Motorcycle Camping, Just Wishful Thinking I Guess

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After last week’s blog Jim reminded me that the last thing he wants to do is tow anything behind our Harley Davidson Road King. It’s funny how you forget things when you’ve been married for a while. If you have been following our blog, and if you haven’t, subscribe now at the bottom of the home page, you’ll know that we have a few trips lined up for the summer and early fall.

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We’ve got the New England motorcycle camping trip coming up, and the Colorado motorcycle camping trip. Speaking of which, I got an email from one of the guys will we be riding with. He seems to have a difference of opinion when it comes to camping on a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Here is what Mike had to say,

Hi Demea,

I just read your Travels With Harley from 12 May 2014 where you talked about camping while on the road. Often times when I take off for a few days by myself or when I take a longer trip with my wife, Lynn, I like to pack all of our stuff in my little Escapade trailer made by California Sidecar.

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California Sidecar used to be in California, but taxes in that great state forced them to look elsewhere. The state of Virginia offered them a sweet deal in terms of corporate taxes so they moved east.

Back in 2001, I planned a motorcycle camping trip along the northern tier of states, and the three places that I have always wanted to visit. Vermont, Wisconsin, North Dakota would finish off my list of states.

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I didn’t have a trailer, but I wanted one for my two-up tours with Lynn. I searched for a good deal on trailers for our motorcycle camping trip and found ours at California Sidecar in Virginia. They offered this small trailer painted to match the 2001 Electra Glide® that I had at the time but they wanted $500 to ship it to Idaho. So I hatched a plan to extend my northern trip to include Virginia and pick up the trailer myself. They supplied me with the wiring diagram and wiring harness so I could just plug in the lights and hitch it up when I got there.

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Lynn’s family lives in Richmond and Lynn travels back east to visit her family every summer. My new plan was to ride across the north checking off the states on my list and then ride down the east coast to Richmond to meet Lynn. She and I rode to pick up my new trailer at the factory location in the middle of Virginia and then we toured some of the old Civil War battlefields that exist in the state.

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Lynn rode with me up to York, and on to Pennsylvania to visit the Harley® factory and then we continued northwest through the hills of Pennsylvania and into Ohio where I dumped her off at the Cleveland airport. I continued to take in the Bean Blossom Boogie in the town of Bean Blossom, Indiana.

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The Boogie has since moved from Bean Blossom to the town of Springville, Indiana. I had a wonderful time for three days, in spite of the rain.

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Having the trailer when you’re traveling two up makes the trip a lot easier. Obviously, it gets most of the weight off the bike and puts it behind you with a very low center of gravity. Pulling this little trailer with a big bike is no problem at all. Honestly, I don’t even know it’s there, but I can’t forget that it is, and I’ve got to leave plenty of extra room in traffic for stops or quick maneuvering. Finding a suitable parking spot can sometimes be a challenge. You always want to park in such a way so you can go forward. Backing up with a trailer is a bitch because when you turn your handlebars, the mirrors turn with them and then you can’t see the trailer or where it is relative to the bike or the parking slot.

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I estimate that I have pulled this little box for about 27,000 miles but I am getting to an age where I don’t like sleeping on the ground as much as I used to even with all of the goodies that I can carry with me. I will probably look for a buyer for it in the not too distant future. This picture was taken in Wyoming on Beartooth Pass, east of Yellowstone Park. Take care, Demea. Say howdy to Jim. —Mike

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Thanks for the email Mike! Jim and I always enjoy hearing other peoples stories, especially about things that we don’t normally do. Maybe it will have convinced Jim to give it a try!

Speaking of which, if any of you have stories that you would like to share, I would love to share them on my blog. Who knows? Maybe we will one day meet on another, “Travels with Harley.”