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Old 10-24-2020, 04:10 PM   #1
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Heavy E-Bikes, Bumper Rack Capacity, and Tongue Weight

We just got a 1Up Super Duty double rack to carry two E-bikes on the rear bumper of our E21C. The total weight of rack plus bikes (minus batteries) will be the maximum allowable 150 pounds.

The 1Up is one of the few bike racks that is approved for RV use.

I'm considering having a local metal shop beef up the trailer's bumper and hitch receiver, just in case.

I'm also thinking of moving the spare tire from the rear of the trailer into the box of the truck when towing with bikes in order to keep the tongue weight within the recommended range. I'll buy or borrow a scale to check the actual tongue weight with the tire in both locations.

Does this plan make sense? Has anyone used one or both of these strategies to carry heavier bikes while controlling the tongue weight?

Thanks for any ideas!
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Old 10-24-2020, 05:16 PM   #2
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I'm in the middle of making a large cargo box. My decision was eliminate the spare tire holder and move the spare tire to the truck box. Removing the spare also allows for the rack to be closer to the bumper. I do like the idea of carrying the spare under the tongue area and that's probably where it'll end up.

Some folks have added 2 extra receivers. That not only spreads the load out but also prevents side-to-side rocking which quite frankly, scares the crap out of me when I'm behind such a situation. Maybe because I witnessed a bad accident ahead of me when bikes on a rack came off, debris littered the highway, cars took evasive action and one rolled and people were hurt.

Nice bikes.

Ron
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Old 10-24-2020, 06:54 PM   #3
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Makes perfect sense to me, I used both of those strategies on my last trailer. It was not an Escape, it was an Arctic Fox, so I can't speak to the specific dimensions and weights, but the same general principles were at play. I removed the spare tire and put that in my truck bed. Then I had a mobile welder come to me (we were camp hosting in Duluth, MN at the time). I can't take credit for his plan, I just told him what I wanted to carry, which was a Hollywood rack and 2 heavy Pedego e-bikes, and that I didn't want to add much weight or bulk to the rig, and he came up with the solution. First he beefed up the bumper by welding 2 L-shaped plates in the corners where the bumper met the main frame. Then he welded a new stronger receiver sleeve to the bumper. It didn't look like he did much at all, but he assured me it would do the trick and would never fail, and he was right! We went back and forth across the country a few times with that setup with zero problems...
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:00 PM   #4
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Thanks for your advice, TahoeJoe and Ron in BC. Very helpful.
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Old 10-31-2020, 02:32 PM   #5
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For the record, I took my E21C to the welding shop and the owner scoped out the trailer's frame and rear bumper hitch receiver and advised me to work within the 150# weight limit and not try to beef it up to carry more.
So when we buy it we'll limit the weight of my wife's e-bike to 40# with the battery removed, and when bikes are on the rack we'll carry the spare wheel and tire in the box of the truck. That way we'll come in at about 140#, counting the 1Up rack.
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
For the record, I took my E21C to the welding shop and the owner scoped out the trailer's frame and rear bumper hitch receiver and advised me to work within the 150# weight limit and not try to beef it up to carry more.
So when we buy it we'll limit the weight of my wife's e-bike to 40# with the battery removed, and when bikes are on the rack we'll carry the spare wheel and tire in the box of the truck. That way we'll come in at about 140#, counting the 1Up rack.
Good to know. Now that I think about it, the welder I used had me send him pictures of my trailer's frame beforehand, so I suspect he was evaluating its potential, just like your welder did. Arctic Foxes have insanely strong frames...

Anyways, let us know how it goes, because my plan is to carry 2 heavy e-bikes as well...
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Old 10-31-2020, 03:41 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
For the record, I took my E21C to the welding shop and the owner scoped out the trailer's frame and rear bumper hitch receiver and advised me to work within the 150# weight limit and not try to beef it up to carry more.
So when we buy it we'll limit the weight of my wife's e-bike to 40# with the battery removed, and when bikes are on the rack we'll carry the spare wheel and tire in the box of the truck. That way we'll come in at about 140#, counting the 1Up rack.
You are very lucky to have found an honest welder who understands structural supports. The 5.0 TA's 1/8" thick 3"x 2" tube-steel frame is at best adequate, in conjunction with the fiberglass shells structural strength ( what ever that may be). The weakest link by far is the lap joint weld below the dinette and the four bolt through holes thru the top and bottom of the tube-steel .
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Old 10-31-2020, 07:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catchlight View Post
the owner scoped out the trailer's frame and rear bumper hitch receiver and advised me to work within the 150# weight limit and not try to beef it up to carry more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TahoeJoe View Post
so I suspect he was evaluating its potential, just like your welder did.
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Originally Posted by Tin View Post
You are very lucky to have found an honest welder who understands structural supports. The 5.0 TA's 1/8" thick 3"x 2" tube-steel frame is at best adequate,
Were these gut feeling evaluations or based on some data from something like a rectangular steel tube stress strength calculator?

Ron
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Old 10-31-2020, 08:05 PM   #9
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You might have missed that you can relocate your spare tire to within the tongue. This will offset some of your rear weight and you will not have to deal with the tire in the truck.
Good luck with your project.
More info here:
https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...tml#post278711
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Old 10-31-2020, 08:43 PM   #10
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indeed, using a rear double bike carrier, my wife's E-bike (50 lbs w/o battery) and my then-non-E-bike (25 lbs or so), I found our E21 was quite prone to being nose-light, and felt skittish with less than 400 lbs of tongue weight.

last trip, we put the two bikes in the back of the truck (8' longbed, so plenty of room). my hybrid is now a 40 lb mid-drive ebike.
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Old 10-31-2020, 08:56 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
indeed, using a rear double bike carrier, my wife's E-bike (50 lbs w/o battery) and my then-non-E-bike (25 lbs or so), I found our E21 was quite prone to being nose-light, and felt skittish with less than 400 lbs of tongue weight.

last trip, we put the two bikes in the back of the truck (8' longbed, so plenty of room). my hybrid is now a 40 lb mid-drive ebike.
That's what I do. I got an aluminum folding ramp so I can roll the ebike up into the truck (no lifting) and no worries about it on the back.
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Old 10-31-2020, 09:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
indeed, using a rear double bike carrier, my wife's E-bike (50 lbs w/o battery) and my then-non-E-bike (25 lbs or so), I found our E21 was quite prone to being nose-light, and felt skittish with less than 400 lbs of tongue weight.

last trip, we put the two bikes in the back of the truck (8' longbed, so plenty of room). my hybrid is now a 40 lb mid-drive ebike.
I just added up my rack and 2 bikes, and it's a bit heavier than I thought...I'm at about 170# total. Now I'm liking the truck bed solution...
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Old 11-01-2020, 06:02 PM   #13
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With a 5.0, would it be a correct statement to say that you'd be less concerned about weight distribution, front to back? Seems to me like that would be the case, but I've never towed a fifth wheel, so I just don't know. Setting truck payload constraints aside (not an issue with my TV), I'm only wondering about how the trailer itself would behave...
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Old 11-01-2020, 06:22 PM   #14
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I believe the 5th wheels are much heavier in front than the travel trailers, so it would be harder to add weight to the rear and have it be "too much" weight. But besides that, with the pin so far forward sway isn't really an issue.
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Old 11-01-2020, 07:16 PM   #15
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yeah, with the tow pin being right over the truck axle, the whole sway wag-the-dog concept just can't happen, and yeah, way more % of the weight on the pin than with most any ball towed trailer.
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Old 11-01-2020, 09:00 PM   #16
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I have used a 55# ebike on a swagman rv rated rack for the past 2 years. It has been to Saskatchewan and back along with numerous BC trips including Van Isle. It does not impact my towing when it is on or off and it does not flop or bounce. I do use a ratchet strap from the bike tight to the the bumper but it is more peace of mind than purposeful as the entire system is firm and tight without it. I could not install the rack for a second bike as the spare tire is in the way so I can understand why you would want to move it. I check all the welds regularly and all appears to be working as designed. Good luck with the ebikes I have enjoyed mine.
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