A bike rack cautionary tale - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-10-2018, 10:54 AM   #21
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To the long overhang, add the fact that even the best trailer suspensions are rudimentary compared to just about any modern passenger vehicle.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:56 AM   #22
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ABSOLUTELY a huge difference! Any trailer is rough on bikes an a rear rack.
That's why mine is a tongue mount.
Here is the one made from a scrap home gym....
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Old 05-10-2018, 11:42 AM   #23
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Re. The questions about RVs (self propelled) vs trailers - Most larger RVs, i.e. larger than an 18 or 20 foot class "C", with the exception of some monster buses, have substantial overhang behind the rear axle which exaggerate the bounce, same as trailers. Too many conditions and exceptions to list so the manufacturers just lump all RVs together.
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Old 05-10-2018, 04:14 PM   #24
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You've heard of the tail wagging the dog?
Any rack that just hangs off the hitch reciever, is a cantilevered load.
If your trailer bounces - as it surely does going over bumps - it is like cracking the whip back there. The bikes should be secured with straps or bungee cords to the trailer - or car - or truck - to reduce the bounce.
If your trailer tires are inflated too much, they bounce more. Let some air out.
AND, do the bikes block a clear view of the tail lights? That's a No-No!
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Old 05-10-2018, 04:36 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Wayne Collins View Post
.
AND, do the bikes block a clear view of the tail lights? That's a No-No!
When I was using a rear rack on our Uhaul (no longer do) I had extra tail lights on the rack. In my opinion the type rack where the bike wheels set on it in loops or trays is the best type to use. I had success with a Swagman rack that is rated for RV use, then built my own rack which was too heavy, then started towing with a truck so mount the bikes in the pickup bed on fork mounts.
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Old 05-11-2018, 08:01 AM   #26
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...." A few minutes later a highway department crew passed us traveling the opposite direction, saw the rack and bikes in the road and surmised that it must have come from the car with the RV trailer and that said vehicle was probably headed for the local state park 20 minutes away. They loaded the bikes and rack on their truck and came looking for us, eventually finding our campsite and returning them to us....."

Glad you were safe. We had a similar incident travelling back to NC from Fl on I-95 in SC. The rack (Swagman) didn't fail but a weld on the hitch did. Fortunately, I caught it at a rest stop before it broke completely.

If you have a few minutes. drop a note of thanks to our Highway Dept https://www.ncdot.gov/contact/ These folks do a great job. And no, I don't have any connection to them
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:29 AM   #27
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Hi All,

Very important thread. I appreciate the OP sharing. At Xmas, Laura and I bought a Swagman bike rack. I was not concerned about my receiver hitch since I had a Casita with the Orbital Machine Works receiver. I called Swagman to ask a miscellaneous question about the hitch pin lock. He became very concerned when I told him that I was placing the rack on the back of an RV. I explained that I was not concerned about the receiver being weak. He stated that is not the issue. The issue was that the bike rack was not rated to be towed behind an RV. I promptly returned it and spent only $40 more to get their bike rack that was rated to be towed behind an RV. It has worked great. Very pleased with the customer service at Swagman. In any case, I almost made a mistake by using a bike rack not rated to be towed behind our Casita.

Safe Travels to All,

Dean
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:02 PM   #28
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What rack did you get Dean. I have the Swagman XC that is rated for RV use. Now on sale at Camping World. I used it some on our Uhaul, now it's on the Casita but I only used it there a couple times when we moved to a different campground that was less than 50 miles away, and then with just one bike on it.
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:10 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
What rack did you get Dean. I have the Swagman XC that is rated for RV use. Now on sale at Camping World. I used it some on our Uhaul, now it's on the Casita but I only used it there a couple times when we moved to a different campground that was less than 50 miles away, and then with just one bike on it.
Hi Bob,

We purchased the Swagman Traveler XC2 rated for RVs:

https://www.swagman.net/product/traveler-xc2/

Take care,

Dean
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:28 PM   #30
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Looks like this one might be a good option also (except it is $300):

https://www.yakima.com/longhaul
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Old 05-11-2018, 02:06 PM   #31
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Looks like this one might be a good option also (except it is $300):

https://www.yakima.com/longhaul
But it has a built in bottle opener.

We went with a Swagman Dispatch. So far it's done well.
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Old 05-12-2018, 07:05 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Al & Cindy K View Post
....
If you have a few minutes. drop a note of thanks to our Highway Dept https://www.ncdot.gov/contact/ These folks do a great job. And no, I don't have any connection to them
Al & Cindy,
Yes, definitely. Thanks for the contact link.
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:11 AM   #33
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Al & Cindy,
Yes, definitely. Thanks for the contact link.
Bike rack safety. Some time ago I saw a post saying the BUMPERS on fiberglass trailers are not strong enough to mount a bike rack. Anyone concerned about that? (We put our bikes inside our Trailblazer for use when heading to a trail head.)
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:15 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by garycarolyn View Post
Bike rack safety. Some time ago I saw a post saying the BUMPERS on fiberglass trailers are not strong enough to mount a bike rack. Anyone concerned about that? (We put our bikes inside our Trailblazer for use when heading to a trail head.)
What I have done to mount a rear rack is to build a receiver hitch like on a tow vehicle; use existing or install new frame crossmembers with the receiver tube bolted or welded to them. I usually fabricate the tube to attach to at least two crossmembers, and to extend at least 24" forward from the rear of the trailer.
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Old 05-12-2018, 11:49 AM   #35
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Swagman XC2-RV on Escape 19

Just an FYI. I got the Swagman XC2 to use with my 2016 Escape 19. I am tall so have large frames on bikes.

The Swagman has that center pole, and for me the inner bike actually touches the spare tire. Might be a problem with other trailers also.

The rack itself is nice though. I'm probably going to go for a 1UP to use with the trailer and just use the Swagman on my truck when home.
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:05 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by garycarolyn View Post
Bike rack safety. Some time ago I saw a post saying the BUMPERS on fiberglass trailers are not strong enough to mount a bike rack. Anyone concerned about that? (We put our bikes inside our Trailblazer for use when heading to a trail head.)
when installed properly with an extra crossmember on the frame, most are plenty strong and stable, it is seldom that the hitch is at fault when the bikes are damaged or gone.
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Old 05-12-2018, 01:32 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by garycarolyn View Post
Bike rack safety. Some time ago I saw a post saying the BUMPERS on fiberglass trailers are not strong enough to mount a bike rack. Anyone concerned about that?
This is a really good question. After my incident I've thought more about the physics involved - bumps and vibrations are greatly magnified by the time they reach the bikes cantilevered off the back of the trailer. There must be some violent rotational forces absorbed by the receiver and bumper when the trailer hits a pothole.

That does lead me to a question about the engineering of the bumpers that I'd want satisfactorily answered before I decide to invest in an "RV approved" replacement rack. It might be that a bike rack on the back is fundamentally a sketchy idea even if the rack itself is up to the task.

I've searched the Scamp website and owner's literature and can't find any useful cautions or weight limits from them. I seem to recall when we picked ours up they suggested we not put more than two bikes on a rack and to avoid especially heavy bikes/racks, and that the receiver not be used for a tool box, but my memory may be faulty. Does anyone know if Scamp offers any specific weight limits on racks on their rear bumper?

I've emailed their "info@scamp" address and asked the question. I'll post the response.
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Old 05-12-2018, 02:13 PM   #38
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Looks like this one might be a good option also (except it is $300):

https://www.yakima.com/longhaul
Yakima has a cheaper RV-rated "RoadTrip" model. Don't know how it might differ from the "LongHaul."

https://www.yakima.com/roadtrip

On our last trip I moved our bikes inside the trailer and, while I never had sway issues, centering the weight over the axle felt so much more secure I am permanently retiring my rear rack. The trailer tracked like a mid-engine sports car. The "rack" is my First-Up awning.
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Loading is easy and surprisingly solid, but it does limit access to the icebox and rear storage.
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Old 05-12-2018, 03:14 PM   #39
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My bikes go on top of the cargo box I built. I used two 1UP roof mount racks. With two new receivers welded solidly onto the frame on both sides, it is rock solid.

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Old 05-14-2018, 01:02 PM   #40
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My bikes go on top of the cargo box I built. I used two 1UP roof mount racks. With two new receivers welded solidly onto the frame on both sides, it is rock solid.
Jim,

One reason we bought the 21 instead of the 5.0 TA was the greater storage in the 21. Now I realize I should have just asked Escape for the "Bennett-bumper-pack-mod"!

I looked into mounting an aluminum tool box, similar to the one you have, to "garage" our folding bikes on the back of the Casita.

But now, with 21 feet of bumper-pull trailer, I don't want to add to the trailer's length. So, we'll continue to "garage" the folding bikes in the back of the tow vehicle.
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