An Introduction to Motorcycle Tent Trailers

Motorcycle tent trailers are gaining in popularity with motorcycle enthusiasts with every passing year. This is a result of many "Baby Boomers" adopting the motorcycle touring lifestyle, and with advances in manufacturing technology in recent years. These two factors have combined to spawn the growth of a very large niche industry. While traveling long distance by motorcycle can be a great experience, there are two major inconveniences of this method of travel. First, there's little space for packing items to bring on your trip, and it can be very difficult to try and fit everything into a backpack and some saddle bags. Secondly, staying in hotels can be expensive, and camping is not for everyone. In fact, a lot of the fun of camping can be overshadowed by the pain of packing, setting up camp, setting up tarps, and blowing up mattresses. A motorcycle tent trailers offer a solution to both of these problems and makes traveling long distance on a bike much more comfortable. They are easy to set up, (set-up only takes a few minutes) and are much more comfortable than sleeping in a tent on the ground. Believe it or not, depending on the make and model, motorcycle camper trailers can sleep up to six people, and carry 200 lbs of additional cargo. (If you're interested in seeing a demonstration of a Click Here).

So, if you love touring on your motorcycle, but don't love the idea of staying in motels or packing and setting up a lot of camping gear and with sleeping on the ground, motorcycle campers may be right up your alley. One of the best things about driving a motorcycle is the maneuverability. However, once you attach a camping trailer handling the bike becomes a lot tougher. Hauling the extra weight is pretty tricky until you get the hang of it, and it's important to exercise caution while you're learning. In fact, motorcycle manufacturers do not recommend that trailers be towed by their motorcycles because of the increased safety hazards. So keep in mind, that all towing is done at your own risk. If you're new to towing a trailer behind a motorcycle the following tips should help speed up the learning curve:

  1. Choose the right type of coupling (trailer hitch). You want something that is non-slip, non-loosening and non-binding. It should be easy to hook-up and un-hook, and should also be free moving.
  2. Test the trailer brake and turn lights to ensure they are working.
  3. Check the tire pressure to ensure that they are filled to the manufacturer's recommendations to reduce swaying or bouncing.
  4. Be sure to balance the load. Too much weight at the front of the trailer will make the front of the motorcycle lighter and could lift the front wheel of the ground. Too much weight at the back, and the back of the bike will seem lighter making it difficult to maneuver.
  5. Check the trailer manual to find out the recommended tongue weight for your specific model.
  6. Once connected, ensure that the tongue is parallel to the ground.
    1. Check the tongue weight by placing a scale underneath the trailer tongue prior to hitching.
    2. A great tip that Bob Woofter recommends in his book Motorcycle Camping Made Easy is to rest the trailer tongue on a vertical 2x4 cut to a length that will allow the trailer to sit level. This will allow you to adjust the load appropriately while validating the tongue weight at the same time.
  7. Practice by pulling your trailer on short, easy trips until you get the hang of it.
  8. Go slow and employ advance braking techniques
  9. Ride as close to the center of the road until you get used to the width of the trailer.
  10. Watch for uneven road surfaces and road edges which can unbalance motorcycle tent trailers causing instability

Motorcycle Pop Up Camper Set Up

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