Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

bike carrier or trailer, which is best?

Recommended Posts

Anyone want to give me opinions on the best low-cost trailers or bike carriers out there. I drive a full-size Ford Bronco and am looking at options for transporting my DR350. The DR is dual-sported, so I don't need anything for short-trips, but I'd also like to take the bike along with me to some more distant locations. Anyone who has used a trailer or carrier they liked please post about cost, quality, features, and any dislikes you had.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is an EASY answer. Since you have only ONE bike, go with the bike carrier. Get the one where you don't even need to use tie-downs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bike carrier works but I don't much care for them, plus your bike is one of the heavier off road bikes out there.

I have a bike trailer and it cost me $900 new. It is a three rail and tows well. What I don't like about it is that the bike is exposed and I can't hide my gear inside. The trailer.

I built a bide carrier for the back of my truck when using the shell and it is a pain because the tailgate is blocked and I don't have side access. Plus I am afraid I might get pulled over for obscured view or blocking my plate and taillights. A problem I can fix.

I have been thinking about an enclosed trailer because I could slip into my third bay and leave my riding stuff in it and kept my bike cleaned prepped and my clothes and tools ready. I would prefer one with an ATK bike shoe and no tie downs. Enclosed trailers are more expensive though. $1500 used and up $3000 or more depending on your wants for new.

Throw darts on this decision.

:cry: :cry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you go with a trailer I would suggest a trailer that has a fixed bed... the wheels are located further back on this type...helps with fishtailing at highway speeds.

What I like best about the suv/trailer combo... friends ask to borrow the trailer...not the truck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have room to store a trailer, I would go that route. It is going to be more expensive, but have better utility with a trailer. Depending on where you live you will have to register it. Depending on the type of trailer you get, you can use it to hauls other stuff too.

If you go with the carrier you can always add trailer lights to it if the bike blocks your truck tail lights.

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What I don't like about it is that the bike is exposed and I can't hide my gear inside.

Good point. Added security. An enclosed trailer can be locked, your bike can be locked inside the trailer and nothing is visible.

:cry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone want to give me opinions on the best low-cost trailers or bike carriers out there. I drive a full-size Ford Bronco and am looking at options for transporting my DR350. The DR is dual-sported, so I don't need anything for short-trips, but I'd also like to take the bike along with me to some more distant locations. Anyone who has used a trailer or carrier they liked please post about cost, quality, features, and any dislikes you had.

I have a '01 Land Cruiser, and thought long and hard about the trailer vs. carrier issue. I decided that I prefer to drive 75 mph on the way to ride, and I stand a much better chance of getting a ticket with a trailer, not to mention that you can't drive in the fast lane.

I researched all the haulers out there, and IMHO, the Joe Hauler Cam-Lock is the best available. Yes, it weighs a bit (maybe 60lb.). No, it's not compact. BUT, it can haul a 600lb. bike, so I'm not limited to my 250X or RM250. I can haul a streetbike if I ever get one.

It's a very solid, one-piece unit, and I paid $300. The aluminum loading ramp was $45. My bike does not move at all.

The problem with most of the units on the market is that they tend to wobble. Some companies have a "solution" but it usually involves a clamp that goes on the outside of the hitch. An afterthought, at best.

The Joe Hauler has a device that clamps inside the 2" receiver. You just tighten a bolt at the back of the unit once you install the carrier and pin. One word of advice-use some Never-Seize on the bolt. It can be a bit sticky.

The other haulers out there, especially the ones shipped UPS are all bolt-together. I'm not impressed as they're kind of flexy, and there's the potential that the unit will come apart. I don't want my bike falling off my car at any speed.

The hydraulic lifts seem nice, but I think they would sway a lot as they get broken in, so I passed on that option.

So, my vote is for the Joe Hauler Cam-Lock. It's not expensive, and works well. They also make a two bike unit.

As far as m/c trailers go, I think most small trailers tow terribly, especially with a conventionally sprung axle. I would only buy an enclosed 6x10 or bigger, with a torsion beam axle. Smooth riding, and stable at high speeds. Plus, you can keep your bikes clean, and get out of the rain if necessary when you're riding. Add an A/C unit, and a generator, and you're set :cry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have both and the real problem is the storage of the trailer. If you have a place to keep it at your house then go that way. You will end up using it for more than just your bike. If you can't store the trailer at your house then go with the carrier.. I have the Moto Jack and the thing works great..... I store the Moto Jack on a shelf in the garage.... I don't have a place for the trailer so I have to keep it a couple miles from the house.. Pain in the butt to go get the trailer and then load. More of a pain to unload then take the trailer back to the storage area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Cevy tahoe and needed a trailer to haul my bike. I got this little trailer from Harbor Frieght that folds up and can be stored in the garage. It is 8' x 4' and carries about 900 lbs and has the 12" wheels for highways speeds. It is a great trailer and only cost me with registration and the plywood deck about 300 bucks... somthing to think about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the Joe Hauler. It does the job and I can store it upright in the corner of my garage so it takes up hardly any space. The one thing I wish it had is a place to store two gas cans. Some of the other carriers have this option. If I were to buy one again it will be a model that has this option. Carrying gas cans for long distances in the back of the Explorer sucks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have a Joe Hauler. Best thing since sliced bread. I don't worry about the bike at all.

I have a trailer as well but only use it when I have more than one bike to carry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the Joe Hauler, too. For anyone in So Cal and willing to drive to Joe's shop in San Marcos (outside Escondido), he will custom weld gas can holders for any gas cans onto your Joe Hauler. He's very reasonable, too.

For a single bike, go with the carrier. Here in Calif, I got tired of being hassled by CHP since you can't drive in the fast lane with a trailer, restricted speed, etc. My taillights are easily seen with the Joe Hauler on the back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a very nice 5x8 trailer setup nice for my bike but I wanted my garage space back . I got the UMXH and 2 trips so far = 900 miles and liked it enough that I sold my trailer to a neighbor .I have a gas can holder on mine :cry:.

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have a Joe Hauler. It works really well and takes almost no room to store. The only thing is it does not have the cam lock system so it wobbles around alittle bit. It doesn't really bother me but I am sure the people driving behind me worry alitte bit. Also get a fork brace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm trying to decide trailer versus hauler too. Right now, I'm leaning towards the trailer since it's safer and more fun to ride with a buddy and putting two bikes on a hauler would be a challenge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have them both, hauler if I go by myself to meet people,(It stays at the house) or trailer if I am taking the family, (it is at the shop because I can't keep it at home)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nicely put. Couldn't agree more. I will be upgrading my carrier unit to the one mentioned. Mine is terrible. I'm also looking at an enclosed or longer utility trailer. :cry:

I have a '01 Land Cruiser, and thought long and hard about the trailer vs. carrier issue. I decided that I prefer to drive 75 mph on the way to ride, and I stand a much better chance of getting a ticket with a trailer, not to mention that you can't drive in the fast lane.

I researched all the haulers out there, and IMHO, the Joe Hauler Cam-Lock is the best available. Yes, it weighs a bit (maybe 60lb.). No, it's not compact. BUT, it can haul a 600lb. bike, so I'm not limited to my 250X or RM250. I can haul a streetbike if I ever get one.

It's a very solid, one-piece unit, and I paid $300. The aluminum loading ramp was $45. My bike does not move at all.

The problem with most of the units on the market is that they tend to wobble. Some companies have a "solution" but it usually involves a clamp that goes on the outside of the hitch. An afterthought, at best.

The Joe Hauler has a device that clamps inside the 2" receiver. You just tighten a bolt at the back of the unit once you install the carrier and pin. One word of advice-use some Never-Seize on the bolt. It can be a bit sticky.

The other haulers out there, especially the ones shipped UPS are all bolt-together. I'm not impressed as they're kind of flexy, and there's the potential that the unit will come apart. I don't want my bike falling off my car at any speed.

The hydraulic lifts seem nice, but I think they would sway a lot as they get broken in, so I passed on that option.

So, my vote is for the Joe Hauler Cam-Lock. It's not expensive, and works well. They also make a two bike unit.

As far as m/c trailers go, I think most small trailers tow terribly, especially with a conventionally sprung axle. I would only buy an enclosed 6x10 or bigger, with a torsion beam axle. Smooth riding, and stable at high speeds. Plus, you can keep your bikes clean, and get out of the rain if necessary when you're riding. Add an A/C unit, and a generator, and you're set :cry:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will have to pay him a visit....I'm 20 mins away.... thanks for the info!

I like the Joe Hauler, too. For anyone in So Cal and willing to drive to Joe's shop in San Marcos (outside Escondido), he will custom weld gas can holders for any gas cans onto your Joe Hauler. He's very reasonable, too.

For a single bike, go with the carrier. Here in Calif, I got tired of being hassled by CHP since you can't drive in the fast lane with a trailer, restricted speed, etc. My taillights are easily seen with the Joe Hauler on the back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, after researching it and reading all of the posts/replies here I think I've decided what I'm going to do. I think I'll build my own carrier for using in the meantime (I feel like I can fabricate one just as good as the Joe Hauler, for much less money). And then as soon as I can afford it, I'll go for the enclosed trailer. Thanks for all your opinions, its always helpfull to hear from the people who have actually used the products when making a decision like this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a Cevy tahoe and needed a trailer to haul my bike. I got this little trailer from Harbor Frieght that folds up and can be stored in the garage. It is 8' x 4' and carries about 900 lbs and has the 12" wheels for highways speeds. It is a great trailer and only cost me with registration and the plywood deck about 300 bucks... somthing to think about.

I have one of these trailers. They are great. Right now Harbor Freight has them on sale for $179 and $199, depending on the wheel size. I got the bigger wheels. I have pulled it out on the highway without any problem. I also have an enclosed trailer. The little trailer pulls just as nice. I hope this helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×