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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings from The Steppes TW lovers,

Being less mechanically-inclined than I'd like to be, I often try to find people who seem skilled and knowledgeable about machines, and take their advice. Now I find myself confused by two different camps here. Some say that one good hole can rip a carrier right off a hitch, while others say I'd be nuts to pull a trailer on Mongolian roads (Mongolian roads is like saying jumbo shrimp).

So, I turn once again to the fine and learned folks here:

What say you boys and girls? The carrier choice would of course mean a larger SUV. We're currently looking at a 2001 TLC Prado. On the other hand, I guess I could pull a small trailer with my light (112kg) AG200 with just about anything that I would take off-road. The wife could more easily handle (and prefers) something smaller, in which case we'd go with a RAV 4. The point is, I really have neither idea nor experience in this. As always, advice and suggestions are very much appreciated.

Ride safely out there,

MP
 

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We will probably give you conflicting advice here as well Oh Noble AG Warrior.
The car your family will live with every day, the AG transport will be less frequent. And I guess you will/want to live with a happy wife every day too. So I would vote for domestic tranquility by getting reliable affordable RAV4 set up for a lightweight trailer use. You can carefully pilot car when towing AG, hopefully wife can learn to be confident towing empty trailer when following you. Besides unsticking a hitch carrier from a ditch may be a lot harder than manhandling a trailer out of trouble. This may be least objectionable compromise.
Now for some conflicting advice from others more knowledgable, let's help Pete get really confused.
 

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My guess is there won't really be that much conflict of opinion. I've used hitch carriers, and I know others here have. I don't think very many would recommend them for truly rough terrain, at least not those that mount solely on a receiver. I could be wrong.
 

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Excellent advice, Fred! Without a doubt MP, the choice that the wife is happier with will prove to make you happier as well ;)

But just for the sake of feeding you conflicting opinions, I can tell you that you can drag a TW on a hitch carrier through some pretty rough country. Ask how I know...

 

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Believe it or not I don't disagree with DonBenito despite what I said above, but I have had a bike on one behind the Defender 90 and had it rocking so hard I thought I was gonna twist it right off...but the truth is, it didn't. Had me watching continuously though.
 

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DonBenito, I have drug my hitch a bit,but nothing as impressive as your Jeep. Wow. Golly I can get into trouble just pulling into Taco Bell and my reciever hitch starts out a healthy 16" above ground. Wife's RAV4 class III hitch is a good 6 inches lower.

Borneo, Joemama just gave me good advice to maybe change out hitches' 2" tube for 2" stock with thicker walls to reduce flex. Got some parked somewhere on the back forty, want some?
 

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Heh, heh, that's actually funny Fred. I am in the process of building the rear bumper and receiver for the rockcrawler jeep and it is 1/2" wall tubing. Fambly folks were making fun of me...glad to know you and Joemamma approve.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Brian, I have thought about just riding next to the Mrs. and our boy in our RAV 4. However, we're talking about 1000km trips (see Lake Khovskal). I think my ass will be very angry with me if I subject it to all those hours or constant high-revving vibrations! I haven't experienced riding a small bike long distance, but my arse is sometimes numb after just 25 km sometimes. Add the fuel carrying factor, and I think carrying or towing makes more sense.

As for you other fellas; has my wife gotten to you?

At this point, it looks like finding a strong hitch and trailer set up for a RAV 4 is a better option for my Mongolian family adventure. For all of your thoughtful advice, I shall try to share some stunning nature shots from our travels. I'm even planning to do some fishing out there! mongolfish.jpg

Please keep the ideas a rollin'

Thanks again,

MP
 

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DonBenito, I have drug my hitch a bit,but nothing as impressive as your Jeep. Wow. Golly I can get into trouble just pulling into Taco Bell and my reciever hitch starts out a healthy 16" above ground. Wife's RAV4 class III hitch is a good 6 inches lower.
Fred, I sure wish that was my LJ but it actually belongs to a friend. That pic is from a recovery mission, he was kind enough to haul my wrecked TW out of the desert for me. It was a VERY rough ride out, but TW, Jeep, Carrier, and Hitch all made it OK.

Truth is I'm no fan of trailers or hitch carriers when they can be avoided, I almost always ride out to the dirt myself. I'm not really sure that one is any better than the other, both have their pros and cons.
 
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what they said^^^ I built a 2" receiver carrier for a Super Sherpa I had. Used heavy wall 2" tubing. Carried the Sherpa on the back of a Jeep TJ and a lifted Chev AWD Astro van. I put outriggers that went into small receives I put on the hitch to stop the rocking.
 
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I put outriggers that went into small receives I put on the hitch to stop the rocking.
That is a great idea! I would love to see a picture of that.

I strap the bike to eye bolts attached to my bumper to help keep things steady. Replacing the stock shocks with coil over shocks helped with the extra weight. If the road is bumpy you know the bike is back there and learn to slow down.
 

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nice lookin rear end
 
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So troll, do you still have lifted Astro? I did about a 4" lift with Dan's Van parts, now Overland I think. Mine seems to be eating front driveline pieces quicker than I thought . I have thought of transplanting Chevy S-10 Hi-lo transfer case and transmission , maybe solid axle too. But if reliability sucks maybe I am better off selling rig for a full sized 4x4 van. Hate idea of getting only 10 mpg with a full size just to get a comfy cabin on wheels. Tents are no fun to set up or strike down in a storm, am spoiled by flat level bed, reading lights, bugproof, windproof qualities of Astro. Absolutely hate the stock automatic transmission, torque converter clutch lock-up is erratic but I have a manual logic clutch lock-up overide switch to hook up. Would you also recommend a shift kit if I want to avoid endless slippage when attempting crawling out of a hole?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the life-line Borneo! My head was beginning to spin. Can you fine folks recommend a trailer and hitch set up that would work with a RAV 4 and a 112kg bike? I have a friend here who is quite good at putting things of this nature together, but would I be better off with a certain brand name or another? Thanks again!

MP
 

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Nah, any name brand 2" receiver hitch will suffice, including a Toyota. As for the trailer, get a decent axle, larger tires (better in the rough) and make sure the bearings are good. Carry a trailer spare tire. Good to go. Trailers are simple. Except I am jinxed by the lighting on them...grrrrr.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Now I am just confused and frustrated. My mechanic friend just came back from the countryside NW of Ulaanbaatar. He says he wouldn't even feel good about a carrier on a bloody Landcruiser! Forget about pulling a trailer with a RAV 4. Says if we drive a RAV 4 out there, forget the trailer, the vehicle will never be the same. I was about ready to start shopping RAV 4s locally, but now I'm just stuck. Oh well, time will tell I suppose. Thanks again for your ideas folks.

Be well,
MP
 
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