Let's see those open bike trailers

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by bump, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. K7MDL

    K7MDL 2015 Tiger 800XCx, 2006 TE450, Jeep Wrangler

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    I found this unique trailer built by Xtra Mile 2 years ago. It is about 12 years old. Only a few of them were built by an Oregon boat builder I was told. The welding and wiring underneath is top notch and very beefy aluminum tube and C channel stock. The main deck was a fiberglass clad deck material, but I replaced it with diamond deck. It uses a torsion axle and trailer tires with nice cast/machined aluminum wheels common on boat trailers and . Good for 2,000 lb working load. It tows super nice, and rides well over potholes and washboard too.

    Trailer 2
    Trailer 3
    Trailer 4
    Storage Box


    It has a nice locking box integrated as part of a rock shield up front. There is a light inside and it is carpeted which is nice. A very wide ramp is mounted on the back deck. It has a small hole that slips over the rear tiedown eyebolt for secure storage. The front secures with rubber boat hatch/window T handles. 2 straight pins at the front hold it onto the rear deck lip when loading.

    An interesting feature is the 6 stake pockets along the 2 outside edges of the main deck (6'x8') just inside the wheels. This easily loads (ride on) and hauls 2 big street bikes or 3 dirt bikes, or hauls "stuff" with the sides on, or make tall side posts for a canoe/kayak carrier or top box or tent platform as described in this thread.
    #41
  2. aaronrkelly

    aaronrkelly Been here awhile

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    Just a cheap POS trailer I bought of Craigslist for $375.

    [​IMG]

    I think its a little bigger then 5x10.

    Added a cheap homemade box on the tongue for tie downs and such. Have a wheel chock dead center in the front (I usually only carry one bike). I have a strip of e-track going straight down the center to make it easier to tie down the ass end of bikes and quads. The left side of the trailer (side closest in the picture) has had the railing cut and hinged so I can side load a quad in the front.....beats the hell out of grabbing ahold of a big 4x4 quad and "sliding" it around sideways.

    Those three "pillars" in the front are an ingenious idea a friend of mine had. I have a boat hand winch welded to a piece of pipe that slips down over those. I store it in the box. When something is "disabled" I can slide it over one of those pillars and winch it up on the trailer. Used it on a big touring bike recently. One person to steady the bike....another cranks and this way no real chance of dropping the bike or anyone pulling a muscle rolling the big bitch up on the trailer.

    Best damn $375 I ever spent. One of the axles is "slightly" bent....it eats a tire every other season......but I got a stack of used tires so eh....fuck if Im going to fix it.
    #42
  3. Twohondas

    Twohondas Long timer

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    One of the negatives of my Kendon is that the ground clearance is not great for pulling your bikes into the boonies to set up a base camp.

    [​IMG]

    I have also towed my Wing on a smooth dirt road but ........not something I want to do again.
    #43
  4. mike1952

    mike1952 Long timer

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    why would you not want to tow it again? I plan on getting a Concours or similar bike and tow it to a base camp and do day trips from there.
    #44
  5. Twohondas

    Twohondas Long timer

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    The Kendon tows fine with the Wing...............I just do not want to tow on a dirt road again unless there is no option. The trailer gives you a great option to set up a comfortable base camp and importantly makes for comfortable desert crossings in the summer.

    [​IMG]


    The trouble with dirt roads is they are not consistent and have some bad patches. This road is in Idaho. Did about 40 miles in dirt.............slow.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>

    Putting on a center rail and truck mud guards helps with flotsam and jetsam but the lack of ground clearance complicates matters.
    #45
  6. bump

    bump COLOR ME GONE

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    I don't know what those kendons look like up close but can you flip the axle to gain ground clearance? I've done it with another trailer.

    #46
  7. plv

    plv Adventurer

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    Not mine, just found it on eBay today.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Motorcycle-Folding-Trailer-Carrier-fits-Trash-Bag-/130571834339
    See other pictures at the link above.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #47
  8. GoFar

    GoFar My butt hurts.

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    #48
  9. 621andy

    621andy Been here awhile

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    Location:
    Turkey, Myanmar, or sometimes at home in Germany!
    [​IMG]

    This was just to get my bike to Turkey. it's been sat unloved in our compound for the last 6 months.
    #49
  10. heliyardsale

    heliyardsale Always looking for Dirt!

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    Location:
    CNY.. Home of too many Liberials, yuck!
    Mine. A cheap 5x8, welded a rac to mount an old rocket box which holds camping gear. A couple of HF chocks, and a mount for our force 10 stainless boating BBQ grill.
    [​IMG]
    #50
  11. NDTransplant

    NDTransplant Been here awhile

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    Here is a photo of a Stinger trailer that I use.

    The drawbacks- in my opinion, are as follows: 1)It can only haul one bike, 2) It's expensive.

    The good- 1) It folds up extremely compact, so it fits in my garage without taking up a lot of room. 2) Super easy to load any kind of bike.

    It is built very heavy- good enough for heavy road bikes, such as HD's and GoldWings, so the company claims.





    [​IMG]
    #51
  12. Twohondas

    Twohondas Long timer

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    Note sure that would work with the Torison bar suspension.

    [​IMG]
    #52
  13. bump

    bump COLOR ME GONE

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    I did a bit of looking around the web on this and found no solutions. If it were me I'd call Kendon and propose two changes and get their reply.
    1st I'd measure the ground clearance on the rear of your Chevy pickup under the rear axle's hub/carrier at the lowest point. That's probably all you need and can use.
    2nd I'd have a really good fabrication guy weld in some gusseting and essentially another square tube above the axle to drop the axle 1-2 inches.
    3rd I'd get some new fenders and put larger tires on your axle if that axle will take it. If not I see Kendon makes a trailer for cars so surely that axle will work although I suspect any competent trailer place will have one or can make it. There are places online to get them custom for cheap. Then I'd install the same tires and wheels as your pickup has. You Kendon has 12s or perhaps 13s (I read both online depending on whether yours is USA made or China made)? If your PU has 16s or 17s then that would add 3-4 inches perhaps more depending on tire size. You might get another inch or two from the increased tire size. I'm going from 13s to 17s and the tire size is relatively huge so that's another two inches. Just increasing the tire/wheel size appears to give me more ground clearance than my wife's 4Runner so that is all I need - assuming the current axle will take it.
    So by lowering the axle and adding larger tires that adds maybe 4-6 inches. You could find those Chevy wheels as takeoffs on Craigslist I think for cheap.
    Considering how expensive Kendons are, and how much more usable your Kendon would be after this, I think you'd likely get most of your investment back when you sold it someday.
    I was on the phone with Mario yesterday at http://www.adventuretrailers.com/aboutus.html and he schooled me on alot of this.
    For example, because I intend to tow this with my wife's 4Runner I should use the same wheels and tires as the 4Runner so the trailer doesn't need a spare.
    I also read alot on EP that torsion axles don't do well offroad. But I don't know if that means the extreme stuff they do over there on EP or just regular offroad in general.
    What do you think?


    #53
  14. Twohondas

    Twohondas Long timer

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    Some serious thinking on this I see!

    However, I really do not need an off road capable trailer. Maybe if I had a 4WD pickup it would make more sense.

    This problem only occurs when I am setting up a base camp in the boondocks! Mostly I use the pickup to carry stuff for the base camp (Big cooler & tent & cot) but usually I have an improved campground with good roads so ground clearance is not an issue.
    [​IMG]

    I could always do this and tell my buddies to fend for themselves.

    [​IMG]

    Frankly I will not use the Kendon on very poor roads again.
    #54
  15. bump

    bump COLOR ME GONE

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    I hear ya. IN my case I'm trying to get away from using my pickup as my wife's 4Runner get's more than twice the mileage of my dually and with 4WD goes alot farther in and has no problems with sand and so forth.

    Looks like you are in SD. Do you do that dual sport run the SD DS clubs put on in February?


    #55
  16. Twohondas

    Twohondas Long timer

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    Mostly I ride in Borrego (soon again maybe??), in AZ along the CO river and up in the San Diego MTs.

    I ride with one or two guys not with a group but my "abilities" limit my horizons!
    [​IMG]

    I got the KLR for mostly "adventure" riding whatever that is. Kendon does really tow well even if you are limited a bit by ground clearance for off road travel.

    KLRs on the way to Seattle for KLR trip to Alaska in 2010.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #56
  17. bump

    bump COLOR ME GONE

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    Thanks for the great posts JR.
    There's a lot of great observations here.
    Good observation about fuel bottles at the rear. Sounds like an experience tested decision.
    It's interesting to me that riding can be so different in other places. Once we leave here and head to the Dez there's no place to shop! We can get some gas and that sort of thing but no groceries.
    This is probably a stupid ? but what is the rake for?
    I'm really glad you shared your observation about what can't be packed on the trailer because the trailer turns totes and bags into a kind of lapidary tumbler/vibrator. It hadn't occurred to me but I have the same problem with a growing mass of stuff too delicate for the pogo stick trailer suspension. I actually brought this up with Mario at Adventuretrailer.com during a phone call yesterday.
    Another good observation concerning beer vs liquor. I know a guy who only brings Codeine #4s for that exact purpose. He travels light...
    Those are some skills packing on a flatbed trailer.
    And kudos on keeping the open class bikes ripping!


    #57
  18. JR Greenhorn

    JR Greenhorn Been here awhile

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    Pine needles and prairie grass, mostly. Most of the time it gets used to clear debris for a tent's footprint, and to smooth out the duff. One of our most frequent riding trip destinations (read: the closest one to home) is logging land for paper production. The trees are mostly jack pines growing out of a sandy forest floor. Between the sand and the duff, the ground can get pretty lumpy to pitch a tent on, even if it is relatively level.


    Also, at times we've made new camp sites in certain places, and the rake works well to clear grasses and whatnot from around the fire ring. Of course, it works just as well to rake the material back over the fire ring area as well.

    Finally, if you have someone along who can be prone to doing stupid things with fire, the rake makes a handy implement to stop the spread of a grass fire, kind of like a poor man's McLeod.

    I don't suppose you have many of those problems camping in the desert, however.

    While we have found that upping the quality of the liquor we buy reduces the amount of soda needed for mixing (and not to mention the Excedrin for the next morning), packing just Codeine really takes it to a whole 'nother level! I'm not sure I'm that hardcore.



    Great suggestion there. I've been lurking over on ExPo for quite a while now. I've found that the way that group tends to camp is the closest as I've found on the interwebs to the way that I like to camp, except that they get further yet off the beaten path than I do (alas, my tow vehicle is a very large sedan with RWD only). I love how slick some of the dedicated ExPo trailer builds are, the best ones having everything so integrated an accessible. My riding buddies and I have sure refined our system over the years through trial and error, but we dream of the type of setup that some of the ExPo guys have. The biggest problem with most of those rigs is that bike hauling isn't part of the equation for most of them.

    I had batted around lots of ideas based around roof-top tents, and even one scheme that involved a service body, Flip-Pac camper shell, and an 18' open deck snowmobile trailer. However, it was lurking on ExPo that helped lead me to discover Jumping Jack trailers, and as I had mentioned previously, I bought a used one a couple months ago. Unfortunately, I've been too busy to use it much lately, but I can show what it does with a few photos grabbed off the internet:

    [​IMG]

    Again, these aren't my photos, but this one really shows off how a Jumping Jack can be loaded. GVWR is about 3000 lbs.

    This is how it looks popped up into a tent (very similar to a Springbar) once you're at base camp and unloaded:

    [​IMG]

    Dry weight is about 1200 pounds with the tent stowed, but this thing tows way, way better than that snowmobile trailer does with any kind of load on it (both are Dexter torsion axles), and I used to think the snowmobile trailer didn't tow too badly for what it is.

    So far, I've just done a few little overnighters with the kids in backyards and such, and one 2-bike haul for a day-ride. Everything's been going great though, and I've really been satisfied with it. I just wish my schedule would open up enough to do a "real" trip with it before Fall slips away.

    The biggest drawback so far to the Jumping Jack is loading and unloading the bikes. The deck they ride on up there is a bit over 3' off the ground. I haven't learned any tricks yet, so it's been similar if slightly more difficult than loading bikes into the box of a full-size pickup, except that you don't have the box sides to work off of.

    It's looking like we'll still be using the snowmobile trailer for day trips, and the Jumping Jack for multi-/overnight camping trips. Of course it's the camping trips that require all the extra gear, and I'm hugely excited that I've just made a big step forward in the quality of my base camp setup.







    I see barnyard was in this thread. It turns out the last two photos in each of my posts on the first page were from Akeley. The second to last one was off a small approach from the Spur II forest road, just South of where the trail crosses that road to make a tiny loop up to cross the little road that cuts between Spur II and 64. I wouldn't recommend that site, though. The second time we used it, two of us got up (at different times) during the night to stumble out of the tent in our skivvies to take a leak in the dark. The day after we got home, both of us broke out with poison ivy rash on our legs and arms, but thankfully nowhere else!
    #58
  19. mike1952

    mike1952 Long timer

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    small tires must whine like crazy.
    #59
  20. bump

    bump COLOR ME GONE

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    He should be easily able to tune out that whining sound.

    #60