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Old 09-08-2011, 02:42 PM   #43
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
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We recently spent two weeks wandering around in Michigan and got very tired of sliding the bikes in and out of the rear of the truck. With the shell, they had to go in partially laid over and used a lot of good space. I planned to add a receiver on the back of our Safari 25 but after exploring the good counsel here, decided to figure out Plan "B".
I got some Claw Bike Racks that clamp onto the front fork with the same kind of mechanism as that in a quick release wheel. I mounted them to a piece of scrap decking so I could take them out when we didn't have the bikes on board.
Now, we just lower the seats, take off the front wheels and roll them backwards into the bed of the truck from the ground. They're offset enough that the frames are close together and the wheels store between the bikes and the bed side. A tether to a tie-down will help hold them in place. We plan to carry the bike rack so we can carry the bikes on it when we're going to be unhitched for several days and will want to use the bikes from different "drive-to" locations.
Mine is certainly not the solution for all but maybe it will help you figure out your Plan "B".
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:07 PM   #44
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Many thanks for the bike rack ideas. I, too, had a front hitch receiver installed on our F-250. I will have to have the rack modified because it places the bikes way too high--even with the seats removed. But some rewelding should do the trick. I am too old to heave our bikes on top of the 4WD F-250 (altho I've been doing it for the past 5 years).
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:07 PM   #45
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I just bought a 30 international from CanAm in London Ontario and they put a rear bumper bike rack on mine when I asked for a rack... I certainly don't want to damage my frame, I will have to ask them about it...

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Old 09-08-2011, 03:08 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeandnora View Post

I just really don't want our bikes to go on the front or inside or top of tv.

Not arguing, just wondering what your reason is for not wanting the bikes on the front of the TV?

I'm guessing maybe you have a smaller TV rather than a truck, or perhaps you have very expensive bikes and feel that they may get dirtier up front? Other?

We have found that for us at least, it works very well indeed. Done it fpr the last 12 years.

One other advantage is that having them up front allows me to keep an eye on them.

We did have one incident where this paid off........

I have the height of the rack adjusted so I can just see the top of the seats and a bit of the handlebars poking above the hood line - not enough to be a distraction but enough for me to keep an eye on them.

On one trip, I noticed while driving that the handlebars of my wifes bike had vanished from sight.

We pulled over right away and I found that the temporary clip-on cross bar that you use to allow a women's bike to be clamped into a bike rack had somehow come unclipped and allowed the front of her bike to drop down. The front wheel was riding about an inch off the asphalt and looked like it had already "touched down" a few times! It was being held there only by a very much stretched bungee cord!

Had the bikes been on the back of the trailer we would have known nothing of this situation - at the least we would most likely have lost a front bike tire and maybe worse!

I do feel more comfortable with the bikes up front. If anyone is gong to run over them it will be me not some poor soul in a "Smart" car!

Also I don't have to worry about who is right and who is wrong regarding teh rear separation debate!

I will say however that when we toured the AS plant when we first bought our used 2005 trailer - which came with a 2" hitch receiver on the rear - I asked the gent who was giving us the tour. His own opinion was that carrying two bikes on our year, size, and model of AS would not present a problem. His comment was that when people start hanging motorcycles or heavy generators on the back is when damage can be caused.

Perhaps it is not so much an issue with newer models?

I don't believe that is the AS "official" position though and if I recall, the manual that came with our trailer said not to do it.

I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and to play it on the safe side and heed the voices of experience!

I'm sure the debate will continue!

Good luck with whatever arrangement you select!

Brian.
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Old 09-08-2011, 03:11 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Rod Johnson View Post
Many thanks for the bike rack ideas. I, too, had a front hitch receiver installed on our F-250. I will have to have the rack modified because it places the bikes way too high--even with the seats removed. But some rewelding should do the trick. I am too old to heave our bikes on top of the 4WD F-250 (altho I've been doing it for the past 5 years).
I cut mine down and re-welded it for the same reason - much better!

If you are not equipped to do it yourself, I wouldn't think that any welding shop should charge much to do the job.

Brian.
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:01 PM   #48
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1989 29' Excella
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My reason for not wanting them on the front of the excursion is 1) bugs 2) aerodynamics 3) aesthetics. The top is just way too high.

I am going to try and see if I can get a mount on the back of the excursion that would hold them high enough to not interfere with the propane tanks. If that doesn't work I'm going to start welding and riveting a support structure to the back of the airstream that will transfer the forces to the superstructure. Aesthetics be damned.

Just kidding on the aesthetics part.
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:28 PM   #49
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When I bought my 25ft AS it also had a rear hitch that appeared to be factory. I do not use it. jim
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:49 PM   #50
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Airstream doesn't hang anything off the rear end, never have. Damage will occur from the extra weight. No hitches, no bike racks, no ladders.
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Old 09-09-2011, 08:02 AM   #51
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Worldinchaos

I don't know what we would do with out Andy's valuable input on this forum and I agree with him 99% of the time, but not here. Andy's argument is correct in principle, but the numbers are not correct. It is really a simple moment arm problem. A 50# load at the rear bumper does not result in a 600# load at the rear axle if the bumper is 12 ft behind the rear axle. You need to consider the distance from the front of the trailer in the calculations. Physics is physics, but you need to use the correct numbers (in this case the correct moment arms). The additional moment from a 50 lb load 30 ft from the front hitch is 1,500 ft-lb. This must be supported by the rear axle. To get the additional rear axle loading you divide the 1,500 ft-lb (torque or moment) by the distance from the rear axle to the hitch (18 ft) resulting in an additional axle load of 83 lbs.

I believe that if your suspension is in good shape and you are not going to be driving down wash board roads on a regular basis that you will be ok carrying two light bikes on the rear bumper of the airstream. There is obviously some additional loads not just at the rear axle, but on other structural components. I don't know what those are. Sometimes you just have to stand back and ask yourself if what you are doing seems reasonable, and if so just go for it. You will really never know until you try it. William F. Lear, the designer of the Lear Jet and the Lear 8 track player, was motivated by doing things that other designers said could not be done. Go for it!

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Old 09-09-2011, 09:59 AM   #52
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Bike Rack for Airstreams
For those of you looking for a custom fit bike rack for an Airstream, this is it. It mounts to the front A frame of the trailer and mounts the bikes over the propane tanks. I have used it on several trips and it is very solid and secure.


The brackets can adapt to the varying widths and heights of Airstream frames and bolt on easily. A support post is fitted in the bracket to support the rack. The rack fits over the posts and tightens down with thumbscrews. A third adjustable support mounts to the jack post on the front.



The rack has two wheel tracks to lash down the tires. Support arms extend from the upper brace to clamp down and lock the cross tube on the bikes. Itís all very tight and secure. I throw a long cable around it all to lock it together for security.

When camping, simply loosen the three thumbscrews and the rack lifts off so you can open the front window.

For those of you without pick-up trucks or front hitch mounts, this works great. I tow with a VW Touareg so it was either this or roof rack. This isnít as high to lift and donít have to worry about scratching the paint. I tried hauling the bikes inside the trailer and found it inconvenient and dirty with trail bikes.

There website is WELCOME to Top Pop Rails Website !
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Old 09-09-2011, 10:11 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by Wingeezer View Post
I cut mine down and re-welded it for the same reason - much better!

If you are not equipped to do it yourself, I wouldn't think that any welding shop should charge much to do the job.

Brian.
Thanks Brian. I plan to take my rack (an older model named Rak-n-Lok) to a local welding shop after I do some serious measuring. The rack is more complicated than it need be for a front mount. As a rear-mount design, it allows for leaning it back to clear the opening tailgate of an SUV. It has a gas support and all. That is unnecessary for a front mount, in my opinion. I think I will get rid of all that articulation. I have hauled bikes for thousands of miles, mostly on the roof where I consider them most secure--but roof height and my advancing years are bringing an end to that. I don't like rear mounts except for very short hauls as they are too exposed to rear end collisions. If I run into something with bikes on the front, at least it is my fault.
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:01 AM   #54
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Mojo

Looks like a great bike rack design for any trailer as it uses the space above the propane tanks and has a secure 3 point mounting off the A frame that you can't get with a rear bumper mount. Thanks!

Dan
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:39 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Rod Johnson View Post
Thanks Brian. I plan to take my rack (an older model named Rak-n-Lok) to a local welding shop after I do some serious measuring. The rack is more complicated than it need be for a front mount. As a rear-mount design, it allows for leaning it back to clear the opening tailgate of an SUV.

Yep mine was similar in that it leans back. I just left it like that although like you I never use that feature - guess I could have just welded it solid.
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Old 09-10-2011, 12:29 PM   #56
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bike rack

I am not sure if this helps but when Colin Hyde redid our chassis he bolted in a bike rack that was reinforced to the frame in numerous places. Something to seriously consider if you are doing a significant restoration!
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