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Old 12-18-2012, 11:27 AM   #1
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Default Need Help on Buying the Perfect Hi-Lo For Me

I am new to this wonderful site and have already learned a lot of things. I sell at antique shows and flea markets and am wanting to be able to stay at the shows instead of going home each night and also want to go to shows that are farther away. I have never driven any type of trailer before, but the hi-lo trailers look like something that would be good for me. I own a 2002 Ford Expedition with a towing package, but do not have anything in the way for braking a trailer. Not sure if this would be expensive to set up in my vehicle. I also have a tight budget as my husband has been out of work for over a year and me selling antiques is our sole income. So my budget is $2,000 or under. I have already printed out the posts on here about what to look for in a camper, especially the part about looking for water damage. But if possible, would someone help me on their opinion on a camper I have found so far.
Here is the link.
REDUCED 84 16' hi-lo completely rebuilt

Any help at all on where to find a camper would be awesome. I have also looked at popups, but the hi-lo looks really appealing to me. I am sure that the price I am looking at won't get me a decent trailer, but it doesn't hurt to look. I have a few months to look for one until the flea market/antique show season starts.
Thanks anyone for their help and sorry for the long post!
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:43 AM   #2
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You may have trouble getting what you need for $2000.

You DO want to install an electric brake controller in your tow vehicle. If it has the tow package, this might be almost a "plug and play" operation, but the unit will run you about $100 (+-), depending on what you buy.

And, you will need a weight distributing hitch. They can be in the $400-$700 price range, depending on the brand you buy.

You may find that the trailer will need new tires - about $100 each.

Some people selling trailers will sell the hitch with it, so you might look for that.

Overall, I think there are benefits to owning a trailer, but there are high "upfront" costs too.

- Jack
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:00 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply, those are very helpful tips and I will take note of them, especially the weight distribution hitch, I will definitely have to be getting one of those!
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:01 PM   #4
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jsjford -- I read the advertisement for your proposed Hi-Lo purchase. I'm wondering whether or not that is a 16' Hi-Lo, more likely a larger one. I note that it has a double axle. Usually, the larger Hi-Los have double axles because of length and increased weight. Check the library on this forum to determine if there is a scanned brochure for that year in order to determine the correct length (bumper to end of hitch) and weight. Also, check with the seller to determine if he or she obtained this Hi-Lo and received only a "salvage" title. The reason I ask is that the seller has done a lot of work on this camper, and now wants to sell as a "merchantable" product. A rebuilt camper that previously had a "salvage" title is not necessarily a bad thing. It just means that buyers must be aware that it was once designated salvage, and, therefore, the rebuilt camper would sell at a lot lower price. The title "salvage" is usually designated by insurance companies after a wreck, storm damage, etc.

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Old 12-18-2012, 01:35 PM   #5
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He told me that it is 20 feet ball to bumper, not sure, is that large for a camper? I don't want to get something that is too cumbersome to drive. I will ask him about the salvage title. Thanks for the reply to my post!
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:56 PM   #6
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It's not large, but that means (using the way HiLo measures things) it's probably a 20 or 21 ft camper.

And I agree, it is probably not a 16-19 ft unit - those had single axles as far as I know.

From the pictures, he seemed to do a nice job of repair/upgrade. If you could look at it, you'd have a better idea.

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Old 12-18-2012, 01:57 PM   #7
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He told me that it is a good title, not salvage. I am going to go look at it now. Will post later my opinion. Thanks again everyone!
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:01 PM   #8
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Looks like a nice unit. You can pick up a weight distributing hitch used on ebay ,craigs list. ect. The lift motor does make a straining-high pitched noise when the unit is being lifted up. Possibly his fluid is low in the pump. If you check it out and you are not sure about something post back. Best of luck and welcome to the forum.
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Old 12-18-2012, 05:12 PM   #9
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The before and after pictures would make me look elsewhere to begin with on this trailer. Also, it is always a negative to me, if someone is selling an item and cannot even take a picture in the daytime so that it can really be seen in the pictures. It always makes me think they are trying to hide something, just my thoughts.
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsjford View Post
I am new to this wonderful site and have already learned a lot of things. I sell at antique shows and flea markets and am wanting to be able to stay at the shows instead of going home each night and also want to go to shows that are farther away. I have never driven any type of trailer before, but the hi-lo trailers look like something that would be good for me. I own a 2002 Ford Expedition with a towing package, but do not have anything in the way for braking a trailer. Not sure if this would be expensive to set up in my vehicle. I also have a tight budget as my husband has been out of work for over a year and me selling antiques is our sole income. So my budget is $2,000 or under. I have already printed out the posts on here about what to look for in a camper, especially the part about looking for water damage. But if possible, would someone help me on their opinion on a camper I have found so far.
Here is the link.
REDUCED 84 16' hi-lo completely rebuilt

Any help at all on where to find a camper would be awesome. I have also looked at popups, but the hi-lo looks really appealing to me. I am sure that the price I am looking at won't get me a decent trailer, but it doesn't hurt to look. I have a few months to look for one until the flea market/antique show season starts.
Thanks anyone for their help and sorry for the long post!
The NADA guide is still available for that year. Make sure you punch in all of the options. The NADA price is usually a little on the high side. It looks like a lot of work was put into this trailer. It might be wise to take someone with Hi-Lo experience with you to look at it.

http://www.nadaguides.com/RVs/1984/Hi-Lo
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:17 PM   #11
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Well, after looking at it, I've decided that even though it is in good shape, has had a lot of nice things done to it, it just is not the right trailer for me. I am on a very limited budget and it has enough things that still need to be done on it that makes me decide to wait. I still have a few months. Thanks again everyone! I printed off all of what to look for and am hoping to find something by March!
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:48 PM   #12
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looks like a lot of things was done to it, if the owner did a good job then its worth it, but like an earlier poster suggested why not take good pictures during day time. the 21' trailer is bumper to tongue length but the actual livable size must be 16', you should have no problem pulling it with your ford expedition, but at least you do need a brake controller, I bought mine at Autozone for $79 and it works perfect, I don't have weight distribution on my towing vehicle and I have no problem pulling mine.
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:55 AM   #13
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I think he tried to give you the "livable" space - and that's not how RV lengths are given... They are from the end of the bumper to the end of hitch.

And you will have no issue pulling that with your Expedition - I tow my 22" with a GMC Safari with a V-6.

You have the tow package, so yeah the brake controller shouldl be plug and play... Try eTrailer.com and look at the brake controllers, they start at $59 and you can get a harness for it - but typically the less you spend, the less "plug and play" it is.

The Prodigy P2 has the option to get the harness that will plug into your Expedition - not cutting or splicing wires...

It "looks" like he did a pretty good job - but take a very good look at it when you go... if you go... and just make sure he ddin't cut corners to get it back together - from the looks, he really had it apart...

Your budget is tight and one way or another I doubt you will be able to come in under it without putting some money into the unit...

Good luck
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