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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have Curt class III hitch installed and frequently use it for hauling my bicycle using a Kuat swing arm and tray. I've never worried about anything failing back there with that low of a weight. But I recently acquired a Honda Monkey and transported it home (60 miles) on a hitch motorcycle carrier/hauler/tray. While the rear was dropped a little, it handled just fine on the highways and freeways going up to 70mph.

I installed the hitch myself so I know the mounting points. The rear part is attached to the "frame rails" (unibody) and the mounting points closest to the receiver are attached to the cross member behind the bumper. I'm not terribly concerned about the frame rail attachment points but I'm not confident with the sheet metal cross member with small spot welds behind the bumper.

eTrailer claims everything is just fine and that the receiver is rated to 550lbs. The Monkey plus hauler is right around 300lbs. I asked specifically whether the van frame can handle the weight and he assured me it would be ok—even after mentioning the extra downward pressure from the motorcycle hanging out from the receiver. I tried contacting Curt and they've been unresponsive.

I've read about people hauling small motorcycles with their sedans and while they all claim it's ok, I question whether they'd ever return to the forum to say they bent the frame of their car and the bike was dragged along the highway. Folks over at Recon Campers added a MX Hauler to their build and claims it works well—I trust them but would like to see it long-term.

Has anyone hung a bunch of weight off the back of their NV? If so, have you traveled long distances and/or over rough terrain?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I thought I'd try Curt again after posting this and got through to their product support. For anyone considering doing something similar, the tech said 300lbs is "pushing it" and "not advisable."

I have a 4'x4' utility trailer that I planned to use if this didn't work out, and with a much lower tongue weight, that should be ok. The US versions aren't rated for towing at all so I wonder if the transmission will hold up long term. Time will tell :).
 

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Our work vans often carry lots of weight(1200lbs). The transmissions are holding up. We have one with 211,000miles on it. Just change the fluid in them once in a while. Others have had lots of cvt issues. We have a dozen of these things. They have lots of common nickel and dime problems but the transmissions and engines are holding together. Door handles, blower motors,wiper transmissions, mirrors, wheel bearing, ball joints, struts, and tires all wear out far more often than other vehicles we have in the fleet.

Make sure the transmission cooler that's mounted down low behind the rh side of the bumper is well protected. We had one take a rock in the winter time and puke out all the fluid. Zip tie some expanded metal to the back of the lower grille to help prevent that.

I've never used a motorcycle carrier. Obviously the further it hangs past the van the more it's gonna want to break off. I see Curt rate's their nv200 hitch for 525lb tongue weight so that's more than 300lbs...
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  • Rated to 3,500 lbs. gross trailer weight and 525 lbs. tongue weight"
I just looked at the install instructions for the hitch. It looks ok? As long as the bike carrier isn't flopping around and doesn't have a lot of up and down slop in the receiver I'd giver...If it does find something that'll eliminate the slop like a hitch clamp.

I once saw a holiday trailer bombing down the highway with one of those cheap habor freight basket cargo carriers mounted to the back bumper. On the carrier they had a relatively heavy gas generator. It was flopping around and kept getting closer to the road after every bump. Looked sketchy as eff. I didn't see it break off but it couldn't have held on for much longer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the reply @Fummins ! It's reassuring to hear that you have one with 211k with carrying that much weight. Thanks for the transmission cooler tip was well.

If I've done my math correctly, I still have 400-500lbs of available payload after my camper setup, two people, and some gear. The added trailer + motorcycle is around 450lbs so it'll be close to the manufacturer stated payload. Whether or not the weight further back affects this number, I'm not sure, but I would hope there's some tolerance within that number.

I had two shops look at the receiver and frame and neither recommend using the motorcycle carrier. Both said the cross member behind the bumper wouldn't hold up with the amount of weight with the cantilever effect of the bike hanging that far off the back (it's back just far enough that the handlebars don't hit the window). One said he could try adding some flat bar reinforcement inside the cross member but that wouldn't help with the welds potentially breaking away from the cargo floor (that area creaks already).The other shop said they wouldn't touch the carrier setup due to liability but referred me to a welder. However, they both thought a small trailer would be just fine provided the transmission would hold up.

I'll be heading out for Memorial Day with the trailer and found a route that avoids major mountain passes 😅. I'll report back.
 
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