Lately I have heard and spoke to a few members that are facing this dilemma and are wondering what they should get to haul their bikes. So to get this thread going let the other members know what your using and why. Please don't just answer Truck or whatever. Give the rest of us the benefit of your experience.
I for one use a single hitch hauler for my bike and have found it adequate so far, it was an easy and inexpensive alternative to another vehicle or trailer, although I have been considering my options as i feel the desire for a more convenient way to transport my bike and gear, so so let's hear it and thanks.
Scott Summey Summeyart@comcast.net
Last Edit: Jan 15, 2014 21:36:17 GMT -5 by ssummey
I have a small pickup, a Toyota Tacoma, that will hold two bikes, barely, or one small quad. There's enough room inside for personal stuff, but not too much room for any tools or other gear. Two bikes are hard to tie down since you cannot get the straps tied very far out from either bike. I agree with Geo that it's not as easy as it used to be to roll a bike up the ramp on to the truck, even a low one like mine.
I also have a small utility trailer (5x10) we built back in 1972 and rebuilt a few times over the years. It started out as a three bike trailer with just rails, no floor, but eventually morphed into a utility trailer with a floor and sides. The sides are handy for some things, but they make it hard to get three bikes on the trailer because the sides interfere with the footpegs. I may alter the sides to be removable. It is lower than the truck, making for easier loading. One nice thing about how we built the the trailer is that you can set the ramp on the trailer and ride the quad up into the truck, then load bikes or another quad on the trailer.
If I could, I would get a small enclosed trailer, or a small toyhauler (in my dreams). You would have a safer place to transport bikes and gear. Of course, if I got one of those, that would mean I actually had the free time to go ride, (another dream), plus the vehicle to tow it. I would also have to find somewhere to put the trailer without irritating my neighbors.
Post by scootergirl on Jan 16, 2014 21:31:39 GMT -5
We have three hitch carriers for our various bikes and scooters. An aluminum dirt bike carrier can be had for about $100 and is by far the easiest and most economical way to transport a bike. A steel motorcycle carrier is a bit more robust, but tends to be the one hauled out of the garage less because of that, although they have more tie down points. WIth either, as Gi suggests, the downside is security. I would also note that a welding shop can attach a front receiver to many trucks an vans, and in that manner, you could have a carrier front and rear. We carried bikes that way on our Class C motorhome.
We also started out with a small open trailer; easy peasy to push around the yard and not as expensive as other trailers. Same security issue. For many years, we've used a 5x8 enclosed trailer. It does the job, and you don't worry about weather, security, etc…but like any trailer, it's a "vehicle," and requires things like tags, maintenance, and a place to store it. Our 5x8 patiently waiting to be cleaned out and advertised for sale, because we're moving to a slightly larger trailer. We especially wanted some extra width, as both we and the bikes have increased in size since all this bike stuff started, and because I sometimes help transport friend's scooters to rallies. We are also outfitting our new to us trailer with a few amenities so that if need be, a person could be comfortable sleeping in it overnight at a hare scramble.
Gi is lucky to be able to store her trailer at a safe property, where she can leave items inside. If you have to put your extra vehicles in a remote location like we do, you have to unload the bikes and gear if you want to be sure they're there next time, whether the trailer is enclosed or not. A practically paper thin sheet of aluminum is not a huge deterrent to burglars who think you might have something they would like inside (I speak from experience).
We have never owned a pick-up, but I've seen friends that had a nifty tent that fit the back of theirs, so they could also camp in the bed at events. You could also slap a camper shell on a pick-up, and haul a bike on a carrier.
Any of these options requires a somewhat beefy enough vehicle to either tow or have a hitch receiver capable of handling the weight of a bike or two (there are double carriers). If you have to buy a truck, and expect or hope to be towing or hauling something larger down the road, it might pay to start out with a bigger truck. If it's your daily driver, maybe not. There are pros and cons to anything.
Bikes have come and gone but haulers seem to stick. Now have 6 X 10 enclosed (also good for furniture etc). Steel hitch hauler was purchased to haul a ducati so it's heavy. Also a 5X8 open trailer. Use depends on the day. Just one bike, 2 bikes, bike and quad or quad. Lots of choices based on need.
Full size pickup and a ready ramp (the original version that held 1000 pounds) pictured here:
I have heard the new Ready Ramps are not as reliable as the older ones. To tell if it is an older one is simple. It has smooth rails on the outside members not "H" or "I" shaped beams.
I give up gas mileage to a car or crossover with better MPG ratings, but I don't have to store a trailer or rack or any of the headaches of getting that on the car (and off) when riding. I don't have the extra maintenance of a trailer, and I RIDE my bike up the ready ramp for loading and use a good bike stand for unloading.
I have turned several people into Toyota Tundra fans. Talk to Barry Miller about the previous generation Tundra, or get the 2007 and newer 4x2 or the 2008 and newer 4x4. They are nearly indestructible, and you can get 200-300K miles out of those trucks without any issues.
If you are willing to shop around, you can find them cheap often. One with a ton of miles is a great buy if the owner has the receipts from the care and feeding of it.
Last Edit: Feb 9, 2014 10:17:17 GMT -5 by jeremy20
I have a Kendon stand-up trailer and a hitch hauler. Both have their +'s and -'s. The kendon works as advertised; super easy to load and folds up neatly. I got it so I could carry my street and dirt bikes at the same time. It doesn't like really rough roads, but is ok for the lease. I took the spare tire off the underside and put it in my trunk because it would drag on the dirt. It doesn't have the security of an enclosed trailer. I had to paint the diamond plate decking because the sun's reflection was killing my eyes. And you have to watch that you don't tweak your back raising and lowering the thing. I like having access to my hatch (even with a bike loaded) and a place to spread out some of my gear as I'm setting up.
I picked up a hitch hauler from Cycle Gear for $100. It's a little more of a pain to load, but I can take it anywhere and it's better on gas mileage.
I also grabbed the Hitch hauler from cycle gear while it was 50% off. The only thing I had to do was make a pin that would fit a lock so nobody could nab it from me. It works great I would highly recommend it. I have it on a jeep and I forgot my ramp but I was able to easily lift the bike onto it with out it. It works good off road to an extent. I wouldnt go rock crawling with your bike on the back but it will get you through the trails. I will use it for another couple months and let you know how its holding up. But I beat it up pretty good this weekend and its still standing strong!
Last Edit: Feb 18, 2014 19:43:07 GMT -5 by kolbeck
I have a 1984 F150 that hauls 2 bikes easily in the bed with the help of a ramp. I've been looking for an inexpensive 3 rail trailer. They might not offer much in security but it would be great for quick runs to The Lease or Ocala/Osceola. I have a nice 5x8 enclosed trailer but I rarely use it. It's like towing a parachute behind your truck! It'll eat up a transmission pretty quick too.
I did find something that cut my loading time in half. Retractable tie down straps. These things save me so much time and trouble. I don't have to untie any knots or spend time wrapping them up when I'm done using them. I'm sure the majority of you load and tie down your bike by yourself. These straps make it an easy one person operation.
I know most of you use something like this already but if you don't... do yourself & your forks a favor and get one of these.
Post by signalse7en on Mar 5, 2015 20:44:11 GMT -5
I got a little $500 5x8 flat trailer off craigslist, with one chalk down the center and a ramp. I use a bar harness and I can easily and quickly use it for my street bikes, Harley or the dirt bike... Actually, there's enough room for a side my side with dirt bikes. I actually wished I'd gotten my buddies 12' inclosed, so I could just keep all my gear, for all the bikes, in the cabinets but I'm happy with my trailer.