small trailers/hitches

Can anyone direct me to a place that is knowlegeable about hitches/trailers. I would like to get a small trailer (two bikes, one if nec), and a hitch. The problem I have is that the universal hitches don't fit my car, and the one hitch I did find that was listed for my car doesn't look like it would fit. The exhaust on my car comes out the middle of the rear of the car.

I noticed in an older post someone mentioning 'class II and class III' hitches, but I wasn't sure what the difference was. Basically, I just want to be able to not have to rely on other people to get my bike places. Anyone try the 'fold up' trailers? The car is an old (1988) bmw 5 series. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks,

Mark

Mark,

A Beemer may be tough to do. I would try a U-Haul Dealer to see if one is available. You can also go a custom hitch route.

The different classes refer basically to tongue weight of the trailer. I think a tongue weight of 100# is a class 1. I have used a 4x8 trailer extensively. I pulled one behind my Camaro and T-Bird. I have succesfully fit 2 bikes on it easily enough. You may have to flip one around so it faces aft (the bars bang into each other).

You want some tongue weight. By carefully positioning the bike, you can keep your tongue weight < 100#.

I have used a folding trailer once. It was my Father's. It folded up on me on the freeway. My experience dictates a double thumbs down on those things. A tilt bed is fine, and I do own one of those now. I picked up my trailer at Home Depot. There are two models, a 5x8 and a 4x8. Mine is the 5. It cost $500.

Good Luck, Mark!!

[This message has been edited by Kevin in New Hampshire (edited 09-23-2000).]

40 mpg bike hauler.... no trailer

If gas prices are going to stay this high forever (and they might).... I have this idea to fab up a light weight bumper rack device and mount it on the back of an economy car.

You would lift up the front wheel of the bike or bikes and put it in it's 'chock' and tie down the h-bars to the rack and let the rear wheel sit on the pavement.... but of course I you would use an old junk lightweight rear wheel ass'y off an old enduro or streetbike....Get there.... put the rear tire back on and ride.

The advantages.... 40 mpg... no trailer, no tr. lights, no tr. wheel brgs and tires, no tr. storage, no tr. plates... the bike(s) is considered by law to be part of the car.

Disadvantages.... can't haul enough gear to camp for 3 days... car is not capable of getting deep off road... have to switch rear wheel when you get there/leave...... Uh... you won't look cool.

This is not a new idea... a company used to sell them 18 years ago, and a friend of mine moved to Tahoe by hauling his CB900F to CA from MI on a Ford Fiesta with one of these... he says the bike leans weird when you turn the car, no other problems.

I am not poor by any means, I just like the idea of doing a 400 mile round trip on 10 or 12 gallons of gas split between 2 people...$8... And in fact I may never do this, I just think it's a good idea, especially for someone who doesn't want a truck or trailer or doesn't have a lot of money.

I have had good luck with my folding trailer. You just have to assemble them correctly and ensure the one you buy has good hardware.

I got mine from Harbor Freight...its a 4 x 8'and has the 12" wheels on it. It has really quality hardware with it. Nylock nuts, wiring harness, tailights, liscensing paperwork, security chains, hitch, etc... all for $219.00 I used 3/4" plywood on it.

Its a little flexy since its not tubular steel...but its good and light making it really easy to move by hand and to pull.

I regularly haul two full size thumpers and a mini bike on it with no problems whatsoever.

The only way one could accidentaly fold is if several 3/8" carriage bolts with nylock nuts fell out of the locking mechanism in the middle (on both sides), even then...they fold up, not down. Not very likely is what Im saying.

I've got the folding 4x8 from Harbour Freight too. The only problems I've had with it are the dust seal falling off of one hub and the 8" wheels it came with were too small to get in and out of the driveway without scraping. Putting 12" wheels on helped a lot. If you're inventive you can fit two or more bikes on it. I've got two hoops offset so one bike is further forward to make tow fit. I've also been able to fit a bike and a 3-wheeler on it, but had to extend the bed over the tow bar. There shouldn't be any problems with the trailers folding up as there are 4 bolts that hold down the rear folding section.

Mark, (tripm)

I have a Da'Lan hitch on my BMW E36. They make quality hitches for all makes of BMWs. Mine is a Class II which is 2000lb weight limit with 200lbs on the tongue...plenty for my crappy utility trailer and bikes.

As far as where to find one, I think I used Hitch-It. Try calling 1-800-Hitchit or search for them on the web (sorry I can't be more help with this.)

Tripm,

If your near North Carolina, I can hook you up with a local guy who builds trailers. I bought a 5 x 8, 3500 axle, 15" wheels, ermovable ramp tailgate, diamond plate floor and front tire stops for three bikes. All for $600.

But it may be moer weight than you want to pull with your Bimmer?

Bill

------------------

86TT225, 98CR80, 99WR, WR timing, throttle stop trimmed, air box lid removed, White Bros head pipe, silencer and air filter. Odometer and headlight removed. Moose hand and mud guards. YZ stock tank and IMS seat. Renthal Jimmy Button "highs" and Renthal Soft half waffle grips. AMA, SETRA.

You can try www.hitch-web.com and see what you find.

Ok, so, against some probably good advise (Kevin, among others), I went for the folding trailer. Here's why: 3 motorcycles, three sets of tires for my car, and anywhere from 3 to 10 bicycles in on half of a small 2 car garage. I met a guy on the trails who had the same Harbor Freight trailer, and he said he had good luck with it, so I went for it. 2-4 weeks delivery, but NO SHIPPING charge! I couldn't believe it. So I got the extra tire and it was $319, plus $4 for handling. $4 for handling? People must be working for nothing....Anyway. My shock came when I went to UHaul for a hitch. With tax and 44 bucks for install, it was near $400! What a bummer. I plan on buying a new car/truck next summer, so that sort of took the shine off my purchase. I have one more place to look, then I'm going to get the hitch. I don't feel like waiting for the hitch if I get the trailer soon. Thanks for all the reply's.

Mark

Ok, so, against some probably good advise (Kevin, among others), I went for the folding trailer. Here's why: 3 motorcycles, three sets of tires for my car, and anywhere from 3 to 10 bicycles in on half of a small 2 car garage. I met a guy on the trails who had the same Harbor Freight trailer, and he said he had good luck with it, so I went for it. 2-4 weeks delivery, but NO SHIPPING charge! I couldn't believe it. So I got the extra tire and it was $319, plus $4 for handling. $4 for handling? People must be working for nothing....Anyway. My shock came when I went to UHaul for a hitch. With tax and 44 bucks for install, it was near $400! What a bummer. I plan on buying a new car/truck next summer, so that sort of took the shine off my purchase. I have one more place to look, then I'm going to get the hitch. I don't feel like waiting for the hitch if I get the trailer soon. Thanks for all the reply's.

Mark

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