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Old 03-14-2009, 08:10 AM   #1
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1986 25' Sovereign
Ocala , Florida
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Has anyone installed a bike rack?

We have 86 SOV 25', it has the wide bumper that holds the electric hook up and sewer stuff. Wondering if anyone installed any kind of bike rack. Our tow vehicle is a pick with a hard toneau cover (I already have a tone of stuff that rides in there) so putting the bikes there won't work. Any ideas are welcome.

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Old 03-14-2009, 08:13 AM   #2
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In a word, "NO".

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Old 03-14-2009, 08:16 AM   #3
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. , Illinois
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Never, never, never, never, never do this.

Get a roof rack for the tow vehicle or put the bikes in the trailer, but never consider hanging things off the back. The long term effects will be frame separation which I am sure Terry has linked above.

But by all means, do not simply take my word for it, contact Airstream support directly and ask them what they think about adding any weight in the manner you are suggesting. Here is their contact info:

Airstream, Inc :: Customer Service
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:35 AM   #4
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You will hear 100s of members chime in that this can't be done. Now having accepted that this is how I did it.

Check the post 36 38 and 41 on this thread.

By now I have well over 40,000 miles with the bikes back there and driving on northern roads that are much rougher than Fl.
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Old 03-14-2009, 09:53 AM   #5
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We saw two bike racks mounted on a hard pick-up bed cover. Don't know the make of the racks.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:00 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by coffeydelsol View Post
Wondering if anyone installed any kind of bike rack.
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Old 03-14-2009, 10:21 AM   #7
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Front bike rack

Put a receiver on the front of the truck for a bike rack. You will have to make sure that you keep good air flow but this way you will not have to heave the bikes onto the back of the truck.

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Old 03-14-2009, 11:12 AM   #8
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My wife and I have tried to figure this out, but haven't. If you have a very expensive bike, mounting it outside, front or back of TV or trailer, it's going to get dinged by stones, sand, gravel, and you won't be happy. Mounting on top of anything also subjects it to abuse. We know two people who had bikes on their auto roofs and managed to crush them when they forgot they were there and drove "under" something that was too low. It's too easy to forget.

Coffey, we also have a pickup with a hard tonneau and stuff migrates there. A bike could be placed there, but getting it in and out requires a lot of work because of the lack of leverage, especially if the truck is still hitched to the trailer. Maybe stuff has to come out of the pickup bed and go somewhere else. Not sure I'd want a bike or two bikes, bouncing around in there.

So, what about inside the trailer? How do you keep it from falling over or if on it's side, sliding around, and damaging the trailer or bike, getting bike grease on something. If you want to stop and use the bathroom or have lunch, will it be in the way? The bed could be an answer if you put something like a tarp on the bedspread and the bike on top, but how do you secure the bike so it doesn't slide off? Hooks and bungie cords might solve the sliding, falling bike problem, but you'll have to install some hooks to attach the bungie cords to, and then, you have a hook to hit with leg, arm or other body part while walking around in the dark (or in the light). Getting a bike in and out of the small places in the trailer is another challenge.

When using the trailer, the bike has to be secured outside, just another thing to do. We looked at the collapsible bikes, but they are not good quality.

When we are trying to make life on the road simpler (and with a travel trailer, is anything simple?), a bike doesn't enhance that. I have to admit my commitment to a solution is not strong since I don't have a bike (my wife does) since with a bad back I would need one of those strange, low slung, recliner bikes, and aren't enthralled by them.

Yet people who do have a strong commitment to their bikes find a way, so it depends what you'll go through to have the bike or bikes with you. I also admit when we are camped somewhere and there are long trails to see cool things, a bike sounds pretty good.

If I were pressed on this, I think I'd look at cleaning out the pickup bed. But where do I put the generator, extra gas cans, WD hitch bars, Airstream spare tire (keeping it there means I can check the air easily), assorted other junk? Of course, the spare could go where it's supposed to be. If a collapsible bike works for you, sticking them behind the front seats of a pickup seems ideal, but of course, there is already lots of stuff there (tools, travel books, maps, picnic table, outdoor chairs, coats, extra provisions of all sorts), sometimes passengers, which means more bikes, or dog food, or both. I also think a cheap bike for traveling might be a good compromise since cheap could mean less likely to get damaged. Maybe my wife could get by without 15 speeds.

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Old 03-14-2009, 12:21 PM   #9
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Why not carry them inside the AS? A couple of Yakima Blockheads and a little AS ingenutiy and it could be easily accomplished. Your tonneau cover stays in place, and the dreaded "Bike rack on the bumper" argument goes away.

Just a thought.
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:00 PM   #10
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Kevin, I have seen Lewster do exactly what you are proposing in his 19' Bambi. He just fashioned up a simple cross support made of wood that was some how supported across his front dinette keeping everything secure and from moving.
Chris and Christina- Boerne, TX / Evergreen, CO - TAC TX-7
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Old 03-14-2009, 01:12 PM   #11
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We've had success with this rack - WELCOME to Top Pop Rails Website ! - which mounts over the LPG tanks. It is expensive - $450.00 (if I remember correctly) and you have to remove the top section (easy to do) to be able to open the front window. But it is the best option we found. And everyone I inquired of suggested not to load anything on the rear bumper. Jack
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Old 03-14-2009, 03:29 PM   #12
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That's what we did. Mounted two on a board to hold the front wheels of each bike. Built another board with some slats to hold the back wheels in position. The bikes site transverse inside the front door, next to the gaucho on our 30' Airstream. We put a towel under the chain area - but more for peace of mind. I use a bungee to make sure they don't wander - but I'm not sure its necessary.

Our bikes cost a lot. This way, no worry about weather, ruining things, theft, accidental crushing, etc. We can park the rig for hours and not have to be concerned.

Total cost was about $15.

The bikes are out of the way if we need access during travel. And they can be taken out within minutes when we're setting up camp.

I look at that long overhang past my rear axels, and the engineering training in me says - don't add 50 lbs 10 feet behind the axel.
Hey, its the only way to be sure!
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:48 PM   #13
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Old 03-14-2009, 06:54 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by coffeydelsol View Post
We have 86 SOV 25', it has the wide bumper that holds the electric hook up and sewer stuff. Wondering if anyone installed any kind of bike rack. Our tow vehicle is a pick with a hard toneau cover (I already have a tone of stuff that rides in there) so putting the bikes there won't work. Any ideas are welcome.
Our AS, bought used last Fall, came with a hitch receiver on the rear.

I planned to use it to mount a bike rack, but got so much advice against it on this forum I decided not to, and in fact, I removed the hitch receiver from teh trailer instead!

I installed a hitch receiver on the front of our pickup and carry our bikes that way.

I did that also on our last truck/trailer and used it for ten years without any problem whatsoever.


Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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