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Old 02-24-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
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Default Thoughts on size (length)

Have gotten interested in a travel trailer as I get ready to semi-retire. Want to start used. Mostly tent camper in past but have moved to bigger tents and cots and that is getting harder, to0. Have had a class " c" (briefly) and a pop-up truck camper. The latter was more worry than I wanted and slightly too heavy for my truck (97 f150 4x4). " C" was a pain in as much as I had to pack it up everytime I wanted to go somewhere. So- started looking at light weight tt in 15-17 ft range. Then ran across the hi-los. Lots of 22 footers and larger out there. The idea intriques me (low profile). I saw a reference in posts regarding ease of getting into National Forest campgrounds. How "BIG" is a 22 footer in everyone's experience in terms of squeezing in and out of sites? Am looking,locally, at a 2001 22t and a 2008 15. Not sure wife would be crazy about the size of the 15- nor am I sure how she will react to 'funkiness' of 2001 22- but her imagination was captured by R-pod . Cute- but I did not like build quality and they , still ,seem pretty tall and wind resistance. My fear is I will feel 22 is too big- but not many 17s and 19s out there used. Not having much experience with travel trailers- I'm not sure how to judge this. Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:38 PM   #2
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Quote:
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Have gotten interested in a travel trailer as I get ready to semi-retire. Want to start used. Mostly tent camper in past but have moved to bigger tents and cots and that is getting harder, to0. Have had a class " c" (briefly) and a pop-up truck camper. The latter was more worry than I wanted and slightly too heavy for my truck (97 f150 4x4). " C" was a pain in as much as I had to pack it up everytime I wanted to go somewhere. So- started looking at light weight tt in 15-17 ft range. Then ran across the hi-los. Lots of 22 footers and larger out there. The idea intriques me (low profile). I saw a reference in posts regarding ease of getting into National Forest campgrounds. How "BIG" is a 22 footer in everyone's experience in terms of squeezing in and out of sites? Am looking,locally, at a 2001 22t and a 2008 15. Not sure wife would be crazy about the size of the 15- nor am I sure how she will react to 'funkiness' of 2001 22- but her imagination was captured by R-pod . Cute- but I did not like build quality and they , still ,seem pretty tall and wind resistance. My fear is I will feel 22 is too big- but not many 17s and 19s out there used. Not having much experience with travel trailers- I'm not sure how to judge this. Any thoughts are appreciated.
Look at the brochures in the reference library here on the forum. It should have all the answers to your questions. Keep in mind that Hi-Lo's are measued from the back bumper to the tip of the tongue.

Hi-Lo Brochure - Hi-Lo camper travel trailer forum
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I did get the brochures and I've been in both the trailers I'm looking at. I guess my question is...to those of you are used to living in travel trailers and particularly the Hi-los, is there a significant difference between getting in and out of sites in national forest ccs etc between, say, a 17 footer and a 22? Not taking into account garage sizes etc- are there those of you who wish you really had a 19 footer instead of 22 or 24 when it comes to where you can go and set-up? Will most sites accommodate a 22 footer? I've never had to consider it before.

Thanks

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Old 02-24-2012, 08:18 PM   #4
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I would prefer a shorter trailer while hauling and getting in to gas stations, camp, etc. I came from a 17' Casita and a Lance truck camper so this 22' hi-lo is noticably bigger than what I was used to. I would prefer a bigger trailer for camping in as there is little room for my stuff alone without utilizing all of the cubbies and cabinets, much less a second person. I settled on a compromise. My 2006 Tundra pulls the trailer just fine but I know it's back there. Gas milage is excellent. The smaller trailers like the 15 had smaller holding tanks if I remember correctly, a deal breaker for me. They also cool down and heat up faster which is a good thing.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:40 PM   #5
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Rick,

If you've recently attended any trailer/RV show, and you probably noticed that trailers in the 22' range were about the shortest on display! The vast majority of commercial campgrounds sites these days are set up for longer rigs with slide-outs... some of these sites are so big it almost seems as though you could lose a mere 22 footer at night if not careful to leave a light on. Most of the developed state park campgrounds and many of the primitive state and national forest campground sites will have spaces big enough to easily accommodate a 22 ft rig. Now if you were asking about the "fitability," of a 38' (and larger) behemoth 5th wheel... well then you could have problems in more primitive campgrounds.

All the above assumes you are competent at backing-up and otherwise maneuvering a hitched trailer. Also depends on approach access. I've met some campers who would have trouble getting into a football field... if they had to back through a 60 degree turn. Two years ago we went camping in Yosemite with friends (inexperienced towers) who couldn't back their 15' single-axle tent trailer into a space designed for a bus.. and with hurt pride claimed the space was too small and the turn impossible... until I did it for them in one move! In other words, judging whether a space is too big or too small is relative, and more often depends on the skill of the driver.

BTW, the Hi-Lo's low profile has proven to be a benefit numerous times when we've been accessing a primitive campsite. The roads getting in and out often have branches low enough to sweep everything off the roof of a taller trailer, especially those huge 38' ft 5th wheels that look 2 stories tall on the interstate!

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Old 02-25-2012, 12:03 AM   #6
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Fireball and JM

Thanks for the replies. A friend of mind has a 17 Casita and that is what got me thinking. I like that the Casitas reminds me of the cabin of a sailboat in as much as sailboats know they are boats and Casitas seem to know they are trailers. Functional and well thought out for the space they have and what is happening with it. That said- the Casita is pretty tight . Hi-Los also seem to know they are trailers and not small, mobile apartments. And I like that. I'm not uncomfortable backing trailers up---boats, utility trailers, even semis I've done over the years (semis are easier...). But, for some reason, when I look at the 22 hi-lo, I get that sense it is "big" and I don't know why. I doubt it is significantly bigger than a 17 or 19....just hard for me to get used to living out of a bigger trailer---especially after living out of kayaks, canoes, tents, and the occaisional sailboat. But your comments on living space makes sense---It is just I like the idea of living "out of a trailer" and not in one. I think "smaller" must lend itself to that idea better in my mind. And, my mind can certainly change. Anyway- thanks for the feedback and I will surely let everyone know if I end up "pulling the trigger" on one of these. Local dealer is asking 7000.00 for 2001 22t and if he would come down some I would surely be tempted. Thanks again.

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Old 02-25-2012, 12:14 AM   #7
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I have a 20 foot and I am looking at a buying a 22. There is not that much different in length. Hilo and towlite's include the tongue and bumper in their length. So the living area is 4 feet smaller the trailer. The 22 has the 4 cu ref. and a bigger bed.
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:06 AM   #8
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I went from a 18 foot sun-lite semi pup-up to the 22 foot hi-lo and i would never go back. even though it is heavyier, it gets better gas mileage, its a little heavier nose wise,it is much more insulated and comfortable, but you say you like "living" more on the outside, then a 15 or 17 would suit you perfectly, also has a larger sleeping area.If you are going to use it a lot, the bigger the better, you can never have enough storage space if you are in it a lot
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Old 02-25-2012, 10:31 AM   #9
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I purchased a 1508 in November 2011. I upgraded it with some solar panels and two group 27 batteries. I also replace the lighting with LEDs. But I haven't had a chance to use it. I am hoping to go somewhere south, in search of warmer weather, in the middle of March. I am thinking, if I find some decent weather, I can spend most of my time outdoors and the size issue won't be a problem. I am retired and plan some trips out west in the fall. The small size has some advantages, I should be able to get into any camp ground, better gas mileage, and it stores in my garage. I am pulling it with a 2010 Dodge Ram with a 5.7 Hemi. I only towed it home about 50 miles with just a 2 inch hitch and had no issues. I hardly knew it was there. I ended up buying a Fastway e2 load equalizer hitch just to be safe. Maybe some of my thoughts can give some insight into size rational.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:05 PM   #10
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Once again, great information. Thats just the kind of insight I've been looking for so, again, thanks.

I found another 22 footer, same year- but I think one is a tow lite and one is a classic. According to the brochures so handily posted on this site----the weight seems to be about 700 lbs difference, dry. My truck is supposedly good to pull 5500-6000 so either would work....but does anyone know what differences hi-lo incorporated to shave that 700 lbs? Are there any other major differences between the two- because they both look pretty similar?
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:46 PM   #11
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The tow lite is narrower. I think 96" verses 100" for the classic. The older models in the ninties also had corrugated sides on some of the tow lites where the classics had smooth sides. The classics were more "loaded" with standard features where the tow lites were fairly bare bones and lots of features were options. The older tow lites had wooden frames where the classics had steel. The newer models switched to amuminim frames but I'm not sure of the year. Best to check the brochures in our reference library for facts.
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Old 02-25-2012, 01:57 PM   #12
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I hope I can answer your questions. The Classic has items that are standard that are options on the Towlite, like A/C, as well as, better interior with more lights and better cabinets. The Classic is 4 inches wider which adds weight. I can't remember what all, but the brochure should compare standard and optional equipment. Everything adds weight.
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Old 02-25-2012, 03:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireballsocal View Post
The tow lite is narrower. I think 96" verses 100" for the classic. The older models in the ninties also had corrugated sides on some of the tow lites where the classics had smooth sides. The classics were more "loaded" with standard features where the tow lites were fairly bare bones and lots of features were options. The older tow lites had wooden frames where the classics had steel. The newer models switched to amuminim frames but I'm not sure of the year. Best to check the brochures in our reference library for facts.
The Towlites started using aluminum framing in the walls in 2001. I wouldn't purchase another Towlite with wood framing, because of potential dryrot to the wall framing that holds the cable system.

The 21/22 foot Hi-Lo trailers have a separate shower. The smaller trailers have a wet bath - which means the shower is over the top of the toilet.

I also like having a separate couch from the dinette. We leave the couch down all the time with our bed made (double bed), and use the dinette for eating, food prep, visiting, etc. I believe that with the later 18footers the dinette and couch both fold down to make up the bed - though it is a larger bed
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:51 PM   #14
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Default Difference between Towlite and Classic

I,m not an expert,but I own a 1990 HiLo Classic.Look in the library section for floor plans.Look up WWW.NADA guides.com. Our classic has upgraded cabinets and most of he featues come as standard equipment. The roofs can be eithermetal or rubber. Our Ac unit has the heat strip and our unit comes with the oven. We simply flip a switch to turn on the water heater where as some have to go outside and lt. The bathroom fixtures are upgraded, heavier porcelin toilet. More cabinents. Others can describe their TowLites. Probably a matter of preference and what tow vehicle you have.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:08 AM   #15
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hilltool,
I may be wrong but it has been my experience that all campgrounds have different size camp sites. Some for small pop-ups others for big buses. If I'm making reservations I find that you need to match a site to the size of your camper. Normally that is covered in the questions asked or information provided at reservations time.
I own a 2805C (think that was the longest Hi Lo made that year, although Hi Lo did make a 31 footer at one time) and prefer staying in state parks or federal campgrounds. Like I've said I've had to be selective in which site I camp in. Obviously I can not fit a 28 foot camper in a site designed for a 15 foot pop up. That aside I can not remember ever having any great deal of problems getting into any site. You may run across some sites that are harder than others but generally the site is no good if folks can't get their camper in the site.
Hope this helps and I know you'll enjoy a Hi Lo.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:30 PM   #16
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The Towlite is 6" smaller on width, also the fridge is smaller than the classic, inside is also nicer. Propane tanks are bigger standard. I am on my second Towlite but would prefer the Classic model, but my tow vehicle can't pull one in the 22'- 23' range.
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Old 02-26-2012, 11:16 PM   #17
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A lot of the campsites are now pull throughs so trying to back a trailer into the spot doesn't even become and option.
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:02 PM   #18
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The 22' trailer with tow vehicle is about 40 feet long. Most of the sites I've seen are cut out to accommodate two cars and are about 40' long.
I too looked at the smaller trailers. Although I travel alone most of the time, when I have fishing guests, I can fit two other adults with comfortable room in 22'. Alone, it's about as big as my first apartment.
Also, the forest roads are cut to work well with 22' and not much longer. Even the approach and departure angles are ok if you go slow in 4WD. And the overhead clearance is not a problem with the Hi-Lo. If your tow vehicle can get under it, so can the trailer.
If I can find an older 23', I would get it. Nothing longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hilltool View Post
Have gotten interested in a travel trailer as I get ready to semi-retire. Want to start used. Mostly tent camper in past but have moved to bigger tents and cots and that is getting harder, to0. Have had a class " c" (briefly) and a pop-up truck camper. The latter was more worry than I wanted and slightly too heavy for my truck (97 f150 4x4). " C" was a pain in as much as I had to pack it up everytime I wanted to go somewhere. So- started looking at light weight tt in 15-17 ft range. Then ran across the hi-los. Lots of 22 footers and larger out there. The idea intriques me (low profile). I saw a reference in posts regarding ease of getting into National Forest campgrounds. How "BIG" is a 22 footer in everyone's experience in terms of squeezing in and out of sites? Am looking,locally, at a 2001 22t and a 2008 15. Not sure wife would be crazy about the size of the 15- nor am I sure how she will react to 'funkiness' of 2001 22- but her imagination was captured by R-pod . Cute- but I did not like build quality and they , still ,seem pretty tall and wind resistance. My fear is I will feel 22 is too big- but not many 17s and 19s out there used. Not having much experience with travel trailers- I'm not sure how to judge this. Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:53 PM   #19
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You should really check the layouts and compare that with how you and your wife function in a trailer. Before we got our used 2308 Classic, we looked at the 19' Towlite. We knew we would be getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and the bed arrangement was such that one would have to crawl over the other. That would be a non-starter, so we figured to use the dinette bed also. But we found that in the 19' Towlite with the dinette turned into a bed, the passage to the bathroom was too narrow for us to safely negotiate in the dark. The additional width of the Classic made it workable for us and we liked the extras that came standard.
Before we got the Hi-Lo, we had a 19" trailer for 14 years. It had a totally different layout, and we never had that problem.
Also, I thought I read somewhere else on this site that the Classics have less clearance under them than the Towlites.

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Old 03-27-2012, 06:47 PM   #20
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Smile Thanks- I did it

Thanks everybody- After hemming and hawing I went ahead and bought a used 2002 towlite 22 footer from a local dealer. he knew the trailer and it appears to me very well maintained ( garaged). I found the same model in a different state for 2000 less but the trip to get it would have been about another 1000 in gas and though I had a friend there look it over----this seemed a safer bet, for now.

I'm sure I paid a bit too much----- but, it seemed in the ball park of what I was seeing advertised on line- though I understand those prices are inflated.

So- thanks for the all the information and advice. It still LOOKS big to me, on the outside- the inside looks about right. Someone had mentioned all the windows in hi-los and, you are right, that is a "sell" for me given what I was looking at in 16 to 19 foot ligtweight trailers . So- we will see.

I've got a 97 f150 4x4 extended cab- samll v8---so that should pull it. Whats the advice on a weight ditribution hitch?

thanks again.
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