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Old 06-16-2020, 09:20 AM   #1
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Johnson City , Tennessee
Join Date: Apr 2020
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Hitch to AS

So I really want to use my hitch mounted bike rack. Saw that Cliffs out of Mesa AZ has done some work to some youtubers. What has everyone else’s experience been like? Anyone use this?

What would be some suggestions?
Don’t want to use tow vehicle. Looking for only hitching to rear of AS
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Old 06-16-2020, 09:49 AM   #2
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1986 31' Sovereign
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For years the accepted wisdom was “do not put a hitch on the back of your Airstream”. The main reason offered is that the arm/moment that far behind the axles leads to excessive loads which will damage the frame and/or cause shell to frame separation.

The Fiamma rack that Airstream now sells/installs gets around that by also having an attachment point on the semi-monocoque shell.

Having said that, there are folks (hopefully some will weigh in) that have done exactly what you propose to do with no ill effects.

Personally, I wouldn’t do it. I figure that if the Airstream engineers went with the Fiamma, there was a reason for it.
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Old 06-16-2020, 11:09 AM   #3
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I ran some stress and strain numbers and I can say the Airstream engineers are not concerned about the hitch, any added platform or a couple of bikes, but there is an engineering design principle that the attached devices should be weaker than both the mount and what it is mounted to. Since this is not the case, and the rear frame can flex too much especially if the device added to the receiver extends backward a ways and say gets rear ended or bottoms out badly or even if someone overloads the receiver with a large basket with heavy items. So if this happens the aluminum sheets are likely get creased.

So If you're willing to take that risk, this is a fine option.
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Old 06-16-2020, 11:09 AM   #4
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Problem is that with that rack you are super limited: only 2 bikes and a gigantor rack that has no other uses
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Old 06-16-2020, 12:34 PM   #5
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There is always a front hitch option, I went that way, not perfect either. But I could use my existing rack and there was a bolt-on hitch for my rig. There are lots of threads on this topic too. Hope you find a solution!
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Old 06-16-2020, 02:17 PM   #6
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I went front hitch. The bikes get filthy but that is the only down side.
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