Using a hitch hauler on rough dirt roads
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Thread: Using a hitch hauler on rough dirt roads

  1. #1
    Junior Member Coolhandl's Avatar
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    Using a hitch hauler on rough dirt roads

    For those of you that have hitch type haulers, I am wondering if you can share your thoughts on using these on rough and poorly maintained forest service roads. I am in North Idaho if that gives any of you the context of what kind of roads I am talking about. I am trying to determine whether or not this is practical to get the bike to my camping spots. I definitely could haul a very small high clearance trailer that I don't care about, so that is another option but I wanted to hear from those of you who have experience.

    thanks in advance!
    Bobo413 likes this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ejfranz's Avatar
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    I have had no issues on FSRs with my front hitch carrier. I have drilled and tapped the front receiver so the carrier has no slop.
    We do a fair bit of Forest Service Site camping and I like to have one of my toys with me.

    I you do not have the carrier tight then there can be a fair bit of rocking.
    Ken, admiral and Bobo413 like this.
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    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    Even with a hitch stabilizer, sometimes I ratchstrap one or both sides of the carrier to the base vehicle to help with the wobble as ejfranz mentions. Only other thing I can think of is be careful going through dips in the road and creeks so the hitch doesn't drag.
    ejfranz and Bobo413 like this.
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    Senior Member RockyTFS's Avatar
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    I've taken my TW on the VersaHaul VH-55 carrier on the back of my Tundra on some pretty rough 4 wheel drive roads in Idaho, but nothing technical. I put in some airbags to keep from dragging the carrier, AND I drive really slowly in the rough. I've hit it a few times, but never had damage. The collar on the VersaHaul keeps it real tight. It's a very tough unit. (and heavy!)
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    Senior Member Maxpower's Avatar
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    What is the vehicle you have your carrier on? I would think it would make a difference. To me hitch haulers increase stresses not typical to pulling a trailer. I use a hitch hauler myself so I'm not against their use. The TW isnt a fatty like a Klr650 but it's not a yz85 either. I would think as long as you roll any hard hits and don't dig the hauler into the dirt you would be ok. It couldn't hurt to use a strap on each side of the hauler and pull it tight to a bumper or frame. Of course strap the wheels and do what it takes to keep any rattle or play out of the receiver. Common sense is key here (as in most things)

  7. #6
    Senior Member Rockit's Avatar
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    I'm pretty happy with this hitch stabilizer:

    https://www.amazon.com/Hitch-Tighten...tch+stabilizer

  8. #7
    Junior Member Coolhandl's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback so far, very helpful for this noob.

    I use a 2001 Landrover Discovery ii, it has a shorter wheelbase but tows like 8000 lbs or something ridiculous for its size. I took the airbags out because of a leak, so I just have springs. I don't drive anything technical anymore, but as any of you who have been here know they mean it when they say primitive road here.

    Sounds like a good steel carrier, strapped, glued, screwed and tattooed and I should be good if I keep the wheels on the dirt.
    littletommy, admiral and ejfranz like this.

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    Senior Member Maxpower's Avatar
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    I agree with you Coolhand. Does that thing really tow 8000 lbs? Do you know the tongue weight rating? I'm thinking they have strong frames

  10. #9
    Senior Member Maxpower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockit View Post
    I'm pretty happy with this hitch stabilizer:

    https://www.amazon.com/Hitch-Tighten...tch+stabilizer
    Perfect. I like that. Simple is better
    Ken likes this.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Hitch stabilizer, quality carrier, driving carefully all good advice.
    My rigs have overhead racks so I add 4 additional tie downs pulling both up to the rack and down to the vehicle’s frame from each of the TW’s corners. The carrier features a hydraulically raised bike platform but the principle of 4-way dynamic tension works on conventional ramp style carriers too.
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