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Old 08-11-2013, 05:03 PM   #1
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Can't make up my mind.. utility trailer or no?

I have a home made utility trailer I bought and have put a lot of money into fixing. It's very heavily built and I put a new axle and springs (it had no suspension!) to handle up to 3500lbs but I won't be loading nearly that much in it.

It seems the two RV parks I have now been to with it, they question if they want to let it in! It's an open utility trailer with raised mesh sides to carry my Yamaha scooter, plastic totes, and a truck tool chest with tools in it. It's not unsightly, it's just not normal for someone to be pulling behind a vintage Class B motorhome.

I am now considering leaving it behind at my mom's house for pickup later and having my hitch modified to be a receiver tube, as it's currently a fixed hitch so all you can do is change the ball size.

If I have the hitch modified, I can put in a motorcycle carrier for the scooter and still take it with me. I won't have my wealth of tools with me, but perhaps I can bring a tool bag of wrenches and sockets at the very least, and only my best screwdrivers. I do so much work myself on my vehicles, I can't afford to be without them.

Being in a class B, I am very limited for space. I have been in my van for 2 months nearly now and I am still finding more to get rid of and rearranging things to make better use of space. I am just about to the point where I want to remove the passenger seat to make room for plastic totes since I am going to be traveling solo.

I have pretty well fixed up the van to be off the grid, assuming it's not to hot since the generator (for roof AC) is in very poor shape, but does run and function. It's a gas guzzler and about the nosiest generator ever made, an Onan AJ 2.7KW.

I'm just dreading the idea of having to deal with all the hangups that come with such a trailer... from extra tires to worry about, lower MPG from pulling a trailer, RV parks possibly rejecting me for having it, having to find a place to park it when not in an RV park where I can leave it all day in a city in order to ride the scooter instead.

I am about 5-7 weeks away from hitting the road and now I'm having doubts about the trailer after all the money and hassle I have put into it. It wouldn't be LOST since I can store the trailer rent free at my mom's house and any cargo I decide to leave on it for pickup later with the van when I come back to visit.

I need some input from those who have or had a utility trailer behind their motorhome. Was/is it more trouble than it's worth?
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Old 08-11-2013, 05:32 PM   #2
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I think it may be how you say what the trailer is. If you say that it is a tool trailer for work I do not see how they could object. Be sure that it looks reasonably neat and clean.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:00 PM   #3
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The KOA I'm at now, the manager questioned it but said as long as I keep it tidy it's ok. He went out and looked and said it was okay.

The last one is a run down RV park with a lot of monthly people who have redneck yards (trash all over the place) and the lady manager almost wouldn't let me in! (The trailer WAS loaded down bad though at that time, I admit). She called the owner who remembered me from 2008 when I stayed there 6 months and he told her it was okay.

Problem is, sometimes managers or owners aren't around. I'm thinking about cost in extra fuel as well as inconvenience of having a trailer and trying to get RV parks to let me in.

There is one thing I am concerned about though ... my van's trailer hitch as it is scrapes on steep driveways. I'm thinking it would be impossible to go up them with a hitch mounted carrier due to the extra long length.

I may have to simply rethink even having the scooter at all. Hmm, I wonder about a front mounted hitch (it would have to be custom made) but I don't like the idea of covering the front lights any.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:39 PM   #4
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Well, I guess the trailer is gonna go with me. I may end up selling it and the scooter if I find it to be too much trouble. But for now, I think I better take them with me since I have the money invested in them and my plans all laid out. I'll just be hunting for larger parking lots is all and taking a while to back my trailer in to RV spots.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:58 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Cubey View Post
Well, I guess the trailer is gonna go with me. I may end up selling it and the scooter if I find it to be too much trouble. But for now, I think I better take them with me since I have the money invested in them and my plans all laid out. I'll just be hunting for larger parking lots is all and taking a while to back my trailer in to RV spots.
Interesting, I often pull a 8x10 custom built trailer, open and carry two full size motorcycles and assoc extras (spare, tools, etc.) and I've never even been questioned about it. When I register I just request a site large enough for my Class C and motorcycle trailer. I usually end up getting a pull through but can easily back into a back in if I have too.

It might be how you mention it or what you call the trailer.
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:07 PM   #6
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It could be. I call it a utility trailer but so far, I have approached ASKING if it was allowed.. and maybe that's the problem. I should simply mention what it is instead of asking if it's okay. Maybe that makes people weary if you have to ask if it's allowed.

I admit, it was junky looking so loaded down at the first RV park. By the time I moved to this KOA, it wasn't anymore. I am trying to further condense things so it looks tiny and well kept.

I may have several strikes against me though.

First, people look at me strange for full timing in a Class B.

Second, it's vintage, but well kept and looks nice aside from some scratches here and there and a bit of cracking in the fiberglass in the bottom right corner in the rear (empty space behind it).

Third, I have a utility trailer behind it.

It's not enough I full time in a vintage class B, but then I have a utility trailer too! I pointed out to this KOA's manager that I wouldn't be dropping the trailer and he permitted it to stay at my spot instead of in the RV storage area. I don't know if all RV parks will be like that or not.

The junky RV park, the manager was also concerned about me leaving it the utility trailer by itself so it seems like RV parks don't want non-RV trailers in them hardly unless you never unhitch them. I mean, I guess I can live with that since I have the scooter for daily driving but it seems a bit unfair that I can't drop it for a day to go drive the van someplace for what ever reason I may have. Especially when you are on monthly rate!
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:14 PM   #7
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Any way to trade for a small white enclosed trailer
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:17 PM   #8
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You would think an enclosed trailer would be more suspect. They can't see what's inside.

I like my utility trailer in a way. It has a ramp gate and it's less wind resistance from all sides. I considered one but a good one would cost at least $2,000 (used!) which is out of my budget for now. I need one that's 6ft high inside to load and unload the scooter. Also I'd want one with a ramp door on the rear.

The cheap $2000 ones you can get new that are 5x8 and have a ramp tailgate are only 4.5ft inside. My scooter requires over 5ft at the door due to the windshield. It's not easy to pull the windshield off constantly or I'd consider doing that.. and I like it on there too much to remove it. I tried it without it once and I hated it.

I could save up and try to upgrade in a couple years maybe but I'd just as soon get rid of this trailer than get one that'll be even worse on fuel economy.

Maybe I need to get rid of the trailer and scooter and start biking more since I want to get in better shape anyway. That and a folding bike trailer would be awesome as my alternative mode of transportation in urban areas. That and good ol' fashion walking.
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Old 08-11-2013, 09:38 PM   #9
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I am really leaning toward storing the trailer and scooter out here in Arkansas at my mom's house and going with a bicycle and bike trailer.

My plan with the trailer was to hop from monthly RV park to monthly RV park. but... that really sounds like a horrible way to go about it. I'd rather put the rent money into the gas tank and do more traveling than sitting.

I will eventually be settling up in Seattle where the scooter would be handy for long term living. By that time, I'll be done with MAJOR traveling, maybe anyway, but will still travel around the west coast... and I can take the scooter and trailer around with me then.

But to start with? I want to have more freedom... not be tied down to monthly RV parks all the time.

In a year or two, I can come back for a visit and pick up the scooter and trailer and take it with me. It won't cost me to store them so why not?
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:11 AM   #10
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In a separate thread it was mentioned that many RV parks won't allow a trailer at the site (that includes our home park, but they do provide a place to park it - not all do).

It's not so much what you're hauling. As you've already figured out, it's about the appearance. A well maintained enclosed trailer will at least appear neat, regardless of what's inside. I suspect some parks may also be concerned about things disappearing from an open trailer with the owner then trying to hold them responsible?

Given your dilemma, I'm thinking the suggestion to trade for an enclosed trailer might attract fewer objections, although some parks may not allow you to keep it on site with you.
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Old 08-12-2013, 08:55 AM   #11
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Really bad driveways or roads where a motorcycle carrier on the back of my van might drag may be few and far between, perhaps I should just put a motorcycle carrier with the longest load ramp I can find and just cross my fingers that it never becomes an issue.

This looks to be the longest ramp carrier I can find (over 6ft!) and it looks like it might facilitate smaller wheels. The price isn't bad compared to some carriers that approach $1000. Having small wheels, it has lower ground clearance than motorcycles and dirt bikes so it drags if a loading ramp isn't long enough. I bet this one would work nicely. I might have to figure out a better way to secure the front wheel is all since the carrier is made for larger wheels.

Sport Bike Motorcycle Carrier Truck Pick Up Hauler Hitch Rack Trailer Cargo Ramp | eBay
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