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Old 12-06-2008, 02:55 PM   #1
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Bicycle on back of AS

I and the Princess, ride a tandem bicycle, weighs about 65 lbs. Any experience advice on the issue would be greatly appreciated. We would rather not carry it on top of TV because of height.
Thanks
Scotty
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Old 12-06-2008, 03:11 PM   #2
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We have a rack that lies on floor. Locks the front fork, and, the tandem rides in the AS hallway clean and dry.

Tom
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Old 12-06-2008, 03:19 PM   #3
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You are setting yourself up in the ultimate Airstream Catch-22.

rule #1: Thou must never attach a bicycle to the rear of thine Airstream. Verily ye will snapeth the frame in half.

rule #2: If thouest hath a Hensley Hitch, thou mayest ignoreth all other rules.

. . . so I don't know what the answer is. Maybe consult and Airstream attorney?
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Old 12-06-2008, 03:22 PM   #4
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Bike on the Back of the AS

From what I have been told that putting anything on the back of a longer AS is not a good thing. It has a tendency to separate the body from the frame. I have over the years put the bikes on the top of the TV and that seems to work the best.
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty Oh View Post
I and the Princess, ride a tandem bicycle, weighs about 65 lbs. Any experience advice on the issue would be greatly appreciated. We would rather not carry it on top of TV because of height.
Thanks
Scotty
Scotty,

I spent quite a lot of time researching this very subject on the forum.

The result was not 100% conclusive, but I decided against it.

The reason I was interested is that our first AS, bought last Sept., and not really used by use yet, came with a 2" hitch receiver welded to the frame at the rear.

Seemed a great place to carry pur two mountain bikes.

So I checked on the forum.

While some people said they had done this without apparant problem, a whole lot more strongly suggested I not do it as they said it was sure to cause damage to the trailer. (separation of frame & body).

I'm still not entirely convinced - I tried putting our bike rack into the rear hitch and it seemed very solid indeed.

Nevertheless, in the end, I decided not to take a chance.

On Monday, I am having a 2" receiver put on the front of the truck and we will carry our bikes that way.

We have done this on our last truck for five years and it worked fine. I'm not sure it is 100% legal as it does block the headlights a little, but we've never been stopped for it.

You may wish to think about that option.

The hitch for our GMC 2500HD is costing $295 Can. installed.


Brian.
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:36 PM   #6
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I have successfully put bikes and (carefully) a kayak inside.
I too have heard the horror stories about putting ANYTHING on the rear of the A/S. I have my doubts but am not willing to risk damage.
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:45 PM   #7
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I just have to say it is so cute that you ride with both your little dogs!
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:53 PM   #8
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Wouldn't be the same w/o Bea and Bailey. We are going to get a trailer, safer for all.
Thanks
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Old 12-06-2008, 05:24 PM   #9
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The old airstreams, before 1984, had 4 inch high frames. Bike racks cracked or bent them everytime. You have a newer one with a 5 inch frame and it likely ok if the bike rack does not add signifigantly to the gross weight. A quick call to the factory will give you an answer whether or not it will invalidate you warrentee. That is the person I would trust. We put our bikes in the back of the truck or in the trailer. Much cleaner and safer. We usually use bungee cores to make sure they do not move around too much.
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:04 PM   #10
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You have heard all the naysayers that it is immoral, illegal, and fattening.

Now I have had my bikes on the rear of my trailer for years. Attached is a picture. The secret with this homemade rack is the straps that transfer the rotational load, that would twist the bumper, to the window frame. The bumper has no problem carrying the vertical load.

While my 2, and sometimes 4 including the grand kids smaller bikes, weigh as much if not more than you tandem my one question for you would be the overall length of the bike. You might have to take the wheels of to reduce the side to side overhang.
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:42 PM   #11
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Good idea, Howie. As far as the length, I will be taking front wheel off to mount using the drop-outs on fork. The length mounted is about 7'. If I am getting close enough to get it into trouble I have a lot more to worry about, with the AS as 8.5" I am hoping to use a receiver if it doesn't add to much weight, maybe on of the small ones.
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:45 PM   #12
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Front Hitch

After we purchased our new TV, a Sierra 2500 HD Diesel Crew I installed a front hitch. Works fine. My daughter is challenged so we have a 3-wheeled bike and a mountain bike on the rack. Visibility is not impeared. It can also be used to attach a basket frame in order to carry the 2 Honda 2100 gens we have. There is no weight concern.
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Old 12-06-2008, 06:45 PM   #13
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Thanks Dwight, sounds smart to me.
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty Oh View Post
Wouldn't be the same w/o Bea and Bailey. We are going to get a trailer, safer for all.
Thanks
I didn't see their helmets.....or did I miss that? Just kidding. pj
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:06 PM   #15
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All,

I called the factory as anyone here can and asked about this very subject. Ask them what they think about it, the numbers and contact info can be found at the bottom of this post.

If you don't have time for the call, I'll save you some time. The factory-- you know, the folks that design and build our silverjoys, are staunchly against the practice of adding anything to the rear of the Airstream (trailer). I recall the tech's comments being in the realm of "anyone doing this is asking for trouble", "not a matter of if, but more a matter of when rear end separation will happen", "the back of the RV is not designed for these kinds loads". These are the words of the factory representatives, not mine.

I would invite anyone doing this or considering this to pick up the phone and ask the questions. I promise that you will get a 110% resounding don't do it. Here is the contact info for Airstream technical support and various methods on contacting the company.... don't take my word for it, by all means, call them and get the low down from the folks who know and straight from the "horses" mouth:

Speak to a Technical Support representative:
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm, EST:
877-596-6111

Toll Free Automated Technical Support Line:
877-596-6505
Your call will be returned within 48 hrs.

Airstream Inc.
419 West Pike Street
P.O. Box 629
Jackson Center, OH 45334-0629

Phone: 877-596-6111
Fax: 937-596-7939

Just don't do it, don't even consider it. If the factory says sure, go do this to your trailer (non-Pan America or vintage Mo-Ho), I will be happy to have the mods remove this post. If you still do it, or continue to do it, best of luck to you.
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:22 PM   #16
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This subject has been beat to death and resurrected ad nauseum. If you do a forums search you will find more than you could ever want.

The opinions that are out there are more applicable to 70s Airstreams which have a lighter frame and longer Airstreams which are more effected by the cantelever effect of weight on the back bumper, both of which can contribute to rear end sag and separation
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:25 PM   #17
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Our 69

Our 69 Overlander had rear end separation and it also had the remnants of some sort of rack on the back--maybe for a tire......or a bicycle......not sure what it was and we didn't know it had separation when we bought the trailer. The effects of putting something heavy on the rear may not be known for some time....pj
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
The opinions that are out there are more applicable to 70s Airstreams which have a lighter frame and longer Airstreams which are more effected by the cantelever effect of weight on the back bumper, both of which can contribute to rear end sag and separation
This is not exactly true, I specifically asked about any newer Airstream as mine is a 2004. The answer however appeared to be an all encompassing statement meaning that no Airstream was designed for this (minus Pan America or MoHo, which can take these loads) due to the fact that the shell takes and manages some of the load. Feel free to fix my spelling, but it's called monoquot something or along the line)

Again, don't take my word for it, I invite anyone considering this or doing this to call the company first thing Monday morning. I am beyond very sure they will tell you similar to what they told me, which I posted above.

I am not offering any "opinion" here. My posts on this subject are matching what the factory told me. Please contact them should you still feel differently.

In the end, I am not the one who owns your Airstream, has to maintain it or fix it.
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie View Post
This is not exactly true, I specifically asked about any newer Airstream as mine is a 2004. The answer however appeared to be an all encompassing statement meaning that no Airstream was designed for this (minus Pan America or MoHo, which can take these loads) due to the fact that the shell takes and manages some of the load. Feel free to fix my spelling, but it's called monoquot something or along the line)

Again, don't take my word for it, I invite anyone considering this or doing this to call the company first thing Monday morning. I am beyond very sure they will tell you similar to what they told me, which I posted above.
No doubt adding further to Scotty's confusion. There is a lot in the forums that is "not exactly true" and even more opinions, especially mine. But what is true is 70s Airstreams have a lighter frame than other years and also there is more written about rear end separation for these models. Also, respectfully, it's just basic physics that added weight on the back of a 31 foot Sovereign which hangs out in space about 8 feet past the axles is going to cause more stress than on say a 22' Safari which hangs out about half the distance.

Putting extra weight on the back bumper of any Airstream may not be exactly a good idea, but for some, it is a worser idea. But then again, you can't always do what you're supposed to do. at least I can't.
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Old 12-06-2008, 09:54 PM   #20
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While that may be true- some are worse than others, the underlying theme I caught from the rep was it was a no no,no matter what the length. It won't take very much, even on the short ones. The factory didn't tell me, it's ok on the 16s, 19s and 23s, but don't do it on anything bigger than 23'. They simply said just don't do it--- not on a 16 and not on a 34'. Of course there was no Pan America back then, and by default the vintage MoHos are a whole different beast.

Now we can split hairs on the 70s that would separate without anything put on the rear end (mostly rear bath units), and you'd be right, they had more issues. However, my read on your orig post was that frame separation concerns are more geared toward the 70s models and from what Airstream told me, the 80s, 90s and 00s will separate just as easily if you put something on the back end, which is the question of this thread. It (newer Airstream) should not however separate should you not place something back there like the 70s Beatrice years did without anything attached.

The bottom line is that if the folks that build these say no (with little to no conditions), then it's not a best practice and should you not follow best practice, then make sure you have a full checkbook, at least that was my read from what I was told. Me, I find there are many alternatives out there which means that I don't have to do what I'm not suppose to do. Mine was to buy a roof rack for the bikes. Sure it's a PITA to load, but it cost me about $200. Any idea what it costs to repair frame separation? I don't, but I'll guess it's significantly more than $200....and Scotty's Airstream is in fact a 2008 going by his profile.
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