Taking along the bikes - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 12-27-2014, 07:31 AM   #1
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Taking along the bikes

Heading to Utah next year from Massachusetts for a couple months and would like to take along the bikes. We have the rear receiver, and will get a newer/better bike rack as mentioned in one of the many posts on racks. The question is has anyone done the long haul with them on the back of your trailer? if so any issues or suggestions? Guess I'm wondering if the receiver is really up to the task.
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:03 AM   #2
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We always travel with our mountain bikes. I think this type of setup is best to prevent any sway, best used with a top tube adapter to keep the bikes level. The downside is the weight and we have to adjust cargo inside the Escape accordingly. Utah is an awesome place to ride!
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Old 12-27-2014, 11:08 AM   #3
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Forgot to mention, the trick is to tie the inside pedals together, that keeps the bikes from rubbing.
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Old 12-27-2014, 12:41 PM   #4
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Like others I add a strap from the top of the rack to the top of the spare tire bracket which tightens the rack to the tire and keeps the rack from moving. I also add an "insurance strap" from bikes to rack and extra strap holding the bikes together like Bcdonaher. No problems on long trips so far. Utah parks are a great place to go!
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Old 12-27-2014, 12:41 PM   #5
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The receiver is more than strong enough for the task. What's needed is a "U" clamp to take the slop out of the connection. Taking out the slop and holding the bike rack firm prevents the bike rack from moving back and forth etc.

That is unless you find a bike rack that is a rock solid fit in the receiver.

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Old 12-27-2014, 01:01 PM   #6
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Some racks don't have a problem with slop in the receiver fit because they are not just pinned though the receiver - they are bolted into it. My rack (never used on a trailer, just the van an a motorhome) is not a good one; it is just an older version of this SportRack. It has only a 1.25" stinger, but it avoids rattling by having a nut welded into it so it is held into the receiver by a bolt through the hole normally used for a pin. When in a 2" receiver, it is used with a plastic spacer to fill in the extra 3/4" in each direction. In the main photo on that SportRack webpage you can see it is in a 2" receiver tube with the spacer and bolt in place; the instructions for this rack more clearly show the bolt setup (images 17 through 20).

I think that a slop-free connection in the receiver will be easier on the receiver, although I trust that the receiver tube itself is suitably strong anyway.

Even with zero play in the receiver mounting, I think the bracing straps are a good idea, due to play and flex in all of the other joints of the rack. I have not used straps with our motorhome, but there is no where to tie them to (unlike the readily accessible Escape bumper), and the motions of the back of a trailer might be even worse than the back of the motorhome.

With a trailer, I would probably install permanent eyebolts (or hooks, or loops) for convenience when using the straps... although I would rather avoid a rear-of-trailer rack, for all of the reasons discussed in other threads.
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Old 12-27-2014, 01:17 PM   #7
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We too use the Thule for our 2 bikes and completed a month across five states in Sep with no problems. The bolt needs to be checked daily as it does loosen. The advice given by other posters to put on additional straps is very important! No matter how little lack of movement in the receiver, there will be a lot of sway by the bikes if the upper parts of the rack are not restrained. We are also considering welding extra bracing on the pivot points on the lower part of the rack to strengthen that area, although to date we have not noted any wear. On a previous rack where the bikes rode with their wheels in a wire mount, the bounce ( had a Boler then) going over a cattle grate, slammed the bikes up and down so hard they snapped all the bolts holding the rack together. So just an extra backup to weld those areas with extra plates. We did move that rack to the front of the Boler, but a whole new issue comes along when backing and turning the trailer as to wheel pinch; just another thing to complicate our drive for recreational opportunity!
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Old 12-27-2014, 02:14 PM   #8
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Thanks folks, my current Thule looks just like the one bconaher shows, it bolts to the receiver. Maybe I won't bother getting one of the wheel mount jobs and just use this one. The bikes are not real high value, pretty old school compared to what's out there these days.
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Old 12-27-2014, 06:24 PM   #9
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We have used a Swagman rack for thousands of km travel with bike on the back, looseness in the receiver was moderated by shims made from an old magic carpet sled. I like the idea of the straps mentioned above or getting round tuit and drilling and welding bolts to the receiver to steady the mount. Great riding in many parts of Utah.
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Old 12-27-2014, 06:35 PM   #10
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How about care of the bikes? I usually go through them over the winter, and tweak if needed during the season. Any extra maintenance needed for bikes hauled around on a rack?
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