I have to agree with Jack. It's more of a lifestyle choice than anything else and certainly not about saving money. Of course, the RVIA would disagree:

The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association: Vacation Costs
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Old 09-05-2014, 03:43 PM   #11
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we will be in no hurry traveling....I dont eat at restaurant. Rather have my own food... money is a big concern. not concerned about upfront cost as much.Like I said this is the time to buy before the money runs out
no one answered about the cost of staying overnight or a week cost....\
I am talking about be a snowbird... not just a week trip or so
tell more yall please...
I cant remember how much our Graceland trip ran....\
I dont worry about storage either.. Gonna do a carport soon for it....
so how hard is it to pull a big unit... Plus what do yall consider big????
I am tired of making mistakes such as buying this money pit house,we are in now.....
what size units do yall have???
need info so I can learn more to make a better decision.... so I can blame Hubby if its wrong;;;; LOL
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Old 09-05-2014, 08:22 PM   #12
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If you mean a week RV space rental, at the RV park I just reserved it was $175 a week electric included. I'm gonna be there 3 weeks so I used the monthly rate which is $350 and I pay the electric. State and national parks are much cheaper but don't have all the amenities an RV park have. Most national parks don't even have electric hookups or if they do there are a very limited number of spaces. Here in Texas, you can buy a state park passport that gets you free daily use fees and a few free nights of camping when you schedule multiple nights at the same park. It's only about $70 and is good for a full year. I don't know if other states have similar programs but might be something to look into in the state your planning to visit. It pays for itself very quickly and will save you a little cash. Look under state parks for that state and it should tell if they have anything similar.
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