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Old 03-01-2012, 11:22 AM   #1
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Receiver for Bike Rack on TT ?

I'm thinking about adding a 2" receiver hitch on the back of my 2011 Rockwood 1809s TT. FR advises that this will void the warranty (expired anyway) as may cause problems with TT frame. Company line is they don't recommend...
There is a welding shop nearby that can build a custom hitch receiver welded directly to the TT frame. They advise replacing the 4" back bumper with a heavier gage steel and have lots of experience.
Does anyone have any experience with this type installation? Is there much risk in the added weight of bicycles or < 150lb causing damage to TT frame or structure?
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:45 AM   #2
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My first advice is to do a search on this forum. The majority of posts will show you why this is a bad idea. A really bad idea!

Your trailer is a mini lite. Meaning it has the weakest and lightest frame possible. The warranty is just one issue. What is really problematic is the stress caused to the frame with having a bike rack extend several feet out. These trailers bounce like crazy in the back as you go down the road. That is a lot of stress and its not just the static weight of the bikes. If you do it, better make sure that this welding shop somehow strengthens the frame to allow for 150+ lbs bouncing as you are moving.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:56 AM   #3
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Thanks... this is why I need to hear from folks with more experience with this issue. More than likely I will carry 2 bikes so weight will probably be closer to 90lb. Still I don't want any problems with my TT investment...
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:06 PM   #4
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I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Trust me, if I felt I could do it, it would be the very next thing I do. We routinely travel with two adult and three children's bikes for the races we do as a family in the summer. I carry all inside the trailer. They are the last things in and the first to come out. Its a pain, but it is what it is.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:56 PM   #5
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been there done that ............ will not do it again !
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:04 PM   #6
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My neighbor did that to his new outback. I went over and cranked the bumper back to where it belonged and re-welded it to the frame. Was going to install one on my bumper but he tested it out on his first. Needless to say I don’t have one on mine
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Old 03-01-2012, 02:20 PM   #7
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The bumpers are not even substantial enough to support a spare tire.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:14 AM   #8
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As stated, "It is a REAL bad idea", can not be repeated often enough.
The problem is NOT the weight; but where it is located that is the problem. It is located some distance from the attachment point. This makes a lever (like a teeter totter) with the fulcrum at the welds. The bouncing at the bikes is quite severe and that up/down travel will crack any weld. Worse yet; if the attachment welds are strong enough; that torque is transferred to the frame at the aft rear axle weld points. Frame cracks are a certainty.

FR tried beefing up its frame on several TT models in 2010 and 2011 to add a generator/cargo tray to their line. They looked WONDERFUL and I considered upgrading my camper to one of the newer models till I ran the numbers. (After 3 years it is "just how I like it" and would need to start over again with a new one).

Must not have worked out very well since in mid-year 2011 they stopped offering it on their travel trailers. My guess is frame cracks and not "buyer demand" was the real reason for the cancellation of the option.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:21 AM   #9
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Wow....I was thinking of doing this also.... I didn't even consider these points.
We put them in the TT last and take out 1st also.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:41 AM   #10
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I have never had one on a trailer but I did have one on the reciever of my ATV. They become a giant lever. I could never keep the thing in one piece. That experience is enough to tell me I won't put one on my travel trailer. The leverage there is even greater.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:30 AM   #11
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I have been thinking of attaching my bike to the ladder on the rear of my Lexi MH using a CW lawn chair holder. Anyone tried this and how did it work? My bike is Aluminum framed and weighs about 35#
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:15 PM   #12
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since motorhomes have shocks, they are less susceptible to the bouncing that travel trailers have, since they don't have shocks.

that said, you need to check with FR on how much weight the ladder is spec'd for.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:58 PM   #13
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I am guessing since I go a solid 265, and it hold me you would be ok. But I am not riding down the road hanging on bouncing up and down.
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Old 03-09-2012, 10:48 PM   #14
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Hi Folks, I'm new to this forum. Just traded a 2002 Keystone Hybrid 21.5 for a 2012 FR Greywolf 26 FL. On the Keystone, I clamped a hitch receiver to the rear bumper usin 4- 3/4" Clamps, and carried 2 adult bikes on the BikeRack for the past 8 years; several trips were coast to coast. Didn't create any problems whatever.(maybe I got lucky). On the new FR there is a fold down cargo/bike carrier mounted on the rear with a claimed capacity of 250 lb PLUS the spare tire. If the frame's gonna crack--I hope it happens before the 1 Yr. warranty expires.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:16 AM   #15
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I asked my dealer to add a 2" receiver to my TT when I purchased it. He refused to do it saying that the extra stress could and most likely would cause the wall to crack near the slide out. His comment was that the frames on the new trailers were not as strong as the older trailers. I know some people have added a hitch to their TT and were lucky. But if the frame is damaged because of the extra strain they will be the first to complain about shabby workmanship and inferior steel on the TT.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:42 AM   #16
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Before we bought our last trailer I had the dealer weld angle iron from the frame to the bumper top and bottom, then I purchased the RV4 bumper adapter. Used a Outback 4 bike carrier. This setup worked great for 6 years until I traded. The only other thing I added was 2 ratchet straps to limit the bounce.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:11 PM   #17
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First off a little back ground on me I am a weld engineer I have worked for Reese hitch so taking some of that into consideration, I designed a receiver hitch that attached to the frame rails of TT, now everyone is right about the bike rack acting like a lever but if you gusset it, it will transfer the weight thru the frame forward just like a weight distribution hitch. A good weld shop will be able to do this for you I recommend using a good heavy wall box tubing .250 wall, the bumper is a joke but I actually did attach mine to the hitch it strengths the bumper. Now I use a Reese heavy duty bike rack rated for 200lbs and has a boat trailer hitch on it (I dont use that) I carry 5 bikes, but i do cross corner strap them to help with the rattle a little. Now Have been running this for beginning of third season on a Cherokee Lite no problems to date. If you would like some pics I can get them when I pull the TT out of the barn for the season and if weather holds out might be sooner than later. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.hiler View Post
If you would like some pics I can get them when I pull the TT out of the barn for the season and if weather holds out might be sooner than later. Hope this helps.
I, for one, would love to see some photos of how you did it.
Curious about the gussets. Just can't seem to picture it in my mind.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:02 PM   #19
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Herk I welded the box tubing right to the I beam of the TT frame then on the front two corners of the box tubing welded in a 6-8 triangle going forward so creates strength up and down and forward hope that helps I firmly believe in over kill in a situation like this, the joke is the hitch will still be there when the TT is long gone, but i will get some as quick as I can the way I back my TT in the barn it puts the hitch all the way up to the back wall doesn't leave much room to get back there and take pics. Also buy doing all, that I built a spare tire carrier welded to the center of the hitch as the ones to buy where pretty disappointing and i don't trust bolting anything to that back bumper.
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Old 03-13-2012, 04:32 PM   #20
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On my Surveyor, there is an extra "C" channel welded to the inside of the I-beam and the bumper.

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I carry 2 battery boxes with chock blocks, as well as the spare tire on the bumper........still not gonna carry my bikes back there.
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