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Old 07-20-2011, 03:38 PM   #1
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Trunk / Bike Rack

Several folks have asked for more info., so here's the details on my Trunk / Bike Rack.
The unit slides out away from SMB, allows access thru rear doors, carries 3 bikes and holds a lot of dirty gear...

These are the components used to create it:

Telescoping Hitch Rack, Silent Hitch Pins and locks:
http://www.letsgoaero.com/ProductDetail.asp?Pid=33

Aluminum Box 60" x 22" x 11.5"
http://www.discountramps.com/cargo-box.htm

Thule Racks: Artificial Gutters, Gutter Foot Pack, Load Bars, Lock Cores, Bike Mounts; 2-SideArm 1-Echelon.
http://www.thule.com/en-US/US

Other small parts:
-Dual Receiver Hitch Extension: To raise the height of the trunk for better off road clearance.
-Trailer Tail Light Kit w/ wiring and plug. I routed the wiring thru the hitch tubes where possible.
-Pad Locks / Hasps. Extra security. Lock on box is pretty much worthless.
-Carabiners, Sling, Rope and Bolt Hangers (for climbing, you could use something else I just have tons of these laying around): To support lid when open.
-Misc nuts / bolts.
-Silicone: To "pad" the lid to the edge of the box and water proof holes drilled into box for locks etc.
-Foam sleeping pad: To line the box, prevents stuff from banging / sliding around.

Loaded up: w/ 2 mtn bikes, 1 road bike.


Normal position:



Extended position:



Open with bikes attached: Note the sling / strap that limits the opening. The rope supports the lid when fully open, the chains are what came with the box they are just riveted in and are obviously not very strong.



Extended w/o bikes:

Lid open...


SMB back doors open:




Lid fully open w/ SMB back doors open:


This cable limits how far the trunk can slide back on the rails (provided with the Telescoping Hitch Rack)


Hitch pin that prevents the rack for telescoping open when driving. I put one in each side just to be sure... Could also use locking hitch pin here (I just didn't get and extra locking one with the same key)


Detail of Thule artificial rain gutter: I used lock nuts and larger washers inside the box to secure these and the hasps etc.


I think you could squeeze on 4 bike mounts (depending on what type / combo), especially if the load bars were a bit longer. I didn't want my bars sticking out much further than the box which would eventually limit the van doors clearance, as luck / guesswork would have it mine are nearly perfect as is.
I think the weak point is the piano hinge on the lid (especially if you were to open it a lot with bikes loaded, which I don't really need to do often. I inspect the hinge and rivets (lots of them so thats good) often, so far it seems to be holding up very well, but I may reinforce it anyway.
Hope this answers your questions, if not let me know.

Ride-on...
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Old 10-07-2011, 02:37 PM   #2
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Re: Trunk / Bike Rack

Tmtm, thanks for posting this. You linked it to me earlier in another post of mine about alternative bike racks. I just got back from a long trip and have been thinking about this idea. The only difference i am thinking of making is 2 sliding tracks welded directly to the sides of my receiver hitch instead of using the center receiver. Anyway, thanks, i'm still pondering. I'll let you know what i come up with. First purchase - WELDER! I've been looking for an excuse.

thx
eric
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Old 12-22-2011, 03:35 PM   #3
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Re: Trunk / Bike Rack

Great idea! Thanks a lot for sharing all the details and photos. How easy is it to pull back the telescoping part when fully loaded? Is there a lot of friction to overcome with brute force? And, are you comfortable driving off road with this setup (eg, does the platform wobble)? Iím thinking of making something similar.

Thanks,
-JR
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Old 12-22-2011, 05:04 PM   #4
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Re: Trunk / Bike Rack

I would love to have a box similar to that, but I would want it to be 60 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 36 inches tall, with a breakaway hitch to lower it away from the van. I could then remove the front wheels from my road bikes and keep them inside out of the weather. I have a Thule rack with a custom canvas cover now that works OK, but it still gets some road dirt and water inside and the cover takes 15 minutes to get on and tied up properly. If anyone has seen one, please let me know.

I am thinking a door on each end instead of the top. You could then roll a bike in from each end and attach the fork to a bike tight.
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Old 12-23-2011, 11:19 AM   #5
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Re: Trunk / Bike Rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve_382
I would love to have a box similar to that, but I would want it to be 60 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 36 inches tall, with a breakaway hitch to lower it away from the van. I could then remove the front wheels from my road bikes and keep them inside out of the weather. I have a Thule rack with a custom canvas cover now that works OK, but it still gets some road dirt and water inside and the cover takes 15 minutes to get on and tied up properly. If anyone has seen one, please let me know.

I am thinking a door on each end instead of the top. You could then roll a bike in from each end and attach the fork to a bike tight.

You are in luck. The company that manufactures the telescoping platform also makes the GearSpace 34. It has a box with a 63" x 28" x 40" interior, and they offer a bike mounting kit. It ain't cheap though: $1287.

http://www.letsgoaero.com/ProductDetail.asp?Pid=17

Let us know if you get one. I am curious about this sort of solution also.
-JR
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Old 12-23-2011, 06:01 PM   #6
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Re: Trunk / Bike Rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrtozer

You are in luck. The company that manufactures the telescoping platform also makes the GearSpace 34. It has a box with a 63" x 28" x 40" interior, and they offer a bike mounting kit. It ain't cheap though: $1287.

http://www.letsgoaero.com/ProductDetail.asp?Pid=17

Let us know if you get one. I am curious about this sort of solution also.
-JR

Thanks, I had actually seen that earlier in my searches, but it seems like a big rig compared to the aluminum box. It's 130 pounds empty. Upside is you could use the top part for a bath tub if you had running water.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:39 PM   #7
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Re: Trunk / Bike Rack

Quote:
Originally Posted by jrtozer
Great idea! Thanks a lot for sharing all the details and photos. How easy is it to pull back the telescoping part when fully loaded? Is there a lot of friction to overcome with brute force? And, are you comfortable driving off road with this setup (eg, does the platform wobble)? Iím thinking of making something similar.

Thanks,
-JR
I had the same concerns before I put everything together...

I have found it pretty easy to telescope out, sometimes it requires a sharp tug to get it going, but not brute force. There are rubber "bumpers" at the end of the rails and to Lets Go Aero sends a little bar of wax to use on the rails, at first I thought no way, it seemed pretty hokey, but it works fine. I also thought I may have to wax the rails all the time, that it may melt off (I'm in sunny / hot So Cal) or wear quickly but I've only done it once (you can see the wax and bumpers on the rails in the 3rd photo from the bottom).

Yes it does wobble and I wouldn't drive fast over real rough terrain (with or w/o the rack for that matter). I went to a metal / 4x4 fabrication shop and asked them to weld up a beefier Dual Receiver Hitch Extension that would have less play and they said, why... that one is plenty strong, the play in the system helps to prevent stress at any one point, which has proved to be the case.
I've driven rough dirt roads, admittedly it was a little unnerving watching it sway at first, after 1000's of miles it's in perfect condition so I'm not concerned.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:37 PM   #8
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Trunk / Bike Rack

Ok just finished my set up like yours accept I did not use the hitch extension.
I did use the crush nuts on the rack but I'm not sure about them. I also used a ratchet strap on each side to hold the lid better


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Old 07-02-2012, 09:43 PM   #9
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Trunk / Bike Rack

Gooseberry, looks nice!

Off topic question about your screen name, I just camped at Gooseberry CG in Fishlake NF, Utah.
Any relation? I've never heard of a Gooseberry otherwise.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:39 AM   #10
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Re: Trunk / Bike Rack

My SAR dog and best partner is Gooseberry and she is named after Goseberry Mesa Ut our faverite place to mountain bike


By the way I have a swaggmann 4 bike rack up for grabs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty
Gooseberry, looks nice!

Off topic question about your screen name, I just camped at Gooseberry CG in Fishlake NF, Utah.
Any relation? I've never heard of a Gooseberry otherwise.
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