This piece has been several months in the making- after issues with two previous carriers, I wanted to make sure my current carrier was going to work well for our situation. We finally have a Vespa trailer that is right for us.
Here is the scenario: after a month of cross country travel on a Vespa GTS250, staying somewhere new every night, I got tired of the packing and re-packing of my gear. Yet I loved riding long distance on my scooter and seeing the country. I decided to buy a small motor home and get a carrier for the scooter.
Knowing I wanted to be able to ride easily, I had requirements. There needed to be a class III or IV hitch, able to carry more than the ~350 lb load of my Vespa. The motor home I found was capable of this and more. The only drawback is a rear door, so this gets partially blocked when the scooter is loaded. Yet since the front doors provide full cabin access, it’s a minor inconvenience.
The trailer adds 3 feet to my overall length, making the length of my rig 22 feet. This is manageable in almost any parking situation, and the carrier is high enough that I can back up over the curb or grass dividers often present and fit in regular parking spots.
I also wanted to be able to unload and load the scooter off the rack by myself. The first two trailers were both advertised as fitting those requirements but were not up to the job. In one case, the hitch bolts actually got sheared off within 4 miles! In the other, it took 3 people to get the scooter on the rack because the angle was too steep and even the slightest power caused the rear to spin off sideways.
The carrier I’ve now had for two months has been fantastic. It is capable of holding up to 600 lbs and also has a 72inch track. The reason this is most important is that it allows the scooter to actually be off-center. Due to the rear engine design of a Vespa, the majority of the weight is on the back end. By rolling the Vespa all the way forward onto the rack- toward the drivers side of the vehicle- the weight of the engine sits almost on the center of the carrier, and therefore right over the hitch. This minimizes the stress on the hitch and makes for a more durable set-up.
In addition, the detachable ramp is over five feet. This allows for a gradual incline for loading the bike. Under just a slight amount of power, I’m able to easily load the bike up on my own. While I will grab someone for a second set of hands if possible, the ability to load and unload solo is a great feature. (note, solo loading is not advised by the manufacturer. But when have I been one to play by the rules?)
To further protect the long term stability of my hitch, I use the two rear/ passenger’s side tie down points to run towing straps to secure attachment points on the roof of the rv. This distributes the load of the carrier even more, and lifts up the rear end of the Vespa.
The carrier is manufactured very well- the materials are of significant strength and density, the joints are welded strongly, the design of the ramp for loading and then being able to store it right on the carrier is smart. The front wheel chock design makes it moveable enough for loading the bike, but stays in place once the bike is loaded, providing further stability. I purchased it through DiscountRamps.com (no affiliation or compensation given)
While I haven’t been riding as much as I envisioned, I hope to rectify that in the coming weeks when I head further south and stay in one place for longer periods of time. I’ve gotten the unload time down to 5 minutes and re-load to 10 minutes, but sometimes get lazy and haven’t wanted to do it, or wasn’t in one place long enough to make it worthwhile. That will change soon.