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Old 07-28-2004, 09:39 AM   #1
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Question Motorcycles and AS TTs??

For years we've debated the whole MH v. TT issue. I'm sure you've all gone through it ("but then we can't bring the boat", "but this way we can unhitch and go to town w/o knocking down camp", "but this way we can haul the motorcycle too"..etc..etc).

So the misses and I, long-haul Harley tourers have finally decided that for now, we'd like to buy a TT. The decision is based on lower cost of ownership and such.

We'd still like to haul our bike ( a 1999 HDFLHTCUI, which for those not in the know is a fully dressed Harley), along with a TT which we've yet to buy, although we're looking at 2 this weekend.

So I wonder about ways to do this. I've seen 2 alternatives.

One that I saw this weekend at our annual MDA ride. A couple had a ginormous 5th wheel (sob) and on the back of the trailer they had a mechanical lift that they could drive their dresser on and it lifted up. My question on this is, could this be mounted on the back of an AS TT? I'm thinking the 800# bike and whatever the rack weighed would put unacceptible stress on the trailer since it pbbly was not designed to handle such a load, especially that far from the axles.

Here's another I've seen: http://www.tkloader.com This gizmo mounts in your PU truck and allows you a mechanical way to load your bike without the fear of loading on ramps. Has anyone seen or used one of these?

While we've never hauled our bike anywhere (it's a religous thing) we have desire to get to further and further places so we can spend time riding there rather than getting there. Since my wife rides as passenger, I have to do all the driving and it can get pretty tiring after awhile, not to mention the disgust I have for looking for hotel rooms and then having to eat in a crappy restaurant. This way my wife and I could share driving duties to get there quicker.

Any thoughts?
Thanks
JB
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Old 07-28-2004, 10:02 AM   #2
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Another idea for you.

My Aunt and Uncle had a 31ft Airstream and a Honda Goldwing which they carted back and forth to Florida for a number of years (snowbirds). They had a full size Dodge van and by removing the GoldWing's windshield were able to transport it in the back of the van - hook up the Airstream and away they went. They had a ramp that they pushed the Goldwing into the back of the van - no lifting.
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Old 07-28-2004, 10:28 AM   #3
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Van idea

Ya..I thought of the van thing, I could even justify and write off a van for my work. We might consider it. Just have to make sure we have a place setup for our dog to sit while travelling. He likes to look over our shoulders as we drive.

Thanks for the idea!
jb
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Old 07-28-2004, 03:13 PM   #4
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Hi John,

I have an ST1100 which I tour on from time to time. What I really want is a mini-Airstream to tow behind it! Like one of those little teardrop things. But seriously, I have gone round and round on this one. You absolutely can't mount it to the back of the trailer. Not only is it not designed for it, but it would ruin the trailer handling by acting as a pendulum back there.

I think the ideal combo, if you want to ride fairly frequently at places along the way, is to have a truck camper and tow the bikes. You can leave the camper in camp and ride the bikes for transportation. By far the easest access to the bikes, and best load distribution. I would be uncomfortable with an 800 lb bike in a van with me. If you hit something it would be an 800 lb projectile coming at you from behind. Plus any smells and fumes. No thanks. I have considered getting a smaller bike to go in the back of my truck that would be lighter and easier to load/unload, but then I have to get rid of my bed topper, which is where I store all my extra gear and the bicycles. So for now, unfortunately, the bike stays home when I am on the road. Sure miss it when the roads turn twisty!

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

-john
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Old 07-28-2004, 03:20 PM   #5
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Downsize!

I have driven bikes all my life. The only way to continue to drive with our airstreams, is to ride our 1969 Vespa! It is light, and it is comfortable to see the National Parks, once we are there.
F
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Old 07-28-2004, 03:44 PM   #6
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I have several HDs- only the addition of a child changed my traveling style into trailering. Before, I logged in a month as much as 7500 Miles in the US, and 8500 Miles(14000km) in Europe. Its a big change, but when you do it right it can be enjoyable...

I tried a diesel van, and now have a F350 CC 4X4 LB with a powerstroke, and also a converted Goshen Bus that was in private use, but resembles the airport rental car agancy buses. I stripped it out, installed an interior from a globetrotter in the front, put a ramp on the back, a bulkhead to divide it so I have a garage in the back and it hold 3 bikes, including my dresser. I paid less than $5K for the bus- with a Powerstroke, and less than 150K miles on it. It runs 75mph up the hills, pulling an AS, and gets 16MPG.

If you need a good off the shelf truck, get an E350 with a 7.3 and be ready to remove your windshield- and my custom ramp is 4' wide- excellent for loading up the hills- I can put my feet down or walk it up in 1st gear.

You'll break an AS frame by adding that much weight to the rear- 100%...
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Old 07-28-2004, 04:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millionairstream
I have several HDs- only the addition of a child changed my traveling style into trailering. Before I logged as much as 7500 Miles in the US, and 8500 Miles(14000km) in Europe. Its a big change, but when you do it right it can be enjoyable...

I tried a diesel van, and now have a F350 CC 4X4 LB with a powerstroke, and also a converted Goshen Bus that was in private use, but resembles the airport rental car agancy buses. I stripped it out, installed an interior from a globetrotter in the front, put a ramp on the back, a bulkhead to divide it so I have a garage in the back and it hold 3 bikes, including my dresser. I paid less than $5K for the bus- with a Powerstroke, and less than 150K miles on it. It runs 75mph up the hills, pulling an AS, and gets 16MPG.

If you need a good off the shelf truck, get an E350 with a 7.3 and be ready to remove your windshield- and my custom ramp is 4' wide- excellent for loading up the hills- I can put my feet down or walk it up in 1st gear.

You'll break an AS frame by adding that much weight to the rear- 100%...
I'd love to see pics of your bus setup. I'm not crazy about the van thing for a lot of reasons, some mentioned, some not. The tkloader is the best bet for us, the only 2 drawbacks are money (I got a price of round $4,500) and of course I'd have to remove my truck topper which nixes a lot of necessary storage....but it's the money thing that will ulimately kill the idea<G>.

cheers
jb
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Old 07-28-2004, 04:04 PM   #8
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snearing wife syndrom

Quote:
Originally Posted by 71_safari
Hi John,

<snip>
I think the ideal combo, if you want to ride fairly frequently at places along the way, is to have a truck camper and tow the bikes. You can leave the camper in camp and ride the bikes for transportation. <snip>
-john
The only way to explain why this doesn't work would be for you to see the look on my wife's face whenever the subject of truck campers comes up. My wife and I are both claustrophopes and just don't care for the truck camper thing. Plus, I need my extended cab on my PU and I'd for sure need a full size bed camper which would make the vehicle too big for our little town.

Thanks for the suggestion.
cheers
jb

p.s. to all - I know the bike on the trailer thing won't work!
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Old 07-28-2004, 04:17 PM   #9
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Trailer + Truck + Harley

I also own an Airsteram and a Harley, problem was that when we took the trailer I could not take the bike since the wife did not want to tow alone.

Problem solved , bought a 2004 Ford F250 HarleyDavidson pickup truck. Got the 8 foot bed so the bike will fit in the bed of the truck.
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Old 07-28-2004, 04:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fabofabo
I have driven bikes all my life. The only way to continue to drive with our airstreams, is to ride our 1969 Vespa! It is light, and it is comfortable to see the National Parks, once we are there.
F

Hehe 1965 Sears Allstate (125 Vespa) here. Going to put a rack on the front of the burb for it.
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Old 07-28-2004, 04:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ITOWAIR
I also own an Airsteram and a Harley, problem was that when we took the trailer I could not take the bike since the wife did not want to tow alone.

Problem solved , bought a 2004 Ford F250 HarleyDavidson pickup truck. Got the 8 foot bed so the bike will fit in the bed of the truck.
Ya, but we need an extended cab (mostly for the dog but also because I keep a lot of tools, briefcases..etc up there for my day-job). By the time you get a full size bed and an extended cab, driving around town get's to be a real pain, the vehicle is just too long.
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Old 07-28-2004, 04:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by millionairstream
<snip> also a converted Goshen Bus that was in private use, but resembles the airport rental car agancy buses. I stripped it out, installed an interior from a globetrotter in the front, put a ramp on the back, a bulkhead to divide it so I have a garage in the back and it hold 3 bikes, including my dresser. I paid less than $5K for the bus- with a Powerstroke, and less than 150K miles on it. It runs 75mph up the hills, pulling an AS, and gets 16MPG.
<snip>
Ok, I wondered what a "Goshen" bus was and found this if anyone is interested in running with this idea.. http://www.techworldsolutions.com/ Looks like they have a bunch for sale. No affiliations, just found it on the web. Who knows, maybe I could load my bike on the wheelchair ramp setup???

jb
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Old 07-28-2004, 10:12 PM   #13
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john boy

i've been taking my '55 fl camping with me for years.

forget the van and just get a pickup of your favorite flavor with a 8 foot bed. i use a nice folding aluminum ramp for loading and unloading.

if you are unsure about loading by your self here are a couple of tips, look for a low spot you can back the truck into. this allows you to be much closer to the ground. second, ask for help! i have never been to a campground yet where i cannot solicit help from a nieghbor. most all folks are willing to lend a hand! a few beers don't hurt either! makes a nice icebreaker, and you get to know your fellow campmates better.

here is a pic of my current setup taken about a month ago at a forum mini rally at savanna ill.

john
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Old 07-29-2004, 10:38 AM   #14
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Thats similar to mine...

But I have no Wheelchair capabilities.

It was 21 seats, and now with the front being about 8' X 10' long, plus the front seat- it seats 5 comfortably, has a porta potti for my kids little emergencies (never used still in the box) a cooler, a queen gaucho with storage under from my rusted GT that we junked out, the table that goes against the wall and folds out, the overhead storage that fits like it came there, and an extra highback van seat that matches the drivers. The garage in the back is 8' X 9' long and the ramp we made and installed in less than 3 hours is strong enough to drive a small car on, and is 4' X 7' and I have an extension due to the height of the bus. HD John is right- find a hole, a hill, a curb- buy that aluminum folding ramp that folds out sideways, and save that $4500 for traveling. You don't need to take your bike up and down every time you stop- usually only when you get somewhere that you can ride awhile and enjoy.

The best of both worlds are sure to be yours...
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