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Old 01-13-2017, 04:25 PM   #1
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2016 25' Flying Cloud
Selbyville , Delaware
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2" hitch under rear bumper compartment

Hi everyone -
I (like a lot of people) simply want to carry two bikes with us on the back of our 2016 FCRB. Don't want to put them in the truck bed. At a rally last September I saw two trailers that had a 2' hitch installed on the back of the trailer. They love it. All I want to do is install my Yakima double down carrier on it and that's the limit (maybe 40 lb of bikes plus the weight of the hitch, I don't know how much that is).

I did see someone on the forum that had a hitch on the back and said it caused some structural damage inside the rear compartment.

There are Airstream dealers who do this install and do a great job. Love to get it done, but what is the consensus out there? Are some of you that have had it a while and haven't had any issues? I don't wan't any metal fatigue in the back of the coach.

Thanks!

Jamie
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Old 01-13-2017, 04:37 PM   #2
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If there are Airstream dealers out there that do this kind of install, I would check with them. I haven't heard of any dealers that do this. I am interested in hearing back from you. Please give us a list. I would be interested.
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Old 01-13-2017, 04:51 PM   #3
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My Airstream is not a trailer but I would be concerned carrying bikes on the back of an AS trailer for many reasons. Could you not use one of these, or a variation of your own to accommodate the bikes on the back of the truck versus the back of the trailer?

https://www.etrailer.com/p-D210.html

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Tony
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:08 PM   #4
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Contrary to what some here say I have seen plenty of Airstreams with hitches mounted to the back. Everyone I have talked too was very happy with the hitch and a convient place to mount bike and storage racks. Personally I would use at least two mounting points for the bike or utility rack. This could easily be accomplished by having a customer hitch receiver fabricated.
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:59 PM   #5
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Our trailer, bought used, came with a 2" receiver mounted at the back. No idea what the previous owner used it for.

I had originally thought to use it for a bike rack and was pleased to have it - but then I read so many negative comments on this forum that I never did use it and instead, I cut it off! (It was welded to the frame rails.)

For the 8 years I have owned the trailer I have carried our bikes using a front-mounted bike rack on our truck and that has worked fine for us.

Might not be the way to go for people with very expensive bikes who like them to be spotless, but we just carry two well-used and beat-up mountain bikes so no problems there!
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Old 01-13-2017, 06:52 PM   #6
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I looked at a Safari yesterday that had a hitch welded on the back. I stood on the hitch and bounced up and down to check for rear end separation. The stabilizer jacks were down and the bumper and hitch assembly was really solid. I have read about all the problems people claim can happen, but this is the second trailer I have looked at and it seemed really strong.

My main concern would be what the motion of the trailer would be like going down the road and the potential for failure of the rack, not damage to the trailer.

Al
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:26 PM   #7
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My concern would be the additional load added back there. I welded up a hitch for my 25' Safari a few years ago. I partially mounted it, installed the rack, and hung two bikes on it. I started adding the weights of all of those items together in my head and realized the total was around 140-150 lbs.

The vertical load did not concern me since knew I could move cargo around inside the trailer to get the correct balance/ratio of load on the tongue to gross weight.

The issue that did concerned me is that extra weight extending out of the back if a sway event occurs. Can you imagine the extra force even 100 lbs would create when it starts swinging left to right. That weight would enhance the probability of sway, enough to make me have second thoughts.

I removed it. That hitch is still laying out in the garage. To me, it's not worth the risk.
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Old 01-13-2017, 09:09 PM   #8
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I would not do it for these reasons.

The first reason is the Airstream frame and shell are designed and assembled as a unit, the frame supports the shell and the shell supports the frame. Putting weight on the frame at an extended moment arm will want to separate the two, frame moves but shell doesn't.

Another reason is this moves the center of gravity of the trailer aft. Well aft because the bicycles sit well behind the bumper on the receiver and rack. That means the lever from the hitch ball to this center of gravity is extended, any sway forces will be multiplied by the extension of this lever and exerted on the hitch ball.

For a stable trailer you want something quite different, the heaviest equipment placed over the axles and the lightest equipment at the ends of the trailer. And a hitch weight sufficient to move the center of gravity forward without overly stressing the hitch connections.

Airstream sells a Fiamma rack designed to attach to the shell and the frame so the rotational downward forces of the rack and bicycles are held by the shell attachment. The bicycles are mounted as close as possible to the rear of the Airstream shell. Others have made simple racks using the same principle, attachments at both the frame and shell, bicycles right next to the shell.

We have a 25 Rear Queen Bed model, there is no compartment access at the rear of the trailer so the Airstream Fiamma rack works very well for us.
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:21 AM   #9
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Trailer Hitches > RV Trailer Hitches > CURT Adjustable RV Trailer Hitch #13701
Part 13701 a
Thumbnail for Part 13701 cThumbnail for Part 13701 e
CURT Adjustable RV Trailer Hitch #13701 this could possible work for you easy install
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Old 01-14-2017, 10:35 AM   #10
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Ditto to Doug on the Fiamma bike rack, which is the only one approved by AS IMO.

The following threads are long, but contain most of the issues about putting more than a Fiamma rack on the rear of an Airstream:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f238...ay-152451.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...ec-153984.html

In addition to the points raised by Doug, the weight of the hitch receiver, bike rack, and bikes has a center of gravity which is much further away from the rear axle of the AS, than is true of a Fiamma rack setup. The difference in those two distances -- squared I believe -- is what makes the non-approved bike rack systems more volatile in causing sway.

Caveat Emptor IMO.

Stay safe!

Peter
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:48 AM   #11
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Jamie
I have one welded to my frame on the back of my little 20ft FC...use it to carry 2 bikes. Have now for several years with no problem. The only downside is that I'd like to tie the bikes to something to stabilize them and take some downward pressure off the hitch, but haven't found a good place on the back of the AS. For extra anti-sway safety I make sure I compensate for the additional weight back there by placing my two Honda 2000 generators in the front. Safe travels. jon
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:06 PM   #12
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There's always pros and cons for any arrangement.

Once of the things I do like about having the bikes up front is that although the handebars and seats are just slightly above the line of the hood, I can at least keep a bit of en eye on them. I cut down and re-welded the bike rack so as to put teh bikes at what I felts was teh optimum height.


On one trip some years back I noticed when driving that my wife's bike seemed to have dropped somewhat. Stopped t examine the situation and found that the clamp-on bar used to be able to hold a ladies style bike on the rack had somehow come loose. Luckily the bike had not yet dropped down far enough to contact the road!

Last year, travelling on an interstate, we noticed a fifth wheel entering the highway with a bike rack on the rear. It was the type that can pivot down - and it had done so!

The bikes were dragging along the the highway behind the trailer with other drivers flashing lights and honking!

With my arrangement if anything disastrous should happen, at least it will be me running over the bikes! Probably a good thing!

Brian.
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:13 PM   #13
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2009 27' FB International
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I have a hitch under my 27. It is bolted and welded to the frame. I then have a very large container mounted on the hitch and have carried quite a bit of weight in it with absolutely no problem. I can also mount my tule bike rack at the same time since I have a double entry. I can send you pictures if you send me an address. The hitch itself was custom made for me and welded to the Fran. All modifications were done by me. I have not heard of any dealers willing or able to do such an installation. I have covered at least 30k on good and terrible roads with no ill effects
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:36 PM   #14
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It is not a strength problem nor a balance problem. It is a mass in motion problem. The easiest analogy is to use a 5 pound barbell weight in your hands. When you hold it close to your chest it is easy to turn your body around quickly. That corresponds to having the weight over the axles. Now extend and hold that barbell at arms length. Try again to turn quickly. Not so easy is it? The stopping of the turn wasn't easy either. Now balance it out by taking another 5# barbell in the other hand,also extended. It gets even harder not easier as some would think that by adding weight in the front you can cancel weight in the back. As long as you are driving smoothly down the road this will not come into play. Witness the considerable number of people who claim to have never had any problem. Should you however find you self in a situation where evasive manouvers are needed because some idiot cut you off then moment of inertia comes into play and with mass at the ends the trailer will start to sway much more than without.
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Old 01-14-2017, 01:59 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveLande View Post
I have a hitch under my 27. It is bolted and welded to the frame. I then have a very large container mounted on the hitch and have carried quite a bit of weight in it with absolutely no problem. I can also mount my tule bike rack at the same time since I have a double entry. I can send you pictures if you send me an address. The hitch itself was custom made for me and welded to the Fran. All modifications were done by me. I have not heard of any dealers willing or able to do such an installation. I have covered at least 30k on good and terrible roads with no ill effects
Then you have been very lucky in my personal opinion.

Your setup sounds similar to the Quebec Roll-over, and you might consider reading this thread carefully:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...ec-153984.html

The lives you save may start with your own family, and then include the rest of the motoring public.

Travel safe!

PS -- Click on arrow next to user name ROBERT CROSS to go to that thread, and then click on the Attachments to open up additional photos:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
. . .




PS2 -- The Out of Control Sway thread contains many posts on the science and theories of sway -- see first link in Post #10 here.
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Old 01-14-2017, 04:08 PM   #16
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
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Bike Racks

I installed the Fiamma rack on the back of our 25 ft Flying Cloud and could not be happier. The Fiamma mounts the bikes as close to the shell as possible and you can still access the storage behind the bumper. There are a number of U-tube videos that will help you with the installation. Good luck.
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Old 01-14-2017, 08:35 PM   #17
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2003 25' Safari
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Anyone who cares anything about their bikes should know better than carrying them on the back of anything. Over long periods of time hanging the bikes out in the elements and driving on the roads produces road spray that usually ends up on the back of your tow vehicle or airstream also gets on and into bikes gears, brakes and other important parts like the chain. Covering them traps the moisture inside the cover and helps accelerate rust and other maintance producing situations. We carried two new bikes on the back of our pick up camper for a winter in the southwest and by the time we got home they were ruined. When not carrying the bikes in the back of, or back seat of the truck we carry them in the AS using a light weight rack we bought at home depo. We have thought of putting a hitch receiver on the back of the AS to carry the bike rack we use on the back of the truck when not hauling the AS for convince on dry days around to biking to bike paths.
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Old 10-04-2020, 06:11 PM   #18
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redding , California
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After reading pro and cons on adding hitch to rear of AS, I understand all aspects. It would seem to me that adding one of the one wheel carriers would solve a lot of the problems. I have moved batteries out of trailer into utility box in back of propane cylinders and tanken the couch/bed out in lieu of two recliners, much less weight. Took out the double expanding table as well.
I've learned not to travel heavy, water, propane, staples and the like. Took the larger propane tanks out ( not legal valves) and put two fives in.
I've pulled doubles with both of my prior fifth wheels with no problems. All that is needed is a Class A license which is also needed for a motorhome over 40" that I sold last year.
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Old 10-04-2020, 06:32 PM   #19
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redding , California
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Not sure how old this forum is, but I have towed doubles behind two fifth wheels with no problems. Just bought a 93 31' Excella and want to add a generator to the rear with remote start. Will be welding a plate to what looks to be a frame member with another short metal plate beneath it. Also going to run two 2' bars to the bolts on each of the levelors to help with pendulum movement. Weight of generator is 95 pounds. Hitch will be70-85 pounds. Moved two batteries from behind couch to utility box behind propane tanks. Took the two tens out (non legal valves) and put in two 5's. Took couch out as well as double table. Also replaced convertor wth a lighter Xantrex. I think AS's problem with hitches is more legal than anything else. A Class A for 50 plus years and road savy go a long way. Will also have a rear camera!
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Old 05-13-2021, 01:28 PM   #20
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2021 30' Flying Cloud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamieb1086 View Post
Hi everyone -
I (like a lot of people) simply want to carry two bikes with us on the back of our 2016 FCRB. Don't want to put them in the truck bed. At a rally last September I saw two trailers that had a 2' hitch installed on the back of the trailer. They love it. All I want to do is install my Yakima double down carrier on it and that's the limit (maybe 40 lb of bikes plus the weight of the hitch, I don't know how much that is).

I did see someone on the forum that had a hitch on the back and said it caused some structural damage inside the rear compartment.

There are Airstream dealers who do this install and do a great job. Love to get it done, but what is the consensus out there? Are some of you that have had it a while and haven't had any issues? I don't wan't any metal fatigue in the back of the coach.


Thanks!

Jamie
I think it's dependent on the coach. A smaller one, prob not a good idea, but a larger one like ours (30' FC 30FB that will be towed with a 2020 GMC 3500HD with a prop ride hitch), I'm not worried about 150 pounds of hitch and bikes on the back. All you hear about the Fiamma Rack is that is breaks. I also don't like the idea of screwing into the shell. Our RV rated Yakima hitch mounted rack has served us well for over 20,000 miles and barely moves (you can watch it on the rear mounted camera).
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