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Old 12-02-2014, 12:59 PM   #1
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alternate bike storage on tongue

I know there is at least one thread about bike racks on the rear bumper.

Spent a little of time looking and thinking about taking the bike along -- every solution seems to be a compromise, especially here in the wet coast.

Any thoughts on either the arkiva products or the bike bunk? I have no storage box on the 21, so the tongue is clear from the tanks back. As well, I have no bumper receiver either, so am starting from scratch no matter how I go. Even with something in the (rapidly filling) truck bed.

First trips will likely just have the bike tied flat in truck bed. In a perfect world, I would have a single rack attached low to the tongue, so I don't have to lift the bike much.
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:21 PM   #2
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When we first purchased our 5.0 we carried the bicycles on the back of the trailer, but I was never comfortable with that. Every time I saw a motorcycle behind us I thought "yikes what if a bike comes off". After that I fabricated a rack that puts the bikes behind the cab of the pick-up. Not as convenient to load but easy to keep an eye on. On the trip to Osoyoos last June we came across a bike lying on the edge of the pavement. About a mile down the road we came across a motor home that had been pulled over by the car in front of us. The drivers were talking and there was one identical bike on the back of the motor home.
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:31 PM   #3
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Mark I have to agree with you in regards to putting the bikes on the back of the five. When I tried it first a weeks ago I just wasn't happy the way one was sitting on the rack. My neighbour suggested putting them in the bed of the truck and after some playing around and removing the front wheel off one bike, I got them down and clear of the kingpin. I covered with a tarp and they successfully made it to Kansas. Only problem when unhooking there I didn't put the legs down enough and kingpin dropped and nearly pulled the bikes out of the bed!

You are fortunate to have the 8 foot bed so can put them behind the cab, we have the 6.5 on our F150.

Sorry Bruce this doesn't help you.

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Old 12-02-2014, 02:45 PM   #4
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Thanks.

Half thinking of getting roof top unit placed on back of tongue. Not sure if the handlebars would clear, nor if welding is an option. Gah, I hate not having the trailer in the same postal code!
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:53 PM   #5
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When I had a bumper pull I used a set of these affixed to a 2x4 in the truck bed. Still had all kinds of room with the 8' bed. They have locking ones too, which is what I have. Haven't tried them with the fifth wheel yet, or the rear hitch rack.
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:20 PM   #6
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In 2007 I saw the very first 5er off the ETI line...and fell in love.

Ian and Paddy picked up the 5er and headed out on a many, many miles tour around the US. I was fortunate enough to meet up with them the first day of their trip. Ian showed me their bike rack. While it wouldn't be for everyone... PAY ATTENTION WHEN BACKING AT AN ANGLE, it worked well for them for their weeks-out-traveling. Driving down the highways were never a problem. Hummmm... In case you are wondering.... this was a photo taken of the Classic in January 2007!


Sorry OP, you were asking about the 21'....
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:14 PM   #7
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Close enough to ETI that to have them add a hitch to your 21 would be the simple fix, and probably the cheapest. Tongue mounts are spendy! We have no problems with our 21 and a Swagman XC2 on the Escape nor our earlier Casita.

Another thought would be to add a front receiver to your truck for a rack. I did that once to carry a 120 lb generator in a 50 pound aluminum box. They are commonly used for plugging in a temporary winch.
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCnomad View Post
Thanks.

nor if welding is an option.
I'm not sure if you mean that you're thinking your only option would be to find one that has some sort of clamp to hold it on. If so, there is another option besides that or welding.

Self tapping bolts work just fine. If you find a rack that works for you they could be used instead of some sort of clamping system. ETI now uses self tapping bolts for the battery rack on the 19 instead of welding.

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Old 12-02-2014, 10:37 PM   #9
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Here's another alternative to welding (or self-tapping metal screws): rivet nuts. They create threaded sockets for the rack's mounting bolts, and the bolts can be removed and replaced as desired; they should also be less of a rust concern than self-tapping screws. They do need a bigger hole than a self-tapping screw.

Regardless of the fastener type, I don't like the idea of holes in the top (or worse for the tongue, the bottom) of a frame rail; arranging brackets which place any required holes in the side of the frame (tongue) seems like a good idea to me.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:07 PM   #10
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We had the Arvika bike rack on the front of our last trailer and loved it! We will be installing it on our '19' when we pick it up in the spring.


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Old 12-02-2014, 11:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BCnomad View Post
Any thoughts on either the arkiva products or the bike bunk? I have no storage box on the 21, so the tongue is clear from the tanks back.
One of the FiberglassRV members (floyd) has a bike rack on the front of his Scamp and is a big advocate of this style of setup; his custom-built rig is shown in Bike Rack on 13' Scamp - post #5. How well this works is heavily dependent lots of details:
  • distance from trailer body to tug body
  • length of the bikes
  • width of the bikes (long handlebars or short?)
  • width of the tug body
  • shape of the trailer body (with a sloped front raising the bikes allows the handlebars and thus the rest of the bikes to be further back)
  • shape of the tug body (a high enough bike could pass right over a low enough truck box in a tight turn)
Floyd has a Scamp with a low body and sloped front and a Ranger pickup with an exceptionally narrow box (the Flareside), his handlebars are almost at trailer roof level, and his bikes are matched and nicely nested together. An Escape 21' is taller and has a more upright front, anything towing one is wider than that Ranger, and you may not have bikes that package so nicely... so I suggest checking out the details.
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:23 PM   #12
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So armed with this new knowledge (and a look at a far better site than the arvika one), I see that they do make a clamp on version, which seems to fit the Escape.

I see prices of $300 for each main piece plus $50 for the (optional in my case) support arm. Not horrible (??).

Bouterse, do you know when you are going to be at ETI with the arvika?
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Old 12-02-2014, 11:29 PM   #13
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We are picking our trailer up May 26th and heading to the Osoyoos rally. We won't be installing the bike rack until we get back to Ontario.


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Old 12-02-2014, 11:32 PM   #14
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The Arvika Travel Trailer Bracket 7000-AF detail page isn't too bad, and the instructions show all the parts... definitely clamp-on. If you're handy, the bracket might be home-buildable.
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Old 12-09-2014, 06:07 PM   #15
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Thats a shame bouterse but I understand.



Brian thanks for the riv-nut link, was news to me, and the Floyd scamp thread. Wish I had a scrap heap to build my own.


For the short term looks like the answer is laying 'er flat in the bed with some padding, then moving to some form of what Bob showed (fork mount). I did see a dual receiver hitch (?) when looking, that might be ok later on.
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Old 12-10-2014, 06:49 PM   #16
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Brian thanks for the riv-nut link, was news to me, and the Floyd scamp thread. Wish I had a scrap heap to build my own.
Although I applaud Floyd for his efficiency, the bits needed can be purchased from do-it-yourselfer stores - even Home Depot carries steel and aluminum sections in various profiles now.

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I did see a dual receiver hitch (?) when looking, that might be ok later on.
A dual-receiver extension has lots of problems. The main one is that it is an extension - moving the ball further from the tug's rear axle increases the leverage of the trailer's tongue weight and mass, leading to rear axle load issues and control issues. The second - minor in comparison - is that addition of one more set of potentially sloppy joints.

I have one of these:
Class III/IV Dual Hitch Receiver Extension | Princess Auto
It is intended to mount a bike rack or other accessory in the upper receiver box, and a ball mount for towing in the lower receiver box.
I use it for only the bike rack on the back of our motorhome, where I need both extension (so the bike handlebars clear the RV's rear end cap) and height (for departure angle clearance). I would not want to tow with it, and the one time I towed a car on a rented trailer, I put the bikes inside the car rather than use the rack and extension.
I notice that although this particular product is solidly constructed and is described as "ClassIII/IV", it has barely-into-class-3 trailer capacity (4000 lb) and only 350 lb tongue weight capacity... extensions are bad.
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:39 PM   #17
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I'm starting to understand why people go for a (suitable) hitch rack and call it a day.
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