Taking an LT Camping - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 20 Old Aug 21st, 2008, 2:59 pm Thread Starter
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Taking an LT Camping

Hi all

I am planning a ride down 101 to Big Sur then heading over to Sacramento and onto Reno for the Air races, leaving early Sept.

I will be travelling with my SO and she has graciously agreed to try camping. I will be travelling with tent, pads and sleeping bags and a small stove in addition to all our normal "stuff". Both panniers and top box will taken up with stuffed liner bags which leaves the top rack and the "angles" on top of the panniers for additional storage.

Since i expect to encounter everything from cool/wet to very hot in terms of road conditions, I was wondering if anyone else has taken the LT camping two-up and what they found in terms of Weight distribution, Max load, Tyre pressure, handing and most basic of all from a safety POV how did you "lash" on your gear.

All comments gratefully received
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post #2 of 20 Old Aug 21st, 2008, 3:07 pm
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

extra room can be had by fastening your double (waterproof) bagged sleeping bags w/ ROK straps to the handles of the hardbags. Doesn't touch paint or interfere w/ passanger

Allan..Illinois, Oregon, Arkansas, and tomorrow the Universe
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post #3 of 20 Old Aug 21st, 2008, 3:32 pm
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

i was really disappointed in the LT for two up camping. There is simply not enough room on the bike. I purchased a small pull behind cargo trailer that works very well. Im also considering a small camper but really dont want to go that direction. Another option is the UNi-Go whick looks real interesting.
Thanks,
Jim

Jim in Dublin, OH

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post #4 of 20 Old Aug 21st, 2008, 3:58 pm
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

You WANT too be comfortable ..... getting the amount of gear on the bike to do that 2 up is not really practical.

Wife and I love to camp with the LT, but a small trailer is a must have !!

Headed out myself with the wife for a 2 week camping trip in few weeks
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post #5 of 20 Old Aug 21st, 2008, 4:05 pm
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

The trailer is an awesome answer to your question. I did much research and was about to build a trailer then I found this one. Most tagalongs were 3 to 5K! Then I found "ALUMA" was less than 2K and have several models to choose from.


CLICK
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post #6 of 20 Old Aug 21st, 2008, 4:05 pm
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

And this is my way to do camping in Finland.

Of course with trailer it is so easy to take all unnecessary things with as well. Like fridge to keep six pack cooled down

Regards
Leiboshi
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post #7 of 20 Old Aug 21st, 2008, 4:10 pm
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

small trailer ????? You could haul hay bails with that thing.

Doug
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My dog is very selective where he will pee, yet he will poop anywhere. In that regard; we couldn’t be more different.
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post #8 of 20 Old Aug 21st, 2008, 4:11 pm
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

Last Summer my wife and I took the LT for a 4300 mile vacation and camped along the way. It was a test of our ingenuity to get every thing into and on the bike. If you think the bike is top heavy, wait till you have your wife and about 115 lbs. of gear and clothes on the bike. Slow speed handling was a challenge. We decided that next time we would either take 2 bikes or a trailer or stay in motels.
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post #9 of 20 Old Aug 21st, 2008, 5:00 pm
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

Camping one-up I have to use a dry-bag for gear. Not looking forward to the two-up situation.

One tip I do have: If you use your centerstand make sure it ENGAGES FULLY. It can dig in the ground and appear to engage. I had it tip over in the Adirondacks while packing up in the morning after strapping all my gear down.

Post pics with your setup.

Adam
2006 K1200LT 2001 Kawi KLR650
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post #10 of 20 Old Aug 21st, 2008, 7:44 pm
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

The SO and I have done a substantial amount of camping, two up on our LT (no trailer). Here are some thoughts:

1) Shop for your gear at a store with a substantial selection of backpacking gear (REI is a good one). Sleeping bags can take up a lot of room, so consider down bags, which stuff to a much smaller size while providing outstanding warmth. Our bags are Big Agnes and I would highly recommend them. We have two Luxury Camp Thermo-rest sleeping pads. Bags and pads go into waterproof stuff sacks and are attached just above the side bags.

2) We also have a very compact cook stove. Rather than packing food, we will stop towards the end of the travel day and pick up whatever we plan to cook for the evening (along with a nice bottle of wine!) I'm blessed to have a wife that is a gourmet cook and it's amazing what she can come up with from that little camp stove...part of the fun.

3) One luxury is two Kermit chairs, which pack onto the trunk rack.

4) Our tent is a Mountain Hardware two person backpacking tent, with a small storage alcove. Very lightweight and the alcove is nice for storing things out of the weather.

5) We both have BMW Comfort Shell riding suits, which eliminate the need for separate rain gear. We also each have a Gerbings heated liner and gloves, so we're good to go regardless of what the weather throws us.

6) We each get one of the side bags for clothing, which consists of an extra pair of pants (hiking pants with zip off legs) for evening wear and a couple of layering pieces. Everything we take is for travel so, for example, instead of packing a weeks worth of underwear, I'll pack 3 pair and wash them out at the campground. I carry a mesh bag which is great for packing wet clothes on the bike and drying them while you ride. Exofficio is a great supplier of lightweight travel clothes.

You do have to carefully think through what you really need, but you can generally get by with far less than you think (also a good lesson). You also need to plan the way a backpacker would plan, with an eye towards every ounce of weight. We would never consider traveling with a trailer (and I'm NOT being critical of those that do) and always look forward to our camping adventures.

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post #11 of 20 Old Aug 21st, 2008, 8:30 pm
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

A trailer makes a BIG difference. We carry as much in our Bushtec as we carry in our cage. Plus, the trailer really stays stuck to the road and it doesn't seem to alter the bike's handling that much. Yes, it's back there, but low speed handling is OK since it's not so top heavy. I don't worry as much about overloading the bike since we put nearly everything in the trailer and very little on the bike. I really like my Dauntless hitch. If you think you might want to try trailering, look around for a used one and let the first guy take the hit on depreciation. Having more amenities when camping may make mama happy and God knows... if mama ain't happy... ain't nobody happy!

Jim Whitsitt KC5KM
BMWMOA# 144388
Garland, TX
'06 K1200LT
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post #12 of 20 Old Aug 21st, 2008, 8:51 pm
 
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

May not apply but you could send some of your normal "stuff" to a destination via Fed Ex or UPS especially if your are planning on staying at a hotel somewhere. It would lighten the load for other stuff and you could send things already used back in the same manner.
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post #13 of 20 Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 10:25 am
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsciullo
Another option is the UNi-Go whick looks real interesting.
Thanks,
Jim
I have a Uni-Go & it fits my needs great...it is small, you can't bring the kitchen sink & stove with...One advantage is that it has 1 wheel which follows you & it leans with your bike...if you swerve to miss something in the road, it also will miss it ...With a 2 wheel trailer, it might hit what you missed with the bike ...Another advantage or disadvantage to it's size is I don't know it's there, can't see it in the mirrors...The only time it let me know it was there was last June on a trip to Arkansas..When I got to 75+ mph it started to fish tail..I learned that was do to being loading top heavy.

Uni-Go link: "www.uni-go.com" ,there are videos to watch.

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post #14 of 20 Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 10:45 am
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

http://piggybacker.stehltow.com/
Try this site, these trailer are a good tag along and run for less than (7). I have a trailer for (2) up. My wife takes EVERYTHING and doesn't use half of it. Good luck.

Michael Dale
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post #15 of 20 Old Aug 22nd, 2008, 11:14 am
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

Pack as if you're going backpacking
everything fits on your back.........
Now put it on the bike
(that said, our trunk is equal to 3- 1/2 hard bags and we fit tent, sleeping bags, air mattress, stove, etc with room for two beers before we stop for the night)

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post #16 of 20 Old Aug 23rd, 2008, 12:03 pm
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

2 up camping, I recommend a trailer. I got an inexpensive one from "Piggy-Back" $550.00 or so for the 12" chrome wheels. The Dauntless hitch works great IMO.
Suggestion: if you consider the Piggy Back, you MUST get the bottom trunk re-enforced with fiberglass (I had a boat glassman do it for $100.00). Finally, they have GREAT customer service and stand by their product.
Last, don't plan on camping for only one night, it is a PITA to set-up and tear down just to sleep. Get a room and make sure you have a GPS!!
Last year we did a 10,300 mile trip and this year was 5300 miles.
Have fun!

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post #17 of 20 Old Aug 26th, 2008, 6:40 am
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

SmokinJoe:

Why do you recommend having the bottom of the trailer re-enforced?

I only do camping a couple times a year, but thought that the Piggy-Back Trailer would be a good choice - did not feel I could justify the higher costs of other trailers for the little usage we would make of it. It sounds like you are happy with the trailer.

Hanshi



Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinJoe
2 up camping, I recommend a trailer. I got an inexpensive one from "Piggy-Back" $550.00 or so for the 12" chrome wheels. The Dauntless hitch works great IMO.
Suggestion: if you consider the Piggy Back, you MUST get the bottom trunk re-enforced with fiberglass (I had a boat glassman do it for $100.00). Finally, they have GREAT customer service and stand by their product.
Last, don't plan on camping for only one night, it is a PITA to set-up and tear down just to sleep. Get a room and make sure you have a GPS!!
Last year we did a 10,300 mile trip and this year was 5300 miles.
Have fun!

Hanshi
Reading, PA
Current Bikes:
2007 BMW K1200LT (Black)
2008 HD Electra Glide Ultra Classic (red)
HF Tag-Along Trailer
Past Bikes:
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post #18 of 20 Old Aug 26th, 2008, 9:45 am
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

I have pulled a Uni-go to go one-up camping. Obviously--this was overkill for storage--but it worked great!!

I have since gone to a Leesure Lite camper (two wheel pop up) due to my difficulties getting up and down from the ground. Again--overkill on the storage but works great!

You may also consider strapping a bag on top of each side case. We sell lots of medium Clothes Sacks (Helen twowheels bags) for LT people to do just that. Seems to work well. Medium or large Roll Top bags also work in that spot on the LT.

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post #19 of 20 Old Aug 26th, 2008, 1:56 pm
 
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

Enjoy the ride the Pacific Coast highway is one of the best in the whole USA.
There were points where the wind comes all the way from Japan and can make you wonder what bear just jumped on the back. If you are going South it may be better, I did S to N.

My blog is at www.GraceHighWay.WordPress.com I did 11,ooo miles around the country.

Practical advice? I had my backpack with tent, sleeping bag, etc behind me and it was so comfortable to lean back on. Although a lady to rub your neck would be better.

Stellar spots to stop or camp, Pacific Grove has public campground for $10 a night, Point Lobo is the most beautiful state park and they have a great list of camp sites. big sur books up hope you have a reservation, I really liked the southern part San Luis Obisbo The Madonna Inn! The camp grounds at Pismo Beach. The state parks have an online booking system now.

Honestly with another person on board and a lady I would enjoy roughing it on the road and sleep at a motel 6 for the same price as most camp grounds, safe, clean, AC, and a shower! Then you can really enjoy the trip two up. I saw people all over the country pulling carts and in my opinion why ride a bike at all if you are going to have 4 wheels down?

After a long day of ridding the last thing you are going to really enjoy is setting up camp.

I hope it all works out and you enjoy it.

Here is my final bit of wisdom.
Ladies like to talk about how you are roughing it, while sipping wine in the hot tub at night.
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post #20 of 20 Old Aug 27th, 2008, 12:50 pm
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Re: Taking an LT Camping

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanshi
SmokinJoe:

Why do you recommend having the bottom of the trailer re-enforced?

I only do camping a couple times a year, but thought that the Piggy-Back Trailer would be a good choice - did not feel I could justify the higher costs of other trailers for the little usage we would make of it. It sounds like you are happy with the trailer.

Hanshi
The bottom will crack in various places. They sent me a new bottom without hesitation, I glassed it and the last trip had no problem at all, much more solid.
I also drilled two 1/4" holes in the rear sides to let any water that may get in escape.
Also, be certain to properly grease the wheel bearing the first time, they come to dry and one of my wheel bearing was to tight (should spin freely without any wobble or play).

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2014 BMW K1600GTL-E EXCLUSIVE
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