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Old 06-19-2010, 10:22 PM   #15
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Get a Thule rack for your tow rig...

We're not comfortable attaching the bikes to the trailer for reasons already discussed. Security of the bikes is important to us. Most roof mounted bike racks have fairly secure locking mechanisms.

Try researching either the Yakima or Thule systems... You can get them through REI and they will drop ship to the store if you have to special order it over the internet - no shipping costs.... I've used the Thule system for over 15 years - both the bike/ski rack combo and their travel storage box. See photos...

People used to ask what that big coffin-looking thing was on the top of my Suburban - used to say that's where the ex-mother in law rides on long trips...

...anyhow, Maggie and I are into mountain biking as much as our AS, we're looking for a better way to carry our dog on the bikes....

Keep peddling...
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:42 AM   #16
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Currently out bikes go in the back of the truck, but we use folding bikes

Aaron
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:51 AM   #17
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Folding bikes...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Currently out bikes go in the back of the truck, but we use folding bikes

Aaron
Great idea!
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Old 06-20-2010, 07:10 AM   #18
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Hi Wayne

We carry our tandem on the back of the Airstream and it is amazingly easy to do. The wheel base of the tandem matches the frame stance of the Airstream. We just bolt two pieces of 2x2x 1/4" angle to the skid plates. On one we mount a quick release fork bracket for the front forks and the rear tire we hold down with a U bolt through the frame. Then we put a cross bar out from the body for insurance. In this case it is riveted into the compartment door frame where the holes do not show. If you have a rear window awning you can just put straps to the brackets. What prevents this from damaging the Airstream is that it is very light we only add a few pounds and the bike is supported of the body as well as the frame.

I am sorry this picture is not so good I cropped it out of a larger shot.
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Old 12-07-2010, 09:51 AM   #19
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bike rack on rear

Hi Andrew,
I saw the picture you posted back in June. I am in the process of installing a bike rack, similar to yours, on my 25' Safari. Have you had any bad things happen to your trailer as a result? How many times have you hauled your bike, and how far?

I am getting ready to take a trip to Florida from North Carolina in a few weeks. I am trying to decide if I really want to haul 2 bikes on the rear. it will be about a 2,000 mile trip.

I would really appreciate it if you would share your experience.

Thanks!
Alan
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Old 12-07-2010, 11:24 AM   #20
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I've received notice that a commercially-built bike rack will be introduced by a major manufacturer, specifically designed to mount on the rear of late-model Airstreams. It was developed with the assistance of Airstream. When it is ready for market (sometime next year) I expect that it will be advertised in Airstream Life.

As Howie and Andy T have pointed out, it's a myth that a modern Airstream can't carry a bike on the rear.
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:45 PM   #21
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There may be other reasons NOT to use a front rack but security (versus a roof rack) is not one of them. We have both roof top and a swing away (different vehicles) FWIW; the rack we use on the front hitch is way more secure than roof racks I have seen (Thule/YAK/RG…and a few others). The clamp/lock mechanism is very sturdy. Having said that, I have no doubt, that if a thief were determined…the bikes would be gone from any rack.
We like the front hitch as it is very easy to lift the bikes on/off the rack. Suspension Mt bikes are not light…and I am not getting any younger!
Bikes get dirty when we ride, and I have cleaner and lube with us if needed (mud). To be honest, I have never seen all that much road debris/bugs on the bikes anyway…so I don’t understand all the fuss. Bikes get de-mudded back home.


Our bike carrying strategy has encompassed, at one time or another;
  • Roof top rack. Height issues (drive thru’s etc), difficult to lift up top, not easy to access. Maybe I am paranoid, but I consider roof top the least sturdy method. Bikes tend to rock side/side a bit…a little unnerving.
  • In bed of pick up. This worked well. I mounted the roof top rack on 2 x 4’s. Placed the whole thing in the bed. Bikes stayed up right. This would be my second choice. But it does take up your bed space, and lifting bikes into a 4x4 pick me up is not real easy either. This does make for a stream lined, sturdy, secure system though…if travelling light (no other crap in the bed) I still use this method.
  • Front hitch. I have racks that I could use for any of the above. The front hitch is so easy; this is our method of choice now. Very low lift height. Bikes are ready to roll in maybe 1 minute.
Good thing about a pick-me-up is you have all these options. One should work for you.

If we had some high end road bikes I might feel differently about the front hitch or any outside hitch…but then I would get a 1 ton van and put them inside…

Good luck.

Bill

p.s. Disregarding the frame strength debate; I would not like our bikes 30+ feet behind us swaying on the back of the AS.
Ever see SOB's with that setup?
I kind of like to see what my cargo is up to...you could lose your bikes and never know it!?
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Old 12-07-2010, 01:01 PM   #22
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Quote:
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p.s. Disregarding the frame strength debate; I would not like our bikes 30+ feet behind us swaying on the back of the AS.
Ever see SOB's with that setup?
I kind of like to see what my cargo is up to...you could lose your bikes and never know it!?
I'd rather lose the bike and not know it than lose the bike, run over the bike, have the bike damage the underside of my TV, damage my WD hitch, tear up the belly pan of an airstream, then as shrapnel fly out the back.

A bike falling off a good quality rack is very unlikely if secured properly - wherever it is located.

To me, the advantage of bikes on the rear of the AS is that it adds depth and keeps following drivers even further away from the back of your precious Airstream.
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Old 12-07-2010, 02:16 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rluhr View Post
I've received notice that a commercially-built bike rack will be introduced by a major manufacturer, specifically designed to mount on the rear of late-model Airstreams. It was developed with the assistance of Airstream. When it is ready for market (sometime next year) I expect that it will be advertised in Airstream Life.

As Howie and Andy T have pointed out, it's a myth that a modern Airstream can't carry a bike on the rear.

This is some good news! Can't hardly wait to see it.
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Old 12-07-2010, 05:39 PM   #24
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dig into the past, there are 100s of posts here dispelling the bike rack myth...

these threads go back many many years and with a variety of diy setups n pix.

the issues related to doing this WELL are...

1. keeping access to the rear storage compartment, without need to REmove bikes/rack...

2. for folks with rear door/pano windows/dinettes, there precious view will be sullied...

3. backing into stuff really does happen, now it will happen 2 feet sooner.

4. theft of crap at the back, either the bike or parts or rack, so effective locking will be required.

5. CLEAR views of the brake lights, turn signals and LICENSE plate.

6. rear racks are simply a lousy way to treat good bikes.

dirt, sand, salt, water, diesel and every other imaginable road scum gets sucked into that void/space.

so unless the rack includes a clam shell/gasket'd/hard side CASE or hermitically sealed bag...

good bikes should still ride in better places.

cheers
2air'
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:05 PM   #25
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I put our bikes in the 25 ft AS while on the road. Ibought "chain condoms", they slip over your drivetrain and keep stuff from getting greasy in the AS, see chaincondom.com

chu
This may be OT, but a properly maintained chain won't be all that greasy. OK this may be idealistic, but it is true in theory.

Take a rag moistened with cleaner and run your chain through it until it's clean. Do this regularly. The only parts of the chain that need lube are the pins that connect each link. When you lube the chain, put a drop on each pin, then wipe the chain until it's clean. Your drive train will thank you.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:08 PM   #26
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good bikes should still ride in better places.
Agreed.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:33 PM   #27
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Carrying Bikes

We chose to put the bikes on a Thule rack mounted on a spotting hitch in the front the the TV. As others have observed above there are lots of pro's and con's for any choice.

In addition to the above, as much as we find the bikes in front to be convenient we certainly do look like a Traveling Circus going down the road.

Of course it does leave room to put a kayak on top of the TV later.

Now That will be a bit o' the traveling circus.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:56 PM   #28
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Bike rack

Uwe made a bike rack for us to carry a bike inside the Airstream. I will try to take a photo of it this weekend and post it. We also have the Yakima "Locking Blockhead" that is attached to the bed of the truck and then we run a cable through the bikes but they are safer inside the trailer. I am not always happy with the bike inside the trailer but it beats having a grumpy husband if his bike gets stolen. paula
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