Curious about Hi-Lo Campers? Thinking about buying a Hi-Lo camper, curious, have questions? Ask them here
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:00 AM   #1
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Hey all, new here. I'm thinking about buying a 1990 22L. The camper is about 400 miles from me, what kind of questions should I be asking over the phone? I know the general things, lift system, leaks, tires... Is there anything Hilo specific I should be aware of? How is the tongue weight of these things? I will be towing with a half ton Silverado, do I need to think about weight dist. hitches or not? What do you think would be a fair price for one that is in decent condition?

I have a pop up now and want to go with something that gives a little more weather protection. The other camper in my corral is a 1963 Comet that is in need of restoration.

This is my pop up. As you can see we camp in all sorts of weather. The wind on our last trip was brutal, we were up at 2AM stowing the awning and Gizmos and tearing down was a real pain.

Still love my pup though.

This is the Comet, she is in need of a rebuild, lots of rot in the walls.


Sorry I bored you with the pics, a little off topic.

If anybody could provide me with some answers/suggestions I would sure appreciate it.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:22 AM   #2
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wow that must be some job folding up a popup in cold weather. the vinyl gets stiff and everything else. they are so easy to do when they are hot.
i had a big one before but with my age, i prefer the ease of the Hi-Lo.
BUT you don't have near the room that a popup has though. i think my popup was the roomiest camper i ever had, and i loved the ready made king beds. just can't do it anymore (turned 59 yesterday)
the only down side i see to the hi-lo is having no ready made bed. you always have to make and unmake it unless you get one of the longer ones that have a bedroom. if i could leave the bunk down i would use that but i am too tall to sit at the dinette underneath comfortably so i will probably never use it.
anyways if you do a good on line search you can get an idea of whats out there and prices. i found one in NY thats a '92 and its $7900 at a dealer.
there are lots of things to looks for i guess and i am sure someone will respond to that. i just got mine too and have not yet spent a night in it.
i found it on craigslist for $999. its an '84 funchaser 21ft. it needed a fridge, water pump and some rewiring but its good to go now.
i still keep looking though because i want one with a side dinette so i don't have to give up my table for a bed. upon entering my dinette is in front on the right and on the left is a long couch across from the sink. so sitting on the couch, my back is facing the window and i don't like that. i enjoy looking out the windows a lot.
i use Jaxed.com for one, oodle.com, ebay classifieds, Craigslist, etc.
what area are you looking in?
welcome to the board!
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:34 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. Haven't had a problem with the canvas, we always crank up the heat a couple of hours before teardown to warm the canvas up. The pup is a small one with double beds and not real roomy. I just want something a little more weather/wind resistant.

The Hilo I'm looking at has the side dinette, I think we would leave the sofa and bunk made up as beds throughout our trips.
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:41 AM   #4
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just did a quick check using Claz.org and there were 2 pages of them.
there is a '91 thats 21ft for $3200
and is saw a '90 that sold for $2000 and that was a 26ft one.
i'd like to came across a deal like that!
i have my eye on an '87 for $2700. it has the setup i prefer and is also a 21ft. just the difference of 3yrs shows a lot of changes and upgrades.
it looks so much better than mine inside.
thats what i would do too if i get this one is just leave couch made into a bed full time. most of the sitting is outdoors anyways when the weather is nice.
lets us know what you find, we love pics!
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:47 AM   #5
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I paid $350.00 for my 1996 TL. the guy was moving and he sold it that cheap just to get rid of it. nothing wrong yet that i found.
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:00 PM   #6
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For safe towing the hitch weight should be around 12% (10to15) of the total loaded trailer weight. My 95 21' TowLite weights exactly 3400 lbs empty and around 3800 loaded. This gives a hitch weight of 456 lbs.
My 2209 TowLite is around 3800 empty. This is a couple of examples of what they weight. Classic models weight more and are more plush inside. Longer lengths, weight more of course and the models with side pop outs also.
Hi-Lo recommends a W D hitch with sway control, I would recommend it also.
You should check the tow rating of your truck.
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:48 PM   #7
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The tow rating for my truck is 7700lbs, no worry there just concerned about tongue weight. I think I will go with the WDH. Thanks for the advice PopRichie77.

Boy PaulS you sure got a deal!

Jthiel, thanks for the claz.org link, I didn't know about that one.

It's at a dealer, they are asking 4,000 for it and will throw in a E2 WDH with sway control. I all ready have a brake controller.
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:22 PM   #8
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Even if it's at a dealer don't be afraid to make them a low-ball offer, especially this time of year. I did and ended up buying my '01 24TD for much less than the Dealer's asking price. They came down a lot because it's the middle of winter.
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:25 PM   #9
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That sounds high for a 1990, I would want it to be in excellent shape for that price. Check the walls inside, make sure they feel solid if there is any softness anywhere, there is water damage. Have them demonstrate the appliances, be sure all are working. Refrigerators are expensive. Check the date code on the tires if 4 years or more old they need replaced. Trailer tires have a short life regardless of tread wear. They will fail at sustained highway speeds.
Just my 2 cents worth.
Good point Boater when I bought the my 95 they came down 3,000
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:03 PM   #10
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I compiled this list of things to look for when buying a Hi-Lo from posting on this site (you can thank the other "Ole Timers"):

Basically, start with the visual items –
1. Exterior
• Look for water stains and discoloration on inside walls and around ceiling anywhere vents, skylights, windows, etc. exist.
• Push and prod with your hand on the inside walls for soft spots (which could indicate a water leak and a damaged or rotten interior wall).
• Check for bubbles in the wallpaper (a sign of delimitation or water intrusion)
2. Interior cleanliness of the unit-
• Look for water stains and discoloration on inside walls and around ceiling anywhere vents, skylights, windows, etc. exist.
• Push and prod with your hand on the inside walls for soft spots (which could indicate a water leak and a damaged or rotten interior wall).
• Check for bubbles in the wallpaper (a sign of delimitation or water intrusion)
3. Test appliance functions –
• lights
• fans
• refrigerator
• air conditioner
• heater
• water pump
• range hood
• stovetop
• oven (if equipped)
• microwave (if equipped)
• stereo (if equipped)
4. Lift System-
• Does the unit raise and lower properly
• Check the lift system for hydraulic leaks (puddle under the trailer)
• Check the lift cables to see if they are in good shape and not frayed
• Check the seal between the upper and lower body halves for tears or damage
5. fill the tanks to the top and check for leaks
6. Battery
7. Solar Panel (if equipped)
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Old 01-04-2011, 04:42 PM   #11
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Great list, for anyone buying a trailer. This list would apply to any brand trailer except for #4
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Old 01-04-2011, 07:38 PM   #12
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That is a great list, I'm going to print it off and take it with me if I go. They say it's in above average condition but you know how that goes.
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:40 PM   #13
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John's list is a good guideline. The only thing I'd add, based on our recent experience buying a 2704T, would be to make sure the water system will stand up to pressure, and operate the faucets, while under pressure.

We drove away from the dealer without knowledge that the kitchen sink faucet mixing chamber had a big freeze crack. The dealer salesman that handled our purchase was either ignorant of the crack, or more likely, very slick about concealing it. We purchased used, from an non Hi-Lo, out-of-state dealer, hitched up, drove off, set up that night in a campground, hooked up the water, turned on the sink faucet to vent the air, and were immediately faced with a flood, both under the sink, and on the counter top. When the sales guy demonstrated the water system, he had turned the demand pump on, then flipped the sink valve open and closed to show a pencil of flow. Looked good to us, however had he left that valve open any longer than two seconds, we'd have seen water leaking onto the counter top.

So, the lessons we learned were to not let a salesman rush through the check-out, and insist the fresh water system be filled and pressurized so that a complete inspection can be performed.

Oh, we had one other repair that ended up being quite costly and is unique to Hi-Lo's. The black water tank had a major crack on top, 2/3's around the vent pipe fitting. We didn't know, of course, until several weeks later when I filled the tank to the top in preparation for dumping. While trouble shooting I found the seal, at the telescoping point of the vent pipe, excessively tight. I'm guessing a dealer tech, unfamiliar with Hi-lo's, tightened it down without thinking about the need for the pipes to telescope. First time the dealer lowered the top on his lot, the force of the roof dropping tried to drive the locked up vent pipe into the tank, causing the above described crack. About a $450 fix.

So, you may want to have the owner/dealer fill the tanks to the top and see if they'll hold without leaking.

Good luck,
Jim
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Old 01-05-2011, 03:58 PM   #14
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Good points Jim, I wouldn't have known about the black tank thing, I could see how it would happen though.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:53 PM   #15
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I just wanted to let everyone know that I went and looked at the camper. I didn't rnd up getting it, there was a large soft area in the roof around the antenna and several soft areas in the walls. It's too bad a person can't be honest and tell one this before they drive almost 500 miles to see it. Oh well it was nice to get out of town.

If anyone is aware of a decent camper around Kansas...

I want to thank all of you for your input, I do appreciate it. The search continues.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWolfe View Post
I just wanted to let everyone know that I went and looked at the camper. I didn't rnd up getting it, there was a large soft area in the roof around the antenna and several soft areas in the walls. It's too bad a person can't be honest and tell one this before they drive almost 500 miles to see it. Oh well it was nice to get out of town.

If anyone is aware of a decent camper around Kansas...

I want to thank all of you for your input, I do appreciate it. The search continues.
Gwolf, Im near salina KS, where are you at? I have a 5th wheel version (NOT FOR SALE) But I do look around a lot, seems many I kinda watched, arent listed right now, probably waiting on spring to list on there. BTW, there is a place in Topeka, south of it technically, on Topeka BLVD, has several in stock (not as cheap as by owner of course).

if you have or can install FIREFOX (it is a browser like IE) you can search all over KS and heck, for that matter, the usa with just one search. goto this site. crazedlist.org : search craigslist like a madman You have to make a change in the browser, to make it work, Website walks you through it easy enough.

///XXXX will not work with IE XXX\\\ which the site will also tell you.

also you might searh HI lo, HiLo, and hilo and HILO? I mean sometimes craigslist is funny that way, at least for me.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:54 PM   #17
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I'm in Wichita. I all ready use Firefox so I'm going to give that link a try, thanks.
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