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Old 06-20-2022, 04:32 PM   #1
Rynmn
 
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2014 25' FB International
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Trailer hitch for bikes

Hello All...can anyone provide suggestions for a hitch to carry bikes behind my Airstream. 2014 25' International. I viewed a company out of Washington state which sells hitches specifically for Airstream. However, I've heard to be aware of hitches causing stress on the interior floor. Is this true?

I have seen Airstreams set up with what I am looking for. Just do not know which brand, model or company to go with. Appreciate all responses.

Ray.
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Old 06-20-2022, 05:20 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RYNMAN View Post
Hello All...can anyone provide suggestions for a hitch to carry bikes behind my Airstream. 2014 25' International. I viewed a company out of Washington state which sells hitches specifically for Airstream. However, I've heard to be aware of hitches causing stress on the interior floor. Is this true?

I have seen Airstreams set up with what I am looking for. Just do not know which brand, model or company to go with. Appreciate all responses.

Ray.
I suggest you call Airstream Tech support at the Mothership. Avoid relying on the word of the dealer or anyone else who has a financial interest in a rear hitch install.

The issues include potential structural issues caused by a cantilevered bike rack, especially with e-bikes, as well as weight imbalance that can cause swaying.

I've had Fiamma bike racks on three Airstreams. They were engineered by Airstream and Fiamma. They will accommodate two regular bikes.
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Old 06-20-2022, 08:39 PM   #3
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It would depend upon what kind of bikes you have. E Bikes are quite heavy. We have two and it takes a pretty beefy rack. I have it on the front, so I see that thing go up and down. Can't imagine what it would be like on the back of a trailer.

If you have light road bikes I could see going with a Fiamma. However, I have a rear access so I wouldn't care for it. I put ours on the front of the pickup. The nice part of that is now I have a rack to take the bikes when exploring an area. In fact we keep it on the front all the time. Easier to get the bikes on and off instead of lifting them up on the back!! I know they can get buggy, but doesn't take that long to clean with the right kind of solution.

I also have a method of putting them in the AS if it is crappy weather or if we have to travel at night and don't want the front lights blocked.

To each their own. There really is no real great solution.
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Old 06-20-2022, 09:09 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by SilverWind View Post
I suggest you call Airstream Tech support at the Mothership. Avoid relying on the word of the dealer or anyone else who has a financial interest in a rear hitch install.



The issues include potential structural issues caused by a cantilevered bike rack, especially with e-bikes, as well as weight imbalance that can cause swaying.



I've had Fiamma bike racks on three Airstreams. They were engineered by Airstream and Fiamma. They will accommodate two regular bikes.
Fiamma bike racks have something like a 75 lb total bike load limit.

E-bikes can exceed this, even for a single bike.
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Old 06-20-2022, 11:36 PM   #5
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Home built in the Fiamma style but made out of kee-light pipe fittings and aluminum tubing.

Holds 150+lbs (2 pedago platinum interceptors) and has plenty of space to access the rear hatch. Rock solid and there is no effect on towing the trailer.

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Old 06-21-2022, 12:26 PM   #6
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Hi

The frame of an Airstream trailer has a *very* limited ability to support weight off the back end. You see a lot of people running the AS approved rack for lightweight bikes. I have seen very few running any sort of hitch based setup. There are a lot of tales of folks ( = threads on this forum) talking about the cost of repairing their AS for various rear end separation issues. Some of them are on trailers with no bike rack (or other storage) involved.

Next up is the limits on bike racks you mount on a hitch. If you dig deep enough into the specs on this or that rack, pretty much all of them say "not for use on an RV" somewhere deep in the fine print. If you watch bikes on a trailer in front of you bounce all over the place , it becomes pretty apparent why they say this.

Bikes ( plural) implies that each one only contributes part of the weight budget. With a 75 pound limit on the AS rack, this means 37.5 pound bikes. You can indeed find bikes that fit this limit. You also can find a *lot* of bikes that are over it. Many mountain bikes come in at/over this limit. Just about all e-Bikes are over it. Yes, a bike with a rider weight limit of 100 pounds will come in lower (bike limits are rider + any gear you have along). Bikes with carbon frames are lighter.

At least if you want to keep them running, there's more than just the bike included in the package. Helmets, spare tires, panniers, gaiters, shoes, tools, tire pump, lube, parts, .... all sorts of stuff. That has to go in somewhere as well. It's not part of the rack decision, but it does take up space.

One alternative is a bike rack that goes over the cover on the back of your truck. Another is a van or truck with a cap that will let you store the bikes "inside". One trip down a dusty road will show you why "inside" is a *really* good idea .

Bob
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Old 06-21-2022, 03:43 PM   #7
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Swagman E bike rack.

I have a reciever on the back of my AS, and use a Swagman E bike rack for 2 bikes. There are instructions for use on an RV. I do take the batteries off the bikes and have no trouble with the rack or bikes. I run the back up camera all the time and find very little movement when towing.
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Old 06-21-2022, 03:55 PM   #8
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Hauling bikes poses a real conundrum for most RVers; and is a source of many a campfire conversation. My 'solution' back in 2018 when I got my new AS was to buy a 37 lb folding bike that fit into a corner of my truck bed under the tonneau cover. It was a good solution for me. The flaw with my solution though is well, I notice there are usually two adults traveling in an AS, so you need two bikes, right? The only solution I can think of for that situation is to get a truck with the longer bed? This is assuming that you want to keep the bikes off the front of the truck, off of the back of the trailer, and NOT inside the trailer. My solution also keeps the bike secure and clean.
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Old 06-21-2022, 04:39 PM   #9
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Added hitch and rack

My solution was relatively expensive, but I also have 2 bikes that are more expensive than many midsize motorcycles. I haul 2 full carbon Specialized road/gravel e-bikes. One is 28lb, the other 32lb. I added a trailer hitch (bolted, not welded to the frame), did the 3 inch dexter lift to accommodate the 1 inch clearance loss and put on a Thule motorhome rated bike rack. There was a slight adverse affect on sway and bounce when towing, but manageable. I often put the heavier bike inside and just keep one on the rack. I've got about 3400 miles on the setup and everything is fine.
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Old 07-05-2022, 03:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taco Joe View Post
My solution was relatively expensive, but I also have 2 bikes that are more expensive than many midsize motorcycles. I haul 2 full carbon Specialized road/gravel e-bikes. One is 28lb, the other 32lb. I added a trailer hitch (bolted, not welded to the frame), did the 3 inch dexter lift to accommodate the 1 inch clearance loss and put on a Thule motorhome rated bike rack. There was a slight adverse affect on sway and bounce when towing, but manageable. I often put the heavier bike inside and just keep one on the rack. I've got about 3400 miles on the setup and everything is fine.


Do you use a cover for your bikes while in tow and/or at the campgrounds?
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Old 07-06-2022, 12:15 AM   #11
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Thanks to All...great info...much appreciated!
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Old 07-07-2022, 07:56 AM   #12
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No, I do not. All I do at night is add an extra cable lock though the bike frame and wheels to the airstream in addition to the Thule rack's lock. I am considering a cover for at night, but not while towing. Everything sits up high, so I'm not concerned about debris from the road.
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Old 07-07-2022, 08:24 AM   #13
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I can't imagine hanging E-Bikes off the back of our Airstream. I modified a Yakama frontload for the truck. Made a custom folding load ramp that locks onto the main cross bars. Made a tubular crossbar to tie the two bikes together and added crossing straps to the truck. They are very solid now.
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Old 07-07-2022, 10:04 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by 2012FB View Post
I can't imagine hanging E-Bikes off the back of our Airstream. I modified a Yakama frontload for the truck. Made a custom folding load ramp that locks onto the main cross bars. Made a tubular crossbar to tie the two bikes together and added crossing straps to the truck. They are very solid now.


@Taco Joe, thanks for the response. My concerned is with the bikes getting saturated from the Rain but Iím guessing in your part of the country rain isnít that big of an issue. Also, hoping the cover would be an out of site out of mind thing for a would be thief. Again, thatís a big hope.

@2012, nice set up. Iím currently storing my ebikes in the truck under the tonneau. I do have a rhino rack and recently purchased rhino racks bike rack with plans of doing something similar to your mods.
I was thinking of designing something reduce the bikes from excessive shifting in tow. Looks like you beat me to it. This is a great idea.

Do you cover your bikes?
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Old 07-10-2022, 10:49 AM   #15
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Real Nice!!!
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Old 07-24-2022, 08:57 PM   #16
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Update, took a page from 2012ís playbook. I place my bikes over the tonneau cover on the racks of my F350. As I mentioned before, Purchased the Rhino rack roof rack for my Rhino Rack Vero bars. Also, purchased the fat tire adapters for the roof rack. I do not cover the bikes while in transit, but do remove the seats and batteries to lighten the load a little (and act as a theft deterrent).
Traveled a little over 2k miles since last posted with no issues. Had a few days of rain while in transit, no issues. I do cover the bikes while at the campgrounds.
Very satisfied thus far with the set up.
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Old 07-24-2022, 10:16 PM   #17
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Glad to hear your setup is working well. Safe and happy travels.
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Old 07-25-2022, 10:43 AM   #18
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Really like what you've done here - Nice work - maybe I could emulate what you have done?
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