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Old 09-09-2013, 02:45 PM   #127
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2010 28' Flying Cloud
Slidell , Louisiana
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 101
Just examined in detail Airstream's bike rack by Fiamma. Looks really good although from a load distribution viewpoint, it is really not much better than a receiver hitch mount on a cross member between the Airstream frame if you are concerned about weight being carried by the Airstream frame. Contrary to what some may believe, the Faimma rack does indeed tend to transfer the entire bike and rack assembly vertical weight directly to the frame where it mounts just forward of the aluminum bumper. The Faimma's two horizontal attachments which attach to the shell (being non rigid & perpendicular to the load they are essentially pin joints from a structural viewpoint) and support little to none of the vertical load of the assembly. These two connections provide only dynamic bending moment resistance and this force is applied to the shell and it is horizontal and pulling back away from the shell toward the rear. This design makes the assembly more stable than my current hitch mount and reduces small dynamic bending moments from the frame by moving the biked closer to the shell, but the entire vertical weight is still essentially carried by the frame and not divided between the shell and frame. The major forces on the frame remain the vertical weight of the assembly (shear) and the weight of the assembly multiplied by the distance the center of gravity of the assembly is to whatever point on the frame you might wish to consider for bending. Compared to my conventional steel hitch assembly mounted on a cross member between the Airstream frame rails and extending the bike mounting point behind the bumper, it does address the afore mentioned small bending moment and is lighter in overall weight. The bending moment of a conventional hitch mounted rack can be addressed by similarly attaching the bikes on a conventional hitch mounted frame to the Airstream shell leaving the vertical load on the frame, and my setup can be made much lighter than the way I installed it by using aluminum tubing for a dedicated rack instead of the steel receiver/trailer hitch approach. The Fimma rack is a neat, light weight design that appears to be quite capable, but for those that are very nervous about any weight added to the frame vs carried and distributed by the frame and shell combined, the Faimma design is not all some might think it is cracked up to be. If the Faimma horizontal brackets are redesigned to be fully rigid so that they are, and will remain rigid with continued use, then a portion of the vertical load can be transmitted down the back of the shell into the frame reducing any shell/frame separating concern, but the aren't so they don't. All that bring said, since I have towed over 80k miles with my present hitch without incident the only real concern I have is the Fiamma hitch is about to put a $500 dent in my pocket. It looks like it will do the job and is really just too cute to pass up when compared to the looks of my receiver and hitch!

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Old 09-09-2013, 05:00 PM   #128
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
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I thought the Airstream frame supported the entire weight when sitting still, but when going over a bump in the road, the upper Fiamma brackets resist a rotational force to the rear. So some of the moment inertia is taken by the upper brackets, and therefore not all applied to the Airstream frame.


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Old 09-10-2013, 05:40 PM   #129
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2013 16' Sport
Aptos , California
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 7
Bike Rack for Airstream

Good question!!! After close inspection of the Arvika rack it does appear to block the opening of the front window. Sorry, I can't tell you if the rack needs to be disassembled. We concluded that it did. It's a fantastic concept for another trailer but not for ours. Who knew it would be so difficult and expensive getting the right bike rack?

Fyi, we also discussed the possibility of installing a rear bumper ($600 not including the installation cost) to support the AS bike rack (cost ?) but it appears the rack would block our storage door at the rear of our bambi.

In conclusion, after all the research, we decided to purchase the roof top Yakama system. We really did not want to lift our bikes so high to transport... oh well. Fortunately, we were able to find a great sale at a near by retail store. The total cost for the system was $500.00.(we already had factory installed side rails on our Pilot)

Good luck!
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:20 AM   #130
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2007 34' Classic S/O
Eureka , Illinois
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 37
It has been said earlier in this forum, forget the bike rack on the Airstream, front, back, etc. and go for a front mount bike rack on your tow vehicle. Curt Manufacturing makes a model to fit just about any current model truck. Mine is on a RAM 3500 and no drilling was necessary. I carry 2 bikes and when you get to your destination, take the bikes off, remove the carrier from the receiver, and enjoy the ride. No worries about what's happening behind you, you can see the bikes as you drive. I've been using this arrangement for 8 yrs. with no problems whatsoever.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:38 PM   #131
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2014 27' FB International
salem , Oregon
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 78
opening window using Arvika bike rack

Yes, you do need to remove the bikes. We have loved our Arvika rack and have had it for 3 years on our 25 FB. We leave the bikes in place when travelling (and thus can't open the bedroom window) and upon arrival of our final destination, we remove only the top half of the rack and our bikes. There are only a few thumb screws to loosen and the upper half of the rack is light. This is how we leave our TV for the remainder of our stay. The lower half of the rack we leave mounted on the front A-frame and it stays secure. Bikes arrive clean from road dirt and are locked and secure while travelling due to a built in lock on the rack.
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:16 AM   #132
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1976 27' Overlander
kiln , Mississippi
Join Date: Mar 2013
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I put my bikes in the AS
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:56 PM   #133
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2001 25' Safari
London , Ontario
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Originally Posted by dayner View Post
Just examined in detail Airstream's bike rack by Fiamma. Looks really good although from a load distribution viewpoint, it is really not much better than a receiver hitch mount on a cross member between the Airstream frame if you are concerned about weight being carried by the Airstream frame. the time you weld/bolt on a 2" receiver and adequate supports underneath the A/S body, and then attach a standard 2" receiver bike rack you're pushing 100 lbs before you add bikes.

My Can-Am RV solution (similar to Fiamma's) weighs less than 80lbs INCLUDING two standard bikes weighing 35lbs each. If you can keep the total weight to down you don't need to get creative in the design.
Gary & Debbie
2001 Safari 25 SS
2011 Chevy Traverse 3.6L AWD Hensley DirecLink McKesh
Set-up by Can-Am RV
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Old 09-22-2013, 10:38 PM   #134
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Puyallup , Washington
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Yup mine go inside too

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