Advice Requested: Hitch Carriers & Small Scoots

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by Pilgrim21784, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Pilgrim21784

    Pilgrim21784 Pilgrim21784

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    146
    Location:
    Maryland
    Hey Folks,
    I'm thinking about buying a smaller scooter to take with me on our snowbird stay in the south. Currently at North Myrtle Beach, SC and they want $60/day to rent a Chinese 50cc ride, not gonna happen! Exploring using a hitch carrier for either a quality 50cc up to a 150 unit. (Honda/Yamaha are my general preferences).

    I already have a hitch installed but towing isn't a good option for this gig, one way UHaul is not cheap and using my own trailer creates storage issues at the condo we rent.

    My Silverwing at 550#s is just too heavy IMO to put on a hitch carrier, even if its technically doable so I'm asking if anybody has experience/advice on the subject. My SUV is a Toyota RAV4 AWD 6 and I'm checking with Toyota about the issue. My hitch is rated at 750# so its not an issue (I think).

    A 50cc seems to be available around high 100s to low 200#s and I'm checking out the Zuma & the PCX 150 at 286.

    I'm not sure how bright it is to put much weight on the rear end - anybody have experience with this subject?
    #1
  2. tuna101

    tuna101 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    Oddometer:
    253
    Location:
    Joshua Tree,Ca.
    I carry a Honda Trail 110 on a carrier on my front receiver when hauling my camper or 5th wheel and it works perfect, it weighs #200. I've also carried my XT225 and my wifes Zuma 50. No problems with any. I have 2 different hitch haulers as the rack I had custom made for the trail is smaller. I much prefer it up front as you can watch it and they ride much better. A front receiver cost less than $100 and bolts right up in less than 1 hour. I don't know what your driving but this is my choice and have no regrets at all. Hope this answered your question.
    #2
  3. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,971
    Location:
    Cin City, OH
    I had a hitch carrier made up for a 1 1/4" hitch on a Mazda 3 hatchback.

    I was carrying a Honda Trail 90, which is a little less than 200 lbs. It worked fine, although for that car, I was right near the tongue weight limit, and the weight was about as far as I would go with that particular car because it did bring the rear down somewhat.

    I would not put my XT225 which has a wet weight of 268 on it, too heavy for that car.
    #3
  4. jgormley

    jgormley Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    829
    Location:
    Lincoln, RI
    Check out the Ultimate MX Hauler...
    Doesn't take up much room...
    and is easy to load and unload a bike..
    It mounts thru the bike's foot pegs...
    #4
  5. snakebit

    snakebit growing old disgracefully

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,059
    Location:
    Sunny Sarasota FL
    I use a cheap ($125) ebay hitch carrier on my E150 van. I ugraded to monromatic (SP) heavy duty shocks and haven't had a problem with my NX 250 at 265 lbs. Maximum hitch weight according to Ford is 500 lbs.

    As designed the carrier relys on one bolt to the top of the receiver to control sway. It doesn't work for shit but I run ratchet straps from the outer ends of the rack to the rear bumper and everything is rock solid.

    I also added expanded aluminum trays that sit between the front of the carrier and the back bumper. Very handy for the Honda generator, gas can, firewood etc.
    #5
  6. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2007
    Oddometer:
    382
    Location:
    Lewisville, NC
    Another option to explore is to put your main scoot on a trailer and tow it to your destination condo, unload and store the trailer at a lot that does that. Many of the self storage places have space available for a trailer and it sould not cost much for a few months.
    I think it's worth looking in too.
    #6
  7. Pilgrim21784

    Pilgrim21784 Pilgrim21784

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    146
    Location:
    Maryland
    Hey, good point, thats one I hadn't thought about. I'll check it out. Thanks!
    #7
  8. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,069
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    I used to carry an XT225 dual sport bike on a hitch mounted carrier on my Chevy S10. It was a class III hitch, and the XT weighs half of what a Silverwing does. While the hitch may be rated to carry that much weight, it means tongue weight. Having a 500+ pound scooter on it it going to put a lot more than 500 pounds of stress on it when you hit bumps and the scooter goes up and down. It would probably be fine just sitting there, but I wouldn't trust it on a moving vehicle. I would recommend a smaller scooter. In love my Zuma 125, but it is not freeway legal, and I wouldn't carry a passenger on it unless you are both very light. If you need freeway legal, a Honda PCX150 might work. It looks more like the Silverwing. Don't know about it's ability to carry passengers.
    #8
  9. rv-rick

    rv-rick Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    265
    Location:
    East Central VA
    Jerry hit it regarding tongue weight. Another thing to consider is there are two tongue weights listed on most class III hitches. One is for straight towing. (The lower rating) The other is for using equalizer bars. (The higher rating).
    That info should be on the hitch, and in your owner's manual.
    Another possibility, depending on how long you will be there, is to buy a used scoot there and sell it when you leave.

    Of course, you could always ride the SW down there and let the rest of the family ride in the SUV. (YEAH)
    #9
  10. Pilgrim21784

    Pilgrim21784 Pilgrim21784

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    146
    Location:
    Maryland
    Many thanks for the input. Currently thinking a PCX150 and hitch carrier is the way I'll go. I checked out the excellent suggestion about towing my SW down and using a storage unit for the trailer ($30-45/month) which is a very good option I hadn't thought of. Towing my trailer is okay but I avoid it when possible. Riding the SW down from MD in early Feb is not gonna happen, way to cold for my wimp butt.

    I expect I'll use the situation to justify to the wife another scooter purchase :D. The hitch carrier is small enough to store at the condo and the PCX has twerked my interest since it came out. The only bummer is it will probably have to be new as there aren't many used 2013s for sale but I've got until Feb 2014 to work it out, might get lucky.

    Both UHaul (who installed my Class III hitch) and Toyota said the 286# PCX is okay on a carrier. Life is good!
    #10
  11. larrylarry75

    larrylarry75 Aye Chihuahua

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    322
    Location:
    Southern OR coast
    Don't forget to include the weight of the hitch carrier when doing your calculations. I've got a couple of them and neither one are light weights, both around 90#. I recently bought one of the Ultimate MX-Hauler Ramps, a self-loading or one-man hitch carrier and it's great, the platform lowers right down to the ground, you ride your scoot onto it, tie it down, and jack it back up into the locking position. They make two models, I'm talking about the bigger unit. They're not cheap but for the price they're not that bad and you can load your bike/scoot by yourself. Old farts in their 70's will appreciate that part. Here's a link to their site: http://www.ultimatemxhauler.com/

    LL75
    #11
  12. wannabe1

    wannabe1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    561
    [​IMG]

    This is my zuma 125 on a el cheapo aluminum carrier. It is on my 4-Runner class III? It has worked fine so far but does have some short comings that I need to address. The tie down points need to be in line with with the handlebars not toward the center of the bike. You must secure the front wheel or the first time you make left turn your scoot will fall off as the tie down points pull the bike back. It will wobble a little but no big deal as long as I know it is tied down securely. You will need some strength to roll it up the ramp and roll it off. If I had it to do over, I would try to find one more like just a rail with rail edges. This one is ladder style and the small scooter wheels are hard to roll on it.
    #12
  13. Pilgrim21784

    Pilgrim21784 Pilgrim21784

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    146
    Location:
    Maryland
    Many thanks for those tips! The 125 Zuma is a serious contender versus the PCX. It seems to be a really fine scoot. I've been thinking about a soft surface way to reduce/eliminate wobble. Currently exploring some type of blow up rig for that, work in progress.

    Question = what about the issue of blocking the tail lights/turn signals? Thought the cops might be picky on that situation.
    #13
  14. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,971
    Location:
    Cin City, OH
    Harbor Freight (and others no doubt) sell magnetic tail/brake lights that plug into your trailer hitch light plug if hiding your tail lights is an issue.

    They can be mounted right on the hitch carrier itself.
    #14
  15. wannabe1

    wannabe1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    Oddometer:
    561
    I did think about the tail light issue, but so far no troubles. I think if I could roll it back one notch my lights might could be seen. I hoping the cops around here have more to do than bust me on that one, I aint skeered :rofl.
    #15
  16. larrylarry75

    larrylarry75 Aye Chihuahua

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    322
    Location:
    Southern OR coast
    I did what Speedo66 mentioned and use a set of the magnetic lights. The ones I have were around fifty bucks at NAPA, they're decent quality and easy to use. I figure the benefit is one of safety rather than avoiding a ticket but that's just me.


    "It will wobble a little but no big deal as long as I know it is tied down securely."

    I know exactly what's going on with the wobble, I had the same thing happen. There's an easy cheap solution, you can buy a tension-bolt that takes the place of the standard keeper bolt & cotter, the one you use to secure the rack into the hitch receiver with. It only takes a minute to install and once you tighten it up the rack is rock solid. Mine came with my Ultimate MX Hauler and I ordered a spare one later for around fifteen bucks. I didn't bother to shop around so you might find them cheaper; regardless of that they really work good.

    "You will need some strength to roll it up the ramp and roll it off. If I had it to do over, I would try to find one more like just a rail with rail edges. This one is ladder style and the small scooter wheels are hard to roll on it."

    Seems like we've both encountered the same set of issues as my Ultimate MX Hauler has the same ones. What you can do is add flooring to the rack - plywood - diamond plate aluminum - to cover the holes. To make securing the bike easier you could also add one of the basic wheel chocks to the rack. That will enable you to tie it down better and at the same time it will limit the lateral travel. Cost for one of the basic styles is usually around $25-35.

    Lastly the difficulty in loading it won't be getting easier which is why I bought the Ultimate MX Hauler. It's somewhat costly but I figured if it prevented me from dropping my scooter even one time it would pay for itself. Not to mention how well I might fare if it fell on me. :rofl

    Best,

    LL75 :clap
    #16
  17. cdwise

    cdwise Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,208
    Location:
    Houston, TX/Breckenridge, CO
    We have a trailer in a bag so if you have room for the equivalent of a foot locker in size storage isn't an issue. When we've taken it to pick up a bike we toss the parts in the trunk of the car or back of the SUV until we get there. Takes 5-10 minutes to set up (single or double) load the bike(s) into the Condor chock add a couple tie downs and we are good to go. If trailering to a campsite or some such unload and toss the bits into the trunk to have them safely tucked away until ready to use it again.We don't use it often but it works great when we do even at freeway speeds.
    #17
  18. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    5,069
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    The cops are likely to be just as picky about covering up the license plate. I got an equipment violation for a burned out license plate light
    #18
  19. larrylarry75

    larrylarry75 Aye Chihuahua

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    322
    Location:
    Southern OR coast
    Those damn cops, waddaya gonna do with 'em? :rofl

    LL75 :lol3
    #19
  20. maddiedog

    maddiedog In dog we trust

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Oddometer:
    305
    Location:
    Marietta, GA, USA
    A few folks on the PCX forum asked how I hitch-carried my PCX, so I put together a howto. Since you're considering a PCX150, this is probably really relevant: http://www.hondapcx.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=319

    [​IMG]

    The bike stays on great, and has been carried like this for tens of thousands of miles, on many, many trips. :D
    #20