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Old 03-16-2024, 09:07 AM   #1
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Default Looking at a 2001 22' Hi-Lo

Hello everyone. A friend of mine has a 2001 22' Hi-Lo they're looking to sell. They've had it for a couple years now, but it's only ever stayed in the driveway during this time.

For some background I have a 1999 Coleman Westlake that I bought in 2017, so going on 7 years now. I love the pop up but I'm getting tired of the one-piece ABS roof that develops new cracks every year. It's difficult to repair; ABS pellets + MEK to make an ABS slurry, then sanding that down, painting, etc. The ABS roof is known to have cracking and delamination, so I could try to find a 2002+ AlumiTite roof (aluminum, wood frame, insulation) and swap it over onto my pop up.

The Sunbrella fabric and vinyl on my tenting is in very good original condition, but I know that won't last forever. I do like the airiness inside the pop up, like being in a tent. But I also like the idea of having a solid roof over my head. Holding tanks and no more cassette toilet would be nice. Setting up and down isn't bad, it's done in less than 30 minutes. I love the parts availability. Parts websites are abundant, we have parts catalogs with part numbers, etc. There are many, many custom parts that Coleman/Fleetwood Folding Trailers made and patented for these units.

Anyway, I'm dabbling with the idea of getting a different unit. First thing that came to mind was a Hybrid like a Rockwood Roo, Shamrock, Jayco with tent ends. But now my friend has this Hi-Lo so I'm interested.

I may go to look at it in person this coming week, but I've gotten a few pictures of the inside. I've noticed a few things like bubbling on the bath walls. Missing holding tank vent pipe (would that open vent pipe at the ceiling allow water in during storage or does it have a cap on the roof?). I'm concerned about roof rot of course. Lift system reliability. That hydraulic pump and cylinder can't be cheap or easy to find. I'm hearing a lot about broken guide blocks but I see those can be 3D printed now. Parts availability for Hi-Lo seems to be non-existent at this point, but most RV parts are generic. I worry about exterior skin panels, decals, doors, lift system parts, etc; all parts that are widely available new and used through Coleman parts dealers.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the inside. It definitely needs a scrub and some love, but that's expected here. Anything you see?











Thanks everyone!

-Nick
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Old 03-16-2024, 09:17 PM   #2
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Default Welcome to the forum.

First off you are looking at a 23yr. old HiLo. The Towlite models have cheap uncomfortable upholstery. I can't decide if you should buy this unit. Do a search for the buyers check list. The Black inside vent pipe can be replaced. There is a cap for it up on the roof. How was it stored? Hopefully not the entire time in the up position. Were the cables lubricated? Was all the exterior caulking checked and renewed? The shower wall looks to be wrinkled due to water damage. We find the shower to be really small and we just use the camp showers(flip flops). It is true that all HiLo repair places are out of business. The pump and hydrolic parts are available on the internet. Many back posts on suppliers. My HiLo dealer has some parts still available. Agree it needs a good scrub down. I am on my second HiLo. A unit of this age needs all the windows taken out for a relign with butyl tape. Use Lexel caulk on the outside. You Tube has a tutorial on how to do this. Read the forum every day and get a feel for repairs. Best of luck with your decision.
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Old 03-17-2024, 03:37 PM   #3
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I agree with everything Sam said above.

Two very easy checks; under all four windows of the top half, is it punky on the interior wall? If it leaked at all around the windows, the interior wall will be very soft and punky.

And check along the top half wall just below the ceiling, if there were any leaks in the roof area, the interior will be partially delaminated and the wall will be soft or punky.

As Sam said, most everything else is available and fairly simple to repair. (Some things are challenging, but not rocket science.) Especially with the numerous post on here as a guide.

You would definitely like camping in a HiLo, just make sure that the one you are looking at is the ‘right’ one for you. There are some out there for sale that are almost ‘new’ and have been well taken care of. There are others that unless you can buy it really cheap and spend the time rebuilding it, you would be better off continuing the search.

The big question is do you have the time and ability to fix one up, or would you rather pay a little more money and be camping instead.
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Old 03-17-2024, 04:57 PM   #4
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Thank you Sam and RahnA!

I was able to see the camper in person today. I have been reading up on the manual and various posts here and have learned a bit about things.

The unit has been stored down for over a year. The lock bar functions and the hydraulics ran the roof up smoothly and evenly as I watched from outside. We did a raise and lower about 4 times, no issues there. I saw the location of the manual roof lift and lower. New tires are needed before getting on the road, which I'd want to do regardless, along with axle bearing inspection/lubrication. A new deep cycle battery will be needed. The keys have been misplaced. Everything except the gravity fill for the water is unlocked. I will need to see if there are key codes on the cylinders to have replacement keys made, or replace all of the cylinders at once.

The shore power cable had the 30A male connector cut off and a 15A plug soldered and taped on... So that will need to be replaced. The upper part of the "stink pipe" was found and can be placed back into service with minimal effort.

Both 30A fuses on the Fortron converter were blown (no idea what rating they should be, but I replaced them both with the same value). With that done and the kill switch in the correct position, all 12V appliances were working. All 120V outlets tested good for power. I did not try the DuoTherm AC. Atwood power tongue jack works good. A couple exterior lamps need new lenses.

A&E Awning is there and in good shape. The windows appear to have all been sealed with silicone. I understand removing them, replacing the butyl tape and realigning is important. I noticed dried butyl tape at the front and rear caps which will need replacing. There is a crack on each side of the front stone guard at the top hinge, and a crack on the radius curve of the left rear cap, which I'm assuming is what's causing the bubbling at the shower stall corner. The floor and frame are solid. The tanks look good and the unit is fairly clean with no funky smells, but all upholstery will need to be gone over and cleaned. The exterior needs a deep scrub with Simple Green and mildew spray around the windows, but it's not anything impossible.

As for the wants, I'd put in a couple Renogy solar panels with a charge controller, (I have a 100W flexible panel on the roof of my pop up and will never have another camper without one), replace all the interior and exterior bulbs to LED, add an RGBW LED tape light to the awning, and possibly lay down a new, more modern vinyl floor.

They're asking $1,250. Lots of documentation and manuals, receipts. I think it's a pretty good deal for what it is. The main challenge here is looking at the measurements to see if I can get the extra 5' of tow length to make it into my backyard, where my camper is kept. I may need to invest or create a power dolly to do this.

Thanks again!

-Nick
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Old 03-17-2024, 05:03 PM   #5
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That seems like a good price for what you have described.

As far as the locks go, most campers use the same locks and keys across numerous brands. Just get the number off the face of the lock and you will find a replacement key on places like Amazon and Google.

Sounds like it may be a good fit for you!
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Old 03-17-2024, 05:38 PM   #6
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Nick - It sounds like you know what you are doing!

I suspect the two 30A fuses you found blown are for the battery charging circuit. They tend to be a weak part in the electrical setup, in my opinion. I've found I can keep them from blowing if I DON'T have shore power connected when I raise the top or lift the tongue while it's attached to my truck. Same goes for the the 30A fuse in the truck's trailer battery charging circuit. I disconnect the truck's power cable from the trailer BEFORE I raise the top or lift the tongue. Those two motors put a big current pull on the battery and if there's additional pull, such as the refrigerator, the combination can blow those 30A fuses.

Yes, they should be 30A fuses.

I agree with your thoughts about the solar panels - I have 3-100 Watt flexible panels on the roof of my trailer and don't have to use my generator unless I'm camped in heavy shade. I've also recently upgraded to two-100Ah NiFePO4 batteries, with the associated appropriate converter, solar charge controller and DC-DC converter to prevent excess power pull from the truck's alternator when towing. It cost a bit, but worked beautifully on my week long boondock camping trip last summer. And, it was kinda fun doing the upgrade.

I have threads in the forum on these mods.

Yes, get new tires and have the bearings checked. I've found the bearings seem pretty trouble free.

And yes, the shore power cord needs a 30A plug. I use a 30-15A plug adapter when I plug it in at home.

DO check the condition of the lift cables! Especially where they run over the top pulleys under the trim strips that are on the top of the lower half on the inside of the trailer. You remove these trim strips by taking off the screws, which is pretty easy except for the one in the bathroom in my trailer (I have to use a 90 degree screwdriver there.) The cables tend to rust/wear at the top pulley curve, so that area needs to be kept lubricated.

Sounds like you have a good find!

- Jack
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Old 03-17-2024, 08:00 PM   #7
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Thanks!

Great tips on the lift cables and pulleys & their location behind the trim panels! I recall seeing photos here on the forum where rust was accumulating on the tops of the pulleys.

Thanks for the confirmation on the converter fuses. I like how the Hilo uses separate components instead of a breaker box/fuse box/converter combo. Would make it lots easier to upgrade the converter or add a charge controller in. The wiring looked very neatly run, well-secured and organized. Lots of spare 12V circuits in the fuse box. Same for what I saw of the water heater. Piping looked pretty neatly run.

I love the solar setup on my pop up as well. Even with a 100W panel, it's nice knowing that the battery is being charged while we're out hiking or driving around exploring. And when parked at home I don't have to remember the shore power cord.

I'm all about using as many DC devices as possible. I've even converted some household table lamps by using 12VDC Edison-base bulbs and replacing the 120v plug with a cigarette plug. Same goes for hardwired 12V USB chargers. And if work needs to be done on the road, a 12V laptop charger. Anything to avoid the conversion loss with an inverter.

Thanks RahnA! I did have my Coleman keys on my ring and tried both of them with no luck. I'm confident it wouldn't be much of an ordeal to find the right ones, though.

I'm still mulling over the possibility of getting this 22' into my back yard where my 12' box Coleman pop up lives. The Coleman is 202" tongue to bumper, the Hilo is 272". The Coleman has a 46" long tongue (from ball coupler to the front of the box), the Hilo is only 36". The Coleman is 309" when open, so the Hilo is about 3 feet shorter at the campsite, which is good for state parks, which is our camping preference.

Here's how I have to back in my Coleman when returning home. If I'm lucky, I'll get it right in two tries:



Here's a picture of the outside of the Hilo:



-Nick
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Old 03-17-2024, 10:37 PM   #8
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Default Buying a HiLo

A forum members are good with advice and expertise. Please get up on the roof and check for soft spots. Ladder needed. Go inside and press the bottom of all the windows where they meet the wall. If the walls are soft you know you are looking at6 a tear down and rebuild. Do you want to spend time and $ repairing? We had to rebuild the walls in our first HiLo because no one told us to take out the windows for resealing. Let us know what you decide. It is hard to tell if you have water damage by just looking at your pictures.
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Old 03-17-2024, 11:27 PM   #9
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Yes, DO follow sam's advice, but the trailer looks quite good to me. And, if you've been reading RahnA's thread on his rebuild, you know anything can be fixed if you have the interest in doing the work. I don't take my trailer to any commercial RV shop. I did when it was new, but the ones I used did pretty shoddy work. I do everything myself now and just keep it protected under a cover and a carport that I built for it.

Your storage route is quite a challenge! Mine was quite difficult too, when I first moved into my current home. I had to back the trailer up a hill with an "S" turn in the narrow part of my drive, then between a 30 ft pine tree and a steep dropoff down to the street in front of my property and that terminated beside my garage where I built the carport. I've had the tree removed, and that makes it MUCH easier, but it's still a bit difficult.

- Jack
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Old 03-18-2024, 01:22 PM   #10
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Thanks, Jack!

Can anyone confirm if an ST185/80R13 tire will fit in place of the current ST175/80R13 on the dual axle units of this age? Id like to get tires already mounted on wheels and there’s better availability locally with 185’s.

-Nick
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Old 03-18-2024, 01:56 PM   #11
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I can't really answer your question in the way you asked, but this link:https://www.etrailer.com/question-219064.html talks about the size difference. As you see, the 185/80 tire is 0.3" larger in diameter and is 0.2" wider.

My guess is that the width difference: 0.1" on each side, will not be a factor. But, since the tires are on tandem axles, the additional radius (0.15") of each tire will mean you need more than 0.3" of space between the existing tires to keep the new ones from rubbing on each other. I don't know what the axle spacing of that trailer is - you'd need to measure the inter tire space yourself or ask the current owner to do it.

Again though, the additional 0.15" radius probably does not pose a problem inside the wheel well. I'm sure the top of the well is high enough to accommodate the larger size and the additional 0.15" at each end of the wheel well should mot be a factor.

If you get tires already mounted on wheels, you'll have to make sure the bolt pattern/spacing matches and the offset is the same. (You probably already know this, but in case you didn't....)

The larger tires might be slightly harder to mount. HiLo did not give us much additional space in the wheel well opening to get the wheels onto the axles. Some members have had to deflate their tires to get them mounted.

- Jack
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Old 03-30-2024, 02:42 PM   #12
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Thanks, Jack!

Things are paused right now as they're trying to find the title for the camper. It seems they purchased it from a man who has since passed away, so that might complicate the process if they need to obtain a duplicate title. I'm not in a rush to buy and still have my Coleman so things are good. I did get some more specifics about this particular unit, a 2001 2201TL if I didn't mention it already.

This unit has the Atwood power tongue jack, Penguin A/C, TV antenna, 110V & DSI water heater which brings the UVW to 3619 lbs and a fairly small CCC of 542 lbs.

We'll see if they're able to find the title. If they are, I'll update here as a Hi Lo owner!

-Nick
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Old 04-20-2024, 09:20 PM   #13
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I said I'd update here and I'm happy to say I'm a Hi Lo owner! We got all the paperwork together and I was able to register and title the camper with no issues early last week. A great

I was even able to get it in the backyard as planned without a dolly. Took 15 minutes but now that I know what line I need to take, I should be able to get it down to half that. Here it is:



One thing I'm pleasantly surprised about is how well it tows down the road. It's about 1200 pounds heavier than my 12' box Coleman Westlake pop up, but with its dual axles, it tows like a dream compared. No more bouncing around and teetertottering. I can't say I even feel the additional 1200 pounds behind the Jeep. Its a 2017 Grand Cherokee Overland 3.6L with full air suspension and factory tow package with a 6200 pound tow rating. I couldn't be happier with this SUV.

Thank you to everyone for all the help! I'm really happy with it and I'm excited to get her up to my standards and out in the woods!

-Nick
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Old 04-20-2024, 10:45 PM   #14
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Default Congrats on the new to you HiLo0.

Good job getting it backed into your parking space. The big advantage is that you have another camper to use until you check everything out and do preventive maintenance. Keep reading the forum as it offers very good advice.
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Old 04-20-2024, 11:01 PM   #15
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Thank you!

Each day is another little project. I finally opened the awning today, got a handle of how it works and what positions to put it in, power washed and scrubbed both sides of the fabric and recorded the part numbers on the awning and the fabric.

Also popped the cap off the Dometic AC, cleaned out a little mouse nest near the compressor and took the shroud off the evaporator, vacuumed off foam that was stuck to it. Maybe I’ll give the coils some cleaning this week.

I have three more tubes of Dicor self lap to reseal the roof seams, rear cap and tank vent (I used two already on the front cap seam and the skylight flange).

Tomorrow I’ll be getting in a powder-coated steel plate I’m hoping to mount to the rear cap. I’ll be able to mount my magnetic backup camera to it. I also got in two new harnesses for the tank level sensors at the rear, both the grey and black tank’s resistor packs had been cut and were hanging. Hopefully I’ll be able to get to that tomorrow.

Lots to do and I have a few nights of camping planned the first week of May in the white mountains of New Hampshire. We will probably do one last trip in the Coleman for nostalgia’s sake before it goes up for sale.

-Nick
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