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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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.


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.
 

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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.
 

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I am a trailer dealer. First I would strongly suggest a trailer with a "common axle" not a Harbor Freight. You can by bearings for any common trailer axle at any NAPA, but tell them you have a Import Axle from Harbor Freight and see what kind of look you get....



Get tires rated to over your weight. Get Radial tires if at all possible, they wear longer, run cooler and ride smoother. Dont put a Cheap Bias Ply import 8" tire rated to 480 pounds on your trailer and expect it to last in 100 plus degrees at 60 mph those little tires will get HOT.



Run AT LEAST the maximum tire pressure allowed on the tire, if not a little extra. No tire will blow out from 5 psi of extra pressure, but if you run it low and the side wall is flexing, the tire WILL BLOW. Worth repeating- if your tire "squats", it will overheat and blow out- period.



Otherwise, any small trailer will work, but remember, 8 out of 10 of my customers get "two foot itus" in a short time after they buy, wishing they has bought a trailer just two feet longer.



Now, I sell a little cargo trailer with ramp door, that is only 70 inches tall overall, 7 1/2 feet long inside, and 4 1/2' tall inside, but is perfect for my little TW!



 

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Good point about the Chinese bearings not being standard. I took mine to Motor Parts and Bearings and bought an extra set. $12 for all 4. Came in 8 boxes instead of 4, the outer races are boxed separately for industrial bearings.



If you order hubs drilled to match your tow vehicle you'll need the normal 3500 pound axle--they won't fit the Chinese axle.



The universal 2000 pound and 3500 pound hubs with 5 lugs are 5 x 4.5 pattern and can mount the old Ford 14 and 15 inch wheels used on rear drive Mustangs, Mavericks, Grenadas, Fairlanes, Montegos, Cougars, etc. Very easy to order a set of white 8-spoke wheels in the 5 x 4.5 pattern.



Some 3500 pound hubs with 6 lugs have the same pattern as the old 6-lug 1/2 ton Chevy pickups. Very easy to find wheels for those, too, including some tall, narrow 16-inch.



8 x 6.5 hubs are usually found on 7000 pound axles and can fit many 3/4 and 1-ton pickup wheels. No problem finding wheels for those, either.



The problem with heavier wheels and tires on a lightweight trailer is excessive unsprung weight. The inertia of a heavy tire knocked skyward by a bump or pothole can flip a light trailer. That's why I recommended a 155/80R15 tire. It's the size that replaces the old air-cooled VW 5.60-15. 8 inches taller than a 4.80-8, but not nearly as heavy as a 205/75 or 215/75 14 or 15 trailer tire. It's a great compromise for a lightweight trailer. Not cheap, but they'll outlast trailer tires 4:1.
 

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>>Now, I sell a little cargo trailer with ramp door, that is only 70 inches tall overall, 7 1/2 feet long inside, and 4 1/2' tall inside, but is perfect for my little TW!<<





[/quote]



Nice trailer, but I'm guessing for many of us with older bikes it costs more than the bike inside! I use a receiver carrier myself, though I don't think I'd wanna venture to South America with it.
 

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Good point about the Chinese bearings not being standard. I took mine to Motor Parts and Bearings and bought an extra set. $12 for all 4. Came in 8 boxes instead of 4, the outer races are boxed separately for industrial bearings.



If you order hubs drilled to match your tow vehicle you'll need the normal 3500 pound axle--they won't fit the Chinese axle.



The universal 2000 pound and 3500 pound hubs with 5 lugs are 5 x 4.5 pattern and can mount the old Ford 14 and 15 inch wheels used on rear drive Mustangs, Mavericks, Grenadas, Fairlanes, Montegos, Cougars, etc. Very easy to order a set of white 8-spoke wheels in the 5 x 4.5 pattern.



Some 3500 pound hubs with 6 lugs have the same pattern as the old 6-lug 1/2 ton Chevy pickups. Very easy to find wheels for those, too, including some tall, narrow 16-inch.



8 x 6.5 hubs are usually found on 7000 pound axles and can fit many 3/4 and 1-ton pickup wheels. No problem finding wheels for those, either.



The problem with heavier wheels and tires on a lightweight trailer is excessive unsprung weight. The inertia of a heavy tire knocked skyward by a bump or pothole can flip a light trailer. That's why I recommended a 155/80R15 tire. It's the size that replaces the old air-cooled VW 5.60-15. 8 inches taller than a 4.80-8, but not nearly as heavy as a 205/75 or 215/75 14 or 15 trailer tire. It's a great compromise for a lightweight trailer. Not cheap, but they'll outlast trailer tires 4:1.




nice trailer but likely a little overkill for my purposes. I am thinking of having it open to keep the weight down.
 

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I've used a Harbor Freight trailer for years with no issues. I haul my bike, lawn tractors and all kinds of stuff around all the time. I did weld it together rather than rely on the marginal bolting system it came with. I also added 18" to the tongue which makes it possible to back up with the thing. As mentioned earlier, the bearing grease they come with is really not bearing grease at all as far as I'm concerned. Replace it with high quality bearing grease before using the trailer at all. So, for a couple hundred dollars, some time spent welding and a little red paint, the trailer does the job quite well.
 

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A trailer can also be used as a work stand for things like removing the forks to change the fork boots (gaiters?). Just make sure the back end is tied down securely. (I only have a before and after picture but I think everyone will get the idea.)







 
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