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Old 03-31-2012, 02:39 PM   #1
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Bikes on classic ltd 27 ft

We recently purchased a used 07 classic ltd 27 ft. Our tow vehicle is a ford expedition. We will want to bring our bikes and possibly kayaks on our Nat'l park trips. We are looking for ideas on what the best configuration is to bring them. Thanks for your suggestions...
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Old 03-31-2012, 02:48 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forums.. As new members, you should get familiar with "Search" tab above in blue bar.. You can type bikes or bicycle rack or similar terms in and find a lot of threads and opinions among them hundreds of thousands of posts here, since yours is not a new question...

That said, I'll try to summarize collective experience from other owners...
1. Most posters believe (and Airstream has supported) notion that heavy bike rack and multiple bikes on rear of trailer (via receiver hitch or bumper mount) will put excessive stress on frame and may lead to frame/body separations, as happened frequently on longer Airstreams in 1970's when Beatrice owned the company.
2. Some feel that a light rack and light bikes on shorter trailer (27 is one of them) should be OK on recent trailers, where frame has been strengthened.(Airstream now offers such a rack from factory...)
3. Alternatives include mouting front receiver and rack on Expedition (checking to make sure headlights not blocked by bike frames) or roof racks (which could take up space needed for Kayaks), or putting bikes inside Expedition (a problem if you need rear seat..) or maybe considering folding bikes...

Good luck with your search and decision.. Take comfort knowing someone will disagree...
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:15 PM   #3
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Here's how I carry mine:

Carrying Bikes in Airstream by LToTheYnn, on Flickr
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Old 03-31-2012, 08:26 PM   #4
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how do you have them secure?
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:34 PM   #5
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Check out Thule. I have a bunch of their stuff and I can carry 2 bikes and a canoe on top of my Grand Cherokee. They also have bits and pieces that will carry kayaks. You should be able to carry all your stuff on the roof since you have a pretty big vehicle. Jim
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:45 AM   #6
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It's a simple setup. I attached bike wheel fork mounts to the platform that my seat cushions sit on. These are the ones I have, but you can get them at any bike shop or spotting goods store:
http://www.amazon.com/Delta-Bike-Hit...3291051&sr=8-8

I used wing nuts so I can remove the mounts without tools, but I usually just leave them on and put my cushions on top of them.

There is plenty of room with this setup. I'm guessing that 2 adult and 2 kid's bikes would fit easily.


Carrying Bikes in Airstream by LToTheYnn, on Flickr

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Old 04-01-2012, 09:54 AM   #7
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I was impressed the first time I saw your bike solution and I'm impressed all over again. The best ideas are always the most simple, eh?
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:18 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by MrUKToad
The best ideas are always the most simple, eh?
The sad part is that it took me a couple of months of thinking through all of the alternatives and shooting them down (I didn't want to clean bugs off of my bikes from a front mount hitch!) before I came to this solution.
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:28 AM   #9
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I have the same type of clamps for mounting the bikes insde the camper shell on my truck. Unfortunately, I never seem to have enough room inside to fit the bikes. Our bikes travel most of the time on top of the camper shell.
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Old 04-01-2012, 09:03 PM   #10
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Welcome to the forums.

I've been carrying bikes inside the trailer but don't consider it ideal. They get in the way for short stops and it's a nuisance to load and unload them, and there is potential for damaging both bike and trailer unless great care is taken.

I believe that a Yakima hatchback mount will fit between my tow vehicle and trailer and I'm going to explore that alternative next.

For kayaks the roof mount is the obvious choice. Thule and Yakima, among others, offer various mounting components that can be combined to carry kayaks. The conventional wisdom is that you can carry either two bikes or two kayaks or one of each on the roof fairly easily. Trying to carry three poses practicality problems in reaching the middle one even though they will fit. Ymmv.

There are front hitch receivers that some people use with bike mounts. As noted you get bugs on the bikes if you travel at night. Works for some people though.
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