Curious about Hi-Lo Campers? Thinking about buying a Hi-Lo camper, curious, have questions? Ask them here
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Old 07-31-2016, 12:45 AM   #1
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Default Newly introduced to HiLo... tons of questions!

Hi, everyone! So I have decided over the past few weeks that, since I run an online business, I would like to take my young son and myself and travel the country. Our car is a 2003 Toyota Matrix, with 4wd, and I had considered buying a 6x10 trailer frame and building upon that to create a kind of popup living space/tiny home.

I came upon the HiLo trailers and it's exactly what I'm looking for, but they all seem they will be over the 1500 lb towing limit for the car. My dad is retired and has a sweet workshop with welding equipment, etc, so I thought maybe I could gut the camper and replace the heavy stuff with lighter furniture such as card chairs, a toaster oven/countertop stove, air and/or memory foam mattress, etc.. However, I also need to add in a small bathroom.

So, what are my options, or am I a bit far from reality with this one? I also thought about trying a popup, if nothing else. Many thanks for your input!!
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Old 07-31-2016, 03:41 AM   #2
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I'd venture a guess that you'll gain little, and be on the edge of safe operation. Even a small Hi-Lo (like a 15') from the early 1970's weighs over 2100 lbs. You'd need to get rid of 30% of the weight, and that doesn't account for adding a small bathroom. Much of the weight is in things that can't be removed....frame, axle, wheels/tires, hitch, floor, walls, roof, windows, plumbing, wiring, refrigerator, air conditioner, lift mechanism, etc. You can only remove so much!

Then, you start adding stuff. Water? The small bathroom? Then you need gray/black water storage. Pots, pans, plates, kitchen utensils, dish detergent, windex, kids toys? For sure you'll need food and clothes and even if those are in the car, they start adding up to the car's overall capacity for towing......and more importantly, stopping.

I think it's a stretch......but others may have a better idea for you.

Good luck!
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Old 07-31-2016, 09:47 AM   #3
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Get a capable tow vehicle that can accommodate your needs. Better safe than sorry!

Bob
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Old 07-31-2016, 10:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredcamper47 View Post
Get a capable tow vehicle that can accommodate your needs. Better safe than sorry!

Bob
Agreed! And, if you are really going to be "living" in your trailer for a prolonged period with your son, you are going to need more room. Our 17 ft HiLo is great for us for a two week period camping, but it would get old fast as a "living space".

So, I'd recommend a larger trailer (HiLo style is fine) and a capable tow vehicle.

- Jack
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Old 07-31-2016, 07:02 PM   #5
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Default Welcome to the forum.

You have posed some good questions. I agree with the answers you have been given. Get a better tow vehicle and then the proper length HiLo. Best of luck with your search.
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