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Tony Nowak 11-25-2005 12:47 PM

Fiberglass friends,
We very much would like to move the bikes (2) out of the truck bed, to get more storage. I'm sure this was addressed on the pre-hack forum,but would like your opinions and experiences.
The Scamp in question is the front toliet version.We had about 15% tongue weight,before installing a group 27 battery,so I think it must be a bit more now.
Kent,at Scamp,says a rear receiver is possible and they have been doing it as an option.I think people have warned against this in the past-but again I not sure.
Does the carrier between the the tow and trailer allow for turning?I know Reese makes such a carrier.
Option #3 would be to put them on top of the truck cap-but this would require a rack system ($) .
Thanks for any imput.
Tony and Darlene (mt_horebites)

Brian B-P 11-25-2005 01:33 PM

I don't currently carry bikes on our Boler, but I'll add my thoughts on the options presented, anyway, and add another option. With each option, I'll list some of what I see as advantages (+) and disadvantages (-).

Existing Options:
  1. rack in rear (bumper mounted) receiver
    • - rear weight must be balanced by front weight
    • - mass far from axle make the trailer more like a pendulum, potentially accentuating sway problems
    • - bikes are vulnerable to damage
    • + does not interfere with trailer or tow vehicle access
    • - conflict with spare: may need extended mount beyond spare which accentuates balance problems, or require relocation of spare, and/or interfere with spare access
    • - may interfere with visibility of tail/brake lights
  2. carrier on hitch
    • - ball platform of hitch would likely need to be extended for clearance
    • - extended ball position would cause more undesirable weight transfer from front axle to rear, and increase leverage of trailer to cause control problems
    • - access to back of tow vehicle blocked (swing-away carrier would allow access, but can likely only swing when unhitched)
    • + bikes can travel with tow vehicle when trailer is setup at campsite
    • - weight carried mostly on hitch
  3. rack on tow vehicle roof
    • - may be hard to reach for loading/unloading
    • - top of bikes likely to be even taller than trailer, causing potential clearance issues
    • + does not interfere with trailer or tow vehicle access
    • + suitable location for weight relative to axles
    • - mass is located high, which is not desirable for handling
    • + bikes can travel with tow vehicle when trailer is setup at campsite
Additional Options:
  1. rack on tongue
    • - may require tongue extension (major modification)
    • + may be excuse for tongue extension (better trailer stability)
    • - weight carried mostly on hitch
    • + does not interfere with tow vehicle access when unhitched
    • - may interfere with tow vehicle access when hitched (would block my van tailgate)
  2. loose inside trailer
    • common solution previously given by FiberglassRV members
    • + no rack required
    • + weight in reasonable position within trailer
    • - potential damage to bikes or other contents in motion
    • - dirt from bikes introduced in to trailer
    • - risk of grease (e.g. from chain) to interior
  3. rack inside trailer
    • clever solution by other FiberglassRV member is panel fitted to floor space with bike mounts (as used in roof rack systems) to hold bikes upright in interior - mount with panel sits loose on floor, retained by fit to cabinets, lifts out to remove while camped
    • + weight in reasonable position within trailer
    • + bikes well protected from damage or theft
    • - dirt from bikes introduced in to trailer
    • - risk of grease (e.g. from chain) to interior
    • + less risk of grease (e.g. from chain) to interior than carrying loose
    • - interferes with casual use of trailer (e.g. lunch stops on the road) by blocking interior access
  4. rack on front of tow vehicle
    • can be dedicated rack, or common hitch-mounted rack on front-mount receiver
    • + does not interfere with trailer or tow vehicle cargo access
    • + suitable location for weight relative to axles (partially balance hitch load)
    • + bikes can travel with tow vehicle when trailer is setup at campsite
    • - may interfere with driver vision
    • - may block headlights, marker lights, or turn signals
Perhaps it is apparent that this subject has, indeed, received significant attention by more than a few of us.

bill flora 11-25-2005 03:32 PM

O BOY, , Here we go again.
This topic has been hashed out befor. by me and others.
Here is my thoughts,
Go ahead and put the bike receiver on the rear.
You will never know if it will sway till you try it.
If it dont work, so what, we are all tinkers. You can always shift your inside load.
It allready sounds as if you have enough weight on the hitch.
I can carry two bikes on my rack. and i get NO SWAY at all. Even at 70 mph in a wind.
A fiberglass RVer and tinker,
Bill Flora :smly

Al and Cindy K 11-25-2005 08:28 PM

Hi Tony,

We've successfully towed our 16' Scamp with two bikes on the rear for several thousand miles with no problems. Our setup is a Coleman brand rack (its the style where the wheels fit into cradles rather than the type that suspends the bikes from a bar) mounted on a 2" receiver. I don't think the type of carrier makes any difference but I've used both and like this better.

I picked up the receiver tube from Tractor Supply for around $15. The rear bumper was notched out and the receiver welded in on the top and both sides. 1/4" sidewall square tubing was welded across the frame about 8" forward of the receiver and a piece of strap iron was used to tie the receiver and this cross brace together. I'm not sure what Scamp uses for bumpers on other models but the one on our 02 would never support the bikes without this additional reinforcement.

We've gone from NC to the Florida Keys twice with this setup and made numerous trips to the mountains and coast within the state as well. Although our TV is now an 05 Tacoma, I still prefer the bikes on the rear of the Scamp rather than in the truck bed. FWIW, our tongue weight is around 325-350 since I mounted the Honda EU3000 up front but thats a recent modification. Before that, I moved the camp stove, cooking gear, screen room etc. to the front gaucho to offset the additional weight of the carrier and bikes. In my opinion, if you have a sufficiently strong mounting system and a balanced trailer, you should be fine with the bikes on the rear.

As Bill said, it won't cost much to give it a try.


Joe MacDonald 11-27-2005 09:29 AM

Charlie C and his Millennium Igloo have one of the slickest rear bikeracks I have seen, I talked to him at Emily this year about it and he said he has had no problems.
Now his is a custom job, but if he reads this maybe he'll add a link to a picture under the modifications forum

Tony Nowak 11-28-2005 11:22 AM

Fiberglass Friends,
Thanks so much,esp. Brian, for your opinions and thoughts! This group is so helpful.
We decided to use the Yakima "Blockheads" ,that currently secure the bikes on a cargo bar inside the truck cap,on a shorter bar inside the trailer.If that doesn't work out we plan to try the rear receiver.This would be the least expensive option-will let you know how it works out.
Tony and Darlene (mt-horebites)

Joe MacDonald 11-29-2005 03:04 PM

these carriers are pricey, but they seem to be very well made. This is what Charlie started with for his custom carrier

Charlie C 11-29-2005 09:21 PM

2 Attachment(s) Hi Joe, how goes it EH!

Here's a couple shots of the bike rack I made up, the first one had steel tracks which I replace with the aluminum that you see in the 2nd photo. The arms that project out to support the tracks are fastened to the frame instead of the bumper. They are really secure, and no bounce in the bikes when travelling, even on Yonge St. (it gets a little rough at times) Also incorporated in the rack is a mount for our TV antenna (with rotor) and storage tube for all the black water supplies. The additional lights on the rack help greatly with visibility and the upper cross tube provides a ready tie off point for the bikes.

Joy A 12-03-2005 11:01 AM


When I ordered my Scamp 5 years ago I opted for the factory installed receiver on the back of my 13 foot Scamp. It's welded to the bumper and what I thought was the frame. As it turns out the factory must have added a cross beam to the frame. Folks like Pete who have looked under my Scamp tell me that cross bar is not on their Scamp, but realize that Pete's Scamp is much older than mine, so who knows. You might want to ask the factory about it.

Any way, I experienced a little sway when driving around 60 mph and also while picking up speed while going downhill. I added a sway bar about a year ago and have no further problems.

I also had a flat tire last summer and found that the bike rack did tilt down enough to get to the spare. I never had considered moving the spare, as someone just mentioned, and found there really wasn't a need to do so.

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