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Old 05-05-2014, 12:55 PM   #1
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Bike hitch

Just working on the build sheet for my 17b and am wondering if anyone has had any issues with the bike hitch on the Escape? Also when if comes to a bike rack (for 2 bikes), any specific things I should be looking for? My experience is limited to a bike rack on top of a tent trailer. Thanks!
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:35 PM   #2
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Most folks who opt for the bike racks will add the extra trail lights above or beside the rear window. My 19 at night looks like the rear end of a semi.
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Old 05-05-2014, 01:56 PM   #3
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Compared to a rack mounted over the axle (such as the one on top of a tent trailer), the rear-mounted rack tends to get bounced around more; the rack should be up to this severe service and hold the bikes quite securely.
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Old 05-05-2014, 03:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenM View Post
Just working on the build sheet for my 17b and am wondering if anyone has had any issues with the bike hitch on the Escape? Also when if comes to a bike rack (for 2 bikes), any specific things I should be looking for? My experience is limited to a bike rack on top of a tent trailer. Thanks!
Your VERY MUCH more likely to experience problems with the bike rack you select and use then a class 3 sized receiver hitch welded to the trailer frame. Make sure the rack chosen is as robust and rigid as possible, carry as few bikes as possible, choose racks that have additional mechanical methods (bolts/shims) of preventing rack wobble when inserted in the receiver.
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Old 05-05-2014, 05:53 PM   #5
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this is how im going to solve some of the rack wooble

022.JPG i plan on welding additional tubing on the bottom of my rack for more attachment points.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:09 AM   #6
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And don't use cable locks to secure the bike. Mine was stolen and the cable lock was cut clean.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:17 AM   #7
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If its a nice bike and is visable to a thief, they will take it ,lock or no lock. All the lock does is thwart the honest thieves
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:05 PM   #8
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And use a receiver pin lock as well, so thieves just can't take the entire rig and cut off the cable or U-lock at their convenience.
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:26 PM   #9
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Your best option is a Thule T2 or a kuat nv rack. Both hold the bikes by the tires and are extremely rugged. I have had my T2 since 2005 and have used it on long offroad drives without issue. Stay away from those rack that you hang your bike on since they will swing all over the place. The T2 and Kuat also have a screw in pin so side to side wobble is not an issue.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:34 PM   #10
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Is there more sway to the hanging style if you bungie the bikes to the upright? Mine has the bolt vs the pin.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:45 PM   #11
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The hanging style just has more sway even if you bungee. It probably comes down to how much are your bikes worth and do you put other friends bikes on your rack. Put two $5k bikes on the rack and the price of rack seems minuscule compared to possible damage.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:00 PM   #12
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Bought the T2 and before opening box read that no Thule racks are suitable for RV's according to Thule. Maybe its a CYA thing and would work fine (looks like it will). However I decided to go with the RV rated Swagman and it works as advertised, however it will rub paint off so you need to take steps to prevent that if it matters to you. I have used foam pipe insulation to wrap frame, however its only good for a trip or two and then wears through.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:48 PM   #13
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We have been carrying our 2 bikes on the swagman platform type that's rated for an RV.
We did have a lot of sway and it took a long time to resolve. A friend of mine - who is a welder- made 2 "u" shape brackets with eye bolts that is attached to the bumper on each side of the hitch receiver, coupled with eye bolts on the bike rack. We tighten the bracket eyebolts to the bike rack with hook & hook turnbuckles, till they are tight. It is basically a 3 point system the bike rack tube into the hitch and the two bracket/eyebolt/ turnbuckle connections. I spoke to a number of people carrying bikes on the back of trailers and they all seemed to find that a 3 point system of some type, worked best.
It has worked well for us - travelling over bumpy roads - for at least 4000 miles.
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Old 05-07-2014, 04:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chapitre View Post
We have been carrying our 2 bikes on the swagman platform type that's rated for an RV.
We did have a lot of sway and it took a long time to resolve. A friend of mine - who is a welder- made 2 "u" shape brackets with eye bolts that is attached to the bumper on each side of the hitch receiver, coupled with eye bolts on the bike rack. We tighten the bracket eyebolts to the bike rack with hook & hook turnbuckles, till they are tight. It is basically a 3 point system the bike rack tube into the hitch and the two bracket/eyebolt/ turnbuckle connections. I spoke to a number of people carrying bikes on the back of trailers and they all seemed to find that a 3 point system of some type, worked best.
It has worked well for us - travelling over bumpy roads - for at least 4000 miles.
Chapi,
A couple pictures would be appreciated.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:04 PM   #15
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I keep my trailer at my Dads, when I get a chance I'll take a couple.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:23 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chapitre View Post
We have been carrying our 2 bikes on the swagman platform type that's rated for an RV.
We did have a lot of sway and it took a long time to resolve. A friend of mine - who is a welder- made 2 "u" shape brackets with eye bolts that is attached to the bumper on each side of the hitch receiver, coupled with eye bolts on the bike rack. We tighten the bracket eyebolts to the bike rack with hook & hook turnbuckles, till they are tight. It is basically a 3 point system the bike rack tube into the hitch and the two bracket/eyebolt/ turnbuckle connections. I spoke to a number of people carrying bikes on the back of trailers and they all seemed to find that a 3 point system of some type, worked best.
It has worked well for us - travelling over bumpy roads - for at least 4000 miles.
That is a great idea. It would sure eliminate a lot of the bounce that happens. I am going to have to try something along these lines.

I would imagine that even a strap around the bumper and bike rack at each end of the rack would work quite good too, though an eyebolt might be more solid.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:28 PM   #17
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I tried zap straps.
Don't bother.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:33 PM   #18
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The side to side motion is a big pain. I use tiedowns from the top of the bike rack to the outer ends of the bumper there about. It helps and on rough roads when you stop for a pee brake give them a check and see if there still there. it's easy to forget about them....
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:46 PM   #19
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We used them as well, they helped a bit, but nothing like the turnbuckles- again I'll try to post photos.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:47 PM   #20
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The advantage of the turnbuckles is their rigidity. Straps are good only in tension, whereas something more solid would give stability in both directions, without the need for lots of tension.
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