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Old 06-13-2012, 06:38 AM   #1
mgm
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Front Wheel Motorcycle Dolley on a hitch in rear of Airstream?

Been reading alot of threads lately about Motorcyles and the use of the Airstream, and I have the same problem. I am planning a long trip out west when I get back from Afghanistan this summer and would love to have my 575lb sportster with me and have been looking at options.

I have an 2007 Silverado LTZ 6.0 with an extra leaf and although I have the power to pull the camper and the Bike in back, I would rather have my bed free and less weight on my axles.

With that in mind, I have already been looking at hauling options when I m not towing the trailer and the front wheel dolley's mounted on a hitch seem to fit my needs. ( I carry a Kayak and Surfboard and camping supplies in my bed)
Cycle-Tow Motorcycle Trailer & Wheel Chock
So I find it hard to believe that I couldnt get that system to work on the back of my trailer.

I understand the weight and the distance from the axles and the same old arguement that is always brought up when people try to add weight rear of the axles. But the system I am looking at weighs a mere 60 pounds, which I m sure is equivalent to what some people store in thier bumpers alone.

To counter the weight of the front end of the bike, I m going to take a look and see if I can cantilever the hitch when I mount it to disperse the weight closer to the rear axles.

I m only speculating here, but I doubt the weight of the bike would be more then 175 pounds on that hitch and if i can have a handy welder mount the hitch to disperse that weight well: I think this may be worth trying.

Obviously backing up would be an issue, since the bike would be like a small trailer and be prone to jack knifing, but I doubt the 55 inches of the bike that extend past the wheel, which will be secured in a chock would cause much issue.

Let me know what you think, its mid day here in Afghanistan and my wheels are turning....
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:34 AM   #2
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MGM,

First off, thank-you for your service, and I hope you and your comrades all make it home safe and sound.

Second, the biggest issue you might run into is that not all states allow double towing. And some states that allow double towing only allow it if the first trailer is a 5th wheel. Something to consider anyway if you plan on making cross country trips.

I now the recommendation is to never put a hitch or any extra weight on the rear of an airstream. But now, airstream makes a rear mounted bike carrier. Plus, you have a newer unit, so maybe it would ok? Hopefully some of the very experienced folks on the forums will chime in for you.

Chris
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Old 06-13-2012, 07:40 AM   #3
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I thank you as well!
I think Minno is correct....I believe you would get the opportunity to meet Johnny Law frequently. Unfortunately, IMO, you need a 2500 and the bike needs to be in the bed. Even with my 205lb scooter and about 225lbs of inflatable boat and outboard, a 1500 doesn't work, due to rear axle capacity.

(other misc "stuff" in the bed as well)
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:28 AM   #4
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The photo I posted was prior to me inputting an additional leaf spring on each side of my rear suspension, or utilizing my Equalizer...The truck now carries the load much easier.

The States I wish to travel in with my Motorcyle in tow, with the exception of PA all allow me to dual tow the toys.

Obviously I dont wish to do harm to my camper, but I really think, I can find a way to safely add a hitch that can handle the stress of the front wheel of my motorcyle and the force acted on it by rolling down the road.

I have read all the threads about the rear end seperating and how the "factory says this" and "says that" and I m not looking to attach it to the original bumper, rather creating something that I can weld and mount, and perhaps use bolts to secure to equally disperse the force.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:34 AM   #5
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An extra leaf does not increase your rear axle capacity necessarily. What ever is the weakest common denominator in the axle SYSTEM is the limiting factor in capacity. Could be:

1) spring hangers
2) frame (probably not)
3) springs
4) axle shafts
5) axle housing
6) axle bearings
7) wheel studs
8) wheels
9) tires
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:51 AM   #6
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>>Let me know what you think

You're asking, even begging, for trouble!
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:57 AM   #7
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I don't think carrying capacity of the truck is the issue. As long as it has the towing capacity and he doesn't come close to or exceed the total hauling and carrying capacity of the truck (CVWR), it should be fine. The airstream is more the question for MGM as I understand him - can he safely attach the motorcycle tow bar to the frame of the trailer without causing damage to his airstream? On my ’72, the answer would be a flat out no. On his 2007, is the frame heavy duty enough to handle it? And would there be any concerns regarding the airstream axles? My personal opinion is no, don't do it. But, that's me.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:00 AM   #8
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Find out the specs on your axel. If it can handle the load you can always add springs to get the ride height where you want it. You could put some of your toys in the trailer to make room in the bed. I would not put anything heavier than a bicycle on the back of the trailer.

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Old 06-13-2012, 10:54 AM   #9
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anyone have anything to add other then just "no"

I am really not concerned with my truck towing the camper.....It does just fine and it handles the load to my liking. So the advice is noted on my TV, but thats not goal of my post.

I understand that everyone is afraid to put any undue stress on the trailer past the axles and I have taken the Factory Tours and comprehend how the trailers are made and how the skin and the frame get their strength from each other and how any addional stress can damage the rivets that hold those two structural components together at the frame, and cause them to separate

I guess what I am asking, is if everyone really believes that the added weight, at such a low center of gravity, if cantilevered forward near the axles, and dispersed on each side to long mounting brackets on the frame,would still cause that much torsion, and not simply translate to some degraded form of downward pressure on the frame, which in my opinion the frame should be stout enough to handle the pressure if I disperse the weight on wide platform on each side when I would mount the hitch.

Since the weight is low, and my Motorcycle will still be in contact with the ground and the fulcrum to extend the reciever and/or the hitch will recieve the blunt of the force, before anything is acted upon hitch or the mount I would fabricate. I really think this idea isn't as adverse as everyone assumes if some thought is put into it.

Again, this is just all my opinion and instead of just "no" or "i wouldnt do it" comments. If someone can actually describe to me in some detail other then "the factory say this " or other hearsay comments based on commonly held advice that any modifications rear of the axles will weaken the trailer.

I m open to hear your ideas
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:06 AM   #10
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Again,it is the legality of the bike trailing the trailer. I KNOW it is illegal in the states I most commonly travel in. They only allow 5th wheels to tow anything behind....and that's in only some of the states. The rest don't allow it at all.
I have no clue how a trailed motorcycle stresses the rear of the AS with only the front wheel as a vertical load.

I believe motorbikes belong in the bed of the truck....thus my comments about axle load. I know you can pull the AS and you tongue weight is not excessive.....but when you add the bike, people, toys and stuff to the truck, it has been my experience you will be over the stated RAWR of the truck.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:00 PM   #11
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IF you wish to review which states allow Dual or Triple towing you can cite the following source or any state DMV or BMV department.
http://www.towingworld.com/articles/TowingLaws.htm

And you are correct, you live in Illinois and is it is only legal for 5th wheels there. That rule holds true for Arizona, Michigan, and Minnesota as well.

It is Illegal for any Trailer to pull anything in Alabama, Conneticut, Delaware, DC, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington.

So yes, I would not be served well to travel the East Coast with this set up, If I so decided to move forward in an attempting to install a hitch on my camper with the purpose of pulling my motorcycle.

But the other 28 states in the lower 48, to include my own- I would be legal.

Duly noted on the laws which I would have to follow, definately a consideration worth knowing before. Thanks for bringing it up
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:03 PM   #12
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I think that if you built a frame work out of 3" or 4" channel & bolted it to both axles then ran it aft and attached your tow hitch to that it would work. However ground clearance might be a problem. Also you need to keep an eye on your tongue weight to make sure it is not less than 10% of your trailer weight when the bike is added to the rear.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:22 PM   #13
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I'd put the bike in the truck, and if it wouldn't fit, I'd get a bigger truck.

Thanks for your service, MGM.
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:05 PM   #14
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the only issue I would be concerned with, MGM, would be that while you are towing you will not be able to see the cycle. If there was an issue, such as a tire blowing, you wouldn't see it. You might want to invest in a back up camera. Otherwise sounds like you've thought it thru - go for it.

Kay
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