Transporting Bikes in a Cargo Trailer- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Transporting Bikes in a Cargo Trailer

    So I'm planning a ski/bike road trip with the family next month that will have stops in Mammoth, Vegas, and St George. I'm planning on bringing all of our gear, but there just isn't the space in/on my Subaru for us. Additionally, I don't want to spend two weeks driving around with $12,000 worth of skis and bikes on my car, elevating my stress level to 11.

    So, who has experience with this situation? My thought is to rent a Uhaul cargo trailer. Or, possibly buy something cooler. Potential issues are parking, driving 75mph with a crappy trailer on the back of the car, and towing in a potential blizzard.

    I'd love to hear your suggestions!

  2. #2
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    Just drove through Mammoth in a 4Runner and it was dicey without a trailer!

    Plus without a trailer Indont know what you’d do with your bikes while your skiing. Surely you wouldn’t leave them in a hotel room. Not that MTBs are resistant to rain, but they’ll get pretty soaked from road moisture on the snow.

    I think I would one or the other but not both at the same time. Ski and ride that is.

  3. #3
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    We pull a 4x8 cheapo harbor freight trailer for camp gear, but can put bikes in it if needed. I built it out with plywood and a hinge up front. Works great, you can lock it up. Its not as secure as some would like, but better than leaving them on the rig imo.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyAsheville View Post
    Just drove through Mammoth in a 4Runner and it was dicey without a trailer!

    Plus without a trailer Indont know what you’d do with your bikes while your skiing. Surely you wouldn’t leave them in a hotel room. Not that MTBs are resistant to rain, but they’ll get pretty soaked from road moisture on the snow.

    I think I would one or the other but not both at the same time. Ski and ride that is.
    I bring bikes in hotel rooms all the time. As long as you don't track mud down the hallway or do greasy maintenance inside the room, they don't care.

  5. #5
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    What I meant was, nothing is secure in a motel room if it is unattended. Like if you’re out skiing

  6. #6
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    Ahh gotcha.
    I try not to stay in shady motels, never had anything stolen from a room while I'm working. I also leave the do not disturb on so housekeepers stay out.

  7. #7
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    I haven't made a major habit of taking bikes into hotels, but I've definitely done it. Funnest was when my wife and I kept our mtb's in the Luxor in Vegas. I've never had theft issues in hotels, either.

    Regarding using a cargo trailer for bikes, I know people who do it. Friend of mine has a mtb skills coaching company. She pulls a double axle cargo trailer behind her Class C RV, and she keeps bikes, tools, and everything she needs to set up a skills clinic inside it. She has hanging hooks mounted on the side walls of the trailer to hold bikes. Toolbox is mounted in the front, and that leaves room for her to load everything else. A subaru won't be pulling that thing, though.

    I do have a small teardrop/squaredrop camper that I pull with my Crosstrek. Loaded up, it's as heavy as I'd want to pull with that car. No way you're driving 75mph consistently. First off, it's going to HURT fuel economy. The faster you go, the worse you will get. Usually average about 30mpg in the Crosstrek, but pulling the camper, that drops to 19mpg if I keep my speeds in the 60-65 range. I'd only get up to 75 on long descents. Pulling up mtns at that kind of speed is not nice to the transmission, either. And further, trailer brakes and a brake controller are smart to have, ESPECIALLY if sketchy driving conditions are a possibility. The surge brakes on uhauls might fulfill a minimum requirement, but you can't exactly "use" them to pull the trailer out of a slide.

    If you go the small trailer route, you might be able to fit what you need into a smaller trailer that hits fuel economy less, but I'd want to have a reliable method to keep the bikes from rattling around back there. A lightly loaded cargo trailer is going to be bouncy AF. Maybe a couple pieces of wood with fork mounts and some ratchet straps for backup securing?

  8. #8
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    After a lifetime in police work, I think I am overly sensitized to these things! I won’t even go down to breakfast with out packing my laptop, etc!

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all of the advice, folks. I have elected to skip the skiing portion of this trip as it's just too hard. Vegas and St George riding, here I come!

  10. #10
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    Good choice!

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