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Old 04-14-2016, 05:13 PM   #1
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Need Advice for Carrying Trike On Motorhome!

I have a 42' tag axle 2011 Tiffin Phaeton on a Spartan Chassis. I own a Harley trike (900 lbs wet) and I'm considering install a rear hitch carrier for it. There is one called Mighty Hauler. It's about $4000 vs. a lift scenario which would cost significantly more ($10,000 - $12,000). I tow a car with a tow dolly (Acme) and it will be part of the final hookup.

Does anyone have any caution flags to waive or advice on setting up my coach to accommodate the trike? Better yet, does anyone have a Mighty Hauler carrier and anything to say about it?

Thank you! John
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Old 04-14-2016, 06:11 PM   #2
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No flags...

But, why the $4,000 price point. Thier website says $2,295 for the 1200T (for trikes).
1200T Trike Motorcycle Carrier
Is shipping and install that much more?

Safe travels
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:31 PM   #3
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Thanks, Steve. My error. You're correct about the price. It's only 2,295.
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Old 04-15-2016, 09:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumper777 View Post
I have a 42' tag axle 2011 Tiffin Phaeton on a Spartan Chassis. I own a Harley trike (900 lbs wet) and I'm considering install a rear hitch carrier for it. There is one called Mighty Hauler. It's about $4000 vs. a lift scenario which would cost significantly more ($10,000 - $12,000). I tow a car with a tow dolly (Acme) and it will be part of the final hookup.

Does anyone have any caution flags to waive or advice on setting up my coach to accommodate the trike? Better yet, does anyone have a Mighty Hauler carrier and anything to say about it?

Thank you! John
I tow a 1/2 ton 4wd GMC crew cab PU and haul my Harley trike in the bed. I re enforce the tail gate with receiver gate support. Works good.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:47 PM   #5
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Assuming the tag axle can carry the extra weight?
I looked at this years ago but decided against it. I had a Monaco. I inquired with them and they STRONGLY advised against it as the frame rails were not designed for that amount of weight to be cantilevered off the back. Maybe want to check with Spartan to confirm. I had a Gold Wing weighing about the same
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:25 PM   #6
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Another option is the TandemTow Dolly by Elite metals. There are 3 versions of the "toy carrier part" 4x8, 6x8, 8x8. The car tow dolly part has an adjustable plate, fore/aft, in order to correctly adjust the tongue weight. Not cheap but does a nice job. I had the 4x8 one for a while but wanted to go with the Hydralift instead.
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:42 PM   #7
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One red flag possibly is that the rear hitch is sometime a intricate part of the motor mount and will need to be looked at from an engineering stand point.
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Old 04-15-2016, 07:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumper777 View Post
I have a 42' tag axle 2011 Tiffin Phaeton on a Spartan Chassis. I own a Harley trike (900 lbs wet) and I'm considering install a rear hitch carrier for it. There is one called Mighty Hauler. It's about $4000 vs. a lift scenario which would cost significantly more ($10,000 - $12,000). I tow a car with a tow dolly (Acme) and it will be part of the final hookup.

Does anyone have any caution flags to waive or advice on setting up my coach to accommodate the trike? Better yet, does anyone have a Mighty Hauler carrier and anything to say about it?

Thank you! John
John,
Well Sir, I've gone through all you're thinking about here. Only mine was a GL 1800 Goldwing, not a trike. The only difference is the weight and, a bit more of a platform for the trike to sit on. I used the Hydralift for my platform. I did the install myself and, while a bit of a challenge, it was fun too. I've been a fabricator/welder for most of my life and, I was way more than confident of what was needed for strength, durability, resiliency, endurance and all that.

I did ours on our present coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330 CAT. Most of the folks on here and other RV forums condemmed me for attempting to put that kind of weight on a 36' coach. Well, I did a bit of homework and, while it was over weight on the rear axle, it worked just fine.

More on that later. But, here's some suggestions. First, I didn't WELD the lift to the coach. I removed the factory 10,000 lb. hitch/receiver and, used the same bolt holes in the lower frame, to attach the 1/2" x 4" x 6" x 48" angle iron to. I used those two pieces of angle iron to adapt to the cradles for the Hydralift. I don't know how the Mighty Hauler attaches to the coach but, what I did was, I set that system up so that the entire Hydralift could be removed from the coach in approximately 6 minutes.

Some changes in the operating components allowed me to do that. Setting up that lift like that allowed for the quick removal of that lift so that maintenance, repairs, alterations, engine work, etc. could be done on the rear of the coach, without working around that gauntlet of an obstacle.

And, I'd also remove it if we knew we were't going to be using the bike on the next trip. That way I'd have less to haul back there and, if I needed maintenance or a repair on the road, that lift was not in my way.

But, the first thing you need to do is, set your coach up for a trip. That means a full tank of diesel, full tank of water, all the equipment you would normally haul, i.e. chairs, tools, tables, and whatever else is in your compartments. Then, you and the CEO, head on down to your local set of scales and, weigh the coach, front, back and total. Then you'll have a base point to work from, for calculating all the "what ifs".

I have no idea what a Mighty Hauler weighs. But, try to get that weight too. Add that to your weight of the trike, and you'll have an idea of the potential weight, not including the metal needed for adapting the lift to the coach.

But, like what's been stated, it's CANTILEVERED weight, not direct onto the rear axle. I was only adding right close to 1200 lbs. But, in the end, I was real close to 3,000 lbs. over the rear axle weight rating. We ran the coach that way for over 8,000 miles all over the western U.S. without one problem. The coach ran stable, no odd or irregular handling, no porposing, no wandering, no slouching, NOTHING.

The ride height levelers took care of the extra load and, the coach road at the exact same height with the lift and the bike, as it did without it. Everyone thinks by adding that much weight to the rear, your front is going to pogo stick right off the ground. Well, not so. I removed right at 190 lbs. off my front axle weight. Heck, I can do the same, by walking out of the front seat while the wife is driving. No big deal.

Anyway, if you'd like info on the install and maybe some of my mods to make the system more manageable, PM me and, I'd be glad to help.
Scott
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:19 PM   #9
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Thx!
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Old 04-16-2016, 11:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
John,
Well Sir, I've gone through all you're thinking about here. Only mine was a GL 1800 Goldwing, not a trike. The only difference is the weight and, a bit more of a platform for the trike to sit on. I used the Hydralift for my platform. I did the install myself and, while a bit of a challenge, it was fun too. I've been a fabricator/welder for most of my life and, I was way more than confident of what was needed for strength, durability, resiliency, endurance and all that.

I did ours on our present coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330 CAT. Most of the folks on here and other RV forums condemmed me for attempting to put that kind of weight on a 36' coach. Well, I did a bit of homework and, while it was over weight on the rear axle, it worked just fine.

More on that later. But, here's some suggestions. First, I didn't WELD the lift to the coach. I removed the factory 10,000 lb. hitch/receiver and, used the same bolt holes in the lower frame, to attach the 1/2" x 4" x 6" x 48" angle iron to. I used those two pieces of angle iron to adapt to the cradles for the Hydralift. I don't know how the Mighty Hauler attaches to the coach but, what I did was, I set that system up so that the entire Hydralift could be removed from the coach in approximately 6 minutes.

Some changes in the operating components allowed me to do that. Setting up that lift like that allowed for the quick removal of that lift so that maintenance, repairs, alterations, engine work, etc. could be done on the rear of the coach, without working around that gauntlet of an obstacle.

And, I'd also remove it if we knew we were't going to be using the bike on the next trip. That way I'd have less to haul back there and, if I needed maintenance or a repair on the road, that lift was not in my way.

But, the first thing you need to do is, set your coach up for a trip. That means a full tank of diesel, full tank of water, all the equipment you would normally haul, i.e. chairs, tools, tables, and whatever else is in your compartments. Then, you and the CEO, head on down to your local set of scales and, weigh the coach, front, back and total. Then you'll have a base point to work from, for calculating all the "what ifs".

I have no idea what a Mighty Hauler weighs. But, try to get that weight too. Add that to your weight of the trike, and you'll have an idea of the potential weight, not including the metal needed for adapting the lift to the coach.

But, like what's been stated, it's CANTILEVERED weight, not direct onto the rear axle. I was only adding right close to 1200 lbs. But, in the end, I was real close to 3,000 lbs. over the rear axle weight rating. We ran the coach that way for over 8,000 miles all over the western U.S. without one problem. The coach ran stable, no odd or irregular handling, no porposing, no wandering, no slouching, NOTHING.

The ride height levelers took care of the extra load and, the coach road at the exact same height with the lift and the bike, as it did without it. Everyone thinks by adding that much weight to the rear, your front is going to pogo stick right off the ground. Well, not so. I removed right at 190 lbs. off my front axle weight. Heck, I can do the same, by walking out of the front seat while the wife is driving. No big deal.

Anyway, if you'd like info on the install and maybe some of my mods to make the system more manageable, PM me and, I'd be glad to help.
Scott
Scott,

Thanks! All your points are well taken.

I too considered doing something at where the tow hitch mounts to the frame rather than welding directly to it. I always like to return things the way I found them, in this case if I sell my rig a few years down the road.

From what I understand two receivers will be used. The center one (the one that came with the coach is not needed. The Mighty Hauler carrier will detach from the coach just by releasing the two receiver pins. The carrier weighs 600 lbs. I asked why it weighed so much and the sales person said that the rails, among other things, are really beefy.

The trike weighs about 900 lbs.. The carrier can safely carry 1200lbs.

You are absolutely right about the cantilever effect and what needs to be taken into consideration. I've been told about that. What's in my favor is the tag axle. I've had my coach weighed a few times. I'm well under limits. I will be adding about 5 PSI to all 6 tires in the back. It's been suggested that I reduce the fronts a bit to even out the ride. Investigating.

Unfortunately I have to purchase the MH sight unseen. That's why I'm trying to do my homework. The company is in Ohio. My trike is in South Carolina. There is very little paperwork or instructions that comes with it (I've asked) as it's fully assembled aside from the welding.

One minor challenge will be to find a welder that knows what he's doing in the York, South Carolina area. After discussing my project with Spartan they just want be to make sure the electronics are properly disconnected.

I'm adding a tow dolly to the mix. I'm using one called Acme To Dolly. I like it and it works fine. From what a friend of mine said, the dolly will track better behind the coach in sharp turns because of the extension caused by the carrier. Makes sense.

Thanks for your input on all this.

John
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Old 04-16-2016, 01:38 PM   #11
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John,
Well Sir, first off, "600" lbs. is a serious amount of weight, just for the carrier. I'd have to see that lift on a scale to believe that. Not doubting you, just their claims. And, if it does in fact weigh that much, and yep, your trike is up there too, that's a serious amount of weight on just two, 2" sliders/receivers. The wall thickness of the sliders (the portions that slide into the receivers) needs to be at thick as possible, which is the max of 1/4" wall thickness.

And even then, I'd bet dollars to donuts that, there's a GREAT possibility that those will BEND even some, with that kind of weight on them. And, not to mention that is STATIC weight. What we had to take into consideration and experienced first hand was KINETIC weight. That is, the "inertia" weight of what the bike/trike/load exerts on the lift, when a large bump, dip in the road, bad parking lots, dips in driveways, rough freeways, and a whole lot more.

MY installation was as stout as humanly possible. I used some seriously heavy duty steel back there. But, while traveling with Wing on that lift, I would still "kringe" when I'd hit some larger freeway bad spots, dips, rough pavement etc. and watch that bike still move up and down in the rear view camera. Nothing ever actually bent or was damaged, but, I sure didn't like what we'd see. We just grined and bear'd it, so to speak.

Anyway, if you have questions, surely let me know.
Scott
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Old 05-04-2016, 02:22 PM   #12
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I have been doing similar research on same topic. I am looking at the Trike Hydralift for my 44' Newmar, Freightliner tag. Hydralift and local dealer assure me there would be no issues. However, the price is not popular for sure. Also came across the Mighty Hauler carrier. Price is much better, but how is the quality? What is required to be mounted. Always looking for suggestions also.

Thanks, Ron
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:57 PM   #13
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I have been doing similar research on same topic. I am looking at the Trike Hydralift for my 44' Newmar, Freightliner tag. Hydralift and local dealer assure me there would be no issues. However, the price is not popular for sure. Also came across the Mighty Hauler carrier. Price is much better, but how is the quality? What is required to be mounted. Always looking for suggestions also.

Thanks, Ron
Ron,

I'm between a rock and a hard place myself as to what to do.

I want you to know that I spoke to "John" at Mighty Hauler (330-414-5788) at length several times and asked a lot of questions. I believe someone said that the company is a father-son team. John maybe the father but I'm not sure.

Unfortunately, I did not get a warm and fuzzy feeling from him. Getting information was like pulling teeth. I asked how much it weighed and he wasn't sure. He had to get back to me. Really? Didn't he ever had to ship one? He said "about" 600 lbs. When asked why it weighed so much, just for a platform, he had no response. I asked for some pictures and again he had to get back to me but he did send two. They weren't very helpful. I attached them here (if I did this right). Do you see whats written on the pallet? The word "Pain"! Not that that means anything. Just funny. I wanted to see several pictures of a completed unit. He had none and made no attempt to provide any.

Another thing that turned me off is that when I asked if he could recommend any welders in the area in the event I purchased one and drove to the company to have it installed. He said there was one guy down the street but he didn't like the work he did. That part was ok but John was not helpful suggesting anyone else.

Just my observation.

Keep in touch with your research. It would be good to share notes.

Thx! John
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:05 AM   #14
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John
Sounds like either the guy is not much of a salesman or not very familiar with his product. This would make me uncomfortable also. I guess the picture represents the receivers that are welded to the frame which holds the carrier? Easy to detach maybe?
Quite honestly, I have never seen that type carrier on any MH during my travels. I have however seen several HydraLifts , but none hauling a trike.

Ron
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