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...is this safe...or even legal ?

Discussion in 'Suspension' started by daddyfarlessa, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Jun 5, 2010 at 2:20 PM
    #1
    daddyfarlessa

    daddyfarlessa [OP] Active Member

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    I just joined the site yesterday...for a brief profile of my 'set-up', look on 6/4/10......Of everything I'm utilizing, I think the front mounted scooter carrier was the most interesting...my goal was to be able to transport two (Vespa-like) scooters on my Tacoma without using the bed...I inquired about a dual carrier on the rear, but the tongue weight became an issue when I wanted to tow my small tent trailer behind the scooters...as a last resort I researched the front mounted 'hidden hitch'.

    I purchased one over the net (designed specifically for my model/year)...and also bought a carrier...so the day came to try it out...I rolled my Yamaha 'Razz' up the ramp & secured w/ratcheted tie downs...the first problem arose when trying to enter an elevated driveway...the bottom of the carrier contacted the pavement...a subsequent purchase of a 8" drop hitch (used in the reverse position) solved this issue.

    Now the story enters a different realm...one of 'mind over matter'...the carrier extends almost 3 feet in front of the bumper...the scooter is small enough that visibility over the top was clear...the main issue was one of sheer fright...the mental image of hitting a large pot-hole or a 2 X 4 in the road...having the whole unit break free of the vehicle...then driving over the scooter, losing control of my Tacoma, then crashing...this mental image was hard to 'shake off'.

    But, so far, everything has been ok...there was some free-play where the carrier support tube fits into the receiver...but I purchased a simple device which aleviates this. I initially drove around my town on some surface streets...slowly increased my speed...then eventually tried the freeway.

    I've had friends ask me..."Is that thing legal ?" ...actually, I was at a loss for words...I really didn't know...I contacted the CHP...the guy initially sounded negative and was implying 'no' to the legality of it...I said "Are you positive ?" ...he took my cell # & said he'd call me back...when he called back, his 'tune' had changed...he had researched the actual law and informed me of the criteria I'd have to meet for it to be considered legal...I passed on all accounts.

    So, if I was to pose a question here, it would be: is the frame of my truck strong enough to handle such a load? My girlfriend has doubts...that's why I joined this forum in the first place...hopefully to reassure her. She also has doubts as regards to the 2.4 L engine having enough power to handle the load of all the extra weight (2 scooters, 2 kayaks, tent trailer, camping gear in bed).

    As far as the engine size goes, I'm a little skeptical myself as well; keep in mind though, that all the aformentioned 'extra weight' items are all relatively the smallest and lightest examples of each in their respective categories. One thing I have considered is to possibly purchase a 6 cylinder Tacoma to replace my present 4 cylinder...I believe all of my accessories (collapsible truck shell, hidden hitch, etc.) will all fit on the 6 cylinder model, because in essence, the frame/body is the same as the 4 cylinder.

    I've researched camping on BLM property...I prefer this over customary campsites...BLM campsites are more secluded...in many instances, harder to reach as well with a large RV or truck...I believe a smaller set-up like I'm designing will be able to reach more 'out of the way' options.

    My Lees-ure-lite 'Excel' tentrailer has an additional 'add-a-room' which connects to one side; in this I have a flushable porta-potty, a hot water shower, a sink set 'flush' inside a plastic shelving unit, extra storage space. On the opposite side of the tentrailer is an awning which connects to the tent. I have a 100 qt. ice chest which lasts for 5 days. I have 3 jerry cans for water. I'm more/less self contained for up to 5 days at a time.
     
  2. Jun 5, 2010 at 2:28 PM
    #2
    pudge151

    pudge151 Well-Known Member

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    you lost me at scooter
     
  3. Jun 5, 2010 at 2:33 PM
    #3
    Scarab21

    Scarab21 Well-Known Member

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  4. Jun 5, 2010 at 2:36 PM
    #4
    tigerfan00

    tigerfan00 BECAUSE INTERNETS!! Thor

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    why are you guys giving him crap?

    he came here with a specific goal (regardless of what you think), wants to achieve this goal while staying within the law...and where better to come for answers than an enthusiast web forum
     
  5. Jun 5, 2010 at 2:49 PM
    #5
    paintdiddy

    paintdiddy Machine gun shits

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    hey post some pics so we can see how it looks
     
  6. Jun 5, 2010 at 3:17 PM
    #6
    tinker_troy

    tinker_troy I feel so Devo

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    yes pics please

    I would think you could put one scooter in the bed and one on the front and be ok. Two on the front just sounds dangerous.
     
  7. Jun 5, 2010 at 3:20 PM
    #7
    paintdiddy

    paintdiddy Machine gun shits

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    i wouldnt want it on front. they make those racks for a quad.im sure a quad is heavier and wider than 2 scooters.
     
  8. Jun 5, 2010 at 3:22 PM
    #8
    BEEFY_CHEESY_TACO

    BEEFY_CHEESY_TACO DUDE MAN BRO

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    ive seen people put dirtbikes on a mount on top of tent trailers before, just drove them up with a ramp and strapped them down..... thats what i would try, dont think i would care for a "scooter bumper"
     
  9. Jun 5, 2010 at 3:22 PM
    #9
    tinker_troy

    tinker_troy I feel so Devo

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    oh my bad, I misread... he only has the little scooter on the front

    my concern would be blocking air flow to the radiator or blocking the lights
     
  10. Jun 5, 2010 at 3:24 PM
    #10
    luk8272

    luk8272 Poodoo

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    I personally think the frame would be ok. I have no basis for this except its what I think. How heavy is the bike that you are mounting to the front? I ask because we mount 200lbs bumpers then add winches almost another 100lbs. I doubt that thing weighs that much. The also have the setup sold as a kit to carry such an item thus reinforcing my thought that the frame can handle it. I also think the 4 cylinder maybe under powered for all the things you are wanting to haul. But again I once owned an 02 v6 4 door, and I thought it was shy on power. But you know your truck and how it handles, I say load her up 1 day and take her for a test drive. I would love to see pictures of this.

    I would only be worried about driving at night with the scooter mounted up front. Might block the lights. Just a thought.

    pudge151: thanks for being so helpful.
     
  11. Jun 6, 2010 at 12:22 PM
    #11
    daddyfarlessa

    daddyfarlessa [OP] Active Member

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    Thanx for your reply...the scooter on the front is 120 pounds...I think you're correct in the sense that I'll just have to load everything up and see how it handles...I love that little button on the gear shift selector (overdrive on/off; my truck is an automatic)...I anticipate, when there is any sort of a grade/ascent, I'll be driving w/the overdrive off, or possibly in 'drive 2'...

    The kayaks weigh 17 lbs. each, one scooter is 120 lbs, one scooter is 200 lbs. (the latter scooter is on the rear hitch), the tent trailer weighs 245 lbs. (it's designed to be towed by a Harley Davidson or something similar), the 'Softopper' shell weighs approx. 20 to 30 lbs. (one note regarding the shell...I was a little skeptical on the life span of the canvas with constant exposure to the elements...but that's just it, when I'm not camping, the unit lifts off the truck and is garaged...when I am camping and the gear is out of the bed, the shell retracks down next to the cab and is covered by a canvas 'boot').

    The CHP told me that the front carrier cannot extend more than 3 feet in front of the front bumper...also the headlights and turn indicator lights can't be obscured by the vehicle being transported.

    I'm planning to post what minimal pics I have...I just had 'rotator cuff surgery' done on my shoulder, so I won't be doing much camping until this fall (more pics then). I drew a rendition several months ago...I'll include this plus some pics (the 'Softopper' pic is of another truck; I included it for reference only).
     
  12. Jun 6, 2010 at 12:28 PM
    #12
    ktmrider

    ktmrider Senior Member

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    My dad has a similar set up with his YUKON XL it bent the frame in the front with 2 dirtbikes. I would recommend not using a mini truck for this kinda job. IMO
     
  13. Jun 6, 2010 at 12:30 PM
    #13
    Brunes

    Brunes abides. Thor

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    As far as legal goes- I'd go with what the CHP guy said over anything you get here. Did he give you statue/sode numbers to refer to in order to read/understand where he was looking to find the criteria??

    Safe is kind of your call...but with careful consideration during your drives...I'll bet you'll be okay. It wouldn't be the place I'd want to put anything...but Photos/sketches will help a ton with "seeing" possible problem areas....
     
  14. Jun 6, 2010 at 12:32 PM
    #14
    STR8_BEAST

    STR8_BEAST MASTER CHIEF

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    if you are serious about the structural integrity of the frame, then you could get it boxed
     
  15. Jun 6, 2010 at 12:33 PM
    #15
    ktmrider

    ktmrider Senior Member

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    I still dont think that would be enough
     
  16. Jun 6, 2010 at 4:48 PM
    #16
    daddyfarlessa

    daddyfarlessa [OP] Active Member

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    Here's some pics (hope I did this right):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Jun 6, 2010 at 4:58 PM
    #17
    daddyfarlessa

    daddyfarlessa [OP] Active Member

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    Here's a pic of the trailer folded up:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Jun 6, 2010 at 5:27 PM
    #18
    Zombie Runner

    Zombie Runner Are these black helicopters for me?

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    very interesting set up. I think you'll be maxing out that little taco with all your gear but like as said above, just load it up and test her out :D
     
  19. Jun 6, 2010 at 7:26 PM
    #19
    Barnone

    Barnone Guest

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    daddyfarlessa,
    What is the weight rating of the front hitch? I'm sure it can handle the weight of your 120lb scooter and carrier. Just make sure the scooter doesn't block your headlights/turn signals.

    My 2002 reg cab 2.4l auto has a 1500lb. weight capacity so you should be fine with your kayaks, camper topper, etc.
    If your Goldwing can handle that trailer then your Taco should not have a problem.

    I just traveled from SWFL to WNC with a Honda VT500FT and other junk in the bed and a Honda CL70 Clone on the bike carrier on the rear with no problem.

    These little first gens are tough.
     
  20. Jun 6, 2010 at 7:32 PM
    #20
    daddyfarlessa

    daddyfarlessa [OP] Active Member

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    ...tanx :O)
     
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