Hitch receiver and spare tire carrier - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-30-2007, 04:10 PM   #1
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This is an upgrade of the hitch and spare tire carrier on a 2004 Bigfoot 17. It was done by the original owner who had a hitch business. The horizontal rod is for the fiberglass spare tire cover. I have not carried bicycles on this receiver , but it may be strong enough. The spare tire was apparently moved closer to the trailer. The bumper is steel with a covering of aluminum on the top and rear surfaces. As you can see, the steel plates supporting the receiver pass above and below the bumper and are held together by 4 bolts. The plates are attached to the frame crossmember closest to the rear. It is posted for interest only.
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hitch1.jpg   hitch2.jpg  

hitch3.jpg  
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:11 PM   #2
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One more photo to show how it is attached underneath.
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Old 08-30-2007, 04:54 PM   #3
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Thanks, Bob!
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:06 AM   #4
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Here's something from "Action Line" in Trailer Life Magazine, Aug 2003. It's in a response to someone whose bumper and bicycles fell off their 5er onto the road.

Quote: "Bikes and their carriers are usually OK for mounting to the receiver hitch at the rear of a motorhome. These hitches are rated to handle way more weight than 2 or 3 bikes would amount to. However, many trailer bumpers are not designed or rated to carry the weight of bicycles or other heavy loads."

"One thing that makes the practice precarious is that the vertical shaft of the common carrier with its load of bikes can act as a fulcrum (lever?) on a bumper. As the trailer goes bumping and bouncing down the road, this lever effect is constantly flexing the bumper. If the bumper is not mounted solidly enough to the trailer's main frame or is not of sturdy enough construction, things can come flying apart at the most inopportune moments."

While we might take issue with some of the explanation (maybe oscillation and metal fatigue are important too), I think you get the idea. Of course trailer balance and weight ratings should also be considered before putting more weight on the bumper. Happy Trails.
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Old 09-14-2007, 11:15 AM   #5
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Thanks, Bob!
Just want to add our experience in our 4 province trip last September. We had the bikes mounted on the rear bumper (13' Boler) in a sturdy bike carrier that had lower supports under the bike wheels and a central support rod that fed into the receiver welded to the rear bumper (part of the frame and new). We dropped the bikes (2)on the road after the first 500km due to going over a cattle grate and the excessive up and down motion actually lifted the bikes right out of the wheel supports. The second time they were on the highway was 1500 km later when metal fatigue caught up and the whole bike rack fell apart, cracked through at all the welded seams. Again the up and down motion. We switched to a new bike rack which is mounted into the tow receiver and the trailer is mounted on the ball that is a part of the rack. Not only is the towing vastly improved due to stability (we don't have the violent up and down at the rear), we have also benefited as our overall length has shortened and we qualify for lower ferry fees (we live on Vancouver Island and this is an ever increasing expense). We have just returned from a 1000km tow and found the new location so superior we would recommend strong consideration rather than hanging anything further aft of the trailer. I should add that we have neither propane tanks or battery on our trailer tongue so the bikes the bikes do have the space between the front of the trailer and the tow vehicle. I would have liked to post a couple of pictures of the two racks but haven't quite got the hang of the technology!
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Old 09-14-2007, 12:06 PM   #6
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Just noted that if you look up Jayson Wall "The Tank" in his posting on paint finishes DeVoe vs Interlux, he has a picture of his pickup and trailer hitched with his bikes in the middle, exactly as what I was trying to describe as being our solution for bike hauling.
Peter
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Old 09-14-2007, 12:26 PM   #7
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Just noted that if you look up Jayson Wall "The Tank" in his posting on paint finishes DeVoe vs Interlux, he has a picture of his pickup and trailer hitched with his bikes in the middle, exactly as what I was trying to describe as being our solution for bike hauling.
Peter
this post? Jayson Wall's post with pictures
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Old 09-15-2007, 07:45 PM   #8
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Please bear in mind that Jayson is using a hitch extender which increases the rear overhang (ball to rear axle distance) of the truck, which is not a good thing, especially for someone with a smaller tow vehicle. Increased overhang gives more leverage advantage to the trailer for sway to affect the tow vehicle and allows the tongue weight to more effectively lift the front end of the TV, adversely affecting control and handling. What works for the long-wheel based truck may not work well for a lighter and shorter vehicle.
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Old 09-15-2007, 10:02 PM   #9
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Bob, for all his eccentricities, Tink did a nice job on that receiver, didn't he?

Roger
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Old 09-16-2007, 08:45 PM   #10
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We recently purchased a bike hitch much like the one pictured above to fit between the tow and the trailer. The only worry I have is the listed weight on the hitch: 2000 lbs for the towed vehicle. I've decided to dedicate this drawbar to the bike hitch, so I've made sure the bike carrier and drawbar are firmly and permanently attached. This should strengthen it enough for our UHaul. I think the weight concern for towing was based on the fact that people would use the hitch with bike rack sometimes and not others, removing and reinstalling the carrier over and over. Make the pieces one solid unit and it should be stronger. We trying it this weekend for the first time, so I'll let you know how it worked. It will get our bikes out of the trailer, at least!
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Old 10-07-2007, 09:48 PM   #11
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Bob,
Thanks so much for this posting,as we recently purchased a 2003 17CB , and I wanted to add a rear receiver.Maybe this is more a question for Roger, but did this mod work for either of the previous two owners?
Tony and Darlene (mt_horebites)
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Old 10-08-2007, 01:56 AM   #12
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I don't know if it was used or not, Tony.
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:56 AM   #13
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We trying it this weekend for the first time, so I'll let you know how it worked. It will get our bikes out of the trailer, at least!
Well it's now October 8... more than three weeks since you posted Kevin. What did you decide? Did it work as you had hoped? Any problems? What would you do differently if necessary?

Inquiring minds want to know
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:42 PM   #14
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You can see on our thumbnail that our trailer has the spare mounted on a bracket at the front corner. Leaves the back bumper available for a storage box and is a pretty effective stone guard as well.

The bracket was welded to the tongue of the frame.
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