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Towing 7x4 trailer with bike on it, worth it?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by WKD60, Aug 10, 2014.

  1. Hi all,

    Have you ever been faced with a question that you're in two minds about... Not quite sure if the extra trouble and expense to achieve it is worth it? I am at said junction...

    So, I'm driving south in Dec to spend Christmas with my family down on the South Coast NSW, from Townsville. Taking the wife and 18mth old bub. Going to take it easy with a 4 day hop, with a two day layover in Brisbane in the middle. With roughly 3 weeks in situ before turning around and heading home.
    Now, I'm debating whether to hook the trailer up to the wagon ('12 Mondeo TDCi) so I can take the bike with me to enjoy some of the roads while I'm down there.

    (If you lived in Townsville, you'd understand my enthusiasm to take advantage of the roads down there. Humour me, and have a look at google maps. Not a (decent) twisty road or loop within a 200km radius)

    The Mondeo is pretty frugal on the highway, hence why we are driving instead of flying, and saves us getting a hire car during our stay. That's a no brainer. So, is it worth loading the 200kg Gladius into the 7x4 and taking it with me? I figure there'd be plenty of people on Netrider who have towed their bike, many of whom do it frequently. So I ask you oh wise ones, how much is my fuel economy going to suffer?

    The hassle of parking the trailer during stops and such does not bother me too much, my only real concern is fuel economy.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts (y)
  2. So where is the dilemma ? Want bike, take bike. It will use more fuel but then how much is your fun worth? At a guess, being a diesel, you might get 50k less out a tank. Alternatively, forget the bike and have a family holiday, you'll get points and kick yourself later :)
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  3. I'd leave the bike at home. Christmas on the south coast of NSW means lots of tourists doing stupid things on our roads and lots of police trying to catch them, which leads to lots of frustration. We tend to bunker down and enjoy being home or leave the coast altogether at Christmas.
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  4. *** Much wisdom this man speaks. :)
    Try and find somewhere secure to leave trailer and bike in storage while you get around Brisbane, you don't want to be dragging it about for no reason.
  5. Yeah, not an issue there. Staying with wife's family. Might even pull the bike off while I'm there and head to tamborine or nebo to get away from them :LOL:
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  6. How heavy is the trailer ?
    If it's a really good one ( very heavy ) then it might make a bit of difference to your drive.
    Maybe hire or borrow a lightweight bike trailer for the trip. It would make a difference
  7. If you do it find a way to lock the bike to the trailer and the trailer to the car,every couple of years I hear about race blokes loosing the lot on trips intastate.Easy to unhitch while you sleap.
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  8. It's a basic one, quite light.
    Might have a hard time finding a bike trailer in TSV for hire. And for three to four week, not worth it.

    Yeah, that's a good point, and had crossed my mind. Cheers
  9. IMHO, take the bike and trailer just for your enjoyment, BUT be prepared for the fuel shock. I've towed bikes on trailers and your fuel range will be cut drastically, alot more than the 50 ks suggested above. Speaking from experience, you will use 40% to 60% more fuel towing a trailer. So you need to decide if it's worth it. There are some great roads and loops you can do on south coast NSW and in my opinion, it's worth it.
  10. Me too, A diesel shouldn't be too bad once you are up to cruising speed. In any case it is worth it to sample those roads. Make sure you have organised some "me time" with your partner beforehand. It would be tragic to tow the bike all the way there not get a chance to get out and tow it all the way back.
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  11. Were you towing a Sherman tank with a Goggomobile Dart ?
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  12. 50-60% more!? Surely not!?

    If that is the case, then it's not a goer. I'm already at ends with the wife (She wants to fly) I'm trying to assure her driving will be a hell of a lot cheaper than flights and hire car, which I know it will be. But if I end up using that much extra fuel... I may well lose the battle! :blackeye:

    Hmmm, maybe I'll hire a bike at the other end instead. :facepalm:
  13. It's getting to a point now with airfares getting cheaper by the day, I wouldn't consider driving or riding interstate if it was purely to save money. In the dark old days when Qantas and Ansett were price fixing it was worth it.
  14. Whereabouts on the south coast, as proximity to airport is important - there aren't that many airports, and it is usually much cheaper between capital cities than it is to fly regional.

    You are towing with a diesel, and not towing a caravan; I wouldn't expect fuel consumption to increase by more than 25% (Speaking from 30 years experience with caravans, trailers, and horse floats)

    I still think you will be disappointed, our south coast roads aren't at their best at peak holiday season, though a bike is always a better option than a car.
  15. #15 12STR, Aug 11, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
    Well the Mondeo will do 1200km* to a tank on the open road, minimum. Two tanks of fuel to get to sydney, at ~$100 a tank.
    ~$400 return, 4 nights accomodation @ ~$100 a night.

    Flights ~$800 return, hire car costs ~$1600+ fuel.

    Unless Qantas is going to pay me to fly with them... they're not in the game. lol

    *Without trailer
  16. Yeah, chatting to a mate of mine who does a lot of towing, he's just suggested 15%, which sounds right to me. I'll load the bike up and get a better idea of the weight combined and run the math. But sounds promising.

    Half the time at St Georges basin, half at Batemans. We would fly into Sydney, or Canberra. Probably Canberra...
    Yeah, the holiday traffic is a concern, and may well dampen all hopes of enjoyment. Grew up just off the Kings highway with all the Canberrans blocking up our roads in the summer, and killing themselves on the Clyde Mountain... Oh dear...
  17. Ah, Christmas airfares of course, the old supply and demand, 3 times what its worth.
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  18. Maybe she should fly and you should ride.
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  19. Mate just do it. It is worth it. I know the type of riding you have available to you, so it's really a must do imo.

    When living in Mackay, I would tow the bike down to the Sunshine Coast Brisbane area at least 3 times a year to do track days and hit the great roads using my 7x4 trailer. I also towed it to Tamworth a couple of times.
    Fuel economy would increase about 2ltrs/100klms, but that was using an xr6 turbo as the tow car and driving/overtaking on the Bruce hwy just like I would if the trailer wasn't there.
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