Towing a utility trailer

  1. jlrocks

    jlrocks Well-Known Member

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  2. robaw

    robaw Well-Known Member

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    Don't know about e-bikes, but for my motorcycle I just use ratcheting tie-downs and keep them as snug as possible to prevent tipping.
     
  3. digitalbliss

    digitalbliss Well-Known Member

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    Considering the payload capacity of the trailer is 1650 lbs, I don't think there is really any worry of exceeding the Jeep's tow capacity...
     
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  4. PowerGuy

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    I would consider a wooden floor, the mesh flooring can be weak, the welds are not that good. I’ve replaced the mesh floor on my small trailer after only two years and I only hauled lawnmowers and yard equipment..
     
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  5. digitalbliss

    digitalbliss Well-Known Member

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    I would also pick a trailer with a 2" coupler.
     
  6. robaw

    robaw Well-Known Member

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    @RussJeep1 has plenty of sound advice as usual! However - the OP didn't actually state if there is already a tow package installed or not.
     
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  7. BWWJL

    BWWJL Well-Known Member

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    Seems like overkill for 2 e-bikes? There has to be a lighter / easier to store solution unless you want a utility trailer as well.

    Here’s a smaller/cheaper option.
    https://m.harborfreight.com/1090-lbs-capacity-40-12-in-x-48-in-utility-trailer-62645.html
     
  8. XJ-99

    XJ-99 Well-Known Member

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    Watch some trailer safety videos on Youtube. There are plenty of them and very informative.

    Here's one concerning just safety chains.

     
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  9. nerubi

    nerubi Well-Known Member

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    As long as it is a JLU. JL is 2,000 pounds.
     
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  10. ormandj

    ormandj Well-Known Member

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    Also remember tongue weight. You need to properly place the load on the trailer to distribute the weight appropriately.

    This is what happens when it's incorrect:

    60/40 split in front of and behind the trailer axle is ideal. See this video:
     
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  11. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Well-Known Member

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    #15 Jan 18, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
    I don't know the specifics so am basically shooting from the hip here... The wheels look too far back and the ramp too short to be a good bike trailer. I also don't like the mesh grating. You are going to get a boatload of flex going on with two bikes tied down to that and the mesh adds zero rigidity, though the upper rail might?

    With the wheels so far back you'll have a lot of weight on the tongue. I don't know what e-bikes weigh so I don't know if it'd be an issue or not. For reference we used to load bikes so the engines were just in front of the trailer axle. I also don't know how high off the ground the deck is, but with a short ramp you might have issues with high centering the bike(s) when trying to load and unload them. Then again, looking at the other photos in the ad the ramp likely isn't an issue.

    I don't use utility trailers and tie downs these days but I used to use a 4x8 utility trailer with a plywood base and front wheel chocks most all the time. I think the record was roughly $40k worth of bikes on a $150 trailer... we were young and stupid. Anyway, four tie downs - two on the front and two on the back. Yes I've had tie downs fail but never lost a bike because redundancy is your friend.

    If you've never towed I'm going to guess you've never tied a bike down to a trailer before either. Ask someone to show you how. A lot of newbies want to secure the bike on the side sidestand. Don't do that. No side or centerstands involved - front wheel into the chock (lots of guys don't use them but they're cheap insurance IMHO) and tie downs do the rest. Get some "soft ties" too. Google it. Lots of guys swear by ratcheting straps, I only use those on cars, the hand tensioned straps work fine on bikes. Just personal preference there - you don't have to reef them down THAT hard. Leave some travel in the forks.

    What else do you need? I'd guess:

    *Receiver that drops the ball down a few inches to keep the trailer level.
    *4x8 sheet of plywood for a better base to bolt stuff to
    *2 front wheel chocks to bolt to the plywood/trailer and hold the bikes in position. You may not want them all the way forward. And/or you may not want both bikes in the same positon, moving one further forward may ease trying to find space for the bars/mirrors/etc.
    *4 "soft ties" per bike, just in case. You can never have too many soft ties available.
    *4 tie down straps per bike. You can never have too many tie down straps available
    *Numerous eye bolts to put around the perimieter of the trailer and give you somewhere to attach the end of the tie downs. You can never have too many locations to attach tie downs to the trailer.

    Depending on access to the front end, you may want a "canyon dancer" for the bars. It's a harness that straddles both grips and gives you somewhere to attach a tiedown. They can damage bikes (typically by tweaking the throttle housing) but some times there is no other choice aside from removing bodywork to get a good place for the tie downs. You just have to be careful when using them and you'll still have to deal with grips being moved.

    I have been known to bolt blocks onto the platform to keep the rear wheels from walking sideways in transit. If you can angle the straps out this isn't an issue, but if the rear straps go pretty much straight forward and the bikes are close together... one more cheap insurance item. Chocks and blocks keep things from moving sideways or the bars from turning. Tie downs pull the bike forward into the chocks. I never run straps that pull the bike backwards...

    All of THAT said... some guys will take a trailer like that, run two bikes up into the front rail, take two ties downs for each bike and clip them on the bars, tighen them down, and motor. Those guys scare me but it works for them. Usually.
     
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