I personally like to keep my homebuilt trailer on the light side of 150 lbs of extra gear - that means it weighs 275 lbs. including the trailer. I think you'll find that the LT will pull the bunkhouse just fine, although you may be wanting a bit more torque on the low end to get going.
That low end grunt is about the only thing I can think of that a Goldwing 1800 has over an LT when it comes to towing...
Last December I bought a used '99 Bunkhouse, a great little camper, mine weighed 329lbs empty the AC unit was 41lbs, thats 370 to start with.
When it was empty (370) I didn't mind pulling it, however.....
My wife and I took our first trip with the Bunkhouse (Dauntless hitch) last July, Florida to U.P. of Michigan, by way of the Blue Ridge Parkway total mileage 4000. I had her loaded down stainless marine grill, 2 folding chairs, 5 pillows, dishes, towels, hairdryer, clothes, laptop and anything else she could think of, I'm guessing about 500lbs including the cooler full of food drinks and ice.
By the time I got 100 miles from the house I realized I had made a mistake, I had to run in 4th gear to keep the rpm up enough to keep the trailer from jerking me around, we went to the national rally in Ohio (it sucked) and met with a friend who was up there in his motorhome, I unloaded about a hundred lbs into his camper that helped, the ride up into Michigan and the return trip home I was able to run in 5th gear.
When I got home the camper went on E-bay, sold it to a Goldwing rider. I absolutely hated pulling a trailer that heavy, loved having a cooler with ice and drinks when we stopped. It scared hell out of me on the Parkway and in rush hour city traffic, took a lot of the fun out of riding for me, your experience may vary but as for myself I am looking for a light, probably Bushtec trailer not to exceed 250-300 fully loaded.
If you have any more questions I invite you to call me.
I pulled a bunkhouse all over the country with a R100RT. It only had 65 HP, so I would think the LT would handle one very well till you get in the mountains where you will probably have to run in 4th or 3rd gear to keep your momentum up.
Well I figured there would be some riders responding with I pull a trailer without any problem etc. etc.
I lurked on the trailer towing forum and some of the Goldwing forums for quite a while doing research before I bought my Bunkhouse, and heard the same thing over and over.
Please allow me to clarify my position, I'm sold on pulling a trailer the convenience far outweighs the hassle, the LT has more than enough power to pull several trailers fully loaded uphill. If you're running down the interstate a trailer won't bother you that much. I don't like the interstate, you'll find me on the back roads even going cross country.
I absolutely hated pulling a heavy trailer in the twisties and in heavy traffic, it took away my manuverability and in traffic we all know that if you try to leave a couple of car lengths in front of you for safety someone will put a car there. When I ride in traffic I am very concerned about lane position and visibilty, I won't stay behind trucks or vans etc, with a heavy trailer and the additional stopping distance I needed I would end up in the slow lane boxed in. If you like doing this kind of riding I'll say more power to you and please be carefull, I am an aggresive rider in the fast lane and a (heavy) trailer is not for me.
Tim... what kind of trailer is that in your picture, it doesn't look to be 350lbs?
I've pulled a trailer for years. This year we have over 4,000 miles with the trailer. Our typical trailer weight would be around 300. The only minor complaint I would have is already been stated.... You need to allow for longer braking distances. The positives are that you and your passenger can travel in luxury and keep the top heavy weight off the bike. Corner handling is not effected except on steeper hills when the trailer will push you into a corner with more acceleration than you may need. A little early braking and the corner will be perfect speed and line. Carefully consider your choice of trailer. A POP-Up forces you to carry all the camping gear every time and limits versatility. You may be happier with a convetional trailer and a good tent and air mattress. That way you have more options with what you carry and the total weight.
Having said that. My current motorcycle is a 1500cc GoldWing. I know over a dozen people personally that pull camper trailers behind their Wings and LTs. Yes it can be done. Yes it does keep them from having "fun in the twisties." My wife and I compromised by buying a Bushtec cargo trailer and tent it when we get to our destinations (that is if we aren't motel-ing it). Our tent goes up in less than 2 minutes and sleeps 4 (meaning the two of us plus our stuff). Fully loaded our Bushtec runs about 150-200 pounds and we still do the twisties.
That said. The people that have them love them. To each their own. I ride a motorcycle for the curves. Others for the wind in their hair (but they wear a helmet).
As with any other topic on this FORUM you will get many opinions. Here's mine. Until just recently, I've owned and pulled a KWIK KAMP pop up. It's been pulled with my '90 GW, which also had a Side Car attached, as well as my '99 LT. The GW with Side Car was probably a little much but it did pretty good. Only problem was the 18 to 20 mpg. On the other hand, the LT worked just fine. Our longest trip was two up Florida to Oregon and the MOA Rally. That trip was 8000 + miles with the trailer loaded to max. The bike handled it just fine and the ABS is a huge benefit and safety feature. We averaged 40 mpg on that trip. You do have to slow a bit in the twisties and heavy traffic but as long as the trailer is properly loaded and balanced it pulls without difficulty. We only spent 2 days on interstates on that trip. My only current problem is that the wife decided she wanted her own bath room, AC, full kitchen, etc. So, we now load the LT in the back of a 23 foot Toy Box and ride to the Camp Ground in our Ford F250 diesel. God luck with your decision.
I attended CCR this year and pulled a Hannigan trailer. Loaded weight was approaching 350 lbs (empty trailer weight is 150 lbs). I had no problems with accelerating or braking with the additional weight of the trailer behind me. While at CCR I had a Rhinewest performance chip installed. The chip gives an additional, legitimate 10lb/ft of torque and about 7hp. The extra torque is very noticeable and comes in at a usable rpm range. I obtained 60mpg on my return trip home (chip installed, two-up, 70-75 mph) and only occassionaly had to downshift to 4th gear going over the Bighorn range (9400 ft elevation at the summit). A stock LT will pull a trailer without a whimper, the performance chip is not necessary powerwise, but is a great add-on that I would highly recommend.
Thank you one and all for your replies. Each gave me cause to consider my options.
I have been pulling a trailer for several thousand miles. A homemade affair and weighing 225-275 lbs. My inquiry is because I have a line on a Bunkhouse at a very reasonable price and kinda wanted to get away from the sleeping on the ground in a tent. However as good as the deal is I think I will pass on it. I dont think I want to pull around the additional weight although it seems the LT will do the job. Additionally storage of a larger trailer will be problematic, so Iam going to stick with the smaller (and lighter) trailer I already have.
We have pulled a Bushtec since pre-LT days. For a 2-week run, the trailer is maxed out at around 350lbs or so. With the LT, except for passing on long hills, I really don't know it's back there, especially with the power brakes! Riding style with the B is the same as without, tho I do leave more distance ahead (just in case). I found I can corner just as hard with the B attached as without it; very well-engineered rig.
Met a fellow pulling a bunkhouse with an LT (not a member here) on one of our trips. Apparently, he had a Bushtec previously, but said the BH wasn't too bad, tho heavier.
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