Product Support

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If we’re not available and you need help with a product, the companies that make the products we sell will be happy to help.

Electrical Connection (wiring kits) 865-219-9192

Hex Systems (ezCAN wiring)

HitchDoc 800-446-8222

Time Out Campers 574-294-7671

Rampage Lift 924-405-0365

Escapade Trailers 434-263-6500

Texas Sidecars 833-897-4332

Kompact Kamp 717-933-8070

SwivelSafe 574-294-7671

5 Essential Motorcycle Towing Tips

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So you’ve done it. You’ve bought your first motorcycle camper or trailer, equipped your bike with a hitch and an isolating wiring harness, hooked it up and…now what? What do you do next to make sure you gain experience safely and enjoy many trouble free miles on the open road? Here are a few tips.

1) Don’t make Day One of your cross-country journey the first day of your towing experience. Get your bike outfitted and get your trailer at least a couple of weeks ahead of your trip. Preferably as early as possible. You can experience delays in getting a hitch, installation, getting your bike wired, getting your camper or trailer, setting it up — that’s not to sound negative. It is what it is. So when you decide to do a trip that involves outfitting your bike and getting a trailer, do it well in advance so that you can not only get everything sorted out, but also so that you can…

2) Take a few practice runs. You’ll definitely want to get the feel of a loaded vehicle attached to the back of your bike. You’ll want to understand how it affects your bike’s feel when you pull away from a standing stop. How it feels when you brake. And how it affects the bike’s handling (It should be very minimal). After you feel comfortable with it behind you, take it out for a longer run over some familiar roads. It will probably feel pretty good. Then, take it into a tight or busy parking lot, like a restaurant. The truth is, you’ll feel your tow more in a parking lot at walking speeds than you will on the highway at Interstate speeds. In fact, when you are out on those high speed highways…

3) Don’t forget it’s back there. Easy to do. Most trailers are very well behaved behind bikes and it can be easy to forget they’re there. Everyone who has towed a trailer has done it. (True story: I once learned my camper had a problem, not because I observed the jackstand dragging on the ground, but because I heard a couple of truckers talking about it over the CB radio.) Let’s say you encounter a shredded truck tire on the road. On two wheels alone, you could just steer around it. But with a trailer in tow, would the trailer’s tires hit it? If you haven’t forgotten you’re towing, you can make a better, and possibly different, decision about how to avoid the debris.

4) Check it over. There isn’t much that can go wrong with a motorcycle camper or trailer, but it is another piece of equipment operating at high speeds. And with it being connected to your bike, any failure could have a possible impact on you. On a daily basis, check two things. 1) make sure your tire pressure

Motorcycle Hitch Ratings

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Rating the capacity of a motorcycle tow hitch is a little tricky, and to be honest, it’s a number that doesn’t really mean anything. That’s because the capability of the hitches we sell far exceed what the vehicle is capable of towing.

Motorcycle tow hitches typically have a tongue weight rating of 50 lbs. This means that if you were to measure the weight required to lift the tongue of your motorcycle camper or cargo trailer, it should not exceed 50 lbs. The actual tongue weight that a hitch can support is several hundred pounds. However, if you were to add several hundred pounds to the back of your bike, it would upset the handling to the point the bike would be unrideable. So, motorcycle hitch manufacturers specify a 50 lb. tongue weight rating as a way to help people avoid handling issues.

Likewise, a motorcycle hitch is capable of towing a lot more weight than the bike it’s attached to, and because of this, few manufacturers specify an actual towing weight capacity. A general rule of thumb is to tow a camper or cargo trailer with a total weight (trailer plus cargo) that is no more than 60% of your bike’s curb weight. So, if your bike weighs 1000 lbs. with fluids/gas, the total trailer weight you tow should not exceed 600 lbs.

For many people, that gives them plenty of leeway. A typical cargo trailer weighing 200 lbs would be able to carry a full load without coming near that limit, unless you’re towing lead plates. Likewise, even a large motorcycle camper with typical camping gear would fall under that limit.

Hitch Installation Tips

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Installing a hitch on your bike can be a simple as bolting on a couple of braces and straps, or a difficult, multi-step process that requires you to remove bodywork, saddlebags, etc. Most hitches fall somewhere in between. This article offers you some hard-learned lessons that will make your installation easier.

1) Confirm fitment before you buy. Given all the different models of bikes and trim levels, it’s just not possible for hitch manufacturers to test their hitch on every combination. For example, a hitch that fits a Harley Softail Classic may or may not fit a Softail Deluxe. Another model of hitch might fit the entire line of Softails. If there is any uncertainty, make sure you ask first before you buy.

2) Again, because of all the different bike/model combinations, manufacturers do not design their hitches with aftermarket parts in mind. So, if you have aftermarket products on the back of your bike, you’ll need to determine if they’ll work, or if you need to remove them.

3) RTFM (Read the freakin’ manual). Take out the directions and read through them entirely so you’ll have a complete understanding of the process. I’ve learned that if you don’t read through the directions, you’ll often be tempted to take a shortcut during installation that you’ll have to undo later. End result – you’ll spend more time reinstalling your hitch than if you’d read the directions the first time.

4) Lay out all the parts. I know you’re anxious to get started with your installation, but I’ve laid out hitches and found important parts missing. Wouldn’t it suck to have your bike torn apart only to find you were missing a critical bracket? Now, do keep in mind that if you’re missing something like a bolt, you may be able to source this at the local hardware store or Home Depot.

5) Do a test assembly. This pre-installation preparation also includes pre-assembling your hitch. Take out all the hardware from the bag and install it into the holes indicated in the directions. This gives you a chance to sort out the correct placement of bushings, bolts, washers, etc.

6) Stay organized. Clear plenty of space for your installation. When you remove a piece from your bike, place the hardware with the piece you removed or screw it back into the bike. This will help you keep your parts straight and speed reassembly.

7) Don’t force it. Unless the installation manual indicates some tight fit or modification that needs to be made, your hitch should fit with a minimum of effort. You shouldn’t need to muscle it into place. If a bolt doesn’t seem to be going in well, back it out and check to make sure the replacement bolt has the same thread pitch as the original bolt.

8) Get some help. A fender style hitch is easier to install with an extra set of hands helping keep everything aligned while you get it bolted on. If you get stuck during the installation, call your dealer or the hitch manufacturer for guidance. They can often give you a few pointers or help you interpret those grainy, hard-to-figure-out pictures that come with many hitches.

9) Secure the hardware. On an installation of this importance, make sure you take steps to secure the hardware. Never leave off the lock washers. For extra security, especially on bikes that generate a lot of vibration, use a thread locking compound like Locktite. If you do use a thread locker, use the non-permanent solution like “blue” Locktite that can be removed without heat.