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Old 10-25-2020, 01:12 PM   #1
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Airstream bike rack vs front mount options

Hello

Any thoughts on the Airstream rear mount bike rack vs SOB front mount options? We put a Classic on order and Iím getting a list of add-ons ready. Iím not sure I like the Airstream model, I thought it was fine until I saw that holes are drilled in the rear panels to mount the brackets. Iíve seen the front mount models at dealerships and shows, never paid attention to them because our trade in has a rear hitch tube that Airstream doesnít.

Thoughts and thanks in advance.
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Old 10-25-2020, 01:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jan55255 View Post
Hello

Any thoughts on the Airstream rear mount bike rack vs SOB front mount options? We put a Classic on order and Iím getting a list of add-ons ready. Iím not sure I like the Airstream model, I thought it was fine until I saw that holes are drilled in the rear panels to mount the brackets. Iíve seen the front mount models at dealerships and shows, never paid attention to them because our trade in has a rear hitch tube that Airstream doesnít.

Thoughts and thanks in advance.
Are those your only 2 options for carrying bikes? I spent a lot of time researching this subject before I landed on my solution. I can carry 4-up on my Yakima mounts on top of my Diamondback HD cover.

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Old 10-25-2020, 02:21 PM   #3
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Having bikes on the back of the Airstream would probably keep them cleaner and you wouldn’t have to clean them off. Disadvantage is if you want to take your bikes with you when you don’t have the Airstream means you will need to take a bike rack with you that you would probably have to carry on the front. Thus 2 bike carriers.

Having bikes on the Back of the Airstream may limit the number or weight of those bikes depending upon the type of carrier. Having bikes on the front of the pickup may limit the number of bikes, but the weight would be less of an issue because you can use a heavier bike due to a more robust carrier.

I chose to put bikes on the front. We have e bikes that are heavier than what the Fiama bike carrier will allow. Also the Fiama bike carrier makes getting into the rear storage of our Airstream impractical. It also allows us to take bikes with us when we are at our campsite. The bike rack on the front is easy to load unlike the above post. I can do it easily with little hassle. I only have to lift the bike up a foot. The bikes do get a bit buggy. But we just clean them. No big deal. NOW if it rains we have a method of carrying the bikes in the Airstream which is very solid, inexpensive, and workable. But we don’t like doing that on a regular basis because if we stop and take a break we have the bikes to contend with. I then take the bike rack on the front.

By the way a front hitch is pretty in expensive, and is pretty easy to install.

After weighing all the different options the front seemed to take care of most of our problems. Not all, but most.

Good luck on your decision.
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Old 10-25-2020, 02:27 PM   #4
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There's a front-mounted rack? Can anybody share a link to it? We've been wanting to carry bikes, but like the OP, we don't want to start drilling holes in our trailer.
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Old 10-25-2020, 02:45 PM   #5
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There's a front-mounted rack? Can anybody share a link to it? We've been wanting to carry bikes, but like the OP, we don't want to start drilling holes in our trailer.
1. You will need to get a front hitch for your tow vehicle and have it installed. You can call etrailer to find out the type. But they are a bit expensive there. I got mine on Amazon.

2. Then simply buy a regular bike carrier and put it on the front using the installed hitch.

Then you can use the rear hitch to carry your bikes when you want to.

Certain carriers work a bit better. Ours works great. The carrier has places to put the tires for each bike and secure the tires. Then we push down holders that secure the bike on the carrier. If you message me I can send you a picture. I think the carrier was about $450. Very heavy duty. Weighs about 50lbs. The hitch I got was about $175. And installation is about another $80 to $100.

There is also a system that you can get to put the rack on the tongue of the trailer. But it has its issues. One it raises your hitch weight considerably. It makes getting to your LP tanks a problem. Third you have to lift the bikes up high to put them on the rack. We used it for awhile, but didn’t care for it. Thus the carrier on the front of the pickup.
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:27 PM   #6
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we use the FIAMMA AS rack that goes on the rear bumper. The spouse can't lift it high thus rear TV mounts or above the propane are out of the question
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:46 PM   #7
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I also found this: Swagman STRADDLER Trailer Hitch Mount Adapter https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DVZML5X..._YnELFbBRQMXRK

Will allow a hitch mount carrier for use if you already have one.
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Old 10-25-2020, 03:47 PM   #8
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I see that Stromberg and Swagman make legs that bolt onto the A-frame, allowing you to do things like this. Has anybody else tried this approach?
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Old 10-25-2020, 04:22 PM   #9
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I see that Stromberg and Swagman make legs that bolt onto the A-frame, allowing you to do things like this. Has anybody else tried this approach?
Yes. Didn’t like it for a number of reasons:
1) Makes getting the bikes up and down off the stand difficult. Requires 2 people; one standing on the bed of the pickup and the other grabbing the bike.
2) Increased the tongue weight considerably. I was already on the edge.
3) Hard to get to the LP Tank; this is especially true if you want to take one tank and refill them without moving the trailer.
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Old 10-25-2020, 04:46 PM   #10
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I'd considered the last two.
I'll probably take another look at a front receiver.
Thanks for your insights.
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Old 10-25-2020, 06:20 PM   #11
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How about the front of the Airstream?

Check out the Jack-It:


https://www.etrailer.com/RV-and-Camp.../LC429756.html
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:02 PM   #12
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I like that design. Might give it a try.
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Old 10-25-2020, 07:06 PM   #13
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We have both, the airstream rack for our very light road bikes and a front rack for the mountain and ebike
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Old 10-26-2020, 10:34 AM   #14
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I just went through the process and decided to keep them on the TV. Front mount has the rack too close to the trailer due to the positioning of my Blue OX. Once I got it in place the bikes were riding high and totally exposed. The rear bumper mount is really not a great option. More weight, more to keep an eye on and not really recommended by the Airstream folks.
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Old 10-26-2020, 10:40 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by jaybauman View Post
Are those your only 2 options for carrying bikes? I spent a lot of time researching this subject before I landed on my solution. I can carry 4-up on my Yakima mounts on top of my Diamondback HD cover.

This is very similar to the option I'm considering, except the tonneau cover I like accordions down into the front of the bed. Can't find the link at the moment.
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Old 10-26-2020, 10:41 AM   #16
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I had a 2" Class 3 hitch welded to the chassis under the rear bumper storage area. I purchased a Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Hitch Bike Rack (2" Receiver) with the Thule T2 Pro XT 2 Add-on Bike Rack, Silver, 2". This is a super heavy-duty rack that can carry the heaviest e-bike. The issue that I didn't anticipate was that this is a heavy rack that extends about four feet off the back of the trailer. The leverage effects, when loaded with bikes (a Haibike e-bike, two mountain bikes, and a road bike), are huge. I pulled almost 170# off the hitch weight when the bike rack is loaded. First trip was very scary with a wandering trailer behind me. I could keep my eyes on the bikes with the back-up camera carefully aimed.

Anyway, bad idea to hang that much weight off the back of the trailer. I have a front 2" receiver on the TV. The bikes get very very dirty but everything is much safer.
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Old 10-26-2020, 10:59 AM   #17
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The problem I see with the Jack-It is that it only has a clearance of 18.5". My jack is about 22" tall, so not a player for me. Still looking at a receiver on the front of the TV, but will need to disable the forward proximity sensors when hauling bikes.
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:09 AM   #18
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:12 AM   #19
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@Froglips

we use the FIAMMA rack on the back to hold two ebikes. Initially we had the same issue.

i them moved some heavier items inside to the front like tools etc.

No we have ne issue

One needs to balance the weight inside to ensure there is not too much extended rear weight , without a matching amount up front
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Old 10-26-2020, 11:14 AM   #20
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This is very similar to the option I'm considering, except the tonneau cover I like accordions down into the front of the bed. Can't find the link at the moment.
Here's the video of the one that caught my attention:

However, I'm looking at https://www.peragon.com due to the simplicity and versatility of the cover.
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