Hi-Lo trailer - up and down of these - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-03-2017, 02:33 AM   #1
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Name: Kevin
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Hi-Lo trailer - up and down of these

So looking at some HI-LO trailers and wondering what is the general consensus of these fiberglass and metal trailers? Seeing a few in the area in the $10k to $15k range.
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Old 04-03-2017, 03:11 AM   #2
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There is a Hi Lo trailer forum. I've seen 2 or 3 on the road or in camping areas. Interesting concept but you might not find any on this forum.
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Old 04-03-2017, 03:55 AM   #3
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Think the biggest thing I've heard about them Kevin, is that they are very heavy. Have to agree with Jack, you may want to check out their web site for better info. Being that this site is dedicated to molded fiberglass trailers, you may not get to many positive answers to metal trailers but who knows...
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:23 AM   #4
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Think the biggest thing I've heard about them Kevin, is that they are very heavy. Have to agree with Jack, you may want to check out their web site for better info. Being that this site is dedicated to molded fiberglass trailers, you may not get to many positive answers to metal trailers but who knows...


They are 90% fiberglass body. I think.
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Old 04-03-2017, 05:51 AM   #5
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This site is about all-molded fiberglass towables. The "all-molded" part means coach bodies are produced in large molds, forming a frameless, self-supporting shell. That's a bit different than trailers having a wood or metal frame covered with a fiberglass skin. Hi-Lo is conventionally framed with a fiberglass skin, which is why we don't know too much about them here.

They seem like the right choice for someone that needs a garageable hard-side trailer due to HOA restrictions. As said, they are heavier than a molded trailer of similar size, which somewhat negates the towing advantage of the low profile. And, of course, the exterior seams and lift mechanism will require additional maintenance compared to an all-molded trailer. I have a good friend who used one for many years and liked it, but we never camped together.

As said, you will be more likely to get feedback from folks with first-hand knowledge of Hi-Lo trailers on a general RV forum or on the Hi-Lo owner's forum.

Best wishes!
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Old 04-03-2017, 06:47 AM   #6
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We actually own a Hi-Lo now, this is the member forum: Hi-Lo camper travel trailer forum
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:01 AM   #7
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Name: Darral
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I guess they're back in business after going out in 2010? I almost bought a 2009 15'er. Glad I didnt. They were expensive- apx $5K more than the Scamp 13'er that I DID buy. Plus, later on, I saw a 17' HiLo at a local dealer and it was delaminating HORRIBLY. The dealer told me they were bad about leaks with the way they were designed!

IF they're back in production, hopefully they corrected/revised the design.

For what it's worth, it is NOT a fiberglass trailer. It is a telescoping LAMINATE basically made like the other Jaycos, Keystones, etc you see on the road.

Forget HiLos and go for an Escape...the next trailer of choice in the Scamp/Casita arena for 13-19'ers. In my opinion though, the Scamp 19'er is one of the ugliest-made campers on the market. But that's just my opinion.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:19 AM   #8
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Hi-Lo made a very good product. Like so many manufacturers, the cheap products put them out of business.

They only require basic maintenance like any other trailer with youtube videos from Hi-Lo that explains all the required maintenance.

They are not like Jayco and Keystone, etc.

Let us not forget that any trailer, ANY, can leak around the windows and all roof openings, this includes a fiberglass molded. If someone is looking for an RV without maintenance, they will be disappointed in any unit out there.

While OP entered the forums, as many have, without realizing the difference between molded fiberglass and fiberglass exterior, I see no reason to be critical of a product that is unfamiliar.

I have directed the OP to the Hi-Lo forum and have offered to answer any additional questions from our actual experience. I have followed Hi-Lo throughout for a good 20 years and delamination is rare, kind of like the rotted floors in molded fiberglass trailers, so.........

For some, a molded fiberglass TT is either too expensive or too small for their purpose. Right now, we have 3 adults and 2 larger senior dogs, just 2 months ago, I got a tour of a Scamp 5th wheel and I realize at this point, there was no way a molded fiberglass would suite our needs, in time yes, right now, no.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:38 AM   #9
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If I'm not mistaken, the OP DID ask about the general "consensus" to which I gave mine. My opinion is based on my personal experience with both the HiLo, the HiLo factory and the dealer that sold them. I even test-pulled the 15'er with my 4-cyl. and it pulled GREAT! They have their place but NO comparison to the FGRV's here- Scamps, etc. And they are made (laminated) like the Keystones, Jayco's, etc. The only difference is, they're basically cut in the middle and have a mechanism installed to raise and lower the top half.

The other two downsides to the HiLo vs the Scamp/Escape/Casita was, it was heavy and expensive!! I'm not "bashing" the Hi-Lo, just stating facts.

And, I will reiterate, it is not a "fiberglass" trailer and this is for the most part a "molded" fiberglass trailer forum. Everyone is welcomed here and as far as I can tell, most help others....even if it may be something they dont want to hear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathy P. View Post
Hi-Lo made a very good product. Like so many manufacturers, the cheap products put them out of business.

They only require basic maintenance like any other trailer with youtube videos from Hi-Lo that explains all the required maintenance.

They are not like Jayco and Keystone, etc.

Let us not forget that any trailer, ANY, can leak around the windows and all roof openings, this includes a fiberglass molded. If someone is looking for an RV without maintenance, they will be disappointed in any unit out there.

While OP entered the forums, as many have, without realizing the difference between molded fiberglass and fiberglass exterior, I see no reason to be critical of a product that is unfamiliar.

I have directed the OP to the Hi-Lo forum and have offered to answer any additional questions from our actual experience. I have followed Hi-Lo throughout for a good 20 years and delamination is rare, kind of like the rotted floors in molded fiberglass trailers, so.........

For some, a molded fiberglass TT is either too expensive or too small for their purpose. Right now, we have 3 adults and 2 larger senior dogs, just 2 months ago, I got a tour of a Scamp 5th wheel and I realize at this point, there was no way a molded fiberglass would suite our needs, in time yes, right now, no.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:43 AM   #10
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Offroad, they're not "90% fiberglass" as you think. I went to their website to look at the new model they're advertising and here's two "bullets" out of their "Standards".
  • one piece seamless rubber roof
  • laminated fiberglass side walls
Wanderer 17 | New Trailer Models | Hi-Lo Trailers



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They are 90% fiberglass body. I think.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:45 AM   #11
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The ones I've seen were all older and had metal skin. Looks like the new ones are fiberglass panels. The design obviously offers some nice options for storage in a garage with limited height clearance. One downside I see to the design is the limitation of access to the trailer when you are on the road. I stop every so often and go into the trailer for a beverage or something. Our trailers offer instant access with no need to perform any set up before you can open the door.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:45 AM   #12
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Was there another company that made a trailer similar to the Hi-Lo. I think I've seen one with a different name.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:53 AM   #13
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TrailManor.... it actually "folds" in a way. Known for leaking ...especially when you're trying to set it up in a rainstorm.... another expensive trailer!

http://www.trailmanor.com/


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Was there another company that made a trailer similar to the Hi-Lo. I think I've seen one with a different name.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:54 AM   #14
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I just saw on another forum a link to a 1969 Hi-Lo for sale in NJ for $1800. Has a emblem that says "Traveler" which I assume is the model, perhaps designates length. Saw a real big one in GA this winter in a campground.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:16 AM   #15
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Name: Keith
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Originally Posted by offroad View Post
So looking at some HI-LO trailers and wondering what is the general consensus of these fiberglass and metal trailers? Seeing a few in the area in the $10k to $15k range.


I owned one of these and the concept does not work out nearly as well in practice as one may think. The first thing is that internal clearances are low and you need to do a rigerous inspection that absolutely nothing is out of place on any countertops, the sink, on top of the refrigerator or any other pinch points before one lowers the top. If you leave a wooden handled broom in the shower by accident, you might just poke a hole through the roof or the skylight with it. If the cover over the water connection is not closed perfectly, it will get sheared off when the roof lowers. If you try raising the roof when it has a snow load on it, and it raises slightly uneven, you might shear off the covers over the curtain rails. Dont ask, had all of that happen to me and I am an engimeer and thought I had it alll covered.

The roof structure is weak and the AC made it sag and leak and the repair was expensive. Yes they are very heavy for what they are and in truth there is very limited internal storage since all cabinets are less that half the full height. I hated the shower with its full curtain liner due to all the joints. Who wants a curtain clinging to you from all sides when trying to take a shower ? One also has to disconnect the AC power in the roof every time it is raised and lowered. The checklist for working the shoebox is really quite extensive.

They tow great with the low center of gravity, but that is about it. I get equal gas milage with a 19 foot scamp which is much higher than the hilo and it is much lighter for mountain passes. The hilo weight required an anti sway hitch which is quite expensive and fussy to set up if pasing semis is not to be a white knuckle experience.

So my experience was that living with the compromised design had far more - points than plusses. I much prefer a full height trailer that is lighter and rounded for drag reduction. Way less stress at setup and break down. Cant tell how many times the hydraulic system would tap out when trying to raise the roof and one would have to pump it up with the manual lever to get set up.... replaced the solenoid valve a few times too....

Take a very careful look if you like the functionality when raised and the lack of a true closet you hang your clothes before buying. And that shower with its full curtain...
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:11 AM   #16
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Hi-Lo takes just a few seconds to raise. Ours is the newer one with an aluminum roof and fiberglass sides. We have done high winds and below zero temps this winter and been warm and dry.

Would anyone like to agree with me that any RV that isn't maintained will develop issues?

I know of not a single RV that will not develop leaks if caulking is not maintained. It would be best to have a roof with nothing on top at all when it comes to maintenance.

Our shower curtain doesn't cling, but we have the larger model and that can make a difference. Also, I saw the shower in the Scamp........ There are always going to be tradeoffs.

Trailmanor is also great for those that own and enjoy them.

Someone has started making a Hi Lo again that was previously associated with the company, but making only a 16' at this point and I believe it is a direct sales item.
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:21 AM   #17
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Some good friends of mine, once owned a 17' Casita. Sold their home, moved into a condo with strong CC&Rs. So... sold the Casita and bought a Hi-Lo so they could store it in the garage. All well and good until they started traveling and ended up in restaurants at lunchtime because they couldn't just pull over and fix a sandwich. The final straw came when they were out camping and something went wrong with the raise/lower cabling system. Got home, fixed it, sold it.
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Old 04-03-2017, 12:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
Our trailers offer instant access with no need to perform any set up before you can open the door.
I had an A frame. Somewhat similar concept. Access was one of the reasons we sold it. Lots of moving parts was the other.
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:25 PM   #19
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Hi-Lo vs Bus

Many years ago, my wife was a motor coach tour guide. She led a tour to Yellowstone National Park. An extra seat was available, so I went along.
As we were climbing the grade West out of Cody WY. .. a nice sunny day, ... The driver suddenly hit the brakes, once, twice, and a third time real hard then BLAM!
Something hit the front of the bus, broke the windshield, and knocked the left rear view mirror off. It turned out to be a Jeep pulling a Hi-Lo that had swerved into our lane to avoid a motorhome that had pulled off on a side road, but had stopped with it's rear half still on the highway. The jeep made it back to the right, but the Hi-Lo swayed in front of our bus. Then the whole thing went over the side and down a grassy slope until it was stopped by a line of pine trees. The Jeep was intact, but the Hi-Lo exploded into a pile of sticks, pots and pans, bedding a stuff.
After finding that no one was seriously hurt, and the sheriff came, we moved the bus - after brushing glass off the driver's seat - on up the road to a lodge where our passengers could get a meal and rest while the driver and I re-attached the rear view mirror - miraculously not broken - and duct-taped the lower part of the windshield. We continued the tour, but after Yellowstone, we had to detour to Ft. Collins CO to get a new windshield.
Just guessing, but if that Jeep had been pulling a Scamp, or Casita, he may have been able to stop instead of swerving around the ass of that motorhome.
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:45 PM   #20
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Doesn't exactly sound like an indictment of the trailer to me. Seems more like operator error: mismatched tow vehicle, perhaps, or improperly set up hitch or trailer brakes, but mostly a failure to maintain a safe following distance.

As to the extent of the damage, there aren't too many RVs that could hit a bus, slide off the highway, hit a line of trees, and not be totaled. Some might fare better than others, but for the most part it's going to be a matter of how many parts can be salvaged.
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