Renovations and comfort...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports & Photos' started by Jim C-G, Jan 19, 2019.

  1. Jim C-G

    Jim C-G Active Member

    I may not have had it long, but I am enjoying my Mini Mate tent trailer. I did do a little customizing last fall before I went down to North Carolina. Can hardly wait to get back out on the road.
     
    Clipper likes this.
  2. murph

    murph Well-Known Member

    Knowing that you are a tall man could you tell the dimensions of the bed and ultimately the trailer?
     
  3. Jim C-G

    Jim C-G Active Member

    The bed area I use is 38" wide x 76" long i.e. 6'4". That's the size of my air mattress and I have a little space at either end.
    I think Kompact Kamp measure it at 6'6". I certainly fit. With the bed set up, I have a 16" x 23" standing space with 6' 4" height. It is easy to sit on the bed to put on socks, pants and boots.
    Besides storage under the bed at night, I have a 16" w x 38" space beside the bed to put my clothes bag, toiletries, charging cameras etc.
    It may not be the biggest tent trailer, but it works. The add-a-room attached to the awning adds a 6' 6' x 5' area with a 7' peak? My add-a-room is not what the manufacturer sells these days. Mine would have been an after market addition and I don't like the fact that it has no windows for ventilation... I'm looking at a solution for that.
    The 9 nights I have slept in it so far were great and I'm looking forward to at least 30 nights next year.
     
  4. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    Now that you have had a chance to drag it around a bit, what do you figure the hit on gas mileage might be? Do you find you are typically running the same highway speeds as usual? Has it accelerated rear tire wear?

    When I bought my "new" FJR in BC last May, it came with a trailer - not a camper. While it pulled easily at whatever speed I wanted, both fuel economy and tire wear were significant issues for a long trip. (Heavy crosswinds across the Prairies contributed!)
     
  5. Jim C-G

    Jim C-G Active Member

    I haven't totally crunched all my numbers yet but at highway speeds, I figure I was 50 km per tank shorter in distance to 2 bars than without the trailer. So in the range of 10% to 15% more gas consumption? Whereas I usually will ride at least 10 km over highway posted speeds, I tried (emphasis on tried) to keep at the posted speeds and that meant a lot of 75-80 mph on the interstates. The 8" tires on the trailer are rated for 80 mph. I did catch myself going over the suggested speed just a few times. Just a few. I had one panic stop on a secondary road at around 50 mph and the ST stopped just fine although I was worried about my very bald rear tire. I'll have to report next summer on tire wear as this one was well into it's life span when I started the trip. I got 16,000+ out of that Shinko and 10,000 of those were with the trailer in tow. That wear was on par with the previous Shinko and I really should look at replacing closer to 12,000 km.
     
  6. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    Even without a trailer, 16,000 km on a Shinko is good for a sport-touring motorcycle. I don't think I got that the one set of Shinkos I ran. As I mentioned, the 5500 km ride back from BC just about ate a fairly new Bridgestone BT023 (not GT version) - probably didn't have much more than 5,000 km on it when I started. Very strong crosswinds across the prairies was a significant contributing factor to both the fuel mileage and tire wear. (I figure gas mileage was down 30% or so but I wasn't taking it easy on the throttle.) Trailer is about the size of yours and although it is quite a bit lighter normally, it had maybe 100 kg of stuff in it. No handling issues but I noticed that stopping took a bit more effort.
     
  7. keith

    keith Active Member

    Ever think about going to the darkside?
     
  8. Jim C-G

    Jim C-G Active Member

    I am beginning to think seriously of it especially with hauling the trailer now. I've got a brand new rear Shinko in the garage to put on the new-to-me rim. I may do this summer staying with MC tires to see what it is like to travel 30-40 thousand kms with the trailer. (that means 2 more Shinkos) I may go to the darkside next fall... or slightly sooner.
     
    keith likes this.
  9. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    I have done Darkside on the FJR - a couple of times for a total of maybe 60,000 km. The first time, it was just something to try out. I left it on a for most of a season. It wasn't horrible but I couldn't believe how much nicer it was when I went back to a MC tire. Did it again a couple of years later in preparation for a long (cross-continent) trip. Early in the trip, I remembered why I had changed back to MC tires the last time! Overall, not bad on smooth roads - in fact, possibly better than MC tires for slabbing it. Definitely a lesser experience on twisty roads and downright awful for rough roads with uneven pavement/gravel etc. I really wanted the car tire to work for me, especially for long trips (low initial cost and 50,000km+ lifetime) but I'm pretty sure I won't go back again! If you do give it a try, do it locally and put at least 5,000 km on it before you take it on a long road trip!
     
  10. Jim C-G

    Jim C-G Active Member

    That's great advice Ross. Since I don't have as much time pressure any more, I want to stay more and more on the secondary and back roads and don't need to hit the interstate (unless I'm running from weather i.e. Octobrrr). My intention is to park the tent trailer for a few days at a time and use it as a base to day trip on some interesting roads where I want to have fun on the twisties. You might have convinced me to not go to the darkside. I don't need maximum mileage when what I really want is maximum fun!
     

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