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Old 07-14-2007, 03:04 PM   #1
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Carry Bicycles on front of Tow Vehicle ???

I've seen quite a few posts saying 'don't carry anything on the back end of an airstream trailer'.

OK. But I want to carry two bicycles when I go out next summer. I'd prefer to not create a custom arrangement on my tow vehicle hitch because that would block access to the rear end of my SUV (Nissan Armada). And I'm too old to load them on top of my large SUV.

I remember years ago that folks were carying bicycles of the front of their vehicles. Do folks still do this? Are front hitches sold? Or must I have one custom made?

Thanks,
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:10 PM   #2
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carry bikes in front

Niel,
I ran into the same problem when I bought my 31' Classic. I purchased a front hitch for my 2004 Dodge 2500 4wd and installed it to the bumper frame. I just returned from a weekend trip with the bike rack up front and it worked fine. It didn't affect the tow vehicle after I was hooked up. The hitch isn't that expensive. I got my from hitchfinder.com.
I found this as my only way to continue to carry bikes with me when I camp. good luck
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:23 PM   #3
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I know conventional wisdom is to carry nothing on the back, but how much do your bicycles weigh, anyway? I see bike racks on the back of the tiniest cars. How big is your AS?

Vaughan
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlo57
Niel,
I ran into the same problem when I bought my 31' Classic. I purchased a front hitch for my 2004 Dodge 2500 4wd and installed it to the bumper frame. I just returned from a weekend trip with the bike rack up front and it worked fine. It didn't affect the tow vehicle after I was hooked up. The hitch isn't that expensive. I got my from hitchfinder.com.
I found this as my only way to continue to carry bikes with me when I camp. good luck
Niel, I looked for a hitch for the front of my truck but could not really see one and how it works. What am I doing wrong on the website hitchfinder.com?
richg
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Old 07-14-2007, 04:07 PM   #5
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We carry our bikes on a front hitch. The bike rack hardware pivots down to allow the bikes to sit on their wheels to unload without effort or back strain. That may interest you.

This past week I did observe a bike rack, similar to our front mount, welded to the rear of a thirty foot Airstream. The owner had a welder bridge between the channel frame of the Airstream chassis and then weld the bike rack to that bridging between the frame members. The only flaw, as pointed out by the owner, was that the bike rack hardware tended to flop around thereby putting the skin of the Airsteam in danger of contact with the bikes. He solved that problem by installing a couple of "O" rings in the rear canopy pivot hinge support and bungie cording to the bikes to keep them riding quietly. We find that a few bungies on the front rack of our TV setup works well and is necessary to keep our bikes rigid on the mount.

HAPPY TRAILS
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Old 07-14-2007, 04:21 PM   #6
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We do too

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoominC6
We carry our bikes on a front hitch. ...
I had a local welding shop install a two-inch receiver on the front of my Suburban to more easily park my boat.

The hitch also works great with a carrier from the local bike shop.



Tom
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Old 07-14-2007, 04:38 PM   #7
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We carry our bikes on a front hitch.

We also carry our bikes on the front....bought a universal hitch, and only had to drill two new holes for the hitch to mount on the frame....Worked for us.

Levon
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:49 PM   #8
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Another plus of the front rack; no chance of forgetting the bikes are on the TV.

Vaughan
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:41 PM   #9
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Man, that's some auxiliary front bumper you have there

M

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW
I had a local welding shop install a two-inch receiver on the front of my Suburban to more easily park my boat.

The hitch also works great with a carrier from the local bike shop.



Tom
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil.ervin
I've seen quite a few posts saying 'don't carry anything on the back end of an airstream trailer'.
They know not what they speak

Howie from NJ show me his that he went thousands of miles with,
I built one similar, just went 2,000 miles with it--no problems at all.

I try and post a pic.

The front hitch thing just turned me off in looks and blocking the drivers view, signals and headlights. Not to say anything as to the dirt they must pickup like a magnet.
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:35 PM   #11
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I got our front hitch from E-Trailer.com for about $100.00 and it just bolted on in about 15 min. We use ours to carry the canoe.
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Old 07-14-2007, 08:40 PM   #12
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Beware of the limited front axle capacity on some of the otherwise "brawny" vehicles - the 2003 GMC crew cab dually with long bed and 4WD as an example. When loaded, with just my wife and I in the front seat, I have less than 400 lbs residual capacity. Much weight, cantilevered out on a front mounted receiver, could easily push it over the limit - and this, without adding two or three passengers in the rear seat, an auxilliary fuel tank, or some of the other toys we like to cart along. That Duramax and Allison, plus the 4 WD and A/C, are sure heavy. Once again, make sure to weigh your vehicle when it's loaded for travel. You might get quite a surprise!
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Old 07-14-2007, 09:33 PM   #13
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C-ment pond

I to am looking to move my bike to the front of my E350, despite how it may look to the oncoming viewer.

Michael
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:28 PM   #14
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I used a Swagman towing 3 bike rack, but now with the '89, there was little clearance between the bike tire and the LP tank cover. Sharp turns and backing were a problem. One bike was all it could handle while towing. Bought a bike styand that we put inside, and while camping kept the site neat and orderly. Still, with 4 bikes needed the extra capacity, and as the youngest son started to grow, his bike also grew and was getting cumbersome for the back of the Excursion when venturing out to the trails. Installed a front rack and picked up a Swagman 4 bike rack. Definitely added to the total length, but bringing the bikes along is way easier. After we unhitch, I move the rack to the rear. In one case, since the Beast can carry 8 passengers, now I can use 2 racks to carry everyone and their bikes. This was very convenient on a recent trip so we could leave a vehicle behind.
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