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Old 12-25-2014, 05:41 PM   #1
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Motorcycle Lifts

Has anybody used any of the several brands of motorcycle lifts on the back of their diesel pushers? I'd like to put one on my '01 Journey. Your comments would be appreciated.

Steve
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Old 12-25-2014, 07:24 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by kb9adw View Post
Has anybody used any of the several brands of motorcycle lifts on the back of their diesel pushers? I'd like to put one on my '01 Journey. Your comments would be appreciated.

Steve
Steve,
Well Sir, you're going to get a whole array of answers here. First off, There's a few things that you need to know prior to getting serious here.
1. What's the GVWR of your coach
2. What's the GAWR of the rear axle
3. What's the length of your coach?
4. What kind and size of motorcycle do you plan on hauling

Those are some questions that will help you with determining IF, you should go ahead with your plan. I tell you all this because I've been there, done that, with a coach, fairly similar to yours. As you'll see in the pics below, our coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, was fitted with the "Hydralift" motorcycle lift/carrier.

I did the install. First off, the Hydralift is by far, the most outstanding lift/carrier on the market. It has the least amount of moving parts and, is seriously structurally sound. But, HYDRALIFT products knows all that an prices its lifts accordingly. Brand new, they hover for around $4500 which, does not include taxes, shipping and of course, installation costs.

Now, as stated, I installed it on a 36' rig and, never, repeat NEVER, had any handling issues, no wandering, not ill handling effects what so ever and that lift hovers around 350-375 lbs. and, I was hauling a 2008 Honda GL 1800 Goldwing on it which, hovers around 900 lbs. So, to say the least, I was over taxing the rear of that coach.

But, I never broke anything, damaged anything, never even came close. That rig ran straight and even, right down the road, hauling that bike. If you'd like to know more, PM me and I'd be really happy to help.
Scott



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Old 07-22-2015, 02:33 PM   #3
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Hello Scott,

Thanks for the response! I purchased a 2004 34' Itasca Meridian and installed a lighter, low priced unit that did a good job of hauling my Harley, and no real handling problems except in heavy winds. I did all the calculations and had my unit weighed...was over on the rear axle by only 500 lbs. I had new tires, so not an issue.

I recently traded it in for a 2011 40u Meridian on the Maximus chassis. I was excited to have the bigger coach with the longer wheel base. I had the unit moved over to the new rig, took our first trip and made the mistake of weighing the rig after a fuel stop. 21,700 lbs on my 20,000 lb rear axle. I freaked out as I had very little loaded in my storage compartments. After 10s of call to La Mesa (dealer), Winnebago and Freightliner, I discover that almost all of my storage capacity was used up with their stock unit. I took the bike off and with 280 lb lift empty, the unit still weighed in at 19,800 on the rear axle with just some basic supplies, tools and clothes on board. I also found out that the Winnebago products state a 10,000 lbs hitch, but UNLIKE everyone else in this range, only a 500 lb tongue weight. All other brands are 1/10 of the tow capacity...even the cheap guys. I was concerned with warranty, so stopped using it and went back to my trailer. I also have a huge problem with the heat given off by the engine...cummins 380. After a 500 mile drive across the desert yesterday from CA, I could barely unhook my trailer. Had to,use gloves to touch the hitch etc. not sure if this is normal?


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Old 07-25-2015, 01:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CA puttin View Post
Hello Scott,

Thanks for the response! I purchased a 2004 34' Itasca Meridian and installed a lighter, low priced unit that did a good job of hauling my Harley, and no real handling problems except in heavy winds. I did all the calculations and had my unit weighed...was over on the rear axle by only 500 lbs. I had new tires, so not an issue.

I recently traded it in for a 2011 40u Meridian on the Maximus chassis. I was excited to have the bigger coach with the longer wheel base. I had the unit moved over to the new rig, took our first trip and made the mistake of weighing the rig after a fuel stop. 21,700 lbs on my 20,000 lb rear axle. I freaked out as I had very little loaded in my storage compartments. After 10s of call to La Mesa (dealer), Winnebago and Freightliner, I discover that almost all of my storage capacity was used up with their stock unit. I took the bike off and with 280 lb lift empty, the unit still weighed in at 19,800 on the rear axle with just some basic supplies, tools and clothes on board. I also found out that the Winnebago products state a 10,000 lbs hitch, but UNLIKE everyone else in this range, only a 500 lb tongue weight. All other brands are 1/10 of the tow capacity...even the cheap guys. I was concerned with warranty, so stopped using it and went back to my trailer. I also have a huge problem with the heat given off by the engine...cummins 380. After a 500 mile drive across the desert yesterday from CA, I could barely unhook my trailer. Had to,use gloves to touch the hitch etc. not sure if this is normal?


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Chuck
Hey Chuck,
Sorry for the late reply. In an odd sort of way, you cracked me up. You see, I too was pretty much over the weight limits of the rear axle on our coach when hauling our 900 lb. GL 1800 Goldwing on the Hydralift. I was actually running down the road at 21,500 lbs. on that 17,500 lb. axle. Well, I did it for over 8,000 miles without one issue ever popping up. No handling problems, no wandering, no porpoising, no damage to any portion of the coach and or frame, suspension- ANYTHING!

And, as shown in some of the pics, I did it while towing two different toads, the Jeep as you see in the pics and, an '11 Honda CRV EXL. It's really not recommended to go over weight on any portion of either axle but, as I proved, no one died. The coach rode at the factory set height, whether the lift and bike were on the back, or not.

It's too bad that the air heads at the factory use up all the available "extra" carrying capability when they build the box onto the frame. Sure makes it hard for us "end users" to accommodate ourselves with STUFF!
Scott
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:18 AM   #5
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Yes it amazes me that they can build a product too heavy and still tell you that you have a 3000 lb storage capacity. If I hadn't weighed my unit, which many don't, I would never know.
After reading everyone's post and seeing your pictures, I decided to contact hydra lift and a local welder. Long story short they explained how the unit is connected to the frame versus the hitch and sits up much higher on the back of the coach, this clearing the engine heat. I had to fly out of town Saturday night, so I dropped it off on Friday to have the install done next week. I am returning on Friday and we leave on Tuesday for Helena and glacier np. A 2700 mile test, so looking forward to it. We drove the unit with the other lift for a total of 4000 miles and no big issues, so hoping the new unit will work a lot better.




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Old 07-26-2015, 10:22 AM   #6
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Btw, how do you like the jeep? Much trouble on hills or fuel mileage?


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Old 07-26-2015, 10:35 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Hey Chuck,
Sorry for the late reply. In an odd sort of way, you cracked me up. You see, I too was pretty much over the weight limits of the rear axle on our coach when hauling our 900 lb. GL 1800 Goldwing on the Hydralift. I was actually running down the road at 21,500 lbs. on that 17,500 lb. axle. Well, I did it for over 8,000 miles without one issue ever popping up. No handling problems, no wandering, no porpoising, no damage to any portion of the coach and or frame, suspension- ANYTHING!

And, as shown in some of the pics, I did it while towing two different toads, the Jeep as you see in the pics and, an '11 Honda CRV EXL. It's really not recommended to go over weight on any portion of either axle but, as I proved, no one died. The coach rode at the factory set height, whether the lift and bike were on the back, or not.

It's too bad that the air heads at the factory use up all the available "extra" carrying capability when they build the box onto the frame. Sure makes it hard for us "end users" to accommodate ourselves with STUFF!
Scott
Looking at 35 FW Bounder and want to know about trike towing or rig platform attachment.
Have seen 2 wheel MC's on back platform, but no trikes. Any ideas??
Am also looking at IronHorse Pod fully enclosed tow behind for trike (minimize road damage and debris), but not sure about those either since they are really light and concerned about possible wind impact.
Any suggestions well appreciated.
Be Blessed.
Laurie and Gerry
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Old 07-26-2015, 12:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CA puttin View Post
Yes it amazes me that they can build a product too heavy and still tell you that you have a 3000 lb storage capacity. If I hadn't weighed my unit, which many don't, I would never know.
After reading everyone's post and seeing your pictures, I decided to contact hydra lift and a local welder. Long story short they explained how the unit is connected to the frame versus the hitch and sits up much higher on the back of the coach, this clearing the engine heat. I had to fly out of town Saturday night, so I dropped it off on Friday to have the install done next week. I am returning on Friday and we leave on Tuesday for Helena and glacier np. A 2700 mile test, so looking forward to it. We drove the unit with the other lift for a total of 4000 miles and no big issues, so hoping the new unit will work a lot better.
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Chuck
Chuck,
I could write you a small novel about the mounting of the Hydralift and, all the considerations that are needed to take place. Many of them concerned the fact that I was carrying a WIDE Honda GL 1800 Goldwing. So, I had to think about lift arm angles and valve cover clearance and more. Harleys are not nearly as wide in the lower section so, the critical clearance between the Hydralift lift arms and the motor clearance is not too bad.

One more thing, since I do all my own coach maintenance, and, that coach obviously is a rear radiator diesel pusher, I knew that, that lift would be a hindrance when maintenance would come around. So, I had a quick release hydraulic fitting installed in the hydraulic line between the lift and the pump. I also installed a "Weather pak" triple sealed weather proof electrical plug in the electric line from the lift to the pump.

Now, also, I did not want the lift WELDED to the coach frame. I did not want a PERMANENT MOUNTING SYSTEM. So, I simply removed the factory 10,000 trailer hitch and, utilized the same holes, in the lower section of the frame, to mount my steel, 4"x6"x1/2" thick x 48" long pieces of angle iron that I used to weld to the factory supplied cradles, for the Hydralift. That was the only welding I did, to mount the system. But, it was completely removable and, the factory hitch could be re-mounted if and when, the Hydralift would be removed permanently.

Now, since the Hydralift comes with it's own receiver, removing the factory hitch had no consequences. But, above I mentioned that I do all my own maintenance. Well, there are also times that, the bike would not be needed on a trip or, place we're intending on going. So, I simply would remove that lift and, install a receiver that I designed and built that would sit in the cradles that the Hydralift sat in. That whole process of removing the Hydralift and installing the receiver adapter, would take me a whopping 8 minutes.

Did it quite a few times and that's how I know how long it would and should take. And, the lift would come off the coach for the larger maintenance periods.

So, that's how I took care of that situation.



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Originally Posted by CA puttin View Post
Btw, how do you like the jeep? Much trouble on hills or fuel mileage?
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Chuck
Chuck,
First off, we don't have the Jeep anymore. It's been gone for a couple of years now. That was the 7th Jeep we've towed. We were avid Jeepers for well over 25 years. We did the Moab Easter Jeep Safari for 14 years in a row. We've Jeeped in Moab, Ouray/Silverton Colorado, Three Peaks State Park in Cedar City UT, One of the grand trails-the well known "Rubicon trail in northern CA/NV, North Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains NV, and of course, near our home (at the time) the Anza Boreggo Desert a few zillion times. Jeeping was a ton of fun. We conquered every rut, crevasse, obstacle, hill, rock, river bed, trail in the western hemisphere.
I love exploring. But, we grew tired of it after doing it for so many years. So, we sold the Rubicon and the Hydralift and, now we tow a 2011 GMC Sierra 1500 Extended Cab and, haul the bike in the back of it with the use of a "Rampage" lift/carrier. It works flawless.

As for the fuel mileage on the coach with the Jeep in tow, it's the same with or without the Jeep or, any toad we've towed. I get around 7-8 mpg, no matter what speed, hill, flat ground and more. As for power, that coach, an '04 Itasca Horizon, 36GD with the C-7 330HP CAT, has OK power. It's not a rocket ship by any means. It does quite well on flat and mild grades. But let it see a 7% one or so, and it slows down pretty good.


Quote:
Originally Posted by VetNomadsx2 View Post
Looking at 35 FW Bounder and want to know about trike towing or rig platform attachment.
Have seen 2 wheel MC's on back platform, but no trikes. Any ideas??
Am also looking at IronHorse Pod fully enclosed tow behind for trike (minimize road damage and debris), but not sure about those either since they are really light and concerned about possible wind impact.
Any suggestions well appreciated.
Be Blessed.
Laurie and Gerry
Laurie and Gerry,
If the 35' Fleetwood Bounder is what I think it is, a gas unit, I'd shy away from any heavy duty lift, of any brand, for the rear of it. The coach we had prior to this one, was a '99 Fleetwood Bounder, 34V F-53 Chassis and, the 275 HP V-10 with a Banks kit. The coach did OK, for the most part. We towed several different Jeeps with it, from San Diego to Moab for the Easter Jeep Safari. It slowed down quite a bit on some of those grades between San Diego and Moab. A well built coach though. We really liked it.

As for hauling a trike, well, if you really like the potential Bounder, I'd maybe think of dolly that will hold the trike in the front end and, still be able to haul a small toad too. Just an idea.
Scott
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Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:41 PM   #9
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Scott,


I must say that I am impressed with your skill set. I assisted a local welder to install the old lift on our new coach and it was a lot of work! I however do like the idea of being able to remove it whenever you want, especially if it doesn't reduce the strength and stability of the lift. I will call the installers in the am to see if that is possible on my frame. Also, thanks for the information on the jeep. I have been fighting the towing thing, but I think that the wife is going to win, so I plan to make it a fun toad. We have two BMWs, neither of which can be towed, even though one is a standard. Due to cost of the lift, I also considered buying a PU and carrying the bike, but I am back to flat towing an even larger vehicle. In the SF bay area and phoenix area, we have a lot of hills and I thought that it would be a heavy haul on our 380 Cummins. This is when you wish that you had one of those 500 hp coaches...on well next time-NOT!
thanks.
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