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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to venture down the road of pulling a trailer and I'm trying to figure out pros and cons on as much as I can find.



I have been thinking about these two.



http://www.harborfreight.com/automo...-12-inch-four-lug-wheels-and-tires-90153.html



http://www.harborfreight.com/automo...capacity-78-inch-tag-along-trailer-66771.html



Price is a factor although these are cheaper than a lot of them out there.



The second one is rated at 55mph but I have read claims that cleaning the bearings out and putting quality grease would take care of that although it's still the drivers responsibility. The first one has 12 inch wheels which I would think are better. I'm not really hot for the cargo container on the second one because it looks cheap.



I wanted to cut the first one down to a smaller width but I was told it would be unsafe and flip/roll.



I want to keep this thing safe. I really only want to tow 20x20x30 box on top because I think that's what I can fit camping gear in for two people but I really don't know. Pulling a 4 foot wide trailer just doesn't seem right.



I also don't want to get done and find out I made a big mistake and cant pull a trailer comfortably with the bike.





Any helpful comments would be appreciated. I know that many of you ride other bikes and a few must be pulling a trailer. This is all for a trip to Denver next summer that looks to be 2500 miles of direct driving. That's not the finished path so i'm thinking it will probably be around 3,000 miles. This time I want to be able to carry a real camera, tent, and sleeping stuff.
 

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Motorcycling is inherently dangerous. No trailer will make it safe. A wider trailer will resist tipping better, but what width is "safe"? Height of load (center of gravity) is factor that should be taken into account along with trailer width. Keep the load low and narrower width will probably be fine. I would expect that under normal riding conditions and a not to tall load that trailer reduced to about 3 ft wide would still adequately resist tipping. Riding aggressively on a twisty rode? Not then, but the beauty of a trailer is that you can leave it at the motel or campsite for the jaunty evening rides! Looks interesting to me.
 

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He isn't hauling a trailer ... he is hauling his camping gear.



The dimensions of the utility trailer are less than 4 ft.

Bed dimensions: 41-3/8" L x 34-1/4" W x 3-1/2" H

Shell dimensions: 47-1/2" L x 38" W x 16" H



Anytime you have less unsprung weight you are better off.
 

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I like the 2nd one a lot. It would match up well with your hondaline bags. I have a small boat trailer with the same size wheels and have not ever had any problems towing at sustained highway speed going the 160 miles to my favorite lake.

Happy trip planning.
 

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BS, the only experience I have had is towing my camper with the ST. I towed it about 20 or 30 miles with the ST just before my heart attack. Then, as you know Don Seedsman & I towed it over 15,000 miles. There was no problem with either solo or as a hack. Of course the camper is bigger than what you are planning. My neighbor (Harley owner) has pulled the camper and is building himself a utility trailer by putting a car top unit on a trailer from Harbor Freight. He has not finished it yet but I have seen several folks on the ADV board who have done this. Some have narrowed the trailers, others have not, does not seem to make much difference. BTW another good board is the Motocamper board, motorcycle camping. For a trip like you are planning you can get a lot of good info off that board.

Gene



PS: Rich, I thought you said you were not going to use the picture of you playing the piano as an avatar, changed your mind?



PSS: BS, I went back & looked at the 2 trailers. I think the one with the carrier will meet your needs. The other is too big. I think the 55 mph limit is cya for the insurance carrier. Repacking the bearings is a good idea, on our trip we had to do that to one wheel on the camper, it was heating up, repack solved the problem nicely!
 

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Don, I built one to pull behind a GoldWing, using the 1st trailer you show but with the 8" wheels instead of the 12". I narrowed it by about 8" or so, so the Sears cartop carrier box I had would nest in nicely. I pulled it all over the country and never had a problem. Unless I was braking heavily it was almost like the trailer was not even there. I had it up to 105 mph pulling across a big chunk of Montana.



I think your hitch is a little higher off the ground than the one I had, you might like the 12" wheels so the trailer levels up. What is the height of the hitch off the ground with you and the Mrs on the bike? The 12" wheels would also spin a little slower and be a little easier on the bearings, but if you keep 'em lubed the 8" wheels are not an issue either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I can tell you right off that my hitch height higher than other bikes that I have seen but im not worried about it. The reason I'm not worried is I want to use a goose neck style tongue off the trailer. If you saw my truck you would understand. There may come a time that I need to pull it behind the truck although I don't want to. I have a stock ford ranger 4x4 with the 4 liter. It's a 93 and runs 31 inch tires off it. The bumper is pretty high up.







You say you shortened it 8 inches eh. I can do almost all that with a hack saw and cordless drill. Except for cutting and welding the axle. I'll need help for that and making the gooseneck.



One of the reasons I was swayed on the red trailer with 12 inch wheels is because it was only $20 more than the same trailer with 8 inch wheels. And that would relieve some load on the bearings. The added height was also a thought but I don't think it's high enough.



I saw this and it looks simple enough. Then gets expensive.

http://nomad.eurekaboy.com/mctrailer.htm

http://goldwing.eurekaboy.com/trailerv2.htm

http://goldwing.eurekaboy.com/trailerv3.htm



For the price figure I was thinking of taking the red trailer at $200 and then using a 20% discount coupon on it if I can find one. I see it's in a lot of magazines and some say not reproducible even though I have used one printed off the internet. Then I would maybe bee around $175 out the door. But then I also have to get some sort of storage unit. And that's where the other is nice because it has one for another $125 out the door. Seems to much.



As we speak Melodys is searching out camping areas in the bad lands.
 

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I guess what I am trying to say is that either trailer with 8" or 12" wheels will work, and either in the stock width or narrowed. Do what appeals to you, and don't worry about it being too tippy, it won't be.

With the 12" wheels you might even be able to try a straight tongue first, then goose-neck it if you don't like it.



When I narrowed my Menards (same as a HarborFreight) trailer it was done using nothing but a sawzall, a drill, and some wrenches. The axles on those Chinese trailers are NOT very hard. After narrowing up the trailer frame and bolting it back together I cut an appropriate section out of the center of the axle with the sawzall, then using only an electric drill with cobalt bits I drilled each axle stub at 4 places (alternating 90 degrees between each hole) and bolted (with grade 8 hardware and locknuts, all 1/2" I think but maybe a size larger) it back together with a stout piece of angle steel (if I remember right it had at least a 1/4" wall, and was about 3' long) as a "splint". I drilled the holes in the axle pieces first, then clamped them one at a time into the angle steel nice and straight and drilled through. When a hole was drilled I would put a bolt in and snug it up then go on to the next one.



If you would feel better with the shaft welded, maybe you could bolt it together first and then pull it to a friends with a welder and have them throw a few beads on it. I never felt my trailer needed it though so i never had it done.



I probably pulled that trailer 20k miles and it was fine, I still regret letting it go with the GoldWing when I sold it. I wish I had at least taken some pics of it.

Just build whatever you want and it will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Joe now that's what I like to hear.



PapaJon

I spent all morning over there looking. Lots of good stuff.



After rethinking some of my earlier thoughts this is what I would like to do.

the new trailer

Bed dimensions: 40-1/2" W x 48" L

and

Overall dimensions: 78" L x 52-1/2" W x 19" H



That would tell me that the fenders/wheels/axles extend 6 inches on each side.

If I cut 12 inches or so out of one side and relocate the center rail I would get a 28 inch wide x 48 inch long bed with 40 1/2 overall width.



But then again I keep looking over at a yard stick I have sitting in the corner and it looks wide enough with fenders.



I keep thinking of the specs of this trailer.

http://www.sportutilitytrailers.com/Magneta/MBT1.htm



Does anyone think that would be a bad idea? I wish I had a sawzall. But I can also do it with a cut off wheel or hacksaw if I had to.
 

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I've towed a lot of trailers in my life, but never behind my bike. But almost all the trailers in the links look way to tall. If you could start with a dropped axle, or maybe those individual torsion axles you could get it quite a bit lower. Like the one in the bike trailer tow link, looked like the top of the trailer was max 12" above the tops of the tires. Some of the small independent trailer builders will build an axle to your specs for not much money, probably worth a look.



My experience has been... if you widen the track width and lower the center of gravity it's going to tow better.
 

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I am not sure what you are planning on pulling this trailer with but you should also consider that Colorado is the mile high city with an elevation of 5000 feet. Going West from our area is mostly up hill. With the combination of altitude and inclines you will need to be aware of the loss in engine power. I drove to Colorado many years ago in a Ford with a small 6 cylinder engine and wished I had a big V8. Just something to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Billrod

You have a good point there. When I went out to Denver a few years ago by plane we rented a cheap car. So we thought. It was a Chevy Aveo and was getting great gas mileage around town. Then we took it up into the mountains, foothills or whatever and the care barely went up a few big hills doing 35mph.





Can anyone who has done cross country from sea level area to mile high comment on this.
 

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our cx has done great at 6000ft. doesnt like to go up hills, but i assume its just heavy. I know the 2strokes in denver have to rejet for the altitude. i had a saab 900turbo in denver, ran great very fast around the city, not at all happy going up the foothills.

Are you just going to tote gear in it, or turn it into a camper.

http://www.schoolhousemcacc.com/index.php/cPath/6_13 kinda pricey but you get the idea.

best option, 2nd bike for the girl. Hasnt worked for me yet, but worth a try.

What are your trip planes so far?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The plan is just to get the load off the bike. And put the load on an extension of the bike. It just doesn't seem like there is enough room for everything needed/wanted.



If this was legal I bet I would have room left over.





This is the rough plan of the trip. Before entering scenic roads and stops.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Milwaukee,+wisconsin&daddr=12626+State+Highway+244,+Hill+City,+SD+57745+(Mount+Rushmore+Campground)+to:Denver,+CO+to:St+Louis,+MO+to:Milwaukee,+WI&hl=en&geocode=Fba4kAIdVqfC-innR4tX1wIFiDGEe0G1IhlfRA%3BFYTYnQIdDxjU-SEvMC3JonujHilvac-PrEp9hzHxWhqprMCwsA%3BFRJfXgIdgQ---SnPFx8jqoBrhzHWNoon-PSOEQ%3BFc-0TQIduUaf-in5ju36qbTYhzFb4Lsiyuo5vg%3BFba4kAIdVqfC-innR4tX1wIFiDGEe0G1IhlfRA&gl=us&mra=ls&sll=43.912239,-103.476791&sspn=0.118224,0.287018&ie=UTF8&ll=41.14557,-96.437988&spn=8.319994,18.369141&t=h&z=6
 

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Don,



You may want to hook up with this guy, looks like he used the 48 x 40 Harbor Freight trailer with 8" wheels without modifications to the width for towing behind his Silverwing



http://www.rhuss.cncfamily.com/MotorcycleTrailer.htm



Installing boat trailer caps with grease fittings will help with the wheel bearing lubrication as those 8" wheels really spin at speed but would highly suggest you go with the larger 12" wheel



I've seen other posts using the same frame and they suggest you take out one of the leaf springs to make the ride less stiff and also extend the tongue to reduce sway.

http://www.herberts.org/wayne/valk/trailer.htm





Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well this sucks. I got my 20% off harbor freight coupon in hand and headed over to the store and the price of the damn trailer went up to $259. That's $60 difference so no trailer for me tonight.
 

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Don my biggest concern in all of this is weight. 2up pulling a loaded trailer and only 500cc's climbing mountain hills.



The fellow with the diamond plated box style trailer is using a GW, lots of jam, so no prob.



Ron with the Silverwing, well I would be curious how that operation pulls loaded up, and heading up hills in altitude.



Really nice and well done trailer and all, just concerned about pulling power and braking with potentially 300+lbs behind



the bike, in addition to being 2up.



All in all IMO the HF trailer with the fiberglass box for $399 looks pretty slick.
 
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