Joe Hauler Dirt Bike Carrier Review

Mar. 05, 2013 By Jaime Hernandez
The Joe Hauler dirt bike carrier uses a tow hitch mounting point to create a safe and sturdy platform for hauling a motorcycle behind your truck, Jeep or SUV.

Owning a dirt bike can bring great joy, but the work of transporting it to and from the track or trail can quickly turn to frustration if you don’t have a good way of doing it.  For most riders, the pick-up truck is the perfect solution--plenty of cargo space for hauling your bike and gear.  For those of us that own a Jeep or Sport Utility, hauling a dirt bike is more of a challenge.

There are basically two options to haul your dirt bike around with a Jeep or SUV: a trailer or hitch mount dirt bike carrier / hauler.  We were in need of a quick and easy way to get the job done, so the hitch mount dirt bike carrier / hauler was our best option.  We also didn’t want to haul a trailer around for just one bike.

The Joe Hauler can be mounted to any Class III trailer hitch, but it must be a strong, frame-mounted type. Strength depends on the kind of vehicle and varies based your vehicle’s hitch and tow rating. Learn what those numbers are before you start hauling.

We had been looking at a hitch mount dirt bike carrier / hauler for a while, but it wasn’t until we got an invitation to ride with a friend on a Sunday morning that the need became eminent.  It was Saturday afternoon and the window of opportunity for making our ride a reality was closing fast.  We called a few powersport shops in San Diego until we found one with a Joe Hauler in stock.  Sure, they had other haulers, but we wanted the original Joe Hauler.


Joe Hauler is an American Made dirt bike carrier that has been used and tested extensively in Baja and across the US.  Its simple design is effective and functional to carry 1 or 2 dirt bikes, ATVs and even street bikes.

Invented by Joe Desrosiers, the Joe Hauler started with the simple need to carry a dirt bike.  Very much like our own situation.  Joe, a resourceful fabricator, took to the task and built the first two Joe Haulers.  One for his buddy and the other for himself.  His friend supplied the steel and Joe the labor.  Payment was made with beer, and the rest is history.

Photo Compliments of Joe Hauler.

Joe, a dirt bike enthusiast, has raced multiple SCORE International Baja races and won in his respective Class 21 (250 Pro).  He knows what it takes to get a dirt bike up and down the Peninsula, so the Joe Hauler is well built.  We had a chance to talk to Joe Desrosiers recently, he had just returned from  a multi-day ride in Baja with friends.  He told us that Joe Hauler is doing good, they have been fabricating the Joe Hauler for over 20 years.  In addition to building motorcycle tow hitch haulers, Joe’s shop also does custom steel fabrication in San Marcos, CA.

The Joe Hauler Econo model features a 5" x 77" channel with 8" rung spacing for holding bikes up to 77" long and fitting tires up to 5" wide. It also has a two-bolt stowing area for its 4ft aluminum ramp.

When we talked to Joe himself, he told us the Econo is their most popular model.  It features a very simple design, weighs 40lbs, yet is able to carry a bike weighing up to 350lbs.  No powder coat on this model, instead a basic rattle can spray paint approach is taken.  This makes it easy to touch up down the road and passes some of the savings  on to the customer.

The aluminum 4ft ramp included with the Joe Hauler Econo model has a safety bolt that fastens with a ½-inch bolt and wing nut to help keep the ramp in place during loading and unloading. It’s a very nice touch that runaway ramp users will appreciate.

We only needed a single bike hauler, so the Joe Hauler Single Econo fit the bill.  Here are some of the other features of the Joe Hauler Econo Single Hauler - Part# JH07E.

• Fits any Class III 2" receiver type hitch
• Holds dirt bikes up to 300 lbs
• Has position for mounting ramp
• Includes 4ft aluminum ramp
• 4 tie down mounting points
• Safety reflective Joe Hauler stickers
• 3 year warranty

High-quality all-welded steel construction helps the Joe Hauler do more with less weight.  The aluminum ramp is also nice touch for added weight savings.

We picked up our Joe Hauler at Motoworld in El Cajon, CA and were able to meet our buddy for a Sunday morning ride in the San Bernardino mountains.  We were so impressed with the Joe Hauler that we decided to write this article.

Two 32" long bars provide 4 tie down points to keep your bike safe when transporting. Optional wheel ties available for even more security from Joe Hauler.

THE DIRT We have put over 500 miles on our Joe Hauler with no problems whatsoever.  Our dirt bike stays on and sometimes we forget it’s even back there.  The Joe Hauler does its job well.  It also makes it very easy for us to load and unload the bike.  Fighting to get the bike up our other lifted truck was work.  Loading it on our Joe Hauler equipped Sport Utility is a breeze.  Now we can bring our bike on off-road adventures.


We were very surprised how well our Sport Utility does going around corners on mountain roads.  Initially, we were worried that the extra weight on the hitch and rear end would slow us down.  Not the case, the truck keeps on truckin, corners well, and accelerates much easier than does with our 18ft trailer.  A lot of this has to do with the suspension set-up.  A good set of shocks go a long way.

Off-Road, the single bike hauler is going to have the best choice for clearance and departure angle.  The height will be dictated by your hitch height.  The Joe Hauler main structure 2 x 2 bar comes straight out.  We haven’t had any issues getting caught up or bottoming out on the trail, even with good 2ft deep whoops.  Our vehicle is running 285/75R16 (roughly 33-inch tires) with a mild lift.  I’m sure we can find something to get caught on, but for most dirt trails leading to a riding area or track, this is going to work just fine.

Overall, we are really happy with the Joe Hauler.  It gives us the flexibility to transport  our bike around with the 4x4.  We highly recommend the Joe Hauler to anyone that owns a Jeep, SUV or even a truck that needs to carry an extra bike.  It’s just much more  convenient and economical than owning a trailer.  It gets the job done with a very small footprint and will give many years of service.

Joe Hauler Motorcycle Carriers
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