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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There seems to be a ton of manufacturers but not a lot of reviews on quality. Specifically I'm looking at something that will hold two bikes and gear. So a tow behind trailer.

I would like a finished product, my wife says that is a waste of money and we can finish it ourselves.

So what brands should we look at and do you feel the extra cost for a finished product is worth it as opposed to doing it yourself.

thx
 

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I don't think I've seen anyone that doesn't buy a finished product...I didn't even know there was the option of buying an unfinished trailer :confused:

I also want to get an enclosed trailer to be able to take 2-3 bikes. Personally I would like to get a 7x12 or 7x14, but I've seen people squeeze 2 bikes in a 5x8 even, though not much room to spare. I'd like to be able to take 3 bikes if needed, and also have room for a tool box and other stuff. Problem is I need more money :eek:....that size of trailer runs around $2500-$4000 depending on brand and condition. You can get a lightly used 6x10 for around $1500-$2000 usually.
 

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Enclosed trailers are the way to go. I have had quite a few, from horse trailers, cargo trailers, and now, a 31'x8'x8' gooseneck toy hauler cargo trailer with living quarters. I bought the trailer as a cargo trailer with a drop down rear door. Then I finished it off, myself, with bathroom/shower, kitchen, living room, bedroom, and utility room. Your wife is correct, rudimentary construction skills are all you need.
The best trailer is manufactured by ATC (Aluminum Trailer Co.), also the most pricey! They make both bumper pull and fifth wheel, (goose neck) types. I have two buddies who have the tag along trailers (bumper pull), and love them. I prefer the bigger gooseneck type, as I travel a lot to the races, and usually stay gone a week or two. It is our travel home with the bike (s) as part of the family!!!
 

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Out here in the west coast, most bike only trailers are from Interstate 1. They're pretty light weight, so you can tow them with your car, which is an advantage for those who don't wish to buy a tow vehicle. The wedge trailer with fold down back is the most common and smallest, capable of holding two bikes and gear no problem. Most of my friends who own them, have enough room to throw a dirt bike in the middle as well, so plenty of space. The nice thing is, you can configure it anyway you want, so if you want extra plywood on the bottom so you can screw wheel chocks into it, they can do that at the factory.

Their web site kinda sucks unfortunately… but here is a link and click on "wedge nose" trailer section to see what I'm talking about. The 6" wide single is what you'd need for two bikes.

Wedge Nose, Single & Tandem Axle Trailers - Interstate 1 Manufacturing
 

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Not from personal experience but the folks I talk to at tracks say that dual axle is way better than single and the larger the wheels the better. A V-nose seems to be a favorite design. Also having a trailer that is 6' interior minimum height really makes loading/unloading easier as you can actually stand up in the trailer.
 

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^^ +1 .... only have a dual axle trailer... safer and more stable...
The other points are good also, as is a drop down ramp door..
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Finished vs unfinished?? Never heard of this.
Unfinished is just plywood interior and walls. So we would then have to put on the interior siding tracks, ect..... It seems that there is around a $3K difference in price between the two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't think I've seen anyone that doesn't buy a finished product...I didn't even know there was the option of buying an unfinished trailer :confused:

I also want to get an enclosed trailer to be able to take 2-3 bikes. Personally I would like to get a 7x12 or 7x14, but I've seen people squeeze 2 bikes in a 5x8 even, though not much room to spare. I'd like to be able to take 3 bikes if needed, and also have room for a tool box and other stuff. Problem is I need more money :eek:....that size of trailer runs around $2500-$4000 depending on brand and condition. You can get a lightly used 6x10 for around $1500-$2000 usually.
I'm thinking 7x12 should work for two bikes and would leave enough space for gear ect.

I just can't figure out which brand. I want dual axles the wife says single as it's cheaper on tolls :blah:.

Unfinished has no siding or tracks, chokes ect inside. It is just bare plywood.
 

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I'm thinking 7x12 should work for two bikes and would leave enough space for gear ect.

I just can't figure out which brand. I want dual axles the wife says single as it's cheaper on tolls :blah:.

Unfinished has no siding or tracks, chokes ect inside. It is just bare plywood.
Ah, I see what you mean. That's not really an unfinished trailer. Nobody sells what you're referring too unless you order a custom-made motorcycle trailer. If you want chocks, hooks, tracks, or any other fixtures and stuff like that you pretty much have to do it yourself. Personally, I think if you're trying to save money, it's best to find a used one that already has a lot of features. I recently came across an 8x20 that all sorts of stuff in it, plus lights, electric outlets, built-in stainless toolbox, cabinets, etc. for only $3900. Was an amazing deal, but still too much for me, plus I couldn't pull that with my Jeep.

I agree on the 2-axle. Don't know from personal experience either, but I hear they're much more stable and they pull very well. Wouldn't worry about that as far as tolls...who cares about a few more bucks at a toll...the main issue is that when you go up to 2-axles the trailer cost goes up quite a bit. From what I've seen while looking around a 7x12 or 7x14 dual axle is around $4500 brand new. These trailers also don't seem to depreciate much so it's hard to find really good deals on used ones unless they're salvaged due to hail damage.
 
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I had a 7x16 Haulmark trailer. I towed it with a Suburban.

I finished the interior myself, setup to haul 4 bikes, but also convenient for household items.

First forget the price of toll charges between single or dual axle, get dual axle.

Next realize that all the extra shit you start to load that you may need, but never ever use, costs you in gas. If you are nit picking on toll fees, wait to you see your gas mileage go from 16mpg to about 8mpg.

The taller and wider, the more gas you'll use.

So here's what I did, interior wise, for about $500 total.

First I painted the floor with an exterior house deck paint. I did likewise of the walls with a white semi gloss.

On the floor I ran three rails of E-Track, I found a local place that sold this for $19 per 8ft length.

The E-Track stands 1/2" high, so between the rails, I laid 1/2" plywood, this made the floor a little more solid, but also made the E-track flush.

Next, I installed indoor/outdoor carpet and stapled it to the floor. This will withstand getting wet. I also put this up on the sidewalls to provide scratch/abrasion protection for items carried and to the walls of the trailer.

I also installed E-track up on the walls to help with tie down for things stood up against the walls.

Not wanting to put permanent wheel chocks in, I used Black and Gray chocks which remove easily with DZUS fasteners.

For the loading ramp, I bought some 12" wide, self adhesive, anti slip tape from McMaster-Carr.

I put a folding shelf on one side, this is nice for putting gear and other stuff on when parked, but folds down out of the way for loading and transport.

The E-Track with 1/2" plywood between the rails




Finished inside


Black and Gray removable chocks


Chock removed


Antislip tape










I installed a wire shelf (Home Depot), upside down, so the supports would capture the shelf and also provide a lip for items transported on it. The wire shelf made it easy to use bungee cords to secure items.





Folding shelf






Here's a slideshow of all the pictures
MAD Ducati - Slide Show
 
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Oh and last thing I should have stated, when gas got into the mid $3 range, the cost of getting my bike(s) to and from the track became the biggest expense.

I subsequently sold my enclosed trailer and went to a Kendon 3 rail open trailer.

Sure the bikes get a little dirty if it rains, but I only give up about 1mpg and can comfortably cruise in the mid 70's.
 

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Now!! Gr8 work and post!! That is good stuff...
 

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That is a great setup Chris! But what was the reason for the carpet? Especially running it halfway up the walls? I would think it would get dirty pretty quick and there's also the possibility of any fluids leaking on there and staining.

I like the wheel chocks idea! I've never seen those before. That'd be great, like you said, for someone that doesn't use the trailer for only motorcycles and want the clearance.

The other option for holding bikes that I've seen people use (aside from the Pitbull trailer restraint systems) is the thing you can mount in the floor and you put the bikes in backwards and then there's basically a rod that goes through the rear axle and connects to 2 posts on either side of the wheel which are bolted down. So everything is being held from the rear axle, similar to the Pitbull system. Can't remember what that's called and who makes it, I'll have to look it up here quick.
 

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Ok that was quick...found it! It's this thing:

MOTO-D Strapless Transport Stands (Trailer Restraint System)

A bit pricey for what it is, but about the same cost as the Pitbull system. Both have some pros and cons. I've seen people use both actually, and they put the Moto-D in the front of the trailer, and the Pitbull ones in the back.

Personally, at the moment, I'm still rocking the small open trailer with a wheel chock and ratchet straps :(
 

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On the walls, the carpet just added a little cushioning and protection when items were strapped up against it.

The carpeting on the floor was more for comfort, i.e. when changing into leathers, and also to stop stuff slipping around.

I saw it in one of my friends trailers and liked the idea.

I think it cost about $30 to install, so if and when it got too grungy, I could just rip it out and replace it.
 

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On the walls, the carpet just added a little cushioning and protection when items were strapped up against it.

The carpeting on the floor was more for comfort, i.e. when changing into leathers, and also to stop stuff slipping around.

I saw it in one of my friends trailers and liked the idea.

I think it cost about $30 to install, so if and when it got too grungy, I could just rip it out and replace it.
Not a bad idea. When I'll get an enclosed trailer I will probably do the same...or at least for a portion of the trailer, because I will want to set it up so I can sleep in there as well, so it'd be nice to have some more cushion to put an inflatable mattress on or just to walk around.
 

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I went with a Ford transit 2015, LWB with 3.7L V6 and high roof. Instead of buying a trailer, new Ford truck, I got a Cargo van with enough space for two bikes, generator, eazsy ups, pit bull stands, extra tires and rims and all my equipment. For me, tolls for 3 axles, off site storage for the trailer, mpg and price were all factors.
 

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I went with a Ford transit 2015, LWB with 3.7L V6 and high roof. Instead of buying a trailer, new Ford truck, I got a Cargo van with enough space for two bikes, generator, eazsy ups, pit bull stands, extra tires and rims and all my equipment. For me, tolls for 3 axles, off site storage for the trailer, mpg and price were all factors.
Nice, I like the Ford Transit a lot. Nobody is using them out here yet, probably because sprinters are so easy to get used and A LOT CHEAPER.

If you do the math, van's are the way to go. Substantially more aerodynamic, better fuel economy, higher speeds of travel, cheaper to purchase and store. Of course, I like hotels… Bike stays under the canopy at the track overnight and I simply drive to the hotel down the street. Unless you're camping across the country, most race tracks have hotels near by.
 
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