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Old 04-19-2009, 06:38 PM   #1
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1975 31' Sovereign
Drasco , Arkansas
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Rivet Too much tongue weight?

The wife and I are planning a trip to Sturgis, SD this summer and would like to take the AS. I've never towed the trailer with my bike in the back of the truck and am not sure it would be a good idea. I'm thinking it would be too much tongue weight and possibly dangerous. Don't want to break anything either.
TV is 2005 1500HD Silverado (3/4 ton, 6.0L) and the trailer is a '75 31 footer, rear bedroom. The truck tows the trailer very nicely, but again, I've never towed with a 650 lb motorcyle in the bed. Going without the bike would be pointless and without the AS would make camping rough as we can't carry enough on the bike to make it enjoyable. I have other options but would really like to take the AS. Thanks in advance for any advice. TCM

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Old 04-19-2009, 06:49 PM   #2
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I've never had a bike in the back while towing either, but. The weight of the bike in the pick up in itself won't change the tongue weight of the trailer.

I would think you would need to pay particular attention to tire pressure and adjusting the weight distributing hitch (I assume you have one) The WD set up will have an affect on tongue weight.

Hopefully someone who knows more about what they are talking about than me will add their thoughts so I will stop here.

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Old 04-19-2009, 06:58 PM   #3
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I probably titled this wrong, you're right about the weight in the truck not adding tongue weight. I wondered if it would have the same effect as adding tongue weight and for some reason didn't think about the WD hitch. Shouldn't be a problem as long as it's not too much for the truck. TCM
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:37 PM   #4
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Your thinking that the motorcycle would be too much weight is correct, but the tongue weight isn't the main issue, it's the load on the rear wheels. In the final analysis the tongue weight isn't important except as it relates to the weight on the front and rear axles of the tow vehicle.

You need to get the rig weighed so you know how close to max axle weight you are. As an estimate, add the tongue weight, the motorcycle weight, and the unloaded weight on the rear axle.

Also, if you have a 1500HD, isn't that a 1/2 ton?
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:46 PM   #5
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Load up your bike, hook up your trailer and see where it all goes.

We carry quite a bit of stuff in the bed of our '99 Silverado 1500, EZ-up, Honda 2000, several boxes of other stuff, chairs, a double golf bag hard case full of kites, just lots of stuff that adds up. Certainly not as much as a Harley, but still quite a bit of weight.

When hooked to the '65 Caravel (250 lbs tongue weight), the truck levels out nicely with the weight transfer hitch. When hooked to the '83 29' Excella (570 lbs tongue weight), the front of the truck was still a little high with all of the weight transfer I wanted to exert. I added "Air Lift" bags to the rear of the Silverado, with a compressor and controller. With a mere 25lbs (100 lbs is the max) of air in the bags, the truck sits level, and everything goes down the highway just fine.

I think the first thing is to find just where you stand.
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:48 PM   #6
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We tow a 1974 Sovereign with a 2500 Silverado (6.0 liter). I've towed the trailer with it fully loaded, and roughly 1000 pounds of tools and equipment in the bed. Your Harley probably weighs 600-800 pounds, unless it's a full-dress.
We used a Reese 750 pound WD dual cam system, and had good results. Uphill was a bit slow, but other than that I had no trouble keeping up with traffic, and no sway.
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:54 PM   #7
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I have regularly carried similar and heavier weights in a truck the same as yours while towing. As well we have several customers that carry bikes in their pickups. Your truck has plenty of capacity, you might want to bring your torsion bars up an additional link.

One concern though isn't your bike 8' long and isn't your box 6.5?

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Old 04-19-2009, 08:38 PM   #8
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From 1983 until about 1995 I hauled my 1979 750 Honda 10th Anniversary model in the back of my Chevy Heavy-half ton pickup while towing my 1969 31' International. Hook up the load distributing hitch correctly, make sure you have good "D" or "E" range tires, inflate them properly and go! I never had a problem with mine. The gutless 6.2 diesel engine had all it could do at times but the truck and tires seemed never to be stressed.

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Old 04-19-2009, 11:20 PM   #9
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Be sure to unload your bike before getting to Sturgis, and be seen riding in to town......
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:52 AM   #10
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We have good friends that are riding all the way from here on their bike. Talk about saddle sore! I like your plan better. Have a wonderful time!
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Old 04-20-2009, 05:59 AM   #11
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If it were me, I'd hook up the rig as I normally would, and then have it weighed paying special attention to the weight on the rear axle of the truck, and compare that weight to the stated max axle weight on the back side of the truck door to see if the truck could safely carry the additional weight of the bike.
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Old 04-20-2009, 06:03 AM   #12
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may be comparing apples and oranges here....

but i dragged my 87 Avion (about 9000#) along with my motorcycle (just under 400#) with my F250, from Oregon to Maine, by way of Canada last summer. no problems what so ever (see my profile picture.)
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:17 AM   #13

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As others have mentioned, if your not over the max load of the axle's your good 'ta go, may be a little slo, but good 'ta go.

A trip to the scales fully loaded is needed.

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"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:49 PM   #14
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Not sure from your post if your truck is 1500 or 3/4 ton. Here are our figures if it helps. 08 one ton SRW truck, trailer tongue weight 870 lbs, motorcyle 694 lbs. Could carry another bike with ease.

Take the AS and bike if your truck is a 3/4 ton, I would.

Enjoy yourselves, if you can remember it!!!!!!!!

John in the UK
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