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Old 04-21-2020, 07:08 PM   #1
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Cool New to the group

Hello all,

I'm new to the group. I am in the market for a hi-lo camper as I am selling my current vintage camper due to a lack of space for storage. I have had a 1989 Toyota Winnebago Warrior for the past 3 years. My husband and I have loved the heck out of the thing, but as I mentioned, we have no space for it at our new home. We are loving the idea of a pull-behind so we can detach and explore while camping. We are looking at a few locally listed, and although we're not new to vintage campers, I'm sure we've got lots to learn before heading out to inspect one. I will dig into this forum to soak up all of the collective knowledge I can! We are considering a 2004 28c, we are excited about the possibility of having a full-sized bed, but we're worried about it becoming too expensive to tow with our truck. What length does everyone prefer/have/enjoy- pros cons?
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Old 04-21-2020, 08:06 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. You'll be able to glean tons of info here. I always suggest the reference library under "Hi Lo Owners Manual", click there you'll find a "sticky" which has 32 short videos for all the systems on the Hi Lo. Great info there.
I DO suggest also that you pay very close attention to trailer weights and towing capacities of your vehicle. Trailer manufactures often UNDER estimate trailer weights and vehicle manufactures OVER estimate the towing capacities.
We now have two Hi Los, a 27'er with a master bedroom for extended stays and when reno is complete a 20'er for shorter stays. Again welcome!
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Old 04-21-2020, 08:13 PM   #3
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kjenkins93, Also, at the top of the opening page look under the SEARCH heading, type in "buyers check list" click the first post and you'll find a very complete check list of all things to look for when looking at a Hi Lo. Print it out and take it with you. Works good.
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Old 04-21-2020, 11:17 PM   #4
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Default Welcome to the forum.

Just curious as to what is your tow vehicle? Study all the floor plans. In our 26 Classic we left the couches in the back folded out and got a custom mattress. The queen bed is permanent. As mentioned most trailers exceed the stated weight. We are here to answer any questions you may have.
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Old 04-22-2020, 12:16 AM   #5
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The thing you REALLY have to watch out for, is the "tongue weight", not the overall weight of the trailer. The tongue weight is borne by the axles on your tow vehicle and adding it to the tow vehicle weight, plus the weight of persons aboard and any cargo you have packed can easily exceed the weight limits you'll find posted on a sticker inside the driver's door of your tow vehicle.

The tongue weight of a trailer is normally between 10-15% of the trailer's total weight. 12-13% is considered ideal to prevent trailer sway which can cause both your trailer and tow vehicle to turn over if it becomes excessive.

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Old 04-22-2020, 10:33 AM   #6
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Great, thank you for the guidance.
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Old 04-22-2020, 10:38 AM   #7
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We are planning on purchasing a 2012 F-150 Ecoboost V6 this week. From the 2004 brochures, the model we're looking at the (2004 28c) has a GVWR of 7,000 lbs. The Ford website states this engine can tow up to 11,300 lbs. Does this sound doable?
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Old 04-22-2020, 11:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjenkins93 View Post
We are planning on purchasing a 2012 F-150 Ecoboost V6 this week. From the 2004 brochures, the model we're looking at the (2004 28c) has a GVWR of 7,000 lbs. The Ford website states this engine can tow up to 11,300 lbs. Does this sound doable?
I have almost the same truck, but it's a 2014 model. I would NOT attempt to tow a 28 ft HiLo with it! The truck can easily pull that trailer, but the tongue weight of that trailer would overload my truck's suspension, wheels and tires. For a 28 ft trailer, I would want a Superduty class truck (F-250).

Sorry, I know that's not what you want to hear.

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Old 04-22-2020, 11:25 AM   #9
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Good to know, fortunately, we haven't purchased a truck or trailer yet. At this point we're just looking. If you were to stick with that model of truck what would be the largest hi-lo you would feel comfortable towing?

Also, how do you like the truck?
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Old 04-22-2020, 03:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjenkins93 View Post
Good to know, fortunately, we haven't purchased a truck or trailer yet. At this point we're just looking. If you were to stick with that model of truck what would be the largest hi-lo you would feel comfortable towing?

Also, how do you like the truck?
I have to be careful loading my truck when we go camping with our 17ft HiLo. But, as I've posted a lot in this forum, my trailer is much heavier in it's "stock" state than the specs indicate, with a corresponding heavier tongue weight. If I fill the fresh water tank in the trailer, it weighs just a tad OVER the 3800 max gross weight that is on the placard. (I weighed it at a CAT scale). Also my truck is quite a bit heavier than the so called "dry weight". Part of that is due to the bed cover (about 300#, I think) but I can't explain the other weight it has. I take trash to the landfill in it and it consistently weighs within 100# of the same "empty" weight each time.

With an empty fresh water tank, my trailer's tongue weight is about 450# as I recall, or about 12.8% of the trailer's weight, which is ideal. But that weight is carried by my truck's suspension, and it puts me within about 400# of the limit weight on the truck's axles.

With all that in mind, I don't think I'd recommend you pull anything larger than a 19ft HiLo with an F-150. But, my truck may not be "typical". It's possible the truck you are considering weighs less, which would give you more cargo capacity. It would be nice if you could weigh it and compare that with the GVWR and GAWR figures you would find on the driver's side placard. My truck seems to weigh about 1000# more than the curb weight on the placard.

All that aside, I LOVE this truck! The engine is VERY powerful and will easily pull a much heavier trailer than the suspension allows. Climbing long (12 mile) 7% grades in Arizona, the truck never drops below 4th gear, while pulling our trailer. It gets just under 17 mpg when not towing and about 14.5-15mpg when towing. I don't even feel the trailer back there when I'm towing it.

We don't "live" in the trailer when camping. We just use it for sleeping and to get out of bad weather. The size is perfect for the Forest Service and National Park campgrounds we go to. We only use a full hookup campground when we have to.

Hope this helps.

- Jack
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Old 04-30-2020, 04:27 PM   #11
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I live at 7,600' elevation and frequently tow my 1509 uphill from there with my 2002 6 cylinder 4 Runner with 292,000 miles. I would like a vehicle with a bigger engine but this is what I have and used towing my camper over 50,000 miles. When talking to friends looking for a camping vehicle I (and others) recommend purchasing something 1/2 the weight recommended by the vehicle dealer. The mountains of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and other states offer challenges not found at sea level.

I also have AAA Plus which has been beneficial when needed for myself, my son and friends.

You have started on the right track, will find valuable information from this forum and make great friendships whether you meet any of us or not. I regret not finding this ten years ago.

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Old 04-30-2020, 10:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjenkins93 View Post
We are planning on purchasing a 2012 F-150 Ecoboost V6 this week. From the 2004 brochures, the model we're looking at the (2004 28c) has a GVWR of 7,000 lbs. The Ford website states this engine can tow up to 11,300 lbs. Does this sound doable?
We have towed our 2003 29 ft Classic with a 2014 5.0, since it was a day old without a lick of problem. If you tow with an equalizer hitch and sway bar, I don't believe you will have a problem. Just be sure any load you carry inside the camper is equally distributed over the length of the camper.
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Old 05-01-2020, 09:54 AM   #13
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See you on the road.
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:07 AM   #14
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Thanks all. Sorry, I've been MIA while selling my current camper. Yesterday someone bought our Toyota RV, so now we're ready to start hunting for a Hi-Lo.

We ended up purchasing a Toyota Tundra for our tow truck, so the tow weight is no longer a huge concern. We've narrowed our search down to a 24-26' with the flip-out expand a room. We are planning to go see a 2003 24T this weekend, it's about 2.5 hours away and the gentleman didn't have lots of info to share, so crossing my fingers. Do you think $5,000 is a decent deal?
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:12 AM   #15
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Wait until you see it. Take notes and photos then send to this forum as you will always get excellent input from owners with experience.
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:31 AM   #16
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If you skip to about 1 minute in on this video you can hear the hydraulic lifts going up. Is that how it is supposed to sound?
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Old 05-14-2020, 07:59 PM   #17
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Price is relevant to the area, condition, and what your willing to pay. If the sellers happy and your happy, then it's a good deal. Best of luck, and keep us posted.
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Old 05-14-2020, 10:24 PM   #18
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Default Congrats on your new to you HiLo.

Looks like you got a nice HiLo and I think the price is fair. The hydrolic pump sounds like all of ours. Watch the operational videos and do your preventive maintenance. Many happy adventures.We are here if you have any questions.
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Old 05-14-2020, 11:02 PM   #19
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I have a Hi-Lo camper that I'm going to sell. I'm in Denver, CO. The camper is in really good shape. It is a 93. It is approx. 22 ft. long and tows like a dream. I am not able to camp with a trailer any longer due to some physical limitations. Let me know if you are interested I can give more info and pictures. Thanks, Deb D (dadcolo@gmail.com)
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Old 05-15-2020, 10:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sam View Post
Looks like you got a nice HiLo and I think the price is fair. The hydrolic pump sounds like all of ours. Watch the operational videos and do your preventive maintenance. Many happy adventures.We are here if you have any questions.
Sorry to be unclear, we did not purchase this one, I just wanted a frame of reference for what they "should" sound like
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