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Old 04-06-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
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Rear Bike Rack Woes

hello everyone (new member)

i've been working my way thru various rear hitch mounted bike racks and have not found one that works with the spare tire and the aluminess fatty bumper with storage cabinet.

anyone found one that sticks out from the hitch far enough?

thx in advance
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Old 04-06-2008, 10:40 PM   #2
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You should be able to find an extension at an RV store, I've seen them on truck campers before, and I'm pretty sure on RVs where the hitch is way under.
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Old 04-07-2008, 12:00 AM   #3
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You might also consider fabricating your own using a truck load extender.

Only cost me $20 at Harborfreight. Should be long enough to clear anything.

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Old 04-07-2008, 04:13 AM   #4
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After searching the internet, I found a 12-inch hitch extender for $47 total cost at Amazon.com. It is very heavy duty (weighs about 10 lbs). To make it more secure, I had an extra hole drilled in it at a local machine shop, at the point it was shoved completely into the receiver.

Then I got a receiver cargo carrier off Amazon.com for $149, including a bolt-on bicycle attachment. Had the same machine shop 1) drill an extra hole at the point it was shoved completely into the hitch extension for stability; and 2) drill a couple extra holes for the bolt-on bicycle attachment so the bike wheels were more secure when slid into the wheel slots. Use ratchet-straps to secure bicycles to carrier.

All of this clears the rear tire nicely, yet allows opening of the back doors (when carrier is empty and bike attachment not on). Please note I have the continental tire cover with a full-size tire, but I've seen hitch extenders as long as 18-inches when looking for my solution.

The brand name for the cargo carrier, bicycle attachment, and soft cargo bag is Lund. Got the Lund soft cargo bag (exact size of cargo carrier) cheapest at 4wheeldrive.com. Lund has their own website where you can see all this stuff at once. The combination above gives me a lot of flexibility on what I load/store behind the van.

Mike in Charlotte
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Old 04-07-2008, 07:51 AM   #5
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Mike,

Thanks for the post...a few questions
- Do you find the bike bounces a lot?
- Do you also tie the bikes/rack to the SMB?
- How many bikes can you put on?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mikestead
After searching the internet, I found a 12-inch hitch extender for $47 total cost at Amazon.com. It is very heavy duty (weighs about 10 lbs). To make it more secure, I had an extra hole drilled in it at a local machine shop, at the point it was shoved completely into the receiver.

Then I got a receiver cargo carrier off Amazon.com for $149, including a bolt-on bicycle attachment. Had the same machine shop 1) drill an extra hole at the point it was shoved completely into the hitch extension for stability; and 2) drill a couple extra holes for the bolt-on bicycle attachment so the bike wheels were more secure when slid into the wheel slots. Use ratchet-straps to secure bicycles to carrier.

All of this clears the rear tire nicely, yet allows opening of the back doors (when carrier is empty and bike attachment not on). Please note I have the continental tire cover with a full-size tire, but I've seen hitch extenders as long as 18-inches when looking for my solution.

The brand name for the cargo carrier, bicycle attachment, and soft cargo bag is Lund. Got the Lund soft cargo bag (exact size of cargo carrier) cheapest at 4wheeldrive.com. Lund has their own website where you can see all this stuff at once. The combination above gives me a lot of flexibility on what I load/store behind the van.

Mike in Charlotte
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Old 04-07-2008, 08:47 AM   #6
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No, the bicycles don't bounce a lot. Not that I can hear or see, anyway. I have some good rachet straps with wide webbing.

No, I don't attach or strap the bikes to the SMB in any way. A couple good straps over the bodies of the bikes keep them bound together, and I strap the handlebars. The cargo rack has several pre-drilled holes so you can run 4 good-size straps along the long side of the cargo carrier, plus some other holes on the ends of the cargo rack. And other smaller holes to strap handlebars. You can always drill more holes if you need them.

Now we don't have expensive mountain bikes. Just a couple old cruisers for riding around the campsite or to a nearby town. The rack will hold 4 bicycles but that would be cozy, probably requiring more straps across their frames to hold them together - a bundle of bikes. Could probably make some spacers to keep bike frames off each other if you were worried about scratching the paint.

Attaching cargo carrier and rack to the SMB? I just have a couple receiver pins and clips. One to attach the extender to the SMB, and one to attached the cargo carrier to the extender. You can get good locking pins for around $15 each, if you're worried about someone stealing your cargo carrier.

Mike in Charlotte
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Old 04-07-2008, 10:22 AM   #7
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I've been eying the new Aluminess bike carrier mount. See:

http://aluminess.com/bike-racks.htm

That's probably the easiest option, although you'll also want to get their new bumper/arm support upgrade kit.

However, I'm going to do something a bit different, and will post when completed. Basically, I don't want my rig any longer, so I'm going to fab an aluminum equiv to a trailer hitch connector but up on the right swing arm. That'll move the bikes both up and in, and they'll swing out with the swing arm so that they don't get in the way of the doors.
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Old 04-07-2008, 11:05 AM   #8
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Lobo,
I have the Aluminess bumper and the standard carrier for 4 gas cans. I bought (used on Craigslist for $50) a Hollywood Rack (looks the same as teh Thule). The vertical swing arm off the hitch just fits between the spare and the gas cans. This is the tilt down model. The bikes clear the tire and the gas can holder with no modification. I have been strapping the bikes to the bumper meaning I cannot open the rear doors without removing a couple of straps.

kzemach: I don't think that the page you link to is a new bike rack attachment. I had called them about 8 months ago and they said they are not sellling it, even though this page is up, since it wasn't stable enough.

ps Lobo: I was in Venice yesterday and saw an older SMB with a green stripe on Pacific. Is that you?

steve
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Old 04-07-2008, 03:08 PM   #9
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Thanks Mike,

I use straps to connect my custom hitch haul to the door hinges on my SMB. It stabilizes the load significantly. I have a lock too...but i'm afraid the lock will fail and use a simple pin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikestead

Attaching cargo carrier and rack to the SMB? I just have a couple receiver pins and clips. One to attach the extender to the SMB, and one to attached the cargo carrier to the extender. You can get good locking pins for around $15 each, if you're worried about someone stealing your cargo carrier.

Mike in Charlotte
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Old 04-07-2008, 09:07 PM   #10
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Jage:
i thought the extender would be a great idea but Thule says they wouldn't recommend it due to stress. But after reading these posts i may rethink that strategy.

Mikestead:
Thanks for the info! I'll look in to the Lund stuff.

kzemach:
this is the Thule rack i tried with our set up:

http://www.thuleracks.com/product.asp?dept_id=8&sku=964

The idea is great but it just plain didn't clear the spare tire. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with!

cellularSteve:
wasn't my SMB! mine's the 2006 tundra green beastie on Rose. And thanks for the hollywood rack info. I saw one of these this last weekend and thought it had more clearance.

thanks to all.
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