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Old 11-22-2008, 07:27 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by overlander64 View Post
While not exactly the same thing, a spare tire carrier was monted on the rear of my '64 Overlander in much the same way as many bicycle carriers mount. This carrier wasn't added until sometime in the early 1980s as the original owners were firm believers in not adding any surplus weight to the rear bumper. By 1997 (I purchased the coach in 1995), the Overlander had a bad case of rear separation with a repair cost approaching $3,000.00. Needless to say, the spare tire now rides in the tow vehicle; alothough I know that I could get by without a spare using the 3-tire "limp-home" feature.

Kevin
Thanks Kevin,

But again it makes me wonder if the problem exists as much
(maybe more?!) with the new trailers - I know that they weigh almost twice as much. Is all that extra weight just corian counters and oak, or is the frame also beefed up?

Did you ever consider putting your spare tire under the tongue the way it is done on my 05? Looks like a very simple arrangement and I was surprised how well it works when I dropped it to check the spare when we bought the trailer.


Brian.
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Old 11-22-2008, 07:38 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Mikethefixit View Post
Wingeezer
Somewhere here is a post about a new bike rake that mounts above the Propane tanks above the front window.Its mount as I recall originated from the A frame. If that hitch receiver is bolted or welded I cut it off with a angle grinder.
This summer I did see a 31 Limited, rear bedroom that the panels behind the rear axle had buckled and it had never had anything mounted to the rear of the frame. The strength is not there for mounting anything extra off the rear of the frame. On our long-bed 1 ton we have a cap,this carries our STUFF out of the weather and away from prying eyes. We carry a charcoal grill,floor jack, 1 spare tire for the truck(unmounted) trailer spare,air compressor,toolbox.lumber of changing a tire or leveling, 8 ft step ladder (which I have had to use) Two bikes and still have room.
Let your wallet be your guide.
GOOD LUCK
Roger

I did see that rack that goes over the propane tanks and have not discounted that as an option. I guess it would solve the problem - if there is one!

About the only negative thought I had when I saw it was that Airstreams look pretty nice when in tow coming down the road and that sure made for an ugly look! Also, although the bikes don't weigh much, the rack has to be fairly high due to the propane bottle container and it looked a bit awkward getting the bikes up & down.

I think rather than go that route, I would just get a hitch receiver put on the front of our new truck as I had on the old one. Cheaper solution too I think,
but does block the lights a bit - not a real problem for us as we rarely are towing in the dark.

We too use a cap on our pickup and find it extremely handy - no room for bikes in ours though because we have so much other junk we throw in there!

Our present truck - and the one we will buy are standard box trucks because we want a crew cab and it just makes the truck too unwieldy for us to use as a daily driver if we get the long box.

Also, I like the style of cap that just follows the cab roofline straight back so there wouldn't he the headroom needed. Sounds like it works well for you.

Brian.
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Old 11-22-2008, 07:42 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by gunner View Post
I had a 1966 24ft. Trailer many years ago, purchased a two bike carrier from Airstream, Jackson Center that fastened on both sides of the rear bumper frame and was made to swing out of the way when access was required to the back plumbing. Never had any problems and since it was purchased from Airstream I felt they had no issues with having it on the trailer either.
The guide on our tour of Jackson centre recently told us the same thing - no problem just with a couple of bikes, but I would be almost sure that if I wrote to Airstream, that is not the answer I would get. If memory serves me, I think maybe the manual that came with our trailer had a recommendation not to carry "heavy" loads hung off the back.

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Old 11-22-2008, 07:52 AM   #18
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Rear Hitch Receiver

After reading the treads, I would keep the bikes inside (1st) and (2nd) keep them on the front of the truck. I have the same rig as you do 2000 AS 30 foot Excella. If I bring the bikes, I stick them in the truck under the shell. Those that mentioned the pressure going up and down on the hitch are correct. We had a fifth wheel and lost the two bikes when the weld broke. Think of whats going on at 50- 60 mph over some of those roads in AZ and you will be more comfprtable with the bikes inside or at least whewre you can see them.

Steve
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:30 AM   #19
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After reading the treads, I would keep the bikes inside (1st) and (2nd) keep them on the front of the truck. I have the same rig as you do 2000 AS 30 foot Excella. If I bring the bikes, I stick them in the truck under the shell. Those that mentioned the pressure going up and down on the hitch are correct. We had a fifth wheel and lost the two bikes when the weld broke. Think of whats going on at 50- 60 mph over some of those roads in AZ and you will be more comfprtable with the bikes inside or at least whewre you can see them.

Steve
Steve,

Thanks to you and all the others for valuable input. While as sort of expected, I have had answers both for and against, there seem more against that for the bikes on the rear and IO'm usually swayed by the preponderance of opinion!

I'm still not really convinced it will cause damage as it feels so solid, but I think I'll be ordering a front hitch receiver to mount on our new TV.

Also gives the advantage that if anything should happen and a bike come loose (although we always use cables & locks as well as bungees) it will be me who has the misfortune of running over them and not some other poor soul! And rightly so!

I really don't like the idea of putting the dirty old mtn bikes inside our nice new-to us AS! I'm sure I'd wind up scratching and damaging things, and also we like to use the inside of the trailer for meals/washrooms when travelling. No doubt carrying them inside works fine for others. Many years ago, we did carry a small Honda Passport scooter that way in a 20' Sprite
travel trailer. I had a little ramp to run it up inside.

Brian
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:44 AM   #20
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Another option that you might consider is adapting a conventional bicycle mount to fit atop your weight distribution hitch. We did this on our 2005 AS 31 Classic. The weight is borne by the TV rather than the Airstream. An upright 2x2 shaft is attached to the hitch with removable clevis pins and the bike rack rides about 6" above the top of the rear bed of our Chevy 2500. We have been using this for 2 years with great results. You can leave the bikes on the rack after you have unhitched your AS so you can take them with you as you travel around. We found this great as we visit large cities where parking is a problem. We just take our bikes and ride from our remote parking spot.
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:35 PM   #21
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If you're not already committed to using the truck cap, you have a few more options to think about. I use a Thule rack for our bikes/kayak that leaves the bed open for all our "stuff" underneath. I can post a picture if you're interested.

Before deciding on the Thule rack setup, I also considered getting a "Diamondback" truck bed cover that would have allowed for storage in the bed while I could have mounted the bikes on top of the bed cover. The Diamondback cover is flat though so you would have less storage under it than you would with a full bed cap, however.

I guess my point is that there are other options available if you're uncertain about the front mounted bike rack.
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:53 PM   #22
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Here are the pics of how I solved the "bike" problem ...
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:02 PM   #23
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Steve,

Thanks to you and all the others for valuable input. While as sort of expected, I have had answers both for and against, there seem more against that for the bikes on the rear and IO'm usually swayed by the preponderance of opinion!

I'm still not really convinced it will cause damage as it feels so solid, but I think I'll be ordering a front hitch receiver to mount on our new TV.

Also gives the advantage that if anything should happen and a bike come loose (although we always use cables & locks as well as bungees) it will be me who has the misfortune of running over them and not some other poor soul! And rightly so!

I really don't like the idea of putting the dirty old mtn bikes inside our nice new-to us AS! I'm sure I'd wind up scratching and damaging things, and also we like to use the inside of the trailer for meals/washrooms when travelling. No doubt carrying them inside works fine for others. Many years ago, we did carry a small Honda Passport scooter that way in a 20' Sprite
travel trailer. I had a little ramp to run it up inside.

Brian
To more directly answer your question, Airstream will void your entire warranty, even if it's a 2009 trailer, if you mount "ANYTHING" on the rear end.

A 50 pound bike doesn't seem like much. But since your an engineer, I am sure you understand what "moment arm" is.

As an example, if the distance from your rear axle to the center of your added weightis 10 feet, then the innocent 50 pounds becomes 500 pounds.

When you hit a bump, that weight will multiply by several times. Lets say only 4 times. Now the 50 pound bike and rack, become 2000 (two thousand) pounds. 50 X 10 X 4 =2000.

I assure you, and Airstream will guarantee you, that the trailer wasn't designed to handle that.

Another consideration, is the tongue weight is also changed when that weight is added, and especially when bumps are encountered.

When the tounge weight is even momentarily significantly reduced, along with the usual over hitching and unnecessary extra heavy duty tow vehicles, you could lose control of your rig.

Put the bikes in the trailer, on top of your tow vehicle, or in the bed of a truck, or leave them home, but DON'T put them on the rear of the trailer.

I know, some do and get away with it. Some people also put a gun to their head and pull the trigger, just to see if they out smarted the gun.

Andy
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Old 11-24-2008, 04:58 PM   #24
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Andy,

Well, inasmuch as I have very limited knowledge of Airstreams at this point, as I have said, I will follow what seems the predominant advice and not use the hitch that came with my trailer - and here i thought I was getting a windfall when i saw the hitch on the back!

I will put a hitch receiver on the front of our new truck as I had on my last truck and carry the bikes up front - it worked ok on our last truck/trailer.

As a matter of fact, if I am not intending to use the hitch on the trailer, I will try to bring the trailer to the house before our winter trip and cut off the hitch receiver. It must be a pretty substantial weight itself and also limits ground clearance, so I might as well.

I'd better use an angle grinder - with my luck if I use my torches, the whole thing will go up!

Now .... can you tell me if there is anything I should look for to see if the previous owner has caused any damage by using this hitch, or would I need to be removing sheet metal under the trailer to really see. The trailer is not near my house at present, but I plan to take a look next time we bring it home.

Thanks ............ Brian.
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:34 PM   #25
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Andy,

Well, inasmuch as I have very limited knowledge of Airstreams at this point, as I have said, I will follow what seems the predominant advice and not use the hitch that came with my trailer - and here i thought I was getting a windfall when i saw the hitch on the back!

I will put a hitch receiver on the front of our new truck as I had on my last truck and carry the bikes up front - it worked ok on our last truck/trailer.

As a matter of fact, if I am not intending to use the hitch on the trailer, I will try to bring the trailer to the house before our winter trip and cut off the hitch receiver. It must be a pretty substantial weight itself and also limits ground clearance, so I might as well.

I'd better use an angle grinder - with my luck if I use my torches, the whole thing will go up!

Now .... can you tell me if there is anything I should look for to see if the previous owner has caused any damage by using this hitch, or would I need to be removing sheet metal under the trailer to really see. The trailer is not near my house at present, but I plan to take a look next time we bring it home.

Thanks ............ Brian.
Brian.

Stand on the bumper, and bounce up and down, or have someone else do it.

Then look for "ANY" movement between the frame as it enters the rear of the trailer, and the molding.

If there movement, then you have what is called rear end separation, to some degree. Have a beer.

If there is no movement, ask the wife to dress up, and take her out to a nice dinner and celebrate.

Celebrate what you ask???

No rear end separation, on the Airstream, that is.

Andy
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Old 11-24-2008, 06:45 PM   #26
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Now that you seem to have made a decision allow me to add to the confusion.

There is probably a bead of Vulkem caulking where the body of the trailer meets the bumper assembly, at least there is on older models. Look for a crack running across the Vulkem which suggests difference in movement between the bumper and body.

For what ever it is worth, every case of rear end separation I have heard of has been on vintage units primarily 70s. I have never heard of a newer unit with that problem. I am not saying there are none out there, but I have not heard of any. Do a search for rear end separation or sag and you can check for yourself.

Yeah you will get a couple more inches clearance on the rear end if you cut off the hitch. But it also works like a skid plate preventing damage to the bumper rear end area if you drag the butt end of the trailer, and a lot easier to get unstuck
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:16 PM   #27
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Now that you seem to have made a decision allow me to add to the confusion.

There is probably a bead of Vulkem caulking where the body of the trailer meets the bumper assembly, at least there is on older models. Look for a crack running across the Vulkem which suggests difference in movement between the bumper and body.

For what ever it is worth, every case of rear end separation I have heard of has been on vintage units primarily 70s. I have never heard of a newer unit with that problem. I am not saying there are none out there, but I have not heard of any. Do a search for rear end separation or sag and you can check for yourself.

Yeah you will get a couple more inches clearance on the rear end if you cut off the hitch. But it also works like a skid plate preventing damage to the bumper rear end area if you drag the butt end of the trailer, and a lot easier to get unstuck

Damn - you guys don't make things easy for me!

So many good comments/opinions on both sides of the fence, decisions, decisions!
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