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Hi...I am considering a year drop shaped trailer to tow behind my 2003 wing 1800.
I am led to understand a two wheeler uses a different hitch because of the way it leans in corners ?
Is this true?
 

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I have had a number of trailers over the years and have had both. I have two trailers right now and one has a regular hitch on it and the other has a swivel hitch on it. I can't tell any difference in the lean angle. I guess it is possible if you leaned over far enough it might lift a wheel on the trailer off the ground but I have never found that limit. I generally tow a trailer 15 to 18k miles a year. My opinion is you don't need a swivel hitch or at least I don't anyway.
 

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There are many 4 point hitches for 5th gens. Those are great for cooler and luggage racks. However, a trailer requires more support, so get a 6-point hitch. There are only 2 or 3 available. Bushtec makes one. Also, many trailers can be dangerous to pul. It should have a full-swivel hitch. The reason ... occasionally a trailer will flip behind a m/c. A full swivel hitch allow it to flip upside down without flipping the m/c too. Also, some trailers can be dangerous to pull. For example, I was pulling an Aluma trailer one time and came into a curve "to hot." When I applied my brakes, the trailer not only wanted to push my rear tire towards the white line, but it also wanted to lift my rear tire off the pavement to. A true m/c pull trailer should not do that. To my knowledge all of those have a bend their hitch bar.
 

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There is a trailer sub-forum. You should read thru that (and this thread should maybe move there?).

There are a couple styles of connection between bike and trailer. Bushtec (and some others) use a Heim joint. When using the common trailer ball, you can also have a special ball with narrow shank to allow greater movement of coupler or a ball that actually tilts left and right. Lastly, there is a replacement hitch coupler for the trailer which allows a full 360 rotation. Under normal conditions, a normal hitch ball and coupler will work. The concern is if you get into trouble, a trailer flip over will not flip the bike. It will still move you around though!

You could also look at a single wheel cargo trailer.

Are you looking at a camper or cargo trailer? Depending on the weight you may want to consider brakes. Weight distribution within the trailer is important as well as tire size, condition and inflation pressure.

Cross wind loading is another area of concern as is rear visibility with mirrors.

One thing else. Wiring harness could be directly tied to the bike circuits or you could use an isolator. The isolator connects so that the bike circuits trigger relays and the trailer lights draw directly from the battery switched using those relays. Depending on the trailer, you will also need to decide whether to keep the brake lights separate from the turn signals (just like the bike) or combine them into a common light (5 wire to 4 wire converter).
 

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Both the motorcycle specific trailer I have both use a swivel hitch on the tongue. Most that are "utility" trailers used for motorcycle towing don't have the swivel.
I had to convert my trailers to both use the same wiring plug. One had a flat five and the other had a 5 or 6 pin round.
I haven't towed a lot but got rid of the cooler racks on both of the trailers. Weight on the tongue should be about 10% and not excede the hitch/trailer rating. Go conservative and learn how it handles and how to deal with parking and other unusual situations.
Above all, remember it's not what you can pull, it's what you can STOP. When I decided I was probably going to do some towing if I got the Wing I actively sought out an ABS model, but that was just a personal choice (not wanting to fire up that debate-again!).
 

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Equip your trailer with a full swivel hitch to prevent twisting while leaning into turns. With the weight of most tear drop trailers, I would be more concerned with the braking aspect of such a heavy trailer.
 

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Swivel hitch not needed until the trailer or the bike flips, then they're nice to have. Assuming it's not a unigo or other one wheel trailer.

Wiring (e.g. 4, 5, 6 pin) will be trailer specific. Use an isolator on the bike side so a trailer electrical problem doesn't fry your bike wiring. Electrical Connection makes a plug and play harness for the sensing wires .

Maybe this is the same 4 pt / 6 pt thing Greg mentioned earlier. Don't settle for a hitch that mounts to the subframe. Get one that mounts to the frame. BushTec, Rivco, and another more obscure one I can't remember for sure (AddOn?) are good. Kury and some others are structurally inferior (sub frame).
 

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I won't have a trailer without a swivel hitch. I ran into a pickup several years ago that cut right in front of me. I hit the ground, the bike slid down the road apiece on the engine guards and the trailer ended up on it's side then on it's top and then finally on it's last side. I didn't see the trailer do this but the evidence(damage) to the trailer proved this. Would the trailer have pulled the bike over with a regular hitch? I don't know, but that's just my 2 cents on why I won't have a trailer without a swivel hitch.:cool:
 

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There are many 4 point hitches for 5th gens. Those are great for cooler and luggage racks. However, a trailer requires more support, so get a 6-point hitch. There are only 2 or 3 available. Bushtec makes one. Also, many trailers can be dangerous to pul. It should have a full-swivel hitch. The reason ... occasionally a trailer will flip behind a m/c. A full swivel hitch allow it to flip upside down without flipping the m/c too. Also, some trailers can be dangerous to pull. For example, I was pulling an Aluma trailer one time and came into a curve "to hot." When I applied my brakes, the trailer not only wanted to push my rear tire towards the white line, but it also wanted to lift my rear tire off the pavement to. A true m/c pull trailer should not do that. To my knowledge all of those have a bend their hitch bar.
I can testify from first hand experience that a trailer with a standard ball hitch will NOT cause the motorcycle to flip if the trailer flips over! The trailer coupler will disengage from the ball. In fact the bike is hardly affected at all.
 

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I can testify from first hand experience that a trailer with a standard ball hitch will NOT cause the motorcycle to flip if the trailer flips over! The trailer coupler will disengage from the ball. In fact the bike is hardly affected at all.
Congratulations ... you're lucky to be alive and testify to that.
 

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my $.02 on swivel hitch with a regular ball I can feel the hitch bind just before the foot pegs touch down.. so if your pushing your peg feelers into the ground... I'd say you want the swivel hitch even not considering trailer flipping issues.... if you ride a more relaxed pace.. then you get to decide if you want to consider the likely hood of the trailer flipping on you. I consider that to be a non-zero consideration but that is up to your own risk management scale..
 

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I tow a Bushtec and a Mini-Mate. I had a vehicle pull out in front of me and I laid my Wing down. I had a regular ball hitch on the Mini-Mate that I was pulling behind the Wing at the time. The Wing was on its side, but the Mini-Mate was still sitting on both wheels. As far as the trailer flipping and bring the Wing down, I have no input. As far as a swivel hitch, a friend that I rode with, had a swivel hitch on his Wing. He pulled a small ‘Alumalite’ type trailer. Somehow, his ball swiveled to one side and froze to one side. He said he noticed an unusual handling going through the curves on the road. While stopped and looking over the bike and trailer, he found the ball locked to the side. Later on after fixing it, he said that it went back to handling like it used to. After getting home, he removed the swivel ball setup.
 

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I, like Capt. Bob, have two trailers. One with a swivel hitch, a Hannigan Sierra, and one without a swivel hitch, a Tailwind. Lean angle has not been a noticeable difference between the two. I'm normally riding two up when towing, consider myself a spirited rider, and have never experienced the feeling of a binding hitch/ball while cornering. I have experienced going into a corner too fast, hard braking with a heavily loaded trailer. The trailer wants to upright the bike out of it's lean angle. Not a good feeling, avoid this if possible. One scenario I had was parking in a rest area on a sloped parking spot. The kickstand was on the high side of the slope, not good, but didn't seem that bad. After our break the wife saddled the bike first, as she always does, while I was donning my gear she leaned a little too far to the right and over went the bike. She was OK and safely debarked the tumbled bike, before righting my wheels, I walked around and inspected the hitch, trailer and bike. Yes the hitch had reached the binding point, but both wheels of the trailer was on the ground, nothing twisted , nothing broke. This was the Tailwind without a swivel hitch. I righted the bike and did an inspection. Found a little road rash on the rear crash bar and on the front highway peg. Nothing else appeared damaged other than some pride. Having the swivel hitch seems like the right thing to have, and maybe necessary in certain circumstances, but not necessarily a must. There will always be risk verse reward.
 

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I've had experiences both good and bad with the swivel hitch pulling an Aspen Classic. Going onto an on ramp in Georgia there was a LEO sitting right in the way checking for speeders. I had to go around him and hit a pot hole. The swivel snapped in half. Lucky I was going slow. For clarity, this was a 3rd hand swivel and I have no idea about what abuse it had with previous owners and I was on the high end of tongue weight. Checking several forums I have not seen another incident like this and hope it was an anomaly.
After trading for another camper I wound up with a factory installed swivel on the newer camper.
On the good side I had a get down going into a corner on a rainy day. The bike went over but there was no twisting on the hitch or frame. That is the reason I kept the swivel on, not for when I am moving but if the bike goes over I don't want any frame/hitch damage.

I don't ride aggressive at all when pulling the trailer, so even with a straight hitch I never noticed handling issues.
When I first started pulling I did notice that it was holding me upright going into corners. Then discovered that the hitch clamp was too tight. Once I loosened it up I never noticed it again.

If you have brakes, adjust them to where you can barely notice them. My old controller would start creeping up the intensity due to vibration. I was turning in an intersection and tapped the brakes. That sucker gave me a good yank. Be very careful in the rain. The physics change enough that you may get a surprise especially with brakes. I have had people recommend you turn off the brakes when it rains. The jury is still out on that one for me.
 
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