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Discussion Starter #1
As I see it (my opinion only) trailers can be divided into 4 different classes.

1) Basic, low-cost, functional,
2) Mid-Range, mid-cost, functional and attractive,
3) High-end, high-cost, functional, attractive, and technologically advanced, and
4) Specialty trailers (camping, pet-carriers, etc.)

Basic trailers would include home-builts (harbor-freight trailer, sears car carriers) and would cost under $1000.

Mid-Range would be the Bushtec, Escapade, and similar trailers costing in the $1K to $4K range.

I can only see one high-end trailer, the Tailwind. (full disclosure: I've got a Tailwind on order).

Of course, specialty trailers are in a class by themselves and are generally purchased (or made) to fill a specific need.

I spent a lot of time deciding on which bike to get, researching web-sites, reading magazines, and test riding several before picking what I felt was the most technologically advanced bike that met my needs for both aesthetics and finances. I did the same with the trailer.

The reasons I picked the Tailwind are:
1) Large Lid gives me ease of access to what I've packed,
2) Light-weight design,
3) Low aerodynamic drag,
4) Best suspension on the market,
5) Wheels are not specially made, I can pick up a replacement at any Wal-mart,
6) Electronics on trailer run by on-board gel-cell battery, trickle charged from the bike, and run by relays.
7) Built-in air-compressor, and
8) I think (my opinion) its the best looking trailer I've ever seen.

Despite my choice already being made, I'd be interested in what the people on the board have to say. Why did you pick the trailer you have? What are you looking for in a trailer? If money was not an issue, which would you choose and why? If money is an issue, what price would you be willing to pay and what would you expect to get for your money?

One more thing.... Let's not let this become a bashing contest between trailers. There is enough room in the world (and on this board) for everyone's opinion.
 

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TJ, glad to see you have changed your mind on pulling a trailer. I don't think you can go wrong with the Tailwind, Tom has a good product. I have the Bushtec Quantum "GL" and if I was going to do it again, I would make the same purchase. I do have to disagree with you on the one point, I believe the Bushtec and the Tailwind are in the same league head and shoulders above the other units. I too, did a lot of searching and comparison shopping looking at the brands and agree for the most part of your trailer classifications with the exception noted above. I would have used the term "Novelty" versus "Specialty" trailers, while some of them are nice looking and great for the "WOW" factor, the suspensions are lacking, in my opinion. I prefer the design or look of the Bushtec over the Tailwind, but again that is my personal preference. Some may not like fiddling with the air suspension on the Bushtec but by adding Lewis's (EC) onboard air compressor this is no longer an issue. Having met both John Preston and Tom Finch, there is no doubt in my mind you can't go wrong with either company. There are many opinions and views about what works, that is why there are more than one type of trailer out there. I am happy with my choice as I am sure you are with yours. Let me say congrats and enjoy, maybe we will see you at Cats_Cade 2007!!
 

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TJ,
I agree with your analogy wholeheartedly. I researched trailers for about a year or so and concluded the Tailwind IS the best built trailer on the market. From there I would have to say Bushtec holds second.

If money were no object I would have ordered a Tailwind long ago. I don't really care for the design of the Bushtec(JMHO) :) although I do believe they have the superior hitch.

I chose to buy an Aluma MCT, Bushtec hitch, and will order my Black Tie Acc. swivel this week. My reasoning came down to the choices I made because of the following:

I'll only tow my trailer 4-5 times a year on long trips so I couldn't justify spending 4K - 6K.
Aluma= best bang for the buck and is nice looking.
Hitch: Best mounting system out there, less stress on the bike etc....
Swivel: speaks for itself........SAFETY

With that said I'm very happy with my Aluma, it pulls like a dream. In the future eg: retirement, I'll step to the top and buy Tailwind.
Enjoy you're trailer I'm sure you will be overly happy with your choice. I have talked to Tom Finch via e-mail and consider him to be a very nice man and very intelligent too. I work int the aviation industry with composites so I do understand his design philosophy and the materials he uses. They are the best materials for this application. It's the processes involved that make his product more costly. But as the saying goes, You get what you pay for. Ride safe and have fun!!!! :flg:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
zaT111 said:
TJ, glad to see you have changed your mind on pulling a trailer. I don't think you can go wrong with the Tailwind, Tom has a good product. I have the Bushtec Quantum "GL" and if I was going to do it again, I would make the same purchase. I do have to disagree with you on the one point, I believe the Bushtec and the Tailwind are in the same league head and shoulders above the other units. I too, did a lot of searching and comparison shopping looking at the brands and agree for the most part of your trailer classifications with the exception noted above. I would have used the term "Novelty" versus "Specialty" trailers, while some of them are nice looking and great for the "WOW" factor, the suspensions are lacking, in my opinion. I prefer the design or look of the Bushtec over the Tailwind, but again that is my personal preference. Some may not like fiddling with the air suspension on the Bushtec but by adding Lewis's (EC) onboard air compressor this is no longer an issue. Having met both John Preston and Tom Finch, there is no doubt in my mind you can't go wrong with either company. There are many opinions and views about what works, that is why there are more than one type of trailer out there. I am happy with my choice as I am sure you are with yours. Let me say congrats and enjoy, maybe we will see you at Cats_Cade 2007!!
Thanks... I do hope to make it to Cats-Cade next year, followed by Americade (maybe 1/2 of each).

There are four reasons I went with the Tailwind over the Bushtec. First, I was a little uncomfortable with the specialty wheels/tires used on the Bushtec. I realize that John Preston and Company are great with getting new tires to you (overnight), but it was a potential hassle I didn't want to face. Second, the Tailwind's suspension, particularly the isolating shock on the draw bar. This should help to isolate the bike's frame from road-shocks on the trailer. Fourth, the Tailwind's weight and aerodynamic design compared to the Bushtec. Finally, I just prefer the way the Tailwind looks over all the other choices out there.

As far as placing the Tailwind in a different class as the Bushtec, I would continue to argue that while Bushtec, Hannigan, California Sidecar, Escapade, and a few others are all technologically and aesthetically similar (each with their own take on the form and function of their specific brand), the TW's represents a paradigm shift in touring trailers, incorporating and improving on the best technology available with the other manufacturers and adding quite a bit of new technology of their own.

That said, Bushtec was a very close second choice for me. After considering everything that was available and doing a cost/benefit analysis, I showed pictures of both the Bushtec and the TW to my wife and she picked the Tailwind. Since she was paying the bill, I deferred to her judgement.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
sdlyon5 said:
TJ,
I agree with your analogy wholeheartedly. I researched trailers for about a year or so and concluded the Tailwind IS the best built trailer on the market. From there I would have to say Bushtec holds second.

If money were no object I would have ordered a Tailwind long ago. I don't really care for the design of the Bushtec(JMHO) :) although I do believe they have the superior hitch.

I chose to buy an Aluma MCT, Bushtec hitch, and will order my Black Tie Acc. swivel this week. My reasoning came down to the choices I made because of the following:

I'll only tow my trailer 4-5 times a year on long trips so I couldn't justify spending 4K - 6K.
Aluma= best bang for the buck and is nice looking.
Hitch: Best mounting system out there, less stress on the bike etc....
Swivel: speaks for itself........SAFETY

With that said I'm very happy with my Aluma, it pulls like a dream. In the future eg: retirement, I'll step to the top and buy Tailwind.
Enjoy you're trailer I'm sure you will be overly happy with your choice. I have talked to Tom Finch via e-mail and consider him to be a very nice man and very intelligent too. I work int the aviation industry with composites so I do understand his design philosophy and the materials he uses. They are the best materials for this application. It's the processes involved that make his product more costly. But as the saying goes, You get what you pay for. Ride safe and have fun!!!! :flg:
I had a very similar situation to yours. My experience is in the aeronautics industry, though I work with advanced avionics. So when I had a chance to chat with Tom Finch, and he described his business and design philosophies to me, I was right in tune with him.

Tom was straightforward with me and let me know that he is building a business. It currently costs him more to build the trailers than he is selling them for. That will change in the near future, but I believe in his design, so I wanted to take advantage of the current pricing as well as help him get another trailer on the street for people to marvel at.

I plan on keeping the TW connected to the bike for about 90% of my riding, so it will see plenty of use, thus justifying the cost.

But your post brings up another question for me. The local shop I go to (Motovation Cycles in Maryland) has suggested that I use the Rivco hitch. They are currently holding one for me. Should I call them and release the Rivco hitch and have them order a Bushtec instead?
 

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I've been pulling this trailer since 1982 (yes, '82). It was sold by sears and was called a "Highlander".

It has been in all 48 continental states and has well over 100,000 miles on it.

I don't even know it's behind me. It cost (in 1982) about $500. I've painted it 4 times. It's NEVER let me down.

Not bragging....just giving you my exprience with my "Basic, low cost, functional" trailer.
 

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lots of nice trailers out there, Tailwind and Bushtec are at the top for quallity and engineering

always keep in mind the extra added risk of pulling any trailer with a motorcycle
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Zonker said:
I've been pulling this trailer since 1982 (yes, '82). It was sold by sears and was called a "Highlander".

It has been in all 48 continental states and has well over 100,000 miles on it.

I don't even know it's behind me. It cost (in 1982) about $500. I've painted it 4 times. It's NEVER let me down.

Not bragging....just giving you my exprience with my "Basic, low cost, functional" trailer.
Zonker,

It wasn't my intention to "slam" the basic, low cost, functional trailer. Just to assign some kind of terminology to it. As you have shown, under many circumstances, you can get a tremendously useful trailer without spending a great deal of money. Do you know who originally made the trailer for Sears?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
cycledude said:
lots of nice trailers out there, Tailwind and Bushtec are at the top for quallity and engineering

always keep in mind the extra added risk of pulling any trailer with a motorcycle
Thank you for the safety reminder. The added risk was the main reason I've avoided adding a trailer. The added weight will make for longer stopping distances and the movement of the trailer will translate to the bike in the form of stability problems.

I think that Tom Finch has done a great job of designing the Tailwind with safety in mind. For me, the draw-bar spring-over shock design, suspension (Progressive), aerodynamic design, and weight have gone a long way towards alleviating these safety concerns, or at least reducing the risk to a more managable level.
 

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If I get one, which I want for 'our' next trip, it'll be one similiar to the Piggyback that is posted on another thread. Can't justify the cost of higher end models for how much it will actually be used.
 

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I have the Colorado trailer, and I am quite happy with it. It tows great and I have not had a lick of trouble with it. One of the primary factors in this particular choice was asthetic - I very much like the looks of it.

This trailer has been across the country and back a couple of times - well over 25,000 miles fully loaded. I've got at least a couple of hundred miles towing the trailer off pavement (dirt, gravel, etc.). Still running the original tires with lots of good tread left.

I have met one person on the road who was towing a Colorado and had a problem - a broken weld that needed repairing. His trailer was very heavily loaded, with a very heavy toolbox and other equipment. I have met several others who have had no problems whatsoever, just like me. After meeting the fellow who had the broken weld, I did a very careful inspection of my trailer and can find no evidence of anything that might become a problem.

Carl
 

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Zonker said:
I've been pulling this trailer since 1982 (yes, '82). It was sold by sears and was called a "Highlander".

It has been in all 48 continental states and has well over 100,000 miles on it.

I don't even know it's behind me. It cost (in 1982) about $500. I've painted it 4 times. It's NEVER let me down.

Not bragging....just giving you my exprience with my "Basic, low cost, functional" trailer.
Looks like a million bucks to me. Whatelse ya need?
 

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This is my little $300 Holsclaw; went 5800 miles to CA and back last year. I only pull a couple times a year, so I couldn't see spending the bux. Twenty two cubic feet.

 

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We attend a lot of camping rallies so our choice is in the specialty catagory. Have been towing a Kwik Kamp popup tent trailer for many years and think it really suits our needs. It's sad that they have been out of business for a few years.
 

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TJ,

Congrats on the trailer. I have a Bushtec genesis and I had a Quantum before. I prefer the Bushtec because I had over 20 thousand miles on the previous one and I like their design and the 6 ply tires. You may be able to get a replacement wheel from walmart but the 6 ply tires will let you limp along to a place where you can get off the road and get any repair done if necessary. I do carry a spare just in case and thank God I NEVER had to use it. That being said there are some other very nice trailers in the same range. I really liked the Hannigan and think it's top quality as well.

As sdlyon5 had said (but I say it in a different way) I do not like the looks of the Tailwind. To each his own I guess, but I DO think the Tailwind is a very high quality rig.


FF
 

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One thing that is universally true is that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

I am prepared to argue the technical value of the Tailwind any day, but I feel fortunate that so many do like the looks of the Tailwind.

If you notice, the Airbus and Boeing twin jets look very much alike. You can bet your bottom dollar that each would like to bend the aluminum in a distinctive shape to set it apart from the other, but when a drag difference of 0.01% is worth several million dollars in a program, each is doing what they think will net the lowest drag for a given lift and cruise speed.

The looks of the Tailwind were likewise dictated in part by the shape to get the lowest drag. This shape is now patented, and the patent Issued this month.

If it had turned out that a shape that was very much like a sea turtle would have had the lowest drag, there would have been a lot fewer people liking the shape of our trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Tom Finch said:
One thing that is universally true is that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

I am prepared to argue the technical value of the Tailwind any day, but I feel fortunate that so many do like the looks of the Tailwind.

If you notice, the Airbus and Boeing twin jets look very much alike. You can bet your bottom dollar that each would like to bend the aluminum in a distinctive shape to set it apart from the other, but when a drag difference of 0.01% is worth several million dollars in a program, each is doing what they think will net the lowest drag for a given lift and cruise speed.

The looks of the Tailwind were likewise dictated in part by the shape to get the lowest drag. This shape is now patented, and the patent Issued this month.

If it had turned out that a shape that was very much like a sea turtle would have had the lowest drag, there would have been a lot fewer people liking the shape of our trailer.
Tom, thanks for posting here, and congratulations on the patent... I certainly invite other manufacturers to have their 2-cents as well.

I do have a question on the aerodynamics of the TW. I'm assuming that because of the roughly square rear end of the wing, quite a bit of non-laminar air flow exists, which would cause measurable drag on the bike. Does the design of the TW (as I've always assumed) help reduce this drag, thus giving a Wing with a TW in tow a better aerodynamic flow vs. a Wing by itself? How about with some of the other manufacturers?
 

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Tom, If I had known of your trailer when I bought mine I would own one now. If I had one of yours Im not sure if I would bother taking it off the bike. Now on the other hand for those that pull a trailer once or twice a year there are probably better options from a financial standpoint.

I.E. in Zonkers case how can anyone argue with $500 spent and 25 yeaars of service. With that kind of value for occasional use its one of the prettiest trailers on the road.
 

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The Tailwind's aerodynamic shape creates a low pressure or suction around the bow, and this does induce much of the separated air to come back and become laminar over the trailer body.

The wake behind the Wing is about the size of a man. The wake off the back of the Tailwind is about the size of a water melon.

You can get a good idea of the drag of a vehicle by looking at it after it has been in the rain at speed.

If the dirty water has left streaks like it was combed or brushed onto the vehicle over most of the body, it will have low drag.

If the muddy water leaves an appearance like it was dabbed on with a sponge, it has separated flow and high drag.



Also, if you ride behind a vehicle and almost can not feel a wake, it is low drag. If, on the other hand, riding behind a vehicle produces a lot of buffeting, it has high drag from separated flow.

The drag of the combination Wing and Tailwind is so low that it almost offsets the rolling friction of the Tailwind. Pulling an empty Tailwind will be just about a push to the Wing alone.
 

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Man, there are some sweet trailers out there.....I like most, if not all...

I have a Time-out Dart, and I like if very much. It does all I ask of it and more. The hidden cooler in the nose section is very nice...I picked it up for well under the cost of a new one and it was only a year old when I bought ( stole) it..I've had it pained five times also, going to be number six, Metallic Blue, soon....

If money were not an object, Bushtec and Escapade would be my top choices, I just like to looks of them...the Colorado, Dauntless, and Hannigan are sweet looking too....

I think the car replica trailers are cool looking, never pulled one, but they do have the "wow" factor.....

Only using one five or six times a year, it's hard to justify 4000/5000 for one..my wife picked up the small Star-lite off ebay real cheep....and it will do what most here would ever want from a trailer....not as pretty, but will
still haul the goods....

The ill-faited trailer ( can't remember the name) looked good too. The Uni-Go is cool looking, but will never haul all I need :shock:
 
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