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Old 06-06-2019, 09:13 PM   #1
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Motorcycle carrier on diesel pusher

I'm the new owner of a 2007 Holiday Rambler Vacationer XL powered by a 5.9 Cummins ISB with a rear radiator. In the manual by Monaco, it shows a slash/circle prohibition sign on a graphic of a motorcycle on a carrier behind the coach. There is no explanation but it seems to come in the context of engine cooling. However, I've seen a number of DPs with motorcycles across the back (like the Hydralift, for example). I suppose they could have all been side radiator models but I suspect not. Does anyone have experience with this configuration to know whether this really creates an airflow cooling problem or just caution expressed by Monaco? I have a 473# Honda I want to put on the rear and have the axle weight capacity to do so. Otherwise I've got to drag a trailer...
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryGardner View Post
I'm the new owner of a 2007 Holiday Rambler Vacationer XL powered by a 5.9 Cummins ISB with a rear radiator. In the manual by Monaco, it shows a slash/circle prohibition sign on a graphic of a motorcycle on a carrier behind the coach. There is no explanation but it seems to come in the context of engine cooling. However, I've seen a number of DPs with motorcycles across the back (like the Hydralift, for example). I suppose they could have all been side radiator models but I suspect not. Does anyone have experience with this configuration to know whether this really creates an airflow cooling problem or just caution expressed by Monaco? I have a 473# Honda I want to put on the rear and have the axle weight capacity to do so. Otherwise I've got to drag a trailer...
Hey Barry,
Well Sir, yes, I've got direct experience in what you're thinking about. Our coach is an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the CAT C-7 330HP. I installed a Hydralift on it and, we carried our '08 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing on there for over 2 years and over 8,000 miles. First, NO, there was no direct effect on cooling that CAT engine with the rear radiator. My temps ran the same with or without that lift or bike on there.

As for weight, well, that's a whole 'nother story. Did the coach handle that kind of "over weight"? Yep, it handled it just fine. The ride height sensors take care of any additional weight loaded on back of that coach and, the same for the front. NO, they don't allow for more weight, they just compensate for it and adjust the ride height accordingly so the coach rides at the same attitude with or without any additional loading.

We loved having the Wing with us as well as towing our Jeep or, our Honda CRV at the same time. Having both modes of transportation was kick and, it sure allowed us some great choices based on weather, terrain, mood and more. The primary reason we ceased that operation was the fact that, our tires were overloaded. I knew the coach could handle the over load which, it did with flying colors. But, it was the tires that I could not depend on.

Could I have purchased stronger, heavier duty tires, well, yes I could have but, I didn't look into that option at the time. We both really, really hated to see that Hydralift go. I did all the install and it was both fun and quite a challenge. I set that Hydralift up so it could be removed for rear engine maintenance in about 6 minutes. That was slick.

Anyway, feel free to ask whatever questions you may have. We surely enjoyed carrying that bike and towing our Jeep.
Scott
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:16 PM   #3
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Barry, before I sold my motorhome, I carried my Harleys on the back. It was a rear radiator Phaeton and used an Overbilt lift. I did not have any overheat problem but did get a lot of "road dust" on the bike engine. The Overbilt also allowed my toad to be pulled behind. The system worked great for me.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:43 PM   #4
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I also have gone thousands of miles with a motorcycle on my hydralift with a rear radiator. The running temperatures remained just the same as when there's no bike on the lift, so it appears I've got ample capacity in my cooling system to cover any airflow losses. I've carried two bikes, a Road King at 820 lbs and a Springer at 660 lbs. I've scaled the rig with the heavier Road King a couple of times and I have not exceeded the axle limit, nor have I exceeded the tire limit. I don't have individual corner weights, but the weight averages out to about 4560 lbs per tire and my tire ratings are somewhere north of 5000 lbs so I have a reasonable cushion against having a disparity between a heavy side and a light side. The suggestion I've read here is to use a 3% adder and I've got more extra capacity than this. I make sure to inflate the rear tires to their full pressure, 110 psi when carrying a bike.
There is a multiplier effect on the rear axle and tires based on how far back the weight is hanging, so I don't think I could go up to a Gold Wing or other bikes of similar weight. Your Honda should be well within your rig's limits but it's worth looking into the details before proceeding. The majority of motorhomes I see with motorcycle lifts have tag axles....
Just another fyi, the first time I traveled with a bike on the rack I noticed by the rear camera that it sways back and forth a fair amount. I pulled over and checked everything, but I eventually accepted it as normal.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:34 AM   #5
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My guess is that the warning probably has more to do with weight then radiator cooling. Adding a motorcycle lift will add a lot of weight behind the motorhome and considering the distance from the back axle will impact the weight distribution. Not sure what chassis you have but could also be limited structurally as to what should be added as to weight. I looked at the spec's of your coach and the towing capacity (I believe is limited to 4000 lbs). Depending on options you may not have significant CCC, the motorcycle and lift would count against this.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:03 AM   #6
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Like Fire-up I had a Hydralift on the back of my Itasca. 40'DP non-tag. I was a bit overweight but not seriously. I had no stability issues at all. To be absolutely safe a tag axle DP is the best way to go but many non-tag can do it also. BUT, many DPs are on light weight chassis such as a Palazzo, Tiffin RED, Breeze, etc. and those don't have the additional load capacity to handle putting a 350# lift and 900# bike strapped that far behind the rear axle. I have seen the lifts on the back of some gas coaches but IMHO that's a formula for disaster.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:09 PM   #7
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Thanks for advice on motorcycle carrier

Thanks so much for the help.


Barry in Phoenix
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:32 PM   #8
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Here's the formula to figure out how much additional weight you will put on the rear axle by carrying the motorcycle (be sure to include the weight of the carrier too).

The bike extends quite a bit off the back of the coach (dimension X). At least with Hydralift. Probably 3 feet.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryGardner View Post
I have a 473# Honda I want to put on the rear and have the axle weight capacity to do so. Otherwise I've got to drag a trailer...
The red circle has nothing to do cooling, it’s that much extra weight back there that’s prohibited. Before going any further you need to weight your rig loaded up for travel. With a 14,500 rear axle rating I doubt you have the axle weight capacity once you do the math in the above post. My educated swag is the 950 lbs of lift/cycle is going to put 1400 lbs on your rear axle that will be near its max without anything hanging off the back, hence the prohibition.

Once you find your axle weights loaded for travel let us know if you really have the axle capacity, never mind the likely tire issues.
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Old 06-08-2019, 09:48 PM   #10
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Agree with the two previous posts, use the formula and you might be surprised at the extra weight the bike and carrier will add.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:15 PM   #11
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Again, thanks for the help

I appreciate the drawing and advice. The coach is set up for pulling a toad, with the factory hitch placarded at 400 lbs tongue weight and 4000# total load. I'm trying not to pull a toad but use a motorcycle as my grocery-getter vehicle instead.



The leverage that something three foot off the back-end is certainly a concern (didn't Archimedes say something like, "give me a place to stand and a lever long enough and I can move the earth"). So having a substantial weight back there will tax my rear axle; it's not just enough to sum the weights.



The Hydralift/CruiserLift/Overbilt lifts look wonderful but they're also between 250# and 300# themselves. This might push me instead towards one of the lighter ramp-platform solutions, which weigh about 100#. But I've not tried running a 473# motorcycle up a ramp...


In any case, the factory hitch is not sufficient at 400# vertical capacity, even for a light ramp and this bike. I think I'm going to show it to a hitch welder before deciding what to do.


I could also pull a small motorcycle trailer using the factory hitch set-up but am trying to keep my overall length down.
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Old 06-09-2019, 06:25 PM   #12
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Used a home made version of this for years on my truck camper. Works great. Towed a transalp at 420 lbs, even left the chain on, and monitored transmission case temp, all good.
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:27 AM   #13
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FYI.

I did the calculation for my Bike (which weighs 720 Lbs). I estimated the HydraLift to weight 360 lbs (I'm not sure if that weight is correct as I could not find a specific weight in the Hydralift specs, but I did drag it across the shop floor and onto a trailer when I bought it, and its heavy).

So my calculation shows that the Bike and Hydralift at 1,080 lbs, puts a load of 1,650 lbs on the axle. That is more than twice the weight of the Bike.

I don't know if all that weight goes onto to the Tag axle or if it is split between the Tag and Drive axles. But either way I have the axle capacity.

Good luck with your setup.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryGardner View Post
I appreciate the drawing and advice. The coach is set up for pulling a toad, with the factory hitch placarded at 400 lbs tongue weight and 4000# total load. I'm trying not to pull a toad but use a motorcycle as my grocery-getter vehicle instead.



The leverage that something three foot off the back-end is certainly a concern (didn't Archimedes say something like, "give me a place to stand and a lever long enough and I can move the earth"). So having a substantial weight back there will tax my rear axle; it's not just enough to sum the weights.



The Hydralift/CruiserLift/Overbilt lifts look wonderful but they're also between 250# and 300# themselves. This might push me instead towards one of the lighter ramp-platform solutions, which weigh about 100#. But I've not tried running a 473# motorcycle up a ramp...


In any case, the factory hitch is not sufficient at 400# vertical capacity, even for a light ramp and this bike. I think I'm going to show it to a hitch welder before deciding what to do.


I could also pull a small motorcycle trailer using the factory hitch set-up but am trying to keep my overall length down.
I was going to suggest the motorcycle trailer but see you have thought about that. The additional length is small, many fold up for easy storage, and are light weight for muscling around.
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