Thursday, November 17, 2011

Harley RV Husband

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
My husband and I recently bought a Class B motorhome van. Our friends all told us it was too small for spending several months a year on the road, but we like small and maneuverable. What I didn't plan is my husband changing his mind about alternative transportation. Now he has decided to haul his motorcycle on a rack. This is where we access storage from the rear doors. He spent a week re-wiring and re-plumbing to gain extra storage space. Our garage looked like an RV assembly line. Yesterday I found his helmet in my already small clothes closet. I told him to take his helmet and stick it up his assembly line. I can't seem to make him listen to my reasoning about leaving the motorcycle home. We discussed the downside of not having a second vehicle while traveling and agreed we would work around it. Now with a very space limited rig we are already fighting over storage turf and we haven't even pulled out of the driveway yet. I am to the point of telling him to take his bike and take a hike. Am I being closed minded? I need some advice fast.
Harley Husband in Hillsboro

Dear Harley:
Now is not the time to mutiny over your bounty. You haven't even set sail yet. You are going to discover a lot more adjustments that have to be debated before this process is over. Yes, it should be a debate. Don't roll over on every issue, but be open minded. You may find that motorcycle a blessing when you need a gallon of milk and don't have to pull up stakes and take your living space to the store with you. Something as simple as going to a ranger walk in a national park or to a movie in town is going to entail moving your living space each time if you do not have an alternative form of transportation. Many people find this not to be a problem, but you need to take a maiden voyage and see if you are one of those people.

Class B RV's are great for those who want to stay small and deal with the inconveniences that accompany them. You are finding that space is already a concern. You will also find that many are designed with electrical systems that constantly require power, small refrigeration space, no gas hot water and the need to turn eating space into sleeping space each evening. You may find some of your fuel savings eaten up with frequent trips to resupply. You will not know your reaction to any of these considerations until you get out and experience a few months on the road.

Many people start small and eventually find the living space that fits them like a glove. That journey is still ahead of you. I am confident that you two will work out all your disagreements and that your true needs will become much clearer after you get a few miles under your belt.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink

##RVT820; ##RVT904


Anonymous said...

Major concern would be the weight of the bike on the back,and if the MH frame can support it.

Anonymous said...

A class B is not designed to carry the weight of a motorcycle on the chassis on a rack.

The only safe way is to pull a trailer. If he has loaded a motorcycle on the rear chassis on a rack, he may kill both of you when the handling causes a crash.

He is overloading the chassis design limits, overloading the rear axle, making the front axle too light, changing the ride angle, changing the headlight angle - basically he has created a death trap for you and everyone else on the road.

Get an enclosed pull behind trailer- he can then tote the MC and all his extra stuff in safety.

Anonymous said...

When tho good Lord gave out brains this man thought he said trains and said " give me a long one ".

PapPappy said...

Get a label maker or some masking tape, and each of you label "your space"....taking turns, so you can each have your own space for your own items.
Because it's a "B", space will be at a premium, so you will find that you will have to compromise on "common" ground....but it may still bring peace to this RV couple.

I totally agree that a trailer for the bike is the way to go, and it will allow access to the rear compartment of the van, as well as additional storage for both folks!

Anonymous said...

FOr goodness sakes, a heavy motorcycle is too heavy to be carried in a "rack" on the back of a B class. Buy a "motorcycle" trailer, put a weight distributing hitch on the B class, and pull it. Even then, it's going to put extra strain on your engine and cut down on you gas mileage. It bepends on the size of your B class. Is it a Roadtrek van type or a larger B class like a mini C class? I agree, having the extra transportation so you don't have to lash every thing down in the B class just to go get milk,is a good idea.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous posts. This MH was not built to care MC on the rear. It is probably near is GVRW when delivered, with minimum allowance for personal items. Get the trailer for the MC or a bigger MH. I do not want to meet you on the road as a new hood ornament on my rig!

karl said...

I'm surprised the RV shrink failed to even mention the load carrying limitations with this topic. If in fact we're talking about a Harley, then it's not a smart move, in my opinion. I don't think it's sensible to carry any load over 300lbs (bike plus hitch) on a hitch rated at 5000 pounds or 500 pounds tongue weight.


TonyK said...

First, nobody know what kind of Class B or Motorcycle she is talking about, so its kinda hard to listen to comments about that. Her issue is space inside the Class B. When you start with one or downsize to a Class B I think you both need to see how much space is available and discuss how to wisely use it. I think taking 4-5 camping trips before you decide it wise.

R.V. Safely said...

Thank you RV Shrink for changing enough of the facts to protect the innocent. I am the idiot in question and find it interesting to see how many know it alls, jump to conclusions without all of the facts. A tip of the hat to TonyK for the reasonable response. First I wonder how many of you experts have ever weighed your rigs front axel, rear axel and combined weight fully loaded. I have, and with my KLR 650 on the rack it is still 1,000 pounds below the GVW of the vehicle. The rear axel has 660 pounds to spare, the front axel has 980 pounds to spare. The motorcycle and rack combination is well below the tongue weight limit of the hitch. I pull trailers for a living and know a thing or two about mechanical issues. As for the headlight angle, my van has the ability to adjust it on the fly from the drivers seat. Now here is a teachable moment for all of you who tow a car or trailer behind your Motorhome. Look up your vehicles (GCWR) Gross Combination Weight Rating. Now spend $5.00 and go have your rig weighed fully loaded, I'll bet many of you driving unsafe vehicles.