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When is it time to buy a trailer?

Discussion in 'General' started by suzuki_steve, Dec 4, 2023.

  1. suzuki_steve

    suzuki_steve Member

    Let me start off by saying, I am not a racer, I am just a weekend warrior that tries to go to the track once or twice a month. About a month or two ago I made a thread asking if I should trade my Honda Civic in for a truck or just install a hitch and rent a Uhaul trailer. You can see that thread here:

    I took the thread's advice and installed a hitch and rented a trailer. With the bike the total weight to tow was approximately 1200 to 1300 lbs. The car is rated for 1000 lbs supposedly and the hitch is rated to 2000 lbs.

    The car was able to accelerate and brake perfectly fine, in fact it was better than I was expecting, but the ride was not good. The trailer made the car feel very weighed down. Any bump in the road, felt amplified by the trailer's movements. It really has me questioning again whether I should buy a trailer or buy a truck. California has a law where trailered vehicles can only drive 55mph and to be honest, with a civic, I would not want to drive much faster.

    Do you think a lighter trailer would solve my problems? A Uhaul motorcycle trailer is ~840 lbs. I was hesitant to buy a trailer first, because of storage and the Uhaul trailer is such a good deal at $15 a day, but now I am questioning.
  2. Kev59

    Kev59 Well-Known Member

    The Civic will be your weakest link. Even the super light folding trailers will ultimately kill the transmission. Small all wheel drive SUVs are a good middle ground without dedicating a full size tow vehicle.
    Ask yourself how much money you're able and willing to spend for your riding addiction. After years using an open trailer I found a good deal on a small (6x10) enclosed that checks all my boxes. The weight of the trailer is worth the security it offers as well as storing all the track gear.
  3. SVbadguy

    SVbadguy I survived the Mt Course

    Rent a Uhaul truck? That's what I did as a rookie racer at 18-years old with only a GS500E and DT-80K for wheels.
  4. rd400racer

    rd400racer Well-Known Member

    I loaded bikes into the bed of a full size truck for 20 years. It worked but was a chore every time. Bought a Kendon two years ago and never looked back. I would think your Civic or any vehicle would pull it fine. Keep an eye on Craigslist or Marketplace, I found my two bike version for $1200.
    Gixxerguy855 and Riot like this.
  5. Boman Forklift

    Boman Forklift Well-Known Member

    As I recall, you are local, S Cal. I have a harbor freight folding trailer, you can borrow to see what you think. It is significantly lighter and I think you will like the pulling experience much better.
    The Kendon @rd400racer mentioned is the Cadilac of small folding trailers and he got a smoking deal. I think they are 2500-3k new. If you find a good deal on one of those, you can always flip it and won’t lose any money.
    MrGooch and suzuki_steve like this.
  6. 05Yamabomber

    05Yamabomber Dammit Haga

    I think the question is, would you sleep at the track if you had a trailer? Do you stay in hotel rooms when you go to the track. Having a sleeper trailer to me is like gold. Racing or not. Arriving to the track the night before, unloading then sleeping, roling out of bed instead of rushing to get to the track from the hotel is amazing. Drops the stress 10 fold. The civic should be a bandaid temporary thing not the norm. You will kill that if you continue to go this route. If you plan on doing this for 5 more years then get a truck, get a trailer.. No matter the vehicle, you will "feel" it towing. Yes some vehicles more then others. Even my F350 pulling my 26ft enclosed still moves and feels all the bumps. It has the power to tow it like its not even there, but I still feel the tow.

    I did the open trailer towing with a truck for years. Hotel stays. Having a place to sleep at the track, while not having to unload all my track shit out of the trailer every month is awesome. I just load food and bikes and go. Such a different life. Your girl will like it too.
  7. Spang308

    Spang308 Well-Known Member

    Take him up on this ^^^.
    Those HF trailers are light and perfect to pull behind a car. I pull one behind a BMW wagon and even with 2 bikes on it you barely know it's back there.
    Once a Wanker.. likes this.
  8. dave3593

    dave3593 What I know about opera I learned from Bugs Bunny

    Build a removable single rail thing for the top of your Honda. It would have a long removable loading ramp. The parts could fit in your closet. That is if you don't care if your Honda gets scratched up.
  9. gapman789

    gapman789 Well-Known Member

    Do you like to camp? Would you go to the track more if it was 'easier' and more comfortable to get there and spend the night? If so, get a small RV.

    Let's assume you're dirt poor like some of us, but can finance a $15,000 RV, you'll save money or break even by staying at the track instead of hotels.....And as mentioned, the advantages of waking up at the track, stopping, napping, taking a dump, making a pot of coffee, hot shower, cold AC in the summer, etc while at the track and on the road is priceless.

    $27k for this setup.

    RV trailer.jpg
    418 and TLR67 like this.
  10. Cooter!

    Cooter! Sarcasm level: Maximum

    NEVER! 75mph in the fast lane please:)
  11. Pittenger5

    Pittenger5 Well-Known Member

    Yup, Kendon if you can swing it. I bought mine back in 2013 for 1700 bucks. Sold it a month or so ago for ... 1700 bucks. Pulled it behind a jeep wrangler and it was like nothing was there. Can't say about a car, but can't imagine it would be much of a problem.
  12. TWF2

    TWF2 2 heads are better than 1

    Just buy cheap van and keep it for bike transport.
  13. dave3593

    dave3593 What I know about opera I learned from Bugs Bunny

    How far do you travel in that rig?
  14. Glenntly

    Glenntly Member

    I'd vote to get a truck, myself. Overkill when it comes to towing is great. Much easier and safer after a long weekend to have an easy stress free tow home, especially if its long distance.

    I despised loading the bike into the bed, ended up with this: https://www.folding-trailer.eu/oziconcept/ They have a USA distributor. Pricey but well built. I'm limited on space so being able to fold it up is great. Stress free loading and unloading.
  15. JBowen33

    JBowen33 Only fast on Facebook

    HF 4x8 for the win. Pick up cheap off of marketplace for less then 500 bucks.

    I tow with a Kia soul and it does just fine doing 80 on the garden state parkway quite frequently during the winter months for dirt bike shenanigans. I have a 2500 pick up, enclosed trailers and toyhauler but this set up is the most gas efficient and easiest. Your civic is probably better off than the soul too so you’ll be fine
    mpusch and Boman Forklift like this.
  16. Monsterdood

    Monsterdood Well-Known Member

    I’m with Zman on this. The civic will be limiting no matter what. A popular approach is to load the bike into one side of van and have a fold down cot on the other side. No more hotels and more money for fuel and tires!

    I started my track time with a single rail trailer towed with a 4Runner. Then I went to a truck and loaded the bike in the bed. Then a van with the bike inside, and then finally a van with an enclosed trailer. We all have our tow vehicle journeys as our needs and our means evolve.
  17. ChemGuy

    ChemGuy Harden The F%@# Up!

    Hell Yeah Brother!!!! 'Merica!!!!!

    CharlieY likes this.
  18. Cooter!

    Cooter! Sarcasm level: Maximum

    We track about once a month+ race schedule.
    Buttonwillow is about 140 miles north, Chuckwalla is 210 miles straight east. 16mpg and 3-ish hours can be 7! with traffic:( She handles the desert heat just fine, but that dual Flowmaster drone makes Air Pods mandatory.
    She's gets dirty too! Jawbone, Cal city, etc.

    Truth be told, we just got a tiny (16') toy hauler RV trailer, because tent camping sucks.
  19. tony 340

    tony 340 Well-Known Member

    Tent camping is a blast it's the weather that makes it suck
  20. BrentA

    BrentA Very expensive.

    $27K for all that seems like a steal of a lifetime.
    My down payment for my sprinter was almost twice that alone. :eek:

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