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Old 05-27-2012, 10:18 AM   #1
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2012 27' FB International
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Question About the Airstream bike rack

I've read most of the threads on the Fiamma bike rack from Airstream and watched the installation video but I've got a couple of questions.

Watching the video I see you need to drill into the skin of the trailer and I think also into the bumper. I'm a bit nervous to say the least about putting holes in my 2012 27FB. I'm guessing the holes in the skin are going into a support member. Does anyone know if the bolts going into those holes are self tapping or does it require a nut on the inside of the trailer? Same with the holes in the bumper.

How hard is it to open the bumper compartment to get the waste hose out with the bike rack installed? If you've installed the bike rack was it worth the cost (in your opinion)? I'm just in process of putting a camper shell on my TV.

At first I was just going to toss the bikes in the back of the truck with the shell for protection but I saw another International yesterday with the rack and it looked pretty good.

My screen name is xo1rider which refers to my pride and joy, a 1993 Bridgestone XO-1 a rare gem of a bike that I've restored and still ride.

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Old 05-27-2012, 10:55 AM   #2
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I've only seen the prototype rack, I don't have one. But the screws are self tapping- or at least don't need a nut from the inside. The bolts on the bumper do get nuts. And the bumper compartment is still accessible.

Nice bike.
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Old 09-10-2012, 08:37 PM   #3
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Installed the Fiamma on the rear of our 2004 Safari 25SS trailer. Came with very poor instructions. Airsteam's youtube video was helpful, but did not coincide with our trailer completely. I had to limit the support connections to only rivets as the framework was not behind the attachment points. Consequently, one of the supports pulled loose after traveling about 1300 miles. Luckily I had a front receiver hitch and bike rack to carry our 2 bikes the rest of our trip. Will check with AS for a refund or if they might cover beefing up the support area at our Denver dealer. Not holding out much hope. My advice is to stay away from the fiamma carrier.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:54 PM   #4
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I shared the same qualms about installing my rack - I am all thumbs when it comes to metal - so I took the easy way out and called my dealer. I found out that he had installed three racks so far, so I knew he wasnt going to learn on my dime and my Airstream. So for 220$ I slept well, got no more white hair and puickefd up my AS the next day. Nice rack, holds the bikes well and I'm pleased.
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:20 PM   #5
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Xo, I am not the bike rider that you are but I do carry 2 bikes often. I have a high rise LEER cap on my truck that allows me to stand up to 4 bikes in the bed in a homemade rack, safe and sound, and still have some room left in the bed.. Plus the cap gives me some aerodynamic benefits. Sorry I have no photos.

That bolt on rack is probably OK but I'm with you, not crazy about drilling holes in the trailer. Plus everyone knows that the part of the trailer that bounces the most is the rear. Hmmm.....
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:51 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by sandlapper View Post
Xo, I am not the bike rider that you are but I do carry 2 bikes often. I have a high rise LEER cap on my truck that allows me to stand up to 4 bikes in the bed in a homemade rack, safe and sound, and still have some room left in the bed.. Plus the cap gives me some aerodynamic benefits. Sorry I have no photos.

That bolt on rack is probably OK but I'm with you, not crazy about drilling holes in the trailer. Plus everyone knows that the part of the trailer that bounces the most is the rear. Hmmm.....
I also have a Leer cap, but not a high rise. I mounted two of these to a piece of plywood. I did not want to have them bolted permanently to the bed. I have to fully lower the seats to put the bikes into the back vertically. I marked the seat posts with a thin white line, so restoring them to the proper height is no problem.

Ken
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w7ts View Post
I also have a Leer cap, but not a high rise. I mounted two of these to a piece of plywood. I did not want to have them bolted permanently to the bed. I have to fully lower the seats to put the bikes into the back vertically. I marked the seat posts with a thin white line, so restoring them to the proper height is no problem.

Ken
Ken,

I was thinking of doing the same in the bed of my truck and was curious how much of a hassle it is getting the bikes in and out and also what kind bikes (i.e. mountain, road etc) you're putting in there to get an idea of how tall they are. I haven't purchased a cap yet and would really like to stay with a cab high canopy if I can. I had visions of making a slide out (like a bedslide) that would just hold the bikes but it sounds like with the additional hardware I would definitely have to go with a taller canopy.

Thanks,
Ron
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:27 AM   #8
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Ken,

I was thinking of doing the same in the bed of my truck and was curious how much of a hassle it is getting the bikes in and out and also what kind bikes (i.e. mountain, road etc) you're putting in there to get an idea of how tall they are. I haven't purchased a cap yet and would really like to stay with a cab high canopy if I can. I had visions of making a slide out (like a bedslide) that would just hold the bikes but it sounds like with the additional hardware I would definitely have to go with a taller canopy.

Thanks,
Ron
The bikes we carry in there are either mountain (26 inch wheels) or hybrid (700cm wheels). Aside from lowering the seat, my bikes go in upright (with front wheel removed) with a couple inches to spare. My wife likes to ride more upright, so her bike needs to be tilted to clear the handle bars. We always load the bikes first and then fit the other cargo around them.

This is the model bike I take most often. Mine is set just like this picture. It is a Scott Aspect 40 size small.
Ken
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Old 09-29-2012, 10:31 AM   #9
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We had Colonial Airstream install the rack on our Bambi when we purchased it.
We couldn't be happier with the rack. We always have our bikes on it and there have been zero issues!
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Old 09-29-2012, 02:51 PM   #10
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I was at JC a week ago and bought the bike rack there. They were very helpful in explaining the installation (suggested I watch the YouTube video...and I did). They give me stainless steel screws which I'm supposed to screw into the trailer (carefully placed so I put them into a rib and not just trailer body). I was told a horror story of some guy who bought the rack and screwed it into the body only and, of course, it pulled out. Will install it in the next couple of weeks.
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Old 09-29-2012, 04:19 PM   #11
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Somebody bought one of these bike carriers at the same time as they bought their new Airstream. Naturally, we got to install it-- with the brand new owner of the brand new trailer watching. No pressure...
The installation instructions are almost as good as the ones for a cheap desk. After you do one, the task becomes much easier, but most people are only going to install one.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:31 PM   #12
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Nice bike - those old XO-1s are really special (especially Orange). Your set-up is lovely, really classic.

As an avid cyclist myself, I wanted a solution which could accommodate multiple bikes and will balance protection from the elements, ease of loading/unloading, and maximum space efficiency. I drive a '12 F-150 (Crew Cab 5 1/2 ft box) and in the end, the solution I landed on was this:

- full bed rug liner paired with the Leer 180 cap
- fork mount hardware mounted to small 2x4, which is then mounted to 14" (deep) flat board which reaches across (side to side) the entire bed.

You don't mention the length of your truck but with my short box, here is what I do ... I mount the bike positioned fork forward, away from the swing gate.

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This solution works perfectly for me. The slight rise if the topper provides just enough entry hight without added poor aesthetics. There is no need to drop my seat post (I am 6',2") and the front load approach keeps the fork mount and space hungry handles bars deep into the bed, providing me with ample open space through the remained of the bed. And, I have about 2-3" of clearance for my rear wheel. The set-up is perfect for me.

With your set-up, the forward reach of your mustache bars/brake levers will likely necessitate that you position your fork mount fairly far from the bed wall. This will consume otherwise precious bed space.

Also, if you do not anchor the mounting set-up to the bed (I do not) you will find that the mount slides and flexes, thus you will need to ensure the solution has enough 'mass' to maintain it positioning as you want it to be.

I do need to crawl into the bed to secure/unsecure the fork mount, which is the main 'problem' with my approach. I am perfectly okay with this trade-off, but others may not be. One could keep the same basic solution and mount handlebars facing the bed gate, but this approach is less desirable for me in that it hinders the ability to access other items in the bed and the fork mounting set-up remains always "in the way" near the swing gate.

Bedrug and topper excluded, the set-up cost me roughly $40, about an hour of time, and some beer. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or would like additional pictures.

Cheers, _dave
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:03 AM   #13
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It's interesting all the different ways people transport bikes. I've owned several bikes and many different bike racks over the years and noticed that the whole thing is a big pain.
I don't like the way the Fiamma bike rack looks on the Classic trailer because of the foot that bolts thru the bumper. I contacted Fiamma and Airstream in June and they don't seem to want to change the design to suit only me so...I chose a different path.
I noticed that when traveling and camping I only ride a few miles around the area then head back to the campsite.

I purchased a couple of new folding bikes with travel bags for less than what the Fiamma bike rack costs.
Yes, the funny looking "clown" bike with the 20 inch wheels.
They take up less room, fit easily inside the cap of the truck, and are fun to ride.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:49 AM   #14
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Installed the Fiamma rack in June. Following are a few comments:
  • instructions are skimpy. Airstream video helps, but does not tell you that the bumper storage lid needs trimmed to clear the heads of the carrage bolts. Would have been nice to know.
  • once installed, the rack is rock solid.
  • access to the rear storage is a little harder, but not too bad. I keep five-gallon jugs in there and I can still get thenm out. More difficult when the bikes are on the rack.
  • this system really works for us and we are very happy with it.
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