Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

Hitch Carrier and a Mini-Van

Recommended Posts

I don't know. Never had one and never tried one on someone else's vehicle.

I will say that I've had great success with: Da'Lan, Reese and Draw-tite.

Post a question in this forum (not thread) and some one will answer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was considering doing this with my 04 Pontiac Montana Ext AWD. It does have the air shocks and the AWD, and its a very stiff body. But I already own a 4x8 trailer, just thought a carrier like this would be more efficient to haul it across the country.

I'll have to rethink it now. Although... the "sheet metal" argument has nothing to do with anything. A class 2 hitch is a class 2 hitch. Its bolted where it should be bolted, the manufacture has rated it appropriately, and your not going to convince too many people that a ~300 lb dirt bike is going due more damage then a 3500lb trailer with a few hundred lbs of tongue weight bouncing along down the road. This case may require a class 3... its probably the safest bet.

However, the fact the weight is extended does not make the bike "weigh" more, total downward force must still remain the same, however it adds upward force of equal value "X # of feet" towards the center of the van. X being the total # of feet between the carrie and center of the bike load. And yes it does act like a lever arm, but in the end all this does is act to reduce loading on the front wheels, but, at ~2000 llbs I'm not too worried. Especially when the van is again fully loaded with trip gear and passenger.

I do recognize the validity of the arugment of the lever arm though, and as long as the carrier is not sitting "too" far out (too being the objective word) it shouldnt be an issue. Because if it is "too" far out... then it doesnt matter what kind of vehicle your driving. Your class X hitch will experience "too" much force.

My main concerns would be the strength of the hitch, and the durability/spring rate of the rear suspension. If I can stand/bounce on the rear hitch ball (~225 lbs) about 12 inches out from the recepticle with not too much bottoming, it seems good to me. You have to remember that even the "ball" is sitting out a foot from the "hitch" and tonque weight usually refers to weight at that location. You are removing the ball in this application, and adding a carrier, so in reality your only sitting slightly further out then the ball, trailer scenario.

I'm going to have to crawl under there and take a peak and make the call for myself.

The problem with my last few trips with the trailer is... blowing tires (2 last trip). Limited speed, (due to the small tires, and aerodynamics), reduced mileage, and changing the wheel bearings in the trailer.

I realize the "best" way for the van... is the trailer. I need to decide what the best way for myself is....

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haul 2 KX 85's in the back of my Ford Freestar along with tool box etc. I know soon enough he'll be on a big wheel 100 and the hitch thing I've also thought about.

Why not negate some of this "leverage" by running a couple of ratchet straps from the luggage rack over the bike to the carrier. Just use a piece of carpet or by those seat belt sheep skin thingies to not rub on the roof?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please dear God, don't do this with a class II hitch.

I've never noticed enough drop in fuel economy to make me worry about it. I think we go from 26 mpg to 22 mpg towing the trailer in a sedan, that's loaded with four people, gear and three bikes. My Miata (yes, that's what I said) still gets 24 mpg towing a 4X8 trailer with two bikes and gear on the trailer with me and the gf in the passenger compartment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boy this post scares me. Will the carrier work? Most likely. Will it be safe? Most likely. Use a trailer with proper speed rated tires and be sure. Personally, I use my 3/4 ton truck. Overkill, but I've seen bikes on those carriers wobbling down the highway and I paid too much for my ride to slide it down the tarmac.

Do as you please, but try to not hurt anyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'll have to rethink it now. Although... the "sheet metal" argument has nothing to do with anything. A class 2 hitch is a class 2 hitch. Its bolted where it should be bolted, the manufacture has rated it appropriately, and your not going to convince too many people that a ~300 lb dirt bike is going due more damage then a 3500lb trailer with a few hundred lbs of tongue weight bouncing along down the road. This case may require a class 3... its probably the safest bet.

Show me a hitch hauler that is manufactured to fit into a Class II hitch, and I'll show you a manufacturer who has a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Show me a manufacturer who tests, rates, and designs their receiver hitch for an extended load.

However, the fact the weight is extended does not make the bike "weigh" more, total downward force must still remain the same, however it adds upward force of equal value "X # of feet" towards the center of the van. X being the total # of feet between the carrie and center of the bike load. And yes it does act like a lever arm, but in the end all this does is act to reduce loading on the front wheels, but, at ~2000 llbs I'm not too worried. Especially when the van is again fully loaded with trip gear and passenger.

Have you taken into consideration that vehicle tow ratings are for an Ethiopian driver, minimal fuel, and zero cargo, passengers, etc?

Now start deducting the weight of your cargo and passengers, fuel, drivers excess weight, etc from the tow and tongue rating.

My main concerns would be the strength of the hitch, and the durability/spring rate of the rear suspension. If I can stand/bounce on the rear hitch ball (~225 lbs) about 12 inches out from the recepticle with not too much bottoming, it seems good to me. You have to remember that even the "ball" is sitting out a foot from the "hitch" and tonque weight usually refers to weight at that location. You are removing the ball in this application, and adding a carrier, so in reality your only sitting slightly further out then the ball, trailer scenario.

I have never seen a hitch hauler that carries the weight 12" from the end of the hitch, and standard hitches do not carry their weight (center of the ball) that far out.

I'm not at home right now, but I'm going to bet my Joe Hauler is closer to 24" from the hitch.

The problem with my last few trips with the trailer is... blowing tires (2 last trip). Limited speed, (due to the small tires, and aerodynamics), reduced mileage, and changing the wheel bearings in the trailer.

What size tires? If they're the little wheelbarrow tires, and you have the space, upgrade to a 12" or 13" tire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Show me a hitch hauler that is manufactured to fit into a Class II hitch, and I'll show you a manufacturer who has a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Show me a manufacturer who tests, rates, and designs their receiver hitch for an extended load.

Have you taken into consideration that vehicle tow ratings are for an Ethiopian driver, minimal fuel, and zero cargo, passengers, etc?

Now start deducting the weight of your cargo and passengers, fuel, drivers excess weight, etc from the tow and tongue rating.

I have never seen a hitch hauler that carries the weight 12" from the end of the hitch, and standard hitches do not carry their weight (center of the ball) that far out.

I'm not at home right now, but I'm going to bet my Joe Hauler is closer to 24" from the hitch.

What size tires? If they're the little wheelbarrow tires, and you have the space, upgrade to a 12" or 13" tire.

Just to follow up, I did go ahead and do this. I had no issue towing my 08RMZ in this manner with my Montana.

Its actually quite solid and the van didnt look over weight. Not nearly as bad as when I hauled some sidewalk blocks home anyways.

If you have a legitimate setup, with a proper hitch and a proper carrier and the hitch is designed to bolt to your particular vehicle. It will work, the rest is here say. If your van/truck isn't rated for a Class "X" hitch, then don't install one, and don't exceed the capacity. If it is then put your mind at ease.

You'll find far more posts about people getting hit by lightning or winning the lottery then posts about frame rails, hitches, or shocks snapping from the dynamic stress of a dirt bike carrier when properly installed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Show me a hitch hauler that is manufactured to fit into a Class II hitch, and I'll show you a manufacturer who has a lawsuit waiting to happen.

http://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Cargo-Carrier/Oldenkamp/RHMC1.html

Now I have a question to anyone who's used these dirt bike caddies. How quickly does the rear tire wear out from being towed down a highway?

I would suggest balancing the rear tire if you are going to use one of these.

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  

×