I had a HiLo and my experience with it led me to stay away from RV'ing for several years. Raising it required someone on each corner to help it go up. It was used when I bought it but only a few years old. We crawled in on our hands and knees several times to get a short nap because it was that much of a pain in the a** to raise. Would not recommend them to anyone. My next camper was a PUP. Sold it to get a TT and miss the PUP dearly. Guess it comes down to individual tastes and preferences.
"Life's tough. It's even tougher if you're stupid."...John Wayne
First, thanks for taking in the 2 retired - I've always wanted to bring one into the family, but with 6 right now, we don't need another. If they're escape artists, you don't want a hybrid. You'd have the same issues as with a PUP. Personal opinion, I've never been a fan of the Hi-Lo's/Trailmanor....they're lacking in a lot that other travel trailers have - like a real, honest to goodness bathroom + storage + you don't have to do the up/down thing, and usually at a much higher price. Since it's just 2 of you + the doggies, have you looked into something like the 16 - 18' Rockwood Mini-Lites. You can find them on the RV Wholesalers site or check the Forest River site. Sounds like you're thinking a few years old, but you might find that something like this would fill your requirements. If it fits into the budget, IMHO, new has a huge advantage over used - warranty and not inheriting someone else's problems. Hope you can find the right trailer for your family - for what you'll save in hotel/motel and restaurant money you can put towards something that's yours.
BTW, if you think you might be interested in RVW, they're excellent to deal with, no games and the price is the price - no surprises. Lots of us have been very pleased with them and saved a bunch of $$$$.
2013 Rockwood Ultra Lite 2604
2003 Ford F-150 with Blue Ox 1000 & Prodigy
5 doggies - We support Adopt/Rescue
Sam, you were the best!
Foxy is our new camping buddy
Just rescued 2 lab sisters, 8 weeks old - Biscuit and Lily
I would suspect a dog would have no trouble getting out of mine so if it were me, an HTT would be out. A 26 year old HiLo that may need parts from a non existant manufacturer would also be out. I'd look for a TT but ou'll be limitedx by the TV. If you plan on leaving the dogs in the TT when you're away (a no-no), you'd need a decent size TT, maybe 25', which will be more like 5000 lbs. If you won't be leaving the dogs in the trailer then look for a small used one.
Bob & Deb
12 F150 HD SCAB EcoBoost LB 4x4
06 Starcraft 18SB
Well... The HiLo was a bit rougher than I expected. It had previous water damage but the leaks were repaired. The interior panelling was not, however. Floors were still solid. Exterior looked to have been brush painted with house paint. I don't see myself enjoying a vacation in it. I'd be playing handy man the whole time. The seller was very nice, and up front about the condition, and it had 4 new tires and lots of extra stuff. The real disappointment was the Bantam. I seriously believe it was flood damaged. All the windows were open and it was still 98% humidity inside, and squishy, spongy floors. Damp pillows, etc. The seller was out of town but told me the trailer was unlocked and I could have a look.
Third strike is my buddy doesn't have room on his farm for me to keep a trailer. (I already have two boats stored there, don't want to wear out my friendship!).
I guess I am expecting too much from a trailer in the popup price range.
As far as Greyhounds escaping, I would leave a hybrid in "turtle mode" when the dogs are in it unattended. Probably leave it that way all the time in a noisy campground at the beach. We'd sleep in the dinette. They're good, but they haven't figured out doorknobs. (yet).
I don't see a problem leaving the dogs in a locked camper for a few hours while plugged in at a campground, in the shade, AC running. maybe also a few windows open for fresh air if the AC breaks. Wife and I both work (teachers) and the dogs happily live in the basement during the day, One in a kennel -- her comfort zone.
Looks like to get a 16-18' trailer that isn't a project, we'd need to spend $5-6000. The thinking was with a $1500 camper we could sell it quickly and not lose much if needed. (like if we lost storage, lost our job, etc...) Looks like the $6500 campers have been on the market for months. Maybe I should offer them $3500?
The Casita recommendations were appreciated. Our next door neighbors are retired and have towed theirs cross-country every year. They're always going away in it, and love it. But they don't come cheap.
I've wanted a Bambi for years, and that's one trailer I wouldn't mind fixing up, and would appreciate in value. but I don't see many, and none around here.
I'll keep looking. Going to the local dealer today to look at what they have, just to see what the latest trends are.
Going to go look at an Aliner today. It's in the price range, fits in the garage, and has a toilet, AC and a shower (outside). If I think the dogs can fit in it and it's not rough or wet I'll bring it home.
Bonus = the company is still in business, and is here in PA.
Curious, did you get the Aliner? If so what model and year? We are much like you, age and budget, considering an Aliner. My wife's aunt bought an Aliner Expedition three years ago, went cross county in the winter, loved it, her only trip. She now has no time to use until retirement in five more years, tried to sell, couldn't get anywhere near value. We are concerned about paying much for an Aliner.
Yes, I bought the A-liner. It's a 97. Haven't used it yet, as I'm taking classes right now. But it's off to Myrtle Beach in a few weeks. I set it up in the driveway for a couple of days. Has a lot of advantages: I can still use the rear view mirror in my truck, it fits in my garage, and it tows easily.
Oops - didn't fully answer your question. I don't know what model it is. It's not the "off-road" one like the Expedition you're considering. They seem to have a good resale value, and from the little bit I've read on the forums, they don't have any serious flaws or hidden defects other than a bad batch of axles on a certain year or two which the manufacturer is replacing. Very easy to operate. They really do go up in 30 seconds. Lots of natural light with all those windows, but close the curtains and crank the AC and it gets quite nice inside.