Category Archives: Video

Motorcycle Trailer Wiring Harness for Honda Gold Wing

You just bought a motorcycle camper or cargo trailer and now you need to wire up your Wing. What’s the best way to do it? This video demonstrates how to install the Gold Wing Trailer Wiring Harness on a GL-1800 Gold Wing. This particular kit fits the 2001-2010 model years. The kit for the 2012 installs similarly, but the wiring sub-harness (the first piece you install) connects to different points on the bike.

Motorcycle Camping: What does a camper feel like behind a bike?

A lot of folks ask me what it feels like to pull a motorcycle camper or trailer. I never know exactly how to answer that because when I say it doesn’t really alter my riding all that much, I figure they’ll think I’m just saying that.

So when I went out this summer, I shot a little video from the perspective of the Mini Mate motorcycle camper as I ascended US 33 between Brandywine, WV and Harrisonburg, VA. Again, I can’t tell you how you’ll feel when you tow a camper, but maybe this will give you some perspective.

As always, if you have questions about campers, motorcycle trailers, a motorcycle hitch or the trailer wiring you’ll need, feel free to contact me!

Comparing the Mini Mate and Easy Camper

Q:What is your opinion regarding differences in the Mini Mate vs. the Easy Camper??? For instance—should my wife camp with me ?

A:First, watch this video. Then join me afterward (below), for more commentary.

If your better half will be joining you once in a while, then I think either camper would work for you.

P1010660The bed area is exactly the same between the Mini Mate, Easy Camper, and regular size Time Out — 6.5 feet long, 4.5 feet wide. The Easy Camper bed area probably feels a little bigger because you have the extra covered space inside, but that’s just an illusion.

(Little Known Fact: You can put a queen air mattress in any of these units. When you inflate it, the mattress pushes the tent material out a little and creates a couple of extra inches of space. A queen is only six inches wider than these beds anyway.)
If I were regularly traveling two up, the Easy Camper or regular Time Out would be more comfortable for two because it has the sitting area inside. I think the Easy Camper is the best value in the Time Out line. It uses all the external accessories as the Time Out and Time Out Deluxe, and has almost as much inside space, but is lighter and less expensive.

P1010666The Mini Mate set up is faster and easier and the unit is 60 lbs lighter. I know you’re pulling with a trike, so weight isn’t as much of a factor in how it affects handling, but it would have a reduced impact on your gas mileage.

So to recap, both have the same bed size. Easy Camper has more interior room and options, but is heavier. Setup requires medium effort. The Mini Mate is lighter, sets up faster with light effort. It has fewer options.

To be honest, I think they’re both great campers and you would quickly adapt to whichever you choose. I would gladly tow and camp with either of them.

Be sure to check out videos of both the Mini Mate camper setup and the Time Out camper setup. (The video shows the regular size Time Out. Setup for the Easy Camper is essentially the same.)

For a comparison on any other aspects of motorcycle campers, please feel free to contact me at Open Road Outfitters.

Correct swivel for 2.5″ tongue

Question: I’m looking for a swivel coupler for the tongue of a trailer I’m making to pull behind my motorcycle. The tongue width is 2-1/2″ and the holes, center to center, are 2-1/2″. Which type swivel coupler on your web page will fit? I didn’t find any name of coupler on the original fixed coupler or tongue.

Answer: The swivel units I sell are designed to fit into a tongue that has an interior height and width of 1.75″. That’s the standard width of a steel tongue that’s 2″ square. For applications like the Harbor Freight trailer, you need a couple of extra pieces to account for the added width of the tongue.

I sell a swivel for the Harbor Freight trailer that includes spacers and a new coupler for the front. The spacers make it fit snug in the tongue and the new coupler allows you to bolt it onto the front with the proper hardware, eliminating the possibility of binding that comes with trying to fit a 2.5″ coupler on the front.

You need to make a small modification to the tongue of the Harbor Freight trailer to get the best fit. I did a video on this a while back that shows how to make that change.

Installing a Swivel Hitch Adapter

It’s funny – swivel hitches actually have nothing to do with hitches.  A “swivel hitch” is really a swivel adapter that attaches to the coupler on your trailer, not the hitch on your bike.  A swivel adapter allows the coupler on your trailer to rotate further than it would with the standard ball-and-socket connection with the hitch.

Is that a good thing, or not? The use of swivel is hotly debated on many motorcycle forums.  Folks in the “pro-swivel” camp say that a swivel will help a trailer tow smoother because it pivots easier and further than the ball-and-socket joint that couples the bike and trailer. “Anti-swivel” folks cite that it doesn’t make the trailer feel that much different and is just a waste of money.

I’ve towed trailers with and without swivels and here’s what I think. If your only reason for buying a swivel is to make the trailer “feel” better, it’s probably not worth the money.  (And I say that as someone who sells them! But keep reading…).  When I’m towing a cargo trailer, I can’t really feel any difference, and that’s regardless how aggressive I’m riding.  When towing a heavy trailer, it does make the trailer set up a little faster behind the bike, and that makes it more comfortable. But I’d tow the same trailer without a swivel anyway.

Now, there is one good reason why I do have a swivel on my camper, and it has nothing to do with feel. I put a swivel on my trailer because it’s cheap insurance in case the bike, with trailer attached, falls over in a parking lot. Over the years, I’ve made good money selling replacement hitches and tongues to folks who had their bike tip over in a parking lot with trailer attached, and bent the tongue and hitch.  With a swivel, there’s little chance you’ll damage anything other than your pride.

Swivels install easily,and I’ve created a video showing how it works. Take a look at this:

Safe riding, and happy swiveling!