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Old 07-12-2009, 08:21 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by atobols View Post
well, the only answer that really answers my question kinda re-iterates my skepticism about a roof rack. I can see myself standing on the running board of my Excursion trying to lift a bike into place and then falling backward, me and the bike, and the bike landing on top of me and me smacking my head on the ground. I'm beginning to think bikes are just going to have to be eliminated from our camping experience.
Come on atobols don't give up so easy. Take a look at my post # 21 in this tread and you will see that both of your questions can be answered.

The bike rack has worked well for years. The 50 lbs of bikes back there are no thing to the load on the frame when I board a Canadian ferry and lift all 3 axles of the ground. That's 4,000 pounds on the rear most part of the frame.

As for the roof I would not suggest you attempt to mount bikes up there for your reasons. However if you do want to use a roof rack replae the factor one and pay attention to how much flex there is in the forward section of the roof. I rebuilt an old Thule rubber based support to catch the edge of one of the roof folds and them added a carbon fiber support to the door sill edge. This combination supports about half of my 60 lbs. kayak.
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Old 07-12-2009, 09:07 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by atobols View Post
well, the only answer that really answers my question kinda re-iterates my skepticism about a roof rack. I can see myself standing on the running board of my Excursion trying to lift a bike into place and then falling backward, me and the bike, and the bike landing on top of me and me smacking my head on the ground. I'm beginning to think bikes are just going to have to be eliminated from our camping experience.
My wife and I have been loading a TANDEM or two on top of large sport utes for a couple decades now. Currently we have an Expedition. We use a Yakima rail rider base rack and a rocky mounts extendable tandem mount. I stand on a milk crate, which we use to carry some riding gear in, and have never had a problem falling off or back. We cycle quite a bit, as many as 12k miles in a year, though not that far in the last couple years, due to her job.

That said.. now that we have the AS, we plan to use one of these, attached to a flat piece of 1/4 aluminum plate, say 10"x24", just set on the living room floor. Should ride fine, and as a bonus, it's out of the weather. A person could do the same thing with a slightly wider base, and load 2 or more bikes no problem. Add rubber feet or velcro squares as needed to stop it from slideing around. Or even a small strap attached to the goucho...
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Old 07-13-2009, 09:39 AM   #87
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Bike Rack

I installed a hitch receiver on my Safari 28' and it works great. No issues with the weight. I would suggest using 1.5 inch hitch bar material to make it as light as possible, though I used 2" stock since that is all the welder had and I didn't do this at home where I could wait for the smaller stuff. We welded a plate to the end of the cross bar and bolted it to the frame rather that welding it. The hitch receiver is then bolted to the bumper. I have trunk storage at the back of the trailer so I have a bike rack tilts out of the way. It is the best thing I have done to my trailer setup. Folks stress out over this because Airstream says not to do it. I think they are mostly worried about someone trying to tow another trailer with this, and that would be bad. My system adds regidity at the back of the frame, with less weight than can be carried safely in the trunk anyway (according to Airstream), which is only two feet ahead. I posted pictures in an earlier discussion; or send me an email and I'll send them to you. rpcarlson@sbcglobal.net.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:19 AM   #88
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I installed a hitch receiver on my Safari 28' and it works great. No issues with the weight. I would suggest using 1.5 inch hitch bar material to make it as light as possible, though I used 2" stock since that is all the welder had and I didn't do this at home where I could wait for the smaller stuff. We welded a plate to the end of the cross bar and bolted it to the frame rather that welding it. The hitch receiver is then bolted to the bumper. I have trunk storage at the back of the trailer so I have a bike rack tilts out of the way. It is the best thing I have done to my trailer setup. Folks stress out over this because Airstream says not to do it. I think they are mostly worried about someone trying to tow another trailer with this, and that would be bad. My system adds regidity at the back of the frame, with less weight than can be carried safely in the trunk anyway (according to Airstream), which is only two feet ahead. I posted pictures in an earlier discussion; or send me an email and I'll send them to you. rpcarlson@sbcglobal.net.
Your correct that your installation added rigidity to the frame.

That's not the problem.

The problem is the frame pulls away from the shell, which is what carries the weight, not the rear frame or the bumper. You did not say that you beefed up the shell to frame attachment.

Time will tell, but historically, your frame will pull away from the shell at the rear. If not caught soon enough and corrected, the trailer will sustain considerable damage at the rear.

Ask hundreds on this Forums, who have been there and done that.

Good luck.

Andy
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:27 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by atobols View Post
well, the only answer that really answers my question kinda re-iterates my skepticism about a roof rack. I can see myself standing on the running board of my Excursion trying to lift a bike into place and then falling backward, me and the bike, and the bike landing on top of me and me smacking my head on the ground. I'm beginning to think bikes are just going to have to be eliminated from our camping experience.
I can't speak for Fords, but with my Suburban I have no issues up on the roof....it's really not all that bad since the bikes I use don't weigh that much.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:51 PM   #90
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thanks for the input, but really I'm interested for hearing form people that put these things on their rooftops, not alternatives to the idea. I'm not doing the AS rear-mount. I've got a '74 with the onset of separation. I foresee a back-half job in the next few years to correct the issue before it gets too bad. I'm seriously interested in hearing from people that put bikes on the roof rack with full-size SUVs on a regular basis and exactly HOW they accomplish the task. So far, only one person has really detailed this process. Based upon this one response, I'm not willing to drop $100 to $150 on a roof rack only to find out that it's a pain the butt to get the bikes up there not to mention the clearance loss. As is, my oldest (3 years) rides his bike maybe 15 minutes around a given campground. Most friends' kids ride that much or maybe 30 minutes. For that, I think I'll leave my bikes in the garage for the "big" rides on the local trails and for now at least I will succumb to just walking behind my kid on his bike.
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Old 07-14-2009, 04:44 AM   #91
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Bike rack on rear 28' Excella

Ten years ago I had a regular heavy duty hitch installed on the rear of out A'Scream. Installed a bike rack there and we have carried two bikes everywhere we go. No problem. Hitch is a Yakima, top of the line and really well made.
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:37 AM   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atobols View Post
I'm seriously interested in hearing from people that put bikes on the roof rack with full-size SUVs on a regular basis and exactly HOW they accomplish the task. So far, only one person has really detailed this process. Based upon this one response, I'm not willing to drop $100 to $150 on a roof rack only to find out that it's a pain the butt to get the bikes up there not to mention the clearance loss. As is, my oldest (3 years) rides his bike maybe 15 minutes around a given campground. Most friends' kids ride that much or maybe 30 minutes. For that, I think I'll leave my bikes in the garage for the "big" rides on the local trails and for now at least I will succumb to just walking behind my kid on his bike.
The price of the rack is nill over time, a couple rides with the kids will pay for it in your mind.. But, not luck on my part, but a function of my fordness.. Our rack is on it's 4th roof top. '90 Taurus wagon, '94 Explorer, '99 Explorer, '04 Expedition. They all had the same type of "rails" on the roof. Our couple forays into racking outside the ford arena have cost more, but that base rack has been in use nonstop since '91. Clearence is not an issue, except at ATM's, car washes and garage openings. I am two out of three there on checking them (have not tried to wash the truck with bikes on..... yet)
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:17 AM   #93
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The problem with a rooftop bike rack is that our kayaks take up all the space. We carry our 15' and 16' kayaks and there's no room for anything else. So, right now the bikes are inside the truck cap which is nice as they stay clean, but takes some folding of the body to get them in and out. If we could put them on the trailer it would be ideal. Also would improve organization of all the other good stuff in the cap. I'm glad to hear from the folks who have found it works even with many miles.
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:33 AM   #94
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More on bike rack: We are seriously investigating welding a rack to the frame. I know there has been talk of "separation" from the shell. I cannot grasp how adding less than 100 lbs directly to the back of the frame will cause it to separate from the shell. If all the weight is on the frame, it would not cause the shell to move any more than it already does. (putting any weight in the bumper trunk should be more of a concern) A sturdy rack that holds bikes steady (doesn't swing) shouldn't change any movement in the shell. I know that there have been people who experienced separation in older Airstreams, but not because they put a rack on them. Has anyone really had a separation problem caused directly by weight on the back of the frame--in the trunk or on a rack?
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Old 07-16-2009, 10:02 AM   #95
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More on bike rack: We are seriously investigating welding a rack to the frame. I know there has been talk of "separation" from the shell. I cannot grasp how adding less than 100 lbs directly to the back of the frame will cause it to separate from the shell. If all the weight is on the frame, it would not cause the shell to move any more than it already does. (putting any weight in the bumper trunk should be more of a concern) A sturdy rack that holds bikes steady (doesn't swing) shouldn't change any movement in the shell. I know that there have been people who experienced separation in older Airstreams, but not because they put a rack on them. Has anyone really had a separation problem caused directly by weight on the back of the frame--in the trunk or on a rack?
One hundred pounds on the trailer bumper, does weigh 100 pounds.

The weight must be calculated as a "moment arm", since the bumper is not supported by a wheel.

You must measure from the center of the rear wheel, to the bumper, and then multiply the weight by that distance, in feet.

In your case, the distance from the center of the rear tire to your rack, will be 8 feet. The real weight now is your 100 pounds, times 8 feet, or 800 pounds.

The next consideration is what happens to that weight when the trailer hits a bump. That weight, very rapidly, multiplies and can be several times depending on the severity of the bump.

In that instance, your 100 pounds of weight suddenly becomes a couple of thousand pounds, far more than enough to rip the chassis loose from the shell at the bumper. Also, the more steel you use, the worse the weigh becomes.

To repair rear end separation, considering rotted flooring replacement with it, easily runs into thousands of dollars.

Moment arm is also the principle behind a crow bar, the longer the lever, the more force you can exert, since it multiplies.

However, if you still insist that the Physics don't apply to your plan, I would suggest you stash enough money to have repairs made to the rear end, at a later date.

Andy
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Old 07-16-2009, 11:48 AM   #96
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We have two 60" Yakima bars atop the truck cap. I can get two kayaks and two bikes on them (king cobra bike mounts). The bikes go in the center. When loading, I use the tailgate and one of those steel platforms that wraps around a rear tire of the truck.

The problem with rear end separation is Torque, not weight. 100 lbs at 8 feet is 800 ft-lbs of torque. If Airstream had just used 6x4x0.25 steel tubing, there would be no problem (except for the additional 2000 lbs of trailer weight!).
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Old 07-16-2009, 12:18 PM   #97
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I cannot grasp how adding less than 100 lbs directly to the back of the frame will cause it to separate from the shell.
Pickup 10lbs and hold it close to your chest. Now extend your arms out straight. Now hop holding the weight with your arms extended. That's the forces involved.

The pain you feel in your shoulders is the pain your frame feels directly above the axles. The drop in your arms height is the drop of the rear end of your airstream.
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:22 PM   #98
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Have you thought about a front receiver mount for you truck/suv? I was looking into a front receiver for our Surburan and was suprised how many hitch receivers are available for the front.
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