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Old 07-13-2010, 02:15 PM   #1
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Default Hi-Lo Trailer Co. Closes Shop

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This article is from "Trailer Life" @ Trailerlife.com, written by Bob Ashley
Trailer Life, July 13, 2010
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Ohio-based Hi-Lo's unique telescoping trailer
Hi-Lo Trailer Company Inc., Belleville, Ohio, a respected long-term player in the RV industry, has closed its doors.

In a July 6 letter to Hi-Lo dealers, President Jim Beveridge said shareholders ”have voted to liquidate the assets of the corporation and dissolve same, effective immediately.”

”In light of the current economic situation and the downturn in sales of recreational vehicles, Hi-Lo Trailer can no longer continue to operate,” the letter said.

Hi-Lo, the company that originally brought late Thor Industries Inc. chairman Wade F.B. Thompson, into the RV industry, manufactured a unique telescoping travel trailer that used a push button hydraulic system to automatically raise, lower and lock the top that fit over the lower portion of the trailer when in travel mode.

Hi-Low announced late last year that it had streamlined its 2010 product lineup to include four floorplans based on the Hi-Lo Classic.

The company was founded in 1955 as Snyder’s Hi-Lo Trailer Co. by the late Don Snyder, who engineered Hi-Lo’s basic design because he wanted a popup-like trailer that was safer to tow and had hard sides so that it could be used in the winter.

The company later passed to the founder’s son, Jim Snyder, who remained active in the company after selling it to New Zealand native Thompson, who came across Hi-Lo while working in marketing in New York City.

”I thought this was a neat little company with a great little balance sheet,” said Tompson, who had met Peter Orthwein, now Thor chairman, at a New York conference.

”I called him up and asked if he would help me finance this little company called Hi-Lo,” Thompson recalled in a 2002 interview with RVBusiness. ”He said he could get the financing, but he wanted to be a partner as well.

”We did the deal, and Oct. 28, 1977, we bought the company (and) for the next three years I commuted between New York where my family was — literally every week.”

Thompson ran Hi-Lo for three years before he and Orthwein acquired Airstream Inc. from Beatrice Foods, beginning to build Thor Industries into a national power.

Thompson and Orthwein owned Hi-Lo into the middle of this decade, before quietly selling the company in July 2003.

Efforts to reach Beveridge and recent Hi-Lo executives Jim Snyder and Larry Mills were unsuccessful.
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Old 07-13-2010, 03:17 PM   #2
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A sad day indeed for all of us Hi-Lo fans.

Jeff
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Old 07-17-2010, 06:43 AM   #3
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Default I guess this makes it official now

Hi-Lo Trailer Co., Inc. will cease doing business
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:31 AM   #4
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I noticed that there are several of the 2010 units listed on eBay that appear to show up in the "left over" inventory on the Hi-Lo website.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:54 PM   #5
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Default bummer...

That's why I couldn't get any help from the parts dept..
OK, we need to all help one another with parts sources, service info and general help. Maybe we could start a special "maintenance, parts and problem" topic area for us dummies that are new to everything about a Hi-Lo.

You experts out there should start writing some tech columns about the Hi-Lo
or if anyone knows an EX-Hilo service guy; get him to join the forum..
thanks.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:01 PM   #6
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Default It Is Critical to Maintain This Site in Future!!!

As the recent purchaser of a new Hi-Lo (theoretically still in warranty) this site is now my only lifeline to Hi-Lo data, information and support. I am extremely interested in seeing this site maintained for my own selfish interests as well as the best interests of the Hi-Lo community at large.

May I ask who owns this site? If privately owned, I'm confident of its staying power due to the years of accumulated good will of Hi-Lo and the common interests of all the many Hi-Lo owners out there.

I would like to get involved in getting this site into independent hands if it is not already there. That includes purchasing the site, sponsoring it in some participatory manner, or ???. If you wish, you can reply with a PM and we can discuss further off line.

Best regards,

Ed Clark
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:15 PM   #7
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Ed,

"Neal and Bev" are the moderators, and I believe that they set up this site.

See the top of this thread for their information.
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:28 AM   #8
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Ed,

Thank you for your very kind comments.

My wife Bev and I do technically own the website, but it's our opinion that, it belongs to the members of the Hi-Lo community.

Like all of the members in the Hi-Lo community, we love our camper, and we believe in helping and sharing with each other.

The monthly costs of HTF are very small, and the ads at the top and bottom of the page basically cover that, so it is no burden at all. If there ever did come a time that Bev and I could not continue to manage the site (its very little work), then we would pass it to another willing member to manage, because the goal of HTF, is to provide a good resource for the Hi-Lo community, for as long as there is a need for it, and we all hope that is a very long time to come.

Neal and Bev
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:55 PM   #9
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Dear Neal and Bev,

Fabulous news! I knew that you were heavily involved in the site from my readings prior to recently buying my new, albeit 2008 model Hi-Lo (2408T). I am very pleased to learn that you are actually the site owners. Great news for us all! I super appreciate the job you've been doing and am looking forward to many future years of enjoying this site.

To the sponsors: I have already done a significant amount of business with two firms who have advertised on this site. Not to mention names but etrailer.com and Camping World are the initials (plug, plug ).

By the way, I am totally unconcerned about the (probable) lack of warranty support from Hi-Lo, at least for the immediate future. I did my research. It is unlikely that much can or will go wrong with this proven design. If it does, the information you have provided on this site or can provide in future if needed should be sufficient to keep the rubber on the road.

Best regards,

Ed Clark
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Old 07-29-2010, 01:14 PM   #10
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Sad indeed, but thankfully they are built to last and last they do! Hold onto em if you got em and if you don't, its time to find one!
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:18 PM   #11
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Default Hi-Lo totaled

Just got info from my insurance company, based on the inability of my RV dealer to get parts from Hi-Lo they have total my camper so much for my Hi-Lo. Looks like we're getting a Keystone maybe their company will last longer.

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Old 08-01-2010, 06:28 AM   #12
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I just put some cash down on a 1993 26 RD.
Should I have some concern about this? It's very well taken care of, and has a new fridge, air, awning, the frame's clean the interior is clean, two years ago just had the main seal between the top and bottom replaced and the guy ruber coats the roof every three years. Caulking looks good windows all work interior is super clean, I love it. How often does the lifting mechanism fail? This thing is 17 years old, is it something that an owner can replace cables or mechanical parts? Is there a shop manual available? Anyone considering starting a "Hi-Lo Garage" if you will, someone maybe from the factory that knows all about these things? Is there someone like that on the forum all ready? Ok, so I guess I have some questions about this purchase.....
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Old 08-01-2010, 10:30 AM   #13
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I just bought a 1994 this year and love it. I don't think there is much trouble with the lift mechanisms follow the advice on here as to lubing the pulleys and such and they last a long time. Buy it enjoy it and don't worry.


Harry
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:23 AM   #14
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I was so excited to find your forum! We just purchased a 1985 25' Hi-Lo, in good condition. We had a few questions just last week and tried calling Hi-Low and the phone was disconnected. So far we have resolved our issues. Can you suggest contacts for questions or trouble shooting so we have something to fall back in in the future. We may not always had internet access to use this forum.

Thank you,
Tony and Wendy
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:00 AM   #15
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Default Hi-Lo Trailer Co. Closes Shop

Thanks for the information. I have been out with my Hi-Lo for a couple of months, mostly on trout streams where I don't have internet. Yes, fishing and catching has been great. Those of us with older Hi-Lo trailers are going to be in the market for 'new old stock'. I hope that I can get a couple of parts, I'd like to replace, before that office closes for good.
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Old 09-12-2010, 06:52 AM   #16
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Cool The Forum

We are new members. We feel very fortunate to have the Forum available to us. We love our 2006 Classic so my hope is with the help of fellow members we can keep it in great shape.
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Old 09-28-2010, 07:24 PM   #17
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I've just discovered (maybe too late) the great advantages of owning a HiLo in terms of towing one and storing one in my own garage, due to the telescopicing feature that I've never seen in any other manufacturer of rvs. I'm thinking of purchasing one in a year or so, but am hesitant because the company has just closed it's doors. How difficult will it be for me and other owners to get parts and service under those circumstances? If that will not be a problem, I would still consider buying one. Any help on this question would be appreciated!
Thanks, Mare Grant
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marilyngrant View Post
I've just discovered (maybe too late) the great advantages of owning a HiLo in terms of towing one and storing one in my own garage, due to the telescopicing feature that I've never seen in any other manufacturer of rvs. I'm thinking of purchasing one in a year or so, but am hesitant because the company has just closed it's doors. How difficult will it be for me and other owners to get parts and service under those circumstances? If that will not be a problem, I would still consider buying one. Any help on this question would be appreciated!
Thanks, Mare Grant
Mare -

Unless you're talking about things like the body parts (end caps, side panels, maybe interior counter tops, and so on - that would be damaged in a crash, there's not a whole lot that's not "generic"). Even things like the lift cables can be bought at Home Depot or Lowes. Maybe the actual lift cylinder and guide rod under the trailer are "specific", but I bet they could be "fabbed".

Personally, I'm not too concerned about our 07 model that we bought new. It's had some "issues", but I think we've finally worked them out (and not through HiLo).

- Jack
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:41 AM   #19
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Jack, or anyone else, there should be hydraulic cylinder repair places thru out the country. Hydraulic cylinders are used on thousands of pieces of equipment and they need repaired from time to time. There is one a little over a mile from my house, it has been there as long as I can remember. They can repair or make any part of a cylinder as far as I know. As for the guide rod, any small machine shop that does small jobs could easy make one up. Even the repair place could probably make one as they have a machine shop also. Making a one of a kind might be a little pricey.
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Old 10-19-2010, 09:07 PM   #20
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This really blew for us as our upper suspension took a dump! Luckily, hubby had a friend make a plate & was able to attach the wires...Hi-Lo is up & camping! We have a 1985 LOL!
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