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Old 08-14-2020, 05:08 PM   #1
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Receiver hitch for bike rack

I own a 2012 Bambi 16' Sport that has no rear bumper. Is it possible/advisable to mount a receiver hitch so that I can attach a bicycle rack to the rear of my Airstream? I'd be carrying a max of two bicycles that weighed 100 lbs. total. Thanks for any advice. John
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Old 08-14-2020, 05:37 PM   #2
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You should try the search function...you’ll get all the information you need. It’s easy to do.
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Old 08-15-2020, 08:03 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice, but Iíve tried a few different searches and nothing has come up. Iím a newbie so Iím probably doing something wrong. John
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Old 08-15-2020, 08:15 AM   #4
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It’s not a good idea. It’s not the 100 pounds. (plus the weight of the rack) Its that you have all that weight way aft that will likely flex back and forth and could cause sway problems. Take note of trailers on the highway with similar setups. Many on here will have a different opinion. Consider all of them. Do some searches and make your own decision. If you must do it make sure you buy a rack that is approved for RVs.
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Old 08-15-2020, 08:16 AM   #5
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Have you seen the Jack-It 2 bike rack?
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Old 08-15-2020, 08:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. John View Post
I own a 2012 Bambi 16' Sport that has no rear bumper. Is it possible/advisable to mount a receiver hitch so that I can attach a bicycle rack to the rear of my Airstream? I'd be carrying a max of two bicycles that weighed 100 lbs. total. Thanks for any advice. John
How many 16' Sport models have you seen with a rear-bumper-mounted bike rack?
How many 16' Sport models have you seen with a rear-mounted receiver?
How many 16' Sport models have you seen that even have a rear bumper to mount anything on?
If you answer those three questions honestly, you will have your answer.
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Old 08-15-2020, 08:59 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by overlander63 View Post
How many 16' Sport models have you seen with a rear-bumper-mounted bike rack?
How many 16' Sport models have you seen with a rear-mounted receiver?
How many 16' Sport models have you seen that even have a rear bumper to mount anything on?
If you answer those three questions honestly, you will have your answer.
I believe he said there is no rear bumper but I get where your going.
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Old 08-15-2020, 09:55 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. John View Post
I own a 2012 Bambi 16' Sport that has no rear bumper. Is it possible/advisable to mount a receiver hitch so that I can attach a bicycle rack to the rear of my Airstream? I'd be carrying a max of two bicycles that weighed 100 lbs. total. Thanks for any advice. John
get bike rack.... then mount it, you can stand on bumper RIGHT, make sense ?
been done many many times..
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Old 08-15-2020, 10:05 AM   #9
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Old 08-15-2020, 10:07 AM   #10
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Front?

Considering the weight and balance sensitivity of a relatively short single axle trailer, and unknowns regarding the underlying structure (at least unknown to me!) at the rear of the coach, have you thought about adding a receiver hitch to the front of the tow vehicle?
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Old 08-15-2020, 11:08 AM   #11
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Bumper Bike Hitch

We purchased a new 2019 27'FC. After reading reviews of the bike hitch that AS offers, I ruled it out. There are a couple of YouTube channels where the owners have had fabricators install steel tubing with a receiver hitch "tube??" under their bumper and then bought a regular bike rack. It would let me still have access to my bumper storage. I thought this would be ideal. I contacted a highly respected Air Stream repairman in my area and asked if he could fabricate one for me. His reply was that type of setup would eventually cause floor separation from the cabin allowing water to cause damage. I've dropped the idea of taking bikes with us for now.
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Old 08-15-2020, 11:56 AM   #12
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I’d put a front receiver hitch on my TV and carry the bikes there.
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Old 08-15-2020, 12:50 PM   #13
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get bike rack.... then mount it, you can stand on bumper RIGHT, make sense ?
been done many many times..
Tough to stand on the number when there isnít one.
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Old 08-15-2020, 12:53 PM   #14
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Putting the bikes on the back of the trailer might work with a rack that attaches to the trailer skin but that means drilling and mounting the brackets and those tend to max out at 75 lbs. You could have a cross member added to the skid brackets that are under the rear of the trailer and then a receiver mount attached to the and then a receiver style bike rack could be installed. This would allow for use of a Thule or similar and probably be able to carry more weight. Also, this would be a custom install.

A rear rack does change the loading of the trailer. Adding over 100 lbs to the rear of the trailer means a lighter tongue and can introduce stability issues if more weight is not added or moved in front of the axle.

A trailer jack style rack does offer some advantages as it puts the weight on the tongue and increases the tongue weight which is better for stability. You will need to make sure that this weight does not go up too much to exceed the tow vehicle capacity on the hitch weight.

You haven't said what your tow vehicle is so the discussion around a front hitch might be premature. If you have a truck, this could work as well. One thing I would think about is the mess of bugs all over the bikes unless you put a cover on them.

The last option would be a roof rack on the tow vehicle.

You have lots of choices when it comes to racks and placement. It really comes down to what works best for you. In my case I will be adding bike carriers to my box cover on my truck so I can still carry my kayaks.
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Old 08-15-2020, 01:16 PM   #15
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Love my front hitch bike rack. Bad idea to put *anything* on the rear of an Airstream.
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Old 08-15-2020, 01:45 PM   #16
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I considered adding a class 3 hitch to the back of my 2017 16 ft. Bambi, for the purpose of hauling bikes. Sent an email to Airstream, they did not recommend it but did not give a reason. I looked into it a little more, turns out the Bambi has a 3500 lb. torsion axle. The manufactured weight of my Bambi is 3028 lbs, leaving 472 lbs max for cargo. Adding a hitch, bike rack, and bikes would use most or all of this remaining axle capacity. A rear bike rack also adds cantilevered weight to the rear of the trailer, increasing risk for trailer sway. Bottom line, it can be done, if you’re willing to build the hitch, replace the axle, and add a Hensley anti-sway hitch to the front.
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Old 08-15-2020, 02:13 PM   #17
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The cantilever effect of the weight of your bikes plus the carrier will most likely cause forces that will work negatively against its attachment point and on the rear of the trailer.

The Fiamma/Airstream designed Carry Bike is attached at two points on the bumper and two points on the body frame vertical uprights. The carrier weighs 25 pounds and has a max capacity of 75 pounds. Of course you need a bumper for this to work.

Two friends of mine had Airstream dealers weld receivers under their rear bumpers. Welds on both installations failed.
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Old 08-15-2020, 03:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Adiredneck View Post
Love my front hitch bike rack. Bad idea to put *anything* on the rear of an Airstream.
This is what I've done:
1) Advantage is you don't have the bikes so high that they are hard to get up and down off the rack.
2) The bike rack can go with you if you aren't pulling the trailer. Either keep it attached to front or put on the back.
3) Getting a front hitch and installation is about $250; depending upon type of vehicle. Curt makes a good one that I have. No welding necessary. Just have to cut a hole in the spoiler under the front. No big deal. But I had mine installed by dealer.
4) May also come in handy for other applications.

Disadvantage:
1) if you drive at night it will somewhat affect your view of the road. but not much. Most people don't tow much at night. We have a long enough trailer that I put them in the trailer and secure them if I have to. I also do this when it is raining.
2) You will acquire more bugs on the bikes. Easy to wash off, but they will be there.
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Old 08-15-2020, 03:42 PM   #19
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This is another one of those ongoing discussions. Should you or shouldn't you install a hitch to carry your bikes off the back of your Airstream? I went with a Fiamma Rack.
Here is how it was explained to me. We see White Box trailers going down the road with this setup. A WB has a much more robust frame under it. The whole trailer sits on top of this frame and it is plenty rigid. An Airstream gains its integral strength from the frame and the body attached to the frame. It is that monocoque construction that gives Airstreams their strength.

Now, attach something just to the frame and all of the torque and added weight as you bounce down the road is asking for trouble. Yes, some have done it but I personally wouldn't want to take the chance. This is the same reasoning why you shouldn't put a platform on the back and load it with a generator and firewood. I have actually seen one of these setups going down the road. I would like to know how that individual is doing after a year or two pounding their frame.
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Old 08-15-2020, 04:10 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Dr. John View Post
I own a 2012 Bambi 16' Sport that has no rear bumper. Is it possible/advisable to mount a receiver hitch so that I can attach a bicycle rack to the rear of my Airstream? I'd be carrying a max of two bicycles that weighed 100 lbs. total. Thanks for any advice. John
We are considering putting a tow hitch on the front of our TV, and having the bikes up front.
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