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Well Gang,
It took about 6 days of metal fabrication and alterations to both the back of our motorhome and, a Versa Hauler motorcycle rack to accomplish this feat. The Versa Hauler is a single receiver hitch mounted motorcycle carrier. For those that are not sure, you put this carrier in a receiver in the back of your truck, car or motorhome and, it's capable of about 500-600 lbs, depending on which model you have. We use it to carry our Yamaha TW 200 on the back of our motorhome and, the Versa Hauler has it's own receiver that, can be used to tow a vehicle too.

Well, that little bike is OK for one person and, I have a ball on it when we're on vacations, in all kinds of areas, roads, back country trails and forest service roads etc. But, it's very limited in capabilities. Sooooo, I thought, let's see if I can fabricate up some augmentation, to that Versa Hauler, to make it capable of hauling the A/T. After all, the A/T is just shy of double the weight of the TW. The first thing I had to do, was add two more receivers. Once done, I had to add tubing from those receivers to the bottom side of that Versa Hauler to make that carrier be able to handle more weight, and take some of the load off the main receiver/hitch.

Once that was done, I know (as well as many of you do) the A/T is a TOP HEAVY bike. So, guiding it up a ramp, and along a rail that's over 2' off the ground, with me STILL ON THE GROUND is waaaaay to dangerous. So, I thought what the heck, I'll make some removable scaffolding that I can WALK ALONGSIDE THE A/T as I'm loading and unloading it.

That worked out really slick. When the bike is loaded, the scaffolding simply un-pins and, is removed very easily and stored in the coach compartments. It takes me about 30 seconds to a minute, to prepare for loading or unloading. And the CEO is right there, to help with stability as I load or unload. As for the stability of the bike while in transit, well, it's not as rock solid as I'd like it but, it's pretty good. I think it's solid enough for this trip anyways. We don't do a lot of road racing with the motorhome anyways.

So, see what you boys think.
Scott
 

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Quite the feat of engineering, Scott. Looks good!
 

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Looks good!
Did you consider some braces close to the back of the RV then straps down to the ends of the rack; to help elevate the torque of the bike on the rack form the leverage the bike is given being that far out on the supports from the attachment point..
 

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Wow, it appears like nice work Scott. That is quite the setup. I hope it is durable to oscillations.

Though, you need one more modification: Attach a big, bright red balloon to the mounted AT. :)

Happy trails!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Looks good!
Did you consider some braces close to the back of the RV then straps down to the ends of the rack; to help elevate the torque of the bike on the rack form the leverage the bike is given being that far out on the supports from the attachment point..
Well,
The support that is there, based on the available attachment points, is about maximum that can be afforded to that total system. When you have a motorhome, taking along the toys you most enjoy, in our case, the A/T and the Jeep, you work with what you have. In our case, it's a diesel coach which, has a seriously more stout frame system than a gas coach. Grabbing support off the rear of that frame, albeit pretty heavy duty construction, is limited due to last point of attachment.

So, I used 4" x 4" x 1/4" thick angle iron that is bolted to the frame. Then, I welded on to those pieces of angle iron, two, 3/16" wall receivers. The welding rod I used was 150,000 lb. shear strength rod. I'm not exactly sure of what you're describing in creating support. There are three receivers that are dividing up the weight of the A/T. Basically, the A/T weighs close to 540 lbs. Divide that by three and you get 180 lbs. that each of those receivers are supporting. In RV and trailer speak, that's not very much at all. The 2" x 2" square tube that emanates from those two receivers is 3/16" wall tubing. Pretty stout stuff. Any thicker walled tubing wouldn't do much more by way of support, but it would add un needed weight.

Once on the trip, I will take photos of the complete setup. I have one or two now that show the Yamaha TW200 on that same carrier with the Jeep attached. So, you can get an idea of what things would look like.
Scott
 

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Well,
The support that is there, based on the available attachment points, is about maximum that can be afforded to that total system. When you have a motorhome, taking along the toys you most enjoy, in our case, the A/T and the Jeep, you work with what you have. In our case, it's a diesel coach which, has a seriously more stout frame system than a gas coach. Grabbing support off the rear of that frame, albeit pretty heavy duty construction, is limited due to last point of attachment.

So, I used 4" x 4" x 1/4" thick angle iron that is bolted to the frame. Then, I welded on to those pieces of angle iron, two, 3/16" wall receivers. The welding rod I used was 150,000 lb. shear strength rod. I'm not exactly sure of what you're describing in creating support. There are three receivers that are dividing up the weight of the A/T. Basically, the A/T weighs close to 540 lbs. Divide that by three and you get 180 lbs. that each of those receivers are supporting. In RV and trailer speak, that's not very much at all. The 2" x 2" square tube that emanates from those two receivers is 3/16" wall tubing. Pretty stout stuff. Any thicker walled tubing wouldn't do much more by way of support, but it would add un needed weight.

Once on the trip, I will take photos of the complete setup. I have one or two now that show the Yamaha TW200 on that same carrier with the Jeep attached. So, you can get an idea of what things would look like.
Scott
Yea I was just thinking about the stress of the system when it bounces, but the lateral force with your Jeep in tow would eliminate most of that..
It is definitely one nice setup and I totally agree traveling with your toys is the best way to travel..
 

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That is a fantastic setup! Love your entire rig!(y)

When I owned my last MH, a new 38 1/2 ft beast with two huge slides, I enjoyed telling people we were going 'CAMPING' in our MH and watch their reactions as They always replied: That's not camping!:unsure:

Jealousy can be ugly.;)

I used the same type of hitch carrier to transport my past KTM640 exc, Triumph Scrambler and BMW R1100GS many times and never had any trouble! I may do it again with my new ATAS in the fall and stay in Ooltewah, TN and ride the Dragon and avoid the 1400 mile round trip from SW Missouri, on that hard on the ARSE ATAS seat!:mad:

Sam:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I thank you all for the nice comments. We have been camping in various ways, with various type setups for about 38 years. This present coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD (36' long) with the Caterpillar C-7 330HP and Allison MH3000 6-spd trans, is by far, our best rig. The pics below, show the various ways of dragging along toys when we travel. We've also been Jeeping for around 25 of those years. So, this is why we really would like the Jeep with us when traveling. But, having a motorcycle, either the TW Yamaha or, the A/T, is ultra nice too so I can tootle around when the CEO is just relaxing with the dog.
Scott
 

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Hmmm..
Well I carry a “garage “ when I camp with my bike...
55821
 

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Nice rig & setup, Scott. We just bought a Tiffin Allegra Red340 coach and I'm looking around for ways to haul the bike. Any recommendations would be happily received. Open a conversation if you like.
 

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Willy,
As stated, it's always nice to bring along, at least a couple of toys to make trips/vacations/stays/excursions, etc. whatever you want to call them, more enjoyable and adventurous. Having OPTIONS for both fun and efficiency (you go one direction/place and she can go another, at the same time, based on weather etc.) is the best scenario. But, the cost of having options can bite you financially and physically. On the financial side, carrying a motorcycle can be done on the cheaper diet if, you take into consideration, what it takes to make that kind of a choice work.

Or, you can get a more expensive type lift/carrier that does a lot of the work for you in terms of loading and un loading a heavier motorcycle. But, the cost rises steeply when that kind of a choice is put into play. I have done it both ways, as you can see by the pics. I used a HYDRALIFT when we carried the Goldwing. It's the most efficient lift/carrier on the planet. It has the least moving parts and, is the most stable. It's also THE MOST EXPENSIVE at around, $4,300 the last time I checked. I got mine used and I did the install.

Or, also by the pics, you can see I'm now using a Versa Hauler which, it not quite the cheapest m/c carrier on the market but, (think Harbor Freight) it's not all that bad in cost. As stated, if you cruise around on Versa Hauler's web site, you'll see a few different models. This is my model:


Now, that product, as it's sold, is rated for 500 lbs. But, for the life of me, I cannot find ANY differences in it and the:


Other than the length of the track, I see ZERO difference, yet that one is rated for 600 lbs. In any case, as stated in earlier posts/threads, I wanted more stability and more carrying strength. So, since both of those are designed with intended use of a SINGLE receiver, I figured I'd simply add TWO MORE RECEIVERS to augment the carrying capability and stability during travel. Now, I won't go into the history of my experience in this sort of thing but, suffice to say I've done this sort of thing MANY, MANY TIMES.

Now, I don't know a thing about a "Tiffin Red 340". Can I assume that, it's a diesel coach and, it's around 34' long? If so, you should be good to go, to put the A/T on the back of it. The Hydralift is quite the OVERKILL for some project like this but, it's also the safest, and easiest way of loading and unloading a 540 lb. bike. But, any other method, such as what I used, is not done, without much thought as to:
1. Will it handle the weight?
2. Will it be stable while in transit?
3. Will it need any type of bolstering( augmentation ) to and for, support?
4. Will it need any altering for the A/T (mine did, I needed to move the front wheel chock out, to accommodate the wheel base length)

You pay a whole lot less for a Versa Haul vs the Hydralift, or the Cruiserlift, or any other hydraulic type motorcycle lift carrier but, lots to consider. And, as you can see (I'll have to check to see if I posted pics or not) I have created a form of scaffolding that I use to walk next to the A/T when I'm loading and unloading it. Based on sheer ergonomics, the ability for me to be as stable as possible, while loading and unloading that TOP HEAVY BIKE, I need that scaffolding. But, I cannot have that scaffolding in the way, while we're towing the Jeep. It would collide with the Jeep in sharper turns. So, that scaffolding absolutely needed to be removeable but, phenomenally stable while in use.

So, I created what you see. It appears to me that, it will provide enough stability and strength to transport the A/T and tow our Jeep, on our intended upcoming trip. Time will tell.

All this is because we (or I) want dual modes of alternate transportation/fun, while on a trip. If we just wanted the M/C, I could have purchased a cheap motorcycle trailer and towed it. But, we're or I, am not foul weather riding folks. So, if we need something, and it's raining and will be raining for a period of time, I'm not the kind that intentionally sets out for a ride, in the rain.

So, done with the blabbing for now. I have given you my thoughts on potential avenues to pursue. There are of course more.

Cruiserlift.com - Carrier / Hauler / Loader Transportation Systems
 

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Thanks Scott. I'm leaning towards a 600 lb-capable ramp-fed carrier. Something like this...


or this...


A hydraulic rig seems overkill for my needs right now. I could imagine going that route if I wanted to carry Mrs. Willy's bike along too but we're not there yet. Consider, too, that adding her bike takes the total up to 540# + 480# or 1,020#. Most (all?) of the hitch-mounted rigs I've looked at have an upper limit of 1,000#. A few pounds over would not be a deal breaker as the designers have surely added a safety factor which I'd have to confirm. We use 50% in aerospace. Ground pounders like CE and building designers tend towards 100% because the additional weight isn't typically an issue.

Another option I'm considering is laying out $7k for an enclosed bike trailer than can carry both machines. That's a big pill to swallow though.

Thanks for the info - it will help me to settle on a solution. BTW, our Tiffin is a 3-slide diesel coach easily capable of toting the biggest carriers.


Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
AT-Dragon,
I applaud you Sir for that setup! Believe me, there are PLENTY of times I wish I could leave Amtrak at home and just load the bike (with some panniers etc.) and head out and just travel and camp wherever I end up. I participate in one of the Yamaha TW200 forums and there's a couple of guys on there that run those little 200's Waaaaaaaaay up into the lost wild country and just pitch a tent. They've got videos of some of their rides and I'm so envious I could die. The good thing about a TW is one can basically man-handle it if you get into trouble. Pretty darn tough to do that with an A/T.

Willy,
Yes, a Hydralift would be an overkill for your situation for sure. I only mention it because I've used one and it's OUTSTANDING for the ultra heavy cruisers and touring machines. It also runs close to almost 400 lbs. that you'd be adding to the rear of the coach, PLUS the 540 lbs. of the A/T. As for the carriers you linked, yes, they will do. But, it sounds as if you've got some experience in mechanics/physics etc. And with that being said, you know the weight of an A/T and, even though they're rated for 600 lbs. ON A SINGLE HITCH, the amount of what I would call: teeter-totter or rocking effect, is gonna be there, no matter what the carrier is rated at.

This is one of the prime reasons I added two more receivers. Those two extra receivers will SEVERELY minimize that teeter-totter effect and, at the same time, will also pitch in to handle an approximate 1/3 the weight each. The torsional twisting and what's called the STATIC load and DYNAMIC load of a single hitch carrier, is without a doubt, tested to the max when something like an A/T is loaded. And, knowing and realizing those factors, is what causes me to typically OVER BUILD a project. I prefer to not have any disasters when I'm hundreds if not thousands of miles from home and my fab and welding equipment.

Now, that's talking about the lift/carrier. You also have to really, take a good look at your actual hitch on the coach. Yes, it may be rated for say, 5,000 or 10,000 lbs. And in some cases, the really high end coaches have a 15,000 lb. hitch. But, as you more than likely know, that's rated primarily for PULLING loads, not carrying. A very large percent of the time, most of those hitches are rated for around 500 lbs. tongue weight.

Anyway, enough blabbing, take your time in choosing a carrier, how it's built, and what, if any, mods or alterations it or your coach might need for a successful trip with ZERO mishaps. Good luck.
Scott
 

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Lone Rider sells a "garage tent," so does Vuz. AT is rolling in a RedVerz Atacama Expedition if memory serves. They're pretty pricey.



 
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