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Old 12-17-2014, 04:40 PM   #29
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"i think these 'arms' are meant to eliminate fore-aft rocking but if that is true, your exterior sheet metal is going to take a beating."

The arms are attached through the shell into the aluminum frame supporting the shell. No beating at all in thousands of towing miles throughout the country since installing our rack.

You might consider adding them to your setup to resist the rotational forces caused by your bikes being mounted well behind the frame and bumper.
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Old 12-17-2014, 04:55 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
"i think these 'arms' are meant to eliminate fore-aft rocking but if that is true, your exterior sheet metal is going to take a beating."

The arms are attached through the shell into the aluminum frame supporting the shell. No beating at all in thousands of towing miles throughout the country since installing our rack.

You might consider adding them to your setup to resist the rotational forces caused by your bikes being mounted well behind the frame and bumper.

thanks for clarifying that for me.
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:32 PM   #31
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I might add that if you have more than one Airstream, having the bikes on the front of your TV means you don't need a bike rack on each of your Airstreams.
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Old 12-17-2014, 06:32 PM   #32
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Nice job by the OP on a receiver mount. So much misunderstanding and misinformation on this topic, without clarity from Airstream. Monocoque vs semi-monocoque is a significant difference. Old chassis design vs newer models. No mystique to the overpriced Fiamma rack - it is clearly supported by the C beams and stabilized by attachment (with sheet metal screws) to the body. Airstream is simply negligent in not providing a receiver mount with clearly stated load capacity.

This Engineer took a different approach, extending the C beams by 12" with a "swim platform" on which I can carry a bike or other light cargo. Moving the bumper back 12" added crash protection to the rear end. 100 lbs on the tail decreased the tongue weight on my 2011 FC23FB from 14% to 13%. No noticeable change in towing characteristics in over 10,000 miles and all sorts of roads. Click image for larger version

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Old 12-17-2014, 07:42 PM   #33
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I like the idea of the rack and thought one in rear would be nice too. Hadn't heard about frame separations either.

We have carried two mountain bikes with us since we left 7,500 miles ago. We carry them in the trailer and it is a matter of 2 minutes to load and unload them at each end of a stay.
At this point, I have no intention of an outside rack because the bikes stay dry, safe and theft proof inside. What's not to like?
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Old 12-17-2014, 07:45 PM   #34
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Imagine a 10 long foot board extending out from the back of the Airstream and attached firmly to the frame. Jump on the end of that board and the board will try to twist (rotate) the frame down away from the shell.

Add support bars from the end of that board to high on the shell. Now when you jump on the end of the board the twist (rotation) trying to separate the frame away from the shell is minimized, maybe eliminated. This is because the shell now supports the end of the board.

As I understand it, that is the logic of the upper support bars on the Airstream bike rack. No mystery to it.
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:19 PM   #35
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This is not helping! ;-) While I do not like the Fiamma application due to the intrusion of the skin and the potential life expectancy of the plastic / rubber pieces, I tend to shy away from this application. Also, if you want to remove the apparatus, it does not look like it would be feasible.
I do like the theory of GPT's application but I heed the warnings of the several experienced Airstreamer's on this thread. So...I will wait for an alternate solution!
Thank you all for your information.
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:28 PM   #36
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Our "alternate solution" was simple, folding bikes in the back of the truck. DAHON Bikes:Â*Espresso D24
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:42 AM   #37
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Another vote for folding bikes.


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Old 12-18-2014, 08:29 AM   #38
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I opted for the front receiver from e trailer. Easy install. Practically invisible. Have yet to use it with the bike rack. I do not have the option of carrying inside the Suburban because of all the "stuff". As a potter my wife likes to take her potter's wheel, a hundred pounds of clay, a slab roller. Our WBCCI Unit members like to play in the mud! Our rallies are a blast!
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:23 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Imagine a 10 long foot board extending out from the back of the Airstream and attached firmly to the frame. Jump on the end of that board and the board will try to twist (rotate) the frame down away from the shell.

Add support bars from the end of that board to high on the shell. Now when you jump on the end of the board the twist (rotation) trying to separate the frame away from the shell is minimized, maybe eliminated. This is because the shell now supports the end of the board.

As I understand it, that is the logic of the upper support bars on the Airstream bike rack. No mystery to it.
This explanation of how the Fiamma rack works makes perfect sense. Basically, it maintains the integrity of the body/frame connection by placing the same amount of stress on the body AND frame simultaneously.
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:39 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by airdreamers View Post
I opted for the front receiver from e trailer. Easy install. Practically invisible. Have yet to use it with the bike rack. I do not have the option of carrying inside the Suburban because of all the "stuff". As a potter my wife likes to take her potter's wheel, a hundred pounds of clay, a slab roller. Our WBCCI Unit members like to play in the mud! Our rallies are a blast!
Presume this is for the front of your tow vehicle?

You mention that you have yet to use it - just a suggestion if you have not already tried this. I would fit the bike rack and bikes just to see if the bikes sit at a good height so as not to interfere with vision. Better to do this in advance rather than on the day you want to leave on a trip!

I used a front mounted receiver/bikerack on our GMC Sierra 1500, and all was well, but when we switched to a Sierra 2500HD, the design of the hitch receiver was much higher at the front of the truck and the bikes were way too high.

I cut down and re-welding the bike rack to suit.

Brian.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:27 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
This explanation of how the Fiamma rack works makes perfect sense. Basically, it maintains the integrity of the body/frame connection by placing the same amount of stress on the body AND frame simultaneously.
hard to believe that sheet metal screws will succeed in '...maintaining the integrity of the body/frame connection...'

i think this was added simply because the design of this bike carrier is not well thought out in the first place. the bolting to the frame would allow considerable fore/aft movement particularly from the perspective of the weight being held up high. so i suspect the arms were added to try and stabilize this movement as opposed to the above statement.

take a look at any bike rack from Yakima and you may be able to see the difference in what i am talking about.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:35 AM   #42
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I took the risk in doing a receiver mount rack, very similar to gpt's. The rack is made by Swagman, it also screws to the receiver and doesn't move. Our axles are back more that usual on the trailer so the rear overhang is relatively very little, like a boat trailer. It almost looks like a 25' with the back cut down and makes for excessive tongue weight. I also did a rear spare tire carrier that I may remove after thinking more about it.
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