Sunday, July 07, 2019

Installing HF Moto Carrier onto the Aluma Trailer

July 4:

Using a 25% off coupon, Martha and I went to the Harbor Freight store to pick up one of these:

source: Harbor Freight
Haulmaster Motorcycle Carrier

When they first came out, some reviewers made sure folks knew the mounting plates were "not great", lots of breakage apparently.  They now come with a set of steel mounting plates, one welded to the carrier and one to the tow hitch assembly.

I won't be using the tow hitch assembly, just the carrier and associated hardware.  It's got a 400 lb capacity so the sub-300 lb weight of the TW200 should be fine.

The front tire will sink into the opening as shown in the above pic and be secured somewhat by tire clamp hardware..  Yagi's rear tire is too wide and will require a separate strap to secure it to the rack.

The carrier rack is as wide as the outer edge of the trailer's fenders.  I'll be using hardware brackets that came with the system for tie town points and instead use them to secure the rack to the small wall at the forward edge of the trailer's cargo area.  This to help support the ends AND prevent lateral movement of the U-Bolts.

July 6

Got the U-Bolts I needed Saturday, installation was pretty straight forward but I ended up using only 2 of the 3 U-Bolts for now, the installation is pretty tight and when I shake it, the trailer shakes too.

I'm not sure adding a third U-Bolt will buy me anything.

Wood spacer to eliminate spacing between U-Bolts
and the trailer tongue assembly.

Above is one of the two brackets I'll use to prevent both
upward and downward movement of the ends of the carrier rack.

Miles provided a safety as we figured out how hard it was to load Yagi onto the carrier by myself, using the engine to move the motorcycle up the ramp:

July 7

Sunday, retrieved the RV from the storage yard and tested clearances with the TW200 and Scarlett, my 2014 Ural Patrol loaded onto the trailer.

The spare tire should contact the rear bumper of the RV before the carrier rack or the handlebar ends contact the side of the RV.

Then it was time to test how much weight was on the tongue of the trailer.  Used the bathroom scale method with the trailer loaded as shown below:

We got 268 lbs on the trailer's tongue, which works out 15.9% of the GTW or Gross Trailer Weight capacity.  The specification on the tongue says 15%, so I think we're OK on that.  It's best to have be heavier than lighter when it comes to the trailer tongue.

I'll have to go to a truck scale to be sure but am estimating a combined weight of 1100 lbs by Yagi and Scarlett.  So still have over 500 lbs additional capacity for the wood levelers (they were part of the platform for the bathroom scale, a five gallon gas can and the usual gear carried on both motorcycles.

Still experimenting with ratchet strap setups for Yagi, It'll probably end up being three straps:  One on each side, putting pressure on the triple tree and one final one attached to Scarlett as a safety.  I'd rather she fall towards the rig and cargo area rather than forward onto the tongue!

Note: With both vehicles onboard, I can no longer lift the tongue without the aid of the support wheel assembly!

Need to purchase smaller straps to secure Yagi's wheels to the rack, for extra security.

Carrying both motorcycles now means I've options on the longer camping trips but it also means an end to easy loading and unloading of Yagi.....When the Ural rig is present, I must move it back enough to be able to walk the T-Dub off its carrier! 

UPDATE:  Aluminum proved not strong enough, cracks were caused by oscillation induced by extending the trailer tongue and placing the TW's weight where it shows above.  I've since removed the front rack.


CCjon said...

Nice set up. I think you are going to love having both sets of wheels along when boondocking or exploring. Really doesn't add that much more weight to the whole set up when loaded with food, fuel and liquids, does it?

Now add on a propane BBQ pit and a large umbrella to the trailer for smoking meals on the trail, or haul firework if it is allowed. Can't cross some state line with firewood though. The smell of oak or pecan chips doing their majic on thick steaks will get you all kinds of new friends out in the wilds.

Andrew Thomson said...

Nice, all the toys in one place.

I'd post a video of me loading the WR on my ute but it'd be the day I stuffed up and made a mess of both vehicles - youtube is full of those sorts of fails already...

SonjaM said...

Great 'retirement' setup, Dom. Now you are set for all kinds of adventure, in any kind of road and weather condition.

I wish we could put a hitch rack like this on our VW van in order to take our Vespa along, alas not approved by vehicle regulations in Germany. Must have something to do with weight limits on what the van is allowed to carry on the hitch I guess.

KEN PHENIX said...

Excellent work Dom! I like the fact that the carrier will clear the RV bumper in tight turning. It's inevitable you know. A trailer must "grow" and adapt to the size and number of toys one carries. Look what happened to mine. :P You are a brave man to video the loading of a motorcycle on a ramp. If it had gone badly the video would somehow go viral on the internet. ;)

redlegsrides said...

Thanks CCjon, still have about 500 lbs in cargo capacity but will soon be "cubed out" in terms of space....we'll see how she tows at highway speeds. Loved fireworks as a kid, now after the Army, I don't see the point.

Thanks Andrew, any "fail" video results would of course have promptly been erased! :)

Thanks SonjaM....the flexibility/fun of having the Vespa/scooters along would make for extended range when exploring! Your van probably has a low tongue weight limit for approved tow hitches, but two scooters don't weight more than say 1000 lbs....might be worth some more research? Though then, where do you store the trailer when not in use? Logistics complicate faster....

Thanks Ken, hopefully clearances in tight spots won't require me to unhook the trailer to turn the RV, cuz its a major pain to line up the rv to the trailer's tongue now that I can't really move the tongue as easily as before without unloading the motorcycles first.