hauling scooter(s) with my TT

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

alfapwr

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Posts
16
Howdy y'all,

My first post !!!!

We have a 2006 Jayco JayFeather 31BHS for just about a year now.  Had some prob's but mostly sorted out.  Ours has the big doors on either side of the bunkhouse in the rear of the TT and all 4 bunks fold up.  Currently we out our Honda Ruckus scooter in the bunkhouse/storage area and lash it securely, then pack our heaps of stuff around it.  It's a workable solution but it has it's problems, mostly having to unload all the stuff that stays in the TT, load the scoot, and then reload.  And we want to eventually get a second scoot.

Here's my question:  Our current tow vehicle is a Ford Excursion so we don't have a pickup bed , and we won't be replacing it anytime soon.  My idea is to have a receiver hitch put on the back of the TT and use one of those motorcycle ramp/holders.  They also have double versions.  Would the approx 150 pounds ( one scoot ) or 300 pounds ( two scoots ) hanging off the back throw the weight balance off severly ?  I am using a weight distributing setup already, would that lessen the amount I need to crank up the W-D springs ?    I'm just throwing out ideas, maybe you have a better one ?

Thanks,

Dan Walker
Stevenson Ranch, CA
 

motojavaphil

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
667
Location
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
I currently have a toyhauler to support my two wheel habit.  As we close in on retirement my spouse has indicated she would like a non-toyhauler so I have ended up researching the same stuff you are looking at.  Here are some of the things I have found out:

1.  On a TT balance is extremely important so hitch weight needs to be right on.  Hanging the scooters out there might be a problem with road control.
2.  Strength of frame.  I have heavier machinery and was told the frame of a 5r would have problems hanging more than 500lbs off a reciever hitch as the  5r frame just is not made for more than that.
3.  The cheapest platform I found was at Harbor Freight and it plugs right into the reciever.

Hope this helps.  Personally I would not do this as it is hard on the scooters and balance seems really important.
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
alfapwr said:
Howdy y'all,

My first post !!!!

We have a 2006 Jayco JayFeather 31BHS for just about a year now.? ?Had some prob's but mostly sorted out.? ?Ours has the big doors on either side of the bunkhouse in the rear of the TT and all 4 bunks fold up.? ?Currently we out our Honda Ruckus scooter in the bunkhouse/storage area and lash it securely, then pack our heaps of stuff around it.? ?It's a workable solution but it has it's problems, mostly having to unload all the stuff that stays in the TT, load the scoot, and then reload.? And we want to eventually get a second scoot.

Here's my question:? Our current tow vehicle is a Ford Excursion so we don't have a pickup bed , and we won't be replacing it anytime soon.? ?My idea is to have a receiver hitch put on the back of the TT and use one of those motorcycle ramp/holders.? They also have double versions.? ?Would the approx 150 pounds ( one scoot ) or 300 pounds ( two scoots ) hanging off the back throw the weight balance off severly ?? ?I am using a weight distributing setup already, would that lessen the amount I need to crank up the W-D springs ?? ? I'm just throwing out ideas, maybe you have a better one ?

Thanks,

Dan Walker
Stevenson Ranch, CA

Well welcome and hope you post a few more.

A trailer needs to be nose heavy for stability.  That nose heaviness is reflected in tongue weight -- which is the force that bears on the hitch ball.    When you load weight behind the axles of the trailer you are shifting the center of gravity of the trailer backwards and lessening the nose heaviness.  That in turn decreases the trailer's stability, adversely affecting safety.

So will 300 lbs on the stern of your trailer destabilize it?    I do not know.  It could be calculated but we would need to know measurements including the various lever arms, the actual tongue weight, and the actual towed weight.    It could be simply weighed after you had rigged the trailer and mounted the scooters.  But then you would have already laid out the bucks and done the deed.

Also there is a real question of what kind of grief you are going to do to the trailer frame.  Trailer frames normally are not built to have hitch receivers mounted on them and there are issues of how it will be done on any give trailer with its particular plumbing arrangement and jack installation.

My standard recommendation is do not mount anything on the back of a TT than a  pair of bicycles.

 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
24,794
Location
Davison Michigan
Well... as you retire  re-tire, (That is get new tires) at least six of them, already mounted, balanced and mounted on a brand new Class A, then trade the SUV in on a light weight (and much more fuel efficent) pick up, with ramps, and you have it made.

Advantages MORE ROOM, Easier set up at campground and better overall gas millage (Your millage going down the road with the full hookup is likely going to be in the 7-9 range (Gasser millage) but when you pull the pins and drive the light-duty pick up it goes up, WAY UP, With a 5er you are likely getting about the same millage hookied, and when you unhook it goes up, but not WAY UP (Perhaps 12 as opposed to 20-30) that can be a big savings in gas.

The 2006 Workhorse gassers are 450 truck horsepower with an allison six speed slush box, ur, tranny.  It don't get much better than that
 

alfapwr

Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Posts
16
Howdy,

Well, the trailers frame rails are very substantial I-beams ( about the only thing substantial on this thing - why are ALL rv's built like CRAP ??? ) so I think they could handle one scoot.  Not sure about two.  I'd be curious how the thing would handle.  I could balance it out a bit by loading the front more.

Dan
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
alfapwr said:
Howdy,

Well, the trailers frame rails are very substantial I-beams ( about the only thing substantial on this thing - why are ALL rv's built like CRAP ??? ) so I think they could handle one scoot.? Not sure about two.? ?I'd be curious how the thing would handle.? I could balance it out a bit by loading the front more.

Dan

Substantial?  4", 5", 6"?

Not all RVs are built like crap, but you pay for the ones that are not in weight and in dollars. 

I would be curioius about the way it would handle too.  The problem is that if it screws up your stability, it will not do so much in routine maneuvering and you will put up with it because you have sunk money in the project.    However, one day in a rainstorm on an interstate with a crosswind, a huge panel van passes you at 75 mph, and everything comes unglued at once.  That is what I would be concerned about. 

 

motojavaphil

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
667
Location
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
I just came across this website in Trailer Life and it may work in this situation:

www.campingtrek.com

Hope this helps!  If any of the experts could weigh in on this concept it would help me as well.  Thanx, Phil
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
fastphil said:
I just came across this website in Trailer Life and it may work in this situation:

www.campingtrek.com

Hope this helps!? If any of the experts could weigh in on this concept it would help me as well.? Thanx, Phil

Interesting.  My biggest issue would be blowouts on those tiny, high speed revolving tires.  I had a utility trailer with 13" wheels pulled behind a Suburban once.  Up in Canada, on the road to Bella Coola, one of those little tires blew.  I did not notice the blowout until a cop flagged me down -- the road surface was less than desirable to say the least.  By then the wheel was gone the skid partially ground thru and the axle spindle was kaput.  In short, dragging the trailer for a few miles totaled it.

I would be curioius to learn how the company has hedged against such disaster.  It certainly would make a case for a Pressure Pro installation.
 

motojavaphil

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
667
Location
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
It is a pricey little puppy as well, around $3000.  Blowout would be my nightmare with this concept.  I like the idea of air pressure sensors but then again we are talking more bucks.  I want to see one on the road and get an owners review.  It could be a great answer to some perplexing questions I have had.  Thanx for the info...Phil
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Both the blow outs with trailers that I have experienced, people had to flag me down to tell me the bad news.  The last blow out was with a TT with tandem axles so that disaster did not occur.
 

motojavaphil

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
667
Location
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Speculation on this sure makes you think.  You could use some of those non-flat tires which would get you where you are going without too much drama.  The other thing I thought of is that the trailer is not like a normal trailer,  being attached directly to the rig so it would seem you would feel a flat as much as you would with your rig.  1000lbs wobbling around back there should draw your attention it would seem.
 

Jim Dick

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Posts
7,651
Location
Titusville, FL
Hi Dan,

There is a formula for computing the weight placed on the rear axle of a motor home when carrying motorcyles/scooters on the rear. I haven't seen one for trailers and the effect would be somewhat different due to the tag axle on most trailers. However I would think the basic principal would still apply. It has to do with the wheelbase and overhang from the rear axle. You can find the formula here: http://www.motorcyclecarrier.net/motorcycle_carrier_cruiser_formula.html

I have a motorcycle that weighs approximately 350lbs. The carrier I was looking at weighs 70lbs. Placing that weight on the rear of my coach would add 650lbs to the axle!! It would also remove weight from the drive axle. As I mentioned, I don't know the effects on a trailer but I would try to find out before putting that kind of weight on the rear.
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
With a trailer, you are working out the effect on the tongue/hitch weight.? ?Trailer stability is dependent on that weight being sufficient to move the center of gravity of the trailer forward to reduce its moment arm on the tow vehicle -- to shorten the leverage it has.? ?For a stable coupler and ball (eg TT) unit that TW should be from 11% to upwards of 16% with the lower limit critical.

The effect on tongue weight? of a weight levered off the rear would be the weight x the distance from the CG of the weight to the rear axle of the trailer divided by the distance from that axle to the trailer coupler.

Consider a trailer 5000 lb trailer which has a rear axle to coupler length of 20 feet and a tongue weight of 600 lbs.? ?Hang 350 lbs on a rack with a CG 10 feet from the rear axle.? ?The effect would be a tongue weight reduction of 350 x 10 = 3500 / 20 = 175 lbs..
Subtract that from the 600 lb tongue weight and you get a new tongue weight of 425 lbs.

Now 600 was 12% of the trailer weight and within generally accepted stability limits.? ?However 425 is 8.5% of trailer weight and we have trouble here in River City folks, we now have an unstable trailer.? One that is going to get blown around all over the road.

 

Jim Dick

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Posts
7,651
Location
Titusville, FL
Carl,

Pretty similar as weight added to a motor home. Too much weight on the rear will decrease load on front axle causing steering problems as well as overloading the rear axle. I wonder if we shouldn't put these formulae in the library so they would be easily accessible to all.
 

motojavaphil

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
667
Location
Rio Rancho, New Mexico
Jim, Carl, The formulas you put forth make sense, however do they apply to the campingtrek configuration?  It would seem you would have tongue weight under 500lbs and less if I read this correctly.  It would appear a blow out would be of greatest concern.
 

Jim Dick

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Posts
7,651
Location
Titusville, FL
fastphil said:
Jim, Carl, The formulas you put forth make sense, however do they apply to the campingtrek configuration?  It would seem you would have tongue weight under 500lbs and less if I read this correctly.  It would appear a blow out would be of greatest concern.

Increased weight on the rear equals increased weight on the axle equals increased weight on the tires. Yes, a blowout would be of great concern as well as loss of control.
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
fastphil said:
Jim, Carl, The formulas you put forth make sense, however do they apply to the campingtrek configuration?? It would seem you would have tongue weight under 500lbs and less if I read this correctly.? It would appear a blow out would be of greatest concern.

Remember I was using a hypothetical trailer tho one with reasonable dimension.  For any real situation you need to make actual measurements.

The Campertrek is uncoupled vertically because it is pivoted vertically.  However, as far as I can see, it is coupled horizontally.  In a yaw condition it will effect the CG of the trailer adversely.  Use the Campertrek with a robust anti-sway control system.
 
Top Bottom