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Old 05-31-2013, 06:10 AM   #21
Rivet Master
Wingeezer's Avatar
2005 30' Classic
Burlington , Ontario
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 2,743
Originally Posted by draggootom View Post
Thank you all for your input and suggestions, pictures and links. Most didn't work for one reason or another -- or I just didn't want to spend that much money -- so I ended up buying a front hitch for my 2003 Yukon XL for about $140, installed it myself and was able to retain the front tow hooks. It'll support 500 lbs which is way more than our Bike Friday tandem so we're good to go. I had to promise my wife I'd clean all the bugs and dirt of her end of the bike before she got on it and I guess that's doable!

Not such a bad solution. I've been carrying our bikes that way for 15 years on three different tow vehicles with no problems at all yet.

No perfect answer,


Pro's include
- very easy access,
- no risk of damage to trailer
- easy to keep an eye on the bikes,
- can use on the back of the truck when not towing.

Cons include
- possibly not legal technically - could be said to obstruct vision and/or headlights.
- bikes may get dirtier than some other methods
- might not be as suitable with a smaller tow vehicle.

From my standpoint, I have cut and re0welded the bike carrier to drop it down and I barely see the handlebars above the hood line. If bike wheels cut light from headlights, it is minimal - we rarely are on the road at night anyway. Over all the years I have never had any issue with police about the bikes being there - could happen I suppose though.

Our bikes are inexpensive mountain bikes about 15 years old, so a bit of dirt or a few bugs isn't an issue for us. I'm sure it would be for serious bike riders with very expensive bikes.

Brian & Connie Mitchell

2005 Classic 30'
Hensley Arrow / Centramatics
2008 GMC Sierra SLT 2500HD,4x4,Crew Cab, Diesel, Leer cap.
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:14 AM   #22
4 Rivet Member
fltlevel510's Avatar
2004 30' Classic Slideout
Between Here , And There
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 379
Swagmann Ball Mount Rack

We have been using the Swagmann Ball Mount rack for the past 4 years with great luck. This is a three bike rack but can only carry 2 bikes with complete clearance of the lp tanks during turns. Having the rack on the truck vs the airstream we can travel to biking trails easily. Can get this one reasonable at trailer about $100

Swagman 3 Bike Carrier Ball Hole Mounted Bike Rack Swagman Hitch Bike Racks S64101
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:13 AM   #23
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KJRitchie's Avatar
2008 25' Classic
Full Time , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4,309
I checked my Tundra bumper and there is a plastic cover over the bumper and I can't see anything thing from below because of the receiver hitch is blocking the view. I can't see how I could get a bolt in there and a wrench to tighten it. I might have to drop the spare tire.

I checked out the video of this bike mount on eTrailer. The one issue I see is the clamp for the bikes. Because it is one mount for all the bikes rather than individual clamps you are not able to adjust each bike angle on the rack to accommodate different frame types . If you have Men's bikes with the straight frame then no issues but if you have a Women's bike frame also then there may be an issue and one tire is up in the air and the other much lower and maybe not clearing the bumper. They should make this bike rack with individual bike clamps, like their XP model. I don't think we could use the XP towing our AS.
Swagman XP Towing Rack - Folding 3 Bike Rack for 2" Trailer Hitches Swagman Hitch Bike Racks S64955

I don't have any bikes yet so I could buy two men's bikes but I think my wife would prefer more of an open frame.

I'm looking at folding bikes and they come in all price ranges from Camping World's $150 but they weigh over 40 lbs to Montague, Brompton, Dahon, Tern. I'd like to use a bike for exercise at home so I'd prefer a full size bike vs one with 16" or 20" wheels but those size folding bikes are very expensive.

The Fiamma rack on the AS is expensive and if you also have to have it installed that adds to the expense. I'm not sure I could install it correctly. I'll have to look at my neighbors AS next to mine in storage more closely before making any decisions.

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Old 06-04-2013, 10:18 AM   #24
Rivet Master
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2008 25' Classic
Full Time , Texas
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 4,309
Does the Swagman carrier allow you to open the tailgate once the bikes are removed.

After looking at this, folding bikes the big con is finding a full size bike and then finding storage in the pickup bed with my bed cover. This means laying the folded bike down which takes up floor space and with I'm not sure I can stack two on top of each other and full size folding bikes are expensive. I'll have to test ride a 20" folding bike to see how they work.

I like the idea of the bikes on the rear and I suppose this would allow more flexibility in bike purchases; mens and women's, hybrid vs mountain or whatever, leave more storage in the TV and no extra weight on the hitch. I just wish I could trust anyone in DFW to install this. I wonder if North Dallas RV would be the best. They are an Airstream repair shop.

I read on the AS store website the Fiamma bike rack has two models, one for the FC and Internationals and another for Classic and Excellas. I guess the main difference is the mounting brackets for the bumper.

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