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adding trailer hitch to sidecar
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AJ1200
Posted 11/14/2014 3:06 PM (#81101)
Subject: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Posts: 299
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Location: Savannah Ga
I have done some research so I think I have answered my own question but finding the answer was harder than I thought it would be. with that in mind I thought I would start another thread to discuss this topic a little and maybe help others later down the road

I have a 97 Goldwing GL1500 and a Motorvation II on it. I want to pull my camper and cargo trailer but the unit does not have a hitch. I have a hitch on my bike but if I use it then I would run dangerously wide

I have found in my research that either running the trailer tire in the bikes track or the cars track is the answer most give
I would think using the cars track would be best as you would gain the tongue weight on the car to help on right handers and stability in general

I have seen a few different bikes with hitches built in or attached to the inner most frame rail of the car. In my case if I did that I would be creating 2 more tracks as my camper would now be between the bike and car tire

So unless I am wrong in my thinking I need to fabricate and weld a hitch onto my rig

I would like to here from those in the know, is it considered best to use the rigs tire track for trailers to follow.
would you put the trailer tire dead on behind or offset a little to the inside
and what would be considered a good lead length behind the car for the ball to sit

I will post pictures of the process once I get started
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jaydmc
Posted 11/14/2014 5:57 PM (#81106 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar


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The trailer tows best off of the center of the bike, but as you have figured out you end up with a rig that is way to wide. The more you move the trailer to the right, the more effect it has as to pushing and pulling on the sidecar on acceleration and deceleration. So, the best answer I have found is move the trailer to the right, just enough that the left side of the bike and the left side of the trailer are even. In other words move it over but no more then you have to in order to keep the rig from being to wide.
There are two schools of thought on this, one is to move the hitch on the bike, the other is to have an off set tongue on the trailer. I prefer the off set hitch as when you make an off set tongue on the trailer it is to easy to jack knife when backing up. Also should you ever need to tow the rig with a two wheel bike or a car it just looks odd.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
866-638-1793
www.dmcsidecars.com
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AJ1200
Posted 11/17/2014 10:07 AM (#81133 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Location: Savannah Ga
now see this is the kind of info I need. I guess I wasn't thinking about the drag & push that the camper will create when behind the sidecar rather than the bike
OK so I need to find a way to use the bikes hitch. would be easy if I had a receiver, I would just fabricate a offset tube. Hmm I'll have to see what I can do once I get it all hooked back together
I hope to hook the rig back up tomorrow
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DirtyDR
Posted 11/18/2014 2:34 PM (#81165 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Location: Edwards, CO
On both of my rigs I have the hitch on the sidecar frame and neither one pulls or pushes any worse with or without the trailer that I can tell. Both sidecar rigs have pretty much the same distance between the sidecar and bike wheels so the trailer tracks real nice and in the Winter you can only see one set of tracks in the snow. I did offset the tongue on the trailer a little to get the trailer centered and tracking correctly but that is just me being anal, I do not think it really matters.









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jaydmc
Posted 11/18/2014 2:39 PM (#81166 - in reply to #81165)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar


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Posts: 1513
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Off setting your trailer tow bar moves the mass of the trailer to the left more which while you are still pulling further over to the right, the mass does not have the same effect as it would with the trailer not off set.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
www.dmcsidecars.com
866-638-1793
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DirtyDR
Posted 11/18/2014 3:05 PM (#81168 - in reply to #81166)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Posts: 254
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Location: Edwards, CO
jaydmc - 11/18/2014 1:39 PM

Off setting your trailer tow bar moves the mass of the trailer to the left more which while you are still pulling further over to the right, the mass does not have the same effect as it would with the trailer not off set.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
www.dmcsidecars.com
866-638-1793


I have had this discussion on a couple of other sites and I guess I still do not see how offsetting the tongue, especially on a trailer this small, would make that much difference. To me it still seems like the same thing as having a 2 rail trailer with only one bike on it.

I actually offset the tow bar to the left, port, so the trailer is wider on the right, starboard, side but I know what you are saying.
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AJ1200
Posted 11/19/2014 8:44 AM (#81194 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Posts: 299
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Location: Savannah Ga
OK I got the sidecar mounted back on the bike, Thanks to Jay for setting me straight on the elec. lean set up. I re-measured and I think I can use the inner frame rail like in the above pictures for my hitch

NOW I have a problem that I can't seem to figure out how to correct
so far no matter how I adjust everything I can't get the cars frame to be level from front to back and the front outside corner is down even more
so the best way I can think to ask for advise is to give my measurements and ask if you had this what would you change to correct it

OK in the rear I can get the frame almost dead on left to right at 11"
the front inside (close to bike) is at 10"
the front outside is at 9 1/2

what I found is if I adjust the rear top link it will level the frame but it pushes the back of the bike over so far to the outside it looks like it's going to fall over
if pictures of my set up will help I will take them

just a note, the rig rides real smooth at all speeds, it seems to only pull when I accel. hard and barely pushes when I brake so I feel good about the toe in setting. I followed your advise Jay
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VLAD
Posted 11/19/2014 9:03 AM (#81195 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: RE: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Posts: 420
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Location: DENVER, COLORADO
I pull camper with GL1500 using standard Goldwing hitch. No problems. No modification needed. My camper stick just 2" past saddlebag on the left.
Will hitch installed on sidecar frame put more force on the frame and attachments on the bike?

Edited by VLAD 11/19/2014 9:08 AM
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AJ1200
Posted 11/19/2014 10:10 AM (#81196 - in reply to #81195)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Posts: 299
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Location: Savannah Ga
VLAD, looks like you have a rig about the same size as mine, you don't find running off the bikes hitch puts you at the limits on width on small 2 lane roads or tight bridges. That is my biggest fear, being so wide I don't have room to move one way or the other in an emergency situation. I was thinking about just off setting my hitch by running a piece of 2x2 angle out toward the car and put a brace from the end of it back to the saddlebag mount of even the frame found for the crash bar. sort of triangulate the hitch if you will

I'm sure you know, we are looking at close to 500 + lbs. with our camper when loaded so I need to be comfortable with the set-up


Edited by AJ1200 11/19/2014 10:20 AM




(hitch.jpg)



Attachments
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Attachments hitch.jpg (19KB - 1 downloads)
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jaydmc
Posted 11/19/2014 10:45 AM (#81199 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar


Expert

Posts: 1513
1000500
When setting up your rig, First pre load the suspension on the bike to how it is with you on the bike. We do not care what it looks like with out you on the bike. You will find that as the rear of the bike settles more then the front when set up this way with no load on the bike, the out side front of the sidecar will sit low. Once you are on the bike it will level out.

So after you have the bike sitting where it does with you on the bike next level the sidecar frame and hook up the lower mounts and set you toe. DO NOT TRY AND HOOK UP THE UPPER MOUNTS UNTIL THIS IS DONE.

Now, and only now you can then hook up one of your upper mounts, set lean out and then adjust the other strut so that the bolts slide right in with out forcing them. In other words so that the front and the rear are taking the same load and not forcing stress into the system.

See attachment.

Jay G
DMC sidecars
www.dmcsidecars.com
866-638-1793



Attachments
----------------
Attachments BASIC SIDECAR INSTRUCTIONS.doc (388KB - 6 downloads)
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VLAD
Posted 11/19/2014 12:13 PM (#81204 - in reply to #81196)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



Extreme Veteran

Posts: 420
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Location: DENVER, COLORADO
Measure your camper. May be you do not need to offset your hitch.
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AJ1200
Posted 11/19/2014 1:45 PM (#81207 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Posts: 299
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Location: Savannah Ga
I think my camper is going to be too wide for that. I know it's 2' from center of tongue to the edge of wheel fender
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SidehackRalf
Posted 11/22/2014 1:03 PM (#81262 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar


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Posts: 128
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Location: Libby, Montana
I have a 1500 with Escort sidecar and pull a 48 inch wide Roll a Home camper. I tried an 8 inch offset on the receiver hitch and that lined up the left sides very good but I wanted it more centered on the bike so I had a similar tow bar like Dirty DR has. Before I had modified triple trees it had some push-pull issues but now it is very easy to drive. Hope this helps. Sorry, no pictures but because it is in storage now.
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VLAD
Posted 11/22/2014 4:40 PM (#81268 - in reply to #81262)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Posts: 420
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Location: DENVER, COLORADO
SidehackRalf - 11/22/2014 11:03 AM

Sorry, no pictures but because it is in storage now.

Bike in storage? Shame on you!

Edited by VLAD 11/22/2014 4:42 PM
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SidehackRalf
Posted 11/22/2014 5:58 PM (#81272 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar


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Posts: 128
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Location: Libby, Montana
Well, it's in the garage with stuff all around it. I could get it out if the weather got warmer. 50 degrees would do it.
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AJ1200
Posted 11/26/2014 4:47 PM (#81322 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Posts: 299
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Location: Savannah Ga
well after considering all my options I decided to go with a offset of the bikes hitch, it is supported by a bracket from the sidecar, I decided that would offer more structure and load control than coming back from the bike like in my drawing a post or 2 up
I can also simply unbolt it if needed


Edited by AJ1200 11/26/2014 4:50 PM




(SCH 001.JPG)



(SCH 002.JPG)



(SCH 003.JPG)



Attachments
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Attachments SCH 001.JPG (469KB - 1 downloads)
Attachments SCH 002.JPG (411KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments SCH 003.JPG (290KB - 0 downloads)
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DirtyDR
Posted 11/26/2014 5:10 PM (#81325 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Location: Edwards, CO
Looks like that will work.
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SidehackRalf
Posted 11/26/2014 8:13 PM (#81328 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar


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Posts: 128
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Location: Libby, Montana
That looks good to me. If you later decided to move back a little you could do thAt but it is nicely centered now.
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Kimbo
Posted 11/28/2014 5:14 AM (#81336 - in reply to #81165)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



Member

Posts: 20
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Location: Quirindi, NSW, Australia
I use the same type of hitch DirtyDR uses. It centres the trailer and trails very well. When loaded up it does tend to push the sidecar forward when braking and drags it back a little when accelerating but it's not uncontrollable. Within a few miles you get used to it and if you drive accordingly, like slow down early and don't accelerate too hard, it's really not a problem. I have a 44 gallon drum as my trailer but I've also pulled a friends camper without any issues.



(IMG_2030.JPG)



(IMG_2595.JPG)



Attachments
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Attachments IMG_2030.JPG (2040KB - 0 downloads)
Attachments IMG_2595.JPG (3685KB - 0 downloads)
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AJ1200
Posted 12/1/2014 8:34 AM (#81391 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Posts: 299
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Location: Savannah Ga
So we made our first trip with the rig and camper in tow. We went to the north Ga. mountains, just past Helen for a long weekend. I think it was about 320 miles. The camper did have a strong push pull effect but was not too hard to adjust to.
I think I will move the hitch plate over a little to bring the camper more toward the bike to ease it some like Jay suggested
I found it rather helpful in the hard curves when pulling it through the mountains as I could use it to manage the sharp turns better, but I want to minimize the push/pull as much as possible
This was the first time I rode since putting the rig back together and resetting all the measurements, I was very pleased with the way it handled


Edited by AJ1200 12/1/2014 8:34 AM
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AJ1200
Posted 12/8/2014 1:41 PM (#81563 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Posts: 299
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Location: Savannah Ga
So my next question

SEATS,, what do most people do for a seat for the rider. ours has a seat that came with it, I rebuilt the padding in it but I was thinking I would like to put a better seat in
can you adapt a car seat to fit and work safely
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barry_mcki
Posted 12/9/2014 8:09 AM (#81574 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar


Member

Posts: 5
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Location: Canberra Australia
Our son is slightly disabled and with his small (light) body and the 1 1/2 seat in the sidecar, we found he was moving side to side too much. So I decided to change from the standard seat to a race-car bucket with a four-point seatbelt. Took a little figuring out and a new travel canopy when the chair is not in use but we ended up with something that I don't think distracts too much from the lines of our rig.




The seat is a Monza Rally from Autotechnica (Australian company) and has the tilt and slide mechanism attached. With the tight space to get in I have the seat all the way to the rear that puts the back of the seat vertical, once seated, the passenger can bring the base forward and this gives room for the seat back to tilt rearward making it quite comfortable.
When travelling solo I thought we might have a problem because the seat is higher than the rest of the sidecar. Talking the design over with the upholster we settle on having the seat titled all the way forward so that the top touches the wind screen – it is still a couple of inches higher but not too bad. The new canopy was made to clip directly to the same spots as the old flat top canopy. This new design has a slight rise that is right at the front; however there are no wells or stitches for water to sit and/or leak through.
The seat wraps the thighs and back very well, and along with the seat belt, there is no chance our son can be knocked around. I know there is controversy with seat belts and rig, but I look at this no different than an open top sports car and this is how I would want my son safely seated.



Old canopy



New design
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AJ1200
Posted 12/9/2014 8:27 AM (#81576 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Posts: 299
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Location: Savannah Ga
Barry, that is a nice looking rig you have there.
I was looking at the racing seats yesterday, that is what made me post and ask if anyone has done it as it seemed like a good idea
Thanks for sharing
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barry_mcki
Posted 12/9/2014 10:34 AM (#81580 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar


Member

Posts: 5
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Location: Canberra Australia
Thanks AJ.

Sorry to be getting off subject but just a quick follow up note on what I'm up to, I've currently got the seat out and working on my next passenger design.

Our biggist Mastiff Leroy can't fit in the rig (he's "down" to 235lb having lost 50lb), but "little" Axel seen here is about the right size at 175lb, a good counter balance (Leroy being a long hair, makes Axel look small). I've just ordered a harness from Dean & Tyler and the largest pair of Doggles they make, from over your side of the pond. Bit of training and a couple of bags of treats and we should be on the road together.



Edited by barry_mcki 12/9/2014 10:36 AM
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AJ1200
Posted 12/9/2014 12:00 PM (#81582 - in reply to #81101)
Subject: Re: adding trailer hitch to sidecar



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Posts: 299
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Location: Savannah Ga
I have no issue with moving off subject, I can't see the picture. We travel with our smallest dog but we have 4 that love to ride. you shouldn't have too much trouble getting him trained
only issue I see is keeping him from wanting to move around too much. I would like to see a pic of him in the car once you have it set up
we have a boxer that is around 100lb, big for a boxer, I want to see if he will ride in the car with the wife. I would really like to take him to the beach with us this summer

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