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Old 07-10-2017, 01:27 PM   #1
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Default Hello from newbie who buys 1999 19TL

Hello everyone,
My first post! I'm Doug in Upstate SC near NC border. My wife and I retired here 10 years ago. I just bought a 1999 HiLo 19TL for $2800. It will be towed to my yard tomorrow since I don't have the required 500 miles on my new Nissan Frontier for towing yet. I hadn't planned on buying a trailer yet, but this one was only 4 miles away and seemed cheap. It's a little rough, but no observed leak damage or soft spots. It raised and lowered on battery power. The A/C, refrig, and lights worked when plugged into the A/C line. There was no LP gas, so couldn't test furnace or burners. Didn't test the water systems or pump, but owner said they worked Hope so!
I'm buying 4 new tires and plan to have the axles greased before it's pulled to my yard. I'm enjoying reading the forums and the other resources I've found. I'm a newbie, so will have plenty of questions! Doug
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Old 07-10-2017, 01:59 PM   #2
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Doug, Welcome to the forum! Tons of info here, and we're glad to help. Soon as you get a chance, go to youtube and look for "Hi Lo Owners Manual". A member (sting32) put up about 36 videos covering most every system on a Hi Lo, including a bit about maintenance.
Questions? Ask away.
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Old 07-10-2017, 04:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Doug Allen View Post
Hello everyone,
My first post! I'm Doug in Upstate SC near NC border. My wife and I retired here 10 years ago. I just bought a 1999 HiLo 19TL for $2800. It will be towed to my yard tomorrow since I don't have the required 500 miles on my new Nissan Frontier for towing yet. I hadn't planned on buying a trailer yet, but this one was only 4 miles away and seemed cheap. It's a little rough, but no observed leak damage or soft spots. It raised and lowered on battery power. The A/C, refrig, and lights worked when plugged into the A/C line. There was no LP gas, so couldn't test furnace or burners. Didn't test the water systems or pump, but owner said they worked Hope so!
I'm buying 4 new tires and plan to have the axles greased before it's pulled to my yard. I'm enjoying reading the forums and the other resources I've found. I'm a newbie, so will have plenty of questions! Doug
Welcome to the forum. When you buy new tires make sure you upgrade to a "D" load rating. Much stronger than the "C" rated tires that HiLo put on them.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:40 PM   #4
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You have joined a great group of friendly helpful people. Congrats on your new to you HiLo. Do your routine maintenance ans ask us any questions.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:46 AM   #5
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Thank you all for the welcomes!

Treeclimber, I had find the online manual and have watched all the videos. Need to do it again! I also have the original manuals which I'll read today.

Jim and Faye- the previous owner took charge (he's young and I'm 76), buying 4 new tires and greasing the axles while the wheels were off. I told him I wanted and and would pay for good, class D rated tires, but unfortunately he had a local garage put on C rated tires- 4 Pegasus Minon ST175/80R13. Should I be concerned? Limitations?

The trailer was towed the 4 miles to my yard last evening. I was in the truck with the seller, and it seemed to tow easily behind his big Dodge truck. I have a gravel driveway and no asphalt of concrete for the trailer to sit on. I cleared an area of brush, and its's sitting on grass. Is that a problem?

I need to buy an adapter for the 30A camper that allows me to plug it into our house mains. I'll do that today, and I want to wash the outside. I wonder if the off-white color is dirt or the result of weathering and UV? Any suggestions on washing? I need to search the forum on that. The camper was raised with the battery, which I want to replace, and the inside is pretty clean.
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:18 PM   #6
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Shouldn't be a problem parking on grass as long as tongue jack and stabilizer jacks have something solid to sit on and don't sink into the ground. There are several products made for washing RV's. You can find them at Camping World or Wally World. I have used dish washing soap on mine with no problems. Never use a pressure washer. Maguire's makes a good wax, if you are feeling that ambitious. You can get a 30A adapter there as well. Make sure you use a heavy gauge extension cord, at least 12 gauge. The shorter the better. Invest in a good cover. Sunbrella makes a great cover. You can find the Tyvek covers for Hi-Lo's at Camping World. They are OK but won't last you as long. I've taken care of the interior wood with Murphy's Oil Soap. Seems to do a good job.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:43 PM   #7
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Thanks Ruben,
Update- Bought heavy gauge 15' extension cord. A/C and fridge working well even on a home 20A circuit. All lights working and battery charging. Hooked up home water to rig, and cold water faucets and toilet working. No leaks. With the little bit of water I emptied into the grey and black tanks, no leaks so far. More testing required.
First washing using dish washing soap and sponge. Much of the dirt came off. Will use brush and some elbow grease tomorrow. Will try Maguire's wax later.
Inside is in very good condition. Found the 12V fuse box, 120V circuit breakers, and the Inteli Power 9155 power converter which may be an upgrade? i need to trace the wiring for the fridge fan and the water level meter because they are not functioning. I have the original manuals and 60 years in ham radio, so the electrical system may be easier to understand than most other things. For instance, I wonder if the water pump is working? From the manual, it appears fragile and stops working if run without filling the tank with water. Hopefully the 15A fuse blows which wasn't blown, and I've removed for the time being. Also, haven't located the break away switch and haven't explored anything to do with the 7 wire plug. The seller towed it the 4 miles here without using the breakaway switch or lights. I have the 7 wire jack on my Nissan Frontier. Should I plug it in and see what happens?
It will be at least 10 more days before I'll have 500 miles on the Frontier and be able to tow. Lots more work and studying to do before a little trip to a nearby RV camp.
I'm an adventurous sort, even at age 76, and may try to do what I did in 1998 when I bought an abandoned Toyota Chinook for $1000- a six week trip through Mexico to Belize and back. The Toyota ran OK, but I had to add a quart of oil every 100 miles, half way between gas fill-ups!
Doug Allen Inman, SC
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:40 PM   #8
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Doug, the breakaway switch is normally found on the inside of the trailer tongue. You have to get under the tongue to see it. But, there SHOULD be a braided wire running from it that you would attach to your Tow Vehicle (TV). Then, if the hitch should fail, the TV will pull the wire which will activate the trailer brakes and keep it from going out of control.

You can test the breakaway switch by simply pulling the wire to activate it. It's connected directly to the trailer battery, so the TV does not have to be attached. To see if things are working, you'll have to have the wheel jacked up so you can see if it's locked. Then, you jack up the other side and test again. DO NOT leave the breakaway switch "tripped", it will drain the battery rapidly.

You can certainly connect the trailer electrically to your TV to test things out. Your TV MAY have to have a 30A fuse and/or a relay installed in the fuse holder to activate the battery charging circuit, AND the ignition will generally have to be ON (motor can be off) to get charging current from the TV to the trailer. Connecting the trailer electrically won't violate the 50 mile break in rule.

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Old 07-12-2017, 06:50 PM   #9
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It seems like you have a good grasp of the HiLo systems. I would recommend that you carry all kinds of fuses as spares. We have blown the converter fuses and was saved by having spares. Keep the questions coming and we will help you.
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Old 07-12-2017, 09:05 PM   #10
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Ditt o on break a way switch. Last time I disconnected the trailer I lowered tongue jack on the trip wire and pulled it out. It was raining and I did t want to rehook up trailer so I could raise tongue jack and free it. I figured I would get it next time and " no harm". Well it drained two group 27 batteries completely and likely fried the magnets on a couple of the brakes. Taking batteries down that far is not good for them. So be sure you plug that sucker back in once you test it.

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Old 07-15-2017, 01:38 PM   #11
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Another update on the 1999 19TL Found the breakaway switch and cord wrapped up. Also hooked up the seven pin plug to the truck jack, and the turn indicators and brake lights work.
Been reading the forums. Great information, but my head is spinning! I'm impressed by the overhauls and know I don't have the mechanical or carpentry ability to do such. So far, it appears I won't have to since the A/C. fridge, city water to everything, inverter, and raising/lowering all work. I found that the Monitor Panel works IF I push the buttons- duh- and there are no leaks in the gray and black water tanks.

Although my Nissan Frontier manual says it's only necessary to have trailer brakes over 3500 lbs, and the loaded trailer will be a slightly below that, I'm concerned. You guys all recommend using trailer brakes, don't you? I need to study up and buy a trailer brake controller. Any suggestions? The Nissan Frontier manual says its pre-wired for one.

Now to the problems I discovered. The 30 gal fresh water holding tank fills up, but there's a leak in the plastic tubing to the drain nozzle which should be easy to replace. I have not been able to get the water pump to work. The pump light comes on and i hear the pump, but no water at faucets. Could the leak be why? I think it's a Shurflow 200-210-39.

I can't raise the TV antenna with the crank, but turning the crank a few turns and then climbing a ladder pushing up the antenna a few inches and supporting it with a block of wood, then back to the crank and out to the antenna a few more times and I can get it up and it works fine. The preamp also works.

Some other concerns and problems noted, but will leave for another post.

After 180 miles more on the Nissan Frontier and registering and insuring the trailer, I'll try my first nearby camping trip in about a week or so. Sure appreciate all your help.

Doug in Upstate SC
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:14 PM   #12
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Doug, I strongly recommend you install and use a Trailer Brake Controller! I think your trailer will be somewhat over the 3500# limit when you actually tow it. You don't want that weight pushing you if you need to stop.

The leak in the drain should not effect the water pressure. But, you MAY have "winterizing valves" set in the "winter" position. I THINK, but I could be wrong, that if this is the case, the fresh water tank is cut off from the pump. In my trailer, these valves are located near the pump. They need to be horizontal, I think for the pump to pull water from the tank.

AND, it takes a bit of time in my trailer for the pump to pressurize the system. With the faucets all closed, it might have to run about a minute if the lines were empty.

You might ask the prior owner if the pump worked too.

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Old 07-15-2017, 03:11 PM   #13
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Doug, I seem to be following Jack everywhere! Here in FL, I of course don't need to winterize, but I still want to be familiar with ALL systems. On my unit and others I've found that the valve lever is 90 degrees to the line when closed and in-line with the line when open for flow. Just checked mine, seems to be correct.
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:13 PM   #14
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Jack and Tree,
Just went to the trailer and looked near the freshwater holding tank and the pump, both under the front couch, for the winterizing valves, and can't find them. I do find valves at the floor level left of the sink. The one nearest the wall opens to a downward plastic pipe which empties onto the ground. I can see it kneeling outside. The other one is a few feet further from the trailer wall and probably does the same, one for hot water and one for cold water, but I haven't confirmed that.
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:55 PM   #15
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You may not have winterizing valves, Doug. They may have been an option. However, check the backside of all the piping near the water pump. Mine are on the backside as I recall. They are also at each end of a vertical pipe at that location. If you don't have a vertical pipe, you probably don't have winterizing valves.

The ones you found are indeed, drains.

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Old 07-16-2017, 09:34 AM   #16
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Doug; If your HiLo has the winterizing set-up then there is a tee on the input line side of the pump with a plastic tube, with a cutoff valve. That tube would be about 2 feet long and when winterizing you would put the end of that tube into a gallon of RV antifreeze, open the valven, run the pump and antifreeze would be sucked into the water lines. If that shutoff valve has been left open then you will be sucking air and the pump will not prime . Also on my HiLo there is a small filter screen housing screwed into the input side of the pump. One winter I had left a little water in that housing, it froze, cracked the housing so I was just sucking air when I tried to use it in the spring. On the TV antenna sounds like you need to lube the crank-up worm gear. There should be a large Plug on the top of the antenna base on the top of the roof. Remove that plug and put some grease on the gear and maybe a little spray lub into areas you can't get grease into. The operation manual for the antenna does require the gears to be lubed.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:42 AM   #17
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Good post, Jim! I'd totally forgotten about the antifreeze tube. *duh*

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Old 07-16-2017, 05:02 PM   #18
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Mine does not have the "t". I disconnect the intake line from water tank and connect another tube that has a fitting on it and one end that just sticks in anti freeze bottle. My by-pass valves , also, operate so one is horizontal and one is vertical. My master switch is also opposite from many. Up switch to raise and lower and "down " position for cabin power. I have this fantasy that over the years, though they had a manual on how assembly should take place, they also told the guys doing the assembly that, ".... or, if you feel like doing it a different way, just go ahead".

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Old 05-25-2018, 05:31 PM   #19
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Default Deja vu all over again- hello!

Hello again everyone,
The following was my first (edited) post July 10, 2017. I spent beaucoup hours preparing the H-Lo for a successful maiden voyage by late August. it never happened. I finally gave up trying to get my Hi-Lo on the road last September. I didn't post again until now. So here's the (updated) intro again, following my successful fix of the water leak today by removing the interior wall-
I'm Doug in Upstate SC near NC border. My wife and I retired here 11 years ago. I just bought (July 2017) a 1999 HiLo 19TL for $2800. It will be towed to my yard tomorrow since I don't have the required 500 miles on my new Nissan Frontier for towing yet. I hadn't planned on buying a trailer yet, but this one was only 4 miles away and seemed cheap. It's a little rough, but no observed leak damage or soft spots. It raised and lowered on battery power. The A/C, frig, and lights worked when plugged into the A/C line. There was no LP gas, so couldn't test furnace or burners. Didn't test the water systems or pump, but owner said they worked. Hope so! I'm buying 4 new tires and plan to have the axles greased before it's pulled to my yard. I'm enjoying reading the forums and the other resources I've found. I'm a newbie, so will have plenty of questions! Doug
Later post- I'ved studied the online manual and have watched all the videos. Need to do it again! I also have the original manuals.
The previous owner took charge (he's young and was 76), buying 4 new tires and greasing the axles while the wheels were off. I told him I wanted and and would pay for good, class D rated tires, but unfortunately he had a local garage put on C rated tires- 4 Pegasus Minon ST175/80R13. Should I be concerned? Limitations?
Later post- The trailer was towed the 4 miles to my yard last evening. I was in the truck with the seller, and it seemed to tow easily behind his big Dodge truck. I have a gravel driveway and no asphalt of concrete for the trailer to sit on. No perfectly level area to park the Hi-Lo.
Inside Hi-Lo is pretty clean. Outside is cream colored, maybe the way it was new or maybe dirty. A/C and fridge working well even on a home 20A circuit. All lights working and battery charging. Hooked up home water to rig, and cold water faucets and toilet working. No leaks. With the little bit of water I emptied into the grey and black tanks, no leaks so far. More testing required.

During July and early August I cleaned the outside roof and walls of the Hi-Lo, then caulked all suspicious looking areas and then sealed the entire roof. There were no leaks visible inside, and now 10 months later, there are no leaks. I also lubricated the cables and moving parts that raise/lower the top section. I have left the top section up since last year and will relubricate and test the raising/lpwering next week.
Inside is in very good condition. I located the 12V fuse box, 120V circuit breakers, and the Inteli Power 9155, apparently is an an upgrade. I need to trace the wiring for the fridge fan and the water level meter because they are not functioning. I have the original manuals, and after 60 years in ham radio, the electrical system is fairly easy to understand .

The water pump didn't seem to be working? However, I bought a new one in September, and it works OK. I'm an adventurous sort, even at age 76 (now 77), and may try to do what I did in 1998 when I bought an abandoned Toyota Chinook for $1000- a six week trip through Mexico to Belize and back. The Toyota ran OK, but I had to add a quart of oil every 100 miles, half way between gas fill-ups!
In August I towed the Hi-Lo a few times with my new Nissan Frontier. I practiced pulling, breaking, and backing up. I'm not good at backing. I was about ready for my maiden voyage.

Update- May 25, 2018. Just before my planned first trip last August, a leak developed just behind the city water hookup which I could barely reach with my fingers and tools. I spent frustrating hours trying to fix it without removing the outer or inner wall. That was a mistake. I was unsuccessful and gave up. Today I removed the inner wall and fixed it. Now I'm determined again to get this baby on the road.
Doug Allen Inman, SC
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:57 PM   #20
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Default Wow! You have been through a lot.

Seems like you have a good grasp of most things HiLo. We have wonderful Forum members that will any any questions you may have. Best of luck in your travels.
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