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Old 02-06-2008, 01:04 PM   #1
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Bike Rack Rear Bumper

I am looking for a 2 bike rack that will mount to the rear storage bumper of my 1989 32' Excella. Can anyone recomend one and how to mount? Has anyone had any problems with mounting/trailering this way?
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GJ Excella
I am looking for a 2 bike rack that will mount to the rear storage bumper of my 1989 32' Excella. Can anyone recomend one and how to mount? Has anyone had any problems with mounting/trailering this way?
There have been hundreds of previous posts that say, DON'T, DON'T, DON'T.

If you insist, be prepared to spend considerable money to correct the untimate rear end separtion, that "will happen."

Andy
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:24 PM   #3
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Hello GJ Excella. Yes it's been done and tolerated by some units. I see pictures of rear bumper cargo extensions or bike mounts with some regularity. There is much more advice saying not to do this. Longer trailers have greater frame length without any more structural strength. The 60-80 pounds on the rear bumper and the physics principle of moment arms causes a significant amplification of forces when going over road bumps. Longer trailers like yours are more subject to frame failure & the infamous rear end separation. Carrying bikes seems convenient. Repairing rear end separation is a major $$$ undertaking. Like Dirty Harry asked, "Do I feel lucky?" Can you figure out a different way to carry bikes? Yakima or Thule rack on the tow vehicle?
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Old 02-06-2008, 01:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
There have been hundreds of previous posts that say, DON'T, DON'T, DON'T.

If you insist, be prepared to spend considerable money to correct the untimate rear end separtion, that "will happen."

Andy
What Andy said. Don't do it.
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:06 PM   #5
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I agree, it's not designed for that kind of application. I think that is why they spend the extra time to mount the spare under the A frame up front.

I like to haul bikes too, and I found that when possible, a roof carrier works great. I bought a Yakima King Cobra system and have been very pleased with it. I can haul up to 4 bikes with the standard width bars.
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:02 PM   #6
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GJ:
Ditto Andy's "Don't, Don't, Don't"!!
I installed a front mounted receiver for a bike rack on my tow vehicle. Works fine.
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottW
I installed a front mounted receiver for a bike rack on my tow vehicle. Works fine.
Me too ~

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Old 02-06-2008, 03:30 PM   #8
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Wow! That's 30,086 posts of AIR Forums experience voting on one side of this issue.
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:34 PM   #9
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Bob...you have waaaaay too much time on your hands!

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Old 02-06-2008, 04:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GJ Excella
I am looking for a 2 bike rack that will mount to the rear storage bumper of my 1989 32' Excella. Can anyone recomend one and how to mount? Has anyone had any problems with mounting/trailering this way?
Well, I guess I'll have to add some "spice" to this thread just to prove the world is not flat and not everyone thinks the same way.

Anyway, for an alternative you might want to check out the solution my dealer Can-am RV provided. No guarantees of course, so you'll have to make up your own mind.

Check out my post here:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/491352-post30.html

There's more pics in Airstream Photos under "Garfield" if you're interested.

Gary
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Old 02-06-2008, 04:24 PM   #11
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Put them inside. There's plenty of room.
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:10 PM   #12
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If you look at this http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...s-30184-3.html
post 36 & 38
You will see how I attached my bike rack. The limiting factor on the Airstream bumper is the fact that the aluminum will not support a rotational load but will support the vertical load.

I used straps to tranfer the rotational load to the windo sill. This rack has worked well 50,000 miles or better and cost about $39.00 for the basic rac at Wal Mart.
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In
There have been hundreds of previous posts that say, DON'T, DON'T, DON'T.

If you insist, be prepared to spend considerable money to correct the untimate rear end separtion, that "will happen."

Andy
Wally didn't get the memo.

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Old 02-06-2008, 05:27 PM   #14
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Wally may have not gotten the memo, but rear end seperation is an issue and putting extra weight on the bumper can lead and contribute to body seperation which Andy is right, isn't an easy or cheap fix...but hey, it's your RV, do what you want.

Here is an idea, someone contact the factory and see what they tell you.
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Old 02-06-2008, 05:29 PM   #15
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I believe Wally's trailers were always highly customized & beefed up as well.

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Old 02-06-2008, 05:35 PM   #16
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Chassis

There is also a huge difference between an 89 32 foot tandem axle trailer chassis and a 91 34 foot triaxle trailer chassis.

But to each his own.

Shops welcome rear end repairs all the time, as it "IS" very expensive.

Bumps that the trailer hits, does cause vertical movement, therefore the weight of anything on the rear end, becomes a matter of moment arm changes.

No one has yet proved that part of Physics to be in error.

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Old 02-06-2008, 06:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream
Wow! That's 30,086 posts of AIR Forums experience voting on one side of this issue.
really this is more like one voice and 30,000 echos...

.... disclaimer, i'd NEVER mount a bike on the rear end *

but the warning NOT to comes from the same source that predicts...

the wrong truck, wrong tires, wrong axles, unbalanced hubs, wrong hitch, and wrong finish...

will result in trailer explosion and a dead zone!

yes 35-40 year old trailers are coming apart, but laying the cause on some unknown bike rack is silly.

when SO MANY ISSUES INCLUDING NORMAL AGEINGnFATIGUE are at the root.

the moment-arm-physics-theory, is so badly quoted, that those who do and can explain it have given up trying.

of course, those who wanna do a rear bike rack need to think it out...

since adding a fork lift on the rear bumper would be silly too.

given how often the 'bike rack warning' is repeated here, by well intended folks...

we should expect at least a few people to post the dreaded outcome on 80s or 90s or newer units...

i've not see ONE POST by someone who broke their trailer (80s or newer) with a bike rack...

but the warning keeps on coming.

i like howie's approach and IF fabricating a bike rack i'd go for something very light, removable and supported from multiple points...

for example...

-select a trunk mount rack model, like those below (the saris bones is really light)...

-use the rear awning track for weight bearing...

-one could even remove the awning and have full access to the track...

-place a light weight stiff backer plate (a small sheet of padded plywood) over the window/rear skin and contact points...

-hang the rack then add adjustable length supports below that fit into holes in the bumper...

-the key being light weight rack, close to the shell, and up higher than the bumper...

then be reasonable about the bikes (2 max, keep 'em light, don't add other stuff)

while i agree 70s units suffer from rear separation, so much so that the factory has a 'repair kit'....

but it's not because of bike racks.

it IS because a/s under engineered these units and continues to use marginally adequate frames (inadequate) to THIS day...

which is why frame separtation CONTINUES to occur, with NO BIKES to blame...

cheers
2air'

*because it's a terrible way to treat a bike!!!
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Old 02-06-2008, 07:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
the moment-arm-physics-theory, is so badly quoted, that those who do and can explain it have given up trying.
This misses the point IMHHAEO. Our members can be asked to understand such a concept in hitch discussions. Ask any boot how the sarge made them squat against a wall and hold a field manual, olive drab, 1 each, at arm's length. Feel the burn? Now start bouncing it. That's a moment arm in action.
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Old 02-06-2008, 08:13 PM   #19
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Hi Andy

I felt the same as you for many years but I had so much pressure from customers that wanted to carry bikes on the back we figured out a way to do it without causing problems. The entire bike carrier weighs 12 pounds and it carries the bikes very close to the back of the trailer. It is supported by the frame and the body so there is no bounce or rotational stress on the end of the frame.

The carrier is made of high strength lightweight steel and we adapt it to fasten to Zip Dee awning brakets. I 5 years we have not had any problems.
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Old 03-22-2008, 06:58 PM   #20
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Cool Bike Rack Rear Bumper

I see that you live in Ontario, Canada.

We are on a one-year trip around the U.S. Currently, we are in Palm Beach,

Florida and would really love to get a bike rack! We do not have an option for one on our tow vehicle(Ford F250 Diesel) with a sheet metal cover on the pick-up, also have an equalizer hitch.

Do you think if we showed your photos, we could trust a steel-fabricator or a U-Haul dealer to build us one?

We are brand-new to Airstream...just bought a 28" International-CCD in January 2008. Unfortunately, neither of us is mechanical at all.

Would appreciate any advice you may have...

Thanks
Judie and Bob Heintz
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