Open Trailer and Tarp Use - Scratch Paint?

mebgardner

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I plan to trailer my S10 across the USA using my open trailer, and I'm thinking to use a tarp to semi-cover the top and front of the cycle.

The tarp would be to keep the worst of the bugs and rock damage from the front of the cycle, and maybe deflect some rain if / when I encounter some of that.

My question is, how can I minimize the paint damage that is bound to occur where the tarp will rub on the paint?
 

RCinNC

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Well, the best way to minimize the damage is not to let the tarp touch the bike. Depending on your trailer design, maybe you could go get some electrical conduit and a tubing bender, and bend the conduit into some makeshift bows to support a tarp off the bike. The bows don't have to be high enough to walk under; just high enough to keep the tarp above the bike.

You could also try making bows out of PVC pipe, which will probably be cheaper. Angles are easier, since you could use elbows instead of having to bend the tubing like you would with conduit.

For rock damage, I'd probably just bolt a sheet of plywood to the front of the trailer, maybe 2 or 3 feet high, to deflect the worst of the debris that might come up off the road. The plywood would probably need some sort of support structure on the sides, since the wind will be pushing against it.
 

MFP

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I plan to trailer my S10 across the USA using my open trailer, and I'm thinking to use a tarp to semi-cover the top and front of the cycle.

The tarp would be to keep the worst of the bugs and rock damage from the front of the cycle, and maybe deflect some rain if / when I encounter some of that.

My question is, how can I minimize the paint damage that is bound to occur where the tarp will rub on the paint?
Under the tarp a motorcycle cover that completely covers the bike down to ground level would work and most decent m/c covers nowadays have some padding on the inside to protect the windshield, fairings, cowlings and other bits from getting rub scratches.
You may also consider buying a cheap king-size bed comforter to cover the bike and then put the tarp on top to make it waterproof. It can all be form fitted with packing tape or bungee cords.
 

EricV

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I think MFP is on to something. Pad the bike with a comforter, blanket, moving pad, etc, then put a bike cover or tarp over that. Try to keep the padded layer tight to the bike. Then any flapping of the tarp won't affect the bike's paint/panels.

I chose to not tarp the bikes when trailering across the country, (open trailer), then put the bike covers on in the evenings at hotel stops. The bike is out in the wind/rain when riding, so no real harm. At least no more than when riding it.
 

escapefjrtist

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I wouldn't cover the bike while trailering...no matter how tightly you tarp it, the flapping and loose material with beat the bike up. I've trailered a couple times and didn't give covering a second thought.

If you still feel the need, take a look at Geza Gear.

~G
 

OldRider

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I've trailered across country with no tarp and when I got there I cleaned the bugs off and rode. I think the tarp can do a lot of permanent damage. Wind, rain and bugs aren't going to hurt it. If I had to tarp it I would take the windshield off and put some wrap on the painted surfaces. Something like that white wrap you see on cars being hauled on car haulers. JMO
 

dannyv

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I guess an enclosed trailer is out of the question? I like having mine around, that is Winter storage for me, at the moment. And on a road trip, secure storage for the bike and other stuff.
 

airmed

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As others have said, my advice is to leave it uncovered. I've trailered mine all over kingdom come, rain, snow, yuck, and had no issues with any contaminants not washing off. I have however trailered snowmobiles on an open trailer with covers. No matter the preparation with under covers, or how tight the covers were, they still flapped in the wind and wore dull spots through the paint to the bare fiberglass. Often when we're trying so hard to be cautious due to our compulsive disorders, the exact opposite result takes place which ends up being worse than not taking any precautions at all.
 

Don in Lodi

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Just have a rigid barrier up front to protect against road debris. A sheet of plywood cut to shape. Doesn't need to be more than two or three feet tall. The rest just washes off.
 

steve68steve

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Also trailered on an open trailer for many thousands of miles. I don't bother covering. If I think of it, I remove panniers and windshield to reduct drag and keep them clean. As said, everything will wash off. Trailering on an open trailer is not a whole lot different than riding - altho I think in my case, my tow vehicle clears the path (tall truck camper).

If you just can't get past the idea of bugs, cover the front-facing stuff with blue painter's tape.
 

mebgardner

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I guess an enclosed trailer is out of the question? I like having mine around, that is Winter storage for me, at the moment. And on a road trip, secure storage for the bike and other stuff.
I looked into this. I do have storage available for a replacement trailer (an enclosed variety), but I'm too cheap to spend that kind of money when I have what looks like a perfectly good trailer on my lot right now.

So, I don't think I'm gonna replace it.
 

mebgardner

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How about using Saran wrap?
I'm replying to all those that have suggested something like this idea.

I'm intending on riding along the way. Kinda like "chaptering", but not leaving the cycle in storage between chapters. Tow 'n ride, then repeat.

I know, why not just take just the cycle? Because I like the occasional comfort of my tow vehicle, and I'm not so cheap to not enjoy it.
 

mebgardner

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So, I get the message.

Since I intend to "unwrap" along the way, and ride it, I think I'm convinced to tow the cycle uncovered, open. I can remove the windshield and some other stuff.

Thanks so much to all that have taken their valuable time to reply. Thank You.
 

holligl

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I tried using a regular cover, with numerous bungies to keep it tight and trying to avoid damage. Shredded from wind in about an hour. No body paint damage but actually buffed the black paint on the passenger handles and my HT rear rack. Catching wind is hard to avoid. Rode the rest of the way to AZ naked. I did use the smaller stock screen. Naturally brake discs rusted a little, but it washed up ok.

There are more expensive aerodynamic, stretch fit covers, but they are pretty pricey. The price goes up based on the rated speed. They also only cover the top 1/2 of the bike.

Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
 
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