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Old 08-10-2018, 09:31 AM   #1
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Default Hay from Iowa! Will a 1971-R survive overlanding? Narrow axle track?

Hello people.

Iv been searching for a narrow track enclosed cargo trailer to do a overland camper conversion on. Narrow tracks are enclosed trailers that are 7' wide and have the wheels under them in wheel wells, instead of on the outside in fenders. Wheels on the outside in fenders turns a 7' wide trailer basically into a 8' wide trailer because the wheel track width's are close to the same. I don't want a trailer wider than my full size 3/4 ton truck because I want to drive roads like this. .. But maybe a narrow axle track width is more important when you have a cliff off one side of the road?

I found a 1971 or 1971R hi-lo for sale and see its width is 94" or 7'9" which is barely narrower than outside of my truck mirrors. I think it's 7'9" width would be acceptable for me mostly because of the narrow track axle. But I would then maybe have to upgrade to a heavier axle and suspension after I extended the tongue and rear bumper so I can haul a yamaha DRZ400s on back and a water tank and more storage on front.

My question is, are the old 1971 hi-lo's built well enough to withstand wash board roads since they are steel tube construction? And does anyone know how wide the wheel track is?
My only other reservation about a hi-lo is that it doesn't have a ramp door like my old toyhauler. But I think being able to raise and lower the roof (better mpg and drive under low branch's) may trump or outweigh the ramp door patio deck advantage, maybe.

Thanks!
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:29 PM   #2
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No opinions? Tough crowd..

The owner said the outside to outside distance of the tires is "just shy of 6'" which is narrower than my 7' requirement. But 6' is very narrow compared to the 7'9" trailer width giving it 11" of overhang..
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Old 08-14-2018, 06:31 PM   #3
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You're on your own, man!

Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2018, 08:40 PM   #4
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Don't think this will help you, but I wonder if this fella ever built the modified Hi-Lo hybrid that he speaks about in this thread?

http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f17/...uestions-5272/

You might find it of interest, but probably not much benefit. Just FYI.
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Old 08-15-2018, 07:35 AM   #5
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Don't think this will help you, but I wonder if this fella ever built the modified Hi-Lo hybrid that he speaks about in this thread?

http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f17/...uestions-5272/

You might find it of interest, but probably not much benefit. Just FYI.
Thanks Jim. Kind of neat topic and sort of pertains to my idea because I need a longer frame under the existing frame if I move forward with this.. I guess I have to search more. But maybe you or someone could tell me if the top half has any wood framing? Id like to know what I'm going to find when I remove the interior and start over..
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:42 AM   #6
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Wish I could tell you what you'll find, but I'd be lying if I did!

I see a brochure for a '73 Hi-Lo in the Library section of this forum's home page. There may be a brochure for a '71, I just found the '73 quickly. Here's a link:

file:///home/chronos/u-ddd2c10baa419523a7cb3a868ecc4b2ff616aef2/Downloads/1973%20Hi%20Lo%20Brochure.pdf

It shows the '73 with both top and bottom framed in steel tubing. Depending on how water-tight the trailer is/has been, there could be some rust in there.

Good luck!
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Old 08-15-2018, 10:07 AM   #7
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That's a pretty nice road compared to some I've taken my HiLo on. The slope is not too bad and the surface seems pretty well maintained. The only problem I see is that if the road is narrow and you meet someone, one of you will have to back up, which is not fun if you're towing a trailer.

When I'm on a poorly maintained Forest Service road, I just take it easy to reduce stress on everything. I've not had any problems in my travels with my trailer doing this, but it's a 2007 model. I've found if the road is wide enough for my F150 pickup, it's wide enough for the trailer.

- Jack
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piperjim View Post
Wish I could tell you what you'll find, but I'd be lying if I did!

I see a brochure for a '73 Hi-Lo in the Library section of this forum's home page. There may be a brochure for a '71, I just found the '73 quickly. Here's a link:

file:///home/chronos/u-ddd2c10baa419523a7cb3a868ecc4b2ff616aef2/Downloads/1973%20Hi%20Lo%20Brochure.pdf

It shows the '73 with both top and bottom framed in steel tubing. Depending on how water-tight the trailer is/has been, there could be some rust in there.

Good luck!
Yes I read that also but the framing looked so sparse, I figured there must be more to it like wooden nailers etc..

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Originally Posted by JackandJanet View Post
That's a pretty nice road compared to some I've taken my HiLo on. The slope is not too bad and the surface seems pretty well maintained. The only problem I see is that if the road is narrow and you meet someone, one of you will have to back up, which is not fun if you're towing a trailer.

When I'm on a poorly maintained Forest Service road, I just take it easy to reduce stress on everything. I've not had any problems in my travels with my trailer doing this, but it's a 2007 model.
- Jack
Thanks Jack. Parts of that road are much worse. I came around a corner and encountered washboard ripples only a inch tall that put me sideways when going only 15 mph.. It looks like the coast is clear, and then bam. And venturing off the main road to your campside might be challenging.

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I've found if the road is wide enough for my F150 pickup, it's wide enough for the trailer.
- Jack
That's what I'm after John and the reason I want a narrow track enclosed. But Im just wondering if I should consider the 1971R a couple hours away. Its track is 6" narrower than my truck but the body is almost wider than my mirrors. He's asking $2500, but that's allot considering what I want to do. Whats it worth?
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piperjim View Post
Don't think this will help you, but I wonder if this fella ever built the modified Hi-Lo hybrid that he speaks about in this thread?
http://www.hilotrailerforum.com/f17/...uestions-5272/ Just FYI.
That is neat.. And it must be pretty durable to have survived that.. I wrote the owner and he said it survived but it mounted to the Mercedes may have been the reason..

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Old 08-23-2018, 04:20 PM   #10
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Not sure, but when I level my HILO pulling one tire up on a ramp the frame bends. If the rear wheel right side then the door opening wont let door close, if the front wheel on the right side then the door opening (lower door) is so wide the latch no longer catches. The frame is tube and big/tall, but must not be all that thick. I still think the frame would be fine on washboard as steel can flex and not break, but the rest of the trailer will rattle apart, especially the skirts if it has them.
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Old 08-23-2018, 05:27 PM   #11
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We dragged our 2000 22 foot Tow Lite 9000 miles to Alaska & back this year with a few hundred miles of gravel, rough & under construction roads. We had a number of issues related to rough roads. We bounced a couple lens covers off interior lighting. Each morning we put the stove grate on the bunk (else it would end up on the floor) & bungy corded all cabinet doors closed. We broke the ears off refrigerator shelves (exopy putty repair / reinforcement & then no more heavy items, ie: drinks, on the shelves). We bounced roll up shade off some windows (traveled with shades on bunk). We stripped out the sheet metal screws anchoring the door hinge to the trailer body & split the trailer bottom half wide open when the left front corner seam failed. All was fixed either on the road or once we returned home. The strangest thing was the toilet paper rolls would unroll as we traveled. It is always a good thing to have something to laugh about.
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Old 08-23-2018, 06:36 PM   #12
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My guess is that your steel framing will be fine but it will be pretty hard on everything else. It all can be fixed.
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Old 08-23-2018, 10:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marininn View Post
Not sure, but when I level my HILO pulling one tire up on a ramp the frame bends. If the rear wheel right side then the door opening wont let door close, if the front wheel on the right side then the door opening (lower door) is so wide the latch no longer catches. The frame is tube and big/tall, but must not be all that thick. I still think the frame would be fine on washboard as steel can flex and not break, but the rest of the trailer will rattle apart, especially the skirts if it has them.
Thanks. I'm guessing your hilo has tandem axles?

I'm playing the waiting game with the 1971. It doesn't have many of the features I need. But it does have a few and one very unique feature.
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