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Old 07-06-2006, 12:10 PM   #1
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Any advice in adding a lift to my 5th wheel for carrying a Harley?
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Old 07-06-2006, 12:10 PM   #2
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Any advice in adding a lift to my 5th wheel for carrying a Harley?
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Old 07-06-2006, 06:53 PM   #3
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You can do a search and find discussions on lifts on the back of trailer and motorhomes and get all sorts of opinions.

Personally, I look at it as an engineer and come up with a resounding NO .

The problem is in several areas.
-most newer trailer do not have sufficient frame to add that much weight to the rear.
-you will have say, 500# in the scooter plus another 300# or so in lift which is 800# hanging out at the end of a cantilever bouncing down the high way. Being able to carry the static load is one thing. The big probblem is as you roll down the road, it becomes a dynamic load and the stress on the frame can be several times the static load and possibly fail.
-adding that much weight to the rear of the trailer, will reduce your pin weight, possibly to the point of poorhanadling by nature of a jerk or bucking of the trailer due to a light pin weight.


Hope you find the answers to help you out.

Ken
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Old 07-06-2006, 07:44 PM   #4
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What Ken said, again!
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:05 AM   #5
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As Ken said, my engineering analysis is that it's fraught with too many potential problems. If I could do it, I would so that I could transport my BMW K1200GT, but I guess that's why they make toyhaulers.

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Old 07-07-2006, 06:48 AM   #6
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Thanks all for your feedback. Rusty, we see that you have a Double Tree Mobile Suite. We are looking for a 32' Mobile Suite. How do you like yours?

Regarding the lift, the Overbuilt lift manufacturer says as long as you have at least 2000 # hitch weight - 3,000 # carrying capacity - and at least a 10# frame (which the Mobile Suite has a 15") it will work. What are your thoughts?

Dale
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Old 07-07-2006, 06:55 AM   #7
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We have really enjoyed our Mobile Suites. Our experience has been that DoubleTree utilizes the best components and assembles them well.

If I were selling motorcycle lifts, that's exactly what I would say as well. One more thing to consider. If you add 800 lbs to the rear of the trailer and 600 lbs (let's say) comes off the pin weight due to the cantilever effect, in addition to the bouncing and "chucking" problems, you've just added 1400 lbs to the load carried by the trailer axles and tires!! Many 5th wheels don't have 350 lbs/tire spare capacity when fully loaded.

Rusty
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Old 07-07-2006, 07:04 AM   #8
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Have you considered a front mounted hitch for the truck and carrying the scooter there? Although there would be some front axle weight rating considerations to be considered, the negatives may be less for that type of arrangement.
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Old 07-07-2006, 07:17 AM   #9
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Richard,

One would need probably 800-1000 lbs or more of spare GAWR for the truck's front axle to handle a Harley (see post #1 in this thread) or BMW including the weight of the lift. I would be WAY over my front axle GAWR if I added that much weight - I suspect that I'm not alone in that situation.

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Old 07-07-2006, 07:35 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">One would need probably 800-1000 lbs of spare GAWR for the truck's front axle to handle a Harley </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hmmmm, the suggestion of a "toyhauler" may be datycat's only safe solution. Harleys are a lot heavier than a little scooter which is what I was thinking of when suggesting the front.
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Old 07-07-2006, 02:20 PM   #11
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I've just been through the same mental exercise - wanting to carry my 450 lb scooter along with us. I pretty much eliminated hanging it off the back of the fifth wheel for the reasons mentioned:

1. scooter plus lift = more weight than I think the trailer can carry out back
2. scooter plus lift = that much less pin weight, causing handling issues.

So, I thought about a front lift on the truck - I've got plenty of GAWR up front: currently the front axle carries about 4400 lbs, with a GAWR of 6000 lbs I can hang 1600 lbs off the front without exceeding the rating. But, when I lifted the scooter up there with my motorcycle lift it not only completely covered the headlights, it also interfered with my view out the windshield.

I figured the only option was to look at a swivel wheel system ... the biggest issue with this is that many states, including California, require a CDL if you're pulling 2 trailers. I am now in the process of fully investigating that option - I don't like the financial aspects of that, though - California charges $65 per endorsement on a CDL, on top of the charge for the CDL itself. So, I would have to pay $65 for the endorsement for towing doubles and maybe another $65 for my M1 endorsement ... I don't know if existing endorsements are grandfathered in or not.

Bottom line: if your trailer manufacturer will put in writing that hanging up to 1000 lbs off the rear bumper of the trailer will not damage anything, or upset the driveablity, then go ahead and give it a try. For myself - that's not an option I want to try.
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Old 07-10-2006, 01:34 PM   #12
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No way could I hang a platorm off the back of my Carriage. Its having a hard time keeping itself up and level in the rear.

I also considered a non articulated two wheel trailer with a up and down pivot on the tougue. (down restricted)

It would have to have a battery and electric brakes with a break away cable.

I would then have to take my chances with DOT and the State Boys.

I've seen so many trailers pulling other type trailers in the last year. Especially in the winter when the Fifth Wheels migrate like cattle this way. Fiberglass, covered trailers with motorcycles in them make up the most of want I see.

Thanks for the link showing the single wheel trailer.

Dave
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Old 03-14-2011, 12:33 AM   #13
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Before buying my 2011 Mobile Suite we told the factory that we wanted to haul a full sized motorcycle on the back. They said not a problem. Order the heavyduty wheel/suspension package that includes 17.5", G rated tires, air bags and mor-ryde suspension. Then they weld an additionional 2" box the length of the rails from the wheels on back. The GVWR is now increased to 20K from 17.5K and is factory approved for a lift. We are towing with a long bed crew cab F-450 dually and I hold it to 65 when towing.
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:43 AM   #14
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We just sold a 5th wheel with a Lippert frame. They said the max weight on the frame should be two bikes. Guess that does not speak well to the strength of the frame.
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