The toad dilemma

Boys love their toys and Jeff is no exception. Our new mobile lifestyle requires a vehicle of some sort for daily running around, a motorcycle for exploring, and at least 2  mountain bikes (his and hers). So, how to transport all of that equipment behind our new motorhome?

Essentially, we have 2 options:  tow a trailer/dolly capable of holding both vehicle and motorcycle or buy a big honkin’ pick-up truck, load the motorcycle in the back, and tow the truck 4 wheels down (flat towing).

If you read the RV forums, or just see what’s out there while driving around, it’s evident that most people choose to tow 4-down rather than use a trailer or dolly. Why?  It’s easier – once you have it set up.  It’s less equipment to fool with at the campsite. The campsite may not have room for your trailer/dolly and they may charge extra to store it elsewhere. Dealing with a trailer/dolly is a multi-step process. With flat towing, you just hook up your vehicle and go.

BUT – the process of loading a very large and heavy Harley Davidson touring motorcycle into the bed of a large/tall pick-up truck scares me a bit. Even the safest ramp systems carry a risk as the driver loads or unloads on that steep slope. There are automated hoist systems in the market, but they are expensive, complicated and can fail. So my initial recommendation was to go with a dolly system that could accommodate both a motorcycle and a vehicle. Loading the motorcycle onto a low trailer is much easier and safer than onto a pick up truck. We found a trailer system that would do nicely – a Tandem Tow motorcycle/car dolly. Perfect!

Except, when we inquired about purchase a few weeks ago, we learned the factory was out of business so no more Tandem Tow trailers. Dang!  Back to the drawing board. We identified an alternate product, but it didn’t have the same features as the prior product and wouldn’t work as well for our needs.

So …. we are going to tow a big honkin’ truck 4-down with a motorcycle in the back.  The plan is to purchase a Ford F-150, equip it for flat towing,  and put a Load-all ramp system in the back to load the motorcycle.

Setting up the truck to tow is not cheap. Both the motorhome and truck need specialized equipment installed. The truck requires a tow plate, special wiring, and an auxiliary braking system. The bus has to have the tow bar and an extra air tank to supply the auxiliary braking system installed. This all runs upwards of $3-4K. You better like your tow vehicle, because changing it out requires changing most of these accoutrements. But, once outfitted, hooking and unhooking the tow vehicle can be done in a few minutes and there isn’t an extra piece of equipment to be in the way.

I’ll let you know how all of this goes!

And the mountain bikes?  They’re going on a bike rack on top of the truck.  Gotta have the toys!

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