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The OTHER White Meat.
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OK.....just to make it clear, riding L.A freeways is not fun.

We live near Disneyland, and there are just a few motorcycle roads. We've traveled them much, and want to get out to the SoCal boonies more.

We just are not ironbutts (neither are we spring chickens).

We are considering a trailer...:sofa:...so we can haul to someplace like Bakersfield, then spend a day and a half riding in the Sequoias or Yosemite.

We drive a 4 cyl. 2002 Saturn L100 sedan.

Is that enough car to haul a small trailer and the bike or are we asking for trouble?
 

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My brother had a Ford Ranger with a 4 cylinder and use to pull a bass boat with it all the time with no problems. He did say he could definitely feel the strain on the motor and brakes though.
 

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trailer and bike..hmm..prolly 12 to 1300 pounds

light tounge weight

get the best reciever hitch you can..and a 5x8 trailer with ramp tailgate

should be fine
 

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You might check with Uhaul. They rent motorcycle trailers, can tell you if the combo will work, as well as mount the hitch.
 

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It may be fine but I'm sure it's not going to be good for that tiny engine and tranny especially driving up steep hills. Maybe look into buying one of those cycle trailers that just holds up the front wheel and rides on the rear.....prolly save a few hundred pounds
 

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Is that enough car to haul a small trailer and the bike or are we asking for trouble?
You're asking for trouble. I drive to Fresno from El Cajon (San Diego) once a month and have yet to see a clear road without at least one car on the side of the road with steam billowing out of an open hood. Then once you get to the top you have to come down the other side and that's not going to be fun either trying to whoa that trailer up with brakes designed to stop only the car. If you don't go north on I-5 over Tejon Pass then you'll have to go north on I-15 over Cajon Pass and both ways are uphill coming out of the LA basin and down hill once you get to the top. Lately I've been going over 395 to 58 and down into Bakersfield and it's about the same amount of time and less stress than I-5.

A small 6 cylinder pick up would be fine. I drove a 6 cylinder Ranger for work for a couple years and it had plenty of power and plenty of brakes to handle something like that
 

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Riding yr rnd in sunny FL
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You could probably manage with the 4 cyl, but I agree with Martin64 that you are asking for trouble, especially on the long grades that you will have to climb in CA. You will enjoy the trailer though. I used my trailer to haul my WG up to Virginia last summer to visit the folks who live 11 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway and had a great time.
 

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I don't know enough about the Saturn to make a guess on the tow matter. I think the 1200 lb. trailer and load weight would be about right, not including your passengers and gear. That really isn't that much. Have you checked your owners manual for any recommendations regarding towing?
As for driving the "Grapevine", I've been doing it for 35 years and in my younger days drove a tow truck out of Fort Tejon and got to meet a lot of unfortunate souls who "couldn't make the grade". My experience is this: If your car is well maintained and the cooling system is in good shape, you will get over the hill with no difficulty, as long as you don't allow your engine to lug and run your A/C. Keep it out of overdrive and in second if the road is really steep and keep the revs up to keep the coolant moving. Use the transmission to control your speed on the way down the other side as well.
There are thousands of miles of great roads around here to pique your interest. Give me a shout when you're coming and I'll point the way and maybe join you if you'd like.
One other word of caution, the December/January weather in the central valley is nothing like in the OC. It is cold and foggy for weeks on end and can be downright unpleasant to ride in. From March through June tho, it is awesome.
 

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My experience is this: If your car is well maintained and the cooling system is in good shape, you will get over the hill with no difficulty, as long as you don't allow your engine to lug and run your A/C. Keep it out of overdrive and in second if the road is really steep and keep the revs up to keep the coolant moving. Use the transmission to control your speed on the way down the other side as well.
I fully agree, and the distance from Castaic to Bakersfield isn't all that far and doesn't take very long, but it can sure be a long day when something does go wrong.
 

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Could always look at the tag on the inside of the drivers door. Pretty sure that it'll tell ya what the max towing weight that the car can handle.
 

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Shithead
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fijfi said:
Could always look at the tag on the inside of the drivers door. Pretty sure that it'll tell ya what the max towing weight that the car can handle.
Another rough and ready guide is the weight of the fully loaded trailer (trailer + bike) should not exceed the Gross Weight rating of the car - max. 75% is better.
 

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duhast,
Best advice has been given, however I'd stay away form the Altamont Pass or the Grape Vine if you ever head north. Make sure you have decent brakes; what goes up hill must come down. Old truck drivers advice in towing is… what ever gear you go up a hill in is the same gear you go down in.
V/R
Chris
 

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Total Nutcase
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That car will pull the bike trailer with no problem. Remember the Ford Mustang II? I used one of those junky cars to pull a trailer with three motocross bikes all over the country. It was a 4 cyl. Never had a prob. Granted, Harleys weigh more than MX bikes, but that car can handle it. If you get a light weight trailer, the actual amount of power it takes to pull it is surprisingly little.
 

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Pulled a trailer from IL to VA last year with a Honda Civic with no problems but kept under 80 usually. The trailer is a little under 300 lb so the whole thing, bike and trailer was under the 1000 lb limit of the car - hitch combination. What no one has mentioned yet is automatic transmissions should have extra cooling, a manual would give you no trouble.
 

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Forgetter of Things
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IronMajor said:
duhast,
Best advice has been given, however..........Make sure you have decent brakes; what goes up hill must come down.
here's a tip on braking on downhill grades...DON'T pump the brakes.
I learned this when i was driving 18 wheelers back in the early '80's - the test was actually done on I-5 somewhere.
just keep a steady light pressure on the brakes - you're transmission must be in the right gear to slow you.
every time you pump the brake, you're letting air(oxygen) in...and that just makes the pads hotter. when they get over a certain temp., they have no stopping power.
The first time i went down the San Bernadino mts., i wasn't geared down enough & heated the brakes. there's a scale toward the bottom, and when i pulled on & let off the brakes, i looked in the mirror and could see all the smoke coming off the trailer brakes...it was in the middle of the night and the officer tending the scale made me sit there quite awhile.
 

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Longtime Asphalt Cowboy
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fatbob said:
.......no one has mentioned yet is automatic transmissions should have extra cooling, a manual would give you no trouble.
Was wondering if somebody was going to mention a trans cooler. A MUST have in my opinion on any vehicle that does any towing at all. I tow with a '72 454 Cowl Induction El Camino and I HAVE a tranmission cooler on it, a big one.

I'd be very leary towing with a 4 cyl vehicle...but that my opinion.

Good call FatBob!

o~\o
 

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Ghetto Blaster
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duhast said:
OK.....just to make it clear, riding L.A freeways is not fun.

We live near Disneyland, and there are just a few motorcycle roads. We've traveled them much, and want to get out to the SoCal boonies more.

We just are not ironbutts (neither are we spring chickens).

We are considering a trailer...:sofa:...so we can haul to someplace like Bakersfield, then spend a day and a half riding in the Sequoias or Yosemite.

We drive a 4 cyl. 2002 Saturn L100 sedan.

Is that enough car to haul a small trailer and the bike or are we asking for trouble?
You are right about sometimes the freeways in so cal being no fun. I make trips similar to what you are talking 2-4 times a year. If it was me, i'd leave the car/trailer at home (depending on what time of year you wish to go)...it isn't as far as it sounds. When I go, I leave as early as possible (like sunrise) and get as far up the grapevine as I can. I'd take the 57 north to the 210 & take it all the way (staying on the 210 and going north at the 210/134 split) until it meets with the 5 in sylmar. That way you miss most of the LA traffic. Once youre past Magic Mountain?Valencia & the Grapevine...I stop at a cafe at the corner of Union ave & Bear mtn hwy. (hwy 223) off Hwy 99. A little hole in the wall that serves food to many of the local farmers and the occasional passersby like me. I'll stop & have breakfast there and it's a nice break point before Bakersfield. Gas up in Bakersfield...then it's a easy jaunt up the 99 to wherever you want to go. Bakersfield is basically 1/2 way to a town called Oakhurst, which is a great place to get a room, then ride into Yosemite or other places. If you want to go to Sequoias, Go up Hwy 99 to 198 in Visalia and follow the signs. Lotsa cool spots to stop between there. So, that's just my .02 cents. Not much help on the trailer weight issue. It really isn't as far as people think. You DO need to be wary of tully fog going up 99 in the winter months. I'd go up there in spring as the green has come back to the terrain. Late summer most of it turns brown. Need more info, PM me...
 
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