A couple of obvious things disappeared in the transition from enclosed to open trailer. Secure storage is an obvious one. In looking around at options, it seemed wrong to put a typical steel box on the tongue, and Aluminum ones were more than I wanted to spend. Walmart to the rescue. They had a large sturdy plastic container, that was just the ticket. Combined with a couple of large U-Bolts, we had the perfect solution. Oh, and a can of silver rustoleum🙂
Gear Towing and Tools
Filtering by Category: Trailer
In a reversal of a move several years ago, the enclosed is traded for an open trailer. There were several factors. First and foremost, the VW Bus does not fit in the enclosed. Trips to move it about resulted in me becoming a regular at U-Haul. Second in a rare event with a stranded bus, there was no way to get a U-Haul emergently, so I was stuck waiting a whole day when I had a perfectly good enclosed trailer sitting there. Third, the last trip with the 02 in the enclosed resulted in single digit gas mileage, while the previous one with an open trailer was around double that at 16 mpg. lastly, I found a good deal on an aluminum open trailer. The combo caused me to sell the enclosed and get the open.
The new Wolverine trailer is very nice. It is very light in comparison at about half the weight of the enclosed, and even has stylish alloy wheels. Dual axle brakes, D Rings, LED lights, ample payload, almost everything I need. What’s missing? A Winch, and storage for straps and tools.
After selling the small motorcycle trailer, and researching for over a year, we decided to go with the load all system for getting motorcycles into the bed of a pick up. It was much cheaper than any of the automated systems, and simpler. They also made a model specific for midsize trucks such as the Tacoma. I had to drive about an hour to the nearest shipping depot in order to pick it up, and had to disassemble the pallet that it came on in order to fit it in the back of the truck.
The installation was deceptively simple, only requiring two people at a couple of points along the way. Measurement was the key element. Measure twice drill once. There were a couple of spots where the drilled holes were not in the ideal location beneath the bed. Load all had anticipated that with some large washer plates that resolved the issue. In the end, it all fits nicely in the bed when not in use. However, it does take up a considerable amount of storage capacity under the bed cover.
When extended, the platform extends to the length of the tailgate went down. However, as advertised, It places no load whatsoever on the tailgate, and provides a solid platform. The ramp extends a good 11 feet, providing a reasonable slope on a level surface. Overall, we are pleased with the system. Now to put it to use in the field....
For a very long time, a couple of long pieces of 2X6 was my motorcycle ramp. Then I attached some ramp lips to them. With this setup, getting onto a normal trailer was fine, but getting into the back of a pickup was treacherous business. A two or three person job depending on the motorcycle. Cheap aluminum dirt bike ramps were periodically on sale, but they typically have large spacing and low ratings as far as weight is concerned. A store credit and a sale at the local farm equipment supply finally resulted in an upgrade to a real ramp. Aluminum, and 45" wide, means I can actually walk a motorcycle up the ramp solo. It has ratchet straps for safety, so unlike my boards, it should stay in place. It is rated at 1600 lbs, so it should be more than enough for the machines I typically handle. I tried it out with the RD350 and it worked as advertised.
It was in the midst of transporting the 912 that I discovered it. I walked out in the morning and started to back the trailer into position. It seemed a little stubborn, but nothing significant enough to cause alarm. Once in position, and disconnected from the truck, it was listing to one side. Sure enough, the rearmost tire was flat. A quick inspection did not reveal anything. Next step was to find a jack suitable for a loaded trailer. A trip to the garage produced my trusty 20 year old bottle jack. I also reconnected the trailer to the truck for stability. Once the wheel was off, the offending nail was located right in the middle of the tread. In the tool bag was an unopened plug kit. I was unable to discern the vintage without carbon dating, but it looked ok. It made me realize how long it had been since I last plugged a tire. Rasp, rasp, cement, cement, plug, plug, snip, snip. Done. Now to finish loading for Hershey....
The previous trailer was equipped with inoperable vehicle assistance, otherwise known as a winch. It took some time for a decent one to go on sale at Harbor freight where I had purchased my last one. Contrary to popular belief, it worked flawlessly, and lasted a good while. On the trip to purchase the 5000 pound winch, I found that they had an open box 12,000 pound version at an even further reduced price. Sold. Installation was straight forward and was a breeze since I could mount it in the vee nose. The trailer is now fully functional as a rescue vehicle.
Readers of the blog will know that returning to a previous vehicle/idea, or repeating an offense, is a recurring theme. About 10 years ago, I got an open trailer and then eventually got an enclosed trailer back when vintage racing was an active pursuit. I sold all trailers about 4 years ago, and relied on the periodic borrowing/scrounging method. That got old quick, and I returned to an open trailer. And things were good...... for a while. The problem with an open trailer is that you can not store anything in it, and I do need to store things. So I drove the perfectly good open to a dealer one morning and returned home with a small enclosed. it is already storing things ......