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Toy Hauler and HD Touring Bikes


Blessed

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DH and I are looking 5th Toy Haulers to go full timing in. We currently have two full dresser Harley Davidson motorcycle and I have a couple of questions that I am hoping you can answer.

 

1) What is your Toy Hauler, your tow vehicle and how long is your garage?

2) Do you garage your MC every night or leave them parked outside the trailer?

3) How difficult is it to back your motorcycle down the ramp?

4) How does the weight behind the axles affect the towing significantly?

5) What do you like best about your Toy Hauler, desperately wish you could change?

6) What is the rating on the tires?

 

Thank you.

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1. We have a Forest River XLR 29 MBV Toy Hauler which is a 30' travel trailer with a 10' garage area. We tow it with a 2010 Dodge 2500 diesel Ram pickup truck.

 

2. Once we reach our destination, we leave our two bikes out under bike covers at night. We have two BMW bikes - an 1100 cc and a 750 cc. I also have a 760 lb. Honda ST 1100 touring bike. I find it challenging to load the ST because it is too heavy and large. Our toy hauler also used the garage area as the main bedroom with a happi-jac queen size bed that lowers from the ceiling when the bikes are out.

 

3. Getting the bikes out out the trailer is not difficult. Use the clutch and keep the bikes in first gear rather than the front brakes. Once I get them 1/2 down the ramp, I just ride them backwards. We usually unload the bikes in the road if it is not too busy in the campground. Watch for gravel where you back them off.

 

4. Toy haulers are built with a heavy tongue weight to offset the weight of the bikes in the rear.

 

5. We like that we use 100% of the space in the toy hauler with the bedroom in the garage. We wanted to keep the size of our toy hauler down so we can fit in most national and state parks. At 30 feet we are good. Nothing that we are desperate to change.

 

6. We have Maxxis D rated tires - switched to better tires on the trailer after the 2nd year.

 

If you decide to buy a toy hauler I strongly recommend that you get good chocks that are mounted to the floor. The Honda ST wanted to "move" in the cargo area when we did not have our Condor chocks mounted. We tie them down at all four points and do not have an issue. When loading, keep your RPMs up and ride the bike up the ramp. It is daunting at first but becomes easier with practice. Many state parks charge you extra vehicle charges for the bikes in addition to the truck so that is a pain.

 

Best of luck in your decision!

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I have multiple RV's and I take my full dress Harley Ultra along on 2 of them. When headed south for a long stay in one winter spot I use my 39 ft Teton pulled by an HDT and the Harley rides on the rear deck of the HDT, using a Rampage lift/ramp. When headed out for shorter trips with the toys I have a Toy Hauler to take the Harley and or my ATV & dirt bike.

 

1) What is your Toy Hauler, your tow vehicle and how long is your garage?

36 ft Raptor 5th wheel Toy Hauler w/ 10 ft garage

 

2) Do you garage your MC every night or leave them parked outside the trailer?

depends on location & weather, I've done both

 

3) How difficult is it to back your motorcycle down the ramp?

after the first couple times, its not difficult at all. I use a combination of gearing, clutching & braking to slow it down. But if you go too slow it tends to slide down the ramp on its own. Better to check & clear the landing area, get it lined up and let it rip.

 

4) How does the weight behind the axles affect the towing significantly?

no noticeable difference in handling of the rig, loaded or unloaded. with both my heavy Harley & heavy ATV in the rear garage, the pin weight only drops about 40 pounds on mine.

 

5) What do you like best about your Toy Hauler, desperately wish you could change?

I purposely bought a smaller toy hauler to allow me to pull it with my 4x4 pickup to off road camping/riding areas. Mine is shared by the Harley, an ATV and a KTM off road bike. I like the garage being walled off as a completely separate area, with the bikes, gas, tools & dirty riding clothes separated from the living areas. I wish the Toy Hauler ramp/door was stronger; every time I load/unload the Harley with my big butt on it, that ramp flexes. I'm waiting for it to crack, and I keep saying I should add some reinforcing before its too late. I also love the Condor locking chock, when loading it holds the big Harley in place while I strap it down.

The heating/cooling of the garage is typically a weak point in most toy haulers. I don't use my garage for anything but a garage, so it doesn't bother me. But folks who try to use the garage as an extra room are usually disappointed in the lack of heat/cooling in the garage. (unless you add a sep AC unit just for the garage)

 

6) What is the rating on the tires?

mine are 16" 10 ply E rated, which is enough for my 6000 lb axles. I did upgrade my tires right after delivery, from the OEM Chinese brand to a more dependable brand (Maxxis), same size/type/rating

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First TH was a Cyclone 4000 with a 11.5' garage. HATED IT!!! Truck was/is a GMC 1-ton dually. Current TH, which isn't a traditional TH, is an Alfa Gold 3905SHMC. LOVE IT!!! Won;t work for you since it has only room for 1 bike.

 

My bike stays outside under a cover once it is out of the garage.

 

Since you have Harleys, consider using these to secure them in the garage;

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VKc_w0R9_I

 

As for backing down the ramp; engine off, bike in first gear, use the clutch to ease the bike down the ramp. You must be careful to maintain enough momentum when the rear tire hits the ground that you keep moving. There is a point when your feet will likely NOT touch the ground. At that point, the only thing to keep you from falling over is rearward motion.

 

Also be careful if/when the ramp is wet. The material used on some ramp doors is just not sticky enough to counteract the moisture.

 

I'm sure you could find a few vids if you Google it.

 

Never noticed any out of the ordinary towing issues.

 

Tires on the Cyclone were TowMax 3,000+ lb each (6 total). Tires on the Alfa are G114s...MUCH better tires.

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Morning Everyone,

 

Thank you for the replies. :rolleyes:

 

There is so much to learn and I appreciate the time you took to answer my questions. My DH laughs and feels sorry for the salesmen we encounter both at the RV and truck dealerships. This is a big investment and major adjustment so I want to be as knowledgeable as possible.

 

@linnemj - I will be checking out the condor chocks - are they easy to remove when you are parked for a while? Looks like I will be polishing our bikes more in the future - they were garaged in the S&B.

 

@Jim2 - We are leaning towards the Grand Design 385TH or 380M. I know that they are long, heavy 5ers but (according to emails with manufacturer) they have insulation throughout the unit, including the garage floor. We are discussing having the 3rd AC so we can use the garage as living space.

 

How would you strengthen the ramp door? Would that have a significant effect the weight? It is hard to get a feel for how much cargo you can carry - I know the bikes are around 1,700# which is ~half of the cargo capacity.

 

@Remoandiris - saw a video on the Alfa Gold and really like the concept. Wish it had a set of MC garage slides. I have thought about giving up my Street Glide, but some days you just need to get your lean on by yourself. :D

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Those are both nice units, I've never owned a Grand Design, but I've toured a few and they look very well made. For just the bikes, I think you could get by with the 10 ft garage model, but it depends on what else you may want to carry in the garage space. Not much difference in the rest of the layout if you decide to go with the 12 ft garage model.

With either one of those models you're looking at a big truck to carry over 3000 lb pin weight. Also, I would point out that with that heavy rig and 7000 lb axles, the LRE tires that the factory supplies are border line to cover that weight. I would look into converting to 17.5" wheels & tires; you might even make that part of the deal. Lots of folks here who have the heavier rigs have gone to 17.5 tires and are very happy with the results, gives you a lot more load cushion/safety factor and more tire selection options. With the 2 heavy bikes on board and everything else you'll need to carry, you'll definitely be pushing the limit of GVWR, and need to keep your tank levels at a minimum when traveling.

Yes, they do have extra insul in the floor which helps keep your toes warm in winter, but in summer heat, most of the cooling is lost thru walls, roof, windows. I would go for the 3rd AC in a rig that size if you plan to travel in areas with 90 or higher temps.

As for my rear door/ramp its a Lippert that rated for 2000 lbs which sounds like plenty, but that's for a dispersed load, not spot load. So with the 900 lb Harley plus my 250 lbs concentrated on 2 small spots, its close to maxed out. My plan is to just attach a sheet of plywood over the existing surface to strengthen it and help disperse the load better.

 

Edit: I forgot to mention, if you go for the optional seating & bed in the garage area, be careful of the limited head clearance when loading the bikes. My Raptor has that optional dinette seating plus a bed on the garage lift rails and even with them raised as far as they go up, I had to lay on my tank to prevent hitting my head on the hanging bed frame. since I never used the garage bed, I eventually took it out and just left the seating, to get more headroom.

 

and for reference, here is a link to the 17.5" tire write up from one of the regulars here http://www.dmbruss.com/zFullTimeLifeStyle/FTLS_Tires_SizeChange.htm

 

@Jim2 - We are leaning towards the Grand Design 385TH or 380M. I know that they are long, heavy 5ers but (according to emails with manufacturer) they have insulation throughout the unit, including the garage floor. We are discussing having the 3rd AC so we can use the garage as living space.

 

How would you strengthen the ramp door? Would that have a significant effect the weight? It is hard to get a feel for how much cargo you can carry - I know the bikes are around 1,700# which is ~half of the cargo capacity.

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@ Jim2 - Thanks!!!

I did not even think about the head room when loading/unloading in the bikes. Something else to measure while looking this weekend.

 

Also, thanks for the tire info and suggestion. I have seen too much tire debris on the road and am always thankful that the tire did not blow while I was passing. I want to be safe for our sake and those around us. It is going take some time getting used to checking all 18 tires on a consistent basis (6 plus spare for truck and 5er, then 4 on the MCs). If you change the rims and tires can you still have a TPM system? thanks for the link, reading through it now.

 

Will you put a coating on the plywood to help with traction? I am guessing that you will be installing it on the inside of the ramp.

 

Hope you are having a great day.

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I have a 2012 Cyclone 4014. It has a 14 foot garage. I would not go shorter than a 12 foot garage. A 10 foot garage will put your front wheel against the front wall and the back tire against the ramp. I have a Condor wheel chuck bolted to the floor. I never remove it. I don't have any trouble loading my dresser but I travel alone and unloading is always a challenge. I too put the bike in 1st gear (with the motor off) and use the clutch when backing out. I leave the bike out and don't reload until it's time to leave.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Blessed,

 

I'm new here, but do have some input to loading and unloading big cruiser bikes into toy haulers. Most toy haulers have single point tie down points which makes it harder to tie down. Our 5th wheel has three aluminum aircraft tie down rails with adjustable point locations, combined with a low angle high capacity ramp door. The 14 ft garage also aids with all the other stuff riders like to bring.

 

I'm not sure I would change anything...our rig has definitely stood the test of time and looks great. Always get comments on the full body paint.

 

Best thing is the wife is satisfied with the living area, which is more home like, instead of man cave décor and I still get my garage for our tools and toys.

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We haul two HD dressers have never had our chocks bolted down. Have been doing this for 10 years it makes it easy to remove and use the space for something else. It only takes me 15 minutes to load and tie done. Backing down the ramp is very easy use the front brake and have the bike in gear and use the clutch as a rear brake.Our 5th is a newmar x-aire added to the tie done rails so that they go to the back of the trailer.

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Morning All,

 

Hope you are enjoying this terrific Tuesday.

 

@ camper_boy and 2gypies - thanks for the info - will check out the Newmar, how does the F450 handle pulling your rig in the mountains?

 

@ remoandiris - thanks - did not think of looking on FB

 

@ BRU - thanks -good to know that the weight of the bikes and tie downs keep the chocks in place with out modifying the garage floor, like the picture

 

DH and I are looking for a dealership in the Houston area to check out HDTs and looking into the specific differences between the F350, F450, F550.

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Blessed,

 

We have a 2008 Ford F450 approx. 50k miles that we will be selling after the X-Aire sells. As to traveling out west we have made two trips and the truck performed very well. This set up works very good with the B&W Companion hitch and all Mor/Ryde suspension and pin box.

 

If you want to discuss further I would be happy to fill you in on our experiences.

 

I have all information on my X-Aire and Truck as far as maintenance so if you are interested please see my advertisement here in the classified and call me to talk. Thanks, Tom and Marci

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Blessed,

 

Differences in F350, F450, and F550's is all chassis strength and gearing. As you move up weight handling capacity goes up. So power train (engine and trans) are same in all just HD chassis and transmission differences. Rear axle numbers also creates more towing ability..ie, 3.73,4.10,4.30, 4.88:1.

 

In my toy hauler I used motorcycle chocks as well, but the way its designed I can lock the chock (adjustable) to floor rails as well to keep bikes from shifting during travel. It may not be needed, but just knowing the tie downs are not the only fixed points is great.

 

So I've heard if the tie downs are not frame secured they may pull out. My rails are fixed to steel, not just subfloor.

 

Let me know if you have any more questions...Thanks, Tom

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Yes, the interior was a tough call for the wife...Newmar does a great job of making the toy hauler type rig look more livable than most. Most of the others are man cave like. So, do your research...we did and at the time this was the best choice. We are very picky Engineers with very detailed concerns for reliability and durability. Let us know what you think and if we can be of any assistance.

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  • 3 weeks later...

We own a 2011 Cyclone 3010. We haul 2 Harleys with us everywhere we go, but neither one is a Dresser. Our tow vehicle is a 2001 F350 Crew Cab Dually Diesel. We use removeable chokes so we can use the garage area for our dining area. We love our rig and it suites our needs perfectly. One thing you will want to check out is how much cargo TOTAL that you can put in your entire camper. For example: We can haul 2500 lbs in the cargo area, but our total cargo weight for the entire 5th wheel is 2790 lbs. Two Harley Dressers would use up a good chunk of that 2790 lbs.

 

As far as towing I notice no difference with the bikes behind the axels, or when the trailer is empty when I take it in for winter and de-winterization.

 

I unload before I un-hook, and reload after I'm hooked to the truck (for the most part). I use both the front brake, and keep the bikes in gear and use the clutch as well if needed.

 

We use a 12 x 12 ft. Easy-up canopy to park the bikes under.

 

We love our Cyclone, and enjoy it often, and if everything goes to plan we will be enjoying it "full time" with-in the next 2 years. Hope this helps you some, and good luck.

 

Safe travels. :)

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  • 4 weeks later...

"Newmar does a great job of making the toy hauler type rig look more livable than most. Most of the others are man cave like".... which is exactly why we chose to go with creature comforts for us, and a separate 20' cargo trailer for the scooters, chocks stayed in place, and the trailer was the "garage", no parking outside, no trailering outside in the elements.

 

Regards

Gemstone

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  • 6 months later...

Another option to consider, if you haven't pulled the trigger yet, is the Keystone Fuzion line. I have a FZ420 which has a 12' garage and 30 gallon fuel box with pump. I have a 2010 street glide and it fits fine. WE chose the FZ420 due to dual patios as the side patio replaces the 3rd slider. My wife likes the open air room vs. the slide sofa as there is more of it and it has a TV mounted on it too. We fined it a pretty nice RV setup and like the options of using the bike or the truck for local use once setup.

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What hasn't been mentioned is the weight capacity of the garage area. My Raptor 3813 has 12' garage and a 2000 lb capacity. A full dresser weighs in somewhere around 850 lbs. That also figures in your overall GVW. The rig needs to be weighed combat loaded (gas and water tank full, bikes loaded and everything to live.) and empty to see how it affects the tow vehicle and pin weight. This also affects weight distribution over the trailer axles, putting more stress on one tire over the other. Upgraded tires/wheels and larger truck may be needed.

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We now have the Newmar mentioned above by camper-boy. So far, we've taken it on one trip of nearly 5k miles to and through Texas. We had two BMWs in the garage. We unload as advised above, bike in gear (engine off), feather the clutch and use a little front brake.

 

Our garage is 14'. We could manage with less, but find the space useful for light, bulky items. I try to keep most of the weight forward as pin weight doesn't concern me with our truck, but tire loading is a constant worry.

 

We leave our bikes outside when parked. So far, no issues.

 

One thing to consider is that if you need the sleeping area of the garage, you are forced to unload every night, rather than just pull in and go to bed. We often pull into a rest area for the night when traveling long distances.

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