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Old 11-16-2016, 06:50 PM   #1
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Hauling Dual Sport front or rear?

As our build continues I am trying to figure the best way to haul my dual sport moto. Ideally I would ride it everywhere, but my wife is saying that that will simply not happen...SO here I am trying to figure out the best way to take my toy with me. I have a 2006 350 EB van 4" ujoint lift and a big heavy steel rear bumper. Yes my hitch is rated to carry the weight and yes I am comfortable with both trailers and hitch mounted solutions.

I have thought a bunch about it and here are the things I am considering and a brief pros and cons list I have come up with for each.

Rear carry Trailer: Cons: can't open the doors with in loaded, can be a pain in the ass on certain trails, and parking lots. Greatest expense.Pros quick and easy, no worries on weight on back of vehicle.

Rear carry hitch mount: Cons: the big heavy bumper I have as well as the distance behind the rear axle makes me leery of adding another 400lbs back there, not to mention my departure angle is already crap. Pros: up out of the way, opposite of cons for front carry.

Front hitch carry: Cons: block driving lights, blocking air intake, loss of some vision, cops might want to say hello for sight concerns. Pros: not on the back, basically the opposite of all of the cons of the rear carry

Additional thoughts: if front or rear hitch , mount should I use add a leaf system to help beef up the stability (my rig already seems to bounce a fair bit), I am planning on cutting hood louvers to help with heat regardless.

Really any input (constructive) is greatly appreciated. Eventually we are planning in traveling full time in this and I would really like to take the bike with us, so solutions to my dilemma would be awesome.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-16-2016, 09:38 PM   #2
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I have an RB but have used both front and rear hitch mount and a lightweight trailer. My bikes weigh 250 lb and 300 lb.

Rear Hitch mount
Better gas mileage .. Same as no bike
Van handles better and accelerates better than trailer
More hassle to mount and dismount bike
Only works for solo trips ... Blocking rear door is problem with additional gear
Concerned on rough roads.. Bike moves around

Trailer
Carries lots of stuff including both bikes
Cautious about needing turnaround space
Works well on rough roads
CAN open rear doors ... Easy access (mine may have an extra long tongue)
Drops about 1 to 1.5 mpg

Front mount is non- starter due to blocking headlights

Your results may vary!!
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Old 11-17-2016, 01:28 AM   #3
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I'd say either position, whichever makes that particular trip easiest.
Btw, what bike?
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Old 11-17-2016, 06:10 AM   #4
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Dhally- Thanks for the input, I think I will measure the bike and see how the headlights will be obstructed. I really do wonder about the flopping around on rough roads. Ive had my mountain bikes violently shift around and it scares the hell out of me. A bit leery about a heavy beast on there! However, I haven't heard of many times that a well built hitch mount has failed.

Bbasso- Yeah I hear you, for short trips on the high way I guess it is not really a concern. I am thinking more of when the wife and I are long term traveling, and covering a bunch of miles, both on hard ball and dirt. The bike is a Suzuki DR650. (and yes it's a toss up as to which I like better the van or the moto!)
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Old 11-17-2016, 07:47 AM   #5
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Do you know your current axle weights? What rear axle do you have?

The end with more remaining payload is probably a good place to start, but keep in mind the EB van will early double the hitch weight on the rear axle (while unloading the front). The front axle will only see about 1.3x the hitch weight.

If you have a semi-float rear end, that alone may make hauling on the back a no-go. I prefer hauling on the back because I have more rear axle payload usually, and my rear hitch is quite a bit higher than my front hitch. I do haul bikes up front too. It's a lot easier to load. But beside the payload issue, I seem to have a lot of near misses with deer. And do hit them semi-regularly, so that's another reason I prefer hanging it off the back.
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:21 AM   #6
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carringb here is the info from the axle: FORD Model 60/248 REAR 2005 - 2008 E-350 SRW - SEMI FLOAT - HD W/ABS, looks like the GVWR is 5500, now to figure out what that really means.
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Old 11-17-2016, 10:30 AM   #7
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Check your weights. I liked it on the front but it put me over weight on the front axle. On the rear I was still way under on the gross of the rear axle.
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Old 11-17-2016, 12:02 PM   #8
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What is the RAWR on your door placard say? For an E350, it should say 6080 pounds.

5520 pounds is the limit for an E250.

The E350 semi-float axle is rated for 6340 lbs. It doesn't take well to overloading. Over course, there's always tire limits as well (that's where the 6080 number comes from, on stock 245 tires).
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Old 11-17-2016, 02:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb View Post
What is the RAWR on your door placard say? For an E350, it should say 6080 pounds.

5520 pounds is the limit for an E250.

The E350 semi-float axle is rated for 6340 lbs. It doesn't take well to overloading. Over course, there's always tire limits as well (that's where the 6080 number comes from, on stock 245 tires).
Thanks man it is 6084 for the rear. I am running 285/75/16 tires
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Old 11-17-2016, 04:13 PM   #10
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OK. Assuming they are Load Range D, they are good for 3,300 each under max inflation. But you still have that lower 6,340 limit for the axle itself. The springs are rated for 6200 pounds, and you might want something to supplement them if for no other reason than keeping your headlights aimed.

But definitely weight the van normally loaded up, as if you were heading on a trip, to see if you have enough leftover capacity for that much hitch weight. Or just bite the bullet and swap it out for a full float
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