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Old 05-08-2012, 11:13 PM   #1
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Default TowLite wall issues

I am new to the forum but now am the happy owner of a '96 24' TowLite...again. I sold this trailer 6 years ago and recently bought it back. I absolutely love the camper, but it seems that 6 years without regular maintenance has left the upper walls in very bad shape. Not only delaminated, but water is dripping out of the walls. I am planning on rebuilding the walls completely. My question is, has anyone done this on a towlite. I have seen posts where the HiLo's have been repaired. I am wondering if there is metal in the roof structure and is there any in the wall (other than the aluminum at the bottom). If anyone has a cut away diagram of the wall, it would be really beneficial as well.
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:31 AM   #2
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The 96 TowLites have 1 inch square steel tubing in the roof, and wood framing in the walls . The area around the front and rear cap of the upper section is also wood framing.

There are a number of people who have rebuilt the upper section of their towlites.

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

in the above link, Bugman has posted pictures of his rebuild.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:58 AM   #3
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Default Rebuilding Towlite walls

Welcome to the forum. What a shame the trailer was not maintained. It is possible to fully restore the trailer. We have had several towlite owners and Classic owners rebuild their trailers. This may possibly help you. Go under off topic 1990 Classic HiLo trailer restoration. I took pictures and described what we had to do every step of the way. It is my understanding that the towlite is built different than the Classic and you have to peel the skin back from the outside and rebuild the wood walls in sections as shown in the pictures. I would start by removing cupboards,cushions ect. A very good thing to do is take cardboard and duct tape and cover the entire floor. I didn't cover the counters,only used plastic (use a thick enough ml.) It would be good to use cardboard on the counter tops as well. Couldn't tell you how many tools,caulk ,foam spray ect ended up on the counters . Line the sinks. Had to clean up and use razor blade multiple times. I,m sure you will have questions along the way,so just ask. Plan on about $1000.oo for materials. It always takes more $ and time than you think. Do it once and do it right no matter how long it takes.!!
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:08 PM   #4
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Just wanted to thank you all. Started the "tear out" this afternoon...cabinets, windows and trim removed. Unfortunately I have to work, so this is going to slow me down a bit, but at least I can pay for the materials. Found the culprits to my damage....two leaky windows and a few screws leaking on the awning. I am actually amazed that this thing made the 650 mile trip home.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:10 PM   #5
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Default Towlite rebuild

Put your thin bottom back in your cupboard so you won't forget when you go to reassemble. We ordered stainless steel screwsfrom Mc Feelys catalog. Any wood that you replace should either be treated lumber or stained, Thompsons clear wood perseverative. It took us 6months to do our restoration. Most weeks we worked 16 to 24hrs.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:52 PM   #6
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If there is a paper backing on the walls leave it on, just try and dry it out with fans, if there are any voids on the outside skin you will have to remove everything
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:47 PM   #7
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Default Rebuilding towlite walls

From what he has posted I think his walls are totally rotted out. This is what we did after talking to our HiLo dealer and JR in Ohio. I am aware of the differences between the towlites and Classics. I would coat the inside aluminum or fiberglass with 2part epoxy(3M Bondo). Thius will assure that any holes are sealed. Read and follow all instructions. Since we only did complete tearout of two panels/fiberglass we did not use something like a thin house wrap. JR said the cardboard was an idea from years that doesn"t matchup with vaporbarrier products available today. Stain all wood and coat with a clear water proofer. Caulk both inside and outside. Use spray foam as needed. You have so many walls to do you might consider renting a machine and spraying icine or having a co. do this. Bottom line you must use every avenue known to man to seal all areas where water can get in. If you don't all your work will be in vain. We have had many a good rain storm in the four months that our restoration has been completed and not one gt. of water infilitration. Hope this helps. I can only tell you what we did and this seems to have worked. See under off topic 1990 Classic restoration. Please keep us posted and ask as many questions as you need to.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:19 PM   #8
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The Paper is pretty much gone. Have any of you heard of someone using 3/4" square tubing (steel) for at least part of the wall structure. Was thinking about using this on the perimeter framing and then above the cable anchors. From what I can tell it would be lighter than lumber and stronger as well. Would still sandwich it between the plywood and still use lumber around the windows, doors and behind the awning. Just a thought. Would love to hear feedback on this as I am sure there is something I am not thinking about.
Thanks,
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:01 AM   #9
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I would say that you can, but weigh out your steel tubes compared to the wood you take out. there are many thicknesses of steel tube, you could weld to top and bottom tubes, then coat all tubes with a rust preventitive, also use waterproof blue wood on your inside bottom rails.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:28 PM   #10
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Default Dry Rot/water damaged walls

Hi we have a supposed 2003 tow light, although it looks very similar to the person who refurbished and asked about a ladder for bunk. So I suspect its a 1990's version. It was in kind of bad shape when we got her, replaced tires, put rubber strips on roof seams then sealed it with rubber roof sealer, caulked every bolt, vents, air conditioner and made it water tight on top and bottom halves. Cured our leaks except for bathroom vent. Few weeks later we lost the bathroom mirror somewhere going down the road-yup that's when we really got more bad luck. We want to fix it up-but aren't quite sure how to go about it-the side the door is on is rotten or seems to be, entire wall is soft in places but dry, husband calls it dry rot. The wall seems loose or wiggly, the rubber rail guides are either gone or mostly gone on that side and I wonder if that is what secures wall to keep it from flapping in the wind so to speak. We want to make the wall stronger and more secure so the door shuts properly and so we don't keep putting our feet through the wall in the upper bunk and make it look nicer. I really could care less if the panelling matches-just want to fix it so we don't loose our baby. We do have a push button hydrolic lift system that seems to work 99% of the time, all the appliances work great except for the water heater, the rest of the camper is rock solid-how do we get started on this thing and how do we change the rail guides without removing the cables-that sounds too involved for now-want to enjoy it this summer.
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:17 AM   #11
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Well, there is no way to sugar coat what you have gotten into. If it is a 90tys TowLite the framing is all wood here is one that was repaired. Look at the pics on google.
http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f17/...-my-hilo-1986/
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Old 05-26-2012, 07:43 PM   #12
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Default Restoring towlite

Only you can decide if is usable for this summer. Our 1990 Classic was in bad shape and we didn't realize the extent of the dammage. Our daughter was getting wet in her dinette bed. It is entirely possible to repair your towlite. You have to decide if you are extremely handy,want to put extreme amt. of hrs. into the project and want to spend the $ for materials. We did not have to replace our guide rails. See posting from 6-20-2011 Exterior Roof,doors,windows, awnings ect. Replacing guide rails. If you were to send it back to JR repair in Ohio it would cost you at least 1350 plus tax or more with door rebuild and guide rail repair. Take the time to look under off topic 1990 Classic restoration 25ft. You will see how the walls are constructed. Let us know what you decide to do.
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Old 05-26-2012, 10:25 PM   #13
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After building my first wall (curbside), I found the brochure for the '98 Towlite. To my surprise, these were actually built with steel wall structures and are almost an exact match to the one I built...maybe I should've been an engineer...
I am in the process of wrapping up the interior of this wall and will put the road side wall with just some soft spots around the refrigerator off till winter. I am however, going to make sure all of the caulk is replaced to save myself from additional work this winter.
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