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Idaho Tote Motorcycle Towing


USAFE9

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WE are venturing into full time RV living in 2016. We have some experience living in a 5th Wheel but not a lot of driving and getting in and out of RV spaces experience. Most of our stays have been long term i.e. 3-4 or longer months at a time.

We would like to take our Goldwing with us and use it for travel within the area we are staying for various lengths of time. One of the advertised methods in Trailer Life Magazine to accomplish this, is Idaho Totes. We need to communicate with anyone who has experience with any kind of Motorcycle trailering behind a 5th Wheel or experience with using an Idaho Tote with it's steering wheels. Anybody have any information on this??

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Thank you for the feedback. Yes I am familiar with the swivel wheel dolly also. But in other discussions on various forums folks don't speak too highly of it. Several of the problems mentioned were towing speed restrictions on the tires, tire blow outs and wheel assembly mechanism problems. Don't know if these are all true but just by them being mentioned by people with experience I think there has to be some level of truth.

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Howdy!

 

We're fulltimers and used a Idaho Tote for severl years. We first carried a Yamaha Rhino, and the last two years a Smart Car. Idaho Tote is well built expensive, but you get what you pay for. I've look at most totes on the market before and after we purchase ours. Never seen on that would compare with the Idaho Tote. Ours had 15" wheels (not the small swivel ones) and its on braking system.

 

"Happy Trails"

Chiefneon

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Towing a trailer with a trailer is illegal in many states. Despite what some may say, a trailer connected to the frame (or other attachment method) is still a second trailer. They are illegal in Florida. If they weren't, I would have one. If you want to be sure whether or not an Idaho Tote is legal in your state, contact your state representative and ask his/her office to query the state DMV. That method will get you an answer from the right level, not some random person in a local office.

 

If you want to be legal in all 50 states, get a toy hauler or an Alfa Gold 3905SHMC. That is what I did.

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Well, I thank all of you for your feedback. In response to the question of speed, it's been said that the smaller swivel wheel tires should not exceed 50 MPH. We checked into the ALFA and the 3905SHMC model is amazing and would be a great solution to our issue, but frankly compared to the Keystone BIG SKY 382RL it was boring and bland and who wants a dishwasher located on the living room side of the center island? The Motorcycle garage and loader would be a great option for the 382RL if Keystone would consider the design.

Good point about ensuring a frame mounted extension trailer is legal in all states, we need to check into that. Current feedback from other RVers who have used one states there is no problem with the frame mounted extension trailer but there is with a traditional single point ball hitch trailer. I still need do ask more about this in different DMVs. Thanks to all who provided guidance on this issue. it's appreciated.

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For the last 2 1/2 years we have traveled with our swivel trailer mounted on the back of our 34' Cameo fifth wheel, and for 2 of those years it hauled a GL1800 Goldwing. We have never had any issues with the police and have been all over Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and just left California after spending 3 months driving almost the entire length. I have the camper licenses plate mounted on the swivel trailer and treat it as one unit and again no problems. The 8" Load D range tire only last about 2500 miles and have been through about 8 tires now. Best advice is get a TMS (tire monitor system), backup camera, and carry 2 spares.

 

 

Greg

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Well, I thank all of you for your feedback. In response to the question of speed, it's been said that the smaller swivel wheel tires should not exceed 50 MPH. We checked into the ALFA and the 3905SHMC model is amazing and would be a great solution to our issue, but frankly compared to the Keystone BIG SKY 382RL it was boring and bland and who wants a dishwasher located on the living room side of the center island? The Motorcycle garage and loader would be a great option for the 382RL if Keystone would consider the design.

Good point about ensuring a frame mounted extension trailer is legal in all states, we need to check into that. Current feedback from other RVers who have used one states there is no problem with the frame mounted extension trailer but there is with a traditional single point ball hitch trailer. I still need do ask more about this in different DMVs. Thanks to all who provided guidance on this issue. it's appreciated.

 

Boring and bland, huh? Well, from one old Chief to another, I guess I am boring and bland. Wife and I love the room and comfort in the 3905. Much, much better than the 2014 Cyclone 4000. I skipped the dishwasher. With only 2 of us, who needs a dishwasher to add more waste water to a tank.

 

I hope other marques decide to build a coach with a m/c garage in a slide. My GL15 will probably still be on the road in 7+ yrs. It only has 224K on it now.

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For the last 2 1/2 years we have traveled with our swivel trailer mounted on the back of our 34' Cameo fifth wheel, and for 2 of those years it hauled a GL1800 Goldwing. We have never had any issues with the police and have been all over Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and just left California after spending 3 months driving almost the entire length. I have the camper licenses plate mounted on the swivel trailer and treat it as one unit and again no problems. The 8" Load D range tire only last about 2500 miles and have been through about 8 tires now. Best advice is get a TMS (tire monitor system), backup camera, and carry 2 spares.

 

 

Greg

 

I have seen them on the roads in Fla, mostly pulled by snowbirds. Never seen one stopped by LEO. I am not willing to chance a ticket and be forced to drop the second trailer. Plenty of others are. I wish them all luck and safe travels.

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Again, I thank you for your inputs. Your experience and feedback is appreciated. The ALFA, for us, just wasn't what we wanted for full time, but the motorcycle garage and loading equipment is definately a positive and our GW SE 1500 would fit right in. For the Swivel wheel trailer with tires lasting about 2500 miles and 8 tires in a 2 1/2 years is a lot of expense and labor. Do you have a Single Swivel wheel or the Double Swivel wheel set up? If you only have a single wheel, the frequent tire changes verifies what I've been told in other forums, But if it's the dual wheel trailer, then the frequency of tire replacements must be related to size of tire, tire speed rating, tire composition and heat rating. Don't know if there are better tires in this size out there.

I do like the idea of putting the 5er license plate on the back of the trailer and treating the trailer as part of the coach frame. Good advice.

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I skipped the dishwasher. With only 2 of us, who needs a dishwasher to add more waste water to a tank.

 

 

A little off topic, but a Fisher/Paykel dishwasher actually uses less water than washing the same amount of dishes in a sink. I believe it is 1.9 gallons per load in the dishwasher. You would be hard pressed to wash a sink full of dishes with only 1.9 gallons.

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Chad,

Thanks for the tip on the dishwasher. We took a look at the Big Sky 378Rl and 379RL floor plans last night. We may have an alternate because the "Boss" is wanting to see one in person. So, we'll track down a dealer with one on the lot and take a look at them. I noticed you listed a Kenworth T2000 as a tow vehicle. Is this much vehicle necessary for a Big Sky??

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My swivel trailer just has the one tire and it is designed for a 8" tire only. The expense isn't bad and is between $30 - $60 each depending where you buy. I always check my tire at each stop and will change it early if heading into a busy area and don't want to be caught along side the road, BTDT on I-80 in Chicago, but again you learn to plan ahead. As far as changing the tire, I carry a bottle jack, wrench and can change a tire in under 15 minutes. The trailer is legal in all states and you can verify that with Mastercraft by calling and talking to them. A second trailer is a hook up via a ball, pinto, or a system that allows the trailer to fish tail. The swivel trailer is a solid mount to the frame much like a platform with a support tire. I have been all over the country and done a fair amount of research and have never heard of anyone having a issue with the police with this swivel trailer. Toy haulers are OK, but not in my living space.

 

Greg

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Here is the response I received from the Florida Highway Patrol via my state rep. To be clear, a court judge would be the final answer. We take our chances everyday. There are some RVers who are over length and never get stopped and cited. There are people who double tow the swivel wheel and never get stopped and cited. Since I live in Florida and would do the majority of my double towing there, I opted to NOT take my chances on a swivel wheel. Roll the dice and take your chances.

 

I apologize for the delayed response, FHP had to do a little research for this one. It was determined that this would be considered a separate trailer, which would not be authorized in a truck-trailer-trailer combination pursuant to FS. 316.515 due to the fact that the each trailer has a separate articulation point. See below further explanation from Lt. Colonel Thompson and please let me know if Mr. McCune needs additional information or has further questions.

The variable is that this company appears to be manufacturing a rigid trailer with no articulation point. On the manufacturer's website, they point out only 22 states allow this type of trailer as an extension, but they identify that their position is that the device is an extension of the original trailer, not a trailer in itself. The manufacturer lists Florida as a state that recognizes the device as a trailer which cannot be used as a third vehicle. Florida statute leans toward this device being a trailer, but I didn't find anything that specifically defines this type of device with a rigid coupling device. Subsequently, as a trailer, this vehicle would not be authorized to operate in a truck-trailer-trailer combination pursuant to FSS 316.515.

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Yes I am familiar with the swivel wheel dolly also. But in other discussions on various forums folks don't speak too highly of it. Several of the problems mentioned were towing speed restrictions on the tires, tire blow outs and wheel assembly mechanism problems. Don't know if these are all true but just by them being mentioned by people with experience I think there has to be some level of truth.

Yet you bought a 5th with the same 65 MPH tire speed restrictions as a swivel 8" wheel?

Probably most of the blow outs could be from owners not checking the 100 PSI required for the 8" tires.

Or replacing them when wore out.

 

A google search for "Swivelwheel trailer blow outs" didn't show any with that problem.

 

Now do a google search for "RV 5th wheel trailer blow outs" and you get a lot of hits. :)

 

And you can buy 2 Swivelwheels and have change left, to 1 Idaho Totes not even counting the extras needed.

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Chad,

Thanks for the tip on the dishwasher. We took a look at the Big Sky 378Rl and 379RL floor plans last night. We may have an alternate because the "Boss" is wanting to see one in person. So, we'll track down a dealer with one on the lot and take a look at them. I noticed you listed a Kenworth T2000 as a tow vehicle. Is this much vehicle necessary for a Big Sky??

I am on my second Big Sky. I like them for what they are. If you haven't already, you should check out the Montana Owners Group forum. There are a number of MOC members that full time in their Big Sky's. I personally don't know how they would stand up to full time use. Mine is doing well after 6 years, but I only use it about one long weekend a month and one or two longer trips a year. I have also done a lot of my own upgrades to make it more to my liking.

 

As far as needing the T2000 to pull it, I will say it is overkill. I bought the T2000 in preparation for a future, heavier trailer. My Big Sky weighs in at about 16300 lbs fully loaded, which is very close to its GVW. Any of the newer one ton dually diesels will handle it with no problems. I would definitely recommend a dually over a single rear wheel tow vehicle though for a trailer this size.

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I also built my own dual wheel swivel extension and had a 1000lb RZR on it. It has the 8 inch tires and I pulled it all over the west from Canada down to the south west states at hiway speeds with nonproblems at all. My friend who was following me said that it tracked perfectly straight with no wheel issues at all. I liked that I could back up the rig without disconnecting anything.

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