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Old 05-25-2022, 02:05 PM   #1
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Ebike Hitch

I know Airstream doesn't recommend a hitch on the rear, but has anyone welded a hitch to the frame on the rear of the trailer to support a couple e-bikes? Total weight for bikes would be about 130-140#'s. I would think if it was installed properly there wouldn't be an issue?
Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2022, 03:25 PM   #2
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Cottonwood,
check out the video from Keep Your Daydream on their Airstream bumper modification with a hitch welded in. Fast forward to 6:38 to see the fabricator doing the install.

A word of caution: hanging that much weight beyond the end of the trailer can cause issues with trailer sway. Itís like a pendulum that will wag the dog.

We went a different direction and put two full size eBikes between the twin beds. I made it out of 2x8 lumber and a pair of Kuat Dirtbag fork mounts. Keeps them safe from the weather, prying eyes and no worries about weight hanging off the back.

Good luck with your quest!
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Old 05-25-2022, 04:06 PM   #3
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Cottwood-


Check these out:


https://www.airforums.com/forums/f54...ck-233506.html

https://www.torklift.com/tailored-hitch
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Old 05-25-2022, 07:06 PM   #4
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Cottonwood,
check out the video from Keep Your Daydream on their Airstream bumper modification with a hitch welded in. Fast forward to 6:38 to see the fabricator doing the install.

A word of caution: hanging that much weight beyond the end of the trailer can cause issues with trailer sway. Itís like a pendulum that will wag the dog.

We went a different direction and put two full size eBikes between the twin beds. I made it out of 2x8 lumber and a pair of Kuat Dirtbag fork mounts. Keeps them safe from the weather, prying eyes and no worries about weight hanging off the back.

Good luck with your quest!
. I am wondering how much issue I would have with sway? I will use a weight/anti sway distribution hitch. We are only getting a 25 ft trailer and pulling it with a 3/4 ton ram diesel pickup that weighs around 7700 #s.

I would think with that light of a trailer itís not going to affect me much? I have motorcycle for the bed or I would put the ebikes there.
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Old 05-25-2022, 07:56 PM   #5
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Cottonwood, you definitely have enough tow vehicle to handle the trailer and weight distribution/anti-sway hitch will help too. The unknown is how much sway the bikes hanging off the back will add.

They’ll be several feet away from the bumper. Marc from KYD seems to be happy with his setup but he’s only got standard bikes on the back; not 135 lbs. of eBikes.

Towing speed will make a big difference too. If you keep it to a reasonable level (65 MPH or under) you’ll have less chance for sway. The older I get the more risk-adverse I am. The motorcycle in the bed, towing the AS with eBikes on the back would make me a little too anxious.

FYI: Several forum members chose folding eBikes that fit in 50 gal. totes and put them inside the trailer, truck bed or even the back seat of the truck. YMMV.
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Old 05-25-2022, 08:03 PM   #6
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Old 05-25-2022, 08:36 PM   #7
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The motorcycle only ways 325#. Truck payload is 2170. Is the hitch weight more than what airstream says it is? They say 875#. Even if it is a 1000#, I should be well under on payload. My wife and I weigh a combined 260#, plus a 12# dog. I don't know if that would have a bearing or not?
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Old 05-25-2022, 09:00 PM   #8
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Your real-world hitch weight will be closer to 1000 lbs. Our 27í GT is around 1100 lbs fully loaded including full fresh water tank. 25ís tend to be a little heavier on the tongue.

We tow with a gas RAM 2500 (2940 lbs. payload) and never felt any sway using a Blue Ox SwayPro and 1000 lbs. bars.

Itís too bad you canít fit the bikes in the truck bed along with the motorcycle (or leave the cycle at home?).
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Old 05-25-2022, 09:44 PM   #9
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I built this rack in the ďFiammaĒ style three years ago. It has carried two Pedago Platinum Interceptors for over 12000 miles and has held up well. Iím very happy with it. Itís made out of aluminum tubing and kee-light fittings.
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Old 05-26-2022, 02:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cottwood View Post
. I am wondering how much issue I would have with sway? I will use a weight/anti sway distribution hitch. We are only getting a 25 ft trailer and pulling it with a 3/4 ton ram diesel pickup that weighs around 7700 #s.

I would think with that light of a trailer itís not going to affect me much? I have motorcycle for the bed or I would put the ebikes there.
It's not just about how much weight your trailer and tow vehicle can handle. It's also about where that weight is carried.

You're talking about cantilevering 140 pounds off the rear bumper of the trailer, far away from the center of gravity and the axles. Even if it's well within the capacity of the trailer & TV, the further you put weight behind the axles, and the more weight you put there, the more you increase the likelihood of a sway event occurring.

There are good reasons Airstream doesn't recommend doing this.
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Old 05-26-2022, 06:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ephraim View Post
I built this rack in the ďFiammaĒ style three years ago. It has carried two Pedago Platinum Interceptors for over 12000 miles and has held up well. Iím very happy with it. Itís made out of aluminum tubing and kee-light fittings.
Attachment 416521Attachment 416522
Those Pedego's weigh 60-65 #'s a piece correct? Do you have any plans for building that rack? Have you had sway issues? What do you tow with? What trailer do you have? Did you weld a receiver on? What did it weight? What does the rack weigh? Thanks!
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Old 05-26-2022, 08:09 AM   #12
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Ebike Hitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cottwood View Post
Those Pedego's weigh 60-65 #'s a piece correct? Do you have any plans for building that rack? Have you had sway issues? What do you tow with? What trailer do you have? Did you weld a receiver on? What did it weight? What does the rack weigh? Thanks!


There is no set of plans though I could take some measurements and post them along with a parts list. I still consider this a ďbetaĒ version though I havenít made any changes to it in 18 months. There are some things I would do differently though. I have the Tim Allen syndrome and it is way overbuilt. I used too thick of tubing. (Equal to schedule 80 pipe) I would use schedule 40 aluminum pipe next time as that is what the fittings were designed for. The only welded portion is the base mounts where I fabricated two flanges to mount on the frame. Havenít found a better way to do that. The main support legs and the bicycle holding tray were bent on a tube bender. The rest was just ďmeasure and cut to fitĒ.

I did put an extra self tapping screw into each joint because I feared the set screw would back out but Iíd probably just use locktight if I built it again.

The actual wheel and bike frame clamps are Thule purchased off of their web site.

There have been zero sway issues with this carrier. When I first posted the first version of it on the forums, I believe one of the first comments was that it would cause sway and the trailer would roll. Iím still trying to figure out if that person was a chicken little impersonator or if the comment was sarcastic. After 12000 miles there have been no issues at all.

The airstream is a 30 Classic RBQ pulled by a 2006 Dodge Ram 2500 with a 5.7 Hemi.

There is nothing welded onto the airstream for this bike rack. The bottom flanges are bolted to the frame with self tapping bolts (three on each side) and the top braces are screwed with #12 screws to the body. Those screws were tough to put it. I predrilled the holes and the screws cut there own threads through the struts but had to use a socket wrench to install them. The top flanges have three holes but only two are aligned with the body frame. The third hole has a screw but itís just for looks as it carries no strain.

I havenít weighed the rack as it was built in place but based on the published data of the tubing and fittings it probably weighs in at about 20 pounds or so. I have stood on it (275 lbs) and it didnít even creak. It has withstood some pretty rough roads as well with both bikes on it.

It will hold the bikes with the batteries but we tend to travel with the batteries pulled and in the airstream for theft reasons.

The changes I still have planned:

The tray folds up when not used but has to be held up by a bungee cord. It would be nice to have some sort of latch there.

It needs a license plate holder and tail lights so I can cover the bikes when traveling. If the weather is bad they get pretty dirty back there.

The bottom rail needs to be raised about an inch for better access to the rear hatch. Another inch would allow the 50A anaconda to slide under the rack into the hatch for storage.

Nothing is anodized so you get black oxide on your hands when you mess with it. When done, Iíll disassemble it and have it anodized.
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