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Old 09-14-2011, 12:16 PM   #1
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Bike rack question


I have a 19 footer on order for delivery in May 2012, and I am trying to learn as much as possible here form all you good folks. Up to now we were camping in a pop up tent trailer. It has a Yakima rack on the top for two bycicles (really nice setup).

I was wondering what the best solution would be for an Escape trailer. A bike rack on the back bumber receiver, or a "special" double receiver on the tow vehicle with the bikes in between the vehicle lift gate and the trailer front.

My concerns are:
-in the back: weight and stress on bumper , bounce, reduced tongue weight
-on the tow vehicle: clearance when turning

I'd rather not stow bikes inside by the way as soon enough something will get scratched or greased up.

Any ideas? Thanks a lot.

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Old 09-14-2011, 12:47 PM   #2
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Location: Pollock Pines, California
Trailer: 2009 Escape 19
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Re: Bike rack question

On our 19, I installed a 7" hitch extension in back (to clear the spare) and put the bike rack back there. We carry 2 bikes, and I don't notice any difference re tongue weight or handling while towing. I am more cautious while backing; I usually have my wife spot for me if it's tight at all. Walkie-talkies come in handy.


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Old 09-14-2011, 01:28 PM   #3
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Re: Bike rack question

We had the bike rack ready option on our 17b, but ended up just using our Thule bike rack system on the roof of our tow vehicle ( a Highlander) .. We actually had an X-Cargo Box & our 2 bikes on the roof, worked out perfectly..

I would think if you had a tight turn (backing up) you may need to make sure you're not pinching the bikes (if they are between the tow veh & trailer), as that would be bad..

Former 17ft Plan "B" Escape
Toyota Highlander w/tow pkg

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Old 09-14-2011, 02:13 PM   #4
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Re: Bike rack question

We got the bike rack option on our 5.0'er. If Escape didn't think it was strong enough, they wouldn't offer the option. As to the reduced tongue weight, just stow a few heavier items forward to compensate. If you are *really* concerned, calculate the torque (length from axle x weight...I'd call it ft/lbs, you may call it Newtons) of the bike rack's load and move weight to generate counter-acting torque forward (I know I'm mixing my metaphors, but that's what they're there for).

Note the bike rack's location forces the location of the spare tire off center. If you want a symmetrical back end (and who, after all, doesn't), the bike rack option might not be your best solution.


I just couldn't let myself get away with mixing "torque" with "moment arm". Torque is the resulting movement or force caused by a weight being applied over a distance. What we really trying to do here is balance the moment (or moment-arm) between the front of the trailer and the axle with the moments generated from the rear of the trailer to the axle. This is still a bit general, but I suspect I've put many folks to sleep already. My apologies.
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Old 09-14-2011, 05:50 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
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Re: Bike rack question

I mounted the canoe on top of my tent trailer, instead of the vehicle. Seemed like a good idea.

Then I got to the camp site and realized that I had to unload the canoe to open the trailer, and that meant loading it back on the vehicle to go to the lake.

I suspect the same sort of issues with bikes. If you are the adventurous type and need to get your bike from the campsite to the mountain, you might be better off mounting it on top of the vehicle from the start. If you plan to bike from camp, then the rear mount on the trailer works.

2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

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Old 09-14-2011, 07:37 PM   #6
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Location: Silverdale, Washington
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Re: Bike rack question

I carried two bikes with a Thule rack on the rear of my 19' Escape without any problems at all. The Thule rack plugs into the optional Escape receiver. With two bikes and Thule rack on the rear of the Escape, the tongue weight is reduced by 40 pounds.

See Reply 6 & 8 for some weight information,
2008 Toyota Highlander
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Old 09-15-2011, 12:22 AM   #7
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Re: Bike rack question

Thank you all for replying. Much obliged.

I already have a Rola 59400 two bike hitch carrier which I use on my 2003 Toyota Tacoma Xtrcab Prerunner TRD. I have taken this combo (truck and rear bike rack) over some rough terrain and it works great by the way- never lost a bike.
When our Escape 19 is born, I'll give it a try on the rear Escape bumper receiver and report back.

Happy trails!
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:15 AM   #8
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Re: Bike rack question

We had the hitch installed when we bought "Blue" but have never used it. I can't get myself to hang our recumbent bikes off the back where I can't see them and make it harder to know where the actual back of the rig is. We use our Yakima rack on the top of the Tacoma - sometimes along with the canoe up there too.
Eric (and Mary who is in no way responsible for anything stupid I post)

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Old 09-15-2011, 12:33 PM   #9
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Trailer: Escape 19, 2018: Last Best Escape
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Re: Bike rack question

My 2 cents worth: We have a bike receiver hitch on our SittEscape. We used it extensively in July/August and it worked great, using an Allen 3-bike hitch mount rack. I thought the bikes would get very dirty back there but they actually stayed cleaner than on my Pilot alone.

Here is a pic of the rack + bikes in use, along with a different inside view with the bikes off the back end.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg photo(1).JPG (122.5 KB, 103 views)
File Type: jpg photo.JPG (256.9 KB, 83 views)

2018 Escape 19: Last Best Escape
2015 Escape 19 (previous): Escape Goats
2011 Escape 17 (previous): SittEscape

Honda Pilot 2011
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