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Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Tridentman] #784395 09/15/19 10:47 pm
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Originally Posted by bodine031
over at ADV Rider forum there is a whole section on trailers & vans.
I think I've seen all the relevant posts there. Thanks.
Originally Posted by Tridentman
No trailer brakes?
No, not on this trailer. However, the brakes on the truck are rated for coming to a stop when hauling something like 7000 lbs. in its bed and it only will be called on to bring less than half that to a stop even if the trailer were loaded to its full capacity.

What are your thoughts on the following?:

https://www.amazon.com/HDX-Diamond-...e+flooring&qid=1568587573&sr=8-4

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Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784406 09/15/19 11:52 pm
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I am slowly outfitting a larger trailer to replace the 6X10. I have given a lot of consideration to that style of flooring in the rear half of the new trailer. It has some advantages.


Never underestimate the human ability to elevate stupid to a whole new level!.
Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784407 09/15/19 11:53 pm
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In my past three trucks, I have used a rubber mat in the bed. Things don’t slide around, it’s easy to clean spills up, it’s durable (outlasted the first 2 trucks) and if for some reason you want to remove it, it slides right out. I thought there would be an issue with moisture getting trapped under it, but there hasn’t. If I was setting up a trailer I would strongly consider it.
Ed from NJ

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784412 09/16/19 12:11 am
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I wasn’t aware of this product when doing my trailer.
Looks to have some positives and might be OK for you, MMan.
If I had known about it I don’t think that I would have chosen it for my trailer.
Why not?—-bear in mind that my trailer is different from MMans.
His has barn doors—mine has a ramp door and I wanted to apply the treatment to the ramp —-which obviously is vertical when the door is closed.
The referenced material would have to be very firmly fixed to work on a ramp door.
But probably OK just on a horizontal floor.
One of the advantages I saw in using bed liner paint is that it is easy to repair any damage to the surface—-just brush a bit more paint on.
However kitting out a trailer is a very personal matter——so what works for one guy may not for another and vice versa.
Certainly an interesting thread.

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Tridentman] #784426 09/16/19 1:53 am
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Originally Posted by Rich B
I have given a lot of consideration to that style of flooring in the rear half of the new trailer. It has some advantages.
Originally Posted by edunham
If I was setting up a trailer I would strongly consider it.
Originally Posted by Tridentman
One of the advantages I saw in using bed liner paint is that it is easy to repair any damage to the surface—-just brush a bit more paint on.
A disadvantageof that thick bed liner is using it is basically an irreversible decision, and I always try very hard to keep my options open. So, I ordered a roll of the diamond liner because it will take ten days to be delivered, if I don't like it upon delivery I can return it for free, and I've now bought myself another ten days to ponder my options in case another one is better.

If it does work for me it will be a lot easier to install than piecing together 10,000 (estimated) individual tiles, and the E-tracks, toolbox, and workbench should do a very good job of holding it in place. I would have preferred a lighter color than black but, hey, sometimes you have to compromise.

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784468 09/16/19 1:15 pm
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Hi MMan—. I decided to use bed liner paint after seeing it used on a couple of trailers at bike meets.
The owners spoke very positively about it.
It is somewhat irreversible but—- hell—- in this life you have to take some (calculated) risks!
Not sure what your floor is going to look like after you have removed all of the current covering but it sounds as though it might be undulating with left over hard adhesive “blobs”.
If that is the case the rubber matting will probably not sit very flat whereas the bed liner paint will accommodate such roughness in the floor.
Just a thought and at the end of the day—- your decision of course.

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Tridentman] #784482 09/16/19 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Tridentman
It is somewhat irreversible but—- hell—- in this life you have to take some (calculated) risks!
I haven't given up at all on the liner. It's just that it's available off the shelf in town while the rubber mat has a ten-day delivery time (and is returnable). The irreversibility of the liner definitely is a factor in my decision, but there are other factors as well. If you check your program you'll find the fat lady isn't scheduled to sing for another ten days.

p.s.
Originally Posted by Tridentman
it sounds as though it might be undulating with left over hard adhesive “blobs”.
That certainly could have been a concern, but on average the floor is quite flat. As the photograph shows the hardened adhesive has undulations spaced 1.6 mm, but their height above the wood (as well as the height of the un-undulated blobs) is only ~0.2 mm. The mat that's on order has a thickness of 2.5 mm so it will lie quite flat. This means that, although there are other factors to weigh in deciding between mat and painted liner, the texture of the current floor isn't one of them.
[Linked Image]

Last edited by Magnetoman; 09/16/19 5:55 pm. Reason: added p.s.
Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784552 09/17/19 7:11 am
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I like the rubber mat, seems a good solution to the problem.

If you wanted a really flat floor perhaps you could try a self leveling compound which is a liquid poured over the floor as a thin layer. As it dries, the self leveling properties result in a perfectly flat floor for laying any covering.


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Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784600 09/17/19 5:26 pm
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Originally Posted by gunner
If you wanted a really flat floor perhaps you could try a self leveling compound...
The presence of the hardened glue, coupled with my aversion to physical labor, means the flooring options have been reduced to either truck bed liner, or a mat. In either case the residual glue isn't a problem and the present floor certainly is flat enough as-is.

By the way, the wood floor is 1⅛"-thick and is supported by horizontal steel bars of the frame every 24". In addition, the E-tracks will provide lengthwise support for the floor spaced ~30" so no matter where the bikes sit each wheel, carrying ~200 lb., won't be pressing down on the 1⅛" wood more than 15" from a steel support. Happily, the location of the toolbox places half its weight directly over steel and the other half less than 6" from steel. Those are the only items with concentrated weight to worry about.

Yesterday I rolled up the old mat, but thankfully before I carried it to the trash I realized it would make the perfect template for cutting a new mat. Meanwhile four 8' sections of E-track are due for delivery today. I won't be able to attach them until the mat arrives next week and I decide between it and the liner but the tracks will let me see if my plan for wheel chocks is workable. If it is, I'll post the design. If not, this is the last you'll hear of that plan...

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784607 09/17/19 6:12 pm
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Having returned from out of town I have dug out my notes on what I learned when going about the process of selecting, buying and refurbing an enclosed bike trailer.
It goes something like this:

BIKE TRAILERS

1. INTRODUCTION
Many of us have found the need for transporting bikes from time to time.
This can vary from a competition bike not suitable for the road to a barn find to a basket case.
Sometimes ones day to day vehicle can be used but often more space is needed and this is where a trailer can come in very useful.
I have owned a small open trailer for about 12 years and have just bought and refurbed a small enclosed trailer.
This short note details some of the things that I have learnt over the years in the hope that it might help other bike owners finds their way along the trailer owning route.
It is written in the context of living in US but some of the principles involved have I think wider application.

2. WHY A TRAILER?
If you need extra space over and above that provided in ones every day car/pick up etc then of course you don’t have to buy a trailer.
You could buy a van.
Which is best?—impossible to be categorical as it depends on ones personal situation and priorities but some of the factors involved are:
 With a van you just have one vehicle.
 With a trailer you are restricted in some states in terms of not using parkways—for example New York State.
 With a trailer you can possibly retain your existing vehicle and tow with that.

However if you have decided to get a trailer---then read on.

3. OPEN VS. ENCLOSED TRAILER
The advantages of an open trailer are:
 Lower cost----an open trailer normally costs three figures—an enclosed trailer is normally in four figures.
 Storage. Any trailer is normally not in use for over 95% of the year. Some open trailers can be folded and stored upright –for example at the back of a garage over the winter.
 I have had an open trailer for about 12 years. It is 8’ X 4” and purchased from Harbor Freight for about $250. (HF do not sell trailers these days but do sell trailer accessories). I bolted on a split hardwood deck (split so that it would still fold), and bolted car exhaust clamps through the deck and frame for bike securing straps to fit to. I also drilled the bed for three wheel chocks (HF) so that this pretty cheap trailer can transport 1, 2 or 3 solo Brit bikes or one sidecar outfit. I also fitted a trailer box at the front to store securing straps, jack, axle stand etc etc.
The disadvantages of an open trailer are:
 You need ramps to get bikes on and off and then you need to take the ramps with you so that you can load/unload bike(s) at your destination.
 While open trailers are OK for transporting complete bikes they are not so good for transporting basket cases—parts in boxes etc.
 The open trailers contents are by definition open to the weather.
 An open trailer by definition is not secure—the bikes on it are visible and easy prey for thieves if you have to leave the trailer –for example in a hotel parking lot overnight.
 Once you have a trailer you will probably find that it is useful for more than bike transportation. It tends to be called on for general household transportation jobs—moving furniture etc. Here again the open trailer has the disadvantage in that the contents are open to the elements.

The advantages of an enclosed trailer are:
 Protection of load from the weather and from possible theft—particularly as the contents are not visible.
 Straps and other items can be left partially attached ready for a quick reload.
 Storage when not in use needs space. However this is offset as the enclosed trailer can be used to store stuff. For example it might be used during the winter to store 2 or 3 bikes thus giving more space to work on other bikes in the workshop.
 The enclosed trailer can be used as sleeping quarters for weekend shows etc.
The disadvantages of an enclosed trailer are:
 Cost—normally much more expensive than an open trailer.
 Increased aerodynamic drag—thus increasing fuel consumption of the towing vehicle.

4. NEW OR SECOND HAND?
The advantages and disadvantages of new or second hand for a trailer are similar in principle to those concerning any other vehicle.
The advantages of buying new is that you can tailor the specification to your personal preferences and you know that no one before you has used or misused the trailer.
The disadvantages of buying new are primarily related to cost. When you buy secondhand you don’t have the large initial depreciation that happens when you buy new. When you buy new there will be a lead time for delivery which may not be compatible with ones plans for using the trailer.
Personally I do not buy new cars or new bikes –so why buy a new trailer?
I suspect that many readers of this note will think the same so there follows a brief paragraph on buying a second hand trailer.

5. BUYING A SECOND HAND TRAILER
My experience of living in an urban area is that any local trailer dealers will be based in small premises and will primarily take orders for new trailers from brochures.
If buying second hand then you need to get out well into the country side where land is cheaper as a good second hand trailer dealer needs several acres to stock the trailers. In my own case living in northern NJ and quite close to New York I had to travel over 60 miles west to find a good second hand trailer dealer.
Once you are at a dealers then look carefully at trailers which match the size you are looking for (of which more later).
In particular look at:
 The trailer frame underneath particularly looking for corrosion and physical damage (bent frame members etc).
 Check to see if lights work, doors swing freely and close properly (and that doors have not sagged).
 If fitted with brakes—check to see if they work. If not get a good discount and repair them yourself—if you can maintain a Brit bike you can repair electric brakes—they are not made by Joe Lucas!
 Check on previous usage. If a landscaper-then move on. Landscapers give a trailer very heavy 6 days a week usage for 8 months a year and are not treated well. They also tend to be blunt fronted . If a horse trailer then that can be useful---they sometimes have built in bunk beds for use by the horses groom. However horse urine is very corrosive so check the floor carefully. Ideally the previous owner will have used the trailer for personal power sports usage---ATVs or motorcycles etc. This means that the trailer will probably have been used only at weekends and on a seasonal basis only. Also people who buy a trailer new for that purpose often will buy a high specification trailer when purchased new.
 Check the wheels and tires. Trailers are normally left outside and although the tire tread may be OK very often the tires are old and the sidewalls cracked. You do not need a puncture when towing a loaded trailer at speed! Don’t ask me how I know! If in any doubt then replace the tires. In fact I have found that you can buy complete new wheels and tires on the internet cheaper than getting a new tire put on an old wheel at your local tire dealer. I have used www.etrailer.com for this purpose to good effect.

6. FRAME MATERIAL
The basic choice here is between steel and aluminum.
The advantages and disadvantages are basically as per:
 Steel is cheaper but heavier and corrodes more
 Aluminum is more expensive but lighter and corrodes less.

The weight difference is important in terms of determining usable payload.
Typically a single axle will have a load rating of 3500 lbs.
A 10’ trailer with a steel frame will weigh about 1200-1250 lbs.
A 10’ trailer with an aluminum frame will weigh about 1000 lbs.
The usable payload (the weight that you can carry in the trailer) is the difference between the axle rating and the weight of the trailer.
So in the example quoted above the steel framed trailer can carry 3500 – 1250 = 2250 lbs whereas the aluminum framed trailer can carry 3500 - 1000 = 2500 lbs.
How important is this?
In terms of transporting Brit bikes—probably not very important.
A 10’ trailer would hold probably three bikes maximum. At 400 lbs per bike that adds up to 1200 lbs. with ,say, 200 lbs for tools etc the total load is 1400 lbs—well within the load capabilities of either a steel or aluminum framed trailer.
However if the use of a trailer once purchased extends to transporting other goods and materials then the larger load capability of the aluminum framed trailer may well be significant.
Personally I prefer the aluminum framed trailers but when buying second hand you don’t necessarily get a choice.

7. TRAILER MANUFACTURERS
This is not an exhaustive listing of manufacturers but just a very general description of the impressions I gained while investigating a trailer for myself.
It seems that in US there are three categories of trailer manufacturers. These are:
 Georgia, Alabama, Mississipi etc---manufacturers of steel framed trailers. Perhaps because of their southerly location the corrosion resistance is not too good. Best for a cheap trailer with limited life in my view.
 Iowa, Indiana etc--- manufacturers of better quality steel framed trailers with reasonably good corrosion resistance.
 Georgia, New Hampshire--- manufacturers of aluminum framed trailers. Perhaps the “Rolls-Royce” of US trailers are made by Proline in New Hampshire--- aluminum framed with high specifications.

8. TRAILER DESIGN
Here there is basically a choice between a blunt nose or a V nose. Blunt nose trailers tend to be a little cheaper than V nosed trailers but in the second hand market this is often obscured by other factors such as age, condition, specification etc.
The V nose design has advantages over the blunt nose design as per:
 The V nose is a much better shape aerodynamically with significant savings in fuel for the towing vehicle, The blunt nose design is like towing a barn door.
 The V nose design gives more internal space than the blunt nose design. The V nose part uses a part of the trailer footprint which is not used in the blunt nose design.
 The V nose is particularly useful for transporting bikes. A bike can be located centrally with its front wheel going into the point of the V and other bikes located on either side and partially to the rear of the central bike. Often therefore the V nose design can accommodate one more bike than the blunt nose design of the same nominal size.

On balance a V nose design is much to be preferred to a blunt nose design.

9. TRAILER SIZE
WIDTH
Common widths are 5’, 6’ , 7’ and 8’
Up to and including 7’ widths have an unobstructed internal load space. However most 8’ width designs have wheel arches intruding into the load space.
Unless there is a special reason to go for a narrow width (only ever one bike, a bargain etc) then I would recommend going for a 7’ width. Certainly anything less than this width and the trailer could not accommodate a sidecar outfit.
LENGTH
Lengths start at 8’ and normally go up in 2’ increments all the way up to 30’ (the latter for car transporters etc). However from a Brit bike trailer point of view the lengths of 10’—16’ are most likely to be of use. It is worth noting that the convention is to describe the length of the trailer as the length of the rectangular part---ignoring the extra space in the V nose. So a 7’ X 10’ V nose would have an external length to the point of the V of 12’6” to 13’.
Normally up to and including 10’ trailers have a single axle. Depending on manufacturer 12’ trailers might have either one or two axles. Trailers of 14’ and up usually have twin axles. Typically twin axles give a 7000 lb total trailer weight.
HEIGHT
While heights of less than 6’ are available it is probably best to have a trailer with an internal height of at least 6’ so that you can move around in the trailer without getting a crick in your neck.

10. TRAILER FEATURES
Two significant features worth mentioning are doors and brakes as per:
 DOORS
The choice is between “Barn” doors and a “Ramp” door.
The Barn door has two doors hinged vertically and opening out to gain access to the inside of the trailer.
The Ramp door is hinged horizontally and swings down to gain access to the inside of the trailer.
While some people prefer Barn doors as they can hang tools, containers etc on the inside of the two doors in my view the Ramp door is to be preferred for transporting bikes as the door provides a ready made ramp to wheel bikes up into the trailer. With a Barn door you need separate ramps to wheel bikes up into the interior of the trailer.
Some ramps have a check wire on each side to control the ramp in the down position. Other ramps have torsion springs along the door hinge at the bottom of the door. These help with lifting the ramp door back into the closed position and are a very advantageous feature.
It is worth noting that you need to check the width of the door aperture if you are thinking of transporting, for example a sidecar outfit. The width is at a minimum at the door aperture and may be 2-3” narrower on each side compared with the internal width of the main body of the trailer.
 BRAKES
Depending on manufacturer trailers up to and including 10’ length may have no brakes on the trailer. However others start fitting brakes at 10’ trailer length. Usually trailers of 12’ length and above will have electric brakes fitted.
The design of electric brakes is quite straightforward and they are quite easy to work on. If you can build and maintain a Brit bike then you can refurbish and maintain electric brakes. There are good descriptions of how they work on the internet.
I would recommend buying a trailer with them fitted and then connecting them and using them.
They have to be connected into the towing vehicles electrical system and you need to have a brake controller in the cab of the towing vehicle. Many large SUVs and pick ups come ready wired to connect in a brake controller.

11. MY NEW TRAILER
After tramping around the stock of used trailers at a big trailer dealer located about 60 miles from where I live I found a 2007 aluminum framed V nosed trailer 7’ X 10’ with a single axle and electric brakes. It also had a ramp door with torsion springs. I wanted the trailer to be able to transport either up to three Brit bikes or one sidecar outfit. Originally I was looking for a 7’ X 12” trailer but the 7’ X 10” one was closest to my requirements in all other respects.
I measured up the internal dimensions of the trailer and drew it up to scale on graph paper. I then measured up the overall dimensions of a typical Brit bike. I then drew up three bikes to scale and cut them out. I could then place the bike cut outs on the trailer diagram and see if they would fit. Thanks to the V nose I could get three bikes in OK. I also checked the width of the sidecar outfit to make sure that it would go through the ramp door aperture of the trailer.
Having reassured myself that things would go in OK I returned to the dealer and negotiated a deal for the trailer. The price recognized that I needed to do some work on the trailer to get it to a state with which I would be happy.
After towing it home with the brakes inoperable I refurbed the trailer as per:
 Three new wheels and tires as the old tires had cracked sidewalls and there was no spare wheel.
 Cleaned and regreased the wheel bearings
 Installed new double lipped grease seal on the axles
 Completely refurbed the electric brakes including new electro magnets.
 Rewired the trailer electrical system from vehicle connector to fuse box, fitted a new breakaway battery and rewired the brakes.
 Painted the trailer floor and ramp with bed liner paint
 Installed E track on the floor to give great flexibility in lashing points for securing bikes.
 Installed a shelf in the V nose at above bike handlebar height for storage of straps, tools etc.
 Installed spare wheel mount within the trailer on one side of the V front.

12. CONCLUSIONS
In tackling my project of buying and refurbing a “new” second hand enclosed trailer I was basically learning as I went along.
Hopefully these notes may help others treading the same or a similar path to get to the end point rather more quickly.



RAB
05/13/2019

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784613 09/17/19 6:54 pm
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Quote
The presence of the hardened glue, coupled with my aversion to physical labor


Can't blame you for that MM, I think I would feel the same if I was refurbishing a trailer with an old floor.

One other idea is whether it would be feasible to use a bike dolly similar to this one. The advantage would be that once the bikes are loaded they could be moved around the trailer easier thereby allowing better access to any bike needing maintenance, ramps either end allow the dolly to be raised or lowered for moving/securing as required.


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Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784622 09/17/19 8:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Tridentman
...I have dug out my notes ... of selecting, buying and refurbing an enclosed bike trailer.
Making extensive notes on projects; who does that?... oh, wait, I do. Your notes have a lot of very useful information for someone in the market for a motorcycle trailer, although in my case I found mine via Craigslist, not a new or used dealer.

Originally Posted by gunner
...whether it would be feasible to use a bike dolly ...
Aside from the space such a dolly takes, the E-tracks would make maneuvering it difficult. Also, side-to-side movement isn't nearly as useful as up-down. Layouts I haven't "published" here yet show one bike being tied down while sitting on my Kendon bike lift. The ~6' ceiling is tall enough that this lift would allow a quite useable amount of lift within the trailer (more if moved outside, of course). The Kendon has an air-over-hydraulic cylinder (although, it also can be pumped up manually), which requires an air compressor, which in turn requires a gasoline generator. Anyway, the lift, compressor, and generator are all on my long list of notes as add-ons for another Cannonball-like event.

My only development for today was getting the title and registration transferred to my name. So, it's now legally mine.

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784627 09/17/19 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Magnetoman
I won't be able to attach them until the mat arrives next week and I decide between it and the liner but the tracks will let me see if my plan for wheel chocks is workable. If it is, I'll post the design. If not, this is the last you'll hear of that plan...


I do believe that there are motorcycle wheel chocks available that are designed to fit e-track. I assume that you know this already and I make this statement more as a question as to why you wouldn't use such a chock?

John

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784633 09/17/19 11:08 pm
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Originally Posted by George Kaplan
why you wouldn't use such a chock?
If I had an 800 lb. Harley-Davidson I would, because a chock keeps a bike from falling over until the tie down straps are attached. For most people, including me, balancing an 800 lb. bike with one hand while reaching for a strap with another hand would be risky. However, once the tie-downs are snugged down the chock is essentially[*] useless.

We've carried 2-3 bikes each year across Ireland for years in a van without ever using a chock[**], covering ~6000 miles without ever having a problem. My Cannonball teammate's Harley spent most of the rally strapped in the back of the U-Haul last year, again without a chock, covering ~3000 miles without problem.

E-track chocks either require an E-track on the centerline of the bike, which my trailer won't have, or use kludgy, yet expensive, systems that position the chock between two tracks. After the bike is rolled out of the trailer you're either left with the chocks and associated brackets to trip over, or you have to find a place to store them where they still remain a nuisance because of their size. My system (Pat. Pending) will avoid that. But, as I said, if I mock it up once the E-tracks are delivered later today and realize my system has a fatal flaw, you'll never read another word about it...

[*]I only qualify this with "essentially" because it's possible to imagine a poor choice of tie down points on a particular bike as being a problem.
[**] This year we did use chocks, but only because the guy who loaned us the Norton/AJS that my daughter rode left them with us and it would have been impolite not to use them.

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784635 09/17/19 11:59 pm
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Just thought that a few photos might add to my notes as above.
I hope, MMan, that I am not guilty of hijacking your thread but ---you did invite general contributions.
First photo is my trailer in the dealers park. You see the snow on the ground---I bought it in February this year.
My best buys --particularly bikes--over the years have been in the dead of winter----someone wants to sell but buyers are thin on the ground.
My best buy in bikes was between Christmas and New Year (many years ago!).
The second photo is the inside of the trailer as bought. The view is from the rear towards the side door.
The third photo is the refurbed trailer showing the ramp and the inside.
The fourth photo is the refurbed trailer--inside view.
The fifth and last photo is the refurbed trailer inside showing the detail at the front---trailer dolly, spare wheel, breakaway battery box, fuse box, shelf with front lip and E Track.

I hope that I have not bored the pants off you!

Attached Files Enclosed Trailer--As Bought--Feb 2019.jpgEnclosed Trailer--As Bought Detail--Feb 2019.jpgEnclosed Trailer---Ramp and Inside--Sept 2019.jpgEnclosed Trailer-- Inside View--Sept 2019.jpgEnclosed Trailer --Front Inside Detail--Sept 2019.jpg
Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784644 09/18/19 3:02 am
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Originally Posted by Tridentman
I hope, MMan, that I am not guilty of hijacking your thread
Not at all. No way do your posts constitute hijacking. Unlike restoring a motorcycle, where there are only relatively minor variations on a basic process, configuring a motorcycle trailer has a wide range of approaches and outcomes depending on the needs of the owner.
My package of four 8-ft. E-tracks arrived today and I immediately placed them in the trailer, hanging one on the left wall using two nails to position it 3’ off the floor.

[Linked Image]

The second photograph reveals my hithertofore secret high tech chock replacement. The mock-up shows stud holders facing each other from opposite tracks into which a 3’ section of 2x6 will be dropped. No fasteners are needed or desired, allowing it to be quickly assembled or disassembled and taking up minimal storage space.

[Linked Image]

Because they’re made for downward, not sideways, force the stud holders can be pushed to a fair angle in the track, as can be seen from the side view of the next photograph.

[Linked Image]

While this isn’t necessarily a problem, I’ll probably tack spacers on the bottoms of the holders to minimize this effect even though it would be fine as-is.

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784681 09/18/19 2:35 pm
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edunham Offline
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Apropos of this thread, I was in Barnes & Noble yesterday buying a motorcycle magazine and there was a trailer magazine with a cover story about trailers for bikes and going to the races. Of course the road test was a 30' long behemoth that cost $80,000. Just think, you could buy one of those and be all set to go!

Ed from NJ

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784696 09/18/19 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by edunham
Of course the road test was a 30' long behemoth that cost $80,000.
Even the two-story trailer towed by a full size tour bus on the Cannonball pales by comparison with some of the rigs I've seen at my daughters' horse shows. Easily $250k, and probably more, is in just the trailers, plus another $150k for the tractors pulling them. Further, a top-level dressage horse sells for the price of a restored Black Shadow, and show jumpers with winning records start at the highest price ever paid for a motorcycle at auction. The tack for just one of those show horses costs the price of a restored Gold Star, and those $400k+ rigs aren't hauling just one such horse.

No matter how much money someone has to throw at a motorcycle trailer there are practical limits, but with horses, the sky is the limit. For most (all?) of us, you know your income is in the bottom 10% of the spectators at an event when Rolex and Mercedes, rather than Red Bull and Lucas Oil, are the sponsors.

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784712 09/18/19 7:53 pm
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That is correct, a large number of those folks are also living paycheck to paycheck (or dividend to dividend) and subsidizing that lifestyle with credit. When something slips or goes oops, its astonishing how fast things can go south for them. I have a couple of cousins who had, and continue to have, horses instead of children. Children would have been boatloads cheaper, even taking college and grad school into account. My cousins tried to get my girls interested in horses. Fortunately, my efforts at dissuading them worked. A friend has worked with Roger Penske and his Formula 1 efforts for a long time. There is a lot of money thrown around in that crowd also. His ex and their daughter were/are heavily involved in similar horse activities to what you are describing, although I don't know if it was dressage. One of the reasons for the divorce was that he simply couldn't afford the lifestyle. He said the Formula 1 folks are tightwad hillbillies compared to the horsey set!

Ed from NJ

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784716 09/18/19 8:52 pm
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MMan---I found it good to use T nuts underneath the floor with bolts from the top to hold the E Track in place.
But--your decision of course in your trailer.

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784720 09/18/19 9:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Tridentman
MMan---I found it good to use T nuts underneath the floor with bolts from the top to hold the E Track in place.
Funny you should post this because I've just been thinking about my options. Based on superficial research the force required to pull a 1"-long 1/4" lag screw straight out of a piece of pine is ~150 lbs. Ignoring the strength of the steel track itself, and assuming only a 1 ft. section with lag screws every 2" (i.e. 12 total), it would take 1800 lbs. to pull that 1 ft. section of track straight out of the wood (more, if the force were applied at an angle). The rated strength of name-brand (Ancra) straps is comparable to this low-end estimate, at only 2400 lbs for a pair, so it's a tossup whether the straps would break before the 1-ft. section would be ripped out.

Anyway, my present plans are to use four 1/4" through bolts with fender washers for the front and rear 1-ft. sections, with 1/4" lag screws every 2" for 2 ft., then every 6". Although through bolts might seem to require the same work to install as lag screws, while providing more strength, installing the nuts requires crawling under the trailer while someone is inside holding the heads. So, the fewer there are to install, the more likely I can convince "someone" to help.

T-nuts seem like they would be more work still, since the holes have to be drilled for clearance and then the nuts tapped into place to seat the teeth. All while upside down in the limited space under the trailer. On the other hand, they would make removal of the tracks easier at some point in the future. But, on the other, other hand, I don't plan to remove the tracks.

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784731 09/18/19 11:55 pm
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The fender washers with lock-nuts will spread the load better than t-nuts .
Lag bolts shear strength assumes placment into sound wood that stays sound .

Turn the trailer on its side ... and no one will have to crawl under it to attach any bottom fasteners.

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784737 09/19/19 1:46 am
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I started off using flanged screws on both sides about every 4" along the E track.
Initial usage showed one or two of the screws starting to lift out of the bed.
Thinking about it I think that I made a mistake when I put the screws in.
I used a power tool with a magnetic nut holder and I think I applied too much torque such that the screws tightened and then the extra torque caused them to spin in the bed chewing up the wood.
You have the opportunity to profit from my mistakes!
So I am replacing them all using T nuts.
It takes time to install them but when done I shall be very confident of their integrity.
I have developed a way of doing it without the need for assistance.
I drill the 1/4" holes through from above and then drill a counterbore from below to house the core of the T nut.
I then lightly hammer in the T nut from below and secure it temporarily using a small square of duct tape.
I can then screw in the bolts from the E Track above.
Does it mean working in the trailer and jumping down underneath the trailer?
Yes---but keeps one fit and saves $100 a month on gym membership!
Incidentally this problem prompted another thought in my mind.
In contrast to an open trailer where you can see what is going on in the rear view mirror---with an enclosed trailer you have no idea what is going on in the trailer when traveling along.
So I am mulling over the possibility of installing a camera in the trailer with a screen in the towing vehicle in order to monitor what is happening to the trailer contents during a journey.
Just a personal thing of course---but sometimes I like to think aloud--or rather to think with my keyboard!

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Tridentman] #784748 09/19/19 4:03 am
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Originally Posted by Tridentman
Does it mean working in the trailer and jumping down underneath the trailer?
Yes-...
OK, OK, I'll have to drag myself around under the trailer. Damn...
Originally Posted by Tridentman
with an enclosed trailer you have no idea what is going on in the trailer when traveling along.
I also have an open trailer, and seeing bikes waving back in forth in the rear view mirror only adds to the anxiety of towing them. No camera for me. Ignorance is bliss.

Re: Enclosed Motorcycle Trailer: Design & Build [Re: Magnetoman] #784878 09/20/19 7:54 pm
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All the nuts, bolts, washers, lag screws and self-tapping screws for the E-tracks are in hand, but I was notified yesterday that there will be a delay of an as-yet not known time in shipping the floor mat. This means it will be a while before I can make a decision on the floor covering and install the E-tracks. However, the first time I anticipate using the trailer to haul a pair of motorcycles isn't until the end of October so this delay isn't an issue. Yet.

Meanwhile, I've started thinking about Phase II: installation of the toolbox. Its footprint is 27" x 18¼" but, as seen from the photo, it consists of a stacked set, with the top toolbox having to be set forward on the bottom cabinet by ~2" in order for the lid to open if the back is flush against a wall. I almost certainly will bolt the two units together.

[Linked Image]

The problem to be solved is how to mount this toolbox in the trailer so it doesn't go walkabout when underway. Installing a pair of E-tracks on the wall at 2' and 4' above the floor would let me strap it in place when moving. However, an E-track at 2' would interfere with my current plan for one of the supports for the Phase III 36" high workbench.

4"-dia. wheels whose ODs are at least 1" inside the footprint hold the base of the toolbox 4¼" above the floor, which is just enough height for a 5' section of E-track at floor level, running only the length of the box so as not to interfere with workbench plans, to hold straps around the wheels. Another 5' section at 48" above the floor could extend to the front of the trailer since it would be above the workbench.

[Linked Image]

Insights into flaws in the above plan, or better plans, will be appreciated.

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