Our Story

Welcome to our site! We are Joanne & Steve. After 20+ years working for a city school department and police department, we sold almost everything, bought an RV, and started living on the road with our three children. Joanne homeschools and works online.
What we have chosen is to live life as unencumbered as we possibly can and to spend time with our family, for our family, and as a family.
This website is a record of our travels. But, we also hope to educate, entertain, and inform others about RVing, roadschooling, and the great places we visit in this country.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Custom Scooter Carrier for Jayco Fifth Wheel

Project One of Many

In March of 2012, Steve bought a new Yamaha Zuma 125.  This was to save on diesel fuel costs as he traveled to and from Mohegan Sun for work. (At the time of this purchase, diesel was at $4.29/gallon...peaking at $4.49/gallon)
When we left Connecticut in October, 2012, Zuma was coming with us, so we needed to give it a seat.
We had limited space on our 2011 Jayco Eagle BHS; however, we had an Original Equipment Manufactured storage rack.

This is the basic OEM storage rack that came with our Eagle, and is rated for 250 pounds.  
The Zuma dry weight is 248 pounds.
A perfect match.

Measure twice, cut once.

I used two 4x4 pvc fence posts which acted as a guide for the tires.   I chose these posts because they cleared the front brake disc (the distance between the front brake disc caliper and the center kick stand).  {Originally I had chosen pressure treated 6x6 pieces of wood, but when I dry fit the Zuma to the wood, on the ground, I could see they would not clear.}
It should be noted, when the bike is compressed on its suspension system (using tie-down straps), the center kick stand/frame will make contact with the pvc posts.  


      Since living on the road, we only have hand tools.  So I used a hacksaw and a piece of sandpaper.

At this point, I loosely fitted the white pvc guide rail and rolled the scooter up onto the rack.  With my partner helping me, we straightened the scooter out and we made more exact measurements.  My concern was, the angle of the exhaust could have interfered with the fixed camper bumper (black).  After testing, we had difficulty getting the scooter down off the rack and onto the ramp.  The front tire got hung up in one of the wells of the rack.  There was enough of a lip between the floor of the rack and the rail (3") to pinch the front and back tire, causing them to wedge.
My goal was to get the scooter up onto the rack, and down from the rack, independent of any assistance.

To correct the above problems, I installed a 2" thick board (dark wood) with a 1 1/4" board allowing the scooter to sit at an angle and making it easier to back the scooter off of the rack and onto the ramp easily.  
The pvc cylinders in the photo (left-over piping from our winter septic design), and the smaller pvc posts (left-overs from larger post cuttings) were used as spacers.  I left these in the final design to take up any slack that may occur from shifting/vibration from traveling.  To prevent these from bouncing out while traveling, I screwed these in from underneath using regular wood screws. 

Here, I drilled 8" lag bolts into the posts, to minimize lateral movement of the scooter tires.  These were drilled straight through the rack.

Here you can see the exhaust with the heat shield.  I was concerned this would not clear the bumper.
The bike is free-standing at this point.  No kick stand, no straps.  Just friction of the 2 pvc posts. 

To attach the ramp, I removed the center, vertical, metal, oem guide post from the rack; once removed, the gap created, fit one side of the hinged ramp, perfectly.  A few bungy cords; to keep it in place.

Ratchet straps pull down and compresses the center kick stand onto the pvc.  The white spacers have been painted black.

Finished product.
So far, we've traveled from Connecticut, to Ohio, to West Virginia, to Virginia, to Florida, and to Louisiana; approximately 5000 miles, and no issues.  
To keep en eye on this custom Zuma rack while we travel, we installed a dual color camera system with sound.  
Come back to see this install.


  1. Great job Steve. That's truly informative and I'm sure it will get a lot of reads.

  2. Whoa Steve!!!..you are becoming the Bob Vila of on the Road!!!..Love reading your DIY steps!! Just a question..with the help of your partner??..hope that's my cousin....

  3. Yep, that was moi! But Steve did 99% of it!

  4. Steve! You did an awesome job. Thanks for sharing these pictures with us.


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