Ramp or Trailer

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by frogy, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. binksman

    binksman Adventurer

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    Here's the trailer I built from an OLD boat trailer, the frame of a rollup bed cover, and about $50 worth of steel and hardware. I called it my "lite" trailer. The local Cat scales couldn't weigh it, meaning the entire trailer weighed less than 200 lbs. Because I couldn't get it officially weighed, I couldn't get it titled here in PA, so I gave it to my brother in TN where it is legal as is. My brother is actually considering using it tow his wife's dirt bike behind the family's Honda PC800.

    It pulled a single bike like a dream. I had my YZF600 on it numerous time and most recently the CR250. When my dad pulled it to TN he had his old XR650 on it with nary a problem for almost 900 miles. If I built it again, I'd mount a rack to the front to bolt a tote or an aluminum box to carry riding gear and basic tools.

    That said, most of the time, I just load the bikes in the truck. My Ram 2500 with 33 inch tires and factory HD package sits pretty high, but I've never dropped a bike off the truck or had a tailgate break. For ramps, I have two 10' long 2"x10" boards covered in expanded steel mesh. I've loaded the street bike while it was snowing and still had traction.

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  2. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

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    Too many straps on the little reb one:D.Thats a nice build ya got ...or had there.
  3. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    I would buy a trailer, for sure. Mine was used, ~$600:

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    I had some oak truck-bed decking that I screwed down between the rails, for a nice walking platform. Added a spare tire and a wheeled tongue jack.

    I used a utility trailer before, but it was not as easy, and keeping the ramp secure was a challenge (and a loose ramp could do a lot of damage)

    Lower load height, and leaves the vehicle bed available for hauling other stuff, probably even improves gas mileage in the truck.
  4. Conedodger

    Conedodger Wanna Ride

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    I picked up one of these for $650 used a few years ago. Very well built. Incredibly light. Light enough that I can pull it behind the lawn mower for yard work. Torsion suspension for smooth towing. Low deck height, coupled with ramp and chock, make for easy one person loading. I added removable sides and use it for other hauling as well. Works so well that I sold my truck and tow it behind a 4 cylinder car. The new ones have a fold-able ramp for better MPG.

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  5. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

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    $650 for that?Was that at the same time while pointing a gun at him? Nice buy,and I bet the wind drag on the lift gate is pretty high.
  6. Conedodger

    Conedodger Wanna Ride

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    It was a bargain! I'm tempted to see if I can make a folding ramp like the new ones.

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  7. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

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    Nice idea,kinda hard to get good gas milage with a barn door hangin in the wind.
  8. OldNewRider

    OldNewRider Adventurer

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    I just picked a similar trailer and noticed that the indicated fuel consumption of my VW TDi wagon doubled and that was with the trailer empty! I could actually feel the wind resistance from the ramp at highway speeds. So, I'm going to have to find a solution to that as it could get quite expensive towing the thing. Might be possible to have the ramp modified to fold like the new models but not sure how that might be done. Will also try to get a price on a newer bi-fold ramp as well to see if that makes sense.

    Any ideas most welcome!
  9. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

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    Why cant they put a shelf under the trailer?Take the ramp off and slide it into the shelf.:hmmmmm
  10. Attico

    Attico Wrong way 'round

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    Those ramps, mesh or solid create a tom of drag. Find a way to slide it in, or fold it down.

  11. high dangler

    high dangler Been here awhile

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    why would a trailor need such a big wide ramp for hauling bikes ?
  12. GH41

    GH41 Been here awhile

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    I would expect the mileage to fall pulling a trailer behind a VW wagon or any other small car. Pulling my loaded trailer behind my F150 hardly affects my mpg. Before I spent anything modifying the ramp I would take the ramp off and do a test run without it. GH
  13. FredRydr

    FredRydr Danger: Keep Back 500 Ft.

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    This is exactly my experience with virtually the same trailer, including getting rid of the truck! I had the manufacturer remove the ramp, and instead, had aluminum rails welded on the underside to slide a pair of ramps under the deck and above the axle.

    I later had a step welded at deck level on each side extending from the fender to the back, a surface area badly missed to put my foot when loading and unloading two bikes. I usually carry one bike, but can carry the F800GS and the R1200R and pull it all with a 5-cylinder Volvo wagon. Note that careful choice of tie-down locations before drilling or cutting is important.

    Fred

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  14. OldNewRider

    OldNewRider Adventurer

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    Thanks folks, all great inputs! The more I think about it, the more I think just buying one of those tri-fold ramps might be the best way to go. Just take that huge ramp right off when trailering longer distances and use the portable one which should be easy to stow next to the bikes. These trailers are build for "universal" applications like landscapers, loading quads, mowers, etc. so that's why the wide ramp. Not needed for bikes. I also like the idea of having some racks welded underneath to hold removable ramps.
  15. OldNewRider

    OldNewRider Adventurer

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    Oh, and I've towed a similar trailer without a tailgate/ramp several times with the VW and barely even notice it's there. So I was pretty shocked when I tried this one with the ramp. Felt like I was dragging a parachute behind me when I got up to highway speed. Even had to shift down to 5th for slight hills to maintain speed. Yeah, that ramp has got to go :-)
  16. marine_mike

    marine_mike Banned

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    I'm diggin that trailer, but like everyone else said...has to be able to fold that ramp down. I'm just going to pick up a 4x6 for my 2 enduros. Should be plenty strong and wide enough.
  17. eye.surgeon

    eye.surgeon ...riding California

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    I have this trailer set up for hauling bikes. It will hold two dirtbikes side by side, or one large street bike, with plenty of extra space for gear.

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    In this picture I was towing it with my Range Rover, but since then I bought an F150 and will probably get black widow extra long ramp and just use the bed of my truck for shorter trips.
  18. Infracaninophile

    Infracaninophile Finding My Way..

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    I just picked up this 2009 Aluma 548 trailer (54" wide x 8' long bed) for $1K off the Denver CL. With the fixed ramp, two motorcycle chocks, and the spare tire and wheel it was worth it to me. It is much easier to use than the little 3-rail trailers as I can walk up it. I also have a much heavier all steel 5x8' trailer I use for heavier stuff but it's a pain to move around much. I think the Aluma's are a good value used. Weight is right at 320 pounds. I can uncouple it from the car and move it around with one hand. My wife can do it easily.

    Second picture shows me with about 1000 pounds of bark mulch in bags on it (40 bags x 25 pounds). I just put a tarp and tie downs over it and called it good. Drove 50 miles into the mountains. No problems. Axle rating is 2000 pounds.

    I think I'll remove the ramp for the most part when bike hauling and use one of the little folding units that can go in the back of the 4Runner as the ramp is kind big and I don't want to pay for a folding one. I am going to buy the Aluma solid side rack set as my trailer has stake pockets so you can put sides all around for cargo hauling.


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    With the "solid side kit" it will look like the trailer in the link below.

    http://www.alumaklm.com/single-axle-utilities/item/1-548-utility-trailer.html


    Tom
  19. frogy

    frogy Been here awhile

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    Nice trailer
  20. Sasquatch2112

    Sasquatch2112 scatology expert

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    I have a truck and I am still looking into this idea, albeit a bit bigger. Enough for three big bikes and roo for a queen bed in a loft up fron with two couches that turn into beds. Last DV trip 60+ mph winds. :eek1

    I like the closed trailer for the protection from thieves. I don't have to worry about the bikes being visible and if the trailer looks scruffy with NO bike stickers on it that much better.