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Old 07-06-2021, 01:15 PM   #1
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Default Just Purchased a 1985 Hilo Voyager 25B

Hey everyone!

My wife and I just purchased a 1985 Hilo Voyager 25B. The outside looks like you'd think a vehicle from 1985 would but is mostly intact. The inside is in great shape and appears to be free from any water or other damage.

I uploaded a few pictures so you can see what I'm talking about. (I'm sorry I can't figure out how to get them to upload the correct direction. If you want to look at them on IMGUR you can see them here: https://imgur.com/KrawjuS https://imgur.com/Y7P2cMU https://imgur.com/uIy5d8w )

For now, we are just really getting started on the plans but I know my wife is really stoked on redoing the interior to something more modern. She has an idea of totally redoing it from top to bottom to make it look like a 2021 take on a 1985 layout, if that makes sense. My responsibility is going to be the outside. I was originally thinking I was going to do something cool like get a decal or stencil of wolves howling at the moon and paint it on the outside, but I've been thinking it might be cool to just restore it to the way it would looked originally with new versions of the original decals. Who knows? We just bought it yesterday after looking long and hard for a travel trailer for months.

First things first though... Gotta get a new set of tires. I had to drive about 150 miles through the mountains to get it home and a tire even blew out on the way home. Fortunately it did have a spare so it wasn't as awful of a day as it could have been!
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Old 07-26-2021, 12:28 AM   #2
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Hi Oneiros;

Welcome to the forum.

When I got our 22 ft 1999 Hi-Lo several years ago, the tires had lots of tread but were cracking all around in the tread grooves. After a lot of research, I settled on Maxxis 8008 tires, load range E, for replacements. I ordered them and when they arrived at a tire dealer, I took the wheels down and had them mounted, then put the wheels back on myself. That way I did not have to pull the trailer down to the tire shop.

Also it made it easy to pull the drums and inspect the brakes and the bearings. Bearings were well greased, but the drums were dirty and rusted. I cleaned them up before putting the drums back on.

Make sure that if you change tire sizes that there is enough room to mount them. Some Hi-Lo's are infamous for not having enough room to change tires. Some people think it's because the rubber torsion suspensions have settled--not sure if yours has that type or leaf springs. Mine were borderline too tight to mount, but i managed. Now I carry a little inflation compressor so if I needed to change a tire, I could deflate the spare so it wouldn't be such a tight squeeze, and air it up once it was mounted. So far, though, I have not had any issues with the Maxxis tires.

As to inflation pressures, a lot of folks (including tire shops) recommend using the maximum inflation noted on the sidewall. IMHO, that's a mistake. You should look up the tire inflation chart for your particular tires and go by that, according to the weight each tire will carry. (Weigh the trailer fully loaded for use.) Most manufacturers will even give you the reasons why you should not underinflate or seriously overinflate your tires. They are the experts on the tires they build. Don't believe anybody else's contradictory opinions.

The best insurance is to get remote pressure sensors for your trailer tires so you can tell when one is losing air as you drive. No matter what brand of tire you end up buying.

Good luck!
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:54 AM   #3
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I hate the idea of being underneath anything heavy, so I probably won't do a lot of the work myself, but I definitely have looked at some pressure monitors and I'm sure the brakes will need some work. It is something I've thought about doing but I just don't trust jacks with something so big and unwieldy. It is bad enough sliding up under my jeep for a few minutes to change the oil.

It seems like the previous owners kept it in pretty decent shape for its age, but its pretty obvious they didn't replace a lot of stuff. Brakes and other things on the undercarriage will be a big one that needs to have some work done. Thank you for the tips!
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Old 07-26-2021, 03:42 PM   #4
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You don't really have to get under the trailer to change a tire or to service brakes. In fact, since you have tandem axles, you don't even have to "jack" it. You just need to drive one axle's wheel (or both wheels on one axle) up onto a ramp that lets the other wheel hang down, but off the ground. You can service all wheels this way and you don't have to trust flimsy jacks. Leave the trailer hitched to your tow vehicle and have its parking brake set (possibly chocked too) and the trailer will not move.

Even with my single axle trailer, I don't get UNDER it to service the wheels. I use a floor jack and then place a jackstand on the other side of the wheel under the frame. I can do everything from the side of the trailer once it's up.

- Jack
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Old 07-26-2021, 04:18 PM   #5
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Question for Jack;

Hi, I note you use a floor jack to raise your trailer. Somewhere I saw a caution not to place a jack under an axle, as it could end up bent. Where do you put your floor jack?

Maybe the caution was just not to put the jack under the center of an axle, as that could put the weight of the whole trailer on it and not just the one side.

Anyway, I would be interested in your opinion and your practice about the proper spot to place the floor jack (or any jack).
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Old 07-26-2021, 05:16 PM   #6
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Hi Roger - I place the jack under the longitudinal frame as close to the axle as I can get it. Then, I put a jackstand on the frame at the other side of the axle, again, as close as I can get it and I lower the trailer onto the jackstand before working on the wheel.

I don't know why you aren't supposed to put the jack under the axle, but I've never tried to do it. Possibly, because the axle is round and most jacks have a flat lifting plate, it would apply too much force on just a narrow slice along the axle which might distort it, or, because the axle is round and the lifting surface is flat, there's too much danger of the axle slipping off?

Keeping the support on the frame close to the axle seems to work well.

Again though, if I had tandem axles, I would never use a jack. I'd use one of these:

AND, I just ran across this post which says why you do not jack the axle: https://www.rvtravel.com/trailer-fol...rame-not-axle/

- Jack
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:24 PM   #7
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Thanks, Jack.

This inspired me to actually look up Dexter Axles and found in their Q & A where they don't recommend jacking on any part of the suspension. Seems they take the position that no place available on the axles, etc., is designed to hold that much weight. They say to always put the jack on the frame. You don't want to end up with misaligned wheels.

I guess common sense would say that you should still be close to the axle location, as that is where the trailer is designed to put the weight.

As to tandem axles, I do have them. I have one of those Trailer Aid supports in case of a flat, but have not yet used it. I think before I take the trailer out again I will put it up on the Trailer Aid and remove and replace a wheel, just to have the experience and to see if it's easier to mount a wheel and tire with that axle "hanging down." Nothing beats actually doing something once to be prepared in case of emergency.
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Old 07-27-2021, 08:15 AM   #8
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I think a trial run on almost everything having to do with trailers is a great idea!

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Old Yesterday, 12:39 PM   #9
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JackandJanet,

Thank you for the tips. I think I am going to try and do what you suggest. Replacing the tires is easy, but I've never changed brakes. I don't know if they are disc or drum brakes, but I spoke to my dad and he thought it wouldnt be that hard to replace them either way. I'm sure there are a zillion Youtube videos showing how to do so, and I've definitely done some difficult things with only watching a Youtube video.

I do not think my wife knew how expensive and time consuming this project was going to be when we took it on
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Old Yesterday, 01:42 PM   #10
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Yes! There are all sorts of "hidden" costs to owning a trailer and it can consume quite a bit of your time too. However, doing the maintenance yourself will save BIG bucks, and, it's not really too hard to do, once you get into it.

The brakes are drum brakes and they are applied by an electromagnet, rather than by hydraulic pressure. You can get complete brake assemblies at etrailer.com and I've elected to use the "self-adjusting" kind. They are actually pretty simple to install, and, in my opinion they don't need replacing too often. Yes, look for utubes on the subject, but I think you'll find the procedure pretty obvious once you get the drum apart.

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