Bike hitch Attached to 13ft Scamp - Fiberglass RV
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Old 05-14-2024, 08:45 PM   #1
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Bike hitch Attached to 13ft Scamp

Hi there!

I am looking for some advice regarding bringing bikes when we go camping. I drive a Toyota Highlander hybrid 2023 and pull a 13 foot fibreglass scamp. The back of the scamp has a 2 " receiver that I can attach a bike rack to. In the past I did attach a platform 2 bike Thule rack. I did experience some sway when the bikes were on the rack when I was pulling and I haven't done it again.
Now I have an upright Velocirax 5 bike rack which weighs 89 lb I believe. One thought was that I would put bikes ( 4 of them) inside the trailer when traveling and essentially just attach the bike rack with no bikes so that when we get to our destination, I can detach the bike rack from the trailer and attach to the car for day trips to go biking. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think there is still potential for sway even thought the bike rack would be empty?
Thanks!
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Old 05-15-2024, 04:25 AM   #2
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First, your profile states “no trailer yet” but your post indicates you own a 13-foot Scamp. You might want to change your profile.

I do believe that adding an 89 pound bike rack with no bikes attached WILL result in sway, given that you have already experienced it at a previous time. Sway is a function of hitch weight being inadequate for the total weight of the trailer. Think of the trailer as a lever. Moving weight to the rear bumper swifts the weight from the hitch to the rear, especially so in a single axle trailer. Sway is dangerous when towing, not only for you but those who share the road and may be nearby. Weight distribution is helpful in preventing sway. Two potential solutions are to add an anti-sway device (friction bar) to the trailer, or to purchase a bike rack that sits on the tongue and puts the bicycles above the propane tank(s). That may compensate for the weight of an empty bike rack on the trailer’s rear bumper. I would also suggest that you send a private message to Floyd (if he does not respond to your post first), another member of the forum who also owns a 13-foot Scamp and usually transports two bicycles on his travels. Floyd is very knowledgeable in matters such as you describe and I’m sure he would be willing to provide you with good suggestions and solutions.
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Old 05-15-2024, 07:48 AM   #3
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It depends on how the weight of the bikes is distributed inside the trailer. 89# is a lot to offset. I’m actually trying to wrap my head around how you could even fit four bikes inside an 13’ Scamp and keep them from banging each other or the cabinets. I can barely fit two in mine.
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We carried four bikes when the kids were small, two inside and two on a 4-bike rack on the back, so we could transfer them to the tow vehicle. It was so much work!

As the kids got older, we found we hardly ever rode all at once, so we ended up bringing just two that we shared. I still dread loading and securing bikes. Nothing we've tried is easy or convenient.

I have reached the conclusion that a pickup truck with a fork-mount system in the cargo bed is the best way to tow a trailer and carry multiple bikes, especially heavier and bulkier trail bikes. You don't have to unload them to camp nor re-load to take them to a trail.
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Old 05-15-2024, 12:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post

I have reached the conclusion that a pickup truck with a fork-mount system in the cargo bed is the only practical way to tow a trailer and carry that many bikes, especially heavier and bulkier trail bikes.
That is how we carried our two bikes, fork mounts bolted to a piece of plywood in the pickup bed. Our pickup has a cab height cap, so the bikes were out of the weather.
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:09 AM   #5
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Front mount

I added a receiver to the front of my tundra to carry bikes.
They are available as a kit and are not hard to install.
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Old 05-22-2024, 10:22 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tcjmiami View Post
I added a receiver to the front of my tundra to carry bikes.
They are available as a kit and are not hard to install.
OP has a Highlander. I donít think front receivers are an option for unibody crossovers, at least Iíve never seen one.
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Old 05-22-2024, 11:21 AM   #7
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We had the same issue with sway from 2 bikes on a 13ft Scamp with a rear hitch receiver. I either put the bikes inside and attached the bike rack to the receiver and then moved to the car or I put the bikes on the bike rack and lashed it to one side with strapping to prevent the wiggle causing the sway. Good luck!
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Old 05-22-2024, 12:25 PM   #8
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We just put our 29er mountain bikes inside our Trailblazer when we tow the Casita. The front quick release capability makes it easy to load and unload when we want to ride.
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Old 05-22-2024, 01:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
OP has a Highlander. I donít think front receivers are an option for unibody crossovers, at least Iíve never seen one.
This is a link to a front reciever kit for a 2019 highlander.

https://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2019_Toyota_Highlander.htm?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwK CAjwr7ayBhAPEiwA6EIGxAv4UGa9Z0o2YdOp0mCK3oqpGAMvR0 KiD4J9pCjnS2BiHZkNmoM5FBoCb5QQAvD_BwE
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Old 05-22-2024, 02:04 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Tcjmiami View Post
This is a link to a front reciever kit for a 2019 highlander.

https://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2019_Toyota_Highlander.htm?gad_source=1&gclid=CjwK CAjwr7ayBhAPEiwA6EIGxAv4UGa9Z0o2YdOp0mCK3oqpGAMvR0 KiD4J9pCjnS2BiHZkNmoM5FBoCb5QQAvD_BwE
Link is broken, but Iíll take your word for it. I stand corrected.
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Old 05-22-2024, 04:33 PM   #11
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tongue and total weight are not mentioned and neither is a friction anti-sway device from tug to tow? I’ll make a suggestion based on guesswork. There’s a receiver extension in the marketplace that creates two tubes with one about 3 inches above the other. On the one that I own, the lower one is reinforced around the perimeter; the top one is not. With some careful measuring, you might find you trailer drawbar in the bottom one and the empty bike rack in the top one adds 89 + lbs to the tongue weight and helps to reduce chance of sway. With extensions, you reduce load capacity due to distance from the vehicle. I’d use anti-rattle plates at each connection if all the weights pass muster.
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Old 05-22-2024, 07:01 PM   #12
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I have a 13ft also with a hitch receiver in the back... I moved the spare tire to the front because I don't use propane or batteries.

I have zero swaying with this setup. I always have two bikes with a top tube style bike carrier. Does this setup allow the bikes to be closer to the axle... probably.

I'd be concerned there is something else at play causing the swaying... not sure what but from my experience our Scamper trails dead straight. I do make a conscience effort to put enough weight forward to keep it weight forward on the tongue.

My two cents.
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Old 05-23-2024, 09:45 PM   #13
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Attachment 151578front (tongue mount is far more stable that rear
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Old Today, 02:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
Link is broken, but Iíll take your word for it. I stand corrected.
The link worked for me, but I only saw hitches for the backend, not the front end of a 2019 Highlander.
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