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Old 09-03-2013, 09:56 AM   #1
Chico OP
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Hitch Carrier 2wd Toyota

I'm thinking of getting a hitch carrier for my '94 2wd Toyota pickup to transport a Yamaha SR500. Why?

1. I live in the city so a trailer is impossible.
2. The pickup has a shell, carpet kit and sleeping platform so I can't throw the bike in back without taking the bike apart.
3. I can't take the shell off temporarily (see #1).
4. I'm going to be driving across the country and would like to be able to ride the bike in few places along the way.

Is this the right tool for the job? I would have to buy a proper hitch receiver (>$200) and carrier (>$150) as the pickup only has a bumper ball on it now.

The weight of the bike is listed as 359 lbs. so I can buy a carrier and hitch assembly to accommodate that weight but I'm concerned about whether it will overstress the suspension. I added a leaf to the spring pack and Bilstein heavy duty shocks 5 years ago but is it going to ride too low? Am I going to be doing wheelies on the freeway?

What do you think?
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:03 AM   #2
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Here's a couple pictures for reference:



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Old 09-03-2013, 10:16 AM   #3
Wlfman
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What is the MAX bumper weight (tongue weight) for the truck?

I have the Harbor Freight Hitch carrier for hauling my DRZ400 on my 97 Silverdo (stock suspension). 1000s of miles and no issues.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:53 AM   #4
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The recommended hitch at a few different trailer hitch purchase sites came up as 500lbs tongue weight. But I guess I should check the manual to see what is recommended. The hitch attaches at the frame with the 2" square receiver fitting below the bumper, similar to this one:
http://www.etrailer.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/pics/7/5/75144_1993~Toyota~T100_Pickup_9_1000.jpg

Luckily, my bumper is in slightly better shape.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:00 AM   #5
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If I remember correctly, the old pre-Tacoma trucks had a tow capacity of 3500 pounds and a 350 tongue weight. Even if you are within the overall payload capacity, you will be over-weight on the tongue.

Your solution of adding a spring would help, as would an aftermarket hitch with a higher tow/tongue capacity. Just keep in mind that just because the hitch is rated for 5000 pounds doesn't mean the truck is. In some states, they can be pretty picky about such matters (I have heard CO is really bad for this).

BTW... the bumper capacity will have nothing to do with this since you are attaching it to a receiver hitch. The bumper on that truck was rated for 2000/200 but the receiver hitch matched the truck's rating of 3500/350.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chico View Post
The recommended hitch at a few different trailer hitch purchase sites came up as 500lbs tongue weight. But I guess I should check the manual to see what is recommended. The hitch attaches at the frame with the 2" square receiver fitting below the bumper, similar to this one:
http://www.etrailer.com/Merchant2/graphics/00000001/pics/7/5/75144_1993~Toyota~T100_Pickup_9_1000.jpg

Luckily, my bumper is in slightly better shape.
You need to see what the truck is rated for as well as the hitch. And stay below the lower of the two rates.
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Old 09-14-2013, 03:07 PM   #7
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Just to give some more feedback, cliffy109 is right about the weight capacities of the pre-Tacoma pickups.

The manual says: [a trailer should be loaded so that]..."the tongue load is 9-11% of the total trailer weight, not exceeding the maximum of the following:
Two wheel drive models with towing package 350 lbs.
Two wheel drive models without towing package: 350 lbs.
Four wheel drive models: 350 lbs.

What that tells me is that regardless of what hitch I use or whether I've added a leaf to the rear spring pack or not (4wd trucks have more springs), I would be in excess of the recommended tongue weight.

So what's the next best thing? Rent a trailer? Buying one, register it and sell it when I'm done? Are there light weight, one bike trailers that are cheap and safe?

Maybe I should just ship the bike to CA and be done with it...
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:06 AM   #8
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I use a hitch carrier and really like it. My DRZ weighs 320 and I can definitely feel it back there on every truck I've used it on. A Toyota 4Runner, 2 Ford Rangers, and currently a Toyota Tacoma 4x4. That much weight back there adds some bounce to your back end on bumps. I think in your case, with a heavier bike and a lighter truck, you might not like driving across the country with it.

I did a quick search and didn't find a small motorcycle specific trailer that wasn't expensive. Here's a link to look at: http://www.discountramps.com/motorcycle-trailers.htm A better move might be to buy a small utility trailer and add a couple of blocks of wood to hold your front tire in place. Small utility trailers are everywhere, many people buy one to haul their lawn mower or when moving and then sell them pretty cheaply. Craig's List?

You could buy a nice moto trailer and then sell it after your trip. Used ones are hard to find. Or how about leaving the topper at home for this trip and get something that can securely store your stuff in the back, a locking tool box that sits beside the bike?
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:34 AM   #9
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If it was me, I would just get add a Class III hitch, metal plate the bolts on both sides of the frame, and then add a leaf.

350 pounds is the tongue weight for towing a trailer, which you're not doing. You're basically extending the frame to carry a load, as long as that load isn't outside the payload of you're truck, and all the metal has been reinforced, it's not going to be a problem. Just don't try to tow a trailer that is outside the rating of your truck, that's when you add wonky physics into the equation.

Frame strength isn't going to be a problem here as long as you plate it up. Usually hitches will come with the plates. The frame of a mid 90's F-150 for example is quite pathetic compared to even 80's Toyotas, thin C-channel stuff you could bend with pliers. The important thing is that your hitch you choose is in the capacities you're using it for. Nobody is going to give a fuck about the weight on your hitch, as long as your truck isn't overweight and sagging, and it isn't visibly failing right in front of them. What they will care about is if your trailer exceeds the specs of your truck.
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Old 09-15-2013, 06:45 AM   #10
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I personally do not like putting most things into a trailer receiver on a truck except for a trailer ball. That is what they are designed for.

If you think about it, the trailer hitch assembly was designed for X lbs of linear load, with a x lbs vertical load 6 to 8" directly behind the receiver.

When you put a motorcycle carrier in there, the CG of the load is no longer linear with the frame of the vehicle, and it is almost most certainly not 6 to 8 inches away from the rear bumper.

So if you get into the engineering statics/dynamics of it, the static load is going to be significantly higher than the 350lbs tongue because the cg is further behind the vehicle than where the ball would be. The dynamic loading when you driving is going to be vastly way more than the trailer receiver was designed for because the CG of the bike is closer to 2' above where the trailer ball would be.

If storage is a premium I would look into a "trailer in a bag" or such

http://trailerinabag.com/index.html

Not a perfect solution, but in my opinion it would be a lot better for your truck in the long run.

Also, with a truck as light as that, even if you where to add enough spring to the rear suspension of the truck, you would be a fair amount of weight off the front end, so the truck will still ride front high, and likely no handle as expected.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxLoneRider View Post
If you think about it, the trailer hitch assembly was designed for X lbs of linear load, with a x lbs vertical load 6 to 8" directly behind the receiver.

When you put a motorcycle carrier in there, the CG of the load is no longer linear with the frame of the vehicle, and it is almost most certainly not 6 to 8 inches away from the rear bumper.

So if you get into the engineering statics/dynamics of it, the static load is going to be significantly higher than the 350lbs tongue because the cg is further behind the vehicle than where the ball would be. The dynamic loading when you driving is going to be vastly way more than the trailer receiver was designed for because the CG of the bike is closer to 2' above where the trailer ball would be.
350lb vertical loading with a 6"-8" LEVER is going to be a higher dynamic than 359lb almost directly ABOVE the hitch/receiver (basically, as an extension of the frame). Max tongue weight does not differentiate between pulling a walkthrough RV trailer or a flatbed - even though the CG is higher on the RV.

Trailerless is less affected by wind, overall length, and backing up/parking is far easier. That said, unless OP buys/rents a 3100lb trailer, there'd be less load on the truck's frame
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Old 09-15-2013, 09:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bugonawindshield View Post
350lb vertical loading with a 6"-8" LEVER is going to be a higher dynamic than 359lb almost directly ABOVE the hitch/receiver (basically, as an extension of the frame). Max tongue weight does not differentiate between pulling a walkthrough RV trailer or a flatbed - even though the CG is higher on the RV.
I disagree. I have never, ever seen a carrier that has the CG as close to the bumper (in the vertical plain) as a trailer ball.



At least my receiver balls are about half way between the lip and the ramp.

Further, in the horizontal plain, the CG of the bike is significantly higher than where the ball would be.

When I see


It strikes me as overloading the trailer receiver on the truck, and obscures the tail lights of the truck.

But then again, it's his truck, his longer term maintenance. So who am I to say.

So other than the mini-trailers, that you could readily store in an apartment, this trailer looks like a significantly better solutions. And would not require a lot more storage space that the back rack carrier.




Quote:
Originally Posted by bugonawindshield View Post
Trailerless is less affected by wind, overall length, and backing up/parking is far easier. That said, unless OP buys/rents a 3100lb trailer, there'd be less load on the truck's frame
Now specifically, I call complete bs on the wind argument, are you saying that a motorcycle traveling sideways is going to have less wind resistance than if it was in line with the direction of travel? Yeah, the bike is somewhat in the shield of the topper, but it would still be in very similar air on a trailer.

Further, where in the fark have you found a small utility trailer that weights 3500lbs. Really, I almost discounted your reply on that straw man argument.

Less load on the truck, dude, where did you take your statics and dynamics classes? get your money back. I've done the math, and I can guarantee you, with my HP48 at my side, a 300-500lbs trailer, with a 400lbs bike on it, is going to place a significantly more controllable and safer load on the frame of the truck than a 100lbs carrier with the same 400lbs bike on it. When you do the finite element analysis assuming the trailer load is at the ball vs. the CG of the bike using the carrier you will see the difference in the loads. Especially hard breaking and acceleration.
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Old 09-16-2013, 08:48 AM   #13
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Thanks for the discussion everyone. I'm certainly not a physicist but my intuition says the leveraging effect of the hitch carrier and the weight of the bike while possible, would be at the edge of safe/recommended. If I were planning to drive 30 minutes here and there, that would be one thing--I might be willing to live on the edge! In that case, if I sensed that it was unsafe, I could slow down, turn around and go home, whatever. But using it for driving across the country, in one shot, at highway speed doesn't seem like the best idea.

In case I wasn't clear in my original post, the big picture is that I am driving the truck and bike to CA from NY. They are both going to stay in CA and I'm going back to NY by plane or other bike (in December ). So, taking off the shell and storing it won't work because it needs to stay with the truck. And the truck already has the 'add-a-leaf' which raised the back end to level (from scared-dog) but doesn't seem to stiffen things up very much.

I like the idea of trailer in a bag but $1,100 seems like a lot of dough.

If anyone else has good ideas, keep 'em coming.

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Old 09-16-2013, 09:01 AM   #14
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If it helps, I used to carry my DR650 on a PepBoys hitch carrier on my 04 Tacoma Prerunner. I already had air bags on it though when I started doing that. Never had any problems, furthest I ever went from home with the bike like that was about 400 miles one way and I did a number of those trips over the 2 years I had that bike.

Edit - I didn't pay attention to the year truck you had. My 04 Tacomas tow rating was 500/5000 with the tow package. Big difference from that of your truck.

Are you moving out here permanently? Why not just rent a Uhaul trailer? Pick up in NY and drop off in CA.
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Old 09-16-2013, 09:59 AM   #15
Chico OP
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The U-Haul rental would be $450-$650 (9 days minimum) depending on which one I rent and how many days. This is an option I'm considering more but originally, I didn't want the hassle of having a trailer as I am making some stops along the way where I am unsure of parking space availability and I'm also not sure yet how many days I'm going to take.
Does anyone know if shipping a bike could be done for that cost?

Chico screwed with this post 09-16-2013 at 11:42 AM
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