Can you measure your bike rack please? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-15-2014, 07:52 AM   #1
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Can you measure your bike rack please?

Looks like I am going to build my own bike rack for the back of the Scamp. I have the skills, steel, and welding equipment and am a pretty cheap so-and-so. Two things I would like to know; how high above the bumper does the rack hold the bikes, and how far apart are the arms that hold the bikes? OK, three things; if you could build your own would you mount it differently (higher maybe) to prevent obscuring the tail lights?
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:12 AM   #2
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I built my own and put tail / turn / stop lights on it. I used Thule wheel trays that have wheel straps and a Swagman post with hold down hooks. Lot a stress on a rear rack because of trailer bounce and leverage effect if you use a rack that the bikes hang on. I had one rack bend, then used a Swagman with the wheel loops and hold down hooks which was OK, but wanted something better so built my own. I've seen rear racks break off too. Also you'll get the advice of a rear rack throwing off the load balance and causing handling issues. I haven't had that problem but others have so keep that in mind. I don't have any pictures of mine and don't claim to have the best ever rack but it has worked for me.
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
I built my own and put tail / turn / stop lights on it. I used Thule wheel trays that have wheel straps and a Swagman post with hold down hooks. Lot a stress on a rear rack because of trailer bounce and leverage effect if you use a rack that the bikes hang on. I had one rack bend, then used a Swagman with the wheel loops and hold down hooks which was OK, but wanted something better so built my own. I've seen rear racks break off too. Also you'll get the advice of a rear rack throwing off the load balance and causing handling issues. I haven't had that problem but others have so keep that in mind. I don't have any pictures of mine and don't claim to have the best ever rack but it has worked for me.
I have a Swagman with wheel trays and the "candy canes" that ratchet down to capture the upper tube of the bikes (also has an upturned stinger that increases ground clearance in the rear.) The lower and closer you place the load (weight of the bikes) to the rear hitch, the less stress is placed on the hitch while traveling. Think of the weight of the bikes as your hand pushing down on a pry bar - more force is exerted when the bikes are at the ends of longer arms.

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Old 08-15-2014, 10:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Timber Wolf View Post
Looks like I am going to build my own bike rack for the back of the Scamp. I have the skills, steel, and welding equipment and am a pretty cheap so-and-so. Two things I would like to know; how high above the bumper does the rack hold the bikes, and how far apart are the arms that hold the bikes? OK, three things; if you could build your own would you mount it differently (higher maybe) to prevent obscuring the tail lights?
Mine's on the tongue....
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:55 AM   #5
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I like Floyd's rack, unfortunately my Uhaul has the single tube tongue and I have a storage box on the front, so not doable in my case. I did make a front rack for our old Starcraft popup. Much less bounce on the tongue and the bikes are where you can see them if they come loose. Both cases of rear racks breaking that I know of, the driver was unaware of it until another motorist got them to stop. Both were in-laws of mine and I DID NOT build or install those racks. In fact I expressed my doubts about them, but was told "a professional welder did it so it's OK" LOL
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Old 08-15-2014, 12:36 PM   #6
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Still looking for some dimensions......... And, a front mount will not work for my circumstance. I have a lot of other stuff up there already. Thanks for the suggestion though.
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:31 PM   #7
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Still looking for some dimensions......... And, a front mount will not work for my circumstance. I have a lot of other stuff up there already. Thanks for the suggestion though.
I have a receiver mount bike rack which is 32" from the bottom of the receiver opening to the crossbar. The arms are swivel and 15" apart at the crossbar. The arms are made from solid round stock and have a depression at 3" and at the end to accommodate the top bar on the bikes.
The vertical is made from 1-1/2" square tubing, the crossbar is made from 1-1/4" square tubing. all steel.
This information is intended to give you some basic parameters, your design surely will be quite different.

Your stock bumper is made from a solid piece of angle iron, but it is prone to twisting when force is applied along its axis. you will need to add an extra crossmember to the frame and supports back to the bumper to avoid this flex.
The higher you extend the vertical portion of the rack the more torsion force will be applied at the base and the greater the movement at the top.

You might consider extending the bumper and building your rack over your spare, supported from each side.
Here is a picture of my bumper which might provide another idea or two for your project...
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Timber Wolf View Post
Looks like I am going to build my own bike rack for the back of the Scamp. I have the skills, steel, and welding equipment
TW, I am the same page as you (with skills and tools) but think about it....

You can buy a very nice used Swagman OEM bike rack on Kijiji or caraigslist for $50. They work great. It slips into a 1 1/4 or preferably a 2" receiver you can design, build, and install on the back of your egg. Use it for many years and then sell it for probably what you paid for it.

PS.... I had a bad experience with bikes mounted on the rear of a trailer and would suggest mounting them there only as a last resort.
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Old 08-15-2014, 01:54 PM   #9
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My plan is to come up off the stock bumper on each side of the spare. The new verticals will attach near the frame (just in from the stabilizers) and should not flex too much. Angle iron is certainly less than ideal for a bumper and/or surface to attach other stuff too but I think it is adequate. In any event I am happier with two supports on each side of the spare over one mono-post pivoting in a receiver hitch.

The funny part is I had everything sourced to build a receiver hitch on the back of the Scamp. Then I got to looking at buying a bike rack and decided that for the time it would take me to build the hitch, and then the money to buy a rack, why not just build a hitch that supported off the bumper?
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:06 PM   #10
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Would the type of rack where the bike wheels set on trays or in loops have less leverage or twisting force on the mount than the type rack where the bikes hang by the top of their frame. I think so but what does anyone else think. I've built a few rear receivers on pop-up campers, and used the bumper and at least two other cross members for support, or added a cross member depending on the frame design. I also reinforced the existing cross members and the bumper. As for the height question, that's hard to answer because it depends on the type rack and where it's mounted. Best rack I've seen is a Thule, but I recall the price as being $400 plus. Now if you're carrying a girls bike with no top tube that is another issue.
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:13 PM   #11
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This is how I did mine. I installed a 4' length of square tubing that ran from the trailer axle area to the rear of the trailer bumper. Attached to the frame and bumper. Then the Swagman bike rack slips in and out in seconds. That way there is far less stress on the bumper.

Then when we got to the campsite and at times wanted to transport the bikes to a trail some distance away, the Swagman was used in the car's receiver and Bob's your uncle. Worked great.
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Old 08-15-2014, 05:37 PM   #12
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If I built my own I would mount the bikes vertical with the rear tire support down to the bumper. Middle support would come off the back of the tire mount. This way you don't block your lights and you don't have the leverage and weight of the bikes swaying on the receiver tube. You also don't have to hold up a couple of heavy bikes loading and unloading. Myself I welded another receiver tube on top of my receiver hitch on my Nissan pathfinder. I use a bike rack mounted in the top tube and my trailer stinger in the lower tube. It works but I fight the weight of the bikes loading and unloading them on the rack. They have to be mounted high to clear the propane tanks when turning.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:14 PM   #13
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Sway or play in the receiver between it and a bike rack can be a problem. I have a Yakima rack that has a threaded retainer pin to keep the rack tight in the receiver. On my home made rack I welded a 5/8 nut on a piece of flat steel, and insert that inside the rack tube and a 5/8 bolt through the receiver. eliminates all movement of the rack. Besides lights on the rack I also put a strip of the DOT reflective tape across it.
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Old 08-15-2014, 06:22 PM   #14
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Guys. You are right about preventing sway and movement of the bike racks. They need to be attached to the vehicle or trailer in multiple places. Bike racks should never dangle without a support or a mounting point near the racks top section.
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