Hauling Bike



36 replies to this topic
  • Sean_McCutcheon

Posted February 26, 2003 - 09:52 AM

#1

I just bought a chevy blazer and now I have a problem. I pull a pop up camper that we take riding with us. I used to beable to put my bike in the bed of my truck and haul the camper with out a problem. Now I have no place for my bike. Does anybody have any ideas on what I can do. I thought of putting the bike on top of the camper, but that just seems to unsafe. I thougt about mounting a hitch on the back of the camper and buying a bike caddy but that takes all my tongue weight away. I thought of putting the bike on the front of the camper, but that gives me too much tongue wait. Need help please.

  • edareus

Posted February 26, 2003 - 10:18 AM

#2

Sean, I had a buddy that had the same problem. His camper was an older one and he took a rail(actually two)off of a motorcycle trailer and mounted them to the roof of his camper. He took his time and made it look nice. For tydowns he welded a bar to the front of each rail with eye hooks in them. He has since moved away(so I don't know if it is still working) but it worked well while I rode with him. The roof was fiberglass, he mounted one rail on each side of the A/C unit. I do remember that he had to mount an aluminum plate inside the roof to make it more structurally sound. Seemed to be quite stable. I wish I had pictures of it but don't. Hope this helps, good luck.

  • Thumpleupagus

Posted February 26, 2003 - 11:03 AM

#3

Sean, are you sure the effect on the tongue weight is enough that you can't either mount a carrier on the front or back of the camper. If you think about it, a bike is only the eqivalent of one good sized guy. Do you have a bumper hitch or one that is structural to the car's frame? If I had to choose-I'd think mounting a carrier on the front of the camper would be your best bet. If it is a frame hitch, then you may be able to bump it up to a class 3 or 4 hitch (I think that's the classification). I would think if your camper is small, then the extra 250'ish pounds won't put you over the edge, and if it's a really big trailer, then 250# is just a drop in the bucket.

But then again, I use a truck from work to haul mine, so what do I know???
just a thought... :)

  • utvols

Posted February 26, 2003 - 01:15 PM

#4

I put a hitch on the front of my excursion for a winch mount. Theres no reason you can not do the same for a bike carrier. Hitch and carrier should be less than $500.00 if you shop around.

  • F6dood

Posted February 26, 2003 - 03:17 PM

#5

Sounds like Sean understands the perils of negative toung weight. I'd be inclined to mount a rail on the front of the camper. You could then unload the scoot w/ out disconnecting camper from tow vehicle (TV) provided theres enough room for turning clearance between TV and scoot.

Just a few cents worth. :)

  • Jim_Patterson

Posted February 26, 2003 - 03:34 PM

#6

If you had someone lengthen the tongue of the camper in an "A" shape you could put a rail across the front of the camper. If the tongue is say three feet longer and the bike is kept close to the front of the camper it shouldn't add much tongue weight. You could add air shocks to help out some also.

  • Chaindrive

Posted February 26, 2003 - 04:09 PM

#7

Sean,
These guys have given some good advice. If your Blazer is a full size (not s-10), get a good receiver hitch (frame mount). I highly recommend a set of auxillary air SPRINGS, not shocks (Hellwig, Firestone, Air-lift all make them). I have used these on several vehicles, including my old '83 class C motorhome which not only carries very heavy tongue weight from our MX trailer, but extreme rear overhang as well. This amounts to some tremendous loading.

The air springs are heavy rubber "air bags" that are very easy to mount. They can add a couple thousand pounds of carrying ability PROVIDED your brakes, frame, and 1/2 ton rear axle, etc. are up to it. They are very similar to what most air-ride semis use on both tractor and trailer. I have never had one fail; even in the semis I drive.

These will allow you to custom-tailor and level your tow vehicle for safe steering and braking. A huge difference here! Your Full-size (?) Blazer should be able to easily handle the extra 300 or so pounds of your bike and a good rear-mount carrier together with a pop-up trailer. Aluminum would be nice.

The problem you might fight a bit more than someone with a full-size pickup or suburban is the short wheel base of your tow vehicle. This will amplify any "tail wagging the dog" you might experience (with or without the bike). If so, go one step farther and invest in a weight equalizing hitch with an anti-sway bar. Getting 'whipped' around is spooky at best! Load your trailer as evenly as possible with a modest weight bias to the front. NEVER load the rear heavier!

Please be sure your trailer has functioning brakes!!! I prefer electric over 'surge brakes' for very good reason (learned the hard way!): Should you ever find yourself on a steep, icy downgrade, the trailer with surge brakes WILL reach the bottom FIRST. Its brakes will engage (the last thing you want!) due to pushing against your tow vehicle....then just wave as it goes by you! They are supposed to do this, but when they do it on ice, its all over baby! :)

  • BEAN329

Posted February 26, 2003 - 05:01 PM

#8

Sean, if after you mount the bike on the tongue of the trailer and it creates to much tongue weight, add some weight to the back of the trailer to balance, you may be able to do this buy changing the way you load stuff inside the trailer or add a rack to the back of the trailer and load stuff on that.

  • Dan_Lorenze

Posted February 26, 2003 - 08:17 PM

#9

If I were you I'de put a moto-caddy on the back of the trailer. As far as the brakes are concerned, If the blazer's brakes are good enough with the trailer the extra 300 pouunds won't hurt. My 1988 S10 towed my 21'mini-daycruiser (trailer didn't have brakes back then) no problem. I've had my Moto-caddy for over 10 years and it works great, even if you don't go with my idea you'll still need to get a bike trailer or bike carrier to carry your bike. For $250.00 your problems could be solved.

Just my opinion, that's all.....


Dan

  • Sean_McCutcheon

Posted February 27, 2003 - 02:48 AM

#10

It is an S10 Blazer. Also the camper weighs about 1500 lbs dry.

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  • Chaindrive

Posted February 27, 2003 - 04:00 AM

#11

Sean,
That's a pretty light trailer. My wife's S-10 has a good receiver hitch(factory), and I wouldn't fear that trailer and bike on it. You still want to level your tow vehicle. I would still check the availability of the air springs for the truck. If none, maybe do the air shocks.

You have mountains where you live and travel? [(edit:Ohio; dumb question! But still close to the Appalations)] I'd want brakes on every axle. The carrier Dan spoke of sounds like a good one. Mounting your bike on top of the camper... well, the rack and bike most likely wouldn't hurt the roof because the load would be spread out, but you walking on it to load and unload might be a bit hard on it. I would prefer either the extended tongue carrier idea or the hitch carrier.

I built a receiver mount, steel (kinda heavy but cool), tilting bike carrier with flip-down ramp for my other truck for the same reason: I have a 1-ton Chevy crew cab 4x4 w/ 4" lift and 35" tires. I carried a 2000lb 10' pop-up pickup camper and pulled my boat with my DR650(now there is a heavy pig!) on the carrier rack in between. Piece of cake for that beast with the air suspension.

Eventually: Kids + more bikes = motorhome + trailer + having to choose between boat or bike trailer each trip. I can still use the carrier on the motorhome for my bike, pull the boat, and put the boys' kx65 and 50cc in the boat, but we travel mainly to MX races these days anyway and hope the boat will not be necessary. :D :) :D Please note that I build my own hitches, carrier, and a super-duty ladder frame under the entire rear portion of the motorhome. Overkill is peace of mind!
Once they move up to 80cc and beyond...?

  • rockieman

Posted February 27, 2003 - 04:13 AM

#12

I do the double trailers... I put an inch and a quarter receiver on the back of my 10' Coleman pop-up and pull a three rail (light weight) trailer. My camper is fairly new so it came equipped with brakes and a sway bar which I would highly recommend due to the tendancy of the motorcycle trailer to whip at higher speeds. I live in Colorado and did research (called the Highway Patrol) and found out there are no laws with regards to pulling two trailers. You do have to be under 55' (total length) in order to be in compliance of the law.
This setup works good for me!
:)

  • Sean_McCutcheon

Posted February 27, 2003 - 04:23 AM

#13

Rockieman, Did you buy a receiver hitch made for your coleman camper or did you have to do some modifications. Where do I find them at?

  • rockieman

Posted February 27, 2003 - 05:15 AM

#14

It took some effort to find a weld shop that would do the job, most did not want to touch it due to potential liabilities....It was kind of humorous when I bought the camper, a dealer down in Colorado Springs would not sell me the camper after I told them my intentions of putting a hitch on the rear.....even after I told them I had done the same with my '95 Coleman trailer. The dealer I did buy from told me I would likely void the warranty on my frame should I put a hitch on the back.....Having done it before...this did not concern me. The weld shop that installed the hitch basically built one from scratch... that they welded up between the two main frame rails that run the length of the camper. $220 later....I was in business.....I wouldn't tow anything too heavy...but my holsclaw trailer (maybe 150 lbs.) and a couple of bikes, can't have a tongue weight of more than a hundred pounds.
If you're interested I could pull the camper out this weekend and snap a couple of photos to send you. They did a sweet job of installing this hitch.

  • xrracer36

Posted February 27, 2003 - 07:20 AM

#15

My idea depends on how big the trailer is and how full you load it inside, but...
i have a friend who puts this big camper trailer behind his truck. in the back of the trailer, he put a door off the left side, a tailgate style, looks like a draw bridge door. you could use a hydaulic system to raise and lower the door. if i remember right, he just put some big heavy garage door prings on it and it works fine for him.
that's only if you have room to laod your bike(s) inside. keeps scoots out of weather and enclosed from theives while traveling, too.
racer36 :)

  • SDAVE55

Posted February 27, 2003 - 08:04 AM

#16

Sean,
I'd have to agree with UTVOLS. There are plenty of bumper manufactures that have recievers built into the front for applications like yours or your local fab shop should do it fairly cheep. Then get a moto carrier and go. Only problem with bike on the front is bugs, easy enough to clean though
good luck.

  • Sean_McCutcheon

Posted March 04, 2003 - 06:59 AM

#17

Rockieman could you send me some pictures of your coleman camper with the hitch on it? I would appreciate it.

Email: sean.mccutcheon@safelite.com

  • newrider

Posted March 04, 2003 - 02:58 PM

#18

You've got alot of great ideas here...here's another.

Using the standard 2" receiver type hitch on your blazer consider gettin one of those hitch-type motorcycle carriers and then modifying it. Imagine if your bike carrier had a female receiver welded to the backside. Now you'd put in your standard hitch into the bike carrier and hookup the trailer. Another advantage to this setup would it's dual use. Carry the bike and no trailer...piece of cake, nothing extra to do...trailer w/o bike, we'll you got that right now.

  • starttman

Posted March 04, 2003 - 04:40 PM

#19

i have been in the welding business for 20 years.. i have put on every kind of hitch imaginable.

I do not recommend mounting a bike to the front of a vehicle...

2 reasons.- airflow blockage for engine cooling
-headlight and signal light obstruction.

if your camper/rv has any kind of frame rails you CAN put an effective hitch there.

this is what i do.

the rear bumper usually consists 1/16th inch tubing that is usually used to hold a septic station hose. it is only built as a bumper and is not load bearing.

i use a 3/16 wall thicknees square receiver 2 inches i.d.(inside demension), i attach the tubing to the rear bumper and let it pertrude 30 inches under the camper.on the end(underneath) i attach a peice of 3 inch angle iron and have it run perpendicular to the hitch.. i attach both sides to the frame rails, then i run another cross member right behind the bumper to handle the tongue weight. i attach the receiver to both crossmembers .

all attachments are done with 1/8th diameter 6011 welding rods. i run a 3/16th bead at all points of contact . use about 100-120 amps, depends on how thick the frame rails are.if the frame is really thin i use 035 mig wire and run a mig gun using 75/25 gas. if its welded with mig all paint and undercoat needs to be removed. with 6011 stick it burns through the paint and crud.

i make sure the hitch has a 5/8 hole drilled center about 2 inches back from the end. you can use a hitch pin to secure the male insert.

there are many companies that make carriers to hold bikes that attach to hitches.you can use one of them or you can get one built. what i usually do is make an 1" angle iron
rectangular frame i make it the width of the camper minus 2 inches on each side about 2 feet wide. i weld the male tube to the bottum of the frame in the center then weld expanded lighweight metal grating to the frame. i make an aluminum channel that bolts to the frame in the center. the bike will sit in the channel . i angle the channel up for the front wheel i make the channel deep enough to put a pin through the spokes of the front wheel for safty and security.i weld eye bolts on all 4 corners of the frame to attach the tie downs.i make a ramp similar to the bike rail and weld 2 bolts to the frame that match up with 2 holes in the ramp.drilled out the ends of the bolts and put linch pins in to secure the ramp when it is being transported.

to avoid slop in the hitch i would suggest using a bolt instead of a hitch pin when you tighten the bolts it keeps the hitch from rattling and moving around.

the reason for making a rectangular frame is so you have room to put gas cans , tool box, cooler, ect. its also nice to have if your not carrying a bike and need extra cargo hauling capacity ...beer, fire wood, ect.i make the aluminum bike channel removable.

another option for added stability is using 2 receivers on the rear and build the frame accordingly.. this involves more labor but totally eliminates any rattle or sway.

the tongue weight problem can be rectified by moving the rear axel back about a foot.or you can get sway stabilizers for the camper hitch.

total cost to fabricate this project

$275.00 for hitch

$225.00 for bike carrier

125.00 to reset axel

prices include material and labor.

hope this info is helpful.sorry to make this so long.

chris startt

  • starttman

Posted March 04, 2003 - 04:55 PM

#20

newrider your idea has good intentions but... the strength will be compromised.thats a lot of toungue weight hanging out there. you could try it and see .. but the liability issue would factor in. the system i just described could be removed and installed in the hitch of the blazer when the camper is not being used.

good idea. nevertheless :)




 
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