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Old 06-16-2010, 11:01 AM   #1
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2006 19' Safari
Lanark , Ontario
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Talking Biking with an Airstream

We just finished a 3 week trip with our new to us 2006 19' Bambi - loved it! This has been our first Airstream experience.
We like to bike and are wondering if anyone out there has found a safe, secure way to attach bikes to an Airstream or is this too unwise to consider?

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Old 06-16-2010, 12:05 PM   #2
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Battle Lake , Minnesota
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There are many threads about bikes attached to the rear of Airstreams with the usual conclusion that it will cause structural damage to the trailer. There are some methods to put them on the front of the trailer or t.v., but for me this is awkward.

Bicycling is also a large part of our travel. We now carry them in the back of our pickup, but I don't like being restricted to a pick-up tow vehicle. The person who could engineer a rear-mounted bike rack that could transfer the load to the axle area, either over, under, or through the trailer, without substantial modification of the trailer, would have quite a following.

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Old 06-16-2010, 12:35 PM   #3
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Bikes and Airstreams


Can Am RV in London, Ontario used to sell a rack that mounted above the Propane tanks via brackets that attach to the A frame. As I recall the racks were a little expensive. I eventually settled on a Swagman rack that attaches to the hitch ball hole in my bumper and still leaves my hitch receiver free to tow the trailer. I can safely carry two bikes on this rack with no problem even when making very sharp turns. I got mine at address attached.

Good luck!
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by David Riis View Post
wondering if anyone out there has found a safe, secure way to attach bikes to an Airstream?
Well, there's one unconventional way that comes to mind...
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:26 PM   #5
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Concensus is don't hang bikes off the back of the trailer frame.

It is claimed they will cause separation of the frame/body due to bouncing of the bikes coupled with the leverage.

There are however some folks that claim to have done it for years with no apparent problem.

We bought our trailer used and it came with a rear mounted hitch receiver. At first I had planned to use to for our bike rack.

From my research on this forum, although I will say I wasn't 100% convinced, I decided not to take the chance.

I don't know what the previous owner used the hitch for - I suspect towing a boat as the hitch also had trailer wiring.

I will say that i didn't see any evidence of damage - but who knows. In any event, I cut the welded hitch off the frame.

We carry our bikes on a standard hitch mounted bike carrier on teh front of our tow vehicle. I had a hitch receiver installed for that purpose.

We have done this for more than 12 years of RV'ing with no problems at all.

It does have the advantage that I can keep an eye on the bikes too!

Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:45 PM   #6
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2005 18' Westphalia
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Yakima BedHeads

As I have written before, we love our Yakima BedHeads.
The bikes are secure and separated. No scratches!
Don't spring for the locking version. The design isn't really secure and it is not as easy to use.
We have one locking and three standard versions and we lace a cable through the bikes.
We can even load our bikes while standing on the ground. They are that easy to use.
Bikes are kept bug and road grit free.
We are avid cyclists and carry two to four bikes per trip.
We can still carry our Honda generator when we have four bikes loaded.
You can see our rig loaded with bikes in at least one of the videos on our blog.
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Old 06-19-2010, 08:05 AM   #7
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Thankyou all for the advice and suggestions!
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Old 06-19-2010, 09:48 AM   #8
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We carry our tandem inside our Airstream. After considering all of the options, I discovered that my wife and I can (carefully) load the bike into the AS without too much effort and without getting anything greasy. It sits leans nicely between the dinette and the galley counter, and is safe and secure when traveling. Sure, it requires removing the bike when we stop for the night, but the security and convenience is worth it. Of course, your bikes might not fit as easily as ours due to the size and configuration of your AS, but this simple solution is worth considering.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:29 AM   #9
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TV rack

load them in the towing vehicle, either roof rack or inside. if you don't have enough room inside the vehicle or even if you do, one of you could ride while the other becomes the support vehicle. takes longer but definitely more enjoyable and it gets both of you in shape. of course it depends on where you are and the roads you drive.
my wife and I did this for lack of room and it's now something we look forward to.
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:00 PM   #10
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Not the greatest picture but we have a Canadian made bike rack that mounts above the propane tanks . Great bike rack and well made.
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Old 06-19-2010, 02:44 PM   #11
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In my opinion, anything other than inside-storage, whether in the AS or in the TV, is asking for trouble. Rain, hail, dirt, debris, theft, and damage possibly await you. If you've got a good bike, that you want to take care of, do yourselves a favor and put it inside somewhere. We use a home-made bike rack that the front fork drop-outs connect to (front wheel off), in the back of the Suburban. No worries! Kudos to you for including your bikes as "must have" gear- Have fun!
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Old 06-19-2010, 04:29 PM   #12
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The myth of frame seperation stems back to the days when the frame of an Airstream was the BODY and the actual under trailer frame members were on .100 thick and only 3 x 1 1/4 material.

The post #18 of this thread
shows my set up on my trailer. The secret to hanging anything off the rear of an Airstream is to remove the rotational moment about the bumper. If you look at the picture the straps leading from the window sill do that. The rack ride rock solid with the bumper supporting the weight and the straps taking the rotation produced by the cantilevered nature of the rack.

Found a better picture at post #36 #38 and #41 of this tread.

I must qualify my position. Any time someone tells me I can't or should not do some thing that is when I do it. It is a lot more fun then.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 06-19-2010, 06:55 PM   #13
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personbally--I'd keep the bikes on your vehicle--they make about 50 different versions out there to choose from. you'll have a lot of different cars but only one airstream--keep it retro-cool. cheers--ted
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Old 06-19-2010, 07:34 PM   #14
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chain condom

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


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