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Old 05-21-2016, 08:17 AM   #1
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Considering adding square tube bumper. Thoughts?

Renovating a 75 Safari and I would like to install a bike rack on the back bumper. The stock curved aluminum bumper has seen better days and without spending about $800 on a rack designed for Airstreams, there are no racks that can easily attach to it. I really don't want to spend that kind of money on a rack when I already own two receiver mount racks. I am considering fabricating a 4x4" square tube bumper so that I can clamp an adapter to it to accept a receiver mount rack. I would also be able to use the bumper to store my grey tank drain hose. Yes it will detract from the classic look of the moulded bumper that came stock but will be a much more functional addition. Any thoughts? Has anyone else done this?
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Old 05-21-2016, 08:23 AM   #2
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My 72 came with a square tube bumper, and yeah, it does not look as classy as the stock style, but I still have it on my trailer at more than three years in.

I say get what works for you, if you want to change it back later you can change it back.




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Old 05-21-2016, 08:29 AM   #3
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I would say beef up the rear end of the trailer and make sure you don't have rear end separation which is almost guaranteed in any place other than the SW.

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Old 05-21-2016, 08:31 AM   #4
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There has been a lot of discussion on receiver mount bike racks on Airstreams and the usual consensus is that it may lead to frame and shell separation damage that has happened in the past.

Airstream and Can-Am Airstream in Ontario have designed bike racks to avoid this separation issue by supporting the top of the rack from downward rotation with two attachment arms fastened to the shell, as well as bike tire support rails at the bottom.

We use the Airstream model and like it a lot, I think if you have a rear shell access hatch the Can-Am design is better because you can release the top supports and rotate the rack down for better access. Either one is very convenient and easy to use for the bikes, and the rear location keeps the bugs off.

Maybe you could follow their design lead. Note that Airstream limits the weight on the rack to 75 lbs, I wouldn't attempt heavier or more than two bikes back there.
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Old 05-21-2016, 09:57 AM   #5
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This works great. The rake itself was from K Mart. I made the receivers and wooden block at the bottom. The secret is the straps at the top and the clips in the window sill. The bumper can take the weight but not the rotational moment. That is stopped by the straps.
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Old 05-21-2016, 11:54 AM   #6
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I was struggling with the same thing, ended up putting the receiver on the front of my truck. Works really well! Receivers are available that bolt up to the frame of you truck like a grill guard does.
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Old 05-21-2016, 12:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
There has been a lot of discussion on receiver mount bike racks on Airstreams and the usual consensus is that it may lead to frame and shell separation damage that has happened in the past.

Airstream and Can-Am Airstream in Ontario have designed bike racks to avoid this separation issue by supporting the top of the rack from downward rotation with two attachment arms fastened to the shell, as well as bike tire support rails at the bottom.

We use the Airstream model and like it a lot, I think if you have a rear shell access hatch the Can-Am design is better because you can release the top supports and rotate the rack down for better access. Either one is very convenient and easy to use for the bikes, and the rear location keeps the bugs off.

Maybe you could follow their design lead. Note that Airstream limits the weight on the rack to 75 lbs, I wouldn't attempt heavier or more than two bikes back there.
For our 2013 30' International, I fabricated a receiver and bolted it to the skid tail frame ends.
Bought a Sari 2 Bike Rack which is an outstanding product. Cost $ 400.00 works and looks a lot better than the Clothes Drying rack sold by Airstream.
The entire set up including our 2 bikes weighs 129 lbs. Running with it for two seasons now all over the country and happy to report that the trailer is still in one piece.
PS
If these Airstreams are that flimsy that a couple of hundred pounds will make them come apart I better not be standing on the bumper since I weigh 200. And furthermore I wouldn't want to own one.
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:29 AM   #8
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Thank you for the responses! I hadn't come across the issue of frame separation before in my reading! The main reason I wanted the receiver mount rack, besides the cost of the Airstream model, was to avoid attaching it to the back wall of the trailer. Just one more spot to keep watch for water leakage. Plus I'm nervous about how strong those racks are. A "proper" bike rack that mounts via the receiver is significantly stronger. Not sure about the laws in the US but in Canada if a bike or whole rack ever comes off while in motion and causes an accident we are pretty much F'd! I'm mainly thinking two kids bikes would go there while the others will go on the tow vehicle roof. Guess I'll have to reconsider bumper mount.
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Old 05-22-2016, 08:33 AM   #9
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Another issue with these rear mount racks is that technically they are illegal as they obscure the license plate. We are pretty much up to the mercy or discretion of highway patrol or MTO whether they wantbto bother siting us for it or not. My cop friend has said in the past that so long as there is no other reason for authorities to pull you over most would overlook that.
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:40 PM   #10
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It is not the 200 lbs on the bumper....it is the amount that the 200 lbs increases too with the up and down motion that our fine highways offer. Imagine your weight when you jump up and down on anything....mile after mile
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Old 09-19-2016, 04:01 PM   #11
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problem with this rack is they are not made any more from what i find..
now everything is hitch mounted or trunk mounted..

this looks like the deal for sure but 11 yrs old is the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HowieE View Post
This works great. The rake itself was from K Mart. I made the receivers and wooden block at the bottom. The secret is the straps at the top and the clips in the window sill. The bumper can take the weight but not the rotational moment. That is stopped by the straps.
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