Reinforcing the Receiver Hitch - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-27-2016, 02:21 PM   #1
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Reinforcing the Receiver Hitch

In another thread there was a discussion of the frame cracking, possibly due to carrying bikes. While it might not be the case, it got me to thinking of our upcoming situation.

We will want to carry 4 mountain bikes which will be on our 1UP bike rack. We had a receiver rack welded to our Casita, and used the 1UP racks and the 4 bikes on that successfully for 4 years.

However, we had a welder weld 2 solid steel bars to the frame of the trailer and back to a steel plate he welded to the bumper. That same plate, which was welded to the bumper, was also welded to the outside frame of the Casita. I've attached 2 photos which will hopefully show it better than I can can explain.

I know Casita used "L" shaped frame supports underneath, and "I" beams on the outside of the frame (I think both can be seen). That very well might be more substantial than the tube frames that Escape uses, I don't know. Just seems that there have been some frame issues with the Escapes that I don't recall reading about with the Casita (though my memory fails me a lot so I wouldn't want to be quoted! )

Anyhow, could something similar be done to reinforce the receiver on the Escape? I realize it will be over 150 lbs we will be carrying between the rack (roughly 100 lbs) and the bikes, (120 lbs ) and that's why I want to reinforce it...

Thanks for any feedback you could give!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 2011-07-11 6052559705.jpg (177.0 KB, 45 views)
File Type: jpg 2011-07-12 6053559715.jpg (217.5 KB, 42 views)
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Old 03-27-2016, 02:48 PM   #2
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We have yet to pick up our trailer but we are also interested in purchasing the 1UP bike rack (looks like its built like a tank), albeit the two bike model. I'd be interested if anyone has ever asked ETI what is the maximum weight that should be attached to the rear rack. Understand that I'm not trying to open up a discussion of tongue weight, just how much dead weight can be safely placed on the rear hitch?
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Old 03-27-2016, 02:53 PM   #3
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wt.on hitch

My 2013 21 says 150lbs on the hitch receiver
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Old 03-27-2016, 03:18 PM   #4
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This is what Tammy sent me last year:

"For liability purposes we are unable to reinforce the bike rack receiver to carry four bikes as it directly impacts the tongue weight of the trailer. At one time we certified our receiver to carry 300lbs however, on the advice of our insurance agent we have been directed to restrict the weight to 150lbs."

What she didn't say is whether they changed anything other than the rating. I have no problem adding support, if it would help and is required. I just don't quite know what needs to be done, as I have not seen the underside of an Escape trailer. I might have to wait until after we pick it up...
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huskersteffy View Post
Understand that I'm not trying to open up a discussion of tongue weight, just how much dead weight can be safely placed on the rear hitch?
I think that this is going to be hard to answer as everyone loads their trailers differently and has different options installed. Buying and using a tongue weight scale will be the best way to determine this for your trailer. I would think that hanging lots of weight off the rear bumper could have significant impact on tongue weight.
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:29 PM   #6
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I agree that a tongue weight scale is the only way to be accurate (and safe), but in my case, I added a Stowaway 2 cargo carrier to my rear hitch. 150 lbs on the rear hitch changed the tongue weight from 345 lbs to under 300 lbs. I moved a bunch of stuff around in the trailer to get the tongue weight back up to 324 lbs.
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:43 PM   #7
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From Bike Rack thread last year on forum; post #110

1up USA advises a two bike max for RV and travel trailer usage for our two inch models. The 1 inch models are not intended for RV and travel trailer use.

Lot of force back there; not to say you can't do it, but that is a significant amount of weight there, along with the spare tire and dual 6V in proximity.
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Old 03-27-2016, 04:47 PM   #8
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Underneath a 5.0TA

Nathan, I took these photos at the factory last fall and had posted them in a thread here. I don't know if these photos will help you with information on the underside, but it's worth a try.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC03532.jpg (114.9 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg underneath 5.0 - back.jpg (130.7 KB, 51 views)
File Type: jpg underneath 5.0 - middle.jpg (140.6 KB, 42 views)
File Type: jpg underneath 5.0 - front.jpg (158.1 KB, 43 views)
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Old 03-27-2016, 05:06 PM   #9
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Forgetting the "should it or should it not be done" for a moment, are there any crossbars that reinforcing bars could be welded to strengthen the receiver? And if so, is there more than one crossbar in front of the hitch that the reinforcing bar could span?

Well, Laura posted while I was typing...it looks like the tank prohibits anything from being welded further forward. Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2016, 05:54 PM   #10
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In looking at the first picture above, would it be of any benefit to have a solid steel bar welded halfway between the bumper and the crossbar? That way, it could be welded to the outside frames and the receiver hitch. Would that provide extra strength?
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