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trailer mount for H-D
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Posted 8/8/2005 7:58 AM (#9112)
Subject: trailer mount for H-D


I'm thinking about building a small trailer to carry some extra stuff to tow with my rig and eventually work up to a popup trailer. I have a '95 Harley FLHTCU w/Ultra sidecar (also '95). The trailer mounts I've seen for sale come off the struts and down the rear fender of the bike. Since I have the advantage of having a sidecar would it be a better (worse??) idea to have the trailer hitch more centered on the rig ?? I've neved pulled a trailer with a bike before so I'm trying to get some ideas. If anyone has already made something like this I would really appreciate some pictures (dkwhitson@msn.com). Any tips would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Edited by shovelheaddave 8/8/2005 8:00 AM
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Reardan Tom
Posted 8/8/2005 9:07 AM (#9114 - in reply to #9112)
Subject: RE: trailer mount for H-D



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Location: Reardan, WA
I can't offer any feedback on towing a trailer with a rig because I haven't done it. Yet. But I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. No, really, I have towed a trailer for many years with a two wheeler. It seems to me that you'd want the trailer centered to the rig in the interest of keeping the entire vehicle foot print somewhat narrow. But I'm not sure if this would cause the bike to want to pull to the right. Several years ago, a lot of people in the group we were riding with were buying Kwik Kamp pop up tent trailers and selling their small cargo trailers. I did the same. Then found out I didn't always want to take the tent trailer but often wanted an ice chest and a bit of gear that wouldn't fit on the motorcycle with both of us. So when I heard of a fellow rider and neighbor buying his Kwik Kamp and selling his cargo trailer I bought it. That was in the early 90's. I still have both trailers but they get used less and less. Oh yeah, I tow with a 96 bagger. But I've owned Goldwings in the past and towed with them also. Both my trailers have swivel hitches which would be unnecessary with a rig.
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Posted 8/8/2005 11:45 AM (#9116 - in reply to #9112)
Subject: RE: trailer mount for H-D


That was pretty good, I needed a laugh, thanks.
Thanks also for the real info, I appreciate it.
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Hack'n
Posted 8/8/2005 3:49 PM (#9126 - in reply to #9112)
Subject: RE: trailer mount for H-D



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Dave,
Drop me an e-mail at nwsidecar@aol.com and I'll send a couple of pix of a hitch for a Victory Vegas that is used for hauling a camping trailer. It pulls from the inside tube of the sidecar and centers the load nicely while reducing the extra width of the outfit. A similar setup will work on your Hog.

Lonnie
Northwest Sidecar
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Uncle Ernie
Posted 8/8/2005 3:50 PM (#9127 - in reply to #9116)
Subject: RE: trailer mount for H-D


Haven't pulled a trailer, but it would seem to me that you should put the hitch behind the bike (it sounds like you're thinking of attaching it to the SC struts?). Putting more weight/resistance anywhere but behind the bike would add even more push/pull and also more strain on the frame and attatchment points. How about a pick=up style 2nd tier rack over the passenger for more space? %^D
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SidecarMike
Posted 8/8/2005 5:59 PM (#9130 - in reply to #9112)
Subject: RE: trailer mount for H-D



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Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin USA
I've pulled both cargo and tent campers behind sidecars. I've found the best setup is with the hitch attached to the left rail of the sidecar frame. It also makes it easy to fabricate.
My Goldwing had a hitch on it before I mounted a sidecar, so I tried it as it was, but I constantly had one trailer wheel over the centerline or the sidecar on the shoulder. Although pulling a trailer does affect brakes and handling, moving it to the right by a foot or so did nothing to my handling, but made the rig much more manageable in traffic and on narrow roads and city streets.
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Reardan Tom
Posted 8/8/2005 6:36 PM (#9132 - in reply to #9130)
Subject: RE: trailer mount for H-D



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Location: Reardan, WA
That sure makes the most sense to me. My camp neighbors at Stevenson were from West Virginia and were riding a Harley rig towing a tent trailer. I didn't write down their names and don't recall it now. He got the award for riding the farthest. Maybe Jay at Dauntless could put you in touch with them (or maybe they're on this board) and they'd sure have some valuable input for you.

Out here where studded tires wear grooves in the super slab tracking might be interesting where the ruts are deep. It can be hairy in any vehicle that doesn't match the same width as the ruts as one side drops in and the other pops out.

Edited by Reardan Tom 8/8/2005 6:39 PM
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hdrghack
Posted 8/9/2005 6:47 AM (#9147 - in reply to #9132)
Subject: RE: trailer mount for H-D


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Shovelhead.....Dave

His name is Kevin Klages,Kevin is the West Virginia State Rep. For the USCA his Phone number is listed on the map that has all the listing's for area state reps and that is located on the home page.

From what I have seen the majority of sidecarist have the hitch mounted to keep the trailer centered behind the bike and sidecar as Lonnie and Mike had stated previously.

Edited by hdrghack 8/9/2005 6:49 AM
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SidehackRalf
Posted 8/10/2005 12:45 AM (#9165 - in reply to #9112)
Subject: RE: trailer mount for H-D


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Shovelhead Dave
I pull my Time Out Camper directly behind the bike and it puts the
left camper wheel about 4 inches past the left saddlebag. I, too
wondered about moving the hitch over to the right to center things
up.
Ralph
1500 Gold Wing/Champion Escort
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claude #3563
Posted 8/10/2005 10:11 AM (#9167 - in reply to #9130)
Subject: RE: trailer mount for H-D



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Sidecarmike wrote:
>>I've pulled both cargo and tent campers behind sidecars. I've found the best setup is with the hitch attached to the left rail of the sidecar frame.<<

This is my preference too. It helps to center the trailer on the rig. It can help to miss a few potholes if the tires are lined up. It looks natural. It seems to help stabalize the rig more on hard right handers depending on the rig.
Many are concerned about the push/pull issues on starting and stopping being magnified but from my experience this is not a big issue.
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Posted 8/10/2005 2:12 PM (#9174 - in reply to #9167)
Subject: RE: trailer mount for H-D


Mike,
You have an H-D rig, right ?? I'm assuming that you made your trailer mount ?? I'm look at using 1 1/2" box tube 1/8" wall and an 1 1/4" Class 2 receiver (hitch). I want it to be as light as possible but also strong enough. From you experience, is this going to be strong enough or am I over-spec-ing it a little ?? Thanks.
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SidecarMike
Posted 8/10/2005 8:15 PM (#9184 - in reply to #9174)
Subject: RE: trailer mount for H-D



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Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin USA
Originally written by shovelheaddave on 8/10/2005 3:12 PM

Mike,
You have an H-D rig, right ??

Nope, I graduated up to the big bikes about ten years ago. You'll understand when your day comes.
Seriously, I now ride a Valkyrie, like I said elsewhere, I prefer liquid cooling and driveshafts for my type of riding. Although I am impressed with the V-Rod and may own one of them eventually.

I'm assuming that you made your trailer mount ?? I'm look at using 1 1/2" box tube 1/8" wall and an 1 1/4" Class 2 receiver (hitch). I want it to be as light as possible but also strong enough. From you experience, is this going to be strong enough or am I over-spec-ing it a little ?? Thanks.

I did make it myself, Mine is the same thing, but made out of 1/8" perforated steel. The kind with holes every couple inches. On my first rig, I started with 1/4 inch 2X4 C-channel that served as ballast as well as a hitch. I would hurt myself every time I had to remove the sidecar. When I moved from my Harley to my first Goldwing I switched to a piece of bar stock about three inches wide and 1/4th inch thick. On this one, I've found the 1 1/2" tube to be ideal, a 1 1/4 bar fits inside it for normal application and a 2" slides over it. I have a two inch receiver with an upright that is meant for a bicycle rack but works great for holding a flagpole. I have it for Rallies and parades.
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Posted 8/11/2005 6:32 PM (#9201 - in reply to #9112)
Subject: RE: trailer mount for H-D


I guess it's one of those "forest for the trees" things. If the hitch mount turns out too heavy I can offset it by loosing a little ballast (I've got 50# in the car). Duhh, I totally forgot it was in there. I'll let you all know how I make out. Thanks.
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claude #3563
Posted 8/11/2005 8:12 PM (#9205 - in reply to #9201)
Subject: RE: trailer mount for H-D



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On our Motorvation rig I extended the sidecar frame out behind the sidecar body and covered it with aluminum diamond plate. This acts as a luggage rack of sorts and has been handy for many things. The trailer ball is attached to some of this structure with the diamond plate sandwiched between. If you look close at the picture to the left you may be able to see it.
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