Trailer Hitch?? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 12 Old Dec 19th, 2008, 7:17 pm Thread Starter
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Question Trailer Hitch??

Going to be using a Bushtec trailer. Looking at hitches, Bustech does have one but I'm not crazy about the looks of it.
Can I use a Dauntless Hitch?
Give me some feedback on this guys!
Thanks.

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post #2 of 12 Old Dec 19th, 2008, 7:23 pm
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Re: Trailer Hitch??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood
Going to be using a Bushtec trailer. Looking at hitches, Bustech does have one but I'm not crazy about the looks of it.
Can I use a Dauntless Hitch?
Give me some feedback on this guys!
Thanks.
Yes you can use Dauntless hitches but..... You will still have to use the "Bushtec Hitch Pin" as they do not use a standard ball.
BTW I use the Bushtec hitch as i think it is a better built hitch.

Stevie Shreeve

Last edited by katnapinn; Dec 19th, 2008 at 7:38 pm.
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post #3 of 12 Old Dec 19th, 2008, 7:34 pm
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Re: Trailer Hitch??

The Dauntless is a well designed and thought out hitch,
its weak point being that it attaches to the rear "sub" frame of the LT and the saddlebag mounts.

Pulling a heavy trailer over rough terrain could possibly cause cracking in the "sub" frame
much like what used to happen to the early airhead BMW's.

On the other hand the Bushtec hitch attaches the load to the lower motor mount,
probably a better place but the rear support
(behind the license bracket) is not very well engineered,
as you have to remove the entire hitch to change a tire.

Not a big deal (only five bolts)

It all depends on what you want most, function, looks or the most solid best built product.

A lot of riders like the Dauntless, nothing wrong with that,
I've had two of them and replaced them both with the Bushtec hitch.


Hans
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post #4 of 12 Old Dec 19th, 2008, 10:22 pm
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Re: Trailer Hitch??

I had a Bushtec hitch on my 99 LT and really liked the hitch. I looked at the Dauntless hitch when I started thinking about putting a hitch on my 06 LT. After looking at the two hitches I decided on the Bushtec hitch again. If you don't have a drop tail lift you will have to take the Bushtec hitch loose to get the rear wheel out, but like SilverBuffalo says, it's only 5 bolts, not bad at all.

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post #5 of 12 Old Dec 20th, 2008, 1:49 am
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Re: Trailer Hitch??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood
Going to be using a Bushtec trailer. Looking at hitches, Bustech does have one but I'm not crazy about the looks of it.
Can I use a Dauntless Hitch?
Give me some feedback on this guys!
Thanks.
I have a Dauntless hitch and have towed two up with the tent trailer all through BC, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Utah. Up over the mountains and through lots of back roads. I think it's a tough hitch. So far so good. I check it all the time to make sure the bolts are tight and the frame isn't cracked (cause that's what I have read it could do). I believe that if you treat it properly eg: no fast starts or stops, no hard braking, no fast corners putting stress on the frame, it will last a long time without any problems. Tour choice... good luck.

Bill
05K1200LT
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post #6 of 12 Old Dec 20th, 2008, 5:23 am
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Re: Trailer Hitch??

I'm using a Dauntless on my '06 LT. What sold me was the fact that the hitch receiver is barely noticeable when the pin mount is removed, which is 95% of the time. When we are on the road, I carry almost nothing in the panniers or the top box and put everything in the trailer. The 4 relay assembly for the lighting was also used and installs nicely. My Roadstar weighs around 150 lbs. empty and if we fill it up till it won't hold anymore... it adds around 100 lbs. The large soft sided cooler goes inside the trailer and I won't let the tongue weight go over 25 lbs. I'm just not too keen on putting a cooler up closer to the hitch. Note: The Bushtec Heim joint hitch is a love/hate thing. You'll love the fact that there is NO slop in it, but hate the fact that it seems to get grease on you no matter how careful you are. Good luck.

Jim Whitsitt KC5KM
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post #7 of 12 Old Dec 20th, 2008, 12:26 pm
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Re: Trailer Hitch??

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillCav
the frame isn't cracked (cause that's what I have read it could do).
I don't have any problem with Hans' observations but his comments are the primary source of this concern. I have searched the archives of the new and old forums as well as the internet and couldn't find any frame cracking problems with the LT outside of a lay down or some other kind of accident. I found no reports attributing LT frame cracks to the use of a trailer hitch of any kind and Dauntless isn't the only sub-frame mounted hitch on the market. Could I have missed something, sure.

I asked Jay Giese, the owner of Dauntless Motors, about this a couple years ago and he has never had a complaint about frame cracks. Of course it wouldn't be in his interest to admit it but he has never been anything but honest with me in our various dealings. Sub-frame mount hitches have been on LTs for 10 years and there should be some anecdotal evidence that there is a problem by now, but there isn't.

While Hans is right about the Bushtec structural design being stronger I have not found any evidence that shows that sub-frame mounted hitches or the LT sub-frame are deficient in their design or that problems relating to those designs are occurring at all, let alone at any statistically significant level. Should Hans' concerns be dismissed out of hand, certainly not. If you know you will be doing a lot of rough road travel and want that extra level of confidence then go with the Bushtec. For the kind of use that Dauntless hitch users have put their LTs through over the last 10 years I think the Dauntless hitch design has proven to be more than adequate.

So I am a 0% failure Dauntless hitch user which frees me up to worry full time about my proven 4% failure rate final drive going out.


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post #8 of 12 Old Dec 21st, 2008, 11:34 am
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Re: Trailer Hitch??

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillCav
I believe that if you treat it properly eg: no fast starts or stops, no hard braking, no fast corners putting stress on the frame, it will last a long time without any problems. Tour choice... good luck.
Ahh the key words,"if you treat it properly"
I don't "intentionally" beat on my bike but I am "guilty" of all of the above.

Please don't "misinterpret" my logic y'all
I'm not "knocking" the Dauntless hitch at all,
After all I bought two of them with my hard earned money.
If you're pulling a light trailer you'll probably never have a problem with the Dauntless.

I will tell you from experience that you can feel the Dauntless "flex" whereas the Bushtec is "rock solid"
The bottom portion of the Dauntless is hanging down "unsupported"
when you hit a bump, pothole etc. something is going to give.

What I would really like to see is a "hybrid" combination of both these hitches,
a hitch thats pulls from the motor mount (undispute-ably the better place) that's removable like the Dauntless.

Attached is a picture of the rear LT frame for reference,
it is made out of 1/2" hollow tubing.

Oh and Jim my friend, here's a quote from another friend of mine
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandiver
What has never happened, happens all of the time!
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Hans
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2005 LT
"Esperanza"
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post #9 of 12 Old Dec 21st, 2008, 11:46 am
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Re: Trailer Hitch??

In the for what its worth department, I believe the Bushtec hitch is less expensive, by about $100 or so. Hitchdoc also makes a Bushtec type hitch which is less expensive as well.

Ultra LT
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post #10 of 12 Old Dec 22nd, 2008, 5:39 pm
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Re: Trailer Hitch??

I just put a Bushtec hitch on my LT today and have a couple of questions.
If you pull a trailer with a ball mount, if you have a tip-over, what will it do to the trailer, bike, and/or hitch? With the ball mount, where do you place the safety chains?
Thanks

Greg and Melanie
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post #11 of 12 Old Dec 22nd, 2008, 8:35 pm
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Re: Trailer Hitch??

Quote:
Originally Posted by jwd98056
.

So I am a 0% failure Dauntless hitch user which frees me up to worry full time about my proven 4% failure rate final drive going out.
I have a Dauntless on mine and love it. I have a Bunkhouse trailer that I have towed all over that probably weighs in at about 450# loaded. Also have a Uni-go and the ability to change over easily from a ball hitch to the Uni-go hitch is great. Also, being able to remove the hitch from the receiver is a real blessing. Don't have to bang my shins on the ball all the time and tire removal is alot easier with this hitch. I had heard this concern about it not being strong enough, but have yet to see any pics or evidence of a failure.

Carl

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post #12 of 12 Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 1:38 am
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Re: Trailer Hitch??

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWWANDRR
If you pull a trailer with a ball mount, if you have a tip-over, what will it do to the trailer, bike, and/or hitch? With the ball mount, where do you place the safety chains?
Thanks
If the bike goes over far enough it will try to tip the trailer over with it. It will also put a lot of twisting force on the hitch and the trailer tongue. A lot of people just don't worry about it. If it is something you don't want to live with then there are solutions.

Dauntless Motors sells a swivel hitch couple that becomes part of the trailer tongue. It will allow the coupler to rotate 360 degrees. I have one of these on my Zenith trailer. There are other designs of this type available. Many of the trailer manufacturers offer something like this as an option. A web search will likely come up with a few different sources.

Some folks go with a narrow shank ball that allows a little more rotation angle. This won't help much if the bike rolls completely over but it might help for lesser laydown incidents. I haven't looked into these but maybe someone else on the forum has.

There is also a pivoting hitch ball that is called the Lean-Machine. It replaces the standard ball with a ball assembly that is pinned so the ball can rotate almost 90 degrees to either side of the vertical position. It still suffers the same problem as the narrow shank ball if the bike rolls over. The only place I have seen it for sale is on eBay but again maybe someone else has better information.


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