VersaHaul VH-90 Full Review Hitch mounted Single ATV Carrier
VersaHaul VH-90 $672.99
Air Bag Kit 1000lb $129.95
6 sets Ratchet Straps 1000lb $29.95ea
No trailer maintenance and registration fees -$35.00yr (estimated)
Driving 70 miles an hour down the freeway while my 400lb sport quad sits sturdy as a redwood tree on the back of my Jeep all the way to the track and back, and being able to fit all three things plus all my gear, and spare parts inside my one car apartment garage with room to spare………………………….Priceless
I decided I would write this full review on this product because when I was looking for trailers and trailer alternatives there was very little info and photographs on these things which almost made me stick to looking at only trailers on the off chance that no info meant not a good product. I gambled and seem to have won out in the end so the following is my full review and photo log of the VersaHaul VH-90 quad carrier. No there not paying me, I just hope that if someone else is on the fence someday and comes to exriders.com, as all of us inevitably do some day, hopefully this will help them make a clear and educated decision on what is best for them.
The carrier arrived within 4 days after placing the order. I picked it up from the dealer I bought it from and upon opening it to install noticed that one of the main rails had a very small ding in it that might have happened in shipping. The box was about 200 lbs so this might be common using the carriers of today who seem to use a heavy box as an excuse for mistreatment. (not all carriers but a lot) I immediately called the dealer who passed my complaint and a couple photos of the damage, on to VersaHaul who contacted me within 24 hours and asked if I wanted either a $50 dollar discount or a new replacement rail. Since the damage was really just cosmetic I chose to have a new rail sent so that I would have a spare if the need should ever arise. The company got big points rite away for doing the rite thing and I had my replacement rail 3 days after that.
Assembly and installation was a breeze and was accomplished with only a few cursory glances at the instructions to verify bolt size and such but within about 20 min (including double checking) I was ready to mount the carrier on my Jeep. (V-8)
Mounting is very easy and with some practice, can be done in just a few minuets including the time it takes to bolt down the anti-sway locking ring. This ring is key to the solid feeling of the carrier and without it you may find that the carrier feels a little floppy. Once this is installed and tightened though the whole carrier feels like it is directly bolted to your vehicles frame and is very solid. My only very minor complaint about this particular design is that on my stock receiver hitch the anti-sway locking ring would fit but wanted to slip off when I would start to tighten it down. I overcame this by placing a pipe in between the first rail of the carrier and the locking ring to hold it in place while tightening and then removing the pipe once it was tight. This will vary from receiver to receiver and may not be necessary on all of them but it still wasn’t a very big deal because once I did this it would tighten down correctly and eliminate all of the play in the carrier.
A Class III or better hitch is required and I would not recommend using anything lower as the carrier weighs in at about 150lbs plus a 400lb quad leaves you a little elbow room on the 750lb Class III tongue weight. Even though I did the first haul with my stock Jeep Grand Cherokee suspension without incident, I later added the 1000lb max load air bags on my rear suspension. It was a very cheap upgrade and when filled to half capacity it completely negates any suspension squat for the mid size SUV. I would highly recommend this.
The carrier rails will expand up to 49 inches wide from outside edge to outside edge leaving about a half inch of play on each side so that the rails are not on the very edge of the main support bar. As my 03 Cannondale has a +3LT front end and a +2 rear end it is exactly 49 inches wide and fit snuggly, but perfectly onto the carrier.
There are 8 tie down rings 4 per rail and they are very strong and even with heavy duty straps pulling on them from all directions to lock the quad down to the carrier they never bent or felt of lower quality for the whole 400 miles trip back with the quad. In addition to the normal 2 in front and 2 in rear tie down straps installed I also used the rear most 2 tie down rings and hooked another set of straps to a couple of welded frame hook points inside my cargo area, to help keep some of the weight off of the tongue and to give the carrier some added stability. This might not be a possibility in all vehicles but if it is I would recommend it just because you can never be too safe but it also did help transfer some weight off of my stock suspension (prior to having the air bags installed).
As I said I used this carrier to pick up my new quad and drove it 400 miles from Phoenix AZ to Oak Park CA. I was nervous for about the first 50 miles or so just because it was a new way to carry something I had just spent a lot of money on but after mile 51 all of my concerns were put to rest as that quad and carrier never creaked, groaned bounced too hard or bottomed me out, not once the whole way. I was able to do 70-75mph when the limit allowed and it felt just as sturdy as it did at lower speeds. This also cut down on the total drive time of the trip since I was not limited to the 55mph speed limit of trailer towing.
In closing I would very much recommend this product to anyone interested in a single quad trailer alternative and or has limitations on space available to keep a trailer. I was very impressed with its performance and felt that for the money it was very high quality. I have one minor complaint about the locking ring being a bit tricky to tighten down but once tightened was completely solid and held the carrier as designed. Also the company stood by there product and sent me a new extra replacement rail rite away when they learned that it was cosmetically damaged during shipping.
Below are photos showing the carrier when mounted with and with out the quad. You will see that there is almost no visible squat in my rear end but this is due to the airbags. It was about 2 inches without them on this SUV. Full size trucks with HD suspension may not need any additional suspension upgrade. Oh and watch out when pulling in and out of steep drives as it may scrape the back rail on the ground but I did this a few times before I put in the airbags and it just did a little scuff on the bottom of the rear rail. I hope this helps anyone doing research and good luck.
87 Honda 250X (SOLD)
02 Honda 400EX (SOLD)
03 Cannondale 432
"What We Lack In Brains, We Make Up For In Altitude."
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