A few years ago we shopped around for an RV motorcycle carrier that would safely haul our Harley Davidson Road King on the back of our motorhome. We decided on one made by Blue Ox. The Blue Ox SC4200 Sport Lift was definitely built to hold the weight of the Harley and worked very well for our situation. We especially liked the fact we could also tow a car up to 5,000 pounds behind the carrier.
Below we’ll try to outline some of the challenges we ran into with our RV motorcycle carrier. We hope the information will help you should you decide to install a motorcycle lift on your motorhome. By no means are we saying we’re experts on mounting or using this carrier. We’re only sharing our experience in hopes it’ll help if you decide to purchase a motorcycle carrier.
Considerations on Mounting the Lift to the Motorhome
Blue Ox will ship the carrier to your favorite welding shop for installation of the frame to your motorhome. Make sure your motorhome is capable of carrying the combined load of the lift with your motorcycle mounted on the frame. Also, be sure it doesn’t exceed the load capacity of the motorhome, or the load capacity of the rear axle. Our motorhome at the time had overload air-assisted shocks and we’d air them up to full capacity before loading the bike. A lot of motorhomes have extensions on their frames, such as ours, and they may need to be beefed up before installing the motorcycle lift. In our case, the welding shop had extensive knowledge of beefing up the frame in order to carry the extra load. Before we bought our Blue Ox RV motorcycle carrier we noticed another motorhome that had the same lift with a similar Harley on the back. It was strange because it seemed that the bike was leaning outward (away from the motorhome) and the lift appeared not to be level – it was actually sagging downward a bit. We discussed this issue with the welding shop that mounted ours and asked them to tip the lift upwards an inch or two to compensate for the combined weight of the motorcycle and lift on the suspension. Well, unfortunately they should have tipped the lift further upward. We had the same problem with all the weight on the suspension. The bike tipped outward when it was tied down to the lift – even with the air shocks fully inflated. We eventually went back and had the welding shop cut the tray off of the carrier with a welding torch. They then reinstalled it by tipping it up toward the motorhome 3/4″ and rewelded it. That helped bring the bike to a level and straight position.
For the money the Blue Ox SC4200 Sport Lift III Motorcycle Lift is the best bang for the buck out there and I would highly recommended it if your on a budget. Pro’s: Low Cost
Cons: It uses 12 volt motor and cables to lift bike instead of more reliable Hydraulics.
Tow vehicle goes behind carrier extending the over all length going down the road which can drag on the road when going on an incline say into a gas station driveway that is higher than the road.
Motorcycle picks more road grime by being close the the ground unlike the Hydralift mentioned below.
Hydralift Number 1 Choice If money is not a concern I would definitely go with the Hydralift Motorcycle Lift,for your Motor Home.
Pro’s Their lift raises the bike up high enough so that you can directly use the hitch on the motorhome, thus shortening the overall length of your motorhome and tow vehicle. That really appealed to us. However, it may cost a bit more.
They use Hydraulics to lift Motorcycle.
The Motorcycle stays cleaner being higher above the ground.
Cons: Higher Cost
Strapping the Bike to the Lift
When we first started to travel with the bike on the lift we’d use heavy-duty ratchet type tie downs to secure the bike to the carrier. These worked well for short trips. However, on our first 500-mile trip we got out and discovered that the bike had almost fallen off because the tie downs had become loose from all the bouncing around. From then on we checked the tie down straps at every fuel stop. After you have tightened them a second time we never had a problem. These are the new and improved version of the straps we used they are made by Keeper 1/2″ by 8′ Heavy-Duty Motorcycle and ATV Tie Down, Pack of 2 and I would highly recommend them.
After three years of some great motorcycle rides we had some work done to the motorhome which required putting it on a lift. While the Motorhome was up in the air I took the opportunity to do a little inspection of the frame and how the Blue Ox Motorcyle RV Carrier was holding up and to my surprise I noticed that a rear shock mounting plate on the motorhome had begun to crack. We don’t even like to think about what kind of disaster could have happened had it cracked completely while we were going down the road. The welding shop beefed up the shock-mounting bracket and fixed the problem. However, we’d recommend inspecting the underside of your motorhome every so often – especially if you have hit any large bumps while traveling. That extra 1000 pounds back there bouncing around can really do some damage to your frame and support members of your Motorhome if you’re not careful. In closing we hope you found this information helpful and wish you many safe riding miles around this beautiful country of ours. Happy Trails!
Hitch Mounted Motorcycle Carrier
Below are some more Hitch Mounted Motorcycle Carriers for lighter motorcycles than the ones above. Thanks again for visiting our site.