Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Motorcycle Loader

Some people have expressed interest in how we carry our motorcycle with us so this post is to explain that. It will not be of interest to many family members but there are others who travel and want to carry their motorcycles who will be interested.

I purchased a Rampage motorcycle loader that is designed to be used in the back of a pickup truck. The normal installation is to install three special nuts in the bed of the truck so you can remove the loader when you are not using it. Of course, we do not have a pickup truck and wanted to load from the side instead of the rear. I also wanted to be able to move the loader forward and back to allow turning room for the trailer when we are hooked up and to allow access to the storage box when needed.

I modified the loader by welding brackets on the sides and mounting heavy duty wheels on them. This allows the loader to roll forward and back. It rolls easily both empty and when the motorcycle is mounted. One person on each side is all it takes, or one person running from side to side a few times. On the ends of the loader I welded some plates that hang down over the edge of the bed. I then drilled holes through the plates and through the lip of the bed in the places necessary to hold the loader in its forward and rear position. I use pins with clips on them to hold the loader in place. The motorcycle is also tied down to the bed itself with straps.

This is the loader. Notice the electrical connection. I use a 12V cable with Anderson Power Pole connectors on it that I made from welding cable. I mounted a 12V connector on the rear of the truck.

This is a close of of the bracket welded to the end of the loader.

This is a close up of the holes in the lip of the bed that are used when the loader is in its forward position. Because of the stairwell, I had to use a strap of steel to bridge the gap. If I had realized this before welding the plates on the ends of the loader I would have made the plates longer in the front so I did not need the extra strap.

The ability to move the loader forward and back allows me use of the truck bed for things other than just access to the storage cabinet. I carry a water bladder on the bed when we are boondocking between the cabinet and the loader. I place my portable waste tank on the loader itself. When we travel the bladder folds up and is placed in a small box in the cabinet, and the waste tank is placed on top of the cabinet.

This is the portable waste tank in its travel position.

It would be fairly easy to remove the loader from the bed completely if the need arose for more deck space temporarily. Since it is just held to the bed by the four pins it could be lifted off. It is pretty heavy but disassembles to two parts for removal. Even so, it would be a two man operation to remove.

I hope this answers all the questions. If there is anything that is not clear, leave a comment and I will try to clarify.


  1. This article should be sent to one of the RV magazines. Even though it's as clear as mud to me, I'm sure that lots of RVer's would find it very useful.

  2. Boy, I wish you had given us some more details...

  3. For all you family members who could care less about this kind of stuff -- this post was put up at the request of some other RV'ers who have seen or heard about my movable loader and have asked for details. I guess you could say it is not for general consumption.

  4. Okay, enough of this. Now give us some embroidery pictures!

  5. Your target audience was clear from your first paragraph, but I couldn't resist the jab.

    And BTW, I think it should be "couldn't care less".