carterkendall

hitch carriers, the good, the bad, the ugly

17 posts in this topic

Hey guys! Looking for everyones input on hitch carriers. I did a ton of research when i was shopping and i was lured into buying the "ultimate mx hauler". I liked the design with no tie downs and how it lowered down and had the hydraulic lift. After using it a few times id almost rather tow a small trailer. Is anyone else kinda bummed on how long it takes to load a bike on the ultimate mx hauler as well as tools being required? 

these links below seem to have a different design but there isnt much info or reviews out there...i may just go back to the ramp style with tie downs.

http://racknroll.com.au/?product=rack-n-roll-enduro-mx-carrier-copy

http://www.808ds.com/web/index.php?siteid=401&pageid=3066

 

 

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The fastest solution is throwing a bike in the back of a truck.  Everything else takes more time.  I have the Ultimate MX Hauler and I find it to be pretty quick and easy.  No tools required as you use the jack lever for everything.  Maybe you're doing it wrong or not familiar with the process yet.

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I use a standard roll on hitch. Less than 10 minutes to install and tie down the bike. Not as fast as a truck or easy as a trailer, but I usually drive my SUV and only have a large enclosed trailer (used for longer trips with multiple bikes).

To me, 10 minutes is fine. Just use it as time to get my mind right for an awesome ride.

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The fastest solution is throwing a bike in the back of a truck.  Everything else takes more time.  I have the Ultimate MX Hauler and I find it to be pretty quick and easy.  No tools required as you use the jack lever for everything.  Maybe you're doing it wrong or not familiar with the process yet.

I must be over tightening everything then...the one thing that bugs me is there are no pins or safety features on the main bolts that anchor your pegs down. What if the bike moved when you hit a bump and one of those nuts vibrated loose and came off? All they had to do was machine a hole in it for a pin. Then I wouldn't stress about tightening it so much. They seem to never get tight enough for me. I crank it down and then shake the bike around a bit and go to check tightness and I can always do another rotation I feel like I'm gonna bend my damn pegs!

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9 hours ago, carterkendall said:


I must be over tightening everything then...the one thing that bugs me is there are no pins or safety features on the main bolts that anchor your pegs down. What if the bike moved when you hit a bump and one of those nuts vibrated loose and came off? All they had to do was machine a hole in it for a pin. Then I wouldn't stress about tightening it so much. They seem to never get tight enough for me. I crank it down and then shake the bike around a bit and go to check tightness and I can always do another rotation I feel like I'm gonna bend my damn pegs!

The footpeg wingnuts have a lock washer so you don't have to go crazy tightening them down.  You can hand tighten them and they won't come loose.  When I am tightening them I rock my bike back and forth and that makes it easy to get them real tight.  I have had my bike on my hauler while driving on some crazy gnarly roads and it was fine.  I think this thing is as secure as anything and might be the most secure way to haul your bike.

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Looks like a complete PITA. Just a little bit ago I opened the garage door, pulled the truck out to the sidewalk ( i got a sloped d.w that makes it easier to load) loaded my bike, tied it down, backed the truck back into the driveway and when I got out of the truck, the garage light went off. The light is on a 2 minute cycle. :ride:

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Probably the most expensive one out there, but I had this type of Joe Hauler since 2001 and just sold it to a buddy earlier this year. Used it with the Motorhome. Having a place for 2 gas cans was real convenient.

Picture is just a representation as this was not mine but identical to what I had

IMG_2055.jpg

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Good placement for the gas can but on rough roads, dips or crossing train tracks, etc I would never trust that flimsy webbing to hold the can in place.

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They are some of the priciest hitch haulers, but I have a single rail VersaHaul, then got a double rail VersaHaul.  Just under $500 for the single and right around $700-shipped for the double.  

I definitely didn't want the ladder style so the wheels could get hung up, people may have no problem but I love the smooth rails so far, makes both unloading and loading easy.  I like the ramps and how they store and the entire units, while heavy, especially the dual rack, I can trust my bikes on them and that they will last a while.  The extensions for the tie-downs are super and with a Quiet Hitch, I get little to no play as I don't use their included rattle eliminators as they are three bolts that need to be tightened and after I had a test fit one night, I hated how they worked and just have them in a box and just won't use them.  

I had read a great ad in a Florida boating magazine years ago and it can be easily applied to bikes:

About 80% of thought goes into the boat

About 15% of thought goes into the motor

5% of thought goes into the trailer when 100% of the boat goes onto the trailer.  

 

It made perfect sense to me, no need for me to take a chance when I have my favorite toy  on the back of my truck/SUV.  

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If anyone has one please poast some pictures. I would like to build one.


I don’t have any pictures and I’ll be building one as well, eventually. I have a pickup now but I plan on putting a cap on it and that means the bike won’t fit in the bed. I have a 14’ trailer for when the family goes, but most of the time its just me. I have an idea in my head of what it’ll look like and how it’ll function.

I have used a harbor freight one for years and I’m just not happy with them. Honestly I’ve never had a problem. And I’ve gone a couple thousand miles with it. But the main steel structure flexes. And it bothers me seeing it rock behind the vehicle.

The one I build will be overkill and heavy, but it won’t break. I already have the main piece. 1/4” thick piece of 2x2.

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On 12/5/2017 at 2:58 PM, hadfield4wd said:

 


I don’t have any pictures and I’ll be building one as well, eventually. I have a pickup now but I plan on putting a cap on it and that means the bike won’t fit in the bed. I have a 14’ trailer for when the family goes, but most of the time its just me. I have an idea in my head of what it’ll look like and how it’ll function.

I have used a harbor freight one for years and I’m just not happy with them. Honestly I’ve never had a problem. And I’ve gone a couple thousand miles with it. But the main steel structure flexes. And it bothers me seeing it rock behind the vehicle.

The one I build will be overkill and heavy, but it won’t break. I already have the main piece. 1/4” thick piece of 2x2.

Yep, seeing my bike rock is a little unnerving. My only complaint other than the gas can deal.

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I have a Haul Master hitch hauler by Harbor Freight. Before I bought it I looked at reviews and saw they had issues with welds breaking where the rack is connected to the main hitch tube. The one I have is redesigned and apparently has solved that problem. Overall I like the hauler concept vs. a trailer because it doesn't take much space to store and it is a MUCH cheaper (<$100 used) solution. No need for license, taillight connections, easy to store and maneuver and I can use my economic passenger vehicle vs. a truck. There are no speed limitations vs. a trailer. The downsides: it takes maybe 20 minutes to install and load the bike. That's not a lot of time but most times I'd rather just hop on and go. Still it saves a lot of fatiguing road time, especially after a long day of riding trails. Also I have a steep driveway and the hauler drags on my Honda Odyssey so I have to load the bike on the street. That is a bit of a hassle since I have to load my tools, straps and hauler in the van to take it down to the street. Lastly, the Haul Master design is meant to let the tires drop down into the carrier for a secure grip. This great for securing the bike but makes it a pain to unload if you have to do it alone because you have to work the the wheels up out of the carrier while balancing the bike. They do provide additional removable cross braces so you can use them to keep the wheels from dropping into the carrier, but you sacrifice the security that comes with it. I think it would be fine though as many carriers are designed without having the tires recessed. Overall I think it is a great concept, especially if you don't have the ground clearance issues I have.

Edited by Neilw
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11 hours ago, Neilw said:

Also I have a steep driveway and the hauler drags on my Honda Odyssey so I have to load the bike on the street.

They may have airbags for the rear suspension that might take care of this issue. Worth checking out at least.

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Yep, seeing my bike rock is a little unnerving. My only complaint other than the gas can deal.


Yeah they make me nervous. Especially since I know its the steel flexing eventually like a paperclip it’ll break, it might be 10 years from now. The one I build won’t flex.

But I’ve used one of the Harbor Freight ones for thousands of miles. When we take my wifes jeep to friends and not want to drag the trailer but still bring my bike.

Also I have a 14’ trailer and a pickup truck. But I’ll be putting a camper shell on the truck so I’ll make a hitch rack. There is a lot of time I go by myself and don’t want to drag the trailer. A well designed rack will do fine.

I may also get a small enclosed trailer that I can tow behind my company car. Storage space is not an issue for me.

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