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Old 01-01-2014, 12:03 PM   #1
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Bicycle racks

We are a family of 4 and own a Flying Cloud 27 and use a 2001 Yukon Denali as our TV. We're trying to figure out a way to bring our bikes along with us during our travels. I've seen the bike racks at the Airstream dealership but they only transport two bikes. We are considering the purchase of 4 lightweight folding bikes in an effort to conserve space and payload. I'm curious to hear any ideas on organized bicycle transport. Thank you.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:07 PM   #2
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YOu might have to get creative with multiple spots for four bikes on an AS rig setup. I have this 3 place setup.

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Old 01-01-2014, 12:16 PM   #3
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Roof racks?
As a young dad of two, I got pretty proficient putting four bikes up and down on a vehicle like yours. At 70+, I still use the roof racks occasionally, but I require a stool and loving push or two.

Yakima makes systems build off of their double canoe rails. They are very versatile. Figure out what you need, then start looking on craigslist and around the neighborhood. you be amazed how many are available inexpensively.
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Old 01-01-2014, 12:19 PM   #4
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Another thought on roof racks. The often find ourselves camping near some bike trails.we park the airstream and carry the bikes to the trailhead on the roof racks. Not really an option with the trailer mounted set ups.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:17 PM   #5
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Good call on the roof mounted racks. Having the option to take the bikes to a specific trail via my TV is the kind of flexibility we've become use to as Airstream owners. Thank u
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lionelc1 View Post
We are a family of 4 and own a Flying Cloud 27 and use a 2001 Yukon Denali as our TV. We're trying to figure out a way to bring our bikes along with us during our travels. I've seen the bike racks at the Airstream dealership but they only transport two bikes. We are considering the purchase of 4 lightweight folding bikes in an effort to conserve space and payload. I'm curious to hear any ideas on organized bicycle transport. Thank you.

I carry two bikes but but you can see that there is room for four or five on my Thule racks. Jim
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Actually it's hard to see with all the background action (Vegreville, Alberta egg) but it was the only photo handy.
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Old 01-01-2014, 01:39 PM   #7
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Thank you Jim. I'm definitely seeing the positive advantages of a roof mounted bike rack. Btw, how long is your airstream and what is your TV?
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:09 PM   #8
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We are currently still planning for an Airstream, but we have been carrying bikes for years. With an Airstream trailer, and with only two of us, we will want the ability to carry them inside, but that is because at least two of the bikes are high end Cervelo racing bikes, and I don't want to subject them to the risk of theft or the grit that collects in the low pressure area behind a vehicle or trailer.

Roof racks are a good option. Thule and Yakima are both good names, but it is worth staying with one or the other brand once you start, since you can get them keyed the same, etc. Think about security up front. We have the rack locked to the roof rack at four points (same key), and a lock on each fork mount (same key). Additional cable lock through the front wheels. Square load bars (the ones going across the vehicle) are more useful than the aero ones IMO since it is easier to attach bike holders. I don't see the point in paying for aero load bars when the bikes create most of the wind noise anyway. Load bars are available in different lengths, and you will be able to put four bikes side by side on your vehicle. You may need to alternate fore/aft facing for handlebar clearance. The BMW X3 shown is narrower, and I cut the load bars down to the vehicle width. I have three bike holders and two wheel holders on it.

We use fork mounts for the security with carbon bikes. That means you need wheel holders as well, but I won't clamp a carbon frame. If the bikes are more like hybrids, any swing up arm carrier will work, but be cautious of the bike down tube diameter, as some are large and then don't fit the jaws well. The best and most versatile swing up arm is the one that drops over the front tire, IMO. Very easy to use.

If the vehicle is too tall, many use a Rubbermaid step stool to reach.

Cheers

Jeff
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:14 PM   #9
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Many thanks Jeff. I'm now sold on a roof mounted system and will weigh the pros and cons of Yakima vs Thule
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:20 PM   #10
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Go to the web sites of each of Thule and Yakima, and you can specify your vehicle and build a virtual rack. Lots of choices. Then do a search on Craigslist for a lightly used one before purchasing. Rekeying is easy, they sell lockset inserts in matched sets. Good luck.
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:27 PM   #11
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jcl, great comprehensive post. Thanks for the info. Lionelc, the tv is a Jeep diesel and the Airstream is a 2012 Signature 30. Jim
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:30 PM   #12
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jcl, great comprehensive post. Thanks for the info. Lionelc, the tv is a Jeep diesel and the Airstream is a 2012 Signature 30. Jim

Jeep towing a 30ft Airstream? Wow! How well does your TV handle the hills? My Yukon Denali howls when taking on inclines. At some point in time over the next year I'm going to upgrade my TV
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Old 01-01-2014, 02:48 PM   #13
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Jeep towing a 30ft Airstream? Wow! How well does your TV handle the hills? My Yukon Denali howls when taking on inclines. At some point in time over the next year I'm going to upgrade my TV

There are many threads on the validity of a number of tow vehicles. I really like the exercise that mstephens just went through in order to make his choice. There are some very thoughtful insights into the whole process of choosing a TV based on capacity and safety within the thread. My Jeep now has 330,000 k on it and has towed this particular Airstream 50,000 k. It towed my previous 25 ft Safari about 100,000 k. I am very pleased with its capability. No howls. Jim
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