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Old 05-18-2008, 11:50 AM   #1
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Receiver on back of A/S Travel Trailer

I would like to know if anybody has attempted to add a reciever hitch on the rear of the A/S? I know that too much weight in the rear will cause uncontrollable sway but I have a short trailer with tandom wheels and think that I could add a little extra weight back there. I'm looking for something that can be welded/ bolted to the frame and come up flush with the underside of the bumper.
The reason I would like to have this installed is to add a light weight bike rack to it and carry my very light weight bike/ bikes on it while traveling.
I don't like the idea of a roof mount on the truck or putting them inside of the TT while driving and I can't use the back of my truck for them as it is very inconvient.
Besides telling me that I am crazy. I already know that! I would like to know if anyone on here can steer me in the right direction on doing this. Any info such as brand of hitch receiver, etc. I did see a receiver, a long time ago, on a very old A/S parked at the Jackson Center plant outside the repair shop. It was not a big 2in., but rather a 1in. reciever end like one you would see on a car.
I was not inerested at the time so I never asked around about it. Now, I think it's a good idea and am just trying to figure out the best way to do it.
I'd like to hear what you think about it. Maybe there is a way to have one on the back of the trailer and still be safe traveling down the road.
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Old 05-18-2008, 11:56 AM   #2
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Hello.... I would not put a receiver on the back of a trailer... even with light weight bikes there is a lot of movement.... we had a 19 foot SOB before we got our first Airstream... did not realize the amount of bounce until I followed my hubby with the car....
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:26 PM   #3
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Two comments to make here:

1. I'm not sure how "legal" it is in each state to tow a trailer behind another trailer ( I know some states allow over the road truck drivers to pull like this, but I believe they are also endorsed on their driver's license).

2. When we purchased our trailer, it had an aftermarket bike rack attached to the frame. It is rather big, heavy, and very rusty. I have a bike rack that slides into a receiver hitch, so like you, I thought this would be a better alternative than the 35lbs (yes, I was bored and after I removed it, actually stacked it all on a bathroom scale) of rusty rack. After reading the posts by others on this subject, I decided not to haul the bikes on the rear of the trailer at all. There are too many very knowedgable folks on this site, who advise against it, siteing long term rear end seperation damage. I was lucky, I don't believe I have any seperation, but had I cleaned up the old rack and continued to use it, who knows.

I wish you the best of luck trying to figure a way to secure your bikes either inside the trailer, or on your tow vehicle.

Let us know what you end up doing. I have thought about somewhere on the trailer tongue, but then what would I do with the Porpane tanks? They need to be outside, due to venting issues. I am thinking about going to 20 LB bottles, since they are so readily exchangable at most service stations and hardware/home inprovement stores nationwide. Perhaps a receiver hitch on the front of the tounge, just below the bottle mount... sorry prob. for another thread.

Do what you want, afterall its your trailer. I think you'll find a "poo-poo" from the group here, but time will tell

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Old 05-18-2008, 12:50 PM   #4
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I mounted a reciever to the front of my truck for that very reason.
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:04 PM   #5
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If you lok at this Thread http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...s-30184-3.html

On that thread look at at post #36 & #38 and you will see how I have carried bikes for years.

That is a cheap rake I got at Wal Mart, cut 2 pieces of wood to bolt through to the bumper and attach the upper part to the window frame. This works very well and has almost no movement of the bike while driving unlike most receiver mounts.
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Old 05-18-2008, 01:06 PM   #6
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Dooley---To follow up on Scott's summary, it's a convenient place to carry things but not a good idea. The primary reason is overloading the airstream structure. It's a combination of the weight of the bicycles and rack, cantilevered a couple of feet to the rear of the bumper and then the dynamic response of this cantilevered mass as it travels down the road. The dynamic motion magnifies the effective weight carried and induces a cranking moment into the hitch attach point that is very significant compared to the capability of the trailer's local structure to react this loading.
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Old 05-18-2008, 02:23 PM   #7
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Ill advised. You will get frame seperation in short order by adding any weight to the ouside of the shell in the rear.
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Old 05-18-2008, 03:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Ill advised. You will get frame seperation in short order by adding any weight to the ouside of the shell in the rear.
Please advise what "Short Order" is. I have had my bikes on the back of my trailer for at least 25,000 miles of the 120,000 miles the trailer has traveled.

This has got to be a myth born when Airstream frames were made of .100 thick material, only 3 in.tall, and the body was a major part of the structure.

Dolley has asked a question that warrants being answered in terms that relate to his circumstances. Ford has tried to outlive the "Tin Lizzie" image maybe we can update our views also.
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Old 05-18-2008, 03:12 PM   #9
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Just to be safe, never hang anything on the back bumper. I use a front receiver on my pickup. Works fine.
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Old 05-19-2008, 08:27 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the quick responses. I think this is a great A/S forum and value all the input here. It looks like I am not the only one that has faced or been plagued by the decision on how to carry the ever space hogging bike. I personally would like to see a vendor on here take some of these ideas and run with it.
I will probably travel with my bikes in the trailer leaning up against my front couch and strapped together as it seems to be the best way for now. The idea of foldable bikes is a good one, if I only didn't spend so much money on the bikes I currently use.
Again, THANKS!
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:32 PM   #11
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inside-the-trailer bike rack

Last year, we carried our old mountain bikes on the roof of our truck. Weren't too happy about the extended exposure to weather. Also, we're looking for ways to carry our MUCH more expensive new road bikes.

We're willing to try storing them inside the trailer. To do that, I'm going to use front-fork mounts intended for installation in the bed of a pickup truck. To use these, you remove the front wheel, and clip the forks into the bracket. I bought these.



Here's a picture of their application inside a van.



The difference is I'll install the brackets on a 6"-wide board. Reading some bike forums, if you use a 3' or 4' long board with two bikes, they should be pretty stable. We plan to put them in front, cross-wise next to the goucho. I'll look for a way to add a bungee cord just to make sure they don't 'wander'. My co-pilot also informs me we will place an old towel under the chain/cassette areas to prevent oil or grease from dropping onto the new carpet!

Will post pictures when if and when I get this to work.
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:41 PM   #12
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That is a good idea! Your co-pilot also knows a few things. And I'm taking notes.
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE
Please advise what "Short Order" is. I have had my bikes on the back of my trailer for at least 25,000 miles of the 120,000 miles the trailer has traveled.
Short order meaning eventually, it will have an impact on the structure.

Ever wonder why Airstream doesn't put the spare on the back and why they take the added steps to create an under "A" frame bracket to carry it?

I'm not sure this is a myth by any means. The back is not designed for external attachements. If you've been doing it and you've not seen an issue, great, but I wouldn't take much comfort in the fact that it hasn't happened yet. If you have questions about it, call Inland RV and then contact the factory and please report back what they tell you. I know for a fact what Inland would say and I myself would be interested in hearing what the factory would say about bikes on the back, let alone adding a hitch, which was the question that was asked.
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Old 05-19-2008, 09:53 PM   #14
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Yes, I'd be wary of this. Andy, at Inland RV has mentioned this as a problem in at least one thread.
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