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Old 05-12-2013, 04:07 AM   #1
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2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
Gray , Maine
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Arvika Bike Rack

We have been looking at the Arvika 7000 AFAR bike rack for our 2009 Flying Cloud. This is the unit that attaches above the propane tanks. We are attracted to this model because it can be bolted on an off without drilling holes into our trailer. It is also much more reasonably priced. Will appreciate some input. Thank you.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:19 AM   #2
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I can't speak to the bike rack, but the tongue area of the trailer is a very busy place and adding more confusion in that area just doesn't make things any easier. I also may be one of the only people on this site who believes that the Airstream knows what they are doing. When they take 50 + years to come out with an approved bike rack I have to think that some engineering was involved and that that it was not done for a quick profit, but I could be wrong.
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:28 AM   #3
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I like the Arvika. Have been using it for 2 years.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:34 AM   #4
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Mine is the 3 place model. I usually have it loaded with 2 bikes and the 2 ramps to get the scooter in and out of the truck bed. Learning to use the cover properly on a front mount (road wind blast) was a bit challenging, but I have it pretty well down now.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:41 AM   #5
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You'll catch some bugs up there above the propane tanks, but then at the back of the trailer wet road debris will mess them as well. Tongue weight is so close to maximum for many of us, we have to be careful what we mount there.

We never take the trailer without bikes, carry them in the pickup. I have considered a mount on the trailer but we often take the bikes in the truck to go exploring or touring away from the campground. For that we need a way to carry bikes on the tow vehicle.

doug k

On edit I see Rich has solved the bug problem with a cover. Good job Rich.
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:51 AM   #6
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Doug has valid points...here's my take.

Over the years I have carried bikes on the back, on the front, in the truck bed, inside the trailers. In my SOB the back worked fine as there were no windows, or compartment doors back there. I carried them inside the old SOB when we had a family and 5 bikes. I carried them also in the bed of the truck when we had 5 bikes sometimes.

All have pros and cons.

Rear of trailer - what Doug said....road grime....a bag fixes that. Inaccessability to compartment on the AS.....can't see them (my brother-in-law lost 3 bikes and the rack due to a failed rack....never found them)

Front of trailer - increased tongue weight can be addressed by changing the load of other goods in the trailer...bugs can be addressed with a cover....front window can't be opened with bikes on (rack does fold down and comes off quickly and easily without tools)

Truck bed - I found the bikes always in the way when I needed something else out of the truck

In the trailer - OK, but often in the way when needing access to dinette or couch or whatever on a quick overnight stop. And INEVITABLY, you will booger the interior moving them around.

Bottom line....all have drawbacks for each of us. Pick what works best for you.
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Old 05-12-2013, 07:05 AM   #7
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2011 30' Flying Cloud
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We've had an Arvika, over the propane tanks, bike rack for about five years. It is great. Unfortunately, we carry our bikes a lot less than we anticipated we would. We store the top section of the rack on the wall of our garage and the mounting tubes remain attached. They do get in the way a bit when trying to access the battery box. Not carrying the full rack full time or removing it at a campground allows us to open our front windows. We then chain lock the rack somewhere at the site.

We ride beach cruiser bikes that are a bit heavier. Using a step stool, I really don't find it difficult to lift the bikes onto the rack. The bikes can get dirty from rain/road debris. I cover the seats with plastic bags. Hope this is helpful.
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Old 05-12-2013, 11:52 AM   #8
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2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Arvika Bike Rack

We really appreciate the feedback from everyone. All presented very good points and especially appreciative of replies from current owners. This has been most helpful. Thank you all.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:40 AM   #9
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I purchase an Arvika bike rack for our 2008 Classic 25fb

Here are the parts list and the prices they quoted. The company doesn't have an online ordering so you just call their toll free number and tell them what you need.

1. 7000 AFAR Airstream bracket 238.00 = USD 225.49
2. 7002-26-A for 2 bikes 274.20 = USD 259.78
3. BR-AF Arm 47.40 = USD 44.91
Total = USD$530.18
Shipping cost 68.00 USD 64.42
4. 7000-H2 158.10 = USD 149.79

The 7000-H2 is not required but I need this to transport my bikes on my truck when going to pick up the trailer in storage or to transport bikes on side trips from camp. The 7000-H2 is a tow vehicle 2" receiver hitch that will mount the bike rack. I just unbolt two carriage bolts then transfer the bike rack off the receiver mount to the Airstream mount.

I carry two bikes, one a Trek hybrid and my wives step through Specialized. The design of the frame of her bike makes transporting challenging and only a rack that has tire channels seems to work so the Arvika or the AS Fiamma will work with this type of bike.

The installation is bolt on and is easy. The two main supports bolt onto the A frame and the bottom plate is thin enough to fit between the A frame and the propane line on the curb side.

The only issue I had was mounting the jack support bracket, BR-AF, to the power jack. It can only be mounted parallel to the propane tank cover or 90 degrees. When its parallel to the tank cover the arm extends so it attaches to the bike rack at the end of the bike rack frame. In this position their seems to be a lot of flex. When mounted at 90 degrees to the propane cover the arm can attach to the center of the bike rack however the big plastic hand nut pushes on the cover. Luckily the cover flexes to accommodate this. At least the metal clamp isn't scratching the cover. Arvika needs to improve on this clamp design for Airstreams due to the propane cover close proximity to the power jack.
Other Arvika owners have reported having the jack support off center is OK and they've put on a lot of miles with the bikes. You do have to remove the plastic wire cover from the back of the power jack stem so you can route the wire over the clamp or cut a section out.

The rack comes with two bike frame retaining clamps, the longest has a locking knob. You get two keys. I use a 6 foot locking bike cable on the two bikes that run through the frames and under the bike rack tire channels. The bike rack also comes with 4 straps to secure the bike wheels to the rack channels. You are not supposed to over tighten the straps as excessive pressure will bend the metal clamps.

It's also advised now to overtightened the bike clamp knobs either. The clamps push against metal tubes and the plastic plug in the tubes can get distorted. Luckily Arvika is understanding about this from a new owner and is shipping me new plugs.

I was able to take the bikes on a 400 mile trip a week ago and the bikes stay put cruising along at 60-60mph. I was able to observe the bikes through the rear window while towing which was reassuring.

I have to use a small step stool to mount the bikes on the AS. I'd have to remove rack by undoing the extensions and lifting it off the AS so I could open the front window rock guard but since this is the bedroom we never open that window anyway.

I didn't weigh the parts but this set up is heavier than the Fiamma rack on the back of the AS but not too much more. With bikes we are probably running 100 lbs

Kelvin
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Old 08-20-2013, 04:26 AM   #10
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2009 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Thank you

Kelvin,

Thank you for the detailed report on your set-up and the fine pictures.
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Old 08-25-2013, 04:50 PM   #11
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We are reading all of this, as we are researching new ways to transport our two mountain bikes. Thanx to all who've presented many points of view!!
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:52 PM   #12
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If anyone carries bicycles inside the travel trailer, how do you attach them to a surface so they won't jumble around and get damaged and damage the trailer?
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:36 PM   #13
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I have the Arvika 4 bike model mounted over the tounge of my PUP camper and I don't think I will be transferring it to the Airstream.

The Arkika has some less than durable parts, not sure if it is to save weight, but I have broken pieces. The rack cost me $900 with the attachment to the trailer.

The back bike always seam to hit the trailer leaving dents.
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