Trailering the TW
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  1. #1
    Junior Member cool breeze's Avatar
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    I am a new owner and am grateful for this forum. What are some trailer recommendations that you all might have? I have a 3/4 ton Silverado pickup with a popup camper on the back and plan on hauling my bike all over the West and perhaps through Mexico to Guatemala where I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the 70s. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 805gregg's Avatar
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    The bike is light enough for a reciever moto hauler.

  3. #3
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 805gregg View Post
    The bike is light enough for a reciever moto hauler.
    Not with a camper. Even a lightweight 8-foot camper weighs 1500 pounds, and with people, fluids, and kit, pushing the limit on a 3/4-ton truck.



    Folks have had good service from the $200 trailer with 12-inch wheels from Harbor Freight with the simple addition of a homemade rail consisting of a 2x8 flat with 2x4 sides attached with 3 1/2-inch deck screws, and a cheap bent tube wheel chock. Use 4 1/4-inch carriage bolts with fwnder washers under the frame to fasten to the trailer. Assemble the trailer with Loctite, repack the wheel bearings with a high-quality wheel bearing grease, keep the tires inflated, and enjoy. You could also buy the trailer kit without the wheels and tires and order some 15x4 or 15x5 wheels and run P155-80R15 radial tires for a smoother ride and longer tread life for your Middle America trips. You'll have to remount the fenders to clear.




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  5. #4
    Junior Member cool breeze's Avatar
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    this is great advice....i will give it to a trailer/welder guy I know and see what he says. I am not that mechanical. The most important thing is that things not fall apart in the middle of Mexico.

  6. #5
    Moderator vuldub's Avatar
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    Check you local craigslist and see if there is a utility trailer for sale. Mine was made by a good welder - it has 14" wheels and square tubing frame. I put eye bolts for tiedowns, wooden wheel chock, and it has bumped down some pretty rough roads without any concerns. My only suggestion would be to get 14 or 15 inch tires, those 10 or 12 inch tires have spin so fast to keep up with your truck and the bearings need constant attention. With a utility trailer you can put some of you camping gear in it too. If you are only concerned about hauling your TW, there are trailer just for hauling bikes, check our your local ATV store.
    Regards...Wes
    In the Stable: 73 Honda CT90,81 Honda CT110,81 Honda CT70,04 Yamaha TW200,07 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500

  7. #6
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Another downside of the 10 and 12 inch tires is the fact that they don't tend to like hitting things like potholes and rough roads. They can be pretty rough on your cargo.



    We call them "bearing burners" because as Vuldub said they turn a lot faster over a given distance than a larger tire.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  8. #7
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    Smaller tires get a bad rap about bearings. Simply not true. The faster a bearing spins, the higher its capacity, and the lower its rate of wear, up to 3600rpm. I'll leave the math to you.



    The failure of bearings is much more common with small tires due to water intrusion. This is especially common with boat trailers, but can affect any trailer driven through water that reaches the oil seal.



    What happens is hubs and bearings warm when spun, which warms the air inside, which causes the air to expand, which forces a bit of the air out of the oil seal and/or center cap. Then, when the hub cools, the air inside contracts, drawing air back into the hub. Unfortunately, when warm hub meeds cool water, water is drawn into the hub.



    The trailer industry's solution is the spring-loaded cap, which allows the volume of air to change with temperature without air or water entering or exiting the hub. This works great, except people think pumping grease in a spring loaded hub regreases the bearings, which it does, but only by displacing air. Grease also expands and contracts with temperature, sometimes to the point and over-greased hub blows the cap completely off.



    After explaining this all to my son, he fit spring loaded caps to his boat trailer, but only after replacing the grease fitting with a Schrader valve. When he gets to the boat ramp he uses a bicycle pump to make sure the spring is fully compressed in each cap. The spring provides enough pressure to keep water out of the hubs, but not enough pressure to blow grease out.



    Water is the biggest killer of trailer bearings. It really doesn't take much of a puddle to splash a wave of water over a hub inside a tire on an 8-inch wheel. 3 inches of water is enough.



    Overloading is the second biggest. Tires with tiny wheels usually go on hubs that have tiny bearings, some with load capacity of less than 300 pounds each. Don't overload bearings.



    Third most common cause of trailer bearing trouble is neglect. I clean and repack every 10,000 miles or so, and never have had a bearing problem. The grease that came on my HF trailer bearings looked suspect. I cleaned and regreased them with a good synthetic wheel bearing grease before installing the huds. Real wheel bearing grease, not the crap you use for suspensions.



    As far as little tires not holding up, overloading and underinflation are the two biggest killers.



    I like the suggestion of a small utility trailer for trips to far away places. I'd shop around for hubs with the same bolt pattern as my truck and an axle to fit. Any vehicle will more easily tow more than it will carry. This might allow moving some load from the camper to the trailer, resulting in a better ride and drive quality overall.




  9. #8
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Roll a beach ball over a crack in the sidewalk. Not much will happen.



    Then roll a golf ball over the same crack and watch it get airborn.



    Small tires blow.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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  10. #9
    Banned qwerty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lizrdbrth View Post
    Roll a beach ball over a crack in the sidewalk. Not much will happen.



    Then roll a golf ball over the same crack and watch it get airborn.



    Small tires blow.


    For any but smooth roads, small tires are a problem. Maybe we should all run 44-inch Mudders on our TWs. You know, to improve the ride quality.




  11. #10
    Senior Member lizrdbrth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qwerty View Post
    For any but smooth roads, small tires are a problem. Maybe we should all run 44-inch Mudders on our TWs. You know, to improve the ride quality.


    I'm workin' on dat . Pics soon.



    I own a couple

    of bearing burners myself. But I'm not sure I'd wanna head to South America with one.



    All I'm sayin'. Though it's hard to argue with their low overall weight and loading height.



    I'm gunna rig up one of the tiny HF type trailers for Purple to pull behind her Vibe. Even a munchkin like her should be able to load a TW onto one.



    Wish I was riding to Guatamala on my TW. Pobrecito es mio. Er sumpin'.



    Just thinkin' about it brings a tear to me one good eye.



    I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

    Powdercoated '87 frame, extended swingarm, YZ fork legs, ATV tire, 14/55, XT350 tank, spliced quick-release seat, disc brake conversion, beeg headlight, beeger rack, Lizrdcooler, Lizrdventz and bunch of other stuff all covered in invisible ink.

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