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Old 12-01-2020, 07:26 PM   #1
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2009 16' International
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 9
installing bike mount bike carrier

im not seeing any hitch mounted bicycle carriers being used. I'm just wondering why?
my plan was to install a 2" receiver hitch on the rear of my airstream, in order to carry a bike rack and 2 bicycles.
any suggestions... why or why not?
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:44 PM   #2
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1972 23' Safari
Middletown , Rhode Island
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Oh no....

Oh no here we go again... ha ha there's been a whole lot of debate of putting extra weight on the rear frame of a airstream on this forum, from possible frame separation to wag the tail sort of problems. Here's a pretty good video to explain weight transfer on a travel trailer.
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:56 PM   #3
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Seattle , Washington
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I mounted a 2 inch hitch on my 25ccd and am using a velocirax rack to carry four mountain bikes. It works great!
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Old 12-02-2020, 05:32 AM   #4
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2000 30' Excella
GTA , Ontario
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaireBambi View Post
im not seeing any hitch mounted bicycle carriers being used. I'm just wondering why?
my plan was to install a 2" receiver hitch on the rear of my airstream, in order to carry a bike rack and 2 bicycles.
any suggestions... why or why not?
I was advised by Kirk and Andy at Can Am to not put a hitch in the back frame ( see KYD YouTube) and mount a bike carrier as the weight bouncing on the overhang can cause the aluminum skin to crack and seperation from the frame due to flexing

They have seen this and repaired it
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Old 12-02-2020, 06:16 AM   #5
2020 Globetrotter 25 FBT
 
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2020 25' Globetrotter
Wildwood , Missouri
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I have a Curt hitch installed on the rear frame of my 25FB. The 25FB has a very high tongue weight compared to a 23FB. (Almost double). I donít think it effects stability with bikes on the back. Itís a rough ride back there though. Youíll need a stout bike carrier to do it. We use a Kuat (sp).
One benefit is the ability to take the bike carrier off the AS and put it on the truck if you want to take bikes elsewhere.
FYI, this has been asked and answered before. Iím not the best with the search function or Iíd pull up some older threads for you.
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:24 AM   #6
Icy
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2010 22' Sport
Sarnia , Ontario
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CanAm Rv mounted a bike carrier on the back of our 22 Sport. It was attached to the Airstream body. It work great, 2 27lb road bikes. We took the bikes all though the US and Canada with no problem.
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:27 AM   #7
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2018 16' Sport
St. Louis , Missouri
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We carry our two bikes inside. Fork attachments mounted to a board. Have made 3 long trips and no issues. Attached are pictures.
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Old 12-02-2020, 10:32 AM   #8
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I was going to start researching this same topic for our future Classic. I have both mountain and road and possible a tandem. I also wanted to mount a receiver also on the back so I can have the convenience of moving to my truck when i want it.
I then thought of putting a mount on the bed over the cover but the wind/rain/debris is hard on shifters and headset bearings but then I could buy a bra for the bikes. Then I thought why don't i just put them inside the camper when when we are traveling. That my be the best solution.
and by the way, you don't need a 2 inch receiver. Kuat, Yakima, Thule all make the smaller sized mounts too, even for four bikes.
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:16 AM   #9
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Aurora , Colorado
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For what it is worth, I put a Fiamma rack on the back of my 21' 23FBT and have been pleased with how it has performed, protected my bikes, and maintained its clean new look. I had it installed at the dealership, 1200 dollars total cost so not cheap but I think that it is attractive (for a bike rack) and also that it will add value to the rig when it is time to sell. My biggest concern about using a hitch rack on the back of the trailer was the impact of the bumpy/undulating roads and the pressures/stress that would put on the aluminum - especially if hauling more than one bike. The Fiamma distributes the weight/pressure across various areas/of the trailer (bumper and body) so that no excess pressure is focused in one area. Also nice that it folds up out of the way when not in use and, makes a great towel dryer too. Best of luck to you.
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:24 AM   #10
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I wouldn't do it

I put a receiver on the back of my 23' International FB and put a carrier and two bikes on it. First time out, trailer fishtailed going downhill for first time ever. Had to apply brake controller to regain control. Scary moment. Will not use it again. Put too much weight on the rear of the trailer as many others have noted. NOT a good idea in my experience. There are solutions for a front mount that you should consider.
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:26 AM   #11
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2015 25' FB Flying Cloud
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This may be the best solution yet...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sport 16 STL View Post
We carry our two bikes inside. Fork attachments mounted to a board. Have made 3 long trips and no issues. Attached are pictures.

After trying to figure out the best way to carry our bikes. Yours seems to make the most sense. Could you send some additional pics of it, and how to best tie it down for travel.

thanks,
hdeitz@austin.rr.com
2015 FC25FB
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:42 AM   #12
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2006 30' Classic S/O
Tucson , Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sport 16 STL View Post
We carry our two bikes inside. Fork attachments mounted to a board. Have made 3 long trips and no issues. Attached are pictures.
We carry our bikes inside also but used threaded screw mount or receiver for fork mount. Has worked well for 3 years and 40,000 miles. The only additional comment is, it is an added step in set up and pack up and sometimes it is a pain if it is wet and muddy. Much less wear and tear on bikes.
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Old 12-02-2020, 11:50 AM   #13
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2013 30' Classic
Key West , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTChapmon View Post
I was going to start researching this same topic for our future Classic. I have both mountain and road and possible a tandem. I also wanted to mount a receiver also on the back so I can have the convenience of moving to my truck when i want it.
I then thought of putting a mount on the bed over the cover but the wind/rain/debris is hard on shifters and headset bearings but then I could buy a bra for the bikes. Then I thought why don't i just put them inside the camper when when we are traveling. That my be the best solution.
and by the way, you don't need a 2 inch receiver. Kuat, Yakima, Thule all make the smaller sized mounts too, even for four bikes.



I contracted a local welding shop to professionally install a 2" receiver on the rear of my 2013 Classic, which works great, and did not impact towing stability.



However, be aware that the 2" receiver, and consequently anything you mount in it, will become the lowest point at the rear. The lowest point at the trailer rear end is the tail drag contact point during certain maneuvers and therefor must be strong (heavy) enough to carry the full tail weight. For the smaller lighter weight trailers, mounting a 2" receiver may not be the best solution.
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:00 PM   #14
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2016 16' Sport
Miami , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdeitz View Post
After trying to figure out the best way to carry our bikes. Yours seems to make the most sense. Could you send some additional pics of it, and how to best tie it down for travel.

thanks,
hdeitz@austin.rr.com
2015 FC25FB
Before the Fiama rack I just placed one bike on the dinette without the cushions and then a heavy moving blanket and the other on top. Easy, no scratches, no tie downs and nothing to build.
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:00 PM   #15
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2019 27' Tommy Bahama
Ocean Pines , Maryland
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Bicycles and Airstreams

We have a 2019 Tommy Bahama and wanted to somehow transport two bikes on our Toyota Sequoia when we went camping. Initially, we had two Trek bikes and were able to use a Thule Trunk Bike Rack which, when placed high on the trunk of the Sequoia. Although it was rather awkward, it was doable at least until we got older. We traded in our Trek bikes for two Rad Power Ebikes although at that point the trunk rack was untenable. We finally decided to put a 2" front hitch with a Saris Superclamp Ex2 to take the two electric bikes on a camping trip to Maine and Massachusetts. No issues whatever and just about everything except for the bike frames were covered and protected.
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Old 12-02-2020, 12:05 PM   #16
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2015 28' Flying Cloud
Box Elder , South Dakota
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If you dare ....



I accidentally ran across this video when looking for something else on YouTube. I contacted the couple and he sent me some drawings. I fully intend to do this to my FC28, just haven't found the time (what with moving and COVID-19, and not having a garage and tools any more--and just stuff getting in the way as I near retirement).

This topic has been covered ad nauseum on AirForums--and it has generated a LOT of controversy and heated replies. I wrote once about how many AirStream owners are very much like many H-D owners--in that many are LOATHE to put anything not made by H-D on their bikes and would NEVER have anyone but the dealer do the installation. It's a motorcycle, for chrissakes. An AirStream is a camper trailer, for chrissakes. They're both expensive and American Icons and part of our heritage and national identity. Whilst traveling the highways of the US this summer with my FC28 I saw three AS's with rear hitch mounts--two for bicycles, and one for a generator (a small inverter generator). I spoke with the owner of the rear hitch-mounted inverter generator and he said in 8 years of towing with the generator mounted there he had never had an instance of sway or loss of control. (He uses an Equalizer weight-distribution hitch as do I.) He did have two straps that helped prevent "hitch jiggling" but he started with those, and doesn't know what it would be like without them. He's been admonished and yelled at, he said, and he was actually very reluctant to talk to me--fearing I might be trying to "save him from himself." We chuckled about that as we wished each continued safe travels.

Is this for everyone? Certainly not. I'm an engineer, and I think the idea in the video is very stable and will not affect my towing stability--and I plan to have two bicycles on the rack. Not up high, and not hanging a long ways out from the bumper, and I may even add straps to keep them from "jiggling" as many bikes on hitch-mounted carriers do on cars and pick-ups.

There are pictures of camper trailer rollovers that some people repeatedly post to AirForums threads to scare others off (some should be scared, but, others seem to understand the statics and dynamics of rear hitch-mounts).

I'm sure some of them will, having little better to do, post the same pic to this thread sooner rather than later. Get a good hitch made (like the one in the video). The hitch should be firmly mounted in the frame rails as in the video. I read that some people machine their mount's shank so that it doesn't "jiggle" in the receiver (that's my biggest concern, personally). Don't care for bikes, or two heavy e-bikes that are too far from the bumper. BE proactive and use a couple of straps depending on how the bikes are held by the bike rack you choose, and attach the straps to the corners of the bumpers (the gentleman I talked to had permanent eyebolts mounted to the frame rails to attach the straps to.

And enjoy your camping trailer. After all, that's what it is. (My personal opinion is that the Fiamma racks can--and have!--damaged the aluminum skin if "overloaded." AND, they block egress through the rear window in an emergency--especially if bikes are locked in the rack. Another thing to consider when installing a rack on the rear of an AS.)
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Old 12-02-2020, 01:49 PM   #17
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Tampa , Florida
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The YouTube family KYD just completed a lap around the US towing their Airstream 30 bunk.
Before they started they violated all the rules and installed a bike rack. They love it and haven't experienced any negative frame issues.
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Old 12-02-2020, 02:01 PM   #18
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2017 30' Classic
Anna Maria , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultraclassic View Post
I was advised by Kirk and Andy at Can Am to not put a hitch in the back frame ( see KYD YouTube) and mount a bike carrier as the weight bouncing on the overhang can cause the aluminum skin to crack and seperation from the frame due to flexing

They have seen this and repaired it
Capitol BS.
I have installed a 2" receiver on all 3 of my Airstream trailers, 28', 30', 30', and a 2 bike Saris bike carrier since 2012 cobmined weight 170 lbs. Never had any problems whatsoever.
I bet they will be very happy to sell you a Fiama in a hearthbeat.
If an Airstream frame and body is that fragile they shouldnt be on the road.
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:12 PM   #19
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

We have wandered a bit from some really small trailers to people talking about 30 or 33' Classics .... At least on the Classics, this is not a good idea. The frame is long and it is heavily loaded. Adding weight out on the tail end is asking for (long term) trouble.

Will you see the issue in the first year (or three) ? Maybe not. Frame cracks are hard to spot when they first start out. You only get "the word" once they are pretty far gone ....

----

Stability on the Classic takes some working with the weights you load. Adding anything to the back of the trailer makes for a very noticeable degradation in stability. It took us a few trips before we figured that out ....

Bob
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Old 12-02-2020, 03:31 PM   #20
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Katy , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Stability on the Classic takes some working with the weights you load. Adding anything to the back of the trailer makes for a very noticeable degradation in stability. It took us a few trips before we figured that out
Bob

I just recently parted ways with a FC30. I never had any stability issues, no matter how we packed it. Mine was a front bed, so we tended to be front-heavy since our major storage space was in front. Do you s'pose your stability issues are due to the rear bed configuration?
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