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Old 06-02-2008, 09:09 AM   #29
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I guess I really started something here! But I think it will help a lot of us from making mistakes that others have already made. Also, some folks have figured out ways to get the task done. I, myself am not 100% sure what to do yet. I am the type that will ask a millon questions to find the answer that seems to fit best. Yes, it's a curse to be this way. Some of you guys roll up your sleeves and can come up with the solution. And that is great but, I also respect the guy who says," hey, wait a minute I see problems in the design of the fix."
Yes, I agree that this question needs to be put to rest. If someone does get a hold of Airstream, I hope they get a person who will go into detail about it and not someone who is in a hurry to answer the next incoming call. The subject is something that has plagued me for a long time. I'm sure that almost everyone has some story as to how they have tried to figure out how to do this on our Airstreams. It bothers me that there are a lot of cheaper trailers on the road that have boxes and generators and bikes hanging off the rear of their trailers and they seem to make it work.
"Some people look at something and say, why? Another person looks at the samething and says why not". Not an exact quote but we all fit in there somewhere. This has turned out to be a good subject and this is one of the best forums I've seen. The responses and knowledge of it's members is priceless.
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:54 AM   #30
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Ok, I just got off the phone with tech support in Jackson Center. I specifically asked 2 questions:

1) Is it ok to attach anything to the bumper, to hold bikes, or something small.

2) Is it ok to add a small hitch to the back frame of the Airstream to mount a bike carrier or to tow something light and/or small.

The answer to both questions was a resounding and unequivocal NO!

The tech person told me that the way the floor and body are connected to the frame, putting ANYTHING on the bumper or on the rear frame or anywhere on the rear of the Airstream WILL in fact, if not quickly, over time, cause rear end separation. The back end is designed specifically for it's current application and no other accessories. Period. The guy on the phone didn't even have to think about it. One of his comments was "anyone doing either would be asking for trouble".

So this issue is closed as far as I can tell. Putting anything back there (as has been discussed on this thread) is at your own risk and is NOT best practice, straight from the source.

It is however your Airstream. If you think you know more than the folks that built it or can modify your Airstream in a way that would prevent issues, that's entirely up to you. Me, I'm talented, but not that talented enough to risk a $30k (or more) trailer with a possible big $$$ repair.
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:15 AM   #31
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When I bought my Limited the PO had put a receiver on the rear. It was a pretty good installation and was pretty solid. My wife bought me a Reese bicycle carrier for my birthday and we used it for a couple of trips. I wasn't real happy with it. However, the real reason I had the receiver removed was the interferance it caused when I backed the unit into my RV pad which has a bit of an incline. the stresses on the rear of the trailer plus the bad gouges in the concrete were intolerable! I know my 34' has a lots more overhang than yours but you might want to consider what a receiver will do to your own clearances.

Gene
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:28 AM   #32
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Ps....

Here is the contact number I used to get to tech support, should anyone have further questions on the subject:

Speak to a Technical Support representative:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm, Eastern
877-596-6111
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Old 06-02-2008, 10:36 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Ok, I just got off the phone with tech support in Jackson Center.
Silvertwinkie, Thanks for going the extra mile by calling A/S and getting the techs opinion. That carries a lot of weight. No pun intended.
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:00 AM   #34
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[quote=Dooley]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Ok, I just got off the phone with tech support in Jackson Center.

Silvertwinkie, Thanks for going the extra mile by calling A/S and getting the techs opinion. That carries a lot of weight. No pun intended.
Yer welcome...it's what we're all here for.
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Old 06-02-2008, 11:53 AM   #35
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Rear end receiver issues

Airstream "Warranty administration" has issued the following advice regarding rear end receivers and/or added exterior weight.

It has been proven over and over again, that adding weight to the rear end, regardless of year, can and does cause damage of various types to the trailer.

Warranty claims for damage etc, related in any way to the addition of any weight on the rear end of the trailer, except that contained in the designed sewer hose compartment, will be denied.


Hopefully, that statement answers the questions for those that have been in wonderment.

Andy
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:23 PM   #36
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Thanks Andy

That statement comes from a company that when I ordered replacement crank assemblies for my roof vents claimed they never installed such a part in an Airstream. You know the crank that goes up through the ceiling light lens. It's a good thing I found some extra light fixtures or they would claim they never made them either.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:51 PM   #37
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Wink

My family has been facing the same dilemma on how to carry our (expensive) mountain bikes. When we first bought our Sovereign I thought the receiver hitch / bike rack method was the answer. The Forum has changed my mind on this. Also, after careful consideration, I no longer think it’s a good idea to hang our Surly or Santa Cruz way out back…
Our TV is a crew cab Chevy HD1500 with a SNUGTop tonneau cover. The bikes don’t fit under the tonneau with our other gear, toys, tricycle, etc. This leaves the front receiver option, roof top rack options, or mounting a rack to the top of tonneau. Each of these choices has their own difficulties and concerns.
For now, we’re going to use the method suggested by Tin Diesel back in post #11. Instead of wood, our mounting block is a plate of aluminum. (No, I didn’t polish it.) I put rubber feet around the parameter to hopefully keep the bikes and rack from shifting around.
We’re going camping this weekend, joining the California Streamers for the wine festival at Vail Lake in Temecula. If anyone is interested I will take pictures of the bike rack and give a report as to how it worked out for us.
Chris
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Old 06-02-2008, 01:22 PM   #38
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With a little bit of thought and engineering there are ways to design a hitch for the back of an Airstream that at the same time will add only minimal weight to that area.

However, we went for a simpler solution and secured the bikes inside the trailer. Two bungie cords attached to a bottom curtain support keep them from moving around.

Since our two bikes cost as much as our Airstream this solution works for us.

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Old 06-02-2008, 01:56 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Road Ruler
With a little bit of thought and engineering there are ways to design a hitch for the back of an Airstream that at the same time will add only minimal weight to that area.

However, we went for a simpler solution and secured the bikes inside the trailer. Two bungie cords attached to a bottom curtain support keep them from moving around.

Since our two bikes cost as much as our Airstream this solution works for us.

What most owners don't understand, is moment arm.

That's the principle of a crow bar.

That's also why extra weight, must not be added to the rear end.

50 pounds of added weight on the bumper, is not 50 pounds, when you consider moment arm, which "MUST" be considered, unless the laws of physics has been repealed.

If that 50 pounds is added to the bumper, and, as an example, the distance from the bumper to the raer axle is 10 feet, then the 50 pounds becomes 500 pounds, sitting still.

With that small weight (as some consider) sitting still is now no longer small, then when that trailer hits bumps, as they all do when in motion, that weight multiplies quickly.

If a good bump is hit that weight can increase by a factor of almost 10. Now that seemingly "small" weight suddenly becomes 5,000 (five thousand pounds).

No Airstream ever made, will take that punishment for more than a few minutes, without showing signs of rear end failures.

For those that have flown in an airliner, there is tons of wasted space at the rear of the fuselage. So why is that wasted space not used????

Same answer. Moment arm would not let that aircraft get off the ground, let alone fly.

Physics cannot and will not be reinvented, not even by an Airstream owner who won't listen, and wishes to kick physics to the curb.

Andy
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Old 06-02-2008, 02:28 PM   #40
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I went with this option when I ordered my Tonneau cover ProRac Systems Inc. Manufacturer of Innovative Rack Systems for the Automotive, Truck and RV Markets | Soft Tonneau Racks I added the rack system. You can get the short racks/crossbars for bikes or taller ones for bigger toys. The bike racks themselves were extra.
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Old 06-02-2008, 04:04 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
What most owners don't understand, is moment arm.

If that 50 pounds is added to the bumper, and, as an example, the distance from the bumper to the raer axle is 10 feet, then the 50 pounds becomes 500 pounds, sitting still.

Andy
Good try Andy

What you forgot is 50 lbs acting at 10 ft in not 500 lbs it is 500 ft. lbs. Ft lbs are a measure of troque not weight. You will have 50 lbs of weight at the bumper and on the axles on any scale you go over.
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Old 06-02-2008, 04:20 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
What most owners don't understand, is moment arm.

Andy
I understand completely.

The secret here is to have 50 lbs "at" the bumper but have it supported further up toward the axles. It can be done. Think about it. Engineering!!!
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