Transporting A Trike

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
My next ebike purchase may well be a trike for my wife. I've seen little here on the forum on ways to transport a 3 wheeler. I've talked to a few "trikers" on the trail and it seems most ride from home without transporting the bike with a vehicle. I have seen a couple on trailers but nothing on a hitch rack.

I've looked a a few online like the Hitch Rider: http://www.hitchrider.com/trike-bike.htm
and the Hollywood Sport Rider: https://www.modernbike.com/product-2126277298?gclid=CjwKCAjwtajrBRBVEiwA8w2Q8GZGrxfRJm6h4EHjh5ILZypIfUGjG77xCmJcmRIViNWywa4pm-92hhoC4eMQAvD_BwE

I'm concerned about carrying that much weight so far to the rear. I also question whether, at my age, I'll be able to lift a heavy trike onto a rack.

Another consideration is a cargo carrier such as this one from eTrailer: https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Cargo-Carrier/Lets-Go-Aero/H01397.html

It might work with a little modification and a home made side ramp.

I'd be interested to know how others here carry their trikes.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
I transport my eBikes and tadpole eTrike I’m the back of my Transit Connect cargo van. I’m surprised you haven’t found any trike racks with ramps. I’ve even seen racks that carry 2 trikes on the electric trike Facebook page. Do a Google search for trike hitch rack, lots of sources and even videos.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
I transport my wife's Evelo Compass trike in the bed of my Ford Ranger. It has the standard cab, so the bed is long enough to close the tailgate. To secure it, I just set both the front and rear brakes and use a 10' cinch strap across the basket. It is 85# but I can load it myself. I of course remove the batteries and gear to reduce the weight. I tie the front fender to keep the wheel strait, then lift the back wheels up by grabbing the basket and rest them on the tail gate. Then it is relatively easy to pick up the front end and roll it back into the bed.

I am in the process of making a rack out of 1x4's so that I can carry an ebike on each side of the trike (the Gazelle Arroyo and Blix Aveny). It is a tight fit, but I have tested it to know that it will work. The rack will also keep the trike centered in the truck bed so it can't bounce around and shift side to side. I have it about half finished and will post a picture or two when it is complete.
 
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6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
I transport my wife's Evelo Compass trike in the bed of my Ford Ranger. It has the standard cab, so the bed is long enough to close the tailgate. To secure it, I just set both the front and rear brakes and use a 10' cinch strap across the basket. It is 85# but I can load it myself. I of course remove the batteries and gear to reduce the weight. I tie the front fender to keep the wheel strait, then lift the back wheels up by grabbing the basket and rest them on the tail gate. Then it is relatively easy to pick up the front end and roll it back into the bed.

I am in the process of making a rack out of 1x4's so that I can carry an ebike on each side of the trike (the Gazelle Arroyo and Blix Aveny). It is a tight fit, but I have tested it to know that it will work. The rack will also keep the trike centered in the truck bed so it can't bounce around and shift side to side. I have it about half finished and will post a picture or two when it is complete.
I thought about modifying the pickup truck bed rack I use to carry my two Pedego Interceptors. I may do that if I can't find a suitable trike hitch rack. Part of the problem I didn't mention in my original post is I need to be able to fold the pickup tailgate down with the hitch rack installed. Having to first remove the hitch rack to deploy the pickup bed rack would be a real pain. I have a Thule hitch rack for a two wheeled bike that will do this but no luck so far with a trike rack.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
I understand your situation with the hitch rack. Up until now, I have been carrying the trike in the truck bed and one or two ebikes on my 3 bike hitch rack. My hitch rack does fold down so I can open the tail gate, but it still sticks up over the tailgate, so the trike would have to be lifted over it. When my son is riding with us, that is how we do it, but when it is just my wife and I, I have to remove the hitch rack in order to unload the trike. It is doable, but a PITA. My wife is unable to offer any help because of a back injury she suffered last winter when she fell down a full flight of stairs. That is why I am trying to come up with a solution to carry the trike and one or two bikes in the truck bed.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Wow! Your wife is lucky her fall injury wasn't much worse! My wife broke her foot and injured her back falling down just a half flight of stairs. We were carrying a big screen TV up to the living room on Superbowl Sunday a few years back. The TV fared much better than she did. She can't lift anything heavy either so I do all the bike loading.

The rig I use now for carrying 3 two wheelers is as shown:

37502 37499 37500 37501 37503 37504

I can deploy the pickup bed rack without removing the hitch rack. If I can't find a trike hitch rack that will clear the tailgate, I'll try your approach of putting the trike and one 2 wheeler in the truck bed and the other 2 wheeler on the hitch. I don't think I can fit a trike and both 2 wheelers in the truck.

I'm sure you could make something similar with 1 x 4's but you might want to try PVC pipe instead. It slides in and out of the bed very easily especially if you have a bed liner. Add some rope to keep it from sliding out too far, a couple of legs and you're in business. As you're doing with the 1 x 4's, you can make a rectangular "frame" out of PVC that just fits the truck bed. That way, you won't need to tie it down. Add cross pieces to support the tires and just tie the bikes to the PVC frame.

Wood or PVC, the idea is the same and either way, should work fine.
 

MikeDD

Active Member
We transport my wife's trike and my emtb in a 4x6 cargo trailer. We do not worry about weather or theft. The trailer weight about 800 lbs, but there are lighter trailers. The only problem is my wife keeps adding items to take on our trips.
 

PennyWV

New Member
My next ebike purchase may well be a trike for my wife. I've seen little here on the forum on ways to transport a 3 wheeler. I've talked to a few "trikers" on the trail and it seems most ride from home without transporting the bike with a vehicle. I have seen a couple on trailers but nothing on a hitch rack.

I've looked a a few online like the Hitch Rider: http://www.hitchrider.com/trike-bike.htm
and the Hollywood Sport Rider: https://www.modernbike.com/product-2126277298?gclid=CjwKCAjwtajrBRBVEiwA8w2Q8GZGrxfRJm6h4EHjh5ILZypIfUGjG77xCmJcmRIViNWywa4pm-92hhoC4eMQAvD_BwE

I'm concerned about carrying that much weight so far to the rear. I also question whether, at my age, I'll be able to lift a heavy trike onto a rack.

Another consideration is a cargo carrier such as this one from eTrailer: https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Cargo-Carrier/Lets-Go-Aero/H01397.html

It might work with a little modification and a home made side ramp.

I'd be interested to know how others here carry their trikes.
My next ebike purchase may well be a trike for my wife. I've seen little here on the forum on ways to transport a 3 wheeler. I've talked to a few "trikers" on the trail and it seems most ride from home without transporting the bike with a vehicle. I have seen a couple on trailers but nothing on a hitch rack.

I've looked a a few online like the Hitch Rider: http://www.hitchrider.com/trike-bike.htm
and the Hollywood Sport Rider: https://www.modernbike.com/product-2126277298?gclid=CjwKCAjwtajrBRBVEiwA8w2Q8GZGrxfRJm6h4EHjh5ILZypIfUGjG77xCmJcmRIViNWywa4pm-92hhoC4eMQAvD_BwE

I'm concerned about carrying that much weight so far to the rear. I also question whether, at my age, I'll be able to lift a heavy trike onto a rack.

Another consideration is a cargo carrier such as this one from eTrailer: https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Cargo-Carrier/Lets-Go-Aero/H01397.html

It might work with a little modification and a home made side ramp.

I'd be interested to know how others here carry their trikes.
I have the Hitchrider model TB1-2SBP that holds my catrike plus a regular bike. I’ve never had any issue with the extra weight. My trike, without the battery is approx. 46 lbs. The other bike is probably another 25. The rack itself is 52 and is rated to hold much more weight than I carry. I also have the extension handle that makes it easier to tilt and lift the rack. I have no problem at all loading the trike.
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
We transport my wife's trike and my emtb in a 4x6 cargo trailer. We do not worry about weather or theft. The trailer weight about 800 lbs, but there are lighter trailers. The only problem is my wife keeps adding items to take on our trips.
A trailer is definitely an option but it has it's drawbacks. I used to carry my motorcycles around on one. Gas stations, hotel parking lots and shopping malls all become difficult to navigate when pulling a trailer. Trailer storage is also an issue. If I do go that route, I'll probably get a lightweight folding model that you can stand on end and lean against a wall.

Thanks for your suggestion.
 

MikeDD

Active Member
A trailer is definitely an option but it has it's drawbacks. I used to carry my motorcycles around on one. Gas stations, hotel parking lots and shopping malls all become difficult to navigate when pulling a trailer. Trailer storage is also an issue. If I do go that route, I'll probably get a lightweight folding model that you can stand on end and lean against a wall.

Thanks for your suggestion.
I know what you mean about tight areas. I have a Grand Cherokee I pull the trailer with. I could barely get in and out of the REI parking lot in Medford, Oregon. Fortunately the Cherokee turns sharp and I can jack knife the trailer without hitting the Cherokee. We probably haul our bikes 3000 miles a year.
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
Ok, as promised, here are the pictures of the pickup bed carrier I constructed from 1x4's to transport the trike and up to two ebikes in my Ford Ranger. I have used it about 3 times now and it works like a charm. It is a tight fit, but the bikes are stable and don't contact each other anywhere, even over bumps. There are two pieces, one for the cab end of the truck bed and one for the tail gate end. You slide the tailgate piece in after the bikes are loaded before closing the tailgate, then I put on the cinch straps to hold everything tight and prevent any bouncing around. I can send some more detailed pictures if you are interested.

This is very light weight, about 25# for both pieces. I bought the best quality pine 1x4's I could find. They were strait, clear with no knots or bark scars, square edges. It required 8 6' 1x4's and 2 6' 1x2's. Total cost for lumber, glue and screws was < $75.
 

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6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Ok, as promised, here are the pictures of the pickup bed carrier I constructed from 1x4's to transport the trike and up to two ebikes in my Ford Ranger. I have used it about 3 times now and it works like a charm. It is a tight fit, but the bikes are stable and don't contact each other anywhere, even over bumps. There are two pieces, one for the cab end of the truck bed and one for the tail gate end. You slide the tailgate piece in after the bikes are loaded before closing the tailgate, then I put on the cinch straps to hold everything tight and prevent any bouncing around. I can send some more detailed pictures if you are interested.

This is very light weight, about 25# for both pieces. I bought the best quality pine 1x4's I could find. They were strait, clear with no knots or bark scars, square edges. It required 8 6' 1x4's and 2 6' 1x2's. Total cost for lumber, glue and screws was < $75.
Nice rack Alan! Well thought out and nicely executed. I assume you load the trike first followed by one or two bikes on each side?
 

AlanDB

Well-Known Member
Yes, trike has to go in first because otherwise the rear trike wheels won't clear the inside pedals of the other 2 bikes. When loading the bike(s) on each side of the trike, you have to get the bike far enough in so the back wheel is resting on the tailgate, then lift up the front wheel a few inches and pull the bike forward to clear the handle bar / mirror on the trike. Then you can roll the bike forward into the wheel slot. Since posting the pictures, I have made a couple of 5' ramps that hang on the end of the open tailgate. The ramps are trough shaped made out of 2x4's. I first position the ramps for the rear wheels of the trike, then push the trike up the ramp (back end first) until the back wheels are resting on the tailgate. Then it is easy to pick up the front end of the trike and roll it back into the truck bed. I then move the ramps out a few inches so they line up with the wheel slots for the 2 wheel bikes. Then I can roll each bike up the ramp (front wheel first) until the back wheel is up on the tailgate, then lift the front end up over the handlebar of the trike and roll it the rest of the way into the truck bed. Once all 3 bikes are in, I simply slide the ramps in under the trike, push in the tailgate piece, close the tailgate and attach the cinch straps. The ramps make the whole loading process an easy one-man operation without any heavy lifting.

Today we traveled to a trail head that was about a 50 mile drive, about half of it on the interstate. I actually also had my hitch rack (3 bike) on and carried a 4th bike on the rack. The two ebikes and trike in the truck bed remained very stable throughout the entire trip. So far I am pleased with this solution. The only problem is that my little Ranger is only 2 passenger, so for 3 (or more) riders we have to take a car as well as the truck.
 
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6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Yes, trike has to go in first because otherwise the rear trike wheels won't clear the inside pedals of the other 2 bikes. When loading the bike(s) on each side of the trike, you have to get the bike far enough in so the back wheel is resting on the tailgate, then lift up the front wheel a few inches and pull the bike forward to clear the handle bar / mirror on the trike. Then you can roll the bike forward into the wheel slot. Since posting the pictures, I have made a couple of 5' ramps that hang on the end of the open tailgate. The ramps are trough shaped made out of 2x4's. I first position the ramps for the rear wheels of the trike, then push the trike up the ramp (back end first) until the back wheels are resting on the tailgate. Then it is easy to pick up the front end of the trike and roll it back into the truck bed. I then move the ramps out a few inches so they line up with the wheel slots for the 2 wheel bikes. Then I can roll each bike up the ramp (front wheel first) until the back wheel is up on the tailgate, then lift the front end up over the handlebar of the trike and roll it the rest of the way into the truck bed. Once all 3 bikes are in, I simply slide the ramps in under the trike, push in the tailgate piece, close the tailgate and attach the cinch straps. The ramps make the whole loading process an easy one-man operation without any heavy lifting.

Today we traveled to a trail head that was about a 50 mile drive, about half of it on the interstate. I actually also had my hitch rack (3 bike) on and carried a 4th bike on the rack. The two ebikes and trike in the truck bed remained very stable throughout the entire trip. So far I am pleased with this solution. The only problem is that my little Ranger is only 2 passenger, so for 3 (or more) riders we have to take a car as well as the truck.
Looks like a good solution that should work well into the future. We're not getting any younger and lifting heavy objects is becoming less and less an option.

I considered the problem of a 2 passenger vehicle carrying 3 or 4 bikes when it came time to replace my old Chevy pickup. It had an 8' bed which my PVC rack was designed to fit. I bought a GMC extended cab with jump seats in the back. It has a 6' bed and I had to modify the rack to fit. I can now carry 4 bikes (with a hitch rack) and 4 people. There isn't much room for cargo though.
 

Redrock

New Member
Carrying a cargo rack with the bikes isn’t a problem for a 1/2 ton truck. They typically have a Class II (rated at 300 lbs tongue weight or a class III hitch which is rated at 600 lbs. check you spec sheet or online. The hitch may have a sticker on it with the specs. We have used cargo racks, towed boats and travel trailers without an issue. Also, many folks mount carriers for mobility scooters which weigh more than your bikes. You could make a ramp or buy lightweight aluminum ramps. You can also buy “swing-away” arm for the receiver hitch that goes in between the truck and the bike rack if you buy a trike tack. You just need enough room to swing it out to open your tailgate. Thule, Yakima and other companies have Swing-out arms for their racks.

 
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