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Old 04-23-2019, 06:03 AM   #1
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Fiamma Bike Rack failure -has this happened to you?

We recently experienced a failure on one of the arms that hold the bike rack. The rack was installed at the factory and, according to Airstream, the load is 77 lbs. We carry two Townie bikes (35 lbs each) and were traveling on some fairly bumpy roads in Texas & Louisiana. I went to take the bikes off and noticed that one arm was completely detached from the Airstream.

To make matters worse, I had just heard from a fellow Airstreamer that his bike rack fell off on a highway and they lost both bikes - but thankfully no one was injured. This is two complete failures I know of in less than a month's time.

I have contacted Airstream - whose only real response is that it is a vendor problem. I am also reaching out to Fiamma, but beforehand want to see if others have had similar problems. I'm not a metals engineer, but the part that connects to the AS seems substandard for this job - pictures attached.

And to warn others to check this rack regularly - it's very dangerous, particularly to those traveling behind you....
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:15 AM   #2
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It's happened before

There have been several threads and many people reporting the same failure over the years. Repeated bouncing puts too much stress on that bracket, exposing the weakness of that design, especially once you get close to the supposed 75 lbs. limit.
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:54 AM   #3
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Horrible. Glad you caught it before losing the rack and bikes while moving.
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Old 04-23-2019, 10:09 AM   #4
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Horrible. We pack our bikes in the bed of the truck. I havenít heard of these failures when I was researching, unfortunately you will usually find issues with stuff if youíre looking hard enough. Itís obviously not a one off, but not enough for them to do a total recall. Looks like they need to use a different material for that bracket?

Best of luck! Glad you didnít lose your bikes or worse.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:56 AM   #5
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I've had Fiammas on three Airstreams over the past 10 years. All installed by me. One was a transfer from an earlier trailer.

I'm always careful to adjust the support arm angles so that they don't bind on the vertical tubes thereby avoid putting undo stress on the trailer wall bracket cast members. I've found that the arms should actually float a very slight bit on the vertical tubes.

Our two bikes have always been 27 pounds or lighter, so well within the weight limit.
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Old 04-23-2019, 11:59 AM   #6
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Here is a source for replacement arms for the Fiamma Airstream Carry-Bike

I am going to carry one or two arms just in case.

https://www.fiammausa.com/en/carry-b...e-airstream-en
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Old 04-23-2019, 12:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverWind View Post
Has anyone here found a source for replacement arms for the Fiamma Airstream Carry-Bike?

Fiamma's Spare Parts catalog does not feature the Airstream rack. They all seem to be van or rv specific.

I'd like to carry one or two arms just in case.
We had our rack break at the same point as above. You can order parts direct from Fiamma USA. Part numbers etc can be found at the following link:

Hope this helps
Cheers
Doug

https://www.fiammausa.com/en/carry-b...e-airstream-en
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Old 04-23-2019, 06:42 PM   #8
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Fiamma bike rack failure

I checked my rack today and discovered the same failure on one of the support arms. Thank you for alerting me to this problem. Perhaps a stainless bracket such as those sold in marine chandleries would be a better option so long as we take care of the electrolysis issue.
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Old 04-23-2019, 07:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cheshta View Post
I checked my rack today and discovered the same failure on one of the support arms. Thank you for alerting me to this problem. Perhaps a stainless bracket such as those sold in marine chandleries would be a better option so long as we take care of the electrolysis issue.
Cheshta Buckley
I've wondered this also. These brackets very much seem to be the weak point of the rack. With luck someone much (smarter) than me can come up with a replacement part that we can substitute with.
So all you engineer types please put your thinking caps on....

As a side note I know about 6-8 people who own this same rack and everyone of them has had this issue of it breaking at the same point.

By the way the replacement parts are not cheep. The manufacture seems to be taking a "known problem" and instead of trying to fix it. Is doing nothing but turning it into a "profit centre"..... Surprise Surprise .....
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Old 04-23-2019, 07:47 PM   #10
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Fiamma Bike Rack

I'm really glad I read this thread. We were going to have one installed on our 2012 Classic today by the dealer, but the shipment did not come in. I'm having second thoughts now after reading that this is a problem that has happened to more than a couple people. Some of the roads we travel are so bumpy, I would hate to have the bikes and or rack fall off and risk injuring anyone. We have a bike rack that can attach to the front of the TV bumper that works ok (even though it is a little bit of a pain for the passenger to see well through the bikes).
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kswelsh View Post
I'm really glad I read this thread. We were going to have one installed on our 2012 Classic today by the dealer, but the shipment did not come in. I'm having second thoughts now after reading that this is a problem that has happened to more than a couple people. Some of the roads we travel are so bumpy, I would hate to have the bikes and or rack fall off and risk injuring anyone. We have a bike rack that can attach to the front of the TV bumper that works ok (even though it is a little bit of a pain for the passenger to see well through the bikes).
Don't let having this issue scare you....

We mounted our rack back in 2013 and its been great. It's travelled about 100,000 miles since the install and the failure we had just happened last fall. I still haven't purchased the replacement parts as shipping them to Canada seems to be expensive.
So in the interim we just used a SS-bolt to hold everything in place and it seems to work fine. My buddy will bring us the official parts when we meet them next month in MI and I will change them out when I get time. In the interim the bolt seems to be working fine.
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Old 04-23-2019, 08:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Two Peas View Post
We recently experienced a failure on one of the arms that hold the bike rack. The rack was installed at the factory and, according to Airstream, the load is 77 lbs. We carry two Townie bikes (35 lbs each) and were traveling on some fairly bumpy roads in Texas & Louisiana. I went to take the bikes off and noticed that one arm was completely detached from the Airstream.



To make matters worse, I had just heard from a fellow Airstreamer that his bike rack fell off on a highway and they lost both bikes - but thankfully no one was injured. This is two complete failures I know of in less than a month's time.



I have contacted Airstream - whose only real response is that it is a vendor problem. I am also reaching out to Fiamma, but beforehand want to see if others have had similar problems. I'm not a metals engineer, but the part that connects to the AS seems substandard for this job - pictures attached.



And to warn others to check this rack regularly - it's very dangerous, particularly to those traveling behind you....


Linda and I have just returned from a trip thru Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida. While in Henderson, La. I noticed the same arm failure as yours. I was able to place a pin thru the remaining arm and secured it with what else but "DUCK" tape (don't leave home without it). There was a lot of road construction and some very bumpy southwest Louisiana roads. I'm certain that was the cause. I have a 2017 AS27ft Serenity with dealer installed hitch. Less than 4000 miles traveled. Have you found a replacement, If so from whom?
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Old 04-23-2019, 09:00 PM   #13
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Just saw the link posted for replacement, guess I will be getting in touch with them as well.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:11 AM   #14
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Good info, but looking at your profile, you have a Tundra, and in the pic, you have a cover on. Any reason you simply don't put them in the pickup bed, particularly if you know you are going to be on some rough roads?


In my case, with a Suburban, it has a roof rack and although it's a major PITA to get the bikes up and down, I have an Yakima roof mount for 4 bikes because I wasn't really thrilled looking at the Fiamma and this thread really validates my decision, because I do travel sometimes on not the smoothest of roads.
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