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Old 07-20-2010, 01:15 PM   #1
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bike hitch for my ultralight. is it advisable?

One of the most inconvenient things of our travels is getting the bikes in/out of the back of my truck. My manual says not to add any bike rack/hitch to trailer as it could void the warranty - yet I see hitches on trailers all the time. Anyone have firsthand experience with this?
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:19 PM   #2
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I have a 2010 2607 that we purchased a bike carrier for that goes around the spare tire. It holds two bikes and we plan on trying it out this weekend. Wasn't hard to install and I agree taking the bikes in and out of the truck is a pain. I will let you know how it holds up.
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Old 07-20-2010, 01:44 PM   #3
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I added bike racks to the bed rails of my truck, which keeps the bikes out of the bed, so other things can be carried there. See my signature photo.
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:15 PM   #4
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you can find hundreds of posts about upset owners who put a bike rack on the rear bumper of their ultra-lite trailer, only to find that the bumper failed and their bikes/rack were bouncing down the road.

bigger, heavier trailers, like 5th wheels, have beefier frames and bumpers. ultralites don't.

the only successful way to do this, is to have a receiver welded AND braced to the frame and bumper. many have done it with success. but it will void most frame warranties.

there is the Toppoprails tongue-mounted bike rack system but it costs around $500.

personally, my bikes are worth, at least, $1000 each, so i refuse to put them where i can't see them.
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:28 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastlakeRoo View Post
I have a 2010 2607 that we purchased a bike carrier for that goes around the spare tire. It holds two bikes and we plan on trying it out this weekend. Wasn't hard to install and I agree taking the bikes in and out of the truck is a pain. I will let you know how it holds up.

I took my tire mount bike hitch to Key West and back with no problem (I thought). I noticed the bumber caps were falling out at every gas stop but did not put 2+2 together until I contacted FR about it.

Those heavy bikes located 18 -24 inches from the bumber twist that flimsey tubular steel bumper like nobody's business. That twisting was working the rubber caps out of the ends of the tube.

I solved it (so far) by adding a reciever hitch to the front of the truck and bought another (!) bike carrier for the front hitch. I also bought a 4 inch bumper hitch that I bolted on the camper bumper just to hold the carrier when I am in camp so I can drive around the area without toting the bikes along. Not the best answer (BY FAR) but its what works right now.

My pin box is so flimsy I was worried about solutions that mount the bikes up there (not to mention clearance problems with my short bed). Oh did I mention climbing up there to mount the bikes and get em down? I think after a season it would be the end of carrying bikes!
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Old 07-20-2010, 05:31 PM   #6
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remember, travel trailers don't have shocks. so they bounce.

bikes on the rear bumper will bounce and pull back on the rear bumper, since they are a distance away from the trailer.
this flexing will occur over and over, causing eventual failure on the bumper's welds.

whereas a spare tire is as close as possible. this lowers this type of movement.

adding bikes to a spare tire is even worse. you're adding the bikes weight to the spare tire's weight, all on one spot of the bumper.

and less expensive bikes weigh a lot more than expensive bikes.
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Old 07-20-2010, 06:03 PM   #7
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How about those bike carriers that hook on the ladder. Do they work? or do they present another set of problems?
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:29 PM   #8
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How about those bike carriers that hook on the ladder. Do they work? or do they present another set of problems?
My ladder is pretty shakey. It scares me when I have to go up there for maintenance. The only thing on my ladder is a flag bracket and it will "break away" in a wind strong enough to damage the ladder.

I really did look at those before I dropped a lot of money on a new carrier and fron hitch. If the ladder starts to pull loose, there is no way to re-attach it. The blocks are molded into the wall at just the right places.

If fact on a different post, someone stated that if you did not order the ladder at the factory, the blocks were MISSING and you could not install one aftermarket. I don't know if that is true, but having seen other crazyness it just might be.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:24 PM   #9
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I think I saw that Thule has made a rack line which mounts across the back of the trailer. Then they sell different attachments; ie bike "hangers" for them to ride back there. I thought there could be weight distribution issues with this since added weight to the rear could significantly reduce the hitch weight. Transporting bikes seems to be a universal concern. I'm surprised that (so far) there are no easy answers. And FYI: I have a cap on my TV which makes even trickier to remove those bikes.
Anyone have any luck with securing them INSIDE the trailer? I am considering a tandem and thought this might be the way to go.
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:09 PM   #10
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I have been carrying them in the backseat of the pick-up. A real pain getting them in and out,and replacing the front wheel.Then there is the "rattle" problem. I hate to hear rattles when I'm driving. I bungi them down as best I can.
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