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Old 04-29-2014, 07:17 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Albany, GA.
Posts: 599
Bike rack

Background: I'm retired from working industrial maintenance for 38 years. Basically as a machinist, millwright, welder, fabricator, and "just go do what I told you to". Recently I wanted to remove the spare tire carrier from my '05 FR Grand Surveyor and just place the spare under the tool box of my truck. Heck, no one plans on a flat tire do they? I bought a nice bicycle rack for four (4) bikes that would normally fit in the 2" receiver of a truck, SUV, etc. BUT-the spare mount is not like that. There is a 2" x 3" rectangular extension from the TT frame, and welded on very good, that sticks out the back of the TT. There is a 3/16" 6" x 6" plate welded to this extension with bolt holes in it. The spare tire rack also has the 3/16" 6" x 6" plate welded onto it with matching bolt holes, therefore the spare tire rack bolts onto the mount made to the TT. So, I figure that I can cut the brand new bike rack after getting proper measurements, cut the plate from the spare tire mount and weld it to the bike rack so the bike rack bolts up to the existing plate on the TT. All of that went really well. I bolted everything up, mounted on of my g'son's bikes and all looked very good. Two weeks later I placed two adult bikes and two g'son's bike on the rack and was well pleased with what I had done. We took off to a campground about 100 miles away all smiley faced and happy. That was until about 40 miles down the road. Some background here: I live in rural S. Ga. and you can drive 40 miles without seeing anyone or any town on any give Thursday morning, which it was. Luckily someone in a very dirty white pick-it-up truck pulls up beside me blowing his horn, waving his hand, and hollerin' for me to stop. There is really no shoulder on these two lane roads so I pulled over as best I could. He's sitting beside me now telling me that my bicycles have fallen over and are dragging on the road. UH--OH!! I get out to look and sure enough the bikes have literally fallen over and the adult ladies bike has the rear tire on the pavement. I had to remove the bikes then and there, place them on top of the ice chests in the back of the truck and tie them down to continue on our journey. And YES he did stop to help me, Thank You Sir. Once we get to the CG and get set up I look into the problem with the bike rack. Just a simple case of the plate made onto the TT was not strong enough (maybe Chinese metal?) to hold up the weight of four (4) bikes. Once the plate on the TT started to bend I think the transfer of weight of the bike rack put a strain on the plate of the bike rack also (remember-this came from the original TT spare tire mount so maybe Chinese metal also). I'm going to replace both plates with 1/4" plate with a higher tensile strength and take the bikes for a test run to see if the thicker plates do any better. I'm betting they will.
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:43 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 366
Yeah, not surprised that happened, I spent years building everything from bike racks to custom equipment, with no support that plate isn't going to last, looks like 1/4" and all that weight bouncing down the road surprised it took that long.

2006 2500HD Duramax CCSB 2WD
2014 Crusader 285RET
Nights camped in 2013 - not enough!
Nights camped in 2014 37

Nights camped in 2015 40
Nights camped in 2016 35
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:34 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Albany, GA.
Posts: 599
Thanks "Crusadernoob" for that info. Actually the plate welded to the extension on the TT measured in at five points to be from .180" to .185 which puts it in the 3/16" range. I also took a 10" adjustable wrench to the plate on the TT to see if I could bend it--it bent way to easy. This has to be one of the softest pieces of steel I have ever encountered. I have a piece of 1/4" thick x 6" wide x 14" long of "boiler plate" type material coming. Sometimes it pays to stay friends with the guys I used to work industrial maintenance with. I doubt that the company where he is contracted into knows they are donating this plate. No really--often if an employee asks for a small piece of "scrapped" metal they are allowed to have it, and they go through this type material daily. All will be well soon and we can go camping again with the g'son's and bikes.
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bike, bike rack

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