2015 30' Classic
2012 28' International
, North Carolina
Join Date: Aug 2011
You might revisit your objections to the Fiamma. It doesn't block the taillights. My bikes do not hide the license plate. It didn't block the plate that covers the sewer hose (or the trunk -- though if the bikes are mounted you have to wriggle the electric cord/hose a bit). Not sure I'd necessarily agree that there's a lot of bounce on the rear of the trailer, and if there were I'm not sure it'd have deleterious effects on the bikes (or the trailer). There is a requirement to drill 4 holes through the aluminum and four into the steel frame. Just my opinion. And it could be the size of my trailer that made this work better.
I have been using a front rack since 2003. My rack has loops that the bike tires set in and a hold down in the middle that hooks over the frame. Now for using it for spotting a trailer is impossible because the front is much lower than the back receiver on my F-150.
We carried 4 bikes on ours on a trip to Glacier Park in 2010, the only disadvantage was a increase in engine temp on the long uphill climbs, likely due to disrupted air flow. But it's nice to have the bikes along and not in the way + more accessable than a roof mount.
'00 34' Classic Limited (LOVSHAC)
'12 3500HD, 4x4 LBZ D/A CC LB
We installed a front receiver on our F-250 a couple of years ago when heaving two bikes 7 ft. in the air became more exciting than my spouse liked to witness--not so bad for road bikes, but we generally carry our mountain bikes when 'streaming. I, too, had to cut about 10 inches out of the upright to achieve a proper driving sight height. Also, I remove the seats and seat posts when traveling and cover the open seat tubes with duct tape. We are satisfied with the arrangement. Yes, one has to remember that the bikes are making the truck a couple of feet longer, but that is easier to remember than that the bikes are on the roof.
Safest, cleanest deal with fairly expensive bikes? Roof mount (Thule or Yakima) with front wheels removed and proper bike bras. But not nearly as handy.
I would consider the Fiamma, but I can't store our 27FB at home and would need to transport the bikes to the storage lot on some type of rack anyway. I do not like to drive at night with the bikes on the front as there is a small amount of reflection off the bikes, but I don't tend to drive at night anyway. Everything is a bit of a trade-off.