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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all!

So there's a couple of brands of hitches for the Vaquero and all of the threads seem to be from when they first came out, each with various kinks. The two I'm looking at are the MCHitch, and the Marvella. A couple of concerns.

1) There's a big price difference. $100! Is there a difference that anyone knows of in quality? I don't mind paying the higher price but is there a good reason to? It concerns me that the company who sells the more expensive one can't even spell "Vaquero" (It's listed on their shoddy website as for a "Vacquero".

2) I know Marvella's sold and some had issues getting the new versions to fit right. Is that still the case?

Thoughts?

Also, given the LED lighting/turn signals/etc, what have you all done for trailer lighting?
 

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Marvella's on my Voyager and it went one fairly easy. Had to do some some persuasion to get every thing lined up just right but that is the nature of the beast with tolerances. The Marvellas is barely visible.... I think I had to hit a tab or one of the mountin points with a grinder but it was easy. I'm happy with it and it was post ownership change.

Hitch lighting was more of a pain I added a trailer light module WITH circuit protection. A bit more but if it dies it should protect bike circuitry. Not sure of I used Tow redy or Hidden hitch brand...

Been a couple years now...
 

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I think Chucksters Customs makes one. His stuff is usually highly recommended. I have his BAK and it is top quality machining.
 

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I've got the Chuckster hitch on my voyager. I'd gladly meet up with you some time if you wanted to take a peek at it.

http://www.chucksterscustoms.com/Home/ProductDetail?PartNumber=TH-VAQ1700

It's priced right between the MC and the Marvella and I believe it's a one-piece receiver type hitch. Just take off the saddle bags, lower the mufflers, and use the new bolts which are included to install it.

The marvella hitch looks pretty nice too and might make tire replacements easier if the hitch unbolts from the mount. Still, looks like more bits and pieces than the solid one-piece design.

As for lights, my trailer was pre-lit with LEDs. No mess with resistors or anything and I was able to tie into the harness right under the seat.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys!

Yeah the Marvellas looked enticing for that reason too. Easy installation, and I can easily remove it when the time comes to change tires. I get tires at the dealer and I'm sure they'll slap a big ol' surcharge on there if they have to remove the hitch.

Anyone have experience specific to the Vaquero though? They are a little bit different. I have read a few stories of various models not actually fitting the Vaquero well.
 

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I've got the Chuckster hitch on my voyager. I'd gladly meet up with you some time if you wanted to take a peek at it.

http://www.chucksterscustoms.com/Home/ProductDetail?PartNumber=TH-VAQ1700

It's priced right between the MC and the Marvella and I believe it's a one-piece receiver type hitch. Just take off the saddle bags, lower the mufflers, and use the new bolts which are included to install it.

The marvella hitch looks pretty nice too and might make tire replacements easier if the hitch unbolts from the mount. Still, looks like more bits and pieces than the solid one-piece design.

As for lights, my trailer was pre-lit with LEDs. No mess with resistors or anything and I was able to tie into the harness right under the seat.
What do you pull with a motorcycle? and how much weight can it pull?
 

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BOTM Winner, April 2013
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Thanks guys!

Yeah the Marvellas looked enticing for that reason too. Easy installation, and I can easily remove it when the time comes to change tires. I get tires at the dealer and I'm sure they'll slap a big ol' surcharge on there if they have to remove the hitch.

Anyone have experience specific to the Vaquero though? They are a little bit different. I have read a few stories of various models not actually fitting the Vaquero well.
I believe I bought the first Vaquero hitch from Marvella's after the ownership change. It didn't fit, so I had to elongate the bolt holes where it bolts to the saddlebag brackets, to make the hitch not hit the bottom tip of the fender. But in order to drop the hitch down a bit, Marvella's had to make me a pair of support brackets about an inch longer (can't remember exactly) than the original brackets. The owner was very helpful and determined to get it right. He even (with NO provocation from me) refunded half the cost of the hitch to me, to compensate me for all of the trouble. I can't believe he wouldn't have corrected his measurements after that fiasco!
As far as tire changes, the hitch doesn't need to be removed. I have only removed the hitch once, which was when I had the bike painted. It is an excellent hitch. My only complaint is a little rattle from the ball mount, as there is a little slop when it's in the receiver. No big deal, though. I can just remove the ball mount in 10 seconds.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What do you pull with a motorcycle? and how much weight can it pull?
They can PULL a lot of weight. The issue is how much they can STOP. I've used a four-wheeler to move a large boat before which worked fine provided you gave yourself plenty of room to stop (despite only going 15mph!)

There are all sorts of tent trailers for motorcycles and cargo trailers. Ranging from a couple hundred to close to 1,000 lbs when fully loaded. In my case, I'll be pulling a small cargo trailer that will weigh somewhere around 500lbs fully loaded, which will included clothes, camping equipment, tools, etc. If we decide we like motorcycle camping, we might even get a tent trailer one of these days.

They pull like this:


Then unfold like this:



With room for storage and accessories like a vestibule, a pop up 'garage' for the bike, air conditioner stands (Most campgrounds have power available. Why not travel in comfort? Though most small A/C units won't really cool down a poorly insulated tent/tent trailer in the heat of the day)

In our case it'll be a cargo trailer:

 

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Thanks guys!

Yeah the Marvellas looked enticing for that reason too. Easy installation, and I can easily remove it when the time comes to change tires. I get tires at the dealer and I'm sure they'll slap a big ol' surcharge on there if they have to remove the hitch.

Anyone have experience specific to the Vaquero though? They are a little bit different. I have read a few stories of various models not actually fitting the Vaquero well.
Replaced my tire without removing Marvellas hitch... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks!

That might be the route I go. Then to figure out wiring!

Does anybody know what I need to wire up a trailer that does not have LED lighting? Or am I better off just 'upgrading' the trailer to LED's?
 

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What you need depends on the wiring and type of lights on the trailer.

If you have LED lights on the trailer:
If the trailer is a 5-wire, you can get a 5-wire adapter with the right plug for the trailer and tap off the bike wire for wire. If it is a 4-wire trailer, then use a 5-wire to 4-wire adapter. These adapters are available at auto parts stores.

If you have incandescent lights on the trailer OR if you want to be safe with the LEDs, you need to wire in an independently powered adapter that uses relays to isolate the trailer from the bikes lighting system. Kuryakyn has one. There are others. This is the best way. A little more expensive to do, but it may keep you from blowing fuses on the road or damaging the bike's electrical if you get a short in the trailer wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ordered the Marvellas hitch and the Kuryakyn lighting kit.

How have you guys hidden/tucked away the wiring? I was considering finding a way to mount a connector directly to the hitch. I just don't want a cable hanging down or wrapped around something. Thoughts?
 

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BOTM Winner, April 2013
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Ordered the Marvellas hitch and the Kuryakyn lighting kit.

How have you guys hidden/tucked away the wiring? I was considering finding a way to mount a connector directly to the hitch. I just don't want a cable hanging down or wrapped around something. Thoughts?
My hitch wiring is wrapped in plastic wire loom, then zip-tied along the saddlebag mounting frame down to the receiver. You will need the wiring long enough to hang down, or it might not be long enough to reach the trailer wiring. I just lift the end of the wiring and tuck it in over the the V part of the hitch under the fender. Also, when not towing, I use another connector (with the wires cut off) plugged into the connector on the bike, to keep it from getting dirty and/or possibly damaging the plug if it happens to fall and drag the ground.
 

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My hitch wiring is wrapped in plastic wire loom, then zip-tied along the saddlebag mounting frame down to the receiver. You will need the wiring long enough to hang down, or it might not be long enough to reach the trailer wiring. I just lift the end of the wiring and tuck it in over the the V part of the hitch under the fender. Also, when not towing, I use another connector (with the wires cut off) plugged into the connector on the bike, to keep it from getting dirty and/or possibly damaging the plug if it happens to fall and drag the ground.
Similar here...
I'll get some pics... tho they may be up here already somewhere....
 

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I would and did go to LEDs. Not very much money and easy on the system draw. I went with the 6 wire connector and separate brake lights so no module needed. you can pick up lED trailer light kits at you local Wal mart or auto supply store.
 

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Discussion Starter #16


Hitch is on.

Ordered the Kuryakyn trailer wire setup. I like the idea of isolating the trailer from the rest of the lighting. If something catastrophic fails, losing trailer lights but retaining bike lights (or vice versa) is preferable to a short taking out all of my lights behind me.

The Marvellas hitch went on as others noted. Pretty tight and required a little tugging and shimmying, but it went on. My biggest beef is that the hitch presses up against the rear fender. Making it very difficult to install/uninstall the receiver. I'm going to try and shimmy and move around the hitch some to see if I can fix that at all. With the receiver off the hitch is essentially invisible unless you get up under the bike. Though that wasn't the biggest concern for me, it is appreciated! The hitch hardware all matches the frame and hardware already on the bike. Though I'm not a huge fan of using standard/SAE hardware on the hitch but installing it to the bike with metric hardware. Mixing and matching metric and SAE is kind of a pain and since it's a metric bike, I'd prefer accessories have entirely metric hardware as well.

There is a small bolt coming out of the bottom of the hitch. Does anyone know what it's for? I can take a pic if need be. I assume that's maybe for mounting a light connection? Otherwise I have no clue.
 

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My Hitch receiver extends out past the fender an 3/4" or so on my Voyager. Drawbar has a lot of length.
Flip the hitch bar over.... Drill a hole in the drawbar based on where you want the ball sitting in relation to the fender.

Not sure about the bolt. Mine had one but I tossed it. Also note my drawbar has a wing welded on it for the trailer chains.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah the Vaquero has a different set of rear end plastics, including the fender, which extend farther back and the fender in general is longer. Drilling the hitch bar was the plan, so that it came out past the fender instead of in front of it.

But why flip it over? What purpose would that serve? It's not sitting any lower than yours is.
 

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On my kingpin I had to flip the draw bar over as the fender was way closer to the ground. Just an option and depends on trailer tongue height parallel to the ground... In your case it looks like the drawbar would clear the fender flipped over and may work with whatever trainer you end up with. I'd wait to see how the trailer sits before drilling it out.

On my trailer I actually have an adjustable bracket between the trailer tongue and the coupler that lets me level the hitch within an inch or so of level.

gb
 

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Hitch is on.

Ordered the Kuryakyn trailer wire setup. I like the idea of isolating the trailer from the rest of the lighting. If something catastrophic fails, losing trailer lights but retaining bike lights (or vice versa) is preferable to a short taking out all of my lights behind me.

The Marvellas hitch went on as others noted. Pretty tight and required a little tugging and shimmying, but it went on. My biggest beef is that the hitch presses up against the rear fender. Making it very difficult to install/uninstall the receiver. I'm going to try and shimmy and move around the hitch some to see if I can fix that at all. With the receiver off the hitch is essentially invisible unless you get up under the bike. Though that wasn't the biggest concern for me, it is appreciated! The hitch hardware all matches the frame and hardware already on the bike. Though I'm not a huge fan of using standard/SAE hardware on the hitch but installing it to the bike with metric hardware. Mixing and matching metric and SAE is kind of a pain and since it's a metric bike, I'd prefer accessories have entirely metric hardware as well.

There is a small bolt coming out of the bottom of the hitch. Does anyone know what it's for? I can take a pic if need be. I assume that's maybe for mounting a light connection? Otherwise I have no clue.
On the brackets that bolt to the saddlebag mounts, I had to elongate the bolt holes to allow the bracket to angle a little downward, so the receiver hole would be lower than the tip of the fender. I may have pics if you need to see what I'm talking about.
 
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