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Old 09-06-2011, 09:21 PM   #1
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Bike rack mount (please help)

I have a 2002 flagstaff RB21 that I need to mount a bike rack on the back. On this model, I don't have the square bumper. I have a flat bumper. The frame it is welded to is 2" x4" and is steel. A welder told me this was fine and to purchase an adjustable receiver hitch so he could weld it to the frame, reinfore it, then weld the bumper back on. My plan is to mount the spare on the tounge. Does anyone have any information that will help or any other ideas? The only option I have to haul bikes is on the rear of th TT.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:30 PM   #2
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Because welding or bolting anything to a 5th wheel Ultra-Lite camper voids the frame warranty and I had a new camper I was forced to find a suitable alternative for our bikes. We finally went with a nose hitch for the truck. See photo. There is a member here who made a NICE tongue mounted bike rack that straddles the propane tanks in front. I will try to find the thread for you.

Bike Rack

One of MANY threads here on this topic.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:38 PM   #3
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Seems like there are a lot of issues with mods to frames and warranty. On my last TT we did put our bikes in the coach while we travelled down the road (only took them with us twice) now I want to get a bike rack too, and I can see it's physically possible to weld or bolt a 2" receiver on the bumper, my spare is already on it with u bolts. Just because it seems reasonable doesn't mean it's ok though. I'm going to see what I can put together in the next week or two, if I come up with something good I'll post it here. Herk's solution is great since we already know a snow plow will sit up there no problem so two bikes is nothing for the truck. How do you clean the bugs off the bikes?
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:45 PM   #4
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How do you clean the bugs off the bikes?
Never had a problem. The only issue I had was the trans ran about 10 degrees hotter than normal and fuel economy was about 1 MPG less.

There are many horror stories here from campers who mounted bikes on ultra-lite bumpers and had the bumpers crack or fall off losing bikes; spare tire; and all.
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:51 PM   #5
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I found an adjustable receiver hitch with a 350lb tounge rating that my welder has approved. It adjust from 46" to 76". My wife sais no to mounting on the front of the TV. I looked at mounting on the tounge but I'm afraid it will add to much weight since I don't use a weight distribution hitch or anything. The local rv shop said my best option was on the back of the TT.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacobs View Post
I have a 2002 flagstaff RB21 that I need to mount a bike rack on the back. On this model, I don't have the square bumper. I have a flat bumper. The frame it is welded to is 2" x4" and is steel. A welder told me this was fine and to purchase an adjustable receiver hitch so he could weld it to the frame, reinfore it, then weld the bumper back on. My plan is to mount the spare on the tounge. Does anyone have any information that will help or any other ideas?
Might want to take a look at this parallel thread: Cracked bumper

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The only option I have to haul bikes is on the rear of th TT.
I can't find any information on an RB21, so I have no idea if it is a tent camper, hybrid, travel trailer, or 5th wheel. But I can't believe that the only option is the rear bumper.

How about:

Be more persuasive with the missus about the front of the TV.

The roof top if using an SUV TV.

The bed if using a truck TV.

Rigging a bicycle rack to the front of the trailer off of the tongue. Get a WDH if needed.....seldom a bad thing.

Inside of the trailer.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:04 PM   #7
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The only tongue mounted bike rack I found is sent from overseas and cost $650 plus freight. And it took 20 mins for someone who spoke English to get to the phone. Does anyone know of another rack made and sold in the US for the tongue? I've seen some custom racks but I would like a bolt on so I can move it to another TT when needed.
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:33 PM   #8
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I have a 2002 flagstaff RB21 that I need to mount a bike rack on the back. On this model, I don't have the square bumper. I have a flat bumper. The frame it is welded to is 2" x4" and is steel. A welder told me this was fine and to purchase an adjustable receiver hitch so he could weld it to the frame, reinfore it, then weld the bumper back on. My plan is to mount the spare on the tounge. Does anyone have any information that will help or any other ideas? The only option I have to haul bikes is on the rear of th TT.
If he is welding it directly to the frame rails I say go for it. Not sure how long a frame is warranted, but being a 2002 I really don't think you'd have to worry about a warranty. I carried bikes for 7 years on the back of my 2003 Cherokee and never had an issue. Maybe they were just built better back then
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Old 09-07-2011, 02:12 PM   #9
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The only tongue mounted bike rack I found is sent from overseas and cost $650 plus freight. And it took 20 mins for someone who spoke English to get to the phone. Does anyone know of another rack made and sold in the US for the tongue? I've seen some custom racks but I would like a bolt on so I can move it to another TT when needed.
the only tongue bike rack i've ever seen is Toppoprails' system. and i don't think Canada is overseas. if you have something different, i'd like to know who makes it.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:32 PM   #10
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Yes it is in Canada. Wasn't sure when I called. and it is the only company I've found that makes one.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:41 PM   #11
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another option is to get another hitch reciever

I have a factory hitch reciever and now have a 15,000 lb Hitch reciever mounted underneath the factory reciever - I use the lower reciever for the trailer and when I am ready for a reciever mounted bike rack I will use the factory reciever for that.

Keep in mind I have a lifted 4x4 so I have the extra room
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Old 09-08-2011, 12:43 AM   #12
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Yes it is in Canada. Wasn't sure when I called. and it is the only company I've found that makes one.
yep, it's expensive! i wonder why Yakima and Thule haven't come up with something similar.
Aerolite and Kodiak trailers had the Toppoprails rack system as an option, for a few years. must have been too expensive to continue it.
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Old 09-21-2011, 06:52 AM   #13
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Personally, I use and recommend the ladder bike rack. It's temporary, works great, and is inexpensive and safe.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:13 AM   #14
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I still disagree with mounting a bike rack to the rear frame!
Coming from one of those who had bike handle bar ends go through the back of the fiberglass shell makes me cringe when another asks about doing the same.
Just because he is a professional welder doesn't mean he knows the ins and outs of light weight rv frames.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:18 AM   #15
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The only thing worse than mounting a bike rack on the bumper of a lightweight camper is hanging the bikes from the roof ladder. That is simply insane. It is one thing to rip off the bumper, quite another to have the ladder tear out of the rear camper wall!

If a receiver is welded to the frame carefully, with lots of bracing and reinforcement, that should be ok. But those frames are made of very thin metal, so any potential flex at the welding points must be totally eliminated. if not, over time, the welds will break from fatigue.

Once my warranty is up, I will be mounting a hitch. Once I get the belly cover off, I will know what I am up against, but I am looking to run a reinforcing channel on the inside of both frame rails, maybe up as far as the axles. I don't think there is anything in the belly back there, so should be able to do it. I would then tie the hitch into that. I am hoping to be able to construct the hitch/rails as a unit, then just slide it into the frame and bolt in place. I would rather not weld on the camper frame, because it is so thin. We'll see if it is possible.
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:34 AM   #16
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The only thing worse than mounting a bike rack on the bumper of a lightweight camper is hanging the bikes from the roof ladder. That is simply insane. It is one thing to rip off the bumper, quite another to have the ladder tear out of the rear camper wall!

If a receiver is welded to the frame carefully, with lots of bracing and reinforcement, that should be ok. But those frames are made of very thin metal, so any potential flex at the welding points must be totally eliminated. if not, over time, the welds will break from fatigue.

Once my warranty is up, I will be mounting a hitch. Once I get the belly cover off, I will know what I am up against, but I am looking to run a reinforcing channel on the inside of both frame rails, maybe up as far as the axles. I don't think there is anything in the belly back there, so should be able to do it. I would then tie the hitch into that. I am hoping to be able to construct the hitch/rails as a unit, then just slide it into the frame and bolt in place. I would rather not weld on the camper frame, because it is so thin. We'll see if it is possible.

I would be interested in seeing how you will do this. keep us posted with pics.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:17 AM   #17
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A mag drill would be nice drilling all those holes
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Old 09-21-2011, 12:10 PM   #18
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If the ladder will support my 260 lbs (and it does) surely it will support the 25 pounds my two bikes weigh. I've carried my bikes like this for 20 years!
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On another note however, go to AdventureRV.com and take a peek of their receiver hitch which bolts to the rear square bumper. It actually goes from one end of the bumper to the other with U-bolts around the bumper and the cross ties also. Then you can use all your receiver accessories.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:36 PM   #19
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Your two bikes weigh 25 lbs, seriously? My two race bikes don't weigh that little. I'd like to buy yours and race them.

I'd imagine the weight of your two bikes is greater than you think and the forces acting on those bikes as you drive down the road are certainly greater than 25lbs.

The ladder and bikes are many feet behind the axle and the farther out from the axles, the more force placed on the ladder with each bounce.
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Old 09-21-2011, 01:39 PM   #20
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Your two bikes weigh 25 lbs, seriously? My two race bikes don't weigh that little. I'd like to buy yours and race them.

I'd imagine the weight of your two bikes is greater than you think and the forces acting on those bikes as you drive down the road are certainly greater than 25lbs.

The ladder and bikes are many feet behind the axle and the farther out from the axles, the more force placed on the ladder with each bounce.

Very true what you say, but is the force greater than 260 lbs, the weight of the gentleman that uses the ladder.
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