Thursday, December 8, 2022


It’s easy to take your stuff with you with a big RV and trailer


By Chuck Woodbury
This is my neighbor in the RV park. There’s at least one motorcycle in the trailer, probably two. I don’t know what else is in there. It’s August 1, and the giant Sturgis motorcycle rally will get underway in two days about 100 miles from where I am in Wall. Sturgis is just west of Rapid City, South Dakota, in the Black Hills, not far from Mt. Rushmore.

The rally organizers claim that a half million motorcyclists show up for the 10-day gathering. I can tell you that I have seen at least a couple thousand motorcycles on I-90 in the last few days. With maybe a quarter of the bikes a woman sits behind a guy, who drives, and hangs on. They talk with headsets. It’s always guys in front. In my entire life I do not believe I have ever seen a man behind, holding on to a woman who’s at the helm.

Downtown Sturgis during the rally.

I bet there were 1,000 motorcycles in Badlands National Park the other day when I visited. They were almost always in groups: three, four, five riders, sometimes up to a dozen. In the Wall Drug soda fountain the other day, Gail and I sat a few feet away from a table with six Hells Angels from Pennsylvania. They just talked quietly, no evidence of bad behavior.

But the rally is not just about outlaw-type bikers. There are doctors, lawyers, scientists, teachers. . . you name it. I’m told the town is pretty orderly during the event, which seems to defy logic when you think of all those bikers all crowded together with beer a major player in the festivities.

This particular motorhome/trailer combination in my park is a pretty common sight these days. People want to take everything with them. Sometimes when you look into a trailer like this one there’s a little car, a motorcycle, ATV or maybe even a workshop of some kind.

If someone has the urge to roam, with an RV and big trailer like this they don’t need to go without many of their favorite possessions or give up hobbies that require equipment of some sort.


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4 years ago

Hi Chuck,

I think this chap was parked next to me in Onawa, IA, on July 27. If it is the same rig, then you’ll find a small SUV inside at the minimum. I kept thinking that that large of a trailer if loaded to its capacity could easily exceed the towing capacity of the small diesel pusher (probably 10,000 pounds).

4 years ago

I have a 16′ enclosed trailer I tow behind my 32′ Class C and it is great to have everything I need with me, but the gas mileage is terrible!

4 years ago

The Army Reserves sent me to Sturgis twice, please Uncle Sam don’t send me to a motorcycle rally! Once was to attend a class and once to work at the school at Fort Mead (location of the first evening retreat ceremony), just outside of Sturgis. During my second visit, my boys (10 & 14) come over on the bus and spent the days roaming the streets and were perfectly safe.

A few years later, when the oldest could drive, we took off after he got off work at McDonald’s with two of their friends and drove there so they could go to the WWF event. Got there around noon I napped in the suburban in a park, met them after the show and spent the evening wandering around. About midnight we headed home to Montana and got in there about 1 the next afternoon.

It was and I believe still is a very safe event to attend. Back then Drs and Lawyers used temporary tattoos and week-old beards but I’m sure now they have real tattoos since everyone (well almost everyone) has them and they are acceptable.
Locals.would get out of dodge and make enough renting out their houses and stores than they made the whole rest of the year.

Something everyone should experience at least once.

John Koenig
4 years ago

Hi Chuck, on May 31st, 2018, I sold my “Stick & Brick” and am now an official full time RVer. My car is a Toyota Prius which you probably know can NOT be towed “four down”. I’m currently in the market to buy a trailer (my Prius is at a relatives home for now). I have no doubt that I’ll have extra “stuff” in whatever trailer I wind up buying. In past columns, you have pointed out that every day, 20,000+ people reach their 65th birthday. A good number of those “official” senior citizens will try RVing and, some of them will become full timers. I already have cut WAAAAAY back on my “stuff” (a process that’s still ongoing). but, changing one’s entire lifestyle and habits definitely take time (and a LOT of effort). Something as simple as checking the roof of whatever RV you have (something that should be done at least several times a year) requires some sort of a ladder. Few RVs have ladders standard (and I don’t know if most of them would survive long with most American males weighing in at 200+ pounds) so, what’s an RVer to do? A trailer gives some breathing room. The trick is to NOT “stuff” that trailer with things that really aren’t needed. Once you get your “Overnight Stay” project going, maybe it could grow so that some locations might have a place to work on (or wash) one’s RV.

Thank for all the hard work you’re doing. I (and many others) appreciate it!
John Koenig

Mike Ackerman
4 years ago

Hi Chuck, we have a class c rv with a matching trailer. Inside are our Honda Goldwing motorcycles. Mine has two wheels and my wife’s has three. I often ride behind her on her trike!

4 years ago

We travel with our Harley in our 40’ toyhauler! We visited Sturgis three years ago before the rally and loved South Dakota so much that we plan to return next year. Enjoy your visit!

Don G
4 years ago

We pretty much do what you described in this article. We tow a 22′ enclosed trailer behind our 40′ motorhome. The trailer has a small SUV, a side x side utv, and a 150cc scooter inside. We like having all our toys with us, but it can be tricky making right hand turns sometimes.