View Full Version : TM vs Hi-Lo ??

04-17-2006, 05:41 AM
Hello Group.. Have been gathering info for the past month regarding future purchase. Thanks a "much" for all the valued insight and suggestions that you folks provide. I'm an active mid "60's" retiree ... Have tent camped and pop-ups.. Not truly into the "FT RV cycle" but like the towing/safety feature of TM as an alternative for this older guy... Hike, bike, skeet ,fish with an "occasional" round of golf are prime activities... Wife and I were out west last fall.. Drove 7M miles and would like to make more excursions with a possible trip to Alaska in the future. Dragging our living facilities will provide convenience for stop/go when you want too. Own 05' Tahoe so no problems with TV as along as I hold to a combined GVW of 13M#'s. Live in NW Jersey about 75 miles west NY... Have visited two dealers in the area .. Both seemed to have limited knowledge about TM ?? Would like to check out HI-LO but closest dealer 250 miles and apparently most don't carry inventory ??? Spoke with Hi-LO folks about this and not too much feedback other than many dealers don't stock ??? Not sure whether this is price point, market demand in the EAST or Hi-Lo quality issues ??. Anyway going to Maine in June(before the summer crowds) for 10 day coastal trip. Will likely stop off at MCD Hyannis, Mass. to talk with an experienced TM dealer. Unfortunately they are 350 miles from home so service/support is a concern should I go the route with them? Considering 3023 or 3124KB... Thanks again for the valued input. Great interactive group on this forum.
Bob C

04-17-2006, 07:14 AM
Check the dealer listings again if you are in North Jersey. Bryant RV in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at least was a dealer and there is another one in Central New Jersey (I think in Bridgewaters).

I hope this helps.

Al (from the Jersey Shore)

04-17-2006, 07:41 AM
Bob C

Your story sounds like mine at the time I purchased my TM. (Sept/Oct '04).

I really drooled over a 2nd hand like-new Hi-Lo that was the first camper I found close to what I wanted. They do look like a nice camper and I found one with a factory installed generator on it. My wife would have done well with the walk-around bed. As I recall, there are some wall cabinets along the cielilng?? The TM has that on one end.

Leon mentioned the weight. By the time I understood weight, I could only purchase a 24' Hi-Lo and that probably was over my limit as it took me a while to understand that things packed into the TV subtracted from the towing capacity. Understand also that when the Hi-Lo opens, it goes straight up while the TM gets both higher and longer. So I am pulling a 33 foot camper with towing margin where I would be maxed out with a 24 foot Hi-Lo.

One more thing and this is an odd one. The Hi-Los had an odor in them that I found bothersome. I identified it as that of epoxy curing. The new ones had such a strong odor that it hurt my eyes. I actually like the smell of my 2 yr old TM -- I have not identified what that is, but it is not epoxy curing.

I suppose you are aware that all campers are compromises. None will be like your house. Screws will loosen on all of them. Tires will always be a worry.

It's a tough call, but I am really happy with my choice. By the way, a large percentage of TM owners came up from pop ups, so you will be in familiar company with either. I went to Tucson and spent about 8 hours inside one, pretending it was mine. I set it up and down a couple of times. Read the owners manual, asked questions, and looked at several different models.

I hope this helps.

04-17-2006, 10:58 AM
Call WIllingboro, NJ RV center , south of Trenton by a half hour or so. IIt is listed on the Trailmanor site. When you go to ME, do stop at MCD. THey are the greatest!!!!! Good luck! Queeniereads aka Judi

04-17-2006, 11:02 AM
I had a 3023 and now a 2505 Hi-Lo. The only factor that would now make me consider a TM is weight. I did have to upgrade from a Montana Van when we got the Hi-Lo

Bill & Lisa
04-17-2006, 11:38 AM
One other thing to consider with the hilo is that they do not have a permanent bed until you get to the 27' or larger size. Smaller than that you are breaking down the dinnette to make the bed and vice versa. DW also didn't like the arrangement of the Kitchen with the refridg all the way at the other end of the room from the stove and sink. Not a good "triangle" in her book. The expanda room is nice. We own a 2006 TrailManor 3023. The 2006 HiLo TowLite 2706T weighs in at an UVW of 4479lbs according to their website. (the 2806C - Classic weighs 7000#s!) The Approximate dry weight on my TM is 2915 lbs. My TV is a Chevy Trailblazer. I could not tow either of the HiLos that I would be interested in with the Trailblazer but I can easily tow the 30ft TrailManor. So although we considered a HiLo we rejected it without ever seeing one in person but soley on what we found on their website because it didn't meet our desires. What make and model meets your desires/needs. Personal preference will determine what trailer is best for you.


04-17-2006, 04:04 PM
Too bad you don't live in northern California. Dinuba RV in Rio Vista carries both Hi-Lo and Trailmanors in stock.

My garage length is 19 feet. The largest Hi-Lo would have a bed/dinette combo and would not sleep six. The TM 2720 fits in my garage but is 27 feet long when open. Sleeps 6, queen, double and dinette conversion. That is a lot of sleeping space per foot of tow length. If you will never park it in a garage then this won't matter as much to you.

We didn't like the toilet in the Hi-Lo. The TM toliet is better, but not a lot better.

Because my garage has 10 foot ceilings I would have been able to open the Hi-Lo in the garage, but not the TM. Can't have everything.

Doug W.
04-17-2006, 06:08 PM
I was also looking at HiLo trailers. A friend had one when I was growing up and I always like it. When I did a search on google, I stumbled on to TrailManor. I thought they were cute, but moved on to the HiLo site. The 2006 HiLo TowLite 2706T has a GVWR of 6500 lbs which is 200 lbs below the max for my vehicle. I really wanted a Classic instead of a TowLite, but the Classic 2506C did not have a permanent bed. I also did not like the fact that the top half of the wall in the HiLo was fabric. There were a couple other things I did not like about the HiLo, but I have forgot what they were.

I have a Ford E-150 conversion van and did not want to rid of it as we love it for trips. After figuring out I could not pull the HiLo I wanted I took a long look at TrailManors. I liked what I saw on the website and what I dug up here on the forum. After that I got lucky and a dealer a little over an hour away started carrying them. They were hail damaged, but I liked what I saw. Unfortunately that dealer has quit carrying them now. After looking on and off for a while, I stumbled on to a great deal on a used 2005 3124KS and we love it.

04-17-2006, 09:55 PM
When I looked for a unit, my brother-in-law suggested Trailmanor. He and my sister had a Hi-Lo and were looking for a larger unit. I looked at both, and it was no contest for me. I fell hard for the Trailmanor. My sister, on the other hand looked at Trailmanor, and couldn't get another Hi-Lo fast enough. We "camp" together at a local resort every couple of months and each time she quietly disapproves of something she sees in the TM and I whisper to my spouse about how awful I think something is in their Hi-Lo. Just different opinions about different philosophies in trailers.

We have to crawl into bed in the TM, and they both have destroyed knees. My spouse cannot begin to use their toilet, his legs are so long they hang out both sides of their bathroom. My sib and her spouse spend most of their time in resorts, my family is more at home camping on forest service land. We tinker with our TM, my sib and her spouse hook up and go. I'm afraid I can't address any quality issues between the two, neither family has a any trouble in more than two years.

How do you find out what you can and can't live with? Try Bob Rederick's way of "living" in each for several hours. It really will save you thousands of bucks, and loads of grief.

04-18-2006, 07:17 AM
Leon, thanks for the input. Have an 05' Tahoe 4x4 rated at tow capacity of 7500# but GM recommends GCWR of 13000#. So with all numbers considered and hypothetical load chart of TV and trailer I would plan on approx 6800 for trailer with balance being TV... Have charted the HI-lo's 25, 27 and 28 models.. From a % factor of load to GCWR I'm looking at an 86% to 97% load correlation with HI-LO. TM does provide a greater benefit in this weight/haul correlation. Of course those at Hi-Lo said no problem with my Tahoe ? I had done the HI-Lo search also tapped into the yahoo Hi-Lo group site for opinions, etc. Reality ...I don't sense the excitement about Hi-Lo from their members as I sense with TM's... This tells me something as intangible as it may be. Thanks again.

04-18-2006, 07:29 AM
Doug, thanks for your comments. There are no Hi-Lo's within 250 miles of my home. Your comment about fabric walls would be a "no-no" for me. Also have calculated a hypothetical load relationship TV to trailer and sense that I would be at a very high % correlation with the Hi-Lo 28 and reasonable acceptance with 25c and 27t. Anyway my "gut" says go the TM route . I have an 05 tahoe 4x4 with GCWR of 13000#. Given this and GM's suggestion to trail no more than 7500#'s, I'm still of the belief to factor this down by 20% for effective/safe towing conditions.

04-18-2006, 07:53 AM
Thanks for your comments. Interesting you mention your husbands legs since I'm 6'4" with long legs so I appreciate the insight about the Hi-Lo tight quarters. Would like to have a dealer in this area that would be responsive to a 3 hour type "try-out".. The two I visited were less than "good". Sent a note to TM asking them whether these folks were interested in selling your franchise or just standing around... No response from TM. The one dealership did tell me that TM much stronger in market appeal in the SE and West than the East. Maybe this explains why the salesmen were less than aggressive and limited in understanding of the product. Will keep looking and make decision in a few months. Thanks again.