Extended frame for scooter - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-06-2011, 09:20 AM   #1
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Name: Barrie
Trailer: 13 ft Trillium (sold 1/1/12)
New Brunswick
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Extended frame for scooter

I have been in a number of places where exploring with a connected trailer is not practical. Wouldn't it be nice if I could have a scooter to get around and see more. This past winter I found an old Honda scooter; it's light, easy to load and unload and no problem with towing. I put an extra set of signal lights on the ends of the scooter rack due to the scooter obstructing the stock lights. I shifted my water, spare tire etc. to the front of the trailer to keep my tongue weight around 12%. I also added double propane tanks this spring as well.
Barrie
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:58 PM   #2
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Name: Darnelle
Trailer: 13 ft Scamp
Minnesota
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Thanks for sharing! I'm doing almost the exact thing to carry two recumbent bikes.
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Old 07-10-2011, 03:53 PM   #3
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Trailer: 1975 Trillium 13 ft / 2002 Honda Odyssey
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Barry,

please share all the details of your mod. We have a 150cc vespa scooter and I was wondering about adding a hitch receiver to the rear of our trillium so that we could add a scooter rack to the back and take it along on some trips. Did you do anything to reinforce the frame at the back? is the rack custom or factory? How much does your bike weigh?

thanks for posting

Kevin
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Old 07-10-2011, 04:16 PM   #4
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Name: Barrie
Trailer: 13 ft Trillium (sold 1/1/12)
New Brunswick
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Originally Posted by Kevin Poll View Post
Barry,

please share all the details of your mod. We have a 150cc vespa scooter and I was wondering about adding a hitch receiver to the rear of our trillium so that we could add a scooter rack to the back and take it along on some trips. Did you do anything to reinforce the frame at the back? is the rack custom or factory? How much does your bike weigh?

thanks for posting

Kevin
Hi Kevin,
My C70 Honda Passport weighs 175 lbs. The aluminum rack (crosspiece with detachable ramp) was purchased to fasten to the extended frame. The rear bumper was cut off and 2"x2" square steel tubing was mated to the trailer frame members from the rear axle aft and extending 3 feet beyond the rear of the trailer. This provided enough room to mount the scooter without the handlebars hitting and also enough angle for the ratchet straps. 4 eye hooks were installed to attach the ratchet straps. An extra set of signal lights were added to the ends of the rack and the license plate and license plate light are mounted on a cross member/bumper across the back.
Barrie
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Old 07-12-2011, 12:21 AM   #5
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Trailer: 2006 Scamp 13' towed with a 2005 Dodge Dakota 4.7l Magnum W/full tow package (over kill)
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Originally Posted by Barrie Bochoff View Post
Hi Kevin,
My C70 Honda Passport weighs 175 lbs. The aluminum rack (crosspiece with detachable ramp) was purchased to fasten to the extended frame. The rear bumper was cut off and 2"x2" square steel tubing was mated to the trailer frame members from the rear axle aft and extending 3 feet beyond the rear of the trailer. This provided enough room to mount the scooter without the handlebars hitting and also enough angle for the ratchet straps. 4 eye hooks were installed to attach the ratchet straps. An extra set of signal lights were added to the ends of the rack and the license plate and license plate light are mounted on a cross member/bumper across the back.
Barrie

A small word of caution. You've decreased the speed where uncontrollable sway will occur. Even though you've helped it some by moving weight forward, that's not the total answer to a "balanced" trailer. The best balance is most of the weight over the axle. The added weight on the rear is like a weighted pendulum. When anybody does this they need to be very cautious and keep their speed down. We don't like to see our friends hurt.
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Old 07-12-2011, 05:09 AM   #6
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Name: Barrie
Trailer: 13 ft Trillium (sold 1/1/12)
New Brunswick
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A small word of caution. You've decreased the speed where uncontrollable sway will occur. Even though you've helped it some by moving weight forward, that's not the total answer to a "balanced" trailer. The best balance is most of the weight over the axle. The added weight on the rear is like a weighted pendulum. When anybody does this they need to be very cautious and keep their speed down. We don't like to see our friends hurt.
Hi Byron,
Thanks for your interest and advice.
After 35 years in the trucking business I'm familiar with trailer weight distribution. I have trailer tires and trailer brakes; both necessary for safety. My trailer has a full axle with springs. The springs help focus weight from a wider area to the axle. I prefer to drive at 55 on the highway, when I don't obstruct traffic, more for fuel savings than anything; I typically avoid interstates for the much preferred leisurely paced secondary roads. After the initial fabrication I conducted numerous shakedown drives locally to understand the differences and 'tune' the set up. I have large extended mirrors that permit me to keep a close eye on my trailers behavior. While I believe I have covered my bases I am taking nothing for granted and will respond to any issues that give me cause for concern.
Barrie
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Old 07-14-2011, 02:30 PM   #7
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Trailer: 17 ft Burro (Dance Hall Edition ''The Casbah'')
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Love your install. How do you put the bike on the rack. Muscleing it on and off or do you use a ramp?? I have always wanted to add something like this to my 17ft burro but was concerned about sway having that much weight in the ends.
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:14 PM   #8
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Trailer: 13 ft Trillium (sold 1/1/12)
New Brunswick
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Love your install. How do you put the bike on the rack. Muscleing it on and off or do you use a ramp?? I have always wanted to add something like this to my 17ft burro but was concerned about sway having that much weight in the ends.
Hi Laurie,
Happy to hear you like it.
The aluminum scooter rack came with a detachable ramp. My scooter is fairly light (175 lbs) so I can push it up and down the ramp without too much trouble. I just walked in the door from a 700 mile jaunt exploring parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The scooter mounted trailer behaved itself.
There was a fair bit of planning that went into the frame extension and rack mounting. I started by putting scales under the tongue and hanging weight off the back to simulate the new set up and then experimented with shifting the weight around to achieve the proper balance. My Trillium had no fixed water tank and had previously been a bit tongue heavy. I used to keep my 5 gal. fresh water container and clothes etc towards the rear during travel. To get the right weight transfer I added a dual propane setup to the tongue and put the battery inside one of the front storage compartments. I also moved the 5 gal FW container there. My porta potti is in the other front compartment. My back pack etc now sits on the front couch during travel. Although I prefer to toodle along at 55 to save gas there were times in the last few days when I was on busy highways and had to travel at 65-70 so as not to obstruct traffic and the rig was stable... but burns more gas. Ugh.
Cheers,
Barrie
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:01 AM   #9
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Trailer: 1975 Trillium 13 ft / 2002 Honda Odyssey
Posts: 57
Barry, you said that your trillium has a fixed axle with spring suspension instead of the usual torsion rubber independant suspension. is the frame around the axle original? here's the reason I am curious: the trill frame has a front section and a rear section and they overlap (the back on top of the front )by about 6" with a weld at the axle. when I think of extra weight on the back pushing down on the rear frame this joint stares back at me as a potential weak link. Maybe I am underestimating the strength of a good weld. have you looked close at this to make sure there is no signs of stress there?

I am not criticizing, I am no engineer. I am seriously thinking of this mod and want to take advantage of your experience to ensure I won't build something destined to self destruct the trailer.

where did your spare tire end up?

Kev
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:43 PM   #10
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Trailer: 17 ft Burro (Dance Hall Edition ''The Casbah'')
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Originally Posted by Barrie Bochoff View Post
Hi Laurie,
Happy to hear you like it.
The aluminum scooter rack came with a detachable ramp. My scooter is fairly light (175 lbs) so I can push it up and down the ramp without too much trouble. I just walked in the door from a 700 mile jaunt exploring parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The scooter mounted trailer behaved itself.
There was a fair bit of planning that went into the frame extension and rack mounting. I started by putting scales under the tongue and hanging weight off the back to simulate the new set up and then experimented with shifting the weight around to achieve the proper balance. My Trillium had no fixed water tank and had previously been a bit tongue heavy. I used to keep my 5 gal. fresh water container and clothes etc towards the rear during travel. To get the right weight transfer I added a dual propane setup to the tongue and put the battery inside one of the front storage compartments. I also moved the 5 gal FW container there. My porta potti is in the other front compartment. My back pack etc now sits on the front couch during travel. Although I prefer to toodle along at 55 to save gas there were times in the last few days when I was on busy highways and had to travel at 65-70 so as not to obstruct traffic and the rig was stable... but burns more gas. Ugh.
Cheers,
Barrie
Sounds like it is working out for you Barrie.

I have concerns about doing something like this in my 17ft burro because I had this experience where I was rushing to 'get out of town before sundown' so to speak where I needed to put many of my belongings in very heavy rubber maids and I put them across the back on the bed probably adding at least 150 pounds not to mention the extra weight that was in my subaru forrester and in the burro itself.

And I really thought I might die that day on the highway with the sway it created. I think I was able to drive at 50 before finding a place to repack and redistribute the weight.

So I really would like to do something like this but I'm concerned. I don't know if adding additional weight to the tongue like adding a second deep cycle battery would help? I guess I could go with a scooter that might not be as heavy as your motorcycle.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:47 PM   #11
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Name: Barrie
Trailer: 13 ft Trillium (sold 1/1/12)
New Brunswick
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Hi Kev,
I checked my frame and the rails are single piece square tubing with an 'S' curve rising to the raised rear portion. Thanks for your suggestion to check it. I feel better now.
The spare was carried in my trunk this trip but I'm having a new rack fabricated to mount the spare on the nose just ahead of the propane tanks. It will very slightly reduce my turning radius but not enough to cause me a problem.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:54 PM   #12
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Name: Barrie
Trailer: 13 ft Trillium (sold 1/1/12)
New Brunswick
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Originally Posted by Laurie T View Post
Sounds like it is working out for you Barrie.

I have concerns about doing something like this in my 17ft burro because I had this experience where I was rushing to 'get out of town before sundown' so to speak where I needed to put many of my belongings in very heavy rubber maids and I put them across the back on the bed probably adding at least 150 pounds not to mention the extra weight that was in my subaru forrester and in the burro itself.

And I really thought I might die that day on the highway with the sway it created. I think I was able to drive at 50 before finding a place to repack and redistribute the weight.

So I really would like to do something like this but I'm concerned. I don't know if adding additional weight to the tongue like adding a second deep cycle battery would help? I guess I could go with a scooter that might not be as heavy as your motorcycle.
Hi Laurie,
You're right to be concerned about rushing and weight distribution. I don't rush my preparation. I'm retired from 35 years in the trucking business. Retired gives me the time and the trucking business trained me not to rush safety. I made a number of test drives, resulting in positive changes, before venturing out on a camping trip. I'm careful not to make a change that will affect weight distribution in a meaningful way without first testing it. Unless you are confident you have it right... don't do it. I was prepared to reverse the modifications and walk away from my plan if I couldn't drive with confidence and safety.
Good luck!
Barrie
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:19 PM   #13
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Trailer: 1975 Trillium 13 ft / 2002 Honda Odyssey
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Originally Posted by Barrie Bochoff View Post
Hi Kev,
I checked my frame and the rails are single piece square tubing with an 'S' curve rising to the raised rear portion. Thanks for your suggestion to check it. I feel better now.
The spare was carried in my trunk this trip but I'm having a new rack fabricated to mount the spare on the nose just ahead of the propane tanks. It will very slightly reduce my turning radius but not enough to cause me a problem.
Thanks for checking Barrie,
I guess even though our Trilliums are around the same vintage the frames are very different. i appreciate all the info!
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:24 PM   #14
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Name: Francesca Knowles
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Hi, Barrie

What year is your Trillium?
And can you post some pics of the underside that show the frame?
I'd really like to do something similar to my trailer, but I'm not sure if mine's different from yours, and how that might affect the outcome.

Thanks

Francesca
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