Towing My Bike vs. Riding | End of the Season Camping Trip

Towing My Bike vs. Riding | End of the Season Camping Trip

Towing My Bike vs. Riding | End of the Season Camping Trip

In my previous video, I talked about the different options I was considering for traveling in 2022. I am now retired and thus have more time that can be allocated toward being on the road, but there are some other considerations to think about, like being on a fixed budget and how to incorporate solo and two-up travel into the same trip.

At the tail end of October, my friends and I decided to head down for an end of the season camping trip and I thought it would be a good opportunity to test out one of those options by loading up my bike and pulling it down to central Connecticut for a long weekend. This would allow me to play with the extra space provided by my Toyota Tacoma, or the Taco as many Tacoma owners refer to them.


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Thank you for watching and ride safe! –Craig Ripley

43 thoughts on “Towing My Bike vs. Riding | End of the Season Camping Trip

  1. Glad you are ok and only your pride was hurt. Thanks for sharing with us as you work thru the decision making process. I retired in January 2021 and look forward to some camping trips on the bike. Best wishes!

  2. Never been a fan of towing…Love riding the open rode waaaay to much.
    Yeah the more you bring the longer the set up. We never had a pull behind trailer until this year. And I must say, we absolute love it… ours is a camper trailer. Prior to getting it we looked at several cargo trailer and planned on purchasing one in 2022. Kake is still talking about buying one so we could carry more stuff lol.
    Glad you are okay.

    1. Thanks Rich! I agree, being on the bike is still in my bones. A pull behind is on the list.

  3. Don’t feel bad, I did the same thing in Wyoming. Pride hurt but everything else was good.
    I also have purchased a Bushtec trailer for that trip. It was,a great investment. It takes the weight off the bike and you don’t even notice it being behind you. It’s another angle to look at. And you can still bring as much or as little as you want.

    1. Thanks. It makes you feel stupid for awhile, but no one gets through life without a few f*CK ups. Trailer is on the list

  4. Well, Craig, shit happens. About 10 years ago I was getting ready to unload a brand new K1300GT out of the back of my truck when I inadvertently released a ratchet strap before bracing myself. Down went the bike on its side in the back of my truck. Yep, some cosmetic damage sprinkled with hurt pride.

  5. Well now I am a little older 68 and just to let you know that if you had deleted the camera and then killed all your friends
    that saw you it would mean that it never happened so no embarrassment. But as long as you were able to get up that
    works also.

  6. Lol, glad you can laugh at it Craig, you know we have all done it. 2 suggestions, if you keep that wooden ramp you may want to paint it with Rhino liner or something to give your foot grip, it would be pretty slick if wet. Also, you wouldn’t have that problem with a toy hauler 😉

    1. Appreciate the suggestion. I have already bought a wider ramp. And, yes I thought the same thing about an enclosed trailer or toy hauler.

    2. One real concern even with a toy hauler is how steep the ramp can be and thus complicating the task again. I have a toy hauler. My process for loading my BMW K1200LT, a very heavy bike, is to flatten the ramp a bit by putting jack stands under the tail of the ramp then using an additional folding ramp from there. I discovered this method on another channel and it has worked VERY WELL.

  7. Craig, I think you are over thinking this whole thing…you have a beautiful BMW 1600 that is designed for these types of trips. If you still have good health and the desire to ride, forgo all the other options and just ride 🙂 You are still too young & fit to be considering options. You are retired and in your prime man… don’t complicate life. Stay safe my friend!

    1. Good advice. If I was single or Cathy did not like to ride, I would just hit the road with my bike. These thoughts are really about making sure Cathy is not left out.

  8. Really depends on your end goal, which seems to be include your wife on some of the camping trips. If you had an enclosed 6×8 or something you would have a secure place to store gear or get out of the rain if needed. Going with a smaller toy hauler would give you more comfort and a bathroom/kitchen. Then the question is does your truck have the capacity for the added weight to tow a toy hauler, also getting into camping spots may be more of a challenge. It is nice to have a base camp and do several ride out of that area. May suggestion is KISS, just keep it simple. First it’s I need a bigger trailer then I need more truck, then I need more stuff. All that comes with more money and more maintenance of said stuff, I know.
    At least you weren’t unloading from the truck bed and took a step off. This will sound like Mr. Safety but wear a helmet yes even when unloading, so easy to take that fall and hit your head ending up with a head injury. Good Luck Jeff

  9. I was loading my Vstrom on a trailer for the first time and stepped into a void on the ramp and…ditto your experience. Except, I jumped off, landed with my left leg and tore the heck out of my hamstring.

    I now have a 6 x 12 cargo trailer to set up as a base camp from which to explore different areas.

    I’m following along with interest to see where you end up. And remember, YOUR foibles make US feel better in the sense that, hey we all make mistakes, some just don’t include them in their Youtube videos. Bully for you!

  10. I use a Lowes open utility trailer to haul my bikes. It has the tall ramp/tail gate that prevents what you experienced. I tie the front wheel to the trailer’s front rail. If the bike is too long and my old Ventures are, I use a couple of pieces of 2″ plastic pipe with a rope inside to secure the tail gate/ramp in a slanted back position.

  11. glad you didn’t get hurt. i leave it in gear and use the clutch to back down slowly rather than drag the front wheel on my st1300. you probably already knew this. i enjoy your series and i’m dealing with a lot of similar issues. i’d rather ride than trailer but it’s nice to have company when you get there.

  12. In the previous video you mentioned the idea of a trailer for the bike. Since you and your wife enjoy the ride, this may be a good compromise. Have fun with the current setup and attach the trailer for those bigger trips.

  13. No big deal Craig. The bike could have fallen on your leg and given you months of P.T. I am just glad you did not get hurt.

  14. Being in the same demographic as you I have found what works for the wife and I . Living in central MA and loving western MA I load our Tiger 800 on the Kendon and head the hour + west to 1 of our park and rides . Spend the day riding and exploring . Once tired , hot and sweaty we return to our van for a relaxing AC /cruise control ride home . All vacations we take have the bike tag a long but having a vehicle available makes local dining experiences more pleasurable .

  15. I retired 4 years ago and have done all three of the options you mentioned. Most of my trips over the 50 years of riding were done on the bike/camping or hoteling except for cross country rides when time was short. Either used the SUV and a trailer/hotel or a fly/rent/ride in those instances. However my preference now that every day is Saturday is the RV Toyhauler option. All my bike trips are now longer in duration and having the nice bed and shower, bigger food prep area and a vehicle to make runs if the weather is lousy (which happened too many times) is nice. My toyhauler was bought (hardly) used, at a good price, and isn’t a fancy one but it gets it done. Maybe age is making me soft but on those wet/chilly nights it’s nice to wake up inside the next morning and be comfortable. Turns out my riding friends like that too when they go. In the last several years I’ve traveled coast to coast in this manner, arriving at the campgrounds in a more rested state than when riding the bike. I had a motorhome (before the toyhauler) pulling a 7×14 enclosed trailer with 2 bikes in it for a couple years before retirement. That worked well except for the wet days. One doesn’t want to unhook all the motorhome set up and go somewhere on the days it isn’t so great to ride. Humm, age showing again here? I’ve been doing this motorcycle thing a long time and now comfort is more important. I’ll still do short trips on the bike alone, and maybe the truck/bike trailer/hotel option if campgrounds aren’t available at times (which is more often in the past year than in prior years) but most trips will be with the Toyhauler. Good luck with your decision.

  16. I am glad you did not get hurt . Also a big consideration is gas consumption , that’s part of the reason some of us travel on a bike .

  17. Dear craig sorry you dropped you bmw its a awefull feeling i dropped my exclusive on a wet cobbled slanted courtyard in the vouge mountains whe my foot slipped DOH ! I dont have any trouble takeing full size chair on my 1500 wing which just rests on crash bars if you screw up as did your vision do you miss it ? Id like one of them expensive in the uk stay happy us old codgers rock

    1. Thanks. I think more than anything it just makes you feel foolish, but stuff happens and they can be fixed. The Vision had great tip over protection, so at times like these, I do miss it. It was a great bike, but I do love the BMW as well.

  18. I’m glad that I was able to see your experience. We’ve been thinking about getting a trailer too. Looking forward to your final decision.

  19. We all live and learn, that is moto adventure and it’s ok as long as we don’t get hurt. Thanks for sharing and wishing you all the best for the coming holiday season. Stay safe!

  20. Don’t feel to bad about missing the edge of the trailer with you foot! I’m not sure why but I think just about every guy has done this, weather they admit to it or not and that includes me! I think I was not willing to admit I could be that stupid!

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