Loading and unloading

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Loading and unloading

Post by Fatbinki »

I have a Destiny 2400 w rear entry door and automatic steps. I’m considering attaching a hitch mounted motorcycle carrier so I can load my Piaggio scooter. The scooter weighs over 400 lbs (it is a 500cc), so, 2 issues I could use some advice on

1.can the hitch handle the combined weight of carrier rack and scooter and...
2.how difficult is it to load a motorcycle onto one of these racks?

I’m a girl...and my upper body strength is not great so I Afraid of getting the Scooter halfway up the ramp, losing my balance and having the thing fall over on top of me.… Any suggestions or alternatives would be greatly helpful, thanks to all
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Location: 1999 Concourse

Re: Loading and unloading

Post by Blue~Go »

I have a Concourse, which is on the Ford chassis, but I can recommend a few things you check, weight-wise.

1) Depending on the year, I have read that the Destinys cut it even closer than the Concourse/Premier on weight ratings. You'll want to check both your GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) and your GAWR-R (gross axle weight rating - rear axle). Those ratings should be on a sticker on the driver's door jamb. Then, go to a scale and weigh your Destiny [see more below]. It's best if you weigh with your full traveling gear (full water/fuel/propane/clothing/food/stuff/people) but if you don't you can calculate some of it (the liquids).

If you have a later Destiny on the equivalent of the E-450 (but Chevy I believe) you may have more headroom on weight (or maybe not if you have a slide, I don't know, but the figures and math will tell). Oh, but you have a rear door, so you probably have the earlier Destiny on the E-350 equivalent Chevy chassis, and maybe not much weight to spare.

2) Okay, now see what is left over after you subtract your scale weights from your GVRW and GAWR figures.

3) Next, have a look at your hitch. I think mine is only rated to 5,000#/500# tongue weight but I'm not positive. Anyway, that can be welded and reinforced if necessary. Actually, I'm not sure I would carry 500# (cycle and carrier) on any single hitch point. Too much side to side leverage and motion. So I'd probably have something welded with an extra couple of points of attachment. But you could test it out in a parking lot (preferably a bumpy one) and see. Maybe there are some ways that has been solved (?)

So now let's say you have around 700# to spare on your rear axle (I'm not sure you will) and your gross combined weight ratings (with ratings, the weak link is what calls the shots - in other words, you have to choose the "worst" rating as the limiter). Then you can consider mounting the motorcycle and staying within your weight limits.

Why do I say 700#? Well, the reason is that the hitch is a certain distance behind the rear axle (likely 10' or more). So it acts like a lever arm. For example, when I tow my trailer that has 350# of tongue weight (weight on the hitch), it transfers 550# to the rear axle.

One you have a weight for the carrier you plan to use, we can add that to the motorcycle weight and do a precise calculation of how much weigh it will add to the rear axle. I'm guessing based on 400# cycle, 100# rack, then just estimating. But I can calculate it exactly (there are formulas) - here so you can see it - once we have the figures.

My guess is that you'll be a bit too tight on the rear axle to carry a complete motorcycle on the rear, but the actual weight figures plus some math are better than my guess.

What you will need:

1) Weight of Destiny, both front and rear axles, loaded as for traveling.
2) Weight ratings from door jamb.
3) Distance between front and rear axles.
4) Distance from rear axle to weight of motorcycle (i.e. to hitch plus however far the cycle is past the hitch).
5) Actual weight of motorcycle with fluids in it, and actual weight of carrier tray.

For weighing, if you are lucky enough to live in a state that lets the public use public scales, then just roam on over to one and weigh yourself at your leisure (I know both Washington and Oregon do this - any public highway scale is open for you to use when it is not open to truckers. In other words, they leave them on for your when they are "closed.") A great feature!

If not, you can go to one of the many CAT scales (you can look them up online, but they are generally at truck stop type gas stations - Pilot, Love's, etc.). Pull up to the scale and look for the activator button about a mile above your head (trucker height) and let them know you don't need a certified weight. Weigh both axles (they will tell you when to pull up, etc.), then go inside and pay and you will get a slip. Should be something like $10. Here is my weigh slip from when I was on may way home after buying my Concourse:
Baseline weigh.jpg
My notes are blocking part of it off, but you get the idea.

So to use that for an example, if I wanted to carry your motorcycle:

1) My GVWR is 10,700#
2) GAWR-F is 3,700#
3) GAWR-R is 7,500#

The above figures are from my door jamb/Ford.

So at baseline weigh, I got these figures:

1) GVW = 9,940# (760# to spare)
2) GAW-F = 3,060# (640# to spare)
3) GAW-R = 6,880# (620# to spare)

However I see in my notes that I was "missing" a few things I'd typically have when RV traveling:

1) Very little water (normally I'd have either full fresh, or full black and grey). Full fresh adds around 240#, mostly on the rear axle (all if grey/black; maybe 2/3 if fresh).

2) Only one little house battery; now I have three larger ones (this might not be the same for you).

3) Nothing in the refrigerator.

4) Only about 1/3 of my normal "stuff."

5) I was solo (this is typical for me, but may not be for you).

So could I add 500# of motorcycle and carrier?

1) GVWR, maaybe. I only have 750# to spare and still need water, stuff, and food, so this could be tight.
2) GAWR-F, sure. No problem there.
3) GAWR-R, likely not. Much of my "stuff" weight will also affect the rear axle, the bike plus carrier will add 600-700# to the rear axle and I only have 620# to spare to begin with.

Since the weak link establishes the rules, I don't think I'd be able to carry said cycle. I'd likely move to a lighter one, or tow a small trailer which has the plus of also being a built-in garage, plus you can more easily get in and out the rear door (in fact I do tow a small cargo trailer from time-to-time).

The upshot is that these rigs were built pretty close to specs. The target audience were older folks who had "retired" from Class A ownership but still wanted all the features. So all the features were (nicely) crammed into an E-350 chassis (in the case of the Concourse/Premier), and there wasn't much left over. But then the retired Class A folks were likely past the stage of wanting to bring motorcycles and the like so it worked out fine.

1999 Concourse
Posts: 13
Joined: January 16th, 2018, 4:49 pm

Re: Loading and unloading

Post by Fatbinki »

Most excellent advice BG. I’ll keep investigating it and start looking at combined weights. Etc. Thanks.
Posts: 14
Joined: August 5th, 2021, 4:51 am

Re: Loading and unloading

Post by daltonbourne »

I just used this Direct Aftermarket bike mount for a 60-mile trip carrying a 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 400 that weighs about 400 lbs. It worked great. This rack was fairly light but sturdy and I could easily install it. It has an anti-wobble locking device, which makes me feel completely safe using it, and I can enjoy riding wherever I go.
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