Hack Trailer towing?

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by bmwhacker, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    I've run across a very reasonably priced MC trailer which I am considering pulling behind my sidecar rig.
    I've done no research in this type of application so thought I'd throw it out here for opinions and experiences.
    I think I'd "can" the cooler....but on 2nd. thought....

    [​IMG]

    Common sense would tell me to center it between the Tug wheel & Sidecar Wheel?
    But.....I've seen photos of other rigs mounting them directly behind the bike?

    Any comments / opinions / experiences would be appreciated.
    #1
  2. FR700

    FR700 Banned

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    Two things to consider.


    1. Overall width if the hitch is towards the bike.

    2. If the trailer is heavy it will pull the outfit towards the chair if the hitch is more centered ... but it still depends on track to a certain degree.


    On the harley I centered the hitch ( 48" track ). This build, it is towards the bike.

    Apples and oranges ... pick one.


    .
    #2
  3. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    I'm pulling a much larger trailer (Bunkhouse) than what you are looking at, though I do have a K-Tractor as opposed to your airhead. My hitch puts the left trailer wheel in line with the bike track. Right wheel is just inside the hack wheel track. Hitch on the hack frame somewhat limits the tendency for the wheel to lift.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    I don't find any 'excessive' push & pull loading over what the hack already exhibits, but it is there, and I do have a brake on the hack wheel.
    We limit what is in the cooler when on the road to some drinks & just enough ice to keep things cool. Other groceries in the trailer to keep the load balanced. :1drink
    Important to remember with the trailer is just because you have the space, it doesn't mean you have to fill it! :eek1
    And just as when I was pulling with the solo bike, putting the luggage weight in the trailer allows the bike suspension to work better.
    #3
  4. warkshop

    warkshop uncbob

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    HTML:
    Two things to consider.
    
    
    1. Overall width if the hitch is towards the bike.
    
    2. If the trailer is heavy it will pull the outfit towards the chair if the hitch is more centered ... but it still depends on track to a certain degree.
    
    
    On the harley I centered the hitch ( 48" track ). This build, it is towards the bike.
    
    Apples and oranges ... pick one
    Absolutely agree
    #4
  5. bert111bel

    bert111bel Adventurer

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    en here is mine

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    After a consensus, looking at my set up, we came to the conclusion that the mounting point would live inboard of the tug tire, about where yours lives.
    I'm thinking the outside left side of the trailer will need to be slightly inside the bikes furthest point.
    Sadly....the trailer comes from a state where no Title / license was required. My state requires Title / License.:cry
    That puts a "hitch" in the deal. Title Applications are a PITA in my state.
    #6
  7. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Whatcha gonna tow the trailer with? Most outfits will get it rolling but stopping safely can get exciting. With a Ural outfit I'd keep the gross weight(trailer and cargo total) at <500 ibs. Regardless of brand bike and it's new enough to have a warranty towing a trailer will likely void the warranty. Good luck, be safe.
    #7
  8. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    Warranty?:lol3
    Ya right....last new bike I bought was in 1971...:rofl

    If I go through with the trailer set up, it will be behind my BMW Airhead rig. 1000cc tug, dual front discs but no sidecar brake.
    It stops quite well as it sits...adding that much weight might make it a different animal though.
    The goal is to relieve some of the weight off the tug as we camp quite a bit.The bike is fairly over loaded when all geared up.
    Dragging an extra few hundred pounds of trailer might not be the answer, but I'm game to give it a shot.
    I might also pull the trailer behind my naked goldwing.
    I'll be taking a look at the trailer on Thursday. The seller and I haven't been able to coordinate our schedules yet.
    #8
  9. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    Finally hooked up with the seller of the trailer after a week of "phone tag".
    He had just pulled the trailer to a "for sale by owner" lot near my home...also had dropped the price an additional $50.00. Now asking a whopping $300.00. Holy smokes, at that price I had to buy it. It would have sold quickly at that price on the lot.
    He towed it over to my place so I could take a look at it up next to my sidecar rig.
    [​IMG]

    It needs some clean up but has recent tires, including the spare. Wheel bearings were redone as a matter of maintenance recently too.

    [​IMG]

    The top rack appears backwards to me....will reverse it.
    The trailer is small, body is 36" x 30". It actually would fit directly behind my sidecar rig without extending out past the bikes footprint. I'll likely mount it behind the bike as I think the geometry will be better.(?)

    [​IMG]

    The interior has been upholstered and over all the thing is in good shape. The spare tire / cooler add some to the tongue weight. Might want to move the spare tire to another location. The axle sits a little rearward so tongue weight is around 20 lbs. as it sits.
    I also have an old "naked" Goldwing so the trailer might be a candidate to pull with it.
    I've never used a MC trailer before, so there will be a learning curve.
    Not sure how long the "Harley" mudflaps will stay....guess I could reverse them.
    #9
  10. Jeff 8

    Jeff 8 Adventurer

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    I bought a trailer last year, for a similar reason, a friend was selling it for such a low price, I thought if I don't like it I could resell it easy enough.

    My towbar was on the sidecar when I bought it and is in a similar position to Bobmws except on the other side (left hand sidecar). It tows and stops without problem, even though I don't currently have a sidecar brake.

    Mine had a spare, mounted like yours. I removed it to fit a stand, as it didn't have one and weighed it. It weighed in at 7kg (15.5lb), so I figured I don't need to carry that much weight when it only fits two of my five wheels, so bought a compressor and puncture repair kit so I can fix any of my tyres not just the trailer and it weighed less.

    [​IMG]

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    Jeff

    :gun2
    #10
  11. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    Thanks for the input Jeff.
    You are right about the "spare" tire. Will likely abandon it at home and be prepared for repairs as I am with the bike tires. I only haul spare bike tires when on real long trips when I anticipate tire replacements on the road.

    I'm seeing a real simple way to install a hitch on my set up.
    I can run a solid heavy 3/8" (or maybe thicker) steel strap down the length of the sidecar frame, exiting inside the rear wheel by about a foot.
    I can u-clamp the strap to the frame without any welding. ...we'll see....
    #11
  12. TouringDave

    TouringDave Tri Moto Veritas

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    That's a nice size trailer. :clap

    I tow this for longer trips/rallies and it is set up so the right side trailer wheel is in the wheel track of the bike.

    Works a treat.

    [​IMG]
    #12
  13. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    Wow...nice big sidecar....my Wife would love that one.
    What is it?
    #13
  14. TouringDave

    TouringDave Tri Moto Veritas

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    Double HRD Grand Rally. Aust. made body.

    Wifey and I went away for a few days last Oct in it and she loved it. :clap
    #14
  15. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    BMWhacker,
    Looking at your trailer I think the rack is placed that way so when you open the lid the cargo on the rack stays in place.
    When pulling with your solo Goldwing, ride as normal except, allow more room for braking, brake well before any curves. Braking in a curve will have the trailer wanting to go straight and push the rear wheel to the outside of the curve. You will learn maximum lean angles! Once safely in the curve you can accelerate as you wish. Also remember to account fo rthe extra width!
    #15
  16. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    Ahhhh......you are right that makes sense!
    I'm trying to figure out the best route to mount the hitch....
    Would like to mount directly behind the bike but all the load will be on the rear sub frame......
    Not sure if I want that.....I'll keep scratching my head.
    #16
  17. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    So....finally came up with a mounting set up.
    Picked up a 5' section of heavy 1.5" square tubing which accepts the receiver hitch.
    Mounted it to the sidecar frame as close to the bike as I could.
    I used some u-bolts which clamp it to the frame.
    Almost too simple.(?)
    The tubing is heavy enough to accept my 160 lbs. of weight without deflection so should withstand the tongue weight of the trailer. Now need to take it all back apart and prime / paint the tubing.
    Wiring is next for the trailer lights.
    Once done, I plan on loading the trailer and sidecar (with Mrs. Hacker) and ride a lot of miles locally to make sure I am comfortable with the thing. I ran it around a couple blocks last night and couldn't really feel any effect with the empty trailer attached.
    #17
  18. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    Got the trailer wiring squared away today.
    Removed the saddle bags to access the wiring easier, plus I have some new shocks "in the mail" to replace the tired "Marzocchi" shocks currently in place. Much easier to change out the shocks with the saddle bags removed.

    [​IMG]

    Very basic / simple installation. Attaching directly behind the bike was my first thought, but attaching to the rear subframe made me nervous since they are not very substantial. Used a 3/8" plate below the u-bolts. The front of the tubing attaches to the front sidecar frame. I drilled through the front receiver tubing, and added some steel collars in the u-bolts internally so the tubing wouldn't deflect when tightened.
    I'll keep a close eye on the attachment points over the next miles.

    [​IMG]

    My initial impression upon riding is good. No real effect felt on street riding. The trailer is quite light. I'll load up the trailer and my "Navigator" and put on some Road Test miles next. Thinking I'll "ditch" the spare trailer tire (?) to save some tongue weight. The cooler gots to stay though....

    [​IMG]

    The center rear marker light / side marker lights are LED's so I lit them up....the lower 4 marker lights in the bumper are conventional bulbs so I opted to disconnect them. The Boxer charging system does not have a lot of "reserve".
    #18
  19. Bar None

    Bar None Candy Ass

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    bmwhacker,
    Nice looking rig you got there. Trailer should pull just fine.

    <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/MuJS3uBTn_7waKbqZsFVUWvAnO462cOpmvhpyOCGDFo?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Ncwla4n7usU/Usx_Oh1HhXI/AAAAAAAANSA/BbU1OooQxJw/s144/IMG_2364.JPG" height="108" width="144" /></a>

    I'd like those Hog mud flaps for my trailer, do you know where they came from?
    #19
  20. bmwhacker

    bmwhacker Still on 3 wheels

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    Thanks...I started with a pile of three derelict / forelorned bikes and built it up from a bare frame. Very low budget / home built rig. Took a few years to get it all together.
    Who says you gotta spend a lot of dough to have a sidecar rig?.:lol3
    Not liking the trailers' color but that will change eventually.:huh
    Not sure where the "Hog Flaps" came from....the PO of the trailer said he looked a long time to find them.
    #20