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Q&A

What are the safety concerns of a high vs a low mount trailer hitch?

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When you google for images of (canoe & bike) you find two basic solutions to towing a canoe with a bike.

  1. A traditional axle mounted tralier is modified to have a tongue long enough to load/support the canoe/kayak on the trailer.

  2. A seat post or carrier mounted pole connects to the front of the boat, the boat servers as the "trailer frame" with a canoe dolly (wheels that attach to the boat for moving by hand) for wheels.

Solution 2 offers the advantage of less material and more a portable trailering solution. With this solution the bike and trailer easily fit in most canoes, so you have a fully amphibious combination.

Is there any significant safety considerations when towing with a bike from a higher or a lower tow connection on the bike?

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I now have about 100 miles (160 KM) towing my 17 foot canoe behind my bike all of it with the hitch mounted to the seat post. I have been averaging about 5 - 6 miles per hour for distances of up to 15 miles (24 KM) on mostly straight and level trails (rail to trail).

There have been occasional tight turns, and narrow areas. I do NOT have brakes on the trailer/canoe. The hitch location has not caused any significant issues. On one occasion, the canoe tipped over (pushed over by coming to close to a pole when I was learning) and the bike was not unmanageable during the event, I stopped, got off, tipped the canoe back on it's wheels, continued on my journey.

Because the rig is so long, I have to approach sharp corners slowly, so no real opportunity for side pressure there. On the occasionally down hill coast, I have used the bike brakes to keep speeds below about 10 miles per hour.

In my application; long load and relatively high (100 pounds / 45 KG) tow weight, without brakes, keeps the prudent speed below any point where the higher hitch point would be a concern.

While I can't speak to other scenarios, for a bike towing a canoe, the high hitch point has not been a concern.

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