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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OK, I haven't found my TW just yet but getting closer as a guy locally said he was going to get his ready to sell this weekend. After I get one I will need to haul the bike over an hour to get to some good trails. ...but on to the question: Which Harbor Freight trailer to haul a TW behind my 2005 Civic?

I already have 5'x10' utility trailer with 28" permanent steel and wood sides with 15" wheels that I used for hauling all kinds of things locally, some of which are tall so I like the sturdy sides. That trailer has an empty weight of 1000 lbs, gross of 2990 lbs. I have hauled it with my wife's Camry locally but I wouldn't want to start using it for longer and longer distances and for sure wouldn't head out from Michigan to Moab which I hope to do possibly even by next year. I did haul it with a '94 Civic many times locally. You definitely know it's back there with either car but it's not terribly bad but neither car is a towing machine. The 94 had about 260k miles on it and I didn't care if it ruined the transmission but it never hurt the car that I could tell. I got rid of my old rusted out 94 Civic. I now have an '05 Civic which the manual suggests not towing with it, however there are hitches available (which the hitch instructions specifically state don't tow more than the vehicle manufacturer suggests which is rather funny they even make a hitch for a car that the mfg says don't tow with it). Up til now I've resigned the newer Civic not to tow the 5x10 as the transmission doesn't feel near as robust as what was in my 94. I thought I'd not pull a trailer with this car until I saw Tirebiters little 40"x48" harbor freight trailer with 12" wheels in a post. So that got me to thinking that a lightweight small trailer wouldn't hurt the Civic too bad. He said he pulls it with a Pontiac Vibe and a Taurus no problems. I'm thinking it wouldn't be very hard on the Civic either.

I really like Tirebiters setup found in post 35 here http://tw200forum.com/forum/general-discussion/4166-how-do-you-haul-your-tw-4.html#post44175 using the small HF trailer. It looks great to haul a TW around on this one. Could I also easily and safely haul my BMW? I think I'd have to lengthen the trailer deck about 2-3'' or so to make that work. That means the deck would be 6-7' long. I'd probably put a longer tongue on it too by buying a 2 1/2" x 2 1/2" square tube a little heavier than the tongue that comes with the HF kit as this will help get the tongue weight correct and not be so short coupled. Empty weight without the deck is 151 lbs.

Then I look at Qwerty's 4'x8' setup and think the non-foldable HF 1720 lb trailer would give me more options...but then again I want it as lightweight as possible to tow it with the Civic. This is an empty weight of 250 lbs without the deck. This is still 1/4th the weight of my 5x10 empty. Compared to the little trailer, finished as I would want it, if I lengthen the deck 2-3' means the 4x8 is only 8" wider and 1-2' longer but mostly it's just 100lbs heavier. Either one is much much lighter than my 5x10.

For you HF trailer gurus, which is a better way to go to haul a TW or BMW with a Civic? I have lots of 20% off coupons so no problem either way on cost as these are pretty cheap. I'm leaning the smaller and lighter the better for the Civic as I will still have my 5x10 to haul larger and heavier items than I can even with the HF 4x8. Is there something I should know or am missing? Anyone else using the 40"x48" HF trailer to haul bikes?

There is a good chance I will haul out to Moab next year with the Civic unless there is a trailer headed that way from the Midwest with some room on it and room in a vehicle. That trip in 2015 looked like you guys/girls had a great time together.

(yes, I've read all the posts about HF trailers to remove, clean and repack the bearings, check bolt tightness yada yada so you don't need to chime in about that)

Jay Dub
 

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That 4x8 doesn't weigh much at all and with the tilt makes it a snap to load and unload. I bought one way back in 94 and just got rid of it last year so lasted me about 20 years would have kept but had no place to store down here in the keys when I moved down here. Hulled everything from dirt bikes to my drag bikes with it over the years, had to change the bearings/hubs once in those 20 years and was always stored outside. I took a sheet of 3/4 treated plywood, ripped made an opening down the middle, and ran a 2x8 with 2 2x4s on there sides for the edge and made a front stop with same 2x8 and scrap of plywood for gusset braces put eye bolts at each corner and 1 half way down each side. Cut a 45 at the back edge to let bikes roll up a little easier. All treated and it lasted fine those 20 years never changed the wood on it. All fastened down with carriage bolts. That thing had hauled bikes from indiana to florida to arizona, back to florida, georgia. Bet it had at least 30k miles on it. Was still rolling fine when I sold it. This was the same trailer, not mine but same one. It is bigger than the one you showed up above but made it nice when you needed extra space for gear or whatever.
 

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I have an ancient 4 x 6 trailer with old decking boards that I use for my scooters and small bikes. It works fine, but the TW200 isn't heavy at all. If you are not carrying multiple bikes, or need space for additional camping gear, the little 870 lb. Capacity 40 in. x 49 in. Utility Trailer (Item # 42708), will work just fine. Tirebiter's example is excellent.

The only thing I would add is the 1800 Lb Capacity Motorcycle Stand/Wheel Chock #61670/#97841, because it has the integrated tie-down points. (I have one of those on the back deck of my RV bus that I used to carry the scooter across country with and it worked like a charm.) Also, if you get ramps to load the bike and turn them upside down as Tirebiter did, make sure you file down the sharp edges! The underside of the Harbor Freight ramps are vicious!
 

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Fellow I bought my hitch carrier from had a Harbor Freight 40x48 he used for his KTM. Custom front tire bracket on the trailer tongue as you would imagine. He said it worked very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
All good info. I've been leaning to build one like tirebiter's as it's just so light. The 4x8 is 100 lbs heavier but it still is only 250 lbs empty. That's still 1/4th of the weight of my 5x10. Again, its just something light enough to pull with my Civic.

Conversation with my wife last night and she said she would ride a 4 wheeler with me like Admiral's wife rides with him. Hmm, now the 4x8 might be better as I might be able to shoehorn a quad and tw on a 4x8 but even then I don't know. Anybody haul a quad and tw on a 4x8? Will she ride really? If going the two of us I can use my heavy trailer still... Decisions decisions.
 

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All good info. I've been leaning to build one like tirebiter's as it's just so light. The 4x8 is 100 lbs heavier but it still is only 250 lbs empty. That's still 1/4th of the weight of my 5x10. Again, its just something light enough to pull with my Civic.

Conversation with my wife last night and she said she would ride a 4 wheeler with me like Admiral's wife rides with him. Hmm, now the 4x8 might be better as I might be able to shoehorn a quad and tw on a 4x8 but even then I don't know. Anybody haul a quad and tw on a 4x8? Will she ride really? If going the two of us I can use my heavy trailer still... Decisions decisions.
Howdy Jaydub,

Though we mostly use our horse trailer now, as we can throw a bunch of extral stuff in it, we still have and use our small utility trailer once in a while on short trips.

I think ours is a little wider than the 4x8, but close. I use a front tire thingy to help hold the TW on the trailer with the ATV. It works!


Photo loaded without the front tire holder.
 

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Admiral set-up shows that a nominal 4x8 trailer can take a 4x4 and a TW side by side safely with the center of gravity forward of the trailer axle. Don't forget that the upgrade 12" wheels, decking, ramps and tie-down apparatus will all push the all-up weight well above the sum of the minimal listed weights of trailer, ATV and TW combined.
While I applaud and support JayDub's wife's desire to ATV with him a la Lori would also hate to see the Honda Civic over-stressed. There has to be a solution short of a F-350 SuperDuty in order to ride together, which I think is a fantastic thing for a couple to do.
 

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I think Admiral's trailer is 5 feet wide. Most 4x4 quads are 48' wide.
Correct, it is wider than 4X8. 5' is about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Ok, Here's what I came up with. I ended up getting the 90153 Harbor Freight 40"x48" trailer with the 12" tires. I modified it so I can use it with my BMW too by lengthening the tongue. Mine is now 40"x83" (longest I could do and not bang the front corner into the bumper on a very tight turn/jack knife). To do this I bought a 9' piece of 2 1/2" square tube 11ga for the tongue. I bolted it across all 3 cross members instead of just two as the original trailer. What I ended up with was still lighter than the 4x8' but can accommodate either bike I own or will own. I painted it all with rustoleum primer then with black rustoleum. I still need to put my HF 60392 wheel chock on it but I'll do that with the bikes on the trailer to adjust tongue weight. You'll notice the marker lights are on wood. I soldered in a ground wire and ran a ground to all the lights.

Trailer side only.jpg

Trailer side.jpg

Trailer back.jpg

I took it out on the road tonight and it tracked very well and I am impressed at how easily it pulls compared to my heavy 5'x10' trailer I already have. I put about 10 miles on it some at 80mph (tires are rated for 87mph). After hand packing the bearings with good grease when I installed the hubs and setting preload, the drivers side was a tiny bit tighter than I wanted (but I was afraid the next hole would be too loose) and it was a little warmer than the other side (I'd guess 120F). I took it home, loosened the axle nut one more hole on the drivers side, let it cool for an hour as I put away tools. I took it out again. This time after about 20 miles of 75-80mph both hubs were cool as in could barely notice a temperature difference when cold.

I debated going with the 4x8' and this trailer for a while. I am happy with what I have and I hope it serves me well to join up with you guys in Moab sometime or for some of the TAT in the next year or two.

Now to find a TW close to me for a decent price...that's what I am working on now. Hopefully the guy locally with a '93 who responded to my WTB on craigslist calls me this weekend saying he got it out of storage and cleaned up.
 

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I had bought a Carry-On trailer from Tractor Supply Co, six years ago. It's hauled three bikes at a time (was overloaded and it showed) and weighs about 150 lbs.



Four by six; the ramp is handy. It can store on its end at the far side of the garage by just unbolting the tongue and folding the ramp in against the floor. Floor is mesh steel; not sturdy but it'll hold up fine for a light cycle.

EDIT: Price was $299 on sale; today it's listed as $499. Shopping around might save you.
 
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