Gloria lives in Ontario and is an avid fan of all Harley-Davidson motorcycles. A carefree spirit who loves her grandchildren and yoga, Gloria never misses an opportunity to camp in the outdoors, travel to new places with her toy hauler or find new roads to explore. Gloria RVs in a 2014 KZ Sportster 265TH Fifth Wheel Toy Hauler.
Finding Freedom on a Motorcycle RV Trip
My motorcycle journey starts with my boss, Lynn. It was 2004 and I was sitting at my desk at my real estate job, looking out the window, when I saw Lynn pull into the parking lot on a big Harley-Davidson motorcycle. I was mesmerized by the loud, deep rumble and how effortlessly cool she looked on her bike. It was like seeing a completely different person—one moment she was stepping off a motorcycle in leather chaps and the next, she was behind a desk in a business suit discussing schedules. I was so inspired by her dynamic. It made me realize that I could do both; I could be both.
So, I didn’t waste any time. The next week, despite being 47 years old and having no prior experience with motorcycles, I signed up for a motorcycle riding course. And less than a year later, once I had completed the course and received some pointers from Lynn, I bought my very first Harley. Little did I know at the time that my Harley-Davidson Sportster wouldn’t be the only Sportster I would own…
I actually didn’t know what a toy hauler was until a few years ago. I had spent over a decade riding around on my Harley, taking small camping trips here and there, when a close friend of mine showed me his brand new toy hauler RV. He was readying himself for a multi-week motorcycle RV trip, and I was utterly amazed. After buying my Harley, I had accepted the fact that I would be limited to driving locally and shorter distances. I never even dreamed it would be possible to haul my bike somewhere far and stay there for long periods of time. The cost of hotels alone was enough to deter me. But my friend showed me that with an RV, you can easily bring your bike, gear and all of the comforts of home along for the ride.
Immediately after seeing my friend’s unit, I began researching and learning as much as I could about the different styles and brands of RVs, particularly toy haulers. The concept of having my motorcycle with me while I camped was almost too much to handle—I was ecstatic. Any time I passed an RV dealer, I would stop and walk among all the different models and units. I pictured myself rolling my bike down the ramp, hitching my truck and setting out on a month-long adventure. And after a year of constant daydreaming, endless researching and meticulous saving, I was finally able to make my dream a reality and purchased a KZ Sportster Toy Hauler—a very welcome addition to my existing Harley model.
The KZ Sportster has everything I could ever want: A full bathroom, a kitchen, lots of storage space and plenty of room for not one, but two, motorcycles. The unit even came with a large auxiliary gas tank, so if I ever decide to camp in a remote area, I always have plenty of extra fuel for my motorcycle. With my KZ, I no longer feel limited by time or space. Even though I still have my permanent home in Ontario, my RV gives me unprecedented freedom—I can spend an entire weekend riding through one area, or I can change locations on a dime and speed off somewhere entirely new. And all the while I know my home on wheels is parked safely back at the campground waiting for me.
Since that fateful moment with Lynn back in 2004, I have gone on more motorcycle trips than I can count. I also stopped working last year, so those trips have become even more frequent. And to this day, it is still hard for me to describe how exciting and freeing it is to ride a motorcycle. To feel the power of the machine beneath you, and to see the world unobscured and up-close, is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. And thanks to my KZ, I’ve finally been able to ride some of the most incredible roads. I’ve stopped along the side of the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia and stood awe-struck at the massive expanses of ocean. I’ve handled twists and turns along Tail of the Dragon in North Carolina and never smiled so much in my life. I’ve trekked from Canada all the way down to the southern tip of Florida and back again. The roads and possibilities feel endless now, and I feel totally free to explore them.
For anyone who is thinking about going on a motorcycle RV trip, or wants to buy an RV for their motorcycle, here are a few helpful tips I’ve picked up to ensure you have an incredible and safe trip.
Pack For All Weather. What some people might not realize is just how exposed to the elements you are on a motorcycle. You don’t have the coverage of a car to keep you warm and dry, or cool and protected. Definitely bring a set of light gear for warm weather and a set of heavy gear for cooler temperatures, including rain gear for unexpected showers.
Plan Your Routes In Advance. Plan both your motorcycle routes and your RV driving routes in advance, paying close attention to any tunnels or bridges. Don’t assume that just because your motorcycle can fit, your RV can as well (and vice versa). Be sure to factor in rest stops and breaks, as riding a motorcycle can get tiring and you can get sore. Lastly, it’s important to double check motorcycle laws for your destination, as state laws vary for things like eye protection, passengers and daytime headlights.
Know Where Maintenance Shops Are. On long motorcycle trips, it’s not uncommon for maintenance issues to arise. And while you should always carry a basic toolset in your RV, it’s good to know where some local maintenance shops are along your route—especially if you plan to go somewhere solo or more remote.
Seek Out Pull-Through Campsites. While I love all campsites, I’ve found it’s much easier to maneuver a toy hauler if it’s in a pull-through campsite. Pull-through campsites are usually large enough to accommodate a tow vehicle and a trailer, and you don’t have to worry about backing in or out. And because pull-through sites offer two entry and exit points, you aren’t boxed in when it comes time to drop your ramp and unload your bike.
Always Check Your Gas and Tires. You should always get both your RV and your motorcycle checked by a professional before heading out on a long trip, but always triple check your gas levels and your tires. Make sure both your RV and your motorcycle have enough gas, including any reserve or auxiliary tanks. I keep a spare motorcycle tire and a spare RV tire inside my rig at all times.