Ten Essential Accessories for Your Towing Kit

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Ten Essential Accessories for Your Towing Kit

Riding your bike is way more exciting than towing or hauling it, but sometimes it has to be done. The good news is that there are some essential pieces of gear that will make your towing chores easier, safer and more enjoyable. You may never look forward to loading or unloading your bike – but if you’re properly equipped and prepared, at least you won’t have to dread it.

Here are the ten essential accessories to add to your towing kit:

BOLT Locks
BOLT Locks

BOLT Locks – $27.49 – $40.95

If you have a late model Chrysler, Ford, Nissan, Toyota, GM SUV or truck your towing life can be a little bit safer and easier with a BOLT lock. “BOLT” stands for “Breakthrough One-Key Lock Technology.” They make a set of padlocks, hitch locks, cable locks and toolbox latches that can be instantly coded to work with your vehicle’s ignition key. By following some very simple instructions, consumers can set up their own locks to work with no locksmith or dealership visit required.

Unless you’re a high school janitor, you’ll appreciate the fact that you can now unlock your toolbox, secure your tow hitch, lock and unlock your spare tire without having to add a key to your key ring.

Hindsight Hitching System
Hindsight Hitching System

Hindsight Hitching System – $299.99

Have you ever wished that you had eyes in the back of your head? The Hindsight Hitching System is one way to fulfill that dream, sort of. Its a wireless, rechargeable system that consists of a clever magnetic mount camera and a portable 2.4″ LCD monitor. You just stick the camera on the back of your vehicle, point it at the trailer hitch, and then you’ll be able to see what’s going on from the comfort and convenience of your driver’s seat. The camera has a microphone too, so you can hear as well as see what’s going on. Much easier than the traditional “C’mon back, c’mon back” system that we’ve all used for years. Additional cameras are available for $99 each, and you can connect up to four at a time to the system, allowing you to switch back and forth for multiple views.

Trailer Wheel Ring Dock Chock
Trailer Wheel Ring Dock Chock

Trailer Wheel Ring Dock Chock – $5.37

Your trailer needs attention, even when it is not hitched to your tow vehicle. This simple, inexpensive accessory can be a lifesaver. Place the Ring Dock Chock where you want your trailer’s tongue to stay, and lower the trailer wheel so that it is nestled in the center of the ring. Your trailer will stay put, avoiding the creep and roll that sometimes happens to an unattended trailer. If you’ve got a permanent parking space for your trailer, you can even permanently secure the Ring Dock Chock to the ground, and it will act as a locator so that you will always be able to park in exactly the right spot.

Trailer Wheel Chocks
Trailer Wheel Chocks

Trailer Wheel Chocks – $7.00

This is another inexpensive accessory that should be in every towing kit. Don’t search for a rock or a log to chock your trailer wheels. Carry a set (or two) of actual wheel chocks to keep your trailer securely stationary while you load and unload your bike. I tend to lose these all the time, so I go with an inexpensive, solid rubber set like you can find at Harbor Freight or a similar discount tool place. I take the additional precaution of spray-painting my chocks in a high-viz color so I can find them, and hopefully remember to pick them up before I drive away.

Pingel Cycle Jaws Wheel Chock
Pingel Cycle Jaws Wheel Chock

Pingel Cycle Jaws Wheel Chock – $289.00

If you trailer your bike on a regular basis, or even if you don’t, a motorcycle wheel chock will change your life. Pingel’s Cycle Jaws Wheel Chock is my personal favorite, because it is so easy to use. Just roll the bike right in to the chock, turn the crank on the side of the chock, and it locks your wheel into the perfect position, holding your motorcycle securely upright. You still have to tie your bike down in a trailer, but you don’t have to compress your forks and risk damaged springs and seals. The Cycle Jaws can also be used on any level surface off of the trailer, making it handy for storage, maintenance and cleaning.

Continue Reading: Ten Essential Accessories for Your Towing Kit >>

  • RyanO

    Instead of the cycle jaws wheel chock how about the pitbull trailer restraint system? Lower profile, no tie downs needed, and since the largest part of the restraint system stays on the bike you don’t lose room on the trailer when the bike isn’t there. Same price too.

    http://www.pit-bull.com/trailer-restraint.shtml

    • AlexKnolly

      Can’t recommend Pit Bull TRS enough. It’s life changing. No tie-downs or anything. I use it on my tiny open trailer and it’s great: http://i.imgur.com/dWTZV7D.jpg

      Note, the front wheel chock isn’t necessary with the Pit Bull system, I just have it there so I can pull it off at the track.

      • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

        That’s a nicely thought out set up, right there.

        • AlexKnolly

          Thanks, it’s something I’m constantly working on improving. That’s an older photo, right now it has a non-folding solid ramp the bolts with quick releases under the bike, just behind the rear tire. I also put four lengths of e-track on the rear half so I can strap things down like my cooler and generator.

          Just trying to get as much functionality out of it while not making it too heavy for my lil’ car, haha. The only thing I want to do for next season is figure out the best way to carry my spare wheels with my rain tires, but I have a few pretty good ideas.

          • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

            I might nerd out a bit about preparation, layout, and tools. My WRX is many things, but a stout tow vehicle is none of them. I definitely see you are using better use of space on your set up, so I might borrow some ideas.

            • AlexKnolly

              I absolutely get it. I spend a ridiculous amount of time thinking about the best way to attach and load various things. The other part of the madness is that its a Harbor Freight fold-up trailer, so everything has to be easily removable so it can still fold up nearly flush. Luckily I now rent a garage specifically for the trailer so I can keep it loaded and ready to go all of the time, but I want to always keep the option there for the future. Some people claim its because I’m an engineer, but I think it’s because I just like really slick solutions to problems, haha.
              And hey, a WRX is an awesome tow vehicle compared to my Ford Fiesta.

              • Thomas Whitener

                I think you may be an engineer because you like slick solutions to problems, and not the other way around, lol. Excellent setup, thanks for sharing.

      • RyanO

        Damnit Knolly, stick to the 675.net forum where you belong!!! :D
        Another necesseity with towing is to check your lugs to make sure they are tight before setting off!
        My father and I were hauling our atvs when one of the wheels starting shaking everything violently. Turns out the lugs were loose, and after checking they were loose on another tire as well! It was a dual axle trailer so we just pulled that wheel off (hub and all since it was completely destroyed) and managed to get it home.
        -Firedude

        • AlexKnolly

          Haha, I have a 250 now, gimme a break!

    • Justin McClintock

      What’s holding the front of the bike down? As best I can tell, if you hit a bump, the only thing holding the front end down (if that system is all you use like they claim), would be your tranmission/engine assuming you keep the bike in gear. And nothing if you don’t. Front end could bounce all over the place.

      • AlexKnolly

        Yeah, front end can bounce and the bars can move side-to-side, but since the rear is secured, the bike isn’t going anywhere. I have a chock now but used it without the chock for quite a while and had zero issues.

        It’ll bounce around a little but the way I see it, aside from rolling your trailer or something, you’re not gonna do anything to the bike that is anywhere near as close to what happens when you ride it.

    • Dave Mason

      +1 for Pitbull TRS. It is so superior to any other method I refuse to trailer anything bigger than a smallish dirtbike with anything else.

  • Justin McClintock

    Some of this stuff is great, but admittedly some of it is only useful if you’re pulling big stuff with big stuff. I pull a Harbor Freight folding trailer behind our 3 or our CX-5. I don’t need a tongue weight scale for that…..if I can pick it up, it’s not too heavy. If I can’t, it is. As for the camera….many newer vehicles (like our CX-5) come with a rearview camera that can see the hitch really well. Then again, I don’t even have a tongue jack. Lightweight trailer…simply pick it up and set it down over the jack. Not for everybody obviously, but it fits the bill for those of us who are big oafs and still cheap.

    And for the love of God, make sure you’re pressures are good on your trailer tires AND THE SPARE!!!

    • Jason Fogelson

      Great advice, Justin. I probably should have included a quality tire gauge in this list, too. Essential equipment for every motorcyclist and every car driver, too.

  • http://metabomber.com/ Jesse

    Regarding hitches in general: Check your local laws about hitches. Some states get kind of cranky about naked hitches protruding past the rear bumper, when not actually towing something. Depending on state, it’s just one more thing for a LEO on a bad day to hassle you about on a day when you aren’t on the bike.

  • Piglet2010

    I have been towing without a single one of these items – oh no!

  • Brian

    No offense to the Pingel, but my Baxley Sport Chock works aweesomely for less $$$ and is easily removable to use as a static bike stand at the track or in the garage.

  • NYRider

    I will never again buy or use a strap unless it’s a retractable strap. It makes life so much easier, especially if you are the guy who owns a trailer and everyone and their brother calls you to tow their bikes. First there is no sitting there for 10 minutes trying to untangle them, then there is no tying them off so they don’t flap in the wind, then there is no pulling over to tie them back up because they got loose and are flapping in the wind, then there is no wrapping them up in a nice bundle for 10 minutes so you can put them away nice and neat. Hook one end, pull other end and hook on, ratchet a couple times and you’re done. Afterwards press a button, have them retract and toss em in your tow bagbox.

  • Davidabl2

    For offroad (or very remote paved roads) you could use the “towing kit” that our ancestors used ; a tow rope to bring a crippled bike back to civilization.
    One loop (or two half hitches:see knots article) around the risers, handheld so the towee can uncouple at will from the towing bike..