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For those of you with a small cargo trailer being towed behind your bike, some questions:

1. When at a motel, do you always pull into a space bike first?
2. If you leave just for the day, do you ever leave the trailer, and if so, do you lock the wheels or tongue to something?
3. When backing out, do you use reverse, flat foot, or unhook the trailer and push it out--then hook it back when bike is out?
4. If you use a hitch pin, has your bike ever fallen completely over without bending the tongue? A swivel hitch will allow that, of course.
5. Have you ever had a flat tire? How could you tell if you were moving?
6. Have you ever worn out tires or do they time out first?

Thanks, I've only had a pop-up tent trailer and they're quite different.

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When I park at a hotel or restaurant, I try to find spaces where I can pull thru so I can ride out of the space. If that is not available, I normally detach the trailer from the bike and push it into the space and park the bike in front or beside the trailer. Backing up my Bushtec is a royal pain in the behind, but it is easier if you use reverse, as opposed to flat foot pushing it.
If I leave the trailer at the hotel, I either chain it to a light pole or tree iv available, if not I run the chain through the spokes and around the tongue.

Never had a flat, changed tires when I thought they were to old, but I forget how old they were when I changed them, they were not nearly worn out, just old.
 

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1. Depends on the slope of the parking lot, but usually back in.
2. Yes and yes. Usually lock the tongue to a pole, post, or column of the building using the safety chains. Or chain and lock the tongue to another trailer.
3. All of the above, again it usually depends on how I parked and any slope of the parking lot.
4. No.
5. No flat yet, but I would think that I would feel it, and that the trailer would start swaying. I am constantly checking the tires and how the trailer is behaving in my mirrors. Especially easy to see the tires when turning. Just a quick glance though.
6. Haven't worn mine out yet, but they're probably getting close to retirement age.

I've only pulled mine on one 1700 mile trip and one 3000 mile trip, but I worried much less about it after the first 50 miles or so.
 

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For those of you with a small cargo trailer being towed behind your bike, some questions:

1. When at a motel, do you always pull into a space bike first?
Pull in.
2. If you leave just for the day, do you ever leave the trailer, and if so, do you lock the wheels or tongue to something?
Leave the trailer. Lock down the shoe.
3. When backing out, do you use reverse, flat foot, or unhook the trailer and push it out--then hook it back when bike is out?
Flat foot.
4. If you use a hitch pin, has your bike ever fallen completely over without bending the tongue? A swivel hitch will allow that, of course.
Has fallen over, no bent tongue.
5. Have you ever had a flat tire? How could you tell if you were moving?
No flat tire while pulling the trailer.
6. Have you ever worn out tires or do they time out first?
Wore out one set of tires in 55k miles on the trailer (Kompact Kamp trailer)).

Thanks, I've only had a pop-up tent trailer and they're quite different.
 

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I pull my Tailwind almost all the time. I pulled it 240,000 miles behind my 2006 Wing, and so far about 15,000 behind my 2012.


1. When at a motel, do you always pull into a space bike first?
I pull in bike first.

2. If you leave just for the day, do you ever leave the trailer, and if so, do you lock the wheels or tongue to something?
No, the trailer goes with the bike.

3. When backing out, do you use reverse, flat foot, or unhook the trailer and push it out--then hook it back when bike is out?
I almost always use reverse. If the ground is nice and level I may flat foot it, but I don't understand why one wouldn't use reverse.

4. If you use a hitch pin, has your bike ever fallen completely over without bending the tongue? A swivel hitch will allow that, of course.
I use a 1 3/4" ball hitch. I've never bent the tongue.

5. Have you ever had a flat tire?
No, never had a flat. I admit that I'm considering putting a set of TPMS sensors on them just for peace of mind.

6. Have you ever worn out tires or do they time out first?
I wear out the tires. I usually get about 40,000 miles except for a short spell in which my wheels were out of line. Realigning them got me back up to par.

Glen
 

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1. When at a motel, do you always pull into a space bike first?
In a regular parking space I just pull in bike first.

2. If you leave just for the day, do you ever leave the trailer, and if so, do you lock the wheels or tongue to something?
If I am going somewhere for a short trip or even just out to dinner, I usually disconnect the trailer. It makes thing a little easier in busy parkin lots. But it depends. Its easy to disconnect and lock up. I have a wheel chock that I use to attach to one of the trailers wheels and the tongue is also locked.

3. When backing out, do you use reverse, flat foot, or unhook the trailer and push it out--then hook it back when bike is out?
It depends on the terrain. If its flat or almost flat, I just push back on the bike as I normally would. If its sort of uphill, I just the reverse option. I have only unhooked the trailer once to do a maneuver and the was to make a U-Turn on a narrow road. It was the fastest way to make the turn.

4. If you use a hitch pin, has your bike ever fallen completely over without bending the tongue? A swivel hitch will allow that, of course.
No.

5. Have you ever had a flat tire? How could you tell if you were moving?
No

6. Have you ever worn out tires or do they time out first?
No
 

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--

For those of you with a small cargo trailer being towed behind your bike, some questions:

1. When at a motel, do you always pull into a space bike first?
2. If you leave just for the day, do you ever leave the trailer, and if so, do you lock the wheels or tongue to something?
3. When backing out, do you use reverse, flat foot, or unhook the trailer and push it out--then hook it back when bike is out?
4. If you use a hitch pin, has your bike ever fallen completely over without bending the tongue? A swivel hitch will allow that, of course.
5. Have you ever had a flat tire? How could you tell if you were moving?
6. Have you ever worn out tires or do they time out first?

Thanks, I've only had a pop-up tent trailer and they're quite different.

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HI Ron !!!
When I arrive at a motel for just 1 night, I’ll look to see if it’s up or downhill parking, in front of my door. Uphill-bike in first/downhill-trailer in first and leave attached for the night. If I am parking at a motel with no direct door to my room, i ask to park under the canopy over night. Out of the way of course (as much as possible). When I am at my destination for a while, I’ll cable lock it to something. The bushtec’s I use have swivel joints that would allow the bike to stand on it’s head without cause any issues to the trailer tongue. I replace tires before they are worn out, cheap insurance, I think.
 

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For those of you with a small cargo trailer being towed behind your bike, some questions:

1. When at a motel, do you always pull into a space bike first?
Mixed, depends on the situation. If a typical Motel 6 arrangement, I back the trailer in with the bike, and leave it hooked up/padlocked/ to the tongue to the bike overnight.

At some hotels, I am able to hand walk the trailer backwards under the stairs and I lock the tonque to the steel supports.



2. If you leave just for the day, do you ever leave the trailer, and if so, do you lock the wheels or tongue to something?
typically, I will chain the tone to something steel.


3. When backing out, do you use reverse, flat foot, or unhook the trailer and push it out--then hook it back when bike is out?
Reverse, just about 100% of the time


4. If you use a hitch pin, has your bike ever fallen completely over without bending the tongue? A swivel hitch will allow that, of course.
I use a Swivel Hitch, and the tonque lock has a padlock thru it.
So far, have never had that experience.



5. Have you ever had a flat tire? How could you tell if you were moving?
No..... on bike or trailer, I watch the tread closely.
If the tire went completely flat, it will Wig Wag the trailer.



6. Have you ever worn out tires or do they time out first?
I have run a few tires down to the Tread Wear Indicator, I don't worry about the Date Code, that is mostly a bunch of BS provided it has not over-run twice or nearly so.


Thanks, I've only had a pop-up tent trailer and they're quite different.

It should not feel different if it is properly secured and you take precautions to allow for the extra weight when stopping.

e.g., pulling a M/C trailer with my 1800 on top, does not feel appreciatively different than pulling my 8800 lb Toy Hauler.
You must be conscious of the weight behind you, and do NOT swerve into adjacent lanes until you are Positive it is clear.


On a 5,000 mile tour I made 3 years ago, riding by myself, I was able to get permission to park bike & trailer under the front door canopy if just overnight, which was the usual case.
 

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1. When possible I pull into a space bike first.
2. If I am going to be at a location for a couple of days, I disconnect the trailer from the bike and run a steel cable through the Bushtec tongue and around a tree or a light post.
3. If I have to back out, I have used reverse or just walk it back.
4. I have a swivel hitch.
5. No flat tires to date.
6. Two years and still on my first set of tires.
 

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I usually back in, though I have no issues pulling in the bike first. Use reverse to back out, or back the trailer in, either way. I'll disconnect the trailer if staying in the area always. Usually secure it, but I've been know not to. (someone please steal it... it will give me an excuse to get a new one!)

I've had one flat, but was pulling into Buffalo Chip at Sturges, going too slow to notice it while riding, wore the tread through the cord. My trailer uses those 8 inch standard trailer tires. I can never get more than 2,500 miles on a set before they are bald. I carry an entire extra set with me. I would not recommend a trailer with these small tires. Good for taking the fishing boat 20 miles to the lake... not for 4,000 mile motorcycle trips.

Go with a trailer that has 12 inch tires or better. I'd get a new trailer but I don't use it enough to justify it and just replacing the tires instead is cheaper.
 

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I have had 2 different trailers, but differences to the answers are really minor...

1. When at a motel, do you always pull into a space bike first?
Usually, bike first and I have marker flags that I put on the rear corners of my Tailwind when I park (unless backed in and no parking spot behind trailer). ZZ "POS" trailer was taller and I never used "parking flags" on it.

2. If you leave just for the day, do you ever leave the trailer, and if so, do you lock the wheels or tongue to something?
I have a lock on my coupler when on the bike and I use that lock and a coupler lock if not on the bike. I also lock the safety chains to something. If the parking stop block has a gap underneath, I run a section of chain under it. If there is nothing to lock the tongue to, I use a cable lock through the wheels.

3. When backing out, do you use reverse, flat foot, or unhook the trailer and push it out--then hook it back when bike is out?
Depends. If sandy pavement or pushing up any sort of incline gets reverse. Clean flat pavement is flat-footing it. It takes too much time to unhook because I check lighting each and every time the connector is plugged in as time needed for a re-hook, plus unlocking the coupler lock and chains. I could have "shock bounced" the entire rig up hill in that amount of time to unhook/move/re-hook/light check the trailer.

4. If you use a hitch pin, has your bike ever fallen completely over without bending the tongue? A swivel hitch will allow that, of course.
I will almost never ride a "lean for turns" vehicle pulling a trailer without a swivel. I have had topples with trailer attached, all cases had swivels and no real damage to anything. Lost footing on sandy pavement and had my ST-1800 fall over so far the bottom of tires were higher than the top with my Tailwind attached. Again, I have a swivel on it.

5. Have you ever had a flat tire? How could you tell if you were moving?
I came back from a "get out of town weekend" with my ZZ "POS" not knowing anything was amiss until I tried moving the trailer to the back and it highly resisted rolling. The right tire was totally flat. I never felt anything unusual and have no idea how long it was flat. I only know that it was not flat when I packed up camp Sunday morning. I have internal TPMS sensors in my Tailwind and a spot on my 2010 and 2018 for the receiver to be seen and get power from the bike when pulling the trailer.

6. Have you ever worn out tires or do they time out first?
Not a fair question for the ZZ "POS" as it ate tires for breakfast. New tires only lasted a couple thousand miles due to major issues with the suspension design allowing tires to scrub inside wheel wells on bumps.
I have worn out my first set of tires on my Tailwind after 17,600 miles since picking it up in May 2017. New tires have not actually seen the road yet.
 

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Since everyone has pretty much answered your questions, except for the flat tire, I'll answer that one. Yes I did have a blowout on my Bushtec while traveling at about 45mph. I had my Goldwing at that time. I heard a very loud bang. Even the people I was riding with heard it. I didn't feel anything and the bike kept going straight. We stopped for a photo shot a few miles down the road and one of the guys walked by my trailer and said it had a flat. We were up at about 9000 feet in the middle of nowhere Utah. Luckily, I had a spare wheel and tire in the trailer. Had two guys lift up the trailer and I changed the tire. 20 minutes later we were back on the road. When I got home, I immediately got another wheel and tire. Won't leave home without it. The Bushtec was great as I never knew I had a problem, the trailer went straight down the road and the bike never swayed.
 

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1. When at a motel, do you always pull into a space bike first?
Back in, trailer first. But more often than not, many will allow us to park under the covered drive-through, which may help with people not messing with it. I always ask.

2. If you leave just for the day, do you ever leave the trailer, and if so, do you lock the wheels or tongue to something?
Most of the time we leave it. I have locked it to signs and have locked the wheels.

3. When backing out, do you use reverse, flat foot, or unhook the trailer and push it out--then hook it back when bike is out?
Unless I'm backing down hill, I always use reverse. If down hill, flat foot.

4. If you use a hitch pin, has your bike ever fallen completely over without bending the tongue? A swivel hitch will allow that, of course.
I have never dropped my bike (just jinked myself)

5. Have you ever had a flat tire? How could you tell if you were moving?
Not on the trailer, but after two flats on the bike, I'm pretty sure you'll know when it's flat. You may not know for a while if it's slowly losing air. Some use FOBO.

6. Have you ever worn out tires or do they time out first?
I'm sure some on here have wore out their tires, but I have not.
 

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1. I back every vehicle I own or drive into a parking spot....I just feel it's safer and more convenient when I pull out.
2. I will leave the trailer in the parking spot with a hitch lock. I also carry a traffic cone in the trailer to put in the front of the parking spot, so folks don't pull in and hit the trailer.
3. See #1
4. Never dropped it with a trailer attached
5. I will jinx myself here...no flats on two wheels since 1982
6. Can't say I've worn out a set....usually change them at the 5 year mark unless they look sketchy, then as needed.
 

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For those of you with a small cargo trailer being towed behind your bike, some questions:

1. When at a motel, do you always pull into a space bike first?
Never did. Was always able to find a spot where could either pull straight through, or backed in. At times if there was plenty of empty space I have pulled in and then backed up jack knifing the bike where the bike is facing straight ahead and the trailer is in the space next to bike.
2. If you leave just for the day, do you ever leave the trailer, and if so, do you lock the wheels or tongue to something?
A few times I have ran a cable through a wheel and over the tongue or I would cable it to a light pole.
3. When backing out, do you use reverse, flat foot, or unhook the trailer and push it out--then hook it back when bike is out?
Flat foot mostly, was always afraid of burning up the reverser(starter) if used too much at a time. Usually easier to just unhook trailer.
4. If you use a hitch pin, has your bike ever fallen completely over without bending the tongue? A swivel hitch will allow that, of course.
Bike never fell over so I never had any issues. Swivel hitch is one of those things that you don't need until you need it.
5. Have you ever had a flat tire? How could you tell if you were moving?
Never had flat but did carry spare even though I didn't carry spare for bike. :D
6. Have you ever worn out tires or do they time out first?
Time out first with over 10,000 miles on 12" wheels/tires.

Btw, before I got my first trailer, I must have asked a million questions and worried myself to death about all the things that could go wrong. The only thing that ever went wrong in covering 30+ states was forgetting about trailer and a tire scraped a concrete gas pump island. That happen one time. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #16
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Thanks to everyone for sharing your experience. Gives all of us reading this some ideas on what works and why. Interesting about the small trailer tires wearing out so fast.

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Another consideration I didn't see mentioned is insurance coverage. With Dairyland Insurance (as an example) the trailer is considered an "attachment." As long as it is physically attached to the motorcycle it is insured. Detached (even parked right next to the bike) it is not covered, except possibly under one's homeowner's policy.
 

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Another consideration I didn't see mentioned is insurance coverage. With Dairyland Insurance (as an example) the trailer is considered an "attachment." As long as it is physically attached to the motorcycle it is insured. Detached (even parked right next to the bike) it is not covered, except possibly under one's homeowner's policy.
Yep, one of the problems towing a high end trailer when staying at motels....no insurance on the trailer unless the trailer is connected to the bike.
I usually stay at campgrounds and you dont have to worry about your trailer at campgrounds...but at motels Im always worried about the trailer getting clipped in the parking lot at night or finding something you can lock it up to if you want to take day rides without it. The Uni Go trailer was the best trailer if you always stay at motels...more than enough room for two peoples clothes for 10 days and you just roll it into the motel room and ride worry free during your local rides with the trailer safe in the motel room.
 

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1. When at a motel, do you always pull into a space bike first? If at a Motel, I will always back in so trailer is nearer the door, if at a Hotel, I normally park under the lobby port-a-cache, if allowed , like LEBoyd I always ask. Be careful about parking on a downhill slope, trailer can and will cause the bike to roll off the sidestand.
2. If you leave just for the day, do you ever leave the trailer, and if so, do you lock the wheels or tongue to something? I normally keep the trailer attached. But I made a cable by machining the thread and neck portion off of a 1 7/8" trailer ball, drilled a 5/16 hole through the ball, then from the top of the ball increased the 5/16" hole to 1/2" hole, half way through the ball. Inserted a 5/16" x 20' cable through the ball and crimped a cable crimp on the end of the cable, pulled the crimp back down into the 1/2" hole and epoxied the the hole and end of cable in the ball. Made a loop big enough to pass the ball through on the other end of the cable with two cable crimps. Now I can wrap the cable around a stair landing, column or tree and lock the ball into the coupler of the trailer. At Pike's Peak you cannot tow a trailer up the mountain, I unhitched the trailer, ran my cable through the spokes of both trailer wheels, then locked the ball into the coupler. While in Key West, locked trailer around a tree with the cable, parking in town made lot easier without the trailer hitched up.
3. When backing out, do you use reverse, flat foot, or unhook the trailer and push it out--then hook it back when bike is out? Never had to unhook trailer, flat foot most of the time, use reverse where flat foot isn't possible.
4. If you use a hitch pin, has your bike ever fallen completely over without bending the tongue? A swivel hitch will allow that, of course. Parked at a rest area with the kickstand on the upside of a slope. I always let the wife board before I do, she loaded up while I was talking to the driver in the vehicle parked next to us, she leaned a little to the right and over the Wing went with the Tailwind attached. Luckily missing the adjacent vehicle. After verifying the tumbled wife was okay, I righted the wing and inspected for damage. A scrap on the rear crash bar was the only noticeable rash, no noticeable damage to hitch, coupler or tongue on the trailer, no swivel hitch on the trailer.
5. Have you ever had a flat tire? How could you tell if you were moving? Never a flat tire on the trailer. I do have a Steelmate TPMS installed for the trailer.
6. Have you ever worn out tires or do they time out first? Have not owned a trailer long enough to wear a set out, I did put new tires on right after I took ownership of used trailer. Have over 15,000 miles on tires, still lots of life on tread.
 
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