Carrying 550 lbs bike and carrier on 500 lb hitch

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Duke D

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May 6, 2021
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Kelowna, BC
Have a 2014 Winnebago View, would like info on carrying a 474 lb Burgman on the trailer hitch. With carrier 550 lbs
Is this asking for trouble ?

Thanks for your input
 

DonTom

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Apr 21, 2005
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Auburn, CA or Reno, NV or Cold Springs Valley, NV
Have a 2014 Winnebago View, would like info on carrying a 474 lb Burgman on the trailer hitch. With carrier 550 lbs
Is this asking for trouble ?

Thanks for your input
Is your tongue weight capacity 500 lbs? 10% above seems a bit over what I would feel safe with. And that is a lot of weight to be on the rear of an RV anyway.

BTW, I carry my Zero DS 7.2 KWH battery electric motorcycle on my motorhome hitch, only 317 lbs. Goes up the ramp on its own power, no clutch to deal with and the sidebags and travel trunk are removable. Seems to me the Burgman would be a poor choice to carry on a hitch. But I do know it has an automatic tranny and no clutch, but it won't have the very good slow speed throttle response of an electric, which is fully adjustable (via a Smarthphone via Bluetooth), but the eco mode works fine for such stuff as going up the ramp on its own power, but I can adjust it to anything.

I have done thousands of miles in my RV with my setup. Very handy. Very easy to load and unload with just one person and no help.

IMO, it's the perfect bike for an RV ramp. I do all my grocery shopping with it when the RV is parked.

The ramp I use needs no ropes. ABHD

-Don- Reno, NV
 

John Canfield

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Welcome to the forum! Is 550 pounds the tongue capacity - that's not quite clear from your post.

Edit - never mind, that was in the subject :sleep:
 
Last edited:

jubileee

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Dec 17, 2013
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683
I’ve installed pre fabricated and fabricated many hitches in my life. (I’m over 80).
I’ve always used a 4 to 1 safety factor (on NEW hitches and installs) and have seen that factor repeatedly and excessively ignored for prolonged periods of operations without any consequences. Many times by me.
I’m not advocating any overloading of any thing by anyone, just passing on what I know and what I’ve seen.
How attached, what attached to are usually the weak areas. Any good welding shop can inspect and spot potential problems.
 

Old_Crow

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Mammoth Lakes, California
If it was a manufactured hitch with a 5000# tow rating and a 500# hitch weight limit, properly installed to the coach, I wouldn't worry about being 50#s overweight on a load that's just going to hang there. Surely less stress on the hitch than the 5000# trailer would put on it.

I would first inspect the frame of the motor home. Some have extensions welded to them in the rear that are, shall we say, less than adequate for that type of usage.

I have a friend who carries a Harley bagger on one of those hydraulic lifts designed for diesel pushers that is mounted to the rear of his gas coach. His coach is the same size as mine(37')with a 14' long overhang. After his first trip he had to have a bunch of bracing added. I don't like his setup, because of the long overhang, I think it probably takes too much weight off the front axle.
 

Tom55555

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Jan 1, 2018
Posts
910
Have a 2014 Winnebago View, would like info on carrying a 474 lb Burgman on the trailer hitch. With carrier 550 lbs
Is this asking for trouble ?

Thanks for your input
We normally bring two e-bikes and my KLR650. I use a dual 2" receiver. I put the bikes on a bike rack and pull the KLR650 on a little trailer.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At our Silver Springs FL home
It's all guesswork. An engineer estimated that the hitch reciever can safely handle 500 lbs of down force. He based that on some average installation and use assumptions and allowed some safety margin, none of which we know or can evaluate independently. We could probably agree that 1# over is no big deal. Is a 50# overage too much? What about 60#? At some point the receiver is going to be damaged. Your guess is as good as any. My guess is that +50 lbs would make me nervous.
 

Loose Nut

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Cochise Stronghold... or damned near it.
I have a friend who carries a Harley bagger on one of those hydraulic lifts designed for diesel pushers that is mounted to the rear of his gas coach. His coach is the same size as mine(37')with a 14' long overhang. After his first trip he had to have a bunch of bracing added. I don't like his setup, because of the long overhang, I think it probably takes too much weight off the front axle.

Excellent point, that sort of leverage can affect the handling characteristics of the rig... factor in strong winds and things get funky, if not downright dangerous. I wouldn't want a heavy bike & lift at the end of an overhang that long, and that bracing added weight too. Old Crow is right on the money with this observation. If I wind up buying an RV, which is a strong possibility in the near future, I'm going to haul an Enduro or big ol' thumper around with me, but it won't weigh anywhere near as much as a Harley, and the rig I buy probably won't have the long overhang either.
 

oldryder

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Nov 8, 2017
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329
I use a small aluminum trailer. light enough to move around by hand (which is a very important point) and remarkably handy for somewhere to put things you thought of at the last minute. The only thing you give up over the hitch rack is the ability to back up at will and thats usually not a big deal.
 

Jim18655

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Nov 27, 2017
Posts
134
Some of the hitches I've seen have restrictions on bike carriers - even for bicycles. I think it's due to the torque of the carrier twisting the hitch in ways it wasn't designed to handle. The brand-name hitch I put on my car cautioned about using a carrier and it requires ties to the car to stabilize the bicycles.
 

John From Detroit

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Apr 12, 2005
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Davison Michigan
I’ve installed pre fabricated and fabricated many hitches in my life. (I’m over 80).
I’ve always used a 4 to 1 safety factor (on NEW hitches and installs) and have seen that factor repeatedly and excessively ignored for prolonged periods of operations without any consequences. Many times by me.

You sound like me.. I designed and built a power supply to provide 3 amps at 12.6 volts (I still have it somewhere) once drew over 10 amps off it with.. Well a solder joint melted. That was the only damage.

But that's you.. RV's are Us are more likely to save the 50 cents than to add an a bit more capacitity.

I'd like to think they give you 10% or to be more precise 20... But why spend a penny if you don't have to.

And the reason I returned to this thead was to talk about the lift arm and how this puts TORQUE on the cross bar.

My RV came with a 5000 pound rated hitch (It only had 4000 towing capacity but that was for other reasons) I put a 4,000 pound car behind it on a 4" drop and it tore the cross bar right off the frame.. Simpson and Sons Services in Indiana (The road out of Cininnati that runs N.W. into indiana) they do mostly Train Trucks (The wheels under train cars) They rebuilt the brackets that tore apart.... A bit ...er... Stronger... than the original (like 4 or 5 times as strong) no further issues.
 

Isaac-1

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Dec 3, 2016
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4,579
Location
SW Louisiana
Don't do it, that 500 pound rating is at the hitch, and drops by half every foot you extend the weight back (lever arm). Here is a photo of a guy with a 500ish pound bike on the back of his coach on a custom platform, which was connected to the hitch, plus 2 helper support arms connected to the frame. The day after this photo was taken he went over a bump in central Texas and bent the frame of his coach.
 

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Duke D

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May 6, 2021
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Kelowna, BC
Is your tongue weight capacity 500 lbs? 10% above seems a bit over what I would feel safe with. And that is a lot of weight to be on the rear of an RV anyway.

BTW, I carry my Zero DS 7.2 KWH battery electric motorcycle on my motorhome hitch, only 317 lbs. Goes up the ramp on its own power, no clutch to deal with and the sidebags and travel trunk are removable. Seems to me the Burgman would be a poor choice to carry on a hitch. But I do know it has an automatic tranny and no clutch, but it won't have the very good slow speed throttle response of an electric, which is fully adjustable (via a Smarthphone via Bluetooth), but the eco mode works fine for such stuff as going up the ramp on its own power, but I can adjust it to anything.

I have done thousands of miles in my RV with my setup. Very handy. Very easy to load and unload with just one person and no help.

IMO, it's the perfect bike for an RV ramp. I do all my grocery shopping with it when the RV is parked.

The ramp I use needs no ropes. ABHD

-Don- Reno, NV
Good point, I do have a standup trailer I have had for many moons. Probably a good idea just to tow, would make room for a couple e-bikes too....thanks
 

Ray-IN

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Mar 16, 2014
Posts
249
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North America-somewhere
Perhaps the most important point is the recommendation from the mfgr. to inspect the hitch welds and bolts securing the hitch annually. I watched a Ford Explorer, tow bar, and hitch leave the road and sail off the embankment into a swamp. MH driver was unaware his towed was passing him while veering into the swamp.
 

whiteva

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Feb 15, 2012
Posts
429
Location
North Florida
500# static weight, based on straight and level ground.
Now hit a pothole or a big bump and the "G" force of 3 to 4 "Gs" will send the weight to 1500 or 2000 pounds in less than a second. 550# becomes 1650 or 2200 pounds. Think your rig can withstand that load without bending or breaking. "seen it, done it, barely survived the crash. but the theory was sound in the beginning."
 

John Canfield

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Texas Hill Country
Static load and dynamic load. I wonder how the hitch manufacturer factors in dynamic loading when they load rate a particular hitch. I think the tongue weight rating on my Horizon is 500 pounds but a tow rating of 10,000 pounds which is weird - should have 10% of trailer weight on the tongue which would be 1,000 pounds.
 

Ray-IN

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North America-somewhere
Tell me it was the Henderson Swamp down in Louisiana... I've always wondered how many dead bodies (and vehicles) are in that swamp, lol.
It was a swampy area in Alaska. That Ford SUV was in a thicket of 20' tall saplings. The wrecker that retrieved the SUV had to use 200' of cable to reach it. Oddly enough the owner checked the SUV out, started the engine and drove back N forth several time to check the AT, then drove it about 80 miles to Anchorage where he had the trailer hitch re-welded onto the MH frame.
 
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