Trailer Towing Tips...Read Before You Go


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Thanks to FredBurger Trailers for permission to copy and post his tips

Fred Sez:

I have been pulling trailers since 1983 with both my Honda 83 Goldwing and my 87 Harley FLHTC... Have many thousand miles pulling trailers including a 12' row boat... I have campers-cargo-carry by; Timeout,Cycle Mate, Easy Hauler Backwoods Bungaloo & Kendon..

 

Fred's Tips:

  1. Check all lights and tire pressure before trip and every few hundred miles...Do a walk around at every gas stop...
  2. Check lug nuts periodically. Grease bearings once a year or every 2~3 thousand miles...Bearing buddies work nice...
  3. Maintain 15 to 20 pounds of tongue weight at ball... Use bathroom scale placed on solid surface, same height as ball... Pack trailer to achieve proper 15 to 20 pounds... Don't load up cooler before leaving on trip, load up at destination... But, if you do counter- balance heavier items in trailer to the back.
  4. Don't overload trailer...Don't put heavy items on roof rack, like animals... Would you like to breath exhaust fumes? Also can make trailer top heavy...
  5. Your bike is now twice as long...Be sure you have enough room when passing to pull back in... Always signal...Hand signals work well, but finger signals don't... Respect others...
  6. Allow more time to stop...Down shift to slow down...Remember, both brakes for fast stop...
  7. Cargo trailers should have 20 pounds of air pressure... Campers 25 to 30... Tires will not get hot and gives a softer ride...
  8. Remember, trailer may be an inch or two wider than handlebars... Watch curb at toll booths and when parking... Watch pot-holes in road..
  9. Don't ride down center of your lane, that's where the oil is... Half way between center of your lane and the center line, or, center of your lane and pavement edge is proper area to ride... Trailers are 38"~44" average width same as touring bikes handlebars width across to each outer edge...
  10. On very windy days I find that a trailer may help to stabilize the bike... don't get over-confident, could change instantly...
  11. It's very easy to forget trailer is behind you... Ride safe and be aware...
  12. Use safety chains, most states require them..Proper chain length should be, if trailer becomes disconnected from ball,it should rest on crossed chains and not touch ground...
  13. Always lock or bolt coupler on trailer ball..Also, if you have a receiver hitch, be sure pin is in and lock that also...
  14. If possible, remove some weight from saddle bags and trunk,that's what trailer is for...
  15. Home made trailer info: Too short a tongue, also not enough tongue weight can cause trailer to wig-wag at about 50 mph... Rule of thumb: Ball to center of axle should be twice the distance as center to center on tire...
    Example: 3' tire to tire center needs 6' from axle to ball coupler...Longer dose'nt effect it but shorter sure will...
  16. Swivels for trailers is a nice option,but not a necessity...A coupler has a 28 degree move-ment in every direction and will not bind...But if your bike should tip over a swival is then appreciated... Can be added any time...
  17. Do not overload manufacturers recommended weight capacity...My rule of thumb is: 13 lbs for each cubic foot of cargo space... So a trailer with 18 cubic feet of cargo space X the 13 pounds per cubic foot, equals 234 lbs.
  18. Never leave home without a can of instant tire flat and a tire plug repair kit...Rubber bungie cords are handy also in various sizes.
  19. Drinking or drugs while driving is stupid...While on a motorcycle will probably be fatal. Read prescription drugs for side effects...
  20. High on important list is a good flash-light and first aid kit... Imagine on a dark moonless night, you or your passenger could bleed to death if you had neither... Paper and pen are also good items to write down all information if involved in a traffic accident...
  21. Proceed over railroad tracks at ninty degree angle...
  22. Last, for 2 up riders... You're tired, been riding all day, you're getting gas, your love one went to get directions but you know your not lost...Don't take off without her or him, Will not make for a good day when she/he catches up with you...Enjoy each others company, when you stop for the night leave TV off... Talk or read maybe take a little walk.

 

May be copied... Keep one in your trailer for reference... Make copies for your friends or club members... If I can help with a answer to your question, call me, if I don't know it, we will try and get it for you...

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