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Old 01-23-2022, 09:24 AM   #1
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Motorcycle in truck bed

Any of you take your motorcycle with your airstream? Im ordering a max payload F150 and am wondering if the 6.5 bed would work for this. The bike is a BMW 1150 GS. So 600ish# of bike 1000# of airstream on the hitch. Any of you travel like this?
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Old 01-23-2022, 09:48 AM   #2
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That's not a small bike: add the hitch weight, bike, and passengers, and any gear in the truck, compare it against the payload of the truck... I'm not a 'have to go big or go home', I have a 1500 Sierra myself, but in your case, that extra bike weight (plus ramps), I'd seriously be considering a F350 instead.
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Old 01-23-2022, 10:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by LNBright View Post
That's not a small bike: add the hitch weight, bike, and passengers, and any gear in the truck, compare it against the payload of the truck... I'm not a 'have to go big or go home', I have a 1500 Sierra myself, but in your case, that extra bike weight (plus ramps), I'd seriously be considering a F350 instead.
+1

I think your idea is possible, but a heavy duty truck is probably a better choice.
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Old 01-23-2022, 10:32 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Slimpockets View Post
Any of you take your motorcycle with your airstream? I’m ordering a max payload F150 and am wondering if the 6.5’ bed would work for this. The bike is a BMW 1150 GS. So 600ish# of bike 1000# of airstream on the hitch. Any of you travel like this?
A regular bed will not fit a big bike with the tailgate up. You can't tow a Airstream with the tailgate down. You need to go to a 8' bed. Next problem, payload. a F-150 will have a payload around 1600 pounds. That's everything you carry including yourself. So, let's say the hitch weight is 900, the hitch itself 100, you 200, you've used up 1200 pounds of the 1600 and that's without a passenger or grill or tools or gas can. And before the bike and ramp!
I made this exact calculation years ago. The only thing that worked well is I bought a class A motorhome and towed a trailer with the bike.
I admit the bike vacations were the best ever! Lots of great memories. But times change and I downsized to the Airstream.
Now I'd love a Vespa, but I'd still be over my payload (a lot)

Plan B: A van to tow the Airstream. There's plenty of 3/4 ton vans out there and carry the bike inside.

Plan C: An Airstream Interstate. Class B towing a small enclosed trailer with the bike.
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Old 01-23-2022, 11:10 AM   #5
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Hi Slim,

You don’t mention your trailer so assuming that you don’t have one yet, what about going for a hatch version and carry the bike in the trailer over the axles? It should fit and with some tie downs, I would think this could work. Sort of like an Airstream Toy Hauler.

600 lbs in the trailer over the axles will not effect your situation as much as 600 lbs in the box and the hit to your payload.
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Old 01-23-2022, 11:56 AM   #6
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I own a 2005 safari 25’ and the F150 with max payload package should come in at 2400-2500# of useful load.
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Old 01-23-2022, 12:04 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
A regular bed will not fit a big bike with the tailgate up. You can't tow a Airstream with the tailgate down. You need to go to a 8' bed. Next problem, payload. a F-150 will have a payload around 1600 pounds. That's everything you carry including yourself. So, let's say the hitch weight is 900, the hitch itself 100, you 200, you've used up 1200 pounds of the 1600 and that's without a passenger or grill or tools or gas can. And before the bike and ramp!
I made this exact calculation years ago. The only thing that worked well is I bought a class A motorhome and towed a trailer with the bike.
I admit the bike vacations were the best ever! Lots of great memories. But times change and I downsized to the Airstream.
Now I'd love a Vespa, but I'd still be over my payload (a lot)

Plan B: A van to tow the Airstream. There's plenty of 3/4 ton vans out there and carry the bike inside.

Plan C: An Airstream Interstate. Class B towing a small enclosed trailer with the bike.
Agree 100% with either getting a 3/4-1T TV. Better to have extra capacity for your payload. I recently saw a guy with a new 1T Nissan Van, pretty stripped inside except he carried his big Indian cruiser inside; Also was towing a 25' GT and had couple electric bikes also. Said he was still way under payload capacity, but he thought the Van was the perfect tow vehicle plus provided other options including sleeping if he took a side trip.
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Old 01-23-2022, 12:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slimpockets View Post
Any of you take your motorcycle with your airstream? Im ordering a max payload F150 and am wondering if the 6.5 bed would work for this. The bike is a BMW 1150 GS. So 600ish# of bike 1000# of airstream on the hitch. Any of you travel like this?
That bike is just over 7 long. If you can get it in sideways and if your available payload can accommodate the bike and the trailer tongue weight and your passengers and all your camping kitthen this could work out for you.

There are a lot of ifs and a lot of ands in my previous statement.

An HD long bed would be a better solution, but it is probably more expensive and harder to drive/park when youre not pulling the trailer.
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Old 01-23-2022, 01:20 PM   #9
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I can order the truck with an 8’ bed but I think the 4 door cab would be more handy. I looked at a 3/4 ton diesel and it had 800# less payload than the f150 with the max payload package.

I don’t want to have an f350 as my daily driver.

Am I looking at this wrong? 2400# of payload 600# bike 1000# trailer weight on hitch. Wouldn’t I have 800# to work with?
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Old 01-23-2022, 01:29 PM   #10
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You're right about looking closely at the payload: so, yes, if you can find one w/ that much payload, that might work.

But what's the wheelbase on the GS? Length from wheel-end to wheel-end? Maybe it'll fit. Might be close and not fit, but, maybe pull the front wheel off? Then would it?
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Old 01-23-2022, 01:58 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Slimpockets View Post
I can order the truck with an 8’ bed but I think the 4 door cab would be more handy. I looked at a 3/4 ton diesel and it had 800# less payload than the f150 with the max payload package.

I don’t want to have an f350 as my daily driver.

Am I looking at this wrong? 2400# of payload 600# bike 1000# trailer weight on hitch. Wouldn’t I have 800# to work with?
Get the long bed if you are going to carry a bike.
Pictured is my 350 6.5' bed diesel. The orange bike has same wheel base as my 1250GS..though weighs half. I just don't have a picture to share. Not my DD. I don't like the bike diagonal as I need the tailgate up to tow and it cuts into what I can bring along camping. I've got a '22 350 long bed gas motor on order. I want to take two bikes camping which I can't now. A 250 gasser will leave you plenty of payload and storage capacity albeit with 176" wheel base. One of the longest trucks built.

Have you seen an actual driver door sticker of a comparably equipped 150 that you want to order? Ford may claim #2400 but you maybe surprised at what you get when your vehicle arrives. This topic comes up often on Ford Truck Enthusiast website. The 2400# on an XL or XLT but if you go Platinum or Limited, their content will cut heavily into that payload number. If you go Super Duty, then you get your full 4 doors, long bed, up model version and don't worry about payload with what you listed you want to carry. Non-diesel 250 will have 2800-3200# payload (model dependent) or for $1000 or 2k more a 350 will get you +4000# payload.
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Old 01-23-2022, 03:08 PM   #12
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Here is a door sticker for a 2wd with the heavy duty payload package.

I think I can live with 2500# in the f150. I had talked myself into the 6.5 bed to get the 4 door cab. I’m not sure I need to run with a tailgate. The bike is a good 7’ long. May have to rethink the bed size.
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Old 01-23-2022, 05:37 PM   #13
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Am I looking at this wrong? 2400# of payload 600# bike 1000# trailer weight on hitch. Wouldn’t I have 800# to work with?
I think you'll be surprised how fast things add up.
First is that Bike 600# in the real world with gas and oil?
Then consider you'll need a ramp. Every time you want the bike you'll have do unhitch the Airstream. Is it just you? or will there be a passenger? Don't forget tools, gas cans, a generator(?) Yes, If you find a high payload F-150 then that's your ticket. I found it much easier to drive the RV and tow a trailer.

Note: as far as loading the bike in a rear hatch Airstream, I don't think you'll be able to go far enough forward to be over the axles. Behind the axles will be a disaster waiting. Don't forget gas smell and all the side benefits of carrying a bike inside a vehicle.

Lastly, it's not all fun to load and unload a heavy bike from a truck bed. Much easier in a trailer.
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Old 01-23-2022, 06:46 PM   #14
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Love the videos! Seen a few of them live!
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Old 01-24-2022, 09:28 AM   #15
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IMHO, it's way too much for the F150 short bed. That's a big bike and getting it sideways in the bed is not easy or safe. Much better straight in. Just getting it up a ramp may be more of a challenge than you think and having the rear wheel on the tailgate may not be ideal either. And depending on the Airstream tongue and tanks, you may not be able to tow with tailgate down. Finally, the F150 will be tail down with that much tongue weight unless you have a tiny sized trailer.

I'd go F250 long bed myself.
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Old 01-24-2022, 09:57 AM   #16
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Lots of speculation here.
We took our BMW GS or XT 250 with us on several trips. However, it was inside our Eddie Bauer 25 which has inside tie down points (added two more). It was cumbersome negotiating around the bike inside the AS to get to the head with the bike in place, but plenty of room at the rear of the AS. We rolled it well forward and used a roll in chock. It was relatively easy to get the bike up a short aluminum ramp and into Eddie but we had to remove the mirrors due to the high stance of the GS. The BMW dealer was shocked when we rolled up with the AS to verify fit! The 250 loaded further back in the AS. It was fun at both the regional and international rally to quickly and easily off load the bike and spin around the site or make a trip into town. It seems like we always had a crowd watching the process.

The truck bed was simply too short and too high to safely load the tall and relatively heavy GS bike unless you have a winch to pull it in. We initially had a 3/4 Ton which worked great for several years with the additional "cargo"; then we went with a nicely optioned 1/2 ton - suffice it to say ... huge mistake. We sold it in Nov and ordered a super duty.
You may be able to have your cake and eat it, too with a 1/2 Ton; but we could not!
YMMV
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Old 01-24-2022, 10:06 AM   #17
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I have hauled a lot of bikes, I owned a GS. You will not be able to haul most any real motorcycle in a 6.5 ft bed with the tailgate closed. If you must have a crew cab then you need a HD pickup with with long box. I guess I should say if you are towing and hauling a bike you need a long box no matter the cab configuration. Unless you want work truck level of trim you will probably need to order from factory. I have hauled motorcycles in vans, you will need a high roof but then your cargo area will be quite cramped and hard to move around in if you are hauling much gear along with bike.

Perhaps you need a motorhome & MC trailer behind. OR have your wife/partner tow the Airstream while you ride to your destination.
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Old 01-24-2022, 10:36 AM   #18
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Lots of speculation here.
We took our BMW GS or XT 250 with us on several trips. However, it was inside our Eddie Bauer 25
Remember how people go nuts when you ask about a small generator or an e-bike on the rear bumper? That bike, 250 is for sure behind the rear axle. You may be the pioneer for towing with that much weight added to the rear of the AS.

Loading a bike in a truck bed (IMO) requires you to remove the tailgate and replace it with a plate under the rear wheel. That would allow it to clear the tongue. Install a chock like the Condor which will capture the front wheel as you ride in.
As far as loading, don't stop on the ramp, you'll discover you feet don't touch the ground and you're in trouble. Make sure you won't 'high center' the bike frame on the truck.
I saw a lot of bikes used by Nascar officials. They had a system. Back up to a hauler with a tailgate. Roll it off onto the tailgate, move truck, lower tailgate. Easy-peasy.
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Old 01-24-2022, 11:01 AM   #19
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Remember how people go nuts when you ask about a small generator or an e-bike on the rear bumper? That bike, 250 is for sure behind the rear axle. You may be the pioneer for towing with that much weight added to the rear of the AS.
But inside, it's much closer to the axle: physics still works, as you get further from the axle the same amount of weight is applying more torque.
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Old 01-24-2022, 12:01 PM   #20
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Remember how people go nuts when you ask about a small generator or an e-bike on the rear bumper? That bike, 250 is for sure behind the rear axle. You may be the pioneer for towing with that much weight added to the rear of the AS.

Loading a bike in a truck bed (IMO) requires you to remove the tailgate and replace it with a plate under the rear wheel. That would allow it to clear the tongue. Install a chock like the Condor which will capture the front wheel as you ride in.
As far as loading, don't stop on the ramp, you'll discover you feet don't touch the ground and you're in trouble. Make sure you won't 'high center' the bike frame on the truck.
I saw a lot of bikes used by Nascar officials. They had a system. Back up to a hauler with a tailgate. Roll it off onto the tailgate, move truck, lower tailgate. Easy-peasy.
Did you not read my description of bike position?
The bikes were positioned far forward near the axle in a roll in chock. The handlebars were loosened so they could be positioned fore and aft instead of sideways. My scale showed over 250 pounds added and measured below the front axle at the frame.
The photo I posted shows the bike positioned so that we could easily get in and out through the side door... prior to rolling it out.
Thanks for your concern, however. Perhaps a pioneer, but not in loading or towing trailers or aircraft.
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