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Old 02-17-2007, 10:09 AM   #1
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How do you carry bicycles?

We have a 30' Excella and two bicycles. Right now, we are carrying them inside the trailer, but would like to get some sort of rack. We've heard you can't put a rack on the back of an Airstream. What do any of you use to carry bicycles?
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:23 AM   #2
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We either carry them in the bed of the truck, inside the trailer, or you can mount a rack on the front of your tow vehicle. Make sure you won't be blocking the headlights/radiator when mounting.
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Old 02-17-2007, 10:32 AM   #3
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Has anyone tried...

My TV has a ball mount on the bumper in addition to the reciever that I use to tow with. I was playing with the idea of putting a ball hitch type carrier there. Is this a bad idea? Since they fold down, it would still allow access to the bed of the truck, I wouldnt think it should impeed turning radius.....
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
My TV has a ball mount on the bumper in addition to the reciever that I use to tow with. I was playing with the idea of putting a ball hitch type carrier there. Is this a bad idea? Since they fold down, it would still allow access to the bed of the truck, I wouldnt think it should impeed turning radius.....
That actually sounds reasonable, so long as the arm-long list of precautions you'll no doubt receive aren't too off-putting...

We will probably be carrying 4 bikes again this summer. Two kid's bikes, a grown up bike, and probably a folder. Occasionally a tandem. Haven't quite cracked that nut yet, but pretty sure it will go on the roof of the truck. We might put the tandem in the trailer for short weekends.
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Old 02-17-2007, 11:34 AM   #5
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Take a look at the Unigrip Bicycle system.

AZ Truck Accessories | Topline*Unigrip Truck Bed Bike Rack

We use it and it is easy to set up and requires no holes to be drilled on your truck.
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Old 02-17-2007, 12:08 PM   #6
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I'd talk to Service advisors at Airstream factory as well.. Common wisdom is that overhangning loads on rear hitch mount on trailer with long overhang will stress frame and contribute to frame "sag" or separation, since rear weight loads shared between frame and trailer shell.

When we bought our used 25' trailer, it had a receiver welded to trailer frame with substantial reinforcement, and shorter overhang (distance from rear axle to back bumper) than yours. We have used a bike rack on rear, including drive from CA to Salem last year, and had no problems, but continue to receive negative inputs. It may also make difference to have lighter (aluminum) rack and lightweight bicycles..

We addressed issue with Dahon folding bikes (26" Espresso model and 20" 5 spd model) that fit into poly canvas bags and ride in back of Excursion. We're considering front receiver mount on Excursion, but worried about blocking headlights and airflow... If rear of truck usually filled with other things, folders might work (search on folding bicycles here..) or truck would take front receiver mount.
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Old 02-17-2007, 12:16 PM   #7
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Old 02-17-2007, 12:30 PM   #8
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I installed a reciever on the front of my truck and attach a bike rack to it. Works fine. No interference with lights/radiator/or my view of the road. Nice stable ride.
Your choice.Rgds, Scott
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Old 02-17-2007, 01:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOTTW
I installed a reciever on the front of my truck and attach a bike rack to it. Works fine. No interference with lights/radiator/or my view of the road. Nice stable ride.
What he said.

Tom
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:09 PM   #10
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Its hard to believe that doesnt block your view at least some
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:22 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
Its hard to believe that doesnt block your view at least some
You're right, Rodney - I do not have a totally unobstructed view. But for the "two-second" rule on the highway, I have a clear view of what I need to be mindful of. At slower speeds, it has not been a problem as I always give everyone a wide berth while in traffic.

Worth mentioning, though, is that I cut a foot off of the the rack's hieght as it was originally purchased. The present height holds my bike's wheels off the ground at the same level as the front suspension's frame.

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Old 02-17-2007, 02:36 PM   #12
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It makes a difference what type bikes you carry. We originally carried one male/one female bike. The female bike, without the upper crunch bar, rode too high on the rack. Wife decided she didn't like to bike in the way aond opted to ride a male bike. Bought another at Wal-Mart for abut 50 bucks. She loves it, and they both fit well on the rack....much better than Tom's picture above.
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Old 02-17-2007, 02:51 PM   #13
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Yes, if you like good bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by SCOTTW
It makes a difference what type bikes you carry....Bought another at Wal-Mart for abut 50 bucks...they both fit...much better than Tom's picture above.
FWIW, my adult bikes did not come from Wal-Mart.

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Old 02-17-2007, 03:00 PM   #14
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another way to handle bikes - truck top

I carried bikes flat in my truck bed, front wheel off, so that the tonneau cover would close. This just did not work out - they took too much precious space, and were too hard to get in-and-out.

I changed that out, and hopefully a photo pops up somewhere around here showing what I have now. If not, it is a truck "top", more like a small camper shell, that has a small smoked-glass door in the back, plus the entire back hinges up like a minivan liftgate. The original truck tailgate is no longer used.

Advantages: I can store bikes vertically using hublocks that attach the bikes to a 1x4, which in turn is fastened (but easily removed) to the truck bed; I've regained most of the truckbed floor space; I've gained some vertical storage space; my visibility to the rear has actually improved because of the glass door; I no longer have to reach awkwardly across the big truck tailgate to retrieve items; I have access from the sides through windows; it has a window at the front, allowing me to haul long stuff such has lumber for home projects by extending the boards into the truck cab; items in the truck bed are reasonable secure.

Disadvantages: $$$$
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Old 02-17-2007, 04:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gen Disarray
My TV has a ball mount on the bumper in addition to the receiver that I use to tow with. I was playing with the idea of putting a ball hitch type carrier there. Is this a bad idea? Since they fold down, it would still allow access to the bed of the truck, I wouldn’t think it should impede turning radius.....


I had the same idea. I tried getting a ball mount bike rack and using the bumper hitch like you are suggesting. I thought I might be able to use it and pull a travel trailer too.


I have this one: http://www.swagman.net/detail.php?cat=3&b=1&id=64300#


It turns I was wrong. Hitch mount bike racks put substantial rotational torque on the mount point. When I put three kid’s bikes on it, it nearly twisted my bumper hitch mount around. Luckily I noticed how much the bikes were bending it down and I took it off. When I mounted it on a standard receiver shank, it worked fine. Knowing what I know now, I would not buy a ball mount bike rack. I also would get a rack that would let me add and remove one bike at a time, rather than all at once. I would also get one that works better with modern mountain bikes that have thicker frames and don’t always have a horizontal frame member.
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Old 02-17-2007, 05:44 PM   #16
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I'm working on one now it will bolt to the bumper near the frame on both sides.

The bumper and frame can handle that easy. Provided they have no movement to add extra Inertia which would increase the weight stress.

I'm using 1 X 1 alum from the bumper up to a clamp type bike mount about $35.

The alum frame need not be too strong to support fore/aft movement, that will be done by two attachment points up about handle bar height, I'm trying to find the right fitting that can mount near the rear window.

I'll have some pic's in a few weeks.
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Old 02-17-2007, 07:26 PM   #17
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Don't know what you have for a tv. When we had the Suburban we use a front hitch for bikes, kayaks on the roof. This worked great.

We have a pick me up now, bikes in the bed, kayaks still up top. This is a little easier yet.

Be careful of those hitch extension/ adapters. They compromise your hitch capacity. OK for lite weight campers. Be careful with a larger unit...

Bill
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Old 02-17-2007, 08:01 PM   #18
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I would like to get some Yakima Blockheads - non locking kind. They are simple - just remove front wheel and insert forks in mount and tighten lock-bolt. I like the idea of storing the bikes upright in the bed of my truck - wheels off. I will mount the Yakima mounts to the bed tool box and have the bikes on in incline. Lots more room this way for gear in the bed.

Anyone else use these?
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Old 02-17-2007, 08:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex
Don't know what you have for a tv. When we had the Suburban we use a front hitch for bikes, kayaks on the roof. This worked great.

We have a pick me up now, bikes in the bed, kayaks still up top. This is a little easier yet.

Be careful of those hitch extension/ adapters. They compromise your hitch capacity. OK for lite weight campers. Be careful with a larger unit...

Bill
Oops...I see you do list your TV.
Same truck as mine. I have some old rails from a roof rack, mounted on 2x4's cut to fit the channels in the truck bed. The bikes stand up nice and straight, don't have to remove front wheels (I hate this) and I snaked a long cable through the bed tie down so I can lock them up if I want.
Can't see how it can get easier than this...
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Old 02-17-2007, 08:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clancy_boy
I would like to get some Yakima Blockheads - non locking kind. They are simple - just remove front wheel and insert forks in mount and tighten lock-bolt. I like the idea of storing the bikes upright in the bed of my truck - wheels off. I will mount the Yakima mounts to the bed tool box and have the bikes on in incline. Lots more room this way for gear in the bed.

Anyone else use these?
Yes Michael, I use something similar. I've had my truck one year and for various reasons have not completed the installation far enough to document completely for a thread like I intend. I've been the route of bedliners. Opted this time just for a heavy rubber mat in the back of the truck. I carefully located the area between the ribs in the bottom of the bed & drilled for elevator bolts & a 1/4" ply backing underneath the mat and rigged Yakima skewers. Tomorrow I could take a photo of the way I rigged it. I have a recumbent that is almost 6' long without the front wheel. Susie has a tall, very erect sitting position bike because she isn't comfortable leaning across handlebars. I knew this before I rigged my truck with a Leer 180 truck cap that would allow me to carry both bikes inside and our canoe on top.

I'll get back to this thread...
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