Teardrop Trailers & Goldwings?
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Thread: Teardrop Trailers & Goldwings?

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    Seasoned Member WestWing03's Avatar
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    Default Teardrop Trailers & Goldwings?

    Does anyone have experience in towing a Teardrop sized camper trailer behind a GL1800? I'm looking for a way to move the two of us about the country without hotel/motel costs and perhaps do a little 'boonies' camping now and then.

    I would consider buying the right unit or perhaps building a simple ultra light (350-400#) unit myself. I'm not much of a wielder but I can hire that done.

    Anyone? Thanks
    WestWing 03

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    Hmrepairs
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    Interested in answers here. I'm thinking of building a tear-drop trailer this winter for the same reasons. Would love to see pictures of some, or a link to a few homebuilts.

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    Seasoned Member mlsa's Avatar
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    I don't own a teardrop yet. I do belong to the teardrop forum and that question has been asked there. Those that pull a teardrop behind a bike love them. They are light enough and like most trailers if it's loaded correctly pull great.

    There is one company that I know of that makes teardrops for bikes but they are expensive...around $6,000. On this forum they show you how to make your own teardrop for quite a bit less than that.

    It's an interesting read and they will answer any questions you have.
    David

    1998 GL Goldwing 1500 SE with Motor Trike Conversion

    Bikes I started out on:
    Allstate Moped
    Honda 350-4 Cylinder
    Honda 450
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    Seasoned Member KJ5IX's Avatar
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    I have seen these. The look heavy but are only 335 empty.
    http://www.microlitetrailer.com/



    Last edited by KJ5IX; 09-01-2009 at 11:48 AM.
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    That is a great looking unit. I sure wish it was lighter. 335 empty as a starting weight is a bit heavy. I would like to see a lightweight no frills camper for either one or two people. Sleeping off the ground and not having to set up a tent is a big plus in my mind.
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    Seasoned Member WestWing03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnordt04 View Post
    That is a great looking unit. I sure wish it was lighter. 335 empty as a starting weight is a bit heavy. I would like to see a lightweight no frills camper for either one or two people. Sleeping off the ground and not having to set up a tent is a big plus in my mind.

    Right! We put a man on the moon 40 years ago! Why can't we build a very light and safe camper for a large motorcycle like the Goldwing?

    I realize that their are all sorts of hi-tech goodies out there but I'm thinking about something that could be built in one's own garage, perhaps without welding(?)

    Has anyone ever bolted or glued an aluminum trailer frame/superstructure/monocouque?

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    Seasoned Member bryansong's Avatar
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    That doesn't sound too heavy. I think my Aspen Classic is around 350 and the goldwing does fine with that.

    bryansong
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestWing03 View Post
    Right! We put a man on the moon 40 years ago! Why can't we build a very light and safe camper for a large motorcycle like the Goldwing?

    I realize that their are all sorts of hi-tech goodies out there but I'm thinking about something that could be built in one's own garage, perhaps without welding(?)

    Has anyone ever bolted or glued an aluminum trailer frame/superstructure/monocouque?
    I don't think the issue is whether or not this can be done...clearly it could be.

    The question is whether or not it can be done cost effectively. The volume in which such a unit can be sold would be so small as to (I suspect) make it prohibitive.

    BTW, the total cost of the Apollo spacecraft and Saturn V rockets were about 83 Billion dollars in 2005 dollars.

    What'ya say Tom Finch? Got any R&D $$$ left after launching the Tailwind?

    Could we get it built under the Stimulus Program?

    The only way I could see it happening would be for a large trailer firm to make it as a Loss Leader / Flagship.

    It should would attract attention I bet.


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    Seasoned Member WestWing03's Avatar
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    Perhaps is another way of looking at the problem of developing a high performance Camper for the Goldwing.

    I have working in the computer filed for over 35 years and one thing that has become clear to me is that 'open source' projects (people work on a project in lose collaboration without pay) turn out all kinds of innovations and some very good code that is free to the public. If you want to sell it you buy a license. Examples of this would include the FireFox Browser, OpenOffice and the Umbutu OS. The new Google OS and Android OSes are also open source.

    That being said it would be to the advantage of those who are interested in 'raising the bar' on trailers to openly talk, share ideas and publish their work in print or actual product running down the road.

    In the mean time I'm still looking at putting together some type of ultra lite camper for next year. I'll keep you posted.

    PPS - packing tonight for a wing trip down to Pismo beach form the Bay Area in the AM. I just love Highway 1!

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    Mlsa how about some links
    Henry
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    I did some digging and came up with this site scroll down they have a list of company's with plans

    http://www.campingearth.com/teardrop/

    Henry
    o7 Wing Drk Metallic Orange
    Kumho 195/55/16 #378

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    Seasoned Member mlsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kinghen View Post
    Mlsa how about some links
    Henry
    Here you go:

    http://www.mikenchell.com/forums/

    Go down to the "construction of teardrop". Ask any questions you want...they are super nice people.

    Here is the link to the mfg trailer: It's a Little Guy Rascal.

    http://www.golittleguy.com/teardrops/
    Last edited by mlsa; 09-03-2009 at 09:36 PM.
    David

    1998 GL Goldwing 1500 SE with Motor Trike Conversion

    Bikes I started out on:
    Allstate Moped
    Honda 350-4 Cylinder
    Honda 450
    Honda 750
    Honda 1100
    GL 1500 w/Motor Trike

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    Seasoned Member IR Harry's Avatar
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    Three of us went camping last weekend, and just for kicks ran across the state scales to check weights. On was a cargo trailer that had a tent, camp gear, air mattress in it, and was 350 pounds on the road ready to camp. Second was a KwikKamp tent camper, with approximately the same gear except for the tent, weighing in at 450 pounds. I had a Rollahome King bed model, again packed for the same trip with about the same thing, weighed in at 500 pounds.

    This is just to give you a guide on weights. No one had any trouble with the weights of the trailers, but I was on a MotorTrike.

    Fuel mileage on the Trike with the Rollahome took a big hit, and the cargo trailer (a very aerodynamic one) hardly affected that wing at all.
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    Contributing Member FlyBye:-)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestWing03 View Post
    Does anyone have experience in towing a Teardrop sized camper trailer behind a GL1800? I'm looking for a way to move the two of us about the country without hotel/motel costs and perhaps do a little 'boonies' camping now and then.

    I would consider buying the right unit or perhaps building a simple ultra light (350-400#) unit myself. I'm not much of a wielder but I can hire that done.

    Anyone? Thanks
    WestWing 03

    WestWing 03,

    Welcome to the forum. I have been looking at TD for some time now (even before I got my Wing). I have noticed several motorcycles pulling teardrops eventhough most have been Trikes. Last month I was heading south on I-55 when I saw GoldWing pulling a teardrop... only thing was that he was going north on I-55, otherwise I would have caught up with him and found out some details on his rig.

    Most teardrops I've seen on the web are a little heavy for my preference. Many DIY TD use the HF bolt on frames. Weight is fine for a car, but again I would want to start out with a lighter one. Custom???

    I did see a fella on the web that once built one with the traditional sides, but he used a vinyl top that attatched with snaps and rolled up when not in use (he used it to transport his Harley when not camping in it). Weight was reduced significently eventhough security was deminished. I'll hunt for the photos and see if I can round them up for ya.

    I think that I will not include the kitchen/hatchback on mine to reduce some weight. Also, I was convinced that 5 foot wide was the way to go before I got the Wing. Now 4 foot behind the Wing seems huge.

    SO... it can be done, has been done, just not a lot of folks doing it yet. Let me know if ya come by some helpful info on DIY

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    http://gl1800riders.com/forums/showthread.php?t=221346
    Read this site and go on down and you can see the demo of how the mini mate camper sets up. I would suggest one of these over a tear drop. You can stand up in a mini mate and it is well made and light weight.
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    Seasoned Member WestWing03's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone who took part on this post! Lots of good ideas.

    I'm going to be putting on my thinking cap for a while and mull this over.

    What I see is a small, light, ez-to-tow aerodynamic device that can be made at home. Hum.....

    Keep you posted,

    WestWing03

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    Seasoned Member Tom Finch's Avatar
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    We built high performance campers from 1963 to 1980. These were produced when 600 CC was a big engine, such as the 1963 BMW R69S below.




    Below: Photo of 1975 Streamliner Camper, visiting HDL in Hendersonvile, behind my 04 Wing.









    Last edited by Tom Finch; 03-12-2011 at 09:36 PM.
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    Notorious Rocket Scientist The Astute Reader(tm)'s Avatar
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    Greetings!

    I noticed in the fourth picture that your group seemed to be "circling the wagons." Expecting Indians later?
    Best Regards,
    Lee E. Brown

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    Seasoned Member RareSS's Avatar
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    Tom,
    Do you have any pictures of the hitches that you used on the different bikes?
    Jim
    The first known person to ride all 254 counties in Texas on a motorcycle!


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    I miss my old R-60 with Vetters

    Tom Finch,

    In the mid to late 70's did you pull a nice trailer in the Pacific Northwest ?? One time I was riding down the hiway, pulled into a rest area and several guys riding GL-1000's were pulling trailers and going on a trip but one bike had broke down. I helped him get the bike to the shop in Hermiston Oregon and loaned him my bike for a day or two.. Got his bike fixed and we got invited to ride with them to Yellowstone. So I loaded my bike and put wife on the back and off we go.. Those guys didn't ever need to stop for fuel, each trailer had a nice sized tank under it. I was always impressed by those trailers !
    jmho

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    Seasoned Member Tom Finch's Avatar
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    Our company was TEFCO and in the seventies we advertised in Rider, Road Rider, and the BMWMOA magazine.

    We made hitches for the Wing And the Beemers called Framount.

    We also made ride off stands for those bikes called Bigfoot and we made a heel shifter for the Beemer called Shifty.

    We made fork well seals for them called Drypers

    We made lowers for the Vetter Fairings for these two bikes called Dry Legs.

    We made kits that mounted inside the headlight of the Beemers to replace the fuses with auto reset circuit breakers called MasterMind.

    The Camper Trailers were called streamliners and were $3,600. Somewhere we have some old brochures tha I need to get out and scan.

    I have lost track of he original Streamliner convertible made in 1963 and would like to find it and buy it back. It spent some years in Alaska, then Kansas. I saw it on top of a big motorhome going down a highway about 15 years ago while I was sitting in a restaurant. No chance of getting mounted up and catching it. I don't remember where I was at that time.




    Last edited by Tom Finch; 03-12-2011 at 09:38 PM.
    Help downsize Government! Encourage private industry!
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    '10 GL 1800A '04 GL 1800A, '04 Tailwind XTc (We make 'em), '75 TEFCO Streamliner




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    Seasoned Member WestWing03's Avatar
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    Tom,

    Wow!

    Thanks for the post. Taken in context of the times your trailers were very cool. I also love the BMW R69. I had one in high school with a hack (GF's mom said NO!!! to two wheelers and my supercharged Buick 455).

    I have looked at your current product offering and was in the process of making space in my shop for one when the market crashed 12 months ago and my wife lost her job, AIG lost all my money, rental income dried up...but I go on.

    So, now faced with more time than money and still having the desire to travel about the country with my wife who has higher standard for travel than I, I'm looking at how to build a hard sided trailer that permits us to travel at will with a Goldwing class bike.

    I have been experimenting with home made aluminum skinned composite panels that can be cut and formed as required with simple tools. So far the results have been encouraging but some of the results unexpected. I will keep everyone informed as I stumble on into the dark.

    Best Regards,
    WestWing03

  24. #23
    Rider Steve
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    I was thinking of a teardrop but wonder if a four foot wide one X four foot tall (from the frame up) would create to much blind spot in your mirrors.

  25. #24
    Seasoned Member Tom Finch's Avatar
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    KA7W

    I do not know where all the streamliners went. I usually went to Colorado when ever I had time to go on a trip.

    I did not discover Utah until the late nineties. Highway 12 in Utah is one of my favorites still.


    I did pull my first trailer to Idaho and Montana in the fifties with my Square Fours.

    Last edited by Tom Finch; 03-12-2011 at 09:39 PM.
    Help downsize Government! Encourage private industry!
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    Texan since 36, Rider since 52, Bike/Trailer riden' since 57. Passed 1,000,000 motorcycle miles 6/16/08.
    '10 GL 1800A '04 GL 1800A, '04 Tailwind XTc (We make 'em), '75 TEFCO Streamliner




  26. #25
    Contributing Member FlyBye:-)'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyBye:-) View Post
    I did see a fella on the web that once built one with the traditional sides, but he used a vinyl top that attatched with snaps and rolled up when not in use (he used it to transport his Harley when not camping in it). Weight was reduced significently eventhough security was deminished. I'll hunt for the photos and see if I can round them up for ya.
    Found several of them...
    Just another option to consider.
    Neat as an only option. I still would prefer to have a lighter frame without
    the kitchen and with the hard top. Keep us posted...
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  27. #26
    Rider Steve
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    I'm looking at building one. Right now all I got is a HF trailer rain check and a 20% off coupon for the trailer. They had one in stock but someone had broken open the box and removed the title. They can't sell it to you without that title.

  28. #27
    Contributing Member FlyBye:-)'s Avatar
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    Steve,

    Most of the ones that I've seen have been HF bolt on frames. The owners I've talked to seem to be pleased with their set up. If I don't have a custom frame welded, then that will most likely be the route I'll take also. Good luck on the project. Keep us posted with your progress. (might even save us from a few mishalps)

  29. #28
    Seasoned Member Tom Finch's Avatar
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    Westwing 03,


    I have used my aluminum trailers for carrying things too big to fit in my station wagon, like giant folded bass horns. It is not a way to tour. If it is the only way you had to move it to a permanent place, then the adventure would be worth it.

    The drag of such a large cross section trailer will itself make this not fun on the highway. Fashioning some stalk mirrors will be a challenge too.

    The wideset wheels will yank your bike sideways unmercifully on pot holes unless you put about 4 feet extension in the drawbar. You could use a dolly setup and back it by hand when you need to.

    I pulled this 1975 Tefco camper about 15 miles yesterday to a shop to get a storage cover made. It has vertical inertia relief. Someone, probably me, had stolen the taillight bulbs out of it.

    The Tent bag smelled musty. It has not been used since 1991. Camping lanterns, coleman Stove, Coleman heater, all the stuff are still at the ready in this trailer. One of the lanterns is an Aida, kerosene lantern that is very bright. Cost $90 in 1960.

    I had not used the Streamliner since 2004 when the Tailwind was born. The photo below was in late 03 when the 04 Wing was only weeks old. It was about an hour before its first oil change which was to Amsoi, a mistake. I am sure everyone recognizes Hal's Direct Line Parts where the BBQ usually is during WOTS.

    This Tefco Streamliner has about 1/3 the drag of any current day camper.

    Last edited by Tom Finch; 03-12-2011 at 09:43 PM.
    Help downsize Government! Encourage private industry!
    Make things here, sell them in the Mid and Far East!!
    Ship goods out. Bring dollars in. Strengthen America!!
    Texan since 36, Rider since 52, Bike/Trailer riden' since 57. Passed 1,000,000 motorcycle miles 6/16/08.
    '10 GL 1800A '04 GL 1800A, '04 Tailwind XTc (We make 'em), '75 TEFCO Streamliner




  30. #29
    Rider Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyBye:-) View Post
    Steve,

    Most of the ones that I've seen have been HF bolt on frames. The owners I've talked to seem to be pleased with their set up. If I don't have a custom frame welded, then that will most likely be the route I'll take also. Good luck on the project. Keep us posted with your progress. (might even save us from a few mishalps)
    Part of my plan should HF honor their rain check will be to bolt it together then I'm throwing the switch to the welder and welding it up (once I have it blocked up and leveled). Then I'll remove the bolts to save on weight. Nuts, bolts and washers can add up to a few pounds. I'm also figuring on making the wood frame as lite as possible by cutting out as much of the wood as possible and covering with Poly-Fiber aircraft covering. Then I'll paint it with UV protection paint. That should make it a very light camper trailer.

  31. #30
    Seasoned Member Tom Finch's Avatar
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    Rare SS

    I have one of only two hitches that we built for the /2 Beemer. I sold all of my Tefco hitch stock a long time ago to Steve Johnson. He formed a riders group called the Chain Gang, named for the Chain driven Beemer single cylinder bikes built some years ago. I have not seen nor heard from Steve in years.

    Carl Santora, flyingtpot@satx.rr.com bought my /6 and /7 Beemers and they had trailer hitches on them. He may still have them.
    Help downsize Government! Encourage private industry!
    Make things here, sell them in the Mid and Far East!!
    Ship goods out. Bring dollars in. Strengthen America!!
    Texan since 36, Rider since 52, Bike/Trailer riden' since 57. Passed 1,000,000 motorcycle miles 6/16/08.
    '10 GL 1800A '04 GL 1800A, '04 Tailwind XTc (We make 'em), '75 TEFCO Streamliner




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