Do you use a swivel joint for towing? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 8 Old Apr 17th, 2015, 9:56 pm Thread Starter
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Do you use a swivel joint for towing?

I just bought a used small Magneta trailer same as this one Motorcycle cargo trailers
In my many years of riding I never towed a trailer before so my question is do I need to install the coupler on a swivel joint or does the hitch ball will rotate ok inside the coupler if I have to lean sharp? Does a swivel makes a big difference?
Thanks

Alain

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post #2 of 8 Old Apr 18th, 2015, 6:52 am
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Re: Do you use a swivel joint for towing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpac View Post
I just bought a used small Magneta trailer same as this one Motorcycle cargo trailers
In my many years of riding I never towed a trailer before so my question is do I need to install the coupler on a swivel joint or does the hitch ball will rotate ok inside the coupler if I have to lean sharp? Does a swivel makes a big difference?
Thanks
Alain, I have towed trailers both with the standard hitch and the swivel hitch. I got to thinking that since I was getting older there was a fair chance of dropping the bike while stopped. I wanted to limit any damage to the hitch and/or trailer so I installed a swivel hitch. I found one immediate benefit. The handling of the rig improved greatly. I did not realize that the friction of the ball would have that big an effect on handling. I won't pull a trailer without one now. You will get helpful people telling you that your hitch isn't straight when stopped at lights.

Robert

They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
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post #3 of 8 Old Apr 18th, 2015, 7:55 am
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Re: Do you use a swivel joint for towing?

Haven't pulled a trailer without the swivel hitch so can't really speak from that point, but it just stands to reason that with the swivel it puts less strain on the ball and hitch in turns and twisties.

And as Scouter says, in the event she decides to take a nap...you don't bend anything major.

I think it's worth the few extra bucks for the insurance/piece of mind.


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post #4 of 8 Old Apr 18th, 2015, 1:39 pm
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Re: Do you use a swivel joint for towing?

I guess I have to differ. I had the experience of dropping the LT all the way over in a motel drive without a swivel hitch. This was pulling a Bunkhouse camper and no damage was done to the trailer or the bike.

Even though I had it in first gear on the compression stroke, the bike rolled off the side stand due to the extra weight of the trailer pushing it.

Ron


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post #5 of 8 Old Apr 19th, 2015, 7:29 am
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Wink Re: Do you use a swivel joint for towing?

A Heim coupler (or a swivel joint) is the way to go. I used one for two different trailers over the years. There is virtually no looseness to the hitch. I even fell once, on a dirt road in Montana (road repair) , and the trailer stayed upright, no problem!

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post #6 of 8 Old Apr 19th, 2015, 7:38 pm
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Re: Do you use a swivel joint for towing?

As I stated on a recent post,
I've been pulling a Bushtec Quantum with my 2001 LT, since April 2004.
The heim joint was a major reason why I went with the Bushtec.
Glad I did.
Picked it up at the factory in Jacksboro, TN.
Then headed to the Georgia Mountain Rally in Hiawassee, GA.
First time pulling a trailer,
also the first time that I rode through the Dragon.
No worries. Easy day.
Just remember you have a trailer.
It's been through the Dragon several times since.
LT now has 119,000 miles on it.
Trailer has about 38,000 miles.
Pulls great behind my 2012 K1600GTL, too.
Got the first hitch Bushtec made for the K1600GTL.
The trailer has been behind me on seven (7) Iron Butt Saddlesore 1000s,
With the K1200LT and the K1600GTL.
Never had an issue.
Does great in the twisties on the Dragon, Shady Valley
and the north Georgia mountains.
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post #7 of 8 Old Apr 19th, 2015, 8:21 pm
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Re: Do you use a swivel joint for towing?

Only positive experiences towing a trailer with a swivel hitch.
In our case a heim joint. An elegant solution IMO.
The only issue is one of geometry. 360 rotation is compromised
when the towing angle exceeds about 45.
This has happened to us when reversing and Jenna takes a nap.
Couldn't imagine this occurring when moving forward.
The design of the coupling results in a bend of the fitting.
No damage to the hitch or pin, and an easy replacement.
Never left us stranded.
To use a swivel hitch just makes sense to me.

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post #8 of 8 Old Apr 20th, 2015, 7:51 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Do you use a swivel joint for towing?

Thanks folks

Alain

Vieux motard que jamais
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