Cross Country Towing Options

holligl

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#21
I have a similar need and after searching for trailers for a couple of weeks, scored an older motorcycle trailer that holds two full size bikes or three dirt bikes. Wood deck, new wiring/lights and new tires, for $425. That's less than Uhaul wanted for the one way trailer with a enclosed trailer and less than a third of what a new or larger flat bed open trailer with a rear ramp would have cost me. Doing a 1650 mile move. UT to MS. I'll probably keep the trailer for future use. We plan on picking up a couple of used 250s for poking around fire roads.

Just saying that there are deals if you hunt for them. CL, Ebay, FaceBook marketplace and local advertising, keep an eye on them all.
I will keep looking. Some I've found didn't have titles, and not sure what the process is to get one street legal. Sounds like you got a good deal.

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EricV

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#22
I will keep looking. Some I've found didn't have titles, and not sure what the process is to get one street legal. Sounds like you got a good deal.
Mine has an AZ title and the seller had it pre-signed and notarized, which was a nice touch. No plate. In many states, while you may or may not have a title, no plate is required unless you are using in commercially. When we get to MS, I'll have to verify if I need a plate, but I will get the title transferred. In UT and OR, no title for non-commercial trailers and no plate required. Verify for your state to see what the needs are. I see trailers that I'm pretty sure don't need plates in some states, but have them. Apparently if you want to get a plate, they are happy to take your money and issue one, regardless of if you really need one or not!

Oh, if you need to get a title/plate, you will need a serial number or VIN. Mine just has a S/N that's much shorter than a standard 17 digit VIN. But it's older too, from the '70's. Some manufacturer or perhaps they do assembled vehicle? Mine is an EZ-Tow, but I don't see anywhere that it says that except the title...
 

holligl

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#23
Define "limited" storage space. Illinois I get, but since most Arizonans have some sort of toy, parking possibilities are abundant. The two houses I rented when I lived in Phoenix both had more than enough room.

Now comes the next question, how late in the season do you plan on leaving Illinois? Sure, a small open trailer, especially a fold up style like the Kendon is easier to store, but given the weather elements, and the stops along the way, a small enclosed trailer would go a long way towards keeping your ST safe and secure, and you can turn it into a portable garage with tools and supplies for the bike...
Two car garage for two vehicles and the bike in IL, plus a 12x12 shed in the back yard. Two car garage and a short driveway in AZ for 1 car and bike.

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#24
Harbor Freight has actually suspended their trailer sales, due to tire failure issues. I would be interested in hearing people experiences with these lower cost trailers. If I thought they would reliably do the job, and handle ~75mph I might bite.

Depending on timing the Ride and Fly would be a blast and my personal favorite. Not sure my wife agrees however. She leaning toward leaving the bike in Illinois...

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Ah, OK, you got me on that one. I mentioned HF because of the positive reviews I've heard from others. Didn't know about their being discontinued.

I can speak with certainty about Tractor Supply trailers though, having happily owned one for 10+ years, with friends similarly satisfied. Aside from the tendency toward surface rust, they're solid.

Anyway, can't help with the wife situation, but I hope you do the fly-bike trip (and post the experience). Take lots of pics.
 

sumwon

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#25
Did you buy new for $1200? The web site looks like $2000+. I have seen these on the road.

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$1200 used, but these things are built like tanks, so I had no issue buying used. It will support a much heavier bike then the S10 and it tows like a dream. It can be a pill to swallow, but well worth it in my opinion not to lose the bike on the highway far away from home.
 

holligl

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#26
I guess the first question should be how money is too much for any of these options? How much is the one-way trailer rental?

Next question. Who would want to leave Illinois in the winter?
One way rental is around $500 each way (plus additional gas). I figure ride costs (~$.15/mile) with hotels and a cheap flight back are ~$750. A decent trailer for ~$1000 would be great.

4 months of AZ riding - Priceless!

This last winter in IL was enough for us to pull the trigger in AZ. You must have a short memory!

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holligl

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#27
I have a tractor supply wood bed 5x8 ft. trailer for sale with a 1 7/8" coupler and a mounted Harbor Freight Chock. I bought it to take my super tenure across to South Dakota to start my summer trip. (Working on the ride report for this site now). I bought the used trailer for $750.00 and put the $90.00 chock on from Harbor Freight. This all happened in early June and never used it once. I could not trust that my Honda Fit would be able to survive the trip with the transmission sounding stressed and shifting weird. So I rode the Super Tenere 7760 miles in a month. Great trip and glad I did not trailer. But I have no need for the trailer now. I am in South Jersey.
New Jersey would be a long haul for a trailer. You could PM me some pictures for comparison shopping though. With a proper tow vehicle would it handle interstate speeds?

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dannyv

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#28
Cheap trailers have cheap tires, I learned the hard way. That said, an enclosed trailer makes a nice storage place, a mini garage. Would there be other things you might want to have with you for the Winter, that would over-fill the Ford? Toss stuff in the trailer! In the long run, it won't cost you much, trailers do not depreciate quite as fast as cars, if you take care of them. Now that I have a good trailer, I find all sorts of things to use it for. Lawn tractor to the dealer for service. Kid moving into his first house. Taking bike in for service. Buying new bike without wife's approval! (not really, I would not do that. But maybe if she did not have time to run me to the dealer-). And in a pinch, I could use the trailer as a camper, a dry place to sleep. Just- buy decent tires. And load the bike into the middle, if you are only hauling one bike. My $.02
 

holligl

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#29
holligl
I have one of them small harbor freight trailers with a wood top.
You can have it to use for as long as you want.
It would need new tires, lights and wiring-- dogs tore all that off
That offer said, --- I would not put my Tenere on that cheap junk to go further than across town.
Thanks for the offer Steve. One of these trips back I can swing by and take a look at it. Like you said, the low end trailers are ok for around town, but not sure about long distance. Is it licensed?

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holligl

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#30
Cheap trailers have cheap tires, I learned the hard way. That said, an enclosed trailer makes a nice storage place, a mini garage. Would there be other things you might want to have with you for the Winter, that would over-fill the Ford? Toss stuff in the trailer! In the long run, it won't cost you much, trailers do not depreciate quite as fast as cars, if you take care of them. Now that I have a good trailer, I find all sorts of things to use it for. Lawn tractor to the dealer for service. Kid moving into his first house. Taking bike in for service. Buying new bike without wife's approval! (not really, I would not do that. But maybe if she did not have time to run me to the dealer-). And in a pinch, I could use the trailer as a camper, a dry place to sleep. Just- buy decent tires. And load the bike into the middle, if you are only hauling one bike. My $.02
Valid points all around. Storage of a covered trailer in AZ would be too tight though.

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holligl

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#31
I know the S10 is not to be towed in neutral with the rear wheel on the ground, due to likely drive train lubrication issues. It did occur to me that if the cushion hub could be removed and replaced with an appropriate spacer the rear wheel would be free spinning without any stress on the drive train. A front wheel hitch mount could be easily fabricated, and auxiliary lights added.
So no one's touching this concept? Has anyone towed a different bike with the front wheel up and the rear wheel rolling?


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OldRider

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#32
So no one's touching this concept? Has anyone towed a different bike with the front wheel up and the rear wheel rolling?


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I've seen it done back in the day with chain drive bikes. You wanted to be sure and take the chain off so as the transmission shafts weren't turning.
 

holligl

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#33
I know the S10 is not to be towed in neutral with the rear wheel on the ground, due to likely drive train lubrication issues. It did occur to me that if the cushion hub could be removed and replaced with an appropriate spacer the rear wheel would be free spinning without any stress on the drive train. A front wheel hitch mount could be easily fabricated, and auxiliary lights wired up.
As I thought about this this morning I realized the steering geometry would not be good, the front wheel held vertical during any turns. Going straight down the road would probably work fine, but parking lot and in-town maneuvers would put too much stress on the steering stem.
 

AVGeek

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#34
I've had trailers from HF, along with Big Tex, Interstate and now Carson. Carson is a west coast based manufacturer, so you would only see a dealer once you got to AZ. That being said, I picked up a 6.5x10 trailer brand new, with ramp, for right around $1800. Little bigger than you need for hauling a single bike, but they do make smaller trailers:

http://www.carsontrailer.com/subs/trailers/utility/mini/mini.html
 

dannyv

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#35
Valid points all around. Storage of a covered trailer in AZ would be too tight though.

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I missed the part about you had to put it away. Glad our HOA has few rules. My trailer sits in the drive year round. As far as the Harbor Freight offer- not sure I'd try a long trip, unless you upgraded the tires from 8 inch to 12 inch. Do the math- an 8 inch tire has to turn a lot faster then your car tires!

-Dan
 
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EricV

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#36
I've had trailers from HF, along with Big Tex, Interstate and now Carson. Carson is a west coast based manufacturer, so you would only see a dealer once you got to AZ. That being said, I picked up a 6.5x10 trailer brand new, with ramp, for right around $1800. Little bigger than you need for hauling a single bike, but they do make smaller trailers:

http://www.carsontrailer.com/subs/trailers/utility/mini/mini.html
Along those lines, a 5x10 open, flat bed trailer with rear ramp will work great for one bike and is much, much cheaper than the 6 or 6.5' wide trailers. Locally, I find new 5x10 trailers easier to find and often running right about $1000. The local home depot had a made in china 5x10 with tilt down sides, (sides folded to ~45º or so for loading and could be pinned in that position), for $1147. 14" tires and wood deck. Not awesome, and slightly more than a locally manufactured 5x10, but if that was all I could get, I'd have jumped on it as a last resort. You can see those trailers on the Home Depot web site. No idea if there is a store near you.
 

twodogs

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#37
Beware of the open trailer.... bad weather can make for ugly results. I know it's had to believe someone would do this. I figure this is and east coast pic during bike week. This can happen any March.
 

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Madhatter

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#38
a small trailer will be a safer option for transporting, anything ,than dragging something off a bumper.... that being said what ever the cost of purchasing the trailer will cost less in time effort and possible mechanical issues by dragging your bike around by its front wheel... a small trailer will also hold its value better than most things your going to own in your life including that tenere. say you pay 1200.00 for a small trailer after 5 years it will proably ,if in good shape , still be worth almost what you paid for it.... so in the long turn you will not lose much .... everyone needs a trailer at times .... a rental from U-Haul not a bad choice but the trailer is so damn heavy , way overbuilt so amatures can drag them around with out destroying them . a proper small utility trailer will pull like its barely there .... and as for pulling a trailer , running 80 mph not a good plan , not designed for that type of speed no matter the trailer. my best advise is ( advise only ) a small trailer , pulled behind your vehicle as you drive at a moderate pace ( 60 to 65 mph , and remember U-Haul limits its trailers to 45 mph so that if you crash at 70 its on you ) holding your brides hand as you enjoy the ride . enjoy whats between points ' A " to points 'B". and when that day comes sell the trailer and get most of your money back... you may find that a small trailer will come in handy more often than not... good luck.
 

holligl

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#39
my best advise is ( advise only ) a small trailer , pulled behind your vehicle as you drive at a moderate pace ( 60 to 65 mph , and remember U-Haul limits its trailers to 45 mph so that if you crash at 70 its on you ).
UHaul is actually up to 55... their cycle trailer is a beast. When I first got the 2011 Explorer, they wouldn't even rent a trailer for that updated model, due to the prior model Explorer exploding tire/roll over issues.


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