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Discussion Starter #1
I wanna get one of these: https://www.harborfreight.com/400-lb-receiver-mount-motorcycle-carrier-62837.html

It is going to tow a 300lb dirt bike. I think the carrier weighs about 60lbs, so nearly 400lbs. I have a 2010 RAV4 V6 Sport w/ Tow Package

Thanks.


Oh, just to add. I only need it for this weekend to buy a bike and bring it home, about 80 miles, and then it will never be used again for that bike. I will be later on using it for a much smaller dirt bike, like 200lbs.


Another pic

 

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Max tongue weight for your vehicle is 350lbs with your tow package. Sounds like you'll be pretty close or slightly over at most. I'm guessing you could probably even trim some weight off the setup by running the motorcycle down to a mostly empty gas tank / taking off any accessories and putting them in the cabin, etc. So you're probably fine from a mechanical / technical perspective.

I'd just slow down for big bumps / dips / potholes and go easy on the speeds. Putting that much weight out past the rear axle can have a significant affect on your steering since you're really shifting the center of gravity towards the rear, so that's something to slow down for if nothing else. Plus, if it causes the rear of the vehicle to sag you'll want to make sure you're not blinding other drivers with your headlights if you're doing this in the evening.
 

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why don't you get a cheap trailer ??
Plus a trailer could let you tow both bikes at the same time, safely. Much easier to load and unload, too.

Otherwise Mikeyppc pretty much hit all the main points.

Harbor Freight has a utility trailer that folds up and stands on-end, so it takes up very little space in your garage (like a 6 foot x 2 foot footprint, I think).

Hero Danny, I think you'll find this particularly appropriate, especially for the "why" a trailer (that's not the trailer I was thinking of):


Here's the one I was thinking of. It costs a bit more than the one in the first video but is much more versatile and can handle more weight (e.g. 2 bikes). Probably more stable on the road too, especially if you add a plywood floor like this guy did:


I would go with a trailer myself, as it would be safer, within tongue weight limits and could be used for SO much more (Home Depot runs, moving furniture, etc.)

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the problem with those is how far back the weight is... 350lbs is on the ball... not 16 inches back. And the load on that will jump around a lot more than a trailer would, I would not risk it, I would rent a Uhaul bike trailer and be done with it.
 

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Personally for a one time trip with the 300 lb bike I'd do it but with a few modifications. I'd remove the spare tire both to reduce rearward weight and allow the bike to be loaded easier and closer to the rear door of the RAV4. Then, after the bike is loaded and secured, I'd run a couple straps from the bike to the RAV4's roof rack to reduce the leverage the weight has on the hitch. The setup would then work quite well for the lighter bike.

I have a home-built VERY sturdy bike rack for my 300 lb DRZ-400. It mounts on the front of my '01 F-250 which doesn't even know it's there. I have it set up for minimum straps but one caution I take is strapping each tire to the rack.

As mentioned a trailer would be better especially if you have other uses for it but it has to be registered and you'd need a safe place to store it. I have a 4' X 8' tilt-bed trailer that's very handy for many such small item transport jobs.
 

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You can rent a 4 x 7 open utility trailer at Uhaul for just $15 a day.
 

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You can rent a 4 x 7 open utility trailer at Uhaul for just $15 a day.
that's the cheapest option for one time use
Yep, but it depends on the long term plans - and if the RAV4 is wired for trailer lights. A rack wouldn't require them.
 

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Yep, but it depends on the long term plans - and if the RAV4 is wired for trailer lights. A rack wouldn't require them.
It would if the load blocked the tail lights from view of someone behind the RAV.

Many racks have lights in them, which I would guess normally hook up to the trailer light connector on the vehicle.

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It would if the load blocked the tail lights from view of someone behind the RAV.

Many racks have lights in them, which I would guess normally hook up to the trailer light connector on the vehicle.
Yeah, I put lights on my DRZ rack when I had it on the back behind my camper but that was for a drive-straight-thru 6,000 mile trip from Sturgis to Alaska & back. Probably wouldn't have for occasional local trips. With how open a high fender dirt bike is the vehicle lights aren't blocked that much. With the DRZ on the front of the truck the headlights still work just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Perhaps you guys are right. I mean, I am just buying the bike and bringing it home. Not going to be a daily thing with this.

I bought the rack anyway since it was only $40 from some guy on craigslist. I loaded up my KLR 250 which weighs about 30lbs less than the DRZ I plan on buying and the rack held pretty good actually. I only tested it around my neighborhood though.

 
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