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Old 01-30-2018, 03:18 PM   #1
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2018 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
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Bike Rack Airstream Interstate

Has anyone installed a hitch on the front of their van to receive a Thule bike rack. If on the back the doors cannot swing open. Thanks for your help.
New to van life, loving it so far...one month mostly in Sedona. Love to bike!
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Old 01-30-2018, 03:54 PM   #2
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I guess you already saw this?



Also, you can get a swing away hitch mount and still be able to open the doors... or get the Thule version that comes with the swing away built in...

Thule Vertex Swing 4 Bike Rack - 2" Hitches - Swinging
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Old 01-30-2018, 03:59 PM   #3
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Here is another option and you use the bike carrier of your choice...

https://www.wilcooffroad.com/shop/hitchswing/

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Old 01-30-2018, 04:18 PM   #4
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One more that I see a lot of folks in the Sprinter forum using...

http://rakattach.com/large/

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Old 01-30-2018, 04:24 PM   #5
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That Van Compass vid of the front receiver installation was superb.

OP, there are several threads on here with a wealth of information on bike carriage generally. I know you asked about the front option, but I've heard a lot of negative feedback on front carriers because the bike(s) end up accumulating the brunt of dirt, road debris, and dead insects.

Another option to potentially consider is folding bikes. Some of the higher-end models really do approach full-frame functionality. I bought a Brompton and modified our interior closet to hold it as the pic below illustrates. I couldn't be happier with it. It's not a mountain bike, but for most riding conditions, it does just fine. These options can be spendy, but there is a cost offset because you don't have to buy a rack to transport them. Nor would you have as much of a worry about theft. And they are real conversation-starters, much like the Interstate itself.

Below my closet pic is a short video from FitRV where they review two such folding bikes. That was the vid that sold me on the Brompton. It was love at first sight, LOL.




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Old 01-30-2018, 06:46 PM   #6
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We started with two Bike on a rear carrier. But now carry a folding Bike Friday tandem that fits in the storage area behind the lounge bed on Interstate Lounge EXT model.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:18 PM   #7
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I have the ‘RakAttak’ on my AI. It works really well.
The one I have is the large, for using with my motorcycles, but it only takes a seconds to swing it out.
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Old 01-30-2018, 07:41 PM   #8
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I use the Recon Rack best bike rack I’ve ever owned. Put 30k miles on it since August, and allows both rear doors to open completely
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Old 01-31-2018, 09:21 AM   #9
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Bike Rack Airstream Interstate

Good info! Thanks to everyone. I ordered a Yakima swing a way rack through my local bike shop. Thule charges them $100 for delivery. They said if it doesn't work out they will keep it in inventory because they sell them easily. If this one doesn't work I will take a look at the offerings on this forum. I front hitch doesn't sound optimal to me. I have never used a forum before...what a great source to draw from. We are new to the van life, so I am sure I will be back with more dumb questions.
Thanks again!
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:00 AM   #10
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++1 on the RackAttak from Utah. They are the only ones that would make a swing away
that swings to either right or left, whichever you want. I chose to swing toward drivers side because my T1N has the bathroom behind the driver side rear door.

I also use a hitch adapter to raise the height of the RackAttak so I can use the bottom hitch attachment for towing my Smart Car. I can open both doors without detaching anything.
I modified a Hollywood Fat Tire bike rack so it sits in the RakAttak closer to the doors to reduce the lever arm length and have the bikes clear the towed vehicle when turning corners. Good luck with whatever you choose. AEW
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:08 AM   #11
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Front hitch

Easy bolt on install
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unifreck View Post
I also use a hitch adapter to raise the height of the RackAttak so I can use the bottom hitch attachment for towing my Smart Car. I can open both doors without detaching anything.
I modified a Hollywood Fat Tire bike rack so it sits in the RakAttak closer to the doors to reduce the lever arm length and have the bikes clear the towed vehicle when turning corners. Good luck with whatever you choose. AEW
Photos, please! Yuor setup seems an ideal way for my girlfriend and I to bring both our bikes and my toad on trips; a clip-on bike rack on my toad's rear hatch (haven't yet found a hitch receiver that will go on a Honda Fit) up until now has seemed my only option, and I worry about the Honda's rear window since my present rack presses against it.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:33 AM   #13
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Protagonist——you are one of my heroes re everything Airstream... Thank you
I wish I could post photos, Burnside Bob showed me when at the Eclipse in Oregon, I’m too dense to learn and maintain his great instruction. The hitch adapter is an over/under purchased at Harbor Freight and I used it to initially raise the bikes To clear driveways, and it evolved from there. Really happy with the setup. AEW
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unifreck View Post
Protagonist——you are one of my heroes re everything Airstream... Thank you
I wish I could post photos, Burnside Bob showed me when at the Eclipse in Oregon, I’m too dense to learn and maintain his great instruction. The hitch adapter is an over/under purchased at Harbor Freight and I used it to initially raise the bikes To clear driveways, and it evolved from there. Really happy with the setup. AEW
This one?

https://www.harborfreight.com/dual-h...der-69881.html

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Old 01-31-2018, 12:46 PM   #15
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The HITCHSWING already has dual hitch capabilities... so those looking at being able to still tow should consider this one...

My concern with the dual hitch adapter above is quality of built... That one from Harbor Freight is rated at 4K lbs. A similar one on Amazon has a review with photos documenting a failure... of course, we do not know if it was used with incorrect load... but that just makes me second guess going that route...

Hitchswing is rated at 7500 towing capacity/750 tongue weigth. Our rigs max out at 5K lbs.

Someone should suggest the folks from RackAttak to also incorporate this into theirs...
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Old 01-31-2018, 02:52 PM   #16
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Forgot the link to the Amazon reviews for the Dual Hitch Extension

https://www.amazon.com/MaxxHaul-7007...yStar=one_star
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Old 01-31-2018, 04:38 PM   #17
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Wachuko—— yes that is the type hitch adapter I use. A Smart Car weighs under
2,000 pounds, I also had concern re quality of Harbor Freight items but so far have not seen any signs of fatigue. RakAttak does say NOT to use it for towing, it is a
very well made sturdy piece of equipment and I think he doesn’t want to ever get in any liability issues. Great price around $400.00 to my door. It also works great with a tray attached to it for transporting items you want that would crowd or dirty up the interior of your AI. For safety sake I put lights on the tray and on the bicycle rack and plug those into the 4 pronged electrical and my Smart Car into the
7 prong receptacle. Sooooo easy. AEW
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:35 PM   #18
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Swagman bike rack

I Use this rack to carry my 2 bikes and tow a 14' zodiac. It has just enough clearance to open only the rh door.
It is also rv rated. Works very good and very solid when used with a hitch anti- rattle clamp

https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch_Bike_...an/S64664.html
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Old 02-11-2018, 01:57 PM   #19
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This is how we carry our tandem bike. Click image for larger version

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Old 06-02-2020, 05:51 PM   #20
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Bike Rack Airstream Interstate

I know I'm late to this party, but this a continuing topic. We're waiting on 2020 AS Interstate GT EXT. I like looks of Rakattach set-up. Thinking of getting 2 e-bikes, plus the rack; all this adds 220-250 pounds to back of van. Has anyone heard of problems with 1) scraping bumper area when going over dips in road, driveway, potholes? and 2) porpoising when going down highway?
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