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Hitch or Tongue mod to carry dirt bike?

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Colorado_Jeff View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Colorado_Jeff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Hitch or Tongue mod to carry dirt bike?
    Posted: 09 Feb 2019 at 2:25pm
Hi all,

I'm researching the modifications I'll need for an upcoming R-pod 179 purchase and need some input on weight distribution. I've got a 300 lb. dirt bike and I'd like to build a tray mount on the tongue (by moving tanks/batteries slightly) or using a hitch carrier tray. TV will be Toyota Tacoma V6 w/ tow package (6500lb/650 tongue weight).

If I mounted on the rear hitch, I'd have an experienced welding shop rebuild/modify the 2" hitch receiver. If there's enough room, I'd prefer to mount the bike to the tongue like the attached photo. I'm fairly sure the fresh tanks are behind the axle on the 179 so was hoping that keeping these fairly full, I would offset a huge increase in tongue weight. Can anyone chime in on various weight distributions and their effect on trailer handling at speed? Does anyone have experience with mounting a dirt bike to the R-Pod? Thanks!



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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2019 at 3:02pm
I have a 179 and have made up a spreadsheet to calculate tongue weight with changes in loads and load locations. If you place a 300 lb bike where the batteries are now it will add 230 lbs to the tongue weight. Plus the increase from moving battery(ies) and propane tank(s) forward. 

Also, are you really tanking about plural (2) batteries and (2) propane cylinders? I'm at about 550 lbs on the tongue now with two golf cart batteries and one cylinder, plus a full fresh water tank which is well in front of the axle in a 179. If you do all that and add the bike you'll be around 800 lbs on the tongue, way over what your tow vehicle can handle and likely over what the trailer A frame can handle as well.

If you travel with the water tanks empty and just one battery and cylinder you might be just within your 650 lb tongue weight limit, but I doubt you can fit the bike, battery, and cylinder on the tongue unless you put the battery under the cylinder or something else that saved you space. 

You could put the bike on the rear but then your tongue weight will be down around 200 lbs (too low to avoid sway risk) and  that's before you put any water in your gray tank, which is behind the axle. You would also need to be concerned about overloading the trailer axle which is near its limits on a full 179 already. 

Personally I would advise against putting the bike on the pod. Couldn't you tie it down in the truck bed instead, as far forward as possible to reduce rear axle load? 
2015 Rpod 179
2012 Toyota Highlander
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furpod View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote furpod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2019 at 4:12pm
The R-Pods frame is not made to carry that much weight there. If you add 350 pounds for bike and mount, then fill the tanks to try to balance, you will be very short on cargo capacity. very short. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Motor7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2019 at 7:00am
I want to carry a bike too, but OffGrid is right, that's too much weight on the tongue or on the rear even if modified by a welder. I know it's more work and it takes up more valuable space, but I think we are going to have to put our bikes in the bed of the truck. 

Another option is an E-bike(I know, it's not the same as a dirt bike), but it might just satisfy the 2 wheel urges?  



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geewizard View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote geewizard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2019 at 9:59am
I carry my trials bike and my wife's dirt bike in the truck bed.  I'm assuming you have some reason to do otherwise.

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Colorado_Jeff View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Colorado_Jeff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2019 at 2:42pm
Hi guys,

Thanks so much for the replies and insight. Yeah, the problem I've got is a short bed pickup...putting a dirt bike in there with the tailgate closed is not really in the cards. I've heard of people replacing the TT axle with a beefier one, but probably don't want to go that far for a solution here. I haven't done all my research regarding batteries, tanks and their respective weights but was hoping for at least 2 batts/one tank.  I'll go back to the drawing board and see what I can do. 

OffGrid, I'd love to create a similar speadsheet to get a better picture of how everything is balancing. Is there an easy way to get a copy? Also, are there existing charts that will tell me the ideal tongue weight (based on total TT loaded weight) to prevent sway problems?
Cheers! -Jeff
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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2019 at 2:54pm
Originally posted by Colorado_Jeff


OffGrid, I'd love to create a similar speadsheet to get a better picture of how everything is balancing. Is there an easy way to get a copy? Also, are there existing charts that will tell me the ideal tongue weight (based on total TT loaded weight) to prevent sway problems?
Cheers! -Jeff

If you PM me with your email I can send you my spreadsheet. 

There aren't any charts on loading to prevent sway that I've ever seen, its a pretty complex dynamic process to model. The general rule of thumb for acceptable minimum tongue weight for all types of trailers is about 10% of total trailer weight. There is a thread on the forum you can do a search for from a few months back looking for actual cases of sway in rPods. That resulted in me concluding that I don't personally want to go below about 11%. 

You will most likely want a weight distribution hitch and antisway system for your rig in any case, the question is, do you want to depend on that system or have a rig that is inherently resistant to sway without it. 
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2012 Toyota Highlander
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Our pod View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Our pod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2019 at 4:00pm
Have you considered welding a receiver at the front of your truck? Might work for one bike, but maybe not both. Put your wife's bike on front in case you rear end another vehicle.
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offgrid View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote offgrid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2019 at 4:28pm
Originally posted by Our pod

Have you considered welding a receiver at the front of your truck?

From a weight and balance perspective that's probably the best idea yet. The TV truck axle gets unloaded when towing (which is largely what a weight distribution hitch is trying to fix) and putting the bike on the front would help with that, assuming it didn't block visibility or headlights. 

Try this calculator to see what the effects would be:


You'll need to put in your Taco's dimensions and specs. The 179 axle to ball dimension is 157 inches, trailer GVWR is about 3785 and GAWR is 3500 lbs. For reference,  my 179 is about 550 on the tongue and 3700 total with one full propane cylinder, dual golf cart batteries, a full fresh water tank, empty gray and black tanks, and a realistic amount of supplies and gear.  

A typical wdh bar length is 30 inches. You can adjust the tension on the wdh in the calculator and see if you can keep both TV axles comfortably within spec. 
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2012 Toyota Highlander
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Motor7 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2019 at 7:25pm
You will have to get creative with a short bed. A ramp in the bed will allow you to put the bike in 'nose up' above the cab. Removing the tailgate and adding a sheet of plywood the minimum length of the wheel base is another. If you go the ply route, you can affix some HF motorcycle wheel chocks to the ply so when you pull the sheet out, the chocks go with it. Or, one bike goes diagonal in the bed.........
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