I wanted to do some work on the track day hauler, so I decided to reinstall the trailer restraint system from Pit Bull Products and place it in a better location. I have to say I am very impressed with the simplicity of the Pit Bull trailer restraint system
. I’m not one to drop cash on something that I don’t need (I could have used my sport chock and tie downs), but this was money well spent.
I went with the Pit Bull trailer restraint
because of its stability. If the bikes tire goes flat during transport, the bike is still solid. The bike is carried naturally on its own suspension and the only thing touching the hauler are the wheels. The system doesn’t compress the suspension like a chock and tie down system does. Constantly compressed suspension can reduce the suspensions performance over time and could cause blown fork seals. Since the system doesn’t use tie down straps, it reduces the chance of strap damage to the bike, and it saves space in the bed of a truck, trailer, or (in this case) the back of a van. This setup is definitely quick and easy to use with one person, and these are just some of the major selling points that had me.
This is how I mounted it in my van.
I installed this in my van once before, but I want to install a 2nd
one in 6 months or so. When working with limited
space every inch counts and so moving this to the left 2″ is going
to free up a bit of space.
I first made some spacers out of 3/8″ X 2″ steel (aluminum could have been used and would have been preferred). These spacers are needed, so that the base plate clears the corrugation of the floor panel and allows the base plate to remain flat (rather than bent all to hell). I drilled holes into the 3/8″ steel to line up with the mounting holes in the base plate.
Two of the holes are going to go right through the seam next to the rear AC unit you see here.
The holes you see are two of the old mounting holes.
I was able to cut the sealant with a razor sharp chisel. I had to remove the old sealant so the spacer plates I made would sit flush on to the floor of the van.
This is how I squared the plate to the van. I laid a straight edge down parallel to the corrugation and used a square to get the base plate lined up. I used the base plate and spacer plated to determine where the holes were going be.
- Determine where you want the plate
- Place a bolt in all 4 holes of the plate and spacer blocks, making sure all 4 are lined up.
- Take one bolt out, and drill your first hole.
- Replace the bolt you just took out. (should go through base plate, spacer plate, and floor)
- I then checked the plate for square to my van floor with the straight edge and square.
- I took out another bolt and drilled the hole.
- I then did steps 4 -6 until it was complete, and all 4 bolts passed through the parts without a problem.
New holes are drilled, old holes are filled (welded), and new caulk is laid on the seam where the old caulk was removed.
I placed the spacer plate right over the new caulk I laid down.
This picture shows my C|L (center line) mark. I used the center line mark to plan the placement this time (nothing quite like doing something twice). Not only will I have plenty of room for a 2nd bike, but there will be an extra 2 inches between the two Pit Bull base plates.
Laid the carpet back down, drilled some holes through the carpet and bolted the plate down. I think its looking good at this point. If I were not going to use this van for family things (like going to the apple orchards in the fall) I would have just ripped the carpet out. But keeping the carpet will help with AC, Heating, and road noise.
The latch to the system is a very cleaver and very sturdy design. The pin that anchors the latch is spring loaded, and the whole thing just snaps into place. Using the attached ring, just pull up on spring loaded pin and the latch slides off.
Still plenty of room on the side for fold out chairs or possibly a table.
As you can see below it is super close to the air conditioning unit.
I am happy with the new position of the bike in the van, and moving it a couple inches will give me plenty of room for a 2nd bike. The Pit Bull trailer restraint systemis totally stable and is rock solid, and using this system takes all the worry away from transporting my bike.
I know it looks like I only have 10 inches of space left between the door and the rear tire, but its an optical illusion. I really have about 11 1/4 or 11 1/2 inches between the tire and door. This will be where I put my fuel jugs.
I would like to see what others are using to haul their bikes to the track.
From under the van I used some large body washers. I think Pit-Bull supplies 4 washers, but these can easily be had at your local hardware store.