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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi Guys , this is my first post . I hope it is in the correct section.

I am an Australian planning to begin a RTW motorcycle trip this year - but with a difference ..., I plan to tow a trailer behind a Motorcycle.

Question : What I want to know is ..,
- If any of you guys have towed a trailer behind your motorcycles from the USA , down through CENTRAL & SOUTH America ?
- Or if you know what the legal requirements are "if any" to cross into those countries Boarders - with regards to towing a trailer behind a motorcycle?
- Are there any restrictions , or do they give you a hard time , or charge you and extra insurance or fees to tow a trailer behing your bike when you cross their boarders ?


Guys, I plan to spend at least 12 month riding through the Americas leg of my trip - and I have been searching high and low for answers (to the questions above) on adventure bike forums and also on Horizons unlimited regarding my trailer questions - although these forums have been great for my non-trailer related questions ...,

- so far - no-one on those forums has yet been able to answer my questions regarding towing a trailer behind a motorcycle 'outside of the USA' ?

I am determined to stick to my bike/trailer plan if the boarder crossings will allow it - for the countries of Central & South America .



Guys - After I ship my bike to the USA I want to buy a Bushtec Spartan Trailer (made in the USA)

[link] https://www.bushtec.com/inventory/v...artan/Standard--Jacksboro-Tennessee---1594461

- for its superior air adjustable suspension ,
- and larger 16" diameter wheels
- It's lightweight and narrow width

..., and I want to modify the trailer slightly by mounting a lightweight lockable aluminium box on top of the Trailer - that is long enough to carry 3 to 4 surfboards inside the lockable box .

Total weight of the modified trailer + load = about 90 kg's all up

Some comments to my unanswered questions on other forums have said I am nuts for wanting to tow a trailer to carry surfboards.
- but it's my trip , my expense, my dream, and my extreme passion ..., and i will endeavour to make it happen my way - regardless of hecklers and naysayers ..., just as long as there are NO legal implications involved in cross the boarders whilst towing a trailer behind a motorcycle.



This is why I am seeking the collective advice from you Goldwing guys ...,
- as 'you guys' IMO are kings of the mountain when it comes to Bikes towing trailers , and love to tour long distances while not averse to wanting some creature comforts when you tour ...., I cannot think of a better group to ask ?


Cheers Guys :smile2:
 

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The only insight I have is crossing from the US to and from Canada with a pickup and trailer
Just had to make sure I had the trailer registration and proof the trailer was covered by a liability insurance
 
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Welcome to you from Mississippi. Carrying surf boards I'm betting you won't be riding along the Gulf Coast. But that sure sounds like a great adventure.

I don't know the answer to your question, as I don't pull a trailer. But what if you were driving a car pulling a trailer? I would think that would be the same thing and might be easier to get an answer. I'm also betting that properly tagged and insured would be the answer.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
The only insight I have is crossing from the US to and from Canada with a pickup and trailer
Just had to make sure I had the trailer registration and proof the trailer was covered by a liability insurance
Hi dsurley , thank you kindly for your input :) .
I am guessing that the liability insurances you mentioned - is referring to the imposed insurance policies you have to buy at the boarders of some countries before they grant you a visa ?
- or some immigration guys may do it differently and let you into the country on the condition that you purchase a policy after entering that country to cover your time spent in that country ..., ie; the policy that the (bent) police hope you don't have (when they keep pulling you over) so they can RORT you out of a big wad of cash for their personal retirement fund :D

..., is that the liability insurance you are referring to ?

(This is irrelevant to my question .., but just for interest if ever you go to Australia ..,
Australia - my home country has a liability insurance and it is called CTP - Compulsory Third Party Insurance , and it covers the medical expenses of someone else who was injured if you caused the accident . Note; CTP does not cover any property damage what so ever , nor does CTP cover your own medical cost if you are injured. You would need to have your own personal travel insurance to cover you for those things.
All Australian automatically have CTP attached to the price of their yearly vehicle registration throughout Australia to ensure every motorist is covered, and vehicle registrations are handles by each different state depending on where you live - just like the U.S.

But for visiting International Cars and bikes - (say you shipped your USA registered Goldwing to Australia) , then you would need a carnet de passage (like a passport for you goldwing)- and depending on which Australian State that shipped your bike to - You will need to buy a CTP policy at the boarder - except for New South Wales / Sydney . as they dont charge it for some reason - and many people chose that port for that reason)



Welcome to you from Mississippi. Carrying surf boards I'm betting you won't be riding along the Gulf Coast. But that sure sounds like a great adventure.

I don't know the answer to your question, as I don't pull a trailer. But what if you were driving a car pulling a trailer? I would think that would be the same thing and might be easier to get an answer. I'm also betting that properly tagged and insured would be the answer.
Hi Crownfire , thank you for your reply and welcome also ,
I will arrive in Los Angeles and leave my boards in San Diego (or S.F) to begin my trip, so that I can spend 2 months on the T.A.T before ending up in Tennessee (where I pick up the trailer at Bushtec and get the hitch installed) .
Then the plan once the trailer gets installed is to explore the Southern states (camping where possible) on-route back to California to pick up my boards, and then head south via Baja and the Pacific coast and numerous mountain ranges through Central and South America.
I wont be following an itinerary other than what is dictated by the duration of my visas, and I also want to follow the warmer seasons and begin the T.A.T in Summer, and Be in South America by the next summer because I have been living in Indonesia the last 12 years, and the thought of cold weather freaking me out :laugh2:
 

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I can't answer your question, but you might call this insurance company. https://www.mexpro.com/ They might be able to answer your questions.
 
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As long as the trailer is properly licensed and covered by your Motorcycle insurance for travel outside the USA you should be ok. But like have been suggest check with the insurance company to be sure they cover you in the countries you plan on traveling in.
 

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Looks like the guys have similar opinions as I do, so I will just say, Welcome to the GWOF and enjoy this impressive trip. Who knows you may even meet up with a GWOF member or two if you choose to share your ride routes.
 
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We have been known to host some Aussies now and then., What were their names ? Lad; Eric and Lady Vanessa, if I recall right!!!
 

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Global Medical Insurance -

Hey KTM - The trip you have planned sounds like a great adventure just stay in close contact with your embassy as you travel down through S.A.. They will always have the latest information on an area route and any precautions to be aware of. Typically the coastal regions are usually the safest.

Although insurance on your bike and trailer will be needed, make sure to take out a good Global Medical Insurance Plan that (worse case scenario) can provide a flight back to the world in case of a serious accident. There will be lots of major currencies to deal with and their exchange rate as you cross the borders are often determined by the wind direction. The U.S. Dollar is considered universally accepted everywhere in S.A. but seriously watch for counterfeit bills even from the banks. Fake currency is a game amongst many of the money outlets and some of it is really well done. When buying anything in a local market, your counter offer should start at approximately half the initial "******" price. :)

Good Luck, Michael
 

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The liability insurance needs to cover medical and property damage you cause
 
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Sounds like an awesome trip. If you want any tips on things to see and places to ride in the southeast don't hesitate to ask.
 
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Trans-American Trail -

Hey KTM - I've ridden parts of the Trans-American Trail (TAT) and it is a great experience. There are lots of beautiful back country paved and unpaved roads with plenty of wilderness camping if you are so inclined. There are many remote sections that seem to transport you back 100 years into the time of our earliest settlers.

It is never too early to begin researching and preparing the ground work for your RTW trip through S.A. The only reason I suggested an additional Global Medical Insurance Policy for yourself along with a "Country Specific" Accidental Bodily Injury, Property Damage and Liability Policy is to OVER cover your personal health. Often because of the distances involved, some even carry insurance that will transport their damaged motorcycle to a reputable repair facility. Parts and a skilled serviceman can be scarce in some areas.

One aggravating point is that in most S.A. countries you are considered at fault no matter the circumstances of the accident. Their logic is that "as a foreigner" if you weren't in their country the event would not have occurred. Lawyers :(

I don't pull a trailer but over the years have crossed paths with many bikers who do. As far as crossing borders from one country to the next just be prepared for a thorough search. There will be LOTS of security checks in Mexico and on down through S.A. - mostly just outside town along the main roads. Just remember "Sin armas ni drogas".

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
As long as the trailer is properly licensed and covered by your Motorcycle insurance for travel outside the USA you should be ok. But like have been suggest check with the insurance company to be sure they cover you in the countries you plan on traveling in.
Looks like the guys have similar opinions as I do, so I will just say, Welcome to the GWOF and enjoy this impressive trip. Who knows you may even meet up with a GWOF member or two if you choose to share your ride routes.
We have been known to host some Aussies now and then., What were their names ? Lad; Eric and Lady Vanessa, if I recall right!!!
The U.S. Dollar is considered universally accepted everywhere in S.A. but seriously watch for counterfeit bills even from the banks. Fake currency is a game amongst many of the money outlets and some of it is really well done. When buying anything in a local market, your counter offer should start at approximately half the initial "******" price. :)

Good Luck, Michael
Thank you kindly guy for all your great info and advice - you guys are great .
jkmcdonald , yes I know what you mean regarding counterfeit notes and scams / tricks by money exchangers etc .
I am actually living in Bali Indonesia (12 years already) and we have the same problem here. many shops have ultra violet lamps to scan notes it is so common, and the street money changers are like magicians with how they manage to shortchange and rip you off , so much so that they should have a magic show in Vegas.

I took a visiting friend on a Saturday night tour a few months back of some of these 'non-official' money exchange shops for our own amusement (they are scattered all throughout the tourist precinct) - he knew they pulled scams but didn't realise how extreme they can stretch it. (many places will advertise higher rates than what current - to attract unsuspecting customers - these places have the best magicians).
Just for our own entertainment my friend and I 'deliberately acting like typical tourist greenhorns' .., attempted to exchange cash with these shops just for a laugh
(Note: Friday & Saturday night is also when these scammers are all out to play, as they make/scam most of their money on these nights as many tourist want some quick party cash)
.

I know all their slimy tricks ,
.., but just to show my friend how bad they really are we let them count the cash (in front of us) then present their 'looked like counted correctly' cash to us ...., and .., just before you accept the cash by putting it your wallet and walk out the door (only a fool would not recount it right - but the way it was clearly counted it in front of you , it looked as if there was no was any note could possibly be missing - wrong)

Next - I'd surprise them by telling them I want to check it myself BUT strictly demand doing it my way , ie; after they thought they had scammed us and gotten away with it . to which was met each time with a 'no need. you saw me , it's all there etc etc) .., But I insisted as I prepared (and pre-warned my friend) for their back up ploy / counter attack ..,

.., I demanding : they never once touch the cash on the counter the entire time I am counting - nor talk to me even once (but they did) until I had complete the count.

Each attempt by me to re-count was suffered by their many protests and multiple distraction ploys (as expected) and touching the money .., to which resulted in me having to start the recount all over again each time .

After finally completing the counts , thus exposing them in the end that their money had come up short !

- We informed them they still had to give us more cash (remember - their advertised exchange price was much higher than the current exchange rates to suck people into using their shop)

Well the result each time was hilarious ..., out of 6 shops,

- two of them didn't even let us finish the count and just angrily shoved our original money back at us and told us to get out ...,

- but the other four shops - all embarrassed and run out of tricks and acting dumbfounded .., handed us back our original foreign cash , and .., to 'save face' (for themselves LOL) they told us the same similar story, ie; 'sorry no can do , don't have enough cash left' (yeah right LOL) - and we were asked to leave 6 shops in a row , with none giving up 'their higher advertised rate LOL :dancing troll:

.., geez that was a funny night, we went to a bar straight after that and laughed so hard we had beer running out of our noses. :Happy:
 

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Welcome. I have a few Aussie friends who came to the US and I had a chance to ride with them.
If you are crossing into Mexico I know you need to check with your insurer Mexico requires a special policy or addition to .
As for the trailer depending on where you intend to ride I can tell you rough roads tour up my trailer when I went to Nova scotia....I left from Roswell NM...7500 miles it tour up one tire.
I recommend you have at least one extra rim and tire setup. also a small tool box of extra parts.
Practice changing the tire.
It really help me when my shock pulled apart because the roads were so bad.
I was able to fix the shock but when it popped out or pulled apart it tore out the air valve,
It was on Canada day on the north end of Nova Scotia
I was posed with fixing it or abandoning my trailer.
Knowledge and tools gave me the edge.
I wish you the best in your travels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Cheers, thanks heaps guys .., great advice and info from all , I will certainly be taking it all on board.

Happy Riding Guys :)
 

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howdy and welcome from Virginia.

May I suggest a different trailer to use on this journey...while a bushtec is an excellent choice, tires will be hard to come by in a foreign country(not readily available). I would suggest a trailer that uses standard wheels and tires in case of a flat. It would suck waiting for days to have one shipped.

JMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
howdy and welcome from Virginia.

May I suggest a different trailer to use on this journey...while a bushtec is an excellent choice, tires will be hard to come by in a foreign country(not readily available). I would suggest a trailer that uses standard wheels and tires in case of a flat. It would suck waiting for days to have one shipped.

JMHO.
Hi there wingin it , thx for the welcome , heres a big howdy back to ya from Bali.

I am sure there will be many days , even weeks where I will be stuck in places waiting for parts (even on a new bike), I am expecting that as part of the parcel of a doing big trip

Regarding your point , I was thinking the same as you actually about the cast 16" wheels, but I was more concerned with cracking or bending a rim in the more rugged areas I plan to go. In a light off road situation I was thinking those cast wheels would be the trailers weak point. I did originally plan on buying an extra backup shock and two spare tires and tubes for the trailer..,
.
But - If possible , i'd like to substitute those stock 16" cast trailer wheels altogether (ie; on the bushtec spartan trailer) - with much stronger aftermarket 19" spoked (front) alloy off road motocross wheels , (I will need to contact Bushtech again to see if their trailers stub axel will take them ? )

But I was thinking the 19" motocross style wheels ..,

- would give me a slightly higher ground clearance,
- while adding much more strength to the wheels - due to the flexibility and added strength of spokes.
- and with a rim size most common suit readily available 19" tire sizes.

The other features though that sold me on the Bushtec idea though is their fully independent and adjustable air suspension and anti sway bar stability design
.., and I am yet another two wheels design trailer to match Bushtecs design while still being a narrow and lightweight build. The 360 degree swivel helm joint hitching , and lockable coupling is also a great design design I liked which is a firm connection to the bike that doesn't jiggle & rattle about.


Also since I first made this post ..,

I also had a re-think in the interests of safety and smooth sailing .., as the trailer is going to be an integral part of the trip (and an expensive one)
I best take the time and added expense to get the trailer shipped to Australia 'beforehand' so I can have more time to better fine tune it it's final design.

In Australia, I can take the time to experiment and perfect with mock up designs for the surfboard case by trial and error testing to find the best mounting positions for ideal stability 'and ideal fit' on the trailer to make it as compact and lightweight and aerodynamic as possible.., This final mock up will give me the templates I need for cutting , folding, and welding together the Aluminium version of the lockable surfboard case.

I already know from Bushtecs calculations - that for the size of my surfboard case .., and to provide their recommended 20kg weight at the hitch point ..,
- I will need to have the surfboards sitting 60% foward of the trainer axels,
- and 40% overhanging the rear of the trailer axels ,
- and I will need to add two feet to the length of their stock tow bar. To give their trailer (as close to) their stock towing characteristics. This way great info I thought from the guys at Bushtech, and is an excellent starting poing for my design using their trailer.

(this surfboard carry case will also incorporate a lower box section that tightly fits into the bushtec spartan trailers carry Basket (see photo) - and in this lower location is where I will store all the heavy items to keep the centre of gravity as low as possible)

I do plan to run the bike up to it's 1st major 15000 km service before shipping the bike offshore,

.., and for this - I have a trip around Australia planned ASAP once I get back to Australia (from here in Bali) ie; before I head off to do the trip in America - not only to run in the new bike, but to test out and fine tune the full travel set up I have planned to make sure everything pans out as expected and make any changes if need be .., as well as visit friends & Family etc.

Cheers :smile2:

Also I wont be doing huge high speed iron butt distances with the tailer , and will just be plodding along being careful and enjoying the ride and avoiding toll roads etc. There will be classic surf spots I may want to stay for a week or two (or longer) where I will unhitch the trailer for the whole time I am there .., and keep those locked inside a cheap beach hut/ cabana etc , and should I decide to look around the area I will know what size surf and board I need for the day where I can strap a single board to my bikes crash bar should I decide to venture up and a round a headland etc , So I wont always be towing.
 

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I would agree you have a much better plan with 19" spoke wheels and tube tires, much easier to pack some extra tubes and patches than spare tires. Take a couple tire spoons and basic tools with a hand or foot pump and you can solve any flats you could possibly get yourself. Good luck and enjoy the ride.

If you are in Memphis Tennessee you will only be about 4 hours from the Mississippi crew and my garage if you need to do some maintenance, just so you know your options I live just outside Jackson MS.
 

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Camouflage -

Hey KTM - It sounds like you are thinking well ahead about the prep needed for your trip. One other suggestion that I might make concerning your rig while south of the U.S. border. Although a newer low mileage bike and trailer is recommended for reliability - don't make it too obvious that you're traveling well heeled. The attention generated by any tourist with a nice bike and trailer (loaded with a surf board :)) to some social elements can be more than you bargained for.

While in Mexico a couple years ago I had camouflaged my Kawasaki KLR650 by spraying a random (very light) pattern of cheap rattle can paint on anything shiny. I even sprayed a dusting of grey paint on my tent to kind of help down grade the appearance of my gear. For prying eyes that seemed too curious - I always used a good cable lock through both wheels along with a length of chain that I draped over the handle bars for looks. I saw some of the local riders secure their bikes to a metal pole and then remove their front wheel in the motel parking lots.

Everything cleaned off with a little detergent and alcohol once back in the states.

Just a thought - Michael
 
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