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Old 06-25-2014, 09:18 AM   #1
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1/2 ton Pick up with Big Harley in the Bed

I have read as may posts on the subject of towing 4 down or trailering both toad and Harley as I can find.
I have been towing an open aluminum Featherlite with Jeep Rubicon for 2 years. I am looking at buying an F150 and towing 4 down with the Ultra in the back.
My question:
How does your 1/2 ton handle day in day out with close to a 1000 in the bed? Handle it ok is it top heavy?
How bad does the bike collect road film, is it tolerable? Only in rain?
I have a 2015 Newmar King Aire so no problem on tow capacity.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:21 AM   #2
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Can't answer on bike in back what does the truck weigh my toad is a 4 door Chevy at 5500 lbs I can tell its there but have no trouble pulling
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:38 AM   #3
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The F150 will be in the 5400 to 5500 range. My main concern is how the PU rides with the near 1000 lb in the back and how much dirt/road film etc on the back.
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huntnjim View Post
How does your 1/2 ton handle day in day out with close to a 1000 in the bed?
I think it will handle the weight fine. My issue would be loading the bike up there on a day in day out routine.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huntnjim View Post
I have read as may posts on the subject of towing 4 down or trailering both toad and Harley as I can find.
I have been towing an open aluminum Featherlite with Jeep Rubicon for 2 years. I am looking at buying an F150 and towing 4 down with the Ultra in the back.
My question:
How does your 1/2 ton handle day in day out with close to a 1000 in the bed? Handle it ok is it top heavy?
How bad does the bike collect road film, is it tolerable? Only in rain?
I have a 2015 Newmar King Aire so no problem on tow capacity.
I have a 2013 F150 FX4 with the Renegade Ramp system I use as a TOAD and to haul my 2012 Street Glide. A) yes, the bike will collect road grime, just about like anything else you'd carry in the bed with the tailgate down. But not so much that it's exceptional and I've never spent more than a couple minutes doing normal wipe down after unloading it. B) as a TOAD, it's heavy. No question about it, and yes, it affected my fuel consumption by reducing my normal 7.9 to about 7.1 or so. My recommendation is that if you have a rig with a tag axle you won't notice the difference, but anything smaller than 40' and you will for sure notice the "drag effect" of the added weight. C) the Fords have a known ECM problem when more than 800 pounds are loaded in the bed. They will miss and shudder and try to constantly shift from 2-3 and back again during start up speeds (check any of the Ford Forums and you can find details). Yet, it's a simple upgrade done by a Ford Dealer in under (in my case warranty) and takes just about an hour.

Bottom line? Taking the truck, using it as a TOAD, and having the ease of use of the bike, has been more than worth the expense. No trailer, using existing parking available in most parks, and not having to worry about the bike? Priceless.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:38 AM   #6
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Miami, good feed back, I will be adding a self load ramp to the bed and the Rampage or Mountain Master are options.
Have you reconed any other wind screens or protection to at least help minimize the road film?
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:03 AM   #7
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We were camped next to a guy who had a big motorcycle in the bed of his pickup truck.

I heard a horrendous crashing noise and then a bunch of moaning.

I ran, as did a bunch of other campers, next door to see him laying on the ground underneath the motorcycle. He had tried to back it off the truck on a wooden plank and it fell off.

Got it off of him but he was hurting pretty bad and went to the hospital.

So be careful.....
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:13 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huntnjim View Post
I have read as may posts on the subject of towing 4 down or trailering both toad and Harley as I can find.
I have been towing an open aluminum Featherlite with Jeep Rubicon for 2 years. I am looking at buying an F150 and towing 4 down with the Ultra in the back.
My question:
How does your 1/2 ton handle day in day out with close to a 1000 in the bed? Handle it ok is it top heavy?
How bad does the bike collect road film, is it tolerable? Only in rain?
I have a 2015 Newmar King Aire so no problem on tow capacity.
Just yanking your chain a little-don't take offense. If I could afford a King Aire, I could probably afford to have someone detail my bike whenever it got dirty.
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:01 PM   #9
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on the other hand if I hired everything done (and remember I drive a MH) I would defiantly not be able to afford to own one. toshea
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Old 06-25-2014, 02:39 PM   #10
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I put a Bike in the back of our 1/2 ton. The bike weighs about 550 wet. Towing is a non issue. Loading there are several choices. Rampage lift or equivalent, which make it painless. Ramps. The lifts are great but spendy, you can find them used occasionally. The ramps are cheaper but have some things you must consider. Weight capacity, length and width. Length should be at least 10' maybe 12 depending on bike chassis height from ground pay attention to break over angle from truck. Width, make sure you can keep your feet down if necessary also to walk your bike on. Beware traction issues in the bed, I use X-liner. Use a break over wheel chock to stabilize bike in the bed, it also prevents broken rear windows.

I also back up to a high spot to lower the angle of the ramp. The ramps are a reasonable alternative to the lift, if you are careful. You can, however, get hurt. Don't ask me how I know.
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Old 06-25-2014, 03:56 PM   #11
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I have loaded my Ultra via standard non motorized ramp several times, no problems. However if you are caught in less than ideal situations- wet-icy etc. would be a risk.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:18 PM   #12
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I have loaded my Ultra via standard non motorized ramp several times, no problems. However if you are caught in less than ideal situations- wet-icy etc. would be a risk.
huntnjim,
Well Sir, we started out in retirement with a Hydralift on the back of our '04 Itasca Horizon, 36GD with the C-7 330 CAT. I installed it and, we carried our '08 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing back there. That bike tips the scales at about, 900 lbs. The Hydralift runs right close to about, 375 lbs.

Now, I got advice that, my rig would do wheelies, porpoise, wander, I'd break the back end of the coach off, I'd tear the fiberglass cap off the back, and much more, before I installed that lift. Well, to say the least, no ill-effect issues, EVER HAPPENED!!!! That coach ran straight and even, right down the road, with that Wing and the lift on the back.

But, due to circumstances beyond our control, we changed toads from a new, Honda CRV EX-L 4WD to a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab 4x4. And, because we moved to a truck as a toad, we sold the Hydralift and, purchased the Rampage lift/carrier. I did the install of that system in the back of our GMC. It took me about a day. That lift/carrier, is the only way to put a large motorcycle in the back of a truck. I wouldn't put a bike like yours, in the back of a pick up truck, manually, or, drive it up, if I was paid to. There's way too much chance for mishap and, not only the potential damage to the bike but, the damage to your body may be a lot worse than putting some new parts on the bike.

The Rampage is around $3K new but, if you're diligent, you can find one like we did, for less than half price. I bought ours for right at $1500 and, it was used twice prior to use purchasing it. It handles that 900 lb. Wing like it was 90 lbs. not 900 lbs. And, it's really safe. It lowers it seamlessly easy too. Many guys have watched me load it and unload it and are really impressed with it's operation.

As for "Does it (the bike) get dirty. Yeah sure it does. But, not nearly as dirty as it did on the back of our Diesel unit. Let's face it, it's inevitable. It's out in the open air, with all that turbulence being created from the coach and the truck and, it will just swirl around and deposit some dust etc. on your bike. NO biggie. 5-10 minutes with a little bucket and a nice clean towel, you're done!

We don't even carry the tail gate when we haul the bike. The primary reason is, for some odd reason, some ultra intelligent, GMC engineer, made the tail gate higher than the bed, when the tail gate is in the lower position. So, what that means is, the Rampage would be sitting on the tail gate and the majority of the lifts and, the bikes weight would be on that tail gate. So, the tail gate comes off when I load the lift. Incidentally, speaking loading that lift. I installed it in such a fashion that, when we get home from a trip, the bike is off loaded and, it takes me about 1-2 minutes to remove the lift from the bed of the truck.

I just un do the bolts, un plug the winch, and, I lift and pull it out about half way and, the wife rolls a cart under it that I made for it. From that point on, I roll that lift into it's parking place and, the truck is now a truck again. If you'd like any info on the particulars of that lift and, installing it, or, how it works etc. I'd be glad to explain it in a PM so we don't bore other folks. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 06-26-2014, 08:06 AM   #13
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Miami, good feed back, I will be adding a self load ramp to the bed and the Rampage or Mountain Master are options.
Have you reconed any other wind screens or protection to at least help minimize the road film?
I can only echo Fire Up's comments. My experience has been the same, and I would never, under any circumstance, go back to a folding or portable ramp to load or unload the bike. I too take mine out when it's not in use, and there are just so many safety considerations - why take the risk?

The bike will get dirty, hey, it's part of being a biker, right?
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:08 PM   #14
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how does the 1/2 ton feel with the bike in the back? top heavy or as though the truck is near overload?
I have only had my bike in the back of 3/4 and 1 tons. I do not want to pull a 3/4 ton with the MH thus the questions.
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