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Old 08-26-2021, 02:19 AM   #1
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Default Years of hard work, it's finally finished.

Hello everyone,

A short story about our Hi-Lo for those who like to do a little reading:
We purchased our 1989 Classic Voyager back in 2012, and (incredibly) have not used it or gone camping in it until last year (2020) due to lots of repairs it needed, and because of some health issues/surgeries; plus, financially we could not afford to take it to an RV repair shop to have it fixed. Here’s our story: Not knowing much about RVs at the time (especially about Hi-Lo’s) my wife and I fell in love with it from pictures and descriptions the seller sent us. We went to check it out and everything appeared to be in good condition inside and out; but the first thing/1st clue that I should not have ignored was that the owner had a lot of Solid Air Fresheners to make it smell good inside the trailer. The owner said it was to keep it smelling fresh due to it being in storage awhile, I thought to myself... “Ah, that makes sense” (1st dumb mistake). But then I noticed that the toilet was loose and wobbly; the owner said, “Oh that's nothing, all it needs is to be tightened down a bit”. Again, I said to myself “Oh, I should be able to take care of that”, (my 2nd rookie mistake)!! Plus, I said to myself the “Hi-Lo goes up and down” nicely. Anyway, even with all those bad signs we still purchased it and brought it home. After further inspection at home, I realized why the seller had so many air fresheners inside (dumb me didn’t think of why at the time). And of course, needless to say we overpaid and got ripped off. It turns out that it had so much water damage coming from the rear roof, the rear wall and from a leaky toilet connection, that I had to remove the bathroom sink, the shower tub and the bathroom cabinets, so that I could replace the Entire Bathroom Floor and the Rear Wall...what a nightmare. But wait there’s more...it turns out that the fridge and the furnace did not work either!! But that story is for another time, lol. My goodness, what else can be defective you ask?? Well let me tell you; the owner had put a lot of tire shine on the tires to make them look like they were in good shape, and they certainly appeared to have a lot of thread left on them, but if I would have taken a closer look, I would have noticed that the tire sidewalls were all cracked making them unsafe for the road!! That was another dumb mistake/ oversight from us rookies!! Anyways no one to blame but myself for not being prepared and educated about buying an RV... (And maybe the previous owner...a little bit...for not being honest??). Here are some pictures of the beginning of my journey into repairing our Hi-Lo and getting it ready for camping. I am happy to say that after all the BLOOD (scrapes, cuts, bruises) SWEAT (some days were super-hot working inside RV) and TEARS (sometimes we cried like babies) ...that we have finished her!! We named our Hi-Lo “Big Baby” and have gone camping several times with no major issues; Yay!!
My wife and I painted the exterior at home, and I will be posting some pictures later. We think she looks a lot better now, and so do a lot of people, we get a lot of looks, questions and compliments. She’s our Big Baby!! This first set of pictures of the floor and rear wall repair were from 2012, many more repairs followed. Thanks for reading my story about our Hi-Lo.
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Old 08-26-2021, 05:54 AM   #2
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What a way to learn...The HARD WAY...Sorry for your sorrows but You ain't alone..I BEEN THERE DONE THAT TOO
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Old 08-26-2021, 02:19 PM   #3
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Default Buyer beware!

Sorry you had to do all that, I likewise bought a HiLo with problems. First off the awning was trashed and because of that the seller gave me back $200 for the new one. Next we found the front window cover was missing some parts and had to find parts for that, all fixed now. Next hooked up water and some valves around the water heater popped and had to have a mobile guy fix those, Had sent it to a RV repair place to have the roof sealed and some shrouds put on the roof for the vents, so much nicer to drive with the vents open for some air in there. Then heater did not work, easy fix new thermostat, then we found the water heater worked on electric but not gas so mobile guy back out to fix that so hopefully that is it.
We did last year take the trailer from Southern California to Pittsburgh Pa then Yellowstone and had a great time and the trailer was great.
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Old 08-26-2021, 06:31 PM   #4
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Default Wow What a sad story.

It might make you feel a bit better to know that several of our members have been taken to the cleaners from less than honest sellers. When we got our 1990 25ft. Classic we were rookies to a trailer with all the systems. No one told us to take out all the windows and reseal. Then we had extensive damage to repair in the walls. I tend to favor older RVS as they have good bones. What is being manufactured today is cheap garbage. Glad you finally got to enjoy the fruits of your labors. Looking forward to more pictures of your story.
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Old 08-26-2021, 07:55 PM   #5
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Hi guys;

The more I read about other people's luck with used Hi-Lo's (I guess they are all used now) the luckier I feel about my purchase.

I did own a small motor home for about 10 years a while back, so I wasn't totally a newby about RV's. But I certainly didn't know anything about the Hi-Lo concept and system. The seller described the 1999 22 ft. Classic in glowing terms--"Like new inside!"--so I drove about 800 miles to look at it. First red flag was the seal ledge between the dutch door halves fastened together with ragged duct tape. The inside certainly didn't look anything like new, but at least I couldn't find any water damage. A lot of little things I pointed out to the seller, and talked him down to significant discounts twice. Still, I figure I paid $1000 too much for it. Having driven all that way . . .

Towed great on the way home, even without proper hitch. Then my wife saw it, and held her tongue as we spent 2.5 man(and woman)days just cleaning the inside. Then I turned my attention elsewhere, and worked on it now and then for maybe 6 months before we ventured out with it. New door ledge from J&R, 5 new tires, new Fantastic Fan, replaced A/C shroud, and lots of small tweaks and additions. Had to do a good deal of leveling and raising the top half with cable adjustments, once I got the huge black widow spider out from underneath.

We did get the model we wanted. But the thing that amazes me now is that most everything worked. I had the seller put water in the plumbing before I looked at it, and all was dry. Furnace, A/C, water heater both gas and electric, three way fridge all ok, stereo system good. Even the clock worked. And I didn't really check all those things until I got home.

The first year we took it out 6 times, mostly with no electric hookups, and I was puzzled about how the battery ran down. Eventually I learned a lot of the idiosyncrasies of keeping a refrigerator going, with help from several folks on this forum. Sometime the second year I finally figured out the converter wasn't working right, and replaced it with a modern one that has the new type of battery charger. (I would recommend that even if the old one still works.)

Once it was cleaned up, my wife loves it. She is happy having our own private space, without feeling she has any other chores hanging over her like she does at home. As long as we are not home.

All in all, it was worth it, and we have been very happy with the Hi-Lo. But I tell anyone who asks (and some who don't) that if you are considering an RV, you had better decide you will be happy keeping it up as one of your main hobbies!
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Old 08-27-2021, 02:29 AM   #6
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Default Where are you in So Cal?

Angel, where in So Cal are you, I am in Lakewood, if your not to far away I would love to hear from you.
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Old 08-27-2021, 10:37 PM   #7
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Default Years of hard work, it's finally finished.

Hello,

Oldcamper7124, archorwood, Usagi5678, cba and everyone else; thank you for reading my post. I guess most of us that have purchased our Hi-Lo's used, have had to go thru some kind of a repair/fix adventure. But, after all the labor to get it in shape I can honestly say that we really enjoy taking her camping; especially my wife, she loves decorating her inside for special occasions (anniversary, new year’s eve, family get-together, etc...). + lots of compliments from other RVers for such an old geezer lol. We are in Menifee in So. California in the Inland Empire, and we've been having 100+ temps recently! thank goodness for the AC which has been working good!! For maintenance, I recently cleaned the condenser fins and it's been working just fine. I will be posting some photos of our fix it adventure and of our happier times.
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Old 08-27-2021, 11:07 PM   #8
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Some pictures of our Hi-Lo paint job at home. It's the best we could do, for a couple of rookies, we're pretty happy with the outcome. Some pictures are posting sideways or upside down, I don't know why. I tried rotating them in my photo editor and re-posting them but there is no difference; I have been reading about the same concern with other forum posters uploading pictures.
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Old 08-27-2021, 11:39 PM   #9
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Default So brave

So brave to take on a paint job. Our 1990 needed a paint job. Didn't feel confident enough to tackle this. Donated the HiLo to someone coming out of the Navy. Bought a garage kept 1996 HiLo in much better exterior condition. Did you put any decals on the trailer? Keep the pictures coming.
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Old 08-28-2021, 12:51 AM   #10
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Default Years of hard work, it's finally finished.

We have not put any decals on it yet. We're planning on putting some on soon. we're actually going to paint them over of the original ones that I can still see the outline.
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Old 08-28-2021, 03:31 AM   #11
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Hello Oldcamper7124, That's pretty impressive taking your Hi-Lo cross country to PA and back to Ca.!! I also entertained the thought of driving it back east as I am also originally from Pennsylvania (Allentown, Reading, and Lancaster area). My kids live there. But I would have to have a gasoline tanker truck follow me lol, I get awful gas mileage; I think my Hi-Lo may be a little too much for our TV. I try not to push it too hard, it's kind of a weak V8 in my Ram 1500. It struggles and complains a bit especially going up hills, but oh well; it seems to do the job so long as I don't' push it too hard.
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Old 08-28-2021, 11:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Angel View Post
Hello Oldcamper7124, That's pretty impressive taking your Hi-Lo cross country to PA and back to Ca.!! I also entertained the thought of driving it back east as I am also originally from Pennsylvania (Allentown, Reading, and Lancaster area). My kids live there. But I would have to have a gasoline tanker truck follow me lol, I get awful gas mileage; I think my Hi-Lo may be a little too much for our TV. I try not to push it too hard, it's kind of a weak V8 in my Ram 1500. It struggles and complains a bit especially going up hills, but oh well; it seems to do the job so long as I don't' push it too hard.
Your restoration and paint job looks great! I painted new decals on our Towlite by making stencils out of light weight cardboard and found a can of spray paint that matched the original colors. We have taken our 2005 27T, which we have since sold, up to Alberta, Canada and back along the west coast, and twice to Chester, Massachusetts and back, with our TV a 2005 Toyota Tundra V-8. Did not have any problems with the Toy on any of the trips, just with the trailer (water leaks).
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Old 08-28-2021, 04:42 PM   #13
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Default Years of hard work, it's finally finished

Garry, that must have been an awesome trip to Canada and Massachusetts! Probably lots of power with that Toyota Tundra. You sold the 2705T, but still have the 1999 21T Tow Lite?
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Old 08-28-2021, 10:25 PM   #14
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Angel, in 2010 we took the 21T on a six weeks trip as far north as Fairbanks, Alaska and then across to Jasper National Park in Alberta. On another trip we were in Yankton, South Dakota, and due to human error, we lost the 21T in a fire. We had the 27T when we made our second trip to Alberta, Canada. We have made it to 43 states and the long drives and advanced age have gotten to us so we sold the 27T. Jack in Arizona has a few years on me but keeps on ticking.
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Old 08-29-2021, 12:32 AM   #15
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Garry,
Wow! You guys put down some miles, (43 states)!! That is so amazing and wonderful to hear about your well traveled miles with your Hi-Lo's; that's too bad you lost it in that fire. I'm glad you still check out this forum even though you (from what I gather) don't have a Hi-Lo anymore. Any suggestion and ideas are always welcome!! And also thank you for the compliments on our Hi-Lo home paint job!
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Old 08-29-2021, 07:23 PM   #16
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At the beginning of the summer, my wife and I hooked up our 2007 28C and headed east from Oregon...we continued east until the wheels got wet....Virginia Beach, VA. from there, we headed back west to Oregon...All told, we were 20 miles short of 9000 miles for the trip. We averaged 16.7 MPG for the trip and I only found 2 hills that I could not go up at 65....TV makes the difference for all that...2015 Ram Ecodiesel...We did not have a single issue the entire trip but I will not take interstate 40 across Arizona again....Wow was it rough...We have decided that any other trips of that type will be on state hwys instead of interstates...they seemed to be in much better repair. We hit 23 states on that trip..It was fun but my back side was the shape of the driver seat by the end...left June 3rd and got back July 11th...Whew
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Old 08-29-2021, 09:57 PM   #17
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Brianagee, Wow! 9000 miles!! that is amazing!! I probably would take long trips like that if I had a stronger, better gas mileage TV. Who knows; maybe in the near future it will happen.
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Old 08-30-2021, 04:50 PM   #18
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the new v6 turbo diesel 1/2 ton pickups work great for these trailers....
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Old 09-02-2021, 04:37 PM   #19
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Angel-

Very nice work, especially for some deep issues. I'd like to see the shower/ tub and bathroom, toilet all put back together, maybe upload more pics? Also- I know everyone's wondering.....it appears you masked part of the exterior perhaps to spray paint the unit. What paint did you use, and did you indeed spray it?
Congrats again on a fine looking unit!
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Old 09-09-2021, 10:21 PM   #20
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MTboondocker-

We considered using an electric spray gun, and also thought about using a bunch of spray cans...but ultimately we decided to use paint brushes and paint rollers. Yes that took us longer but I didn't want to have a mess of paint over spray. So we crossed our fingers and went with it, first sanding, then more sanding lol. Masked some areas and started the brush and paint roller adventure. I masked some areas as to not drip paint on it. Thankfully it's holding up well, and amazingly we have gotten lots of compliments while camping on the paint job and on the age of the camper; plus it's a Hi-Lo.
I used exterior paint and primer purchased at home depot. I'll attach a photo of the paint. I will be taking some pictures of the finished bathroom shower/tub and toilet and I will post them possibly this weekend. Thanks.
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