What Are Some Tips for Hooking up Motorcycle Towable Campers?


Quick Answer

Tips for hooking a towable camper on a motorcycle include reading the motorcycle owner’s manual, using a sturdy hitch, choosing the right camper and loading the camper appropriately. Loading cargo directly onto the back seat of a motorcycle can result in wear and tear, improper weight distribution and handling problems.

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Full Answer

Read the owner’s manual carefully to find out if the motorcycle is designed for use with a trailer or sidecar. Towing a camper on a motorcycle against the manufacturer’s instructions may result in a void warranty and handling issues among other problems.

Next, choose a sturdy hitch that connects to at least four points on the motorcycle. Do not connect the hitch to drive shafts, swing-arms, suspension components and shock-absorbers to avoid damaging the motorcycle. The distance between the hitch and the rear wheel should allow for easy movement of the wheel and the hitch should be stable with no movement.

The camper should have large tires and the wheels fitted with high-speed bearings. The trailer hitch weight rating should be significantly higher than the total weight of the trailer.

Lastly, a rule of thumb when loading a motorcycle camper is to transfer what can be safely carried on the motorcycle into the trailer. Distribute the load evenly over the axles. The tongue weight should not exceed 20 percent of the trailer’s total weight. Refer to the owner’s manual for the total weight that can be safely towed and take into account the tongue weight of the camper.

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