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 Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering

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Sweendog
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redeye
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PostSubject: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2011 9:56 am

Recently, I have become interested in hitch-mounted haulers for the Morphous and Silver Wing (not at the same time, though!). With a V-8 Dodge Ram 1500 crew cab short bed pickup truck and a factory Class IV receiver hitch, this seems like sufficient power and load capacity. Also, I used to hold a commercial drivers license and have experience operating heavily loaded vehicles.

I have seen a couple of advertisements for new and used VersaHaul carriers with a 600 pound capacity; both the Silver Wing and Morphous weigh less than 600 pounds. My truck's hitch is rated for 1,000 pounds tongue weight, so all the dimensions seem in place there, too.

Ultimately, my goal is to carry two small off-road motorcycles (Honda CRF70F and CRF100F) in the truck's bed (I have done this already) and simultaneously carry a maxi-scooter on a hitch hauler. In previous long distance trips, I have used trailers to haul a maxi-scooter, but wanted to investigate a solution that makes the trailer unnecessary. For instance, a visit to the beach usually results in very limited parking availability and I probably wouldn't have room to park a trailer. And, at $3.75 per gallon of gasoline and having noted the fuel economy of my truck while pulling an excellent but heavy rental trailer to and from Massachusetts in April, using a hitch hauler is at least worth a look.

Please let me know your thoughts and recommendations. From your experience, what are the advantages and disadvantages of a hitch hauler? What should I watch out for? I haven't made a purchase yet, but it's soon time to make a decision whether to do this or continue using a trailer.
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bikerboy
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2011 10:13 am

At that price please send lots and lots of petrol (gasoline) over to me !! I'm paying about $8 at the moment !!!!
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redeye
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2011 10:30 am

If we start paying those prices in the US, I'll use the truck as a planter.
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Buickguy
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2011 10:52 am

I've used a hitch haul to carry my Rebel on the back of my camper.
Weight was a factor in steering. Too much behind the rear axle and the front end gets light.

This pic isn't my Rebel or camper but I have that model of hitch carrier.
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Last edited by Buickguy on Thu Jun 16, 2011 11:38 am; edited 2 times in total
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dspevack
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2011 11:00 am

Take a look @ trailer-in-a bag.
Small and light and folds up that you could stop, unload the swing or morpheus quickly, and then literally fold and toss the trailer in the pickup truck, requiring no additional parking spaces.

Google "Trailer in a bag" for more info.
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2011 11:04 am

Much better to ride them.

Trailer is probably safest and easiest to get them on. Lots of weight behind rear axle---scary. US Pickups handle badly enough without adding to the problem.

Well balanced trailer does not add much air drag or hitch weight.

John Grinsel
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redeye
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2011 11:27 am

Thanks for responses so far...

Weight at the back of the vehicle might cause steering issues. Good thought and it makes complete sense.

Trailer in a Bag is an interesting "outside the box" solution for limited parking availability at the beach.

Agree that it's much better to ride them. However, I'm usually traveling with my children on such a trip. One could ride with me on the Silver Wing or Morphous, but the state police frown on two or more back there. A few years from now when they have licenses, we'll ride three or four motorcycles and leave the truck at home. Otherwise, John, I like your plan best!

Buickguy, any issues with the hauler and the Rebel? Aside from steering issues due to weight on the rear of the hauling vehicle, are you comfortable that the hitch hauler is up to the task? Any concerns about physically securing the bike to the hauler?
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Buickguy
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2011 11:37 am

Since the motorhome rear overhang is very long, I wanted to keep things light back there. The Rebel only weights 300 pounds so by just not carrying a full tank of fresh water I offset the difference.
On a pickup the overhang won't be anywhere near as long so you should be able to handle the 500 pounds of SilverWing without too much front end lift.
The hitch hauler performs well. Getting the bike up is the trickiest part but I park with the rear over an incline. That way the ramp is at less of an angle.
The hauler came with four tie downs and when used on four points they held very well.
The most disturbing thing is the hauler will seem to wobble, pivoting slightly left and right while going down the road. It hasn't cause a problem but the sight of it can sure make a person uneasy.
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redeye
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2011 12:04 pm

Thanks again, Buickguy! This is very helpful.
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bigbird
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2011 12:09 pm

Another one to look at is stinger trailer:

http://www.stingertrailer.com/index.html
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Sweendog
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2011 3:29 pm

I really would resist the urge to hitch-haul the Scoot, or really anything over 300-400lbs. By the time you put anything else in the bed, you're going to be riding nose-high. I'll pile on the suggestions to use a trailer. A small cycle trailer will barely be noticeable on a full-size pickup. (Except when backing up!)
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Darkheart
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2011 7:37 pm

I have hitch hauled before, not to bad with a light weight back there. If I was taking my Swing I would hitch haul one of the other bikes. I would be careful with the trailer in a bag they tend to float around above 50mph.
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kbcmdba
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2011 8:04 pm

Since you have the bikes - do you really need to park so close to the beach? Would you be okay getting reasonably close pulling a trailer then riding up with everyone? Is it because the kids are too young to be allowed to drive on the streets?
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redeye
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 16, 2011 9:17 pm

Thanks again to all. The responses have been very helpful, and the suggestions for alternatives are worth investigating further.

kbcmdba wrote:
Since you have the bikes - do you really need to park so close to the beach? Would you be okay getting reasonably close pulling a trailer then riding up with everyone? Is it because the kids are too young to be allowed to drive on the streets?
Yes, they are 15 and 12 plus a 10 year old who wants to give riding a try. So unfortunately they can not be on public roads except as passengers.The bikes are not dual-purpose, but off-road only.
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Donodii
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 17, 2011 4:31 am

Put the Swing in the bed and the off roads on a hitch hauler.
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redeye
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 17, 2011 7:59 am

Donodii wrote:
Put the Swing in the bed and the off roads on a hitch hauler.
I was thinking that as well, and it would be the preferred solution. Unfortunately, the short bed requires the tailgate to remain down while transporting either scooter, obstructing a hitch hauler. The off-road bikes fit in the truck bed.
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andyman
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PostSubject: Re: Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering   Hitch Hauling vs. Trailering I_icon_minitimeMon Jun 20, 2011 6:41 am

I'd be concerned with a family & multiple bikes in a short bed 1/2 ton truck that you're going to be overweight before you even consider loading the scooter on the hitch mount of a short wheelbase truck. I'll +1 the trailer idea for the safety of everyone in your truck and those around you on the highway.
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