One of the toys RVers like to bring on their RV vacations is their motorcycle(s). They are handy to have along as they use up little gas and do not need large parking spaces when you are in town. Loading them on a trailer is the toughest part of this task.
To start this task, you need to decide on two things. First, how many motorcycles will you bring, and second what type of trailer will you use to haul them to your destination? Toy haulers are a different set up and you won’t need a trailer.
To learn more about this task, just continue to read our article. It provides the information you need to know so you can haul your motorcycles across the country safely. Very little is worse than losing a motorcycle halfway to your destination.
The first step in this process, and after you made the two above decisions, is to make sure you have connected the motorcycle trailer correctly to your tow vehicle. The second step will be to ensure the electrical equipment and brakes are working and connected properly.
The safety chains should be in place and hooked up and once all this is done, you can lower the ramp and start putting ratchet straps on the tie-downs. You will want an X pattern with those straps to protect your bike completely.
Once the straps are in place, push the bike up the ramp and put the front tires in the wheel chocks. The trailer may come with this essential security part but if not, buy one that fits the trailer design and the wheel of your motorcycle.
There is one warning you need to observe. Do not start your motorcycle and ride it up onto the trailer. It is easy to misjudge the distance, etc., and you may go off the other end and damage your bike in the process.
After you get the bike in position, secure the ratchet straps and make sure they are holding the bike tightly. The bike should not move when this is done correctly.
The only real difference between this option and the previous one is that it should take you more time. You will be doing all the work yourself and that just extends the setup time.
If you want, create a checklist of steps and tasks so you do not miss a step if you get tired. Make sure the trailer is on the hitch correctly, including safety chains, and wire harness, and that all electrical and brake systems are working.
Next put the chock in place, attach the ratchet straps to the tie-downs and then get ready to push the bike onto the trailer. It is at this time that the temptation to start your motorcycle and ride it up is the strongest.
Resist that temptation and do the hard work and push it up yourself. This is if the bike or bikes are not too heavy for you to push. Some Harley Davidson's or Goldwings, etc., can get fairly heavy.
You do not want to drop the bike halfway up the ramp because you are tired or it is too heavy to push upwards. Once the bike is in place and in the wheel chock, go about setting the ratchet straps in the X pattern.
Then ratchet those straps so the bike is nice and snug and cannot move. When this is all done, put the ramp back up and secure it in place. Then go have a nice cold Coke to celebrate success.
Yes, this is one of the toys these toy haulers were made to carry. If you have the right size, and there are some smaller toy haulers that may not handle the bike length or weight, then this should not be a problem.
The key to hauling motorcycles with a toy hauler trailer or RV is weight. You will not escape this important factor when you own a toy hauler. While these trailers, etc., are designed to handle heavier weight limits, you still have to be careful.
Make sure you know the gross amount of weight your toy hauler can carry and then make sure you know the total weight of your bikes. These two figures are very important when you are bringing more than motorcycles along with you.
The other key you need to assess is the width of the bike or bike. You need to make sure your toy hauler is wide enough to handle more than one motorcycle.
Take good measurements of the garage and the bikes to make sure the latter will fit into the former. Once that is settled, get ready to load those bikes and strap them into place.
This is almost the same process you would use when using a motorcycle trailer. The only difference is that the toy hauler should already be connected to your tow vehicle. Plus, all chains and wires are in place ready to go.
Again, we will warn you about resisting the temptation to drive the motorcycle up the ramp. This may seem like a silly warning but lots of damage has been done to toy haulers, riders, and bikes when they miscalculate or make a mistake driving up a ramp.
Just follow the procedure for loading a motorcycle trailer and you should be fine. Have the proper straps and tie-downs in place and tighten everything u. What makes using a toy hauler better than a motorcycle trailer is that your bikes are protected from the elements as you drive to your destination.
Of course, with a drivable toy hauler, you do not have to worry about hitches, chains, or brakes and lights. You just have to push the motorcycles up the ramp and secure them. This is an easy task and may not be more difficult than loading your cargo and supplies into the RV or trailer.
One of the problems that you will find when you use a toy hauler to haul your motorcycles will be the ramp. That is because the ramp’s designs may be a lot steeper than you bargained for.
A steep ramp can cause you a lot of problems especially when you are unloading a heavy bike. To cut down the steep angle, some toy hauler owners added their own extension to the ramp. This is the first option you can use.
The drawback to this design is that while it cuts the angle down to a manageable slope, it adds weight to your toy hauler. This is something you have to consider.
Another option is to buy a toy hauler like the 2022 Genesis Supreme Overnighter. This is a towable toy hauler that has a very short living section and a very long open garage.
What is good about this model is that the ramp and the bed are low to the ground creating a nice slope for your loading and unloading. Or you can go with a lift system. This turns the ramp into a loading dock that rises and lowers to load and unload your bike.
There are no worries about steep ramps to navigate but this option may be a bit too expensive for some budgets.
Loading is the easier of the two tasks, you do not have to worry about braking when going uphill. When you are unloading, you have gravity working against you. The weight of the bike will make it want to go faster than you want it to go.
Also, if you are unloading a bike backward, then you have to watch the front wheel and keep it from skidding. What one owner did or does is that he puts his bike in gear, straddles it, and then lets the clutch out.
This provides enough resistance to allow you to unload the bike safely. Keep in mind he did not start the bike. Probably the safest way to unload a motorcycle from a toy hauler would be to use the lift system or have two helpers.
Both options come in handy when your bike weighs about 800 pounds and is top-heavy like a Goldwing.
Toy haulers were made for motorcycles. They are as good if not better than towing a motorcycle trailer. The reason we say that is because a toy hauler can hold much more weight than a motorcycle trailer.
But choose the option that fits your budget and works best for you. The key to using either one to haul your motorcycles to your vacation spot is to load, secure and unload securely and safely.