Monthly Archives: May 2013

Our New Enclosed Charmac Trailer

Having owned and pulled many trailers, I did not exactly look forward to purchasing another. For motorcycles, I am very particular. The trailer had to be commercial grade, tandem axles, and electric brakes, fully enclosed, with a side door and ramp back door. Trailers, such as cargo trailers, are for the most part regional, and in the Northwest there are many fine brands, but you really want to buy something manufactured in the Northwest and sold, preferably, locally.

New Charmac Trailer

Our New Charmac Trailer

One of the premium brands here in the Pacific Northwest is Charmac Trailers, which are manufactured in Twin Falls, ID. The real trick though is to find an already manufactured trailer since the lead times for having what you want delivered is long — very long.

I looked at several trailers and could almost find what I wanted locally, but the trailer interior was lined with lauan. Just Google the word, and if you are like me, you will be dismayed to find out that lauan is cosmetically nice looking, but when used by itself structurally is junk.

After several calls, I connected with a Charmac dealer in Lolo, Montana who had a commercial grade 7' x 16' foot trailer, steel frame, interior walls lined with 3/8" plywood and a floor of 3/4" with walls and floor 16" OC tubing, quality keyed alike locks on all doors, 15" wheels and a spare, V-nose (saves about 2-3 mpg), one piece aluminum roof, rear ramp, side door, tandem 3,500# axles, a GVW of 7,000# (4,800# cargo), electric brakes, interior height 6'5", interior light, LED exterior lights, and a hitch torsion bar kit.

Now comes the time to make this beauty an awesome motorcycle trailer. We install Condor Universal E-tracks and Condor wheel chocks. The great thing about these is that they come close to fitting virtually any motorcycle and have a wide range of adjustments and places to stabilize the bike with straps. The advantage of the Condor wheel chocks is that the motorcycle does not have to be compressed as much as your friendly tow company or other arrangements do. We feel this safely transports the bike and avoids damage from over-compression of the suspension. Since I transport a spare bike for myself, I am very particular as to how the bike is secured. We are prepared for almost any bike, though there can be, I guess, some exceptions, like the bike below.

Motorcycle with "Ape Hanger" handlebars,

Some bikes, like this one with "Ape Hanger" handlebars, are a challenge to transport.

The real plus of having an enclosed cargo trailer is not only can a disabled motorcycle be transported to the closest repair facility, but there is space for rider and co-rider/pillion luggage, air compressor, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, toolbox, bike washing materials, ice chest for cool beverages, and a snack box.

In essence, a motorcycle/cargo trailer provides an umbrella of convenience and the security of knowing that a rider and their bike are not left by the roadside waiting for a tow service. We go through a lot of country that has either marginal or no cell service.
We know this trailer is stout, secure and pulls exceptionally well, as we only use Class 3 hitches with hitch torsion bars. Our trailers all have break away braking devices and transport rated chain. The tow vehicle is rated well above the GVW of the trailer and designed to tow trailers.

Safety is paramount to, and we always buy equipment second to none.