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Old 12-14-2017, 12:13 AM   #1
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Default Motorcycle hauling Help/Advice

I bought a (350 pound) motorscooter with the intention of hitch rack carrying it on my 2000 Roadtrek Ram 3500 Dodge.

Does anybody have any experience or advice on this topic?
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Old 12-14-2017, 12:36 AM   #2
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Long overhang vehicle in the rear with probably close to 500# on the hitch, so the front end will get very light and likely tough to control. It has been done, but many/most have found it not be of their liking, especially on the Dodges. Personally, I think a small trailer is much better for that much weight.
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Old 12-14-2017, 03:40 AM   #3
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That weight on the back really isn't any different than towing a trailer or boat. I would suggest air bags to bring the rear suspension back up so the front will track and steer properly.
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruceper View Post
That weight on the back really isn't any different than towing a trailer or boat. I would suggest air bags to bring the rear suspension back up so the front will track and steer properly.
Sure it is different, as you would be running an equalization hitch at that kind of tongue weight, so you would move some of the weight to the front. Raising the rear with airbags is going to move essentially no weight to the front, probably won't bring it down any either. That much weight, that far behind the axle is going to make it very prone to porpoising, also.
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Old 12-14-2017, 01:19 PM   #5
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Let me start by saying I almost always bring a mid size motorcycle with, but in a cargo trailer.

My one brother(two brothers also have an RT) with a '97 190 Dodge has been attempting to do what you envision. He has found that the carriers have a lot of slop to them and will require extra bracing on each side to stabilize the carrier with all that weight on it. He is leaning toward going the trailer route.

Things to consider.

It's really nice to not pull a trailer.

MPG will suffer pulling a trailer, in my case with a '00 200 Chevy about 1.75.

The trailer route can really help out on protective gear and other storage. I almost always wear protective armored pants and jacket along with a helmet and dedicated motorcycle boots. This stuff takes up a lot of room to store, especially for two riders. I also carry extra liners and other gear for cool/wet weather riding. My skin does not play well when scraping asphalt, concrete, or dirt so the gear is mandatory for us.
See:
https://rockthegear.wordpress.com/ and/or do a google image search for motorcycle road rash for background on why I "wear the gear". Warning: some of the images are a bit gruesome.

Sorry, off the soapbox, but proper gear takes up a lot of room.

The trailer also helps with carrying lawn chairs, bicycles and 150 watts of portable solar, and other stuff that's just easier not to have to stuff into the RV.

Trade offs, for sure.

Good luck.
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:40 PM   #6
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I have a carrier that I have used one time carrying my 280 lb KLX450R on the back of my 210 Popular. The rig felt a bit squirrely but my airbag system was leaking and I was having handling issues after lifting the vehicle 4 inches. I will be doing further testing in the spring.



Another option is a trailer and I use a Kendon trailer to haul up to 3 bikes-





Many folks carry motorcycles on Versahaul type hitch carriers without any issues.
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:35 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. All are very helpful. Hondo's picture of the Roadtrek was very enlightening... the moment arm of the bike rig is WAY back, exerting lots of weight on the rear. I like things simple. Even my bike (250 cc scooter) is modest and, I think, sensible. What do you fellows think of a 1 wheel tow dolly like below? It would seem to me that perhaps 75% of the weight would be off the bumper with this arrangement.... and further forward to boot.
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:45 PM   #8
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I like that a whole lot better than a bumper carrier.

Less weight on the bumper and you would get some oscillation damping from the big shocks and the wheel on the ground.
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Old 12-16-2017, 10:32 AM   #9
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I haul a #200 pound scooter on a rear hitch rack. I cut about 6” from the rack’s length and drilled a new hitch pin hole so it would not extend so far. I have a rear air bag suspension with compressor and run it up to about #70 when driving with the scooter. My fresh water tank is at the far rear so I also reduced the amount of water I carry by about 15 gallons. This works for me and the Pleasure-way handles well with this set-up.

(Sorry about the poor quality photo)
(I took it at dusk just after loading the scooter and before pumping up the air bags)

Wandering Wes
2010 Pleasure-way Excel TS
Never a problem, Sometimes a challenge, Always an adventure
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:46 PM   #10
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Hmm... I see Wandering Wes does not have a spare tire to contend with. I like the hitch length shortening for a closer-in weight distribution. I don't have air bags .... are they expensive? Where is Wes's spare? Maybe this transverse arrangement is not so good with my 350 pound Honda Helix.
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Old 12-16-2017, 10:43 PM   #11
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Of course everyone needs to remember just how subjective handling is to everyone. A vehicle that seems to handle "fine" to one person might be frightening or tiring to drive for someone else. The same applies the other way, although probably less often with big vans, is that a vehicle that someone says handles extremely well and responsively may seem "twitchy" and hard to control to someone else.

Bottom line is that unless you can evaluate what you like and don't like, it gets hard to guess if a change like a whole bunch of rear overhung weight will bother you or not.

I like a vehicle to handle responsively myself, and even have gotten my 1996 Buick Roadmaster wagon (the poster child of no road feel and boaty ride ) to be quite good that way. It is similar to vans in design, except not so rear heavy. If I have 200-300# of fertilize in the back, behind the axle, I can immediately notice the change in the handling (for the worse).
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Old 12-20-2017, 03:35 AM   #12
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Oh, those Roadmaster wagons are sweet.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:59 AM   #13
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My Versahaul carrier install & mods for my Roadtrek 210 Popular here

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Old 01-07-2018, 04:00 AM   #14
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.

Nice work
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:07 PM   #15
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Default Trailer for Toys

Homemade Heavy Duty Basket, receiver tube through center, ball mount and Aluma 12' light weight trailer. Many miles on this combo. Strap a plastic workbox in one side of the basket and a Honda 2000i generator on the other for extended off grid camping.

I added Sumo Springs Front and rear after this trip although unnecessary. Primarily did them for sway control with strong crosswinds. With a smaller van I'd definitely use air bags.
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