What Trailer can i really tow?

Information, ideas, experiences and help with camping, pulling a trailer and roughing it on your Goldwing
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Re: What Trailer can i really tow?

Post by wmerryall » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:44 am

As soon as I read about Scrantion PA I was reminded of the song by Harry Chapin "Thirty Thousand Pounds of Bananas". Cheers

I was thinking about that song while writing the post.

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Re: What Trailer can i really tow?

Post by SlowTyper » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:52 pm

I suspect the answer is: it depends...

How well do you handle a panic stop? Any trailer is going to increase your stopping distance, and the heavier it is, the longer it will take to get stopped.

Thus, I would say if you cannot already stop on a dime, think twice about towing much weight in a trailer.

I have a GL1200, and have towed a trailer multiple times. And have had multiple less than ideal scenarios with it.

The first time I towed it, I had almost no weight in the trailer. I ran into a rainstorm with a nasty crosswind. The trailer hydroplaned, and severely fishtailed side to side at one point. The guy following me was shocked I did not go down.

On another trip, I was hauling many hundreds of pounds of cargo, and packed so as to provide a ton of tongue weight. My thinking was the more tongue weigh I have, the harder I can brake without skidding. It paid off. Another driver miscalculated, setting off a chain of panic stopping. I thought I was going down, but was able to stop with only a foot to spare. The driver behind me told me later that his anti-lock brakes kicked in, and even then the gap between us was closing. But he got stopped with two feet to spare.

On another occasion, I was using a lot a tongue weight to decrease stopping distance and I nearly missed a turn. The pressure on the tongue wanted to stand the bike up in the turn, nearly causing me to go down.

So... All I can say, is be careful and conservative.

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Re: What Trailer can i really tow?

Post by dwhit » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:07 am

For nearly 15 years we pulled a camper with our 1100 WING. We had no troubles save for one dump as I tried to stop on diesel soaked wet pavement. No damage.

Hitch was a fabrication of 1/4" bar steel to the footpegs. Hangers from the top of the frame. First trailer was a Trav-Lite. We wore that out. Then the Bunkhouse replacement. The huge Bunkhouse had disc brakes & was heavier with an ac unit. Big braking improvement when hauling-down. Didn't have to change bike pads every year. In the Bunkhouse years wife rode a Shadow twin so we could carry MORE STUFF.

Had to use the gears a lot especially climbing. Put about 90K of trailer-towing and passenger miles on bike. Had to change rear tire every year. We enjoyed the heck out of it...and I personally miss it. We are older now and went to the toyhauler 5th wheel...but we still carry the 187K mile 1100 WING with us!

We jus' went slow...didn't ever try to make a quick turn. If we were going too quick I would blow the turn. We did 70mph on the highways. Lotta maintenance on the bike. Changed Mobil 1 oil often, anti-freeze, diff, brake pads...I actually miss all that.

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Re: What Trailer can i really tow?

Post by jandjgoldwing » Wed Jan 03, 2018 6:42 pm

This isn't a comment, it's a question: are brake lights and turn signals not required on all trailers in most states? If so, wouldn't electronic brakes be a good option for providing the stopping power? In my opinion, the most important part of any vehicle is the ability to stop.

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Re: What Trailer can i really tow?

Post by AZgl1800 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 7:15 pm

My thoughts are the same, but when I researched it, electric brakes aren't available for 8" wheels, and terribly expensive for 12" wheels.

so, I just went with the super bright LED lights, and lots of them.

never had a problem with slowing down, the engine and transmission properly used takes care of that.

I bought a Tekonsha Prodigy P3 electronic brake controller for my Suburban, that is one fantastic product. I could not believe how well it works... with the RV hooked up, the combo can stop quicker then the truck by itself.

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Re: What Trailer can i really tow?

Post by themainviking » Thu Jan 04, 2018 7:12 am

Electric brakes on trailers are a terrific thing. I have had both with and without, and far prefer with. The added expense is worth every dollar of your motorcycle's life. I did not know pure electric brakes were not available for 8" wheeled axles, but I do know that "surge" brakes are. I had them on my Shur Kamp tent trailer. There was a hydraulic master cylinder on the tongue, which was built to move back and forth. It only took a small amount of pressure to apply the brakes. Brake the bike, and the trailer would brake right away, proportional to what amount of braking I was using on the bike. I loved that system. Some of the more expensive cargo and tent trailers like time out can have braking systems as an option for an additional $500 but I do not know if they are 8" or 12" wheels.

It ain't about the destination - it's all about the journey


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