Hitch mounted rail for hauling a 50cc scooter?

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by ewagman, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. ewagman

    ewagman Adventurer

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    I have an aluminum 2" receiver hitch mount rail that I haul a 300 lb dual sport on the back of my Ford E450 motorhome. Works great. I have a Kymko People 50-2 stroke that I keep at another house quite a distance away. For service at the 50 mile away dealer, or out of town riding, it would be handy to haul the scooter on this rail. I'm buying a 2014 Subaru Forester XT, the new body 2014s are downrated to 1500 lbs towing, not sure of their tongue weight limit. I'd install an aftermarket hitch (probably Curt) to get a 2" receiver. On this forum, I saw a picture of a similar hitch mounted rail on a Canadian BMW wagon (5 series I think) hauling an Aprilla 50. That made me think I might be able to haul my People 50 on the Forester, possibly with straps going up to the roof rack for additional support. I would suspect this has been considered or tried by others, I'd like to hear of others experiences. (I'm sure I'll get the inevitable "opinions" as well). No, I don't want to drive my motorhome to the other house, or haul my utility trailer there either, strict HOA parking restrictions come into play.
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  2. tortoise2

    tortoise2 Been here awhile

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  3. ohiotj

    ohiotj Adventurer

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    IIRC, tongue weight max is supposed to be 10% of the towing capacity. So, 150 lbs. for both the carrier and the scooter. A People 50 weighs over 200 lbs, so you'd be over the limit by at least 50 lbs, plus the weight of the carrier.

    However, it might be useful to check and see what the Forester is rated for in other markets, since tow ratings on cars tend to be fairly conservative in the US.


    Edit: Just looked - some sites say the tongue weight is safe in the 9-15% range.
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  4. rv-rick

    rv-rick Been here awhile

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    The quickest way to check would be to look at the owner's manual for the car. I'm pretty sure the dealer would let you read it.
    BTW: I wouldn't take a salesman's word about whether you could haul it. After all, they only want the sale.
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  5. ewagman

    ewagman Adventurer

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    I did some further research. 2014 US Foresters are rated 1500 lbs and 175 lbs tongue weight. In other markets, the current Forester tow ratings are 3300 to 4400 lbs, I'm unable to find tongue weight ratings, they are likely at least 10% of the tow rating. The non US rear suspension may be different, it may include air bags or some other changes. In the old days, many of us were more likely to live on the edge. Shouldn't risk legal intervention, it now can be too punishing for many of us. I might just get another fold up trailer and store it out of sight. Assembly, state inspection & registration was a pain, but it's once and done. The 2 x 4 Toyota guy referenced above sure had no fear!
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  6. ohiotj

    ohiotj Adventurer

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    I understand, I tend to be a bit paranoid about towing rules. If you want something that takes up less space than the fold-up trailer, the 40X48 trailer might work for you. I'm putting one together now, with a full deck, and an extension over the tongue, but would have gone with something simpler like the top post in this page if I had seen it before I was almost done with my project:

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=123255&page=21

    Just a plank and a wheel chock bolted to the bare trailer frame.
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  7. ewagman

    ewagman Adventurer

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    I have the HF 4 x 8 bed folding trailer, had it for 20 years I bet. Plywood floor, and removable two foot high solid plywood sides. Eye bolts in each corner, and permanent Thule fake roof gutters to fasten my roof racks to if I want to haul my canoe on the trailer. I have a removable chock for hauling cycles. I'd get another of this size trailer for the other house, they are great multipurpose haulers, cheap registration plate, no insurance or state inspection needed with either state. Adds to the road toll bill though. When folded it sticks out about two feet from the wall. I'd rather have another trailer than a rarely used truck.
    Just not as easy as sliding the cycle rail into or out of the hitch receiver spot. I think the trailer weighs twice what it used to when I refold it and lift it onto the caster wheels. Or it's that age thing again.
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  8. viverrid

    viverrid not dead yet

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    Towing a trailer, the tongue weight freely pivots at the hitch ball. Like the weight is straight down right at the ball.

    The hitch carriers typically extends further back than the hitch ball would be. The increased leverage has the effect of magnifying the weight. So a 200# load on a carrier is more load than a 200# tongue weight. Anyway, in a marginal situation, the trailer is likely a better idea.
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  9. ewagman

    ewagman Adventurer

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  10. rv-rick

    rv-rick Been here awhile

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    Here is one possibility.

    http://www.kendonusa.com/trailers.html

    There are several that are similar, and some fold up small enough to fit in your trunk.
    They are a "bit" more expensive than a Harbor Freight or Northern Tool trailer, though.
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  11. k-moe

    k-moe Long timer

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    With a bit of creative disassembly you could just put the scooter in the back of the Forester.
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  12. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    What about a Trailer in a Bag?
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  13. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

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    That seems to be a very low towing capacity for that vehicle. Isn't it 4WD? What was it on the older models? However, if that is really what it is, then the weight of the carrier and the scooter combined, placed several inches out from the hitch, would indeed exceed the vehicles rated capacity. Does the 2014 model use a different hitch part # than the older models? If so, then they probably weakened the frame to make it lighter. The limitation would be on the hitch/frame mounting point, as you could obviously stuff a lot more than 200 pounds in the back.

    You can get fold up trailers, but they cost as much as the scooter. The small Harbor Freight trailers are light enough for two people to pick up, turn sideways, and carry through a gate.

    I can't imagine what it must be like to deal with a HOA. From all the horror stories I've heard, it must be like living in prison. Everybody on my street has cars, trucks, and trailers parked all over the place, and work on them all the time, just like I do.
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  14. CaptnJim

    CaptnJim Scootist

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    Sorry for the hijack...

    The RV park that is closest to our daughter's home in Goodyear does not allow cargo trailers. In the past, we have frequently double towed, with the cargo trailer behind our 5th wheel; scooters will go along in the cargo trailer. A toy hauler is fine. Having crap all over your site is fine. Keeping your crap in a nice looking Featherlite trailer is apparently a bad thing.

    Our home is in a gated community, with a lot of dumb rules. Fortunately, they are OK with a cargo trailer in our driveway. Even better: the owners association takes care of the lawn, meaning I don't have to do yardwork. :clap

    Back to the topic: there are fold-up trailers, even "a trailer in a bag" - more expensive alternatives than putting a rack out behind a vehicle, though. Unless you have a vehicle that is built to handle the extra weight, expect other issues: unloading on the front wheels, more wear on the rear wheels.

    My wife asked about a rack behind our 5th wheel instead of the cargo trailer. There is more "movement" at that point on the rear of the RV, plus the enclosed cargo trailer gives me a place for tools and other stuff besides the scoots.

    One would want to check the hitch weight allowed before getting one of those racks - often, the hitch weight is 10% of the towed weight allowance. If that is the case (and I don't know that it is), a hitch with 1500 pounds allowance for towing would give you (theoretically) 150 pounds of hitch weight (no where near enough for the rack and a scooter).

    Jim
    #14