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Old 08-25-2018, 09:18 AM   #61
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2017 30' Classic
Anna Maria , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pteck View Post
Ah, was waiting for this to come in to finish my install. The magic rivet nut, or rivnut. Just what I need to secure against the far blind cross member. No need to open up the belly pan there.
Attachment 320690

Here's my completed and painted hitch. Ready for install.
Attachment 320691
Show off :-) , great job.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:19 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by franklyfrank View Post
Show off :-) , great job.
Appreciate it.

This is how other forums I participate in do it: share, tell, and collaborate. It's more useful than the trolling and bickering that I see on a certain nameless forum.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:28 AM   #63
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Not sure if you are referring to warnings that custom rear hitches may violate Airstream's design parameters, as discussed earlier in this thread?

Nice job on yours!

Peter
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:37 AM   #64
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This is why I went through all this trouble. I have special requirements to accommodate a tandem bike. The turn key AS solutions just didn't allow for this. Even this Yakima rack (FourTimer), is modified with an extended platform to accommodate the long wheelbase of the tandem. It still sits within the width of the travel trailer.

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The FourTimer is actually a 4 bike carrier. As most know, the dynamic loads on the rear end of a travel trailer are something wicked. So the majority of bike racks are not rated for the job. The FourTimer is rated for 4 bikes @45lbs, So it has enough structure to handle 2 lightweight bikes without it's +2 add on.

More detail on the hitch/rack:

1) Stored position. I personally think this is a better look than the Fiama or AS/Can-AM permanently installed rack.
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2) Deployed
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3) In terms of the cantilever, it's right up tight against the bumper. If you look at the profile shots of the Fiama's, the cantilever is just about the same, as the limiting dimension is the handlebars against the shell. So ultimate weight distribution and torsional loads on the structure is similar. Obviously, this solution channels the forces differently. I didn't bother putting my childs second bike on, but it'll work nicely as it does on my SUV.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:51 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Not sure if you are referring to warnings that custom rear hitches may violate Airstream's design parameters, as discussed earlier in this thread?

Nice job on yours!

Peter
Thanks for your concern. I am more than fully aware, and have take them into serious consideration. For the general population, these concerns and warnings should not be taken lightly. Any application of this should consider the overall situation and potential impacts.

I don't mean to boast, but I am not afraid, and regularly modify things for my own purposes. I am an Engineer by trade, and my profession is to design and make things work. Much more complicated things that can fall out of sky with serious money and safety implications. Consideration for level or rigor and safety critical design is not lost on me.
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Old 08-25-2018, 04:02 PM   #66
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Looks really good.

It is in nice and close to the trailer, but can still move fore and aft at the top of the bike as it bounces. Have you considered adding a removable longitudinal strut from the trailer to the tandem’s top tube? I understand Can Am uses an awning strut mount. Combined with a round tube strut and clamp, pinned at the trailer end, that would replicate the stiffness of the other racks, while accommodating the tandem and being very neat when running empty.

Understand the challenges with a tandem, ours was a CoMotion Supremo, now sold. We carried it on the roof of the SUV, but it was only 30 lbs or so.
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Old 08-25-2018, 04:16 PM   #67
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Dude. Wicked impressed. Very nice work here.
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Old 08-26-2018, 09:09 AM   #68
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Thanks everyone, it was an enjoyable project!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcl View Post
Looks really good.
It is in nice and close to the trailer, but can still move fore and aft at the top of the bike as it bounces. Have you considered adding a removable longitudinal strut from the trailer to the tandem’s top tube? I understand Can Am uses an awning strut mount. Combined with a round tube strut and clamp, pinned at the trailer end, that would replicate the stiffness of the other racks, while accommodating the tandem and being very neat when running empty.

Understand the challenges with a tandem, ours was a CoMotion Supremo, now sold. We carried it on the roof of the SUV, but it was only 30 lbs or so.
Glad to hear of another that enjoys tandems! Those CoMotions are very nice bikes. My family and I are casual riders. Though we do tow a child trailer with the tandem.

I'm not particularly worried about the limited oscillations that will take place, unless it's at a resonant frequency that I can't tell yet. With the way things are mounted across two frame members, the rack having a screw tight hitch pin, the addition of the anti-wobble screw, things should be very snug.

It's worth some thought though. The Fiama and AS racks use superior geometry with additional mounting points for stability, vs hitch type racks that utilize superior structure through a single point.

I've considered a couple bungee cords between the bike and awning struts as just a bit more support. Another thing I could do is use a hitch tightener to secure the rack to the rear bumper, which will now positively connect 3 cross beams. I don't believe I'll need either, but they're potential additional improvements.

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Next upgrade is a rear view camera. Not primarily to watch the bikes, but that will give me more feedback on how things are doing back there.
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Old 08-26-2018, 10:11 AM   #69
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We used an ATOC tandem topper with a fork mount on our Thule roof rack. It is now sold by Thule as I understand it. We also have Thule fork mount racks, and wheel holders, mounted there. We monitor the bikes via the panoramic moonroof, and watch them move in the wind. We recently bought two Specialized Sequoia adventure touring bikes, which are heavier and require the use of fork adaptors due to the axle through bolts. They move around while underway even more, likely due to the greater weight.

Camera sounds like a good idea.
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:49 PM   #70
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Yes I am a engineer too, retired this year. I too am confident in my abilities, but also appreciate the openness in a form and sharing that goes on from any and all frame of reference.


Thanks again,
Steve
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:27 PM   #71
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I went with a similar approach as pteck but I have my two gray tanks in the rear and needed to add cross support in order to mount it.

The center tube is 48”.


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Old 09-24-2018, 07:31 PM   #72
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Lol

This post makes me laugh. Sometimes the more education people have, the less common sense.

If an AS can't handle a small 20 lb bike rack with 2 bikes mounted on the rear, then I think you will have far bigger different problems with your beloved AS down the road, LOL

Oh, and I'm a Mechanical Design/Mfg. Engineer for one of the big auto companies.

David
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Old 09-24-2018, 07:53 PM   #73
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Thumbs up



. . . falling on deaf ears, doncha know . . .

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Old 09-24-2018, 10:03 PM   #74
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Originally Posted by Louieless View Post
This post makes me laugh. Sometimes the more education people have, the less common sense.

If an AS can't handle a small 20 lb bike rack with 2 bikes mounted on the rear, then I think you will have far bigger different problems with your beloved AS down the road, LOL

Oh, and I'm a Mechanical Design/Mfg. Engineer for one of the big auto companies.

David
What makes you think an AS can't handle what you're stating, when the factory has approved racks to do so? Unless you're talking about vintage models that were built lighter.

Engineering is about taking an idea, solving the problems, and making it work. Sure, there's some risk involved, but with enough engineering, issues, problems, and risks can be mitigated. If we all kept within our own boundaries, we'd never fly to the moon.

BTW, in my professional world, I engineer things a bit more complicated than land bound vehicles.
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Old 09-25-2018, 08:03 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Louieless View Post
This post makes me laugh. Sometimes the more education people have, the less common sense.

If an AS can't handle a small 20 lb bike rack with 2 bikes mounted on the rear, then I think you will have far bigger different problems with your beloved AS down the road, LOL

Oh, and I'm a Mechanical Design/Mfg. Engineer for one of the big auto companies.

David
I am not a mechanical engineer but applying a bit of common sense brought me to the same conclusion. I have had a non Airstream approved bike rack and hitch for six years now bouncing around back there without any issues.
I also learned to ignore the nonsense posted here regularly about that and many other subjects.
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Old 02-09-2020, 06:12 AM   #76
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Pteck,
How the nick rack holding up. Been a little over a year and I was wondering how many miles you’ve towed with it and how it’s hanging back there?
Thanks for the update in advance.
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:20 PM   #77
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Pteck,
How the nick rack holding up. Been a little over a year and I was wondering how many miles you’ve towed with it and how it’s hanging back there?
Thanks for the update in advance.
Yes, it's been a good year. Several big trips along with many little ones. Generally up into the mountains so windy and bumpy secondary mountain roads are the norm for me. About 2,500 miles in total.

Rack is doing great! I've had friends caravan and follow along. I can also see a good part of the handle bars in my trailer rear video camera. No untoward resonance to mention and it's all holding up great. Checked all the running gear, bolts, and drum tight. Trailer stability hasn't changed a bit, but I'll say it's also because I've offset any possible rearward shift in weight by the addition of 2x 6V golf cart batts and my Honda eu2200i generator on the tongue.

Calling this a success. Rear bumper storage is still fully accessible with no space lost. Bikes are held securely in place.
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Old 12-13-2020, 10:41 AM   #78
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Glad to see the positive feedback from Pteck on his hitch.

My 25FB came with a dealer installed rear hitch. According to the previous owner, the installer cut off the plates at both ends of the storages and welded the hitch assembly. The previous owner used the hitch to carry bikes as well.

I am also trying to figure out how to carry a tandem by using the hitch and it seems to me that finding a solid tandem rack is quite a big challenge.

Jason
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Old 12-13-2020, 10:50 AM   #79
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FYI

just like the FIAMMA rack, it best to have some upper support on the back ( ie close to the rear lights where the vertical AS internal frames are)

this helps resisting twisting and torque movement as your are driving.
the tongue moment will try to lift the front end as the bike moves back and forth

my 2 cent as a long term Professional Engineer
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Old 12-14-2020, 01:10 AM   #80
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Originally Posted by waninae39 View Post
FYI

just like the FIAMMA rack, it best to have some upper support on the back ( ie close to the rear lights where the vertical AS internal frames are)

this helps resisting twisting and torque movement as your are driving.
the tongue moment will try to lift the front end as the bike moves back and forth

my 2 cent as a long term Professional Engineer
Glad we think alike.

As I have a rear awning, I do use a couple bungee cords looped around the awning support at the lower bracket to tie into the bikes. My tandem is pretty wide, so I tie the bikes in at the furthest extents which is the wheels. The hitch hasn't moved a bit but to your point, with cantilevered and twisting weights hung off the back, more stability and support, particularly to the monocoque shell, can only help.

I don't have a direct picture of it, but you can see them in use here
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