Looking for trailering tips

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by KenBratt, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. KenBratt

    KenBratt Member

    I am planning to trailer my 2012 Limited cross country from New England to AZ. I will be driving a VW Jetta TDI and plan on buying and pulling a 6' x 10' enclosed trailer. Here are a couple of questions:

    The bike is about 9' long. Since I don't have the trailer yet I can't put the bike in it, will it fit alright for the trip? Anyone have a 10' trailer that they haul their HD with?

    What is the best way to tie it down? Like where do you put the tie-down straps on the bike for the best stability?

    What other concerns should I have about doing this? Any recommendations or suggestions would really be appreciated.
  2. lorne

    lorne Senior Member

    as much as i hate to admit it i trail my bike(s) alot so that i can bring them to work with me.
    get the good hoedowns that the hook loops around and goes back to the strap so that the hooks are not on your bike
    try not to compress the forks
    i tie mine above the forks just under the windshield
    i use two straps on the front end that go to mounts on the wall instead of the floor
    then i tie a third strap from one wall to the next across the seat (snug not tight)
    trailer wise i check the hubs every time i get fuel to make sure they are not overly hot

    hope this helps
  3. harley@16

    harley@16 Junior Member

    I hauled mine on a 12'er this fall and that was lots bigger than needed. I took my Harbor Freight lift and just took the load off the tires, screwed the keepers down, then strapped 4 corners of the bike. 2 on the bars and 2 on the rear fender support, solid as Sears.
  4. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

    You have thousands in the bike. You will have thousands in the trailer. Spend a couple of hundred on a Condor wheel chock.
    Pit Stop / Trailer Stop

    Either bolt it down to the floor or use their adapters. I have not seen a better wheel chock to date. It is the best there is. Use two ratchet straps from rear shocks forward. Bike is going nowhere.

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    10 foot work good. Ramp up type prefered. (big tires not little 12"ones)

    I use FULL quality ratchet straps (HD shipping straps,,,Gotten where You bought your bike or use Your local dealer has them)

    FRAME Welded UP Eyes out of 1/4 inch plate (1/4 X 2 or 3). right front corner, left front corner sides of trailer...Pulling at about a 45* forward pull... NO hooking to the floor/wood NO MATTER WHO SAID IT WILL WORK........ I have seen these Pull/Break Out and destroy a Bike...


    Two more eye plates at the rear on each side... Welded again to the frame... cut thru the side floor to fit up and bent toward bike a little to fit out at the right hooking angle ( 1/2 " holes) (i like them placed even with the center of rear wheel).

    NO "J" hooks as they bend and can come loose.... QUALITY type CLIMBING Hooks that screw lock...

    I differ when pulling down.... Hooking around the crashbar "Once" will allow the bike to pull down easily, working from side to side evenly....

    I PULL down TIGHT Not all the way BUT where there is not much chance of the front going down to loosen on the strap pull.

    (using solid eye hooks will not come loose on any movement)

    NOT using any thing but Screw type SOLID eye bolts/hooks to the strap to the ratchet strap that hooks to the trailer eye plates.. NO chance of ever coming Loose...

    The rear straps are attached to around the rear frame shock area NOT RUBBING on the bike or exhaust. These straps need only to be Tight enough for No movement from side to side... Then just a little more to draw it down a Bit.

    That Bike wil NOT move.. NO worries of Movement when done this way...

    Hope I was clear enough...

    I used to Build a few Bike trailers and That is the way I do it...

    GO look at a 10 foot single axle BIKE trailer Then you can see HOW if they are done properly....
    Checking the Chock needed for the front wheel.... DON'T be CHEAP here... That front wheel Needs to be Held for NO movement once strapped down... On my trailer I have an 5" angle iron at 90*. 2'x2' so it holds the front wheel/tire where it is supposed to be on the bottom (no side skid) and against the trailer wall.:D

    Hope all this is under stood....



    TAKE Hooples advice on the chock.... read his post right as I put mine in..

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    Steve07 (moderator)

    Is a manufacturer of trailers Also Buys and Sells them...

    HE would be the one to Chime in here...

    He may suggest where to get a quality trailer and Yada yada.. I'll PM him a link and see IF he replies here.

  7. kc2htv

    kc2htv Member

    I use an 7' X 10' V nose American Hauler for my scoot. Also hauled full dressers for local friends to and from events. I pull it with a 6 cyl Jeep and have no problems.
    The wheel chock in the pic is from Harbor Freight and cost a little over a hundred bucks. 1" straps bought a local hardware 900 lb loading. Bolted some cleats in the back for rear tie downs. The Wheel Chock has eye bolts on the outrigger bar. Bike rolls right in and stands up right for the 2 straps in the front to compress the forks.. Bikes go nowhere and there is still room for stuff. \
    I run an extension cord out to it for battery tender and a small bisk cube heater during hunting season as it doubles as a changeing room for my hunting gear. Best of luck in your quest.
    Rick kc2htv
  8. All the concern seems to be with securing the bike in the trailer.
    I' would be concerned what you're pulling the trailer with. Volkswagon recommends you don't use the TDI to tow with, but after market specs give limits of 1000lbs capacity and never more than 200lbs tongue weight. I don't see how you won't exceed both. Next comes braking. Are you going through the Colorado mountains to get to AZ? If so you'll be 30mph up the passes and hanging on for dear life coming down.

    Find a reputable company and have it shipped. You won't be out the money of the trailer, the securing chocks and straps and likely a Volkswagon transmission.
  9. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Things are perhaps a lot different on this side of the pond in regards to towing i did do a wee bit of searching on the tow limits of the jetta tdi but without a wee bit more info on the model year trim level and specific engine size
    However here the towing capacity of a vehicle is limited to its ability to pull a trailer from standstill up a specific gradient of slope so a wee car with a big engine would have a high weight towing capacity
    Recommended is that the trailer weight should not exceed 85% of the gross vehicle weight
    which puts towing weight of the jetta around 1000kg (2204 lbs)
    However restrictions may apply on your side of the pond but the car is more than capable of pulling a trailer with a bike in it
    ensure when the trailer is loaded that the tongue weight is 10% of the overall weight of the trailer but do not exceed the weight limit of the tow bar ensure there are no heavy objects at the rear of the trailer to prevent it from turning into a pendulum and controlling the car

  10. Iceman24

    Iceman24 Well-Known Member

    That's what I was wondering, but I guess the main issue would be if something did happen to the car/tranny/motor. I towed a trailer (altered 8' pick-up bed w/topper) with my 1984 Chrysler Laser 4-cyl auto from MN to NM. Even though it was a "slow" trek - we made it w/o problems or damage. Worst thing, if car fails, VW wouldn't cover repairs.