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Old 06-06-2018, 06:42 PM   #1
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Welding a square tube receiver to the frame

Has anyone welded a square tube receiver to the frame in order to mount a bike rack?
We carry kayaks on roof of tow vehicle
Do not like Airstream rack as it blocks the window from opening
Purchased Montague folding bikes and currently they ride inside the truck bed, but as we go full time, space and access are becoming an issue.
Do not want a rack by propane tanks, too high
Thanks for thoughts on welding to frame
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:48 PM   #2
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Welding a square tube receiver to the frame

Yes.

Recent Bike rack thread:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f540/bike-rack-182333.html

Now get ready to be flamed for even thinking of the idea
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:13 PM   #3
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Not sure you get flamed for having the idea. Considering multiple options to accomplish a task is a good thing. Ignoring sound advice about pros and cons of each option can be problematic.

Having said that - there are several threads that address this question in one way or another.

The reason Airstream approves the Fiama solution appears to be twofold:

1) a welded hitch is going to extend weight on a bouncing lever behind the wheels. This will amplify sway events dramatically

2) those forces can separate the frame from the body which ruins the "semi-monocoque" construction that gives the Airstream its integrity

From what I've seen in the threads, AWChief's solution (not the Fiama) seems to comply with the intent of Airstream's solution, and CanAm (AndyT) has installed an Arvika bike rack on the rear of trailers in a similar fashion to the Fiama.

There appear to be ways to accomplish what you're trying to do without using a hitch.

Those would be worth pursuing.

A hitch solution for bikes off the rear of your trailer is not recommended at all.

No flames - just look around, read the threads and make up your own mind. Good luck!
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:38 PM   #4
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If you use the Search tab, then on the drop down select Advanced Search, then enter the words "bike rack", you will get enough returns that you could read on this subject for a few days.

I guess that ~10% of people say yes you can add a rack as you described. I'll guess that ~90% of people say you should not.
(some say it is not safe, others say it will damage your trailer over time, both are possibilities)
I'm in the 90% group.

Before you make your choice, I suggest that you read all you can about trailer sway, and what contributes to it. Trailer sway can be very dangerous, even deadly.

I have a hitch that bolts onto the frame, that I custom made. I installed it and mounted my 2 bikes. It looked good and fit great. Then I realized how dangerous it really is. Now that custom hitch is laying on the floor in my garage.

I use a bike rack inside the trailer that sets on the floor. When I'm at the campsite, the hitch goes outside and that's where the bikes are parked, and secured together
This one>> https://www.amazon.com/Racor-PBS-2R-...ge+2+bike+rack
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:39 PM   #5
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I would worry about rear frame stress causing the frame and shell to separate.
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:49 PM   #6
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Last week I followed an SOB for a few miles that had a hitch mounted to the rear. What I could not believe was the INSANE amount the the bike rack, with two bikes on it, was bouncing up and down. I tried to get close enough to take a video but wasn't able to. I instantly realize why most bike racks state "not to be used on the back of a trailer." There is no way the bike rack that I observed will be holding together, it was frightening to watch. A strap of some sort from the rack to the roof of the trailer would help I imagine. And I would be concerned with the integrity of any welds used to attach the hitch. I also would be willing to guess that the driver has no idea what those bikes are doing back there. I have never seen anything like it.
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Old 06-06-2018, 07:51 PM   #7
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George Hernandez out of New York bolted mine to the frame inside the bumper storage and exits flush through the bumper. Looks very neat but you loose some storage, although I still have the same stuff in there I had before(stinky slinky and chocks). We have used it for 3 seasons and are very happy so far. We have a backup camera where we can see whatís going on, and it does take some violent hits at times, and we have had one small piece break on the bike rack, but things break all the time on the Airstream so nothing unexpected. I did a lot of research ( I excluded OTRA15s and others comments as most of it is hearsay and their own opinions.) before getting it installed and it works for my setup. I have an Infiniti QX56 and a Hensley hitch, so I can only speak for me, but we have not experienced any sway or damage to the camper thus far. Enjoy
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
Not sure you get flamed for having the idea. Considering multiple options to accomplish a task is a good thing. Ignoring sound advice about pros and cons of each option can be problematic.

Having said that - there are several threads that address this question in one way or another.

The reason Airstream approves the Fiama solution appears to be twofold:

1) a welded hitch is going to extend weight on a bouncing lever behind the wheels. This will amplify sway events dramatically

2) those forces can separate the frame from the body which ruins the "semi-monocoque" construction that gives the Airstream its integrity

From what I've seen in the threads, AWChief's solution (not the Fiama) seems to comply with the intent of Airstream's solution, and CanAm (AndyT) has installed an Arvika bike rack on the rear of trailers in a similar fashion to the Fiama.

There appear to be ways to accomplish what you're trying to do without using a hitch.

Those would be worth pursuing.

A hitch solution for bikes off the rear of your trailer is not recommended at all.

No flames - just look around, read the threads and make up your own mind. Good luck!
This basically is your personal opinion and take it for what it's worth.
FYI the AS promoted bike rack is mounted on the rear frame section. You can get it done with a different combinations of bike racks staying with the same weight combo and it doesn't look like a clothes drying rack hanging of the back.
I will take a a picture of my set up the next time we get ready for the road.
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Medjrd View Post
Has anyone welded a square tube receiver to the frame in order to mount a bike rack?
We carry kayaks on roof of tow vehicle
Do not like Airstream rack as it blocks the window from opening
Purchased Montague folding bikes and currently they ride inside the truck bed, but as we go full time, space and access are becoming an issue.
Do not want a rack by propane tanks, too high
Thanks for thoughts on welding to frame
No need to weld it. You can have a welding shop fabricate a receiver support that can be bolted inside the skid channel basically the same way the Fiama is bolted just lower.
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Old 06-07-2018, 01:49 PM   #10
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I don't know what your two vehicle is but I have a 2005 Ford Excursion and a 1996 30' Classic. I have the same problem and am going on the North to Alaska Caravan this summer and wanted to take my bicycles but could not figure how to. I saw someone pass through town with a front receiver and a bike rack. I looked on eTrailer and found a Reese front receiver for my vehicle. I now have a way to carry by bicycles and can see them going down the highway.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:12 PM   #11
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Why not a 2" receiver on the front of your tow vehicle ? That way you can see your bikes .
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcskier View Post
Last week I followed an SOB for a few miles that had a hitch mounted to the rear. What I could not believe was the INSANE amount the the bike rack, with two bikes on it, was bouncing up and down. I tried to get close enough to take a video but wasn't able to. I instantly realize why most bike racks state "not to be used on the back of a trailer." There is no way the bike rack that I observed will be holding together, it was frightening to watch. A strap of some sort from the rack to the roof of the trailer would help I imagine. And I would be concerned with the integrity of any welds used to attach the hitch. I also would be willing to guess that the driver has no idea what those bikes are doing back there. I have never seen anything like it.


Thatís what I found when I did this. Removed it after one 2,500 mile trip.
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Old 06-07-2018, 02:57 PM   #13
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There is an easier answer: Dump the tow vehicle, and ride your bike. Pull the Airstream with the bike! It’s been done before...
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Old 06-07-2018, 03:48 PM   #14
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Before I knew better I had a receiver welded into my Tradewind bumper compartment to have my cake and eat it too, dragging by 18 foot catamaran to the lake. If I drove around in a circle I could almost catch the end of my boat.

I now go along with this was not a good idea, but I did it for 2 years with no harm done. I did this 10 years ago. I don't think the extra weight, 50 pounds or so, made any difference as far as dreaded rear end separation.

I still do use the receiver every now and then to tow my blue boy to the dump station, but I would not put a bike or other rack on it for traveling.
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