Bike racks? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-24-2019, 05:29 AM   #1
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Name: Jenn
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Ontario
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Bike racks?

We just purchased a bike rack to hold 2 bikes to go onto the back of our Trillium 4500 as there is an existing hitch on the back.
I have read some posts that say not to do this, any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:06 AM   #2
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Name: Tony
Trailer: Scamp
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So my new Scamp has a 2 inch receiver on the back. The Scamp people said not to tow anything from it and that it had a 400lb capacity. I put a rack for dirty stuff on it such as my little grill, charcoal, outdoor bucket of stuff. A big reason I'm using it is to take some load off the tongue.
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:34 AM   #3
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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Did you buy a bike rack that is rated for use on the rear of a trailer as many are not. I had one rack bend when on the rear of a trailer, another OK so far (Swagman) but I very seldom put a bike on the rear and only for a short trip.
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:37 AM   #4
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Name: Jenn
Trailer: Trillium 4500
Ontario
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Good question. We bought it from Costco. Will have to check. Thx!
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Old 08-24-2019, 07:00 AM   #5
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It’s not easy to make it work...
(1) As said, the rack should be rated for RV/trailer use. Most are not.
(2) It should hold the bikes securely because they will bounce a lot. Usually that means a tray-type rack.
(3) Rack and bikes should be lightweight, no more than 100# total, because...
(4) Weight on the back reduces tongue weight, so you have to adjust how you load the trailer to maintain at least 10-12% tongue weight to avoid dangerous sway.
(5) The bikes might obscure the taillights, necessitating a second set of high-mount lights
(6) The bikes need to be secured with a cable lock for security.
(7) The bikes will get wet and dirty..

I carried bikes on the back of my Scamp 13 for 5 years. It was a lot of trouble, honestly, managing all of the above. Two years ago I had an issue with the rack on the eve of a trip, and found another way. The bikes are stable, secure, and protected. It’s actually faster to load than the rack. The centered weight distribution makes for much better towing stability and handling. Downside is limited access to the trailer when traveling.
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Old 08-24-2019, 12:32 PM   #6
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Name: keith
Trailer: scamp
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bike rack

I use a Jack-it tongue mounted rack on my 16' scamp and works great. I have tried 3 different styles and this is the best
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Old 08-24-2019, 03:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
Did you buy a bike rack that is rated for use on the rear of a trailer as many are not. I had one rack bend when on the rear of a trailer, another OK so far (Swagman) but I very seldom put a bike on the rear and only for a short trip.
The very fact that a rack must meet a stronger standard to be used on the rear of a trailer should tell you something.
The fact that the rear of a trailer is a lot rougher ride for bikes or the racks themselves.
Oddly enough they even get dirtier on the rear of the trailer.
In addition to beating up the bikes, you must be mindful of taillight blockage.
Also check to see if the receiver is attached at another frame member in addition to the bumper to stop some of the flex.
A front rack is much better...
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Old 08-24-2019, 04:58 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Also check to see if the receiver is attached at another frame member in addition to the bumper to stop some of the flex.
..
My brother in law had a "professional" welder put a receiver tube on the rear of his pop-up camper. 1 1/4 tube butt welded to the bumper. I told him that was no good, but "a pro did it and said it was good". First trip out on the interstate it broke off and the bikes got dragged down the road until another motorist got him stopped.The other issue is you can't see the bikes back there. I've seen some trailers with bikes on the rear and the bikes are bouncing all over the place, the drivers clueless.
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Old 08-24-2019, 07:30 PM   #9
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Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
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THE best bike rack for RV use is the 1Up... but they are expensive.

2nd best I've found is the Swagman Escapee2.

both of these are RV rated, and are 'tray' type, that hold the bikes in place with top-of-wheel clamps, and don't touch the bike frames at all.

if I put our Escapee2 on the back of our E21, and put my wife's almost 60 lb homebrew Ebike, plus my 25-27 lb hybrid on it, it takes nearly 100 lbs off the tongue weight, so I have to be really careful to put anyhting heavy like cases of beverages, under the front bed of the E21, and not in back.
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:35 PM   #10
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Name: Jenn
Trailer: Trillium 4500
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Thanks

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and experiences. Has us rethinking this.
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Old 09-02-2019, 07:55 AM   #11
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Name: Mikael
Trailer: Trillium
California
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Our Trillium 4500 also has a 2" square receiver on the back bumper. The previous owner said she mounted a bike rack and 2 bikes on there, and it caused the whole trailer to sway like crazy when she hit the highway. She recommended we never attach anything to the back bumper since it throws off the towing balance.

We've had the Trillium less than a year and taken some amazing trips, but now we want to bring our bikes too! Keith's mention of the Jack-it tongue mounted rack looks most intriguing to me, but I wonder if it might have the undesired effect of TOO MUCH tongue weight. I have heard that too little tongue weight causes swaying, but what about the effect of too much? Any more experienced folks have thoughts on this? (by the way, I think our tongue weight now is just right because it tows and handles like a dream :-)
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:29 AM   #12
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Casita 16ft.
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I have a 2" receiver on the back of our 16' Casita. I attempted to use a flat carry rack (angle iron frame with expanded metal floor) to haul our two bikes. I estimate maybe 125 lb total weight including the two bikes and the rack. At 50 mph, that trailer was wagging all over the road. I dumped 16 gallons of water from the fresh water tanks which are located behind the axle. No change. Finally, I moved the bikes to the interior of the trailer with the rack still on the trailer bumper. It towed just fine. In hindsight, I think my problem was as much or more an aero issue rather than weight.

I also found that bumper flexed with the added weight. So I suggest that any receiver mounted to the bumper of any of our light trailers also have a second attachment to the frame to prevent the bumper from acting as a fulcrum point.
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:54 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikael_the_Trill View Post
...I have heard that too little tongue weight causes swaying, but what about the effect of too much? Any more experienced folks have thoughts on this? (by the way, I think our tongue weight now is just right because it tows and handles like a dream :-)
Two issues to consider:
(1) Extra tongue weight can affect steering, traction, and handling if too much weight is on the back axle, resulting in too little on the front axle. It’s more of an issue with smaller FWD tow vehicles. As long as you’re still within the tongue weight rating, it shouldn’t be a serious safety issue, but you might notice a change in the steering feel.
(2) The extra weight will put additional stress on the trailer frame. Trilliums tend to be weak at the front of the cabin where the frame curves. You might want to have a close look at that part of the frame.
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:04 PM   #14
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Name: Mikael
Trailer: Trillium
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Two issues to consider:
(1) Extra tongue weight can affect steering, traction, and handling if too much weight is on the back axle, resulting in too little on the front axle. It’s more of an issue with smaller FWD tow vehicles. As long as you’re still within the tongue weight rating, it shouldn’t be a serious safety issue, but you might notice a change in the steering feel.
(2) The extra weight will put additional stress on the trailer frame. Trilliums tend to be weak at the front of the cabin where the frame curves. You might want to have a close look at that part of the frame.
1) Thanks Jon, I see when we are talking about tongue weight, we have to consider the effect on the tow vehicle. My 2000 Ford F-150 has plenty of weight on the front axle with the V8 engine, and I sometimes wish I had more weight on the rear axle for better traction in this rear-wheel drive truck. So maybe it'll be just fine to have the weight of 2 bikes and a rack pushing down on the back tires. Last year, I outfitted the Ford F-150 with a Curt Class III receiver hitch from JC Whitney, and it has a tongue weight capacity of 600 lbs.

2) I agree added stress where the frame curves under the front cabin is no good. The previous owner was aware of the typical weakness, so she had reinforcing plates welded on. The Jack-it rack is interesting because it mounts in the 3 holes JUST behind the hitch ball. While this adds tongue weight, this forward position seems preferable to other racks that connect further back on the frame side rails.
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