Open vs Closed Trailer for towing LT - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Dec 10th, 2006, 11:14 am Thread Starter
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Open vs Closed Trailer for towing LT

I'm looking at options for trailering our LT. We would like to take a trip out west and ride in that beautiful part of the country. My wife and I love riding together, but we're moving up the maturity scale and don't really wish to make the entire trip on two wheels. I've looked at some of the pros and cons of open trailers like the Chariot Sled as well as closed trailers that offer greater protection from road debris and the elements. I would appreciate input from the experience and knowledge of the users on this site based on your experiences. We would be pulling the trailer with a Toyota Highlander. Thank you very much.

Ray
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post #2 of 12 Old Dec 10th, 2006, 11:24 am
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For What It's Worth...

Ray,

For what it's worth, I would go with a closed trailer everytime. It protects the bike and other gear from the elements and debris. Gives you a LOT more storage area that is secure (you mentioned that your wife was going) .

I have used an open trailer many times and somtimes when you get where you are going, particulalry if you run through rain or snow, your bike will be more dirty than if you had ridden it because of the road film thrown up and onto it by the towing vehicle. A pain to have to wash the bike before you even ride! On a closed, you just get the bike out...it's clean as a whistle...dry...and you just ride!!!!!

My 2 cents.

Jack Homesley
Cornelius, NC USA
'06 Goldwing - "The Black Pearl"
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post #3 of 12 Old Dec 10th, 2006, 1:12 pm
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To what Jack says, I can only add that it also depends on your vehicle's towing capacity. Check the owner's manual for towing maximums. The Highlander is not a full-size SUV so you're probably looking at something like 3500# or so, LESS the weight of passengers, luggage, optional equipment, gas, air in the tires, etc....

I'd think you could get 2 full-size touring bikes in an enclosed trailer and be under 3500#, but do the math.

---------------------------------
We have a light-weight SUV (Honda CR-V) with a 1500# towing capacity. The Uhaul trailer (open, one-bike) we rented earlier this year for STC + the weight of the bike maxed the car out -- literally and figuratively.

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2015 BMW K1600GTL
2009 BMW K1200LT - 60k miles
2012 BMW F650GS (sold)
2005 BMW K1200LT - "Gray Ghost", traded at 120k miles
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post #4 of 12 Old Dec 10th, 2006, 2:45 pm
 
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Trailer: Open or Enclosed

We've hauled our LTs in both open (a Kendon stand up double) and closed (Haulmark Lowhauler RT) trailers.

The Haulmark was far more secure; the bike stayed clean and there was room to put our riding gear in the trailer rather than in the car.
The drop down rear door made loading and unloading fast and easy - just ride it in.
It towed like a dream - even in high crosswinds and the electric brakes on all four of the trailer tires let it stop on a dime.
However, the Lowhauler was still high enough to block our rear view which meant we had to use fender mounted rear view mirrors. And, the wind resistance and considerable weight of a 8 1/2 wide, 20 foot long trailer meant our gas mileage (Mercedes 350ML) went down when compared to hauling the open Kendon.

The Kendon was light weight, very easy to tow, offered a good view of the vehicles behind. It was easy to store - we just removed the tongue and stood it up in the garage - it didn't take a lot of space.
However, loading and unloading the Kendon can be a bit scary because you have to ride the LT up a narrow ramp and your feet don't touch the ground until you get it all the way onto the trailer.
Plan on washing the bike when you arrive because it will get dirty - it will also get rock chips from the stuff thrown up by passing vehicles.
Don't put a cover on the bike when towing using an open trailer - no matter how well you secure the cover it will move (flap/vibrate/balloon) and at those move spots the paint will get scratched.

Regardless of which trailer you buy check your insurance coverage. Many carriers don't insure the trailer at all, others may insure it only when it is connected to the vehicle.

Given a choice and provided your tow vehicle has the capacity to handle it - buy the enclosed trailer. It's harder to store but so much nicer to use.

John & BJ
Scottsdale, AZ
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post #5 of 12 Old Dec 10th, 2006, 3:31 pm
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When going cross-country, we pull our LT behind a Toyota 4Runner or a small RV in an enclosed Chariot fiberglass (= lightweight) trailer (one-bike-size, as we ride 2-up). Wonderful!

Someone mentioned washing the bike when you get to your destination if you tow in an open trailer. That's not the worst case. We once towed thru a rainstorm with an open trailer, and the bike was so filthy I couldn't even sit on it to unload it from the trailer without washing it first.

- Bob

Cowboy Bob Menton
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post #6 of 12 Old Dec 10th, 2006, 7:38 pm Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your input. I'm sorry I didn't indicate that we ride 2up, so I only want a trailer to transport one LT. The Chariot enclosed trailer looks very nice. Glad to hear from someone who has had one. The trailers on www.ironhorsetrailers.com are very sleek looking but I don't know anyone who has had one of those. Thanks again.

Ray
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post #7 of 12 Old Dec 10th, 2006, 7:44 pm
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Closed CHARIOT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arby60
I'm looking at options for trailering our LT. We would like to take a trip out west and ride in that beautiful part of the country. My wife and I love riding together, but we're moving up the maturity scale and don't really wish to make the entire trip on two wheels. I've looked at some of the pros and cons of open trailers like the Chariot Sled as well as closed trailers that offer greater protection from road debris and the elements. I would appreciate input from the experience and knowledge of the users on this site based on your experiences. We would be pulling the trailer with a Toyota Highlander. Thank you very much.

Ray
I've towed to two CCR's West of the Mississippi and rode two up, to two CCR's South of Conn. Towing is more involved for the rider/driver. Prep the tow vehicle , prep the trailer, and of course the LT. Also you can take to much stuff. It's a lot of packing and rearranging stuff as you go from bike to car mode. The LT tie down procedure is time consuming so don't plan to unload for just a day ride.

A GPS eliminates many maps, and gets you to the motel in the dark on longer riding days. When it's raining all day, your glad you have the trailer. When the sun shines out west, you will wish you just took the bike.

You can always ship stuff UPS to a hotel, get a bag for the rain gear on the trunk rack. At CCR's usually about a dozen LT's arrive on trucks or trailers.

Your welcome to PM me your phone number and we can talk of all the pros and cons. Barnett
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post #8 of 12 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 12:20 am
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CLOSED is the only way to go. Keeps the bike secure and clean and allows you to lock up all you're other stuff too.

Small enclosed trailers aren't much more money than a flat bed anyway...

__________
2016 R1200GS Adventure
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post #9 of 12 Old Dec 11th, 2006, 10:17 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arby60
Thank you all for your input. I'm sorry I didn't indicate that we ride 2up, so I only want a trailer to transport one LT. The Chariot enclosed trailer looks very nice. Glad to hear from someone who has had one. The trailers on www.ironhorsetrailers.com are very sleek looking but I don't know anyone who has had one of those. Thanks again.

Ray
I have an Iron Horse two bike enclosed trailer and love it. I like it because it is light weight and I can move it around by myself. This really comes in handy when attaching it to my truck. Also its very well designed and you cant even feel it behind you. I tow with a Nissan Titan which is a bit overkill for the LT and trailer but I've also pulled it with my Jeep and Guzzi in tow. Works great. It also looks cool. If you have any questions about it - give me a call.
Thanks,
Jim

Jim in Dublin, OH

2005 - LT Ocean Blue (Catuffalo - Part Cat / Part Buffalo)
2002 - Moto Guzzi Cal Spec Sport
2000 - Moto Guzzi V11 Sport
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post #10 of 12 Old Jan 2nd, 2007, 7:32 pm
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What is the cost of your trailer?

Hi Jim:

I too need to tow an LT and K12S from eastern PA to Denver next July for a tour of the west. I have a Kendon two rail trailer, but the advantages of an enclosed trailer ar e obvious.

Which model of the Chariot do you have and what does it go for? Also, does it have brakes?

Thanks,

Les
06 K12LT
06 K12S
02 R1150GS
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post #11 of 12 Old Jan 3rd, 2007, 5:54 am
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Thumbs up

Les-
I have an Iron Pony not a Chariot. Its a two bike enclosed. Check out them out at http://www.ironhorsetrailers.com/ . I got the two bike fixed top. I did a lot of research on this and the Iron Pony was best for me. What really sold me was its weight. I can pull this around by myself as its really well balanced and light. It also looks great. Another thing I liked was that you can move the wheel chocks around so if your only going to trailer one bike you can move a single chock to the center and your on your way.
Jim




Quote:
Originally Posted by leshenits215
Hi Jim:

I too need to tow an LT and K12S from eastern PA to Denver next July for a tour of the west. I have a Kendon two rail trailer, but the advantages of an enclosed trailer ar e obvious.

Which model of the Chariot do you have and what does it go for? Also, does it have brakes?

Thanks,

Les
06 K12LT
06 K12S
02 R1150GS

Jim in Dublin, OH

2005 - LT Ocean Blue (Catuffalo - Part Cat / Part Buffalo)
2002 - Moto Guzzi Cal Spec Sport
2000 - Moto Guzzi V11 Sport
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post #12 of 12 Old Mar 30th, 2007, 9:05 pm
 
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Smile enclosed trailer

Bought our Haulmark low 14 foot from a dealer in alabama, Baldwin Trailer sales, Foley Ala. A retired racer who sells them just above cost. Try everywhere then call him - he would be worth the drive. . Great guy to deal with. We have a Boxel unit from two wheel days - so we just drive into it, it grabs the bike and that's it, unless we are going far, then we tie her down - each side of the back to the rings. Only problem was the width of trailer we had purchased (before triking the bike). As it turned out the inside of the trailer is 10" plus roomy but the door is 1/2" wider that the widest part of the Hannigan trike. Simple solution was to cut a notch in the wide door frames for more room - fine now. Tried an open, tilt bed trailer, bike was always dirty or beat up from the cover - covered is the way to go. Bruce
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