Wednesday, February 15, 2017

How To Tow my Motorcycle And Our Car? - What Choice Should We Make?

There are many options for taking both a car and a motorcycle with you while full timing.  These include hydraulic and cable lifts, motorcycle hitch carriers, tow dollies that let you tow the car and load the motorcycle in front of it and of course car hauler trailers with tandem axles.

Our options as I see them are:

1. Hitch mount motorcycle carrier - $450.00 + welding two more stabilizing tubes onto the RV's receiver to keep the motorcycle from swaying. and allowing a tow dolly or trailer to be pulled from the same hitch.

2. Hydraulic motorcycle lift - $3500.00 plus three tube receiver hitch + welding

3. Manual operated (manual hydraulic) hydraulic lift - $1900.00 + three tube receiver hitch + welding

4. Tandem Tow Dolly that hauls bike and car - $5200.00

5. Car Hauler trailer - $2500.00 - $6500.00 depending on type and materials.

The additional variable for us is whether I can find any or all of these used. In any case options one, two and three are out due to expense.  So, I have narrowed my search to either the tandem tow dolly or a car hauler trailer.

Disadvantages of  a tandem dolly

Heavy and big
Can't easily moved around the campground after unloading
Can't be backed up loaded as the car and the dolly turn independent of one another.
The car must be unloaded in order to back the trailer and bike out of a tight place.
I would have to move the dolly to a designated storage area after unloading due to it's size
Crawling under the dolly to hook up the break away chains
Expensive for the size of the dolly (more perception on my part)
Will require a hitch on the car to move to designated parking

Advantages of a tandem dolly

No hitch welding required as I have a Class V hitch on the RV
One vehicle to tow both bike and car
Very easy to load the bike and car
Most come with a rock guard on the front that protects the bike and car from road debris
Versatile in that it can carry a lot of things on the motorcycle deck
Light weight of combined car, bike and trailer

Disadvantages of the car hauler trailer

Heavy and big, may impact RV towing with the combined weight of the bike, car and trailer
Can't easily moved around the campground after unloading
I will have to unload the car and park the trailer in designated parking with the RV due to weight
Most do not come with a rock guard unless it's an ad on expense
Larger footprint will make it harder to have room to back up and manuever

Advantages of the car hauler trailer

I will be able to back it up without the trailer and car going in different directions
Much easier loading, unloading and tying down as I will not have to crawl under the car
Trailer can be of minimal length, car length 12' plus 3' for the  bike which will keep cost down
Heavier duty and more versatile

After looking at all of these options I still could use some help deciding which of the two options open to me financially, to pick. It would be a lot easier to just sell the motorcycle but after a lifetime of riding I hate to have to stop. Besides, that gives us two options for transportation.

If you are a regular reader please leave a comment with your opinion on what you think we should be looking for.


  1. Hi Charlie, Glad to see your on the mend. I purchased a 20' enclosed trailer for hauling either my Goldwing or my Altima. Can't haul both but for us we are not full timing so we don't need to haul both. We got the enclosed trailer to keep the vehicles protected fully while traveling. If there were a way to drive the goldwing in sideways I could haul both and there may be an option for that if you contact the manufacturer. I bought my trailer from a manufacturer n Georgia at a considerable discount from local providers. The downside to the enclosed trailer is weight. Our Northern Stars are rated only to 6000lbs and without some sort of fix for that, hauling two vehicles would probably exceed the recommended tow limit. Not much help I guess. Price for my trailer came to just over $4800.

  2. Hello Harry,

    I did look at that option but decided against it for the same reasons you just laid out. Man, it's looking more like I need to look at a bumper hitch carrier for the bike. I'm getting older and it is increasingly difficult to throw the weight of a bike around. However, that would sure help with both the weight and storage problem.

    I do appreciate the idea just the same.


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