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Old 02-27-2012, 07:34 PM   #1
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Default Good buy or not

Found a97 hi lo towlite 18' for 600$ interior is in good condition the drivers side has real bad water damage it's leaning to the side real bad and won't go down I use to be a carpenter so I could fix it pretty easy just wondering of this is to far gone or is it a easy fix please let me know thanks david
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:07 PM   #2
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If you want a project, I think $600 is a very good buy. Especially if the applainces work. Read up on some of the repair threads currently going on to guage whether you think you can tackle it or not. It won't be fast but the construction is fairly simple.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:13 PM   #3
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Default Fixing Towlite with severe water dammage.

I am the owner of a classic,not an expert. My first thought is that you can,t even lower it to take it home to work on it. It would require a tremendous amt of hrs to rebuild the frame,re insulate,repanel. No guarantees it wouldn,t have warping that can't be corrected. You absolutely can not tow it in the up position. Let me repeat you should never tow it in the up position. I'm sure other towlite owners or those that have done similar repairs to their towlite will advise.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:25 PM   #4
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Can't you brace it up with 2x4s and drive it to where you need it I don't know just asking has anyone ever done this
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:48 PM   #5
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GunnerKylie,

I am not sure how much you know about the 1997 tow-lite, so I will give you some background.

We just had to get rid of our 97 21ft tow-lite because of woodrot. In 1997, the Tow-lite structural framing for the roof was made out of metal, but the structural framing for the wall was made out of wood. There are pullys, that hold cables, built in the walls that provides the system for raising and lowering the top.

It sounds like the wood supports rotted out on the drivers side, causing the pully to pull free. Once that pully comes free, the top would seriously lean to that side. The pully on the other side is probably still secured to the wood framing.

Others can weigh in on this, but i wonder if you would be able to jack (farmer's jack?) up the leaning side so the top is level, disconnect the cables from underneath the trailer, and then lower the top down evenly for transport. This would probably take a number of guys to handle - with someone at each corner or so. And probably using jacks and wood at each corner. As you later work to repair the top, you will need those jacks and wood again, so may be worth the investment now.
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2006 22ft towlite (replaces 97 21TL)
2006 Toyota tacoma pre-runner 4.0 L V-6 quad cab
w/ 98 chevy Powervision towing mirrors
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:11 PM   #6
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GunnerKylie, look for a PM from me.

Take a look at this forum topic:

http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f17/...down-bunk-692/

bugman completely rebuilt his 1998 21ft Towlite, and provided lots of pictures.
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2006 22ft towlite (replaces 97 21TL)
2006 Toyota tacoma pre-runner 4.0 L V-6 quad cab
w/ 98 chevy Powervision towing mirrors
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Old 02-29-2012, 09:39 PM   #7
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GunnerKylie,

Take a look at this post for the cables, and also look at the pdf file imbedded by NealandBev

http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f61/...1998-24td-125/
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2006 22ft towlite (replaces 97 21TL)
2006 Toyota tacoma pre-runner 4.0 L V-6 quad cab
w/ 98 chevy Powervision towing mirrors
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:10 PM   #8
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Buy It. BUY It. Buy It.
Here's how to lower it so you can take it home an' fix it!!

1. Get 4 55-gallon STEEL drums, 2 8-10' 4x4's, 24 8x8x8 or 16" cider blocks, several pieces of 2x and 1x 16" pieces of wood. A Buddy/Copilot/Navigator, etc.

2. Stack enough cinder blocks next to the side of each corner, being carefull not to touch the bottom half, so that that the stack is within 8" of the bottom of the top half. Put in enough wooden blocks to get within a couple of inches of the top half.

3. Set the 4 drums upright about 18" from the side of the corners. Use the 4x4's as levers, being carefull to place a 24" piece above the 4x4 to spread the weight over a larger area, to raise the sides. Start raising the lower side first 2-4" at a time, raising one corner at a time. Have your buddy put blocks on top of the cinder blocks as you push down on the 4x4. As you go up, add 2x4's to the top of the drum. Every time you go up 8", replace the wooden blocks with a cinder block. Stop when the 2 sides are level. This should eliminate the "bind" that's keeping it from lowering. You may have to "shake " it get it loose.

4. If the top will raise @ this point on it's own, raise it untill it locks. Remove the cinder blocks, and see if will lower by itself. If it does, your are GOLDEN-lower all the way down, and ROLL. If it won't, reverse the UP procedure, going down on each corner 2-4 inches at a time, untill you reach the top of the drums. Now the tricky part. Turn the drums sideways and place a 2x on each side to ensure it doesn't roll. Continue to use the drum as a fulcrum, going down 2-4 inches at a time untill it's all the way down. Remove the rest of the cinder blocks and you are good to go.
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:17 PM   #9
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Thanks for everyone's input was able to get it down with farm jacks on one side and I got it home now I have to repair drivers side wall do I do this in the down position or up position I will be taking the whole wall off any suggestions is greatly appreciated
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:46 PM   #10
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GunnerKylie

I just posted a copy of the 1997 21ft. TowLite owner's manual in the reference section of this forum. I think that may be the same trailer that you purchased.

http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f49/...728/#post10701
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2006 22ft towlite (replaces 97 21TL)
2006 Toyota tacoma pre-runner 4.0 L V-6 quad cab
w/ 98 chevy Powervision towing mirrors
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerkylie View Post
Thanks for everyone's input was able to get it down with farm jacks on one side and I got it home now I have to repair drivers side wall do I do this in the down position or up position I will be taking the whole wall off any suggestions is greatly appreciated
The way I would do it is repair the wall with the top in the up position. Raise the top, support the top with 4x4's and large pieces of 3/4" plywood(12"x 36") mounted to the ends of the 4x4's. Also cover the plywood with scrap pieces of carpet so you don't mar the finish surfaces of the cieling or floor. These 4x4 supports are going to support the upper section between the floor and cieling when you disconnect the cables and remove the wall to rebuild it. Make sure that the support is in line with roof framing which is 1"x1" square metal tubing. The plywood with carpet should span two roof framing beams for better support. Since your going to do the driver side wall I would leave the wall on the otherside along with the cables attached and use 6 4x4 supports to hold the whole upper section. Take out the windows on the divers side wall before removing it, which will make the wall lighter and give you hand holes when you remove and reinstall the wall.
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2006 22ft towlite (replaces 97 21TL)
2006 Toyota tacoma pre-runner 4.0 L V-6 quad cab
w/ 98 chevy Powervision towing mirrors
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Old 03-03-2012, 02:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunnerkylie View Post
Thanks for everyone's input was able to get it down with farm jacks on one side and I got it home now I have to repair drivers side wall do I do this in the down position or up position I will be taking the whole wall off any suggestions is greatly appreciated
Take a look at my earlier post in the thread that has a link called "ladder for drop down bunk". That name is misleading. This thread is a series of pictures that a guy took while he was rebuilding the entire top of his 1998 21ft TowLite. He repaired it in the up position. You can see in the pictures, that he supported the top by using plywood and 4X4's in the center of the trailer. He then was able to remove cables, take off the walls and start the rebuilt.

This is exactly how we would have liked to repair our 1997, but without a place to work on it and some injured back problems, we had to let the 1997 find another home.
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2006 22ft towlite (replaces 97 21TL)
2006 Toyota tacoma pre-runner 4.0 L V-6 quad cab
w/ 98 chevy Powervision towing mirrors
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:55 PM   #13
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Thanks les this was the exact information I was looking for thanks for the reply so fast I'm going to get started tomorrow bracing it up but it's suppose to rain in the middle of the week do probably won't start till next weekend I also plugged in the trailer and everything works great I'm stoked to get this thing going thanks for the information you've been really helpful

Thanks David
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Old 03-04-2012, 12:16 AM   #14
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Default Resetting windows

I did a post on 1-22-2012 that gives detailed instructions on how to reset a window. You will need to buy Butyl Tape and Lexell caulkGreat information the last few days about the work others have done to rebuild Towlites. Checkout my 1990 HiLo Classic restoration. Some of what I did pertaines and some not. Each photo bucket picture has a description. Good luck with your restoration. Our forum members with towlites are an awesome diehard bunch. Ask us any questions and we will do our best to help you.
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