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Old 11-21-2021, 11:10 AM   #11
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I own a Kuat swing away and it works well. I believe they were made for them by Rakattach who may be owned now by 1Up?

I recently had a new bike rack swingarm put on my van by Aluminess and the new latch on that hangs down lower than the old style latch. The new latch is low enough that it contacts the passenger side Kuat swing away. Iíll be buying a new unit that opens to the driver side since my spare tire carrier still has the old style Aluminess latch.
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Old 11-22-2021, 01:13 PM   #12
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I tried the Saris swing-away for fitment at REI. Worked great for swinging the bikes out of the way, but puts the bikes an additional 12Ēbehind the rig Ö too far back in my opinion. It was a little tricky just backing out of the parking lot. My latch bracket for our box also interfered with the passenger side of the of the hitch. I also considered a RakAttach adapter for use on the driverís side but the tire swing bracket would also make contact. Can the Aluminess box-mounted bike rack be retrofitted? It appears as though it requires extra welded braces in the back over the top of the box. In the meantime, Iíll use our Thule T2 rack and tilt the rack away to open the boxes and the doors.
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Old 11-22-2021, 03:18 PM   #13
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Charliesmom - - Scott, or others working on carrying bikes into the backcountry,

Here's a document I put together on the folks over at #Advanturing with a Sprinter SMB, an Aluminess bike swing arm, and heavy bikes. As they say, a support is needed using this Aluminess product with heavy bikes. They were most helpful when I reached out to them and generous with their time writing stuff up for me.

> > > https://bit.ly/2CSSW1w

They have a few years and many miles of rough road using their setup. Evidently, no troubles.

The key advantages of this direction of a solution are it gets the bikes up high and keeps the truck the same length.

The key disadvantages are it's complicated and it can be hard getting the bikes up there.

The tricks we've found to work running it some 12 times and a hundred miles; so still figuring it out:
>> The weight of the bike (50 lb e-bike in our case) is less of an issue than the awkwardness of the bike itself.
>> Velcro the front wheel to the frame tightly so it doesn't flop around.
>> Lift with your legs and keep the weight of the bikes at chest level.
>> Use a step ladder. Ours is 18 lbs strapped to the roof rack.

It's actually easier putting the bikes up than taking them down; as in walking backward (!) down the stepladder is harder than going up. The link below shows our set-up and me doing my first test walking back down the stepladder; not very graceful... I've gotten a little bit better.

I'm not a strong guy. If you can hold 50 lbs to your chest comfortably, walk around, and walk up 3 steps without too much effort all in about some 10 to 20 seconds, you can get the bikes up on the Aluminess rack. You're not doing curls or presses with the bikes, for the most part, you're just holding them steady.

>> https://photos.app.goo.gl/1P3TyUQrnvxDkLo26

Our support arm weighs 26 lbs.

Here are the parts I bought for the fabricator to work his magic:
>> https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Fabri.../Curt/D33.html
>> https://amzn.to/2Z2HC1v

Aluminess Bike Rack Swing Arm Weight Specifications:
> Upper Platform: 100 pounds
> Lower Platform: 100 pounds
> Deluxe Storage Box with Shelf: 35 pounds
> Expedition Kit: 15 pounds
> 1-Up Bike Rack Tray: 17 pounds each

Swing Arm Capacity = (100 + 100) - (35 + 15 + (17*2)) = 116 pounds

...and yup, you have to subtract the other weights per Aluminess.

The E-350 rear 2-inch box hitch has a tongue weight spec of some 500 lbs as it's attached to the steel frame of the truck.

The Aluminess front 2-inch box hitch has a tongue weight spec of 150 lbs because it's attached to the Aluminess aluminum bumper, not the truck steel frame.

Feel free to PM me if needed.

Please let me know if my arithmetic and/or specs seem off; hopefully not.

Hope the thoughts and data are helpful.

Best to all, Em -
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Old 11-22-2021, 08:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charliesmom View Post
Can the Aluminess box-mounted bike rack be retrofitted? It appears as though it requires extra welded braces in the back over the top of the box. In the meantime, Iíll use our Thule T2 rack and tilt the rack away to open the boxes and the doors.
In my case, I bought a whole new swingarm including the box. I doubt that they could retrofit the bike rack piece over an existing box.

I donít like how the new style Aluminess latches hang down so low. I didnít anticipate that latch interfering with my swing away rack.
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Old 11-22-2021, 09:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rltilley View Post
In my case, I bought a whole new swingarm including the box. I doubt that they could retrofit the bike rack piece over an existing box.

I don’t like how the new style Aluminess latches hang down so low. I didn’t anticipate that latch interfering with my swing away rack.
That and the fact there are no bushings on the pivot bolts. I drilled all mine out and put in brass but they are notoriously rattly and loose. Sometimes I'm tempted to yank all my aluminess gear off. The weight of my bikes on top, fire pit and generator in the box hammers those pivots. There must be a better long term weight fix out there that allows me to keep it all and not rattle.
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Old 11-23-2021, 07:39 PM   #16
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@bec_n_em
Thanks for your thorough and timely reply, as well as, the documentation. Our mtn bikes weigh 70 lbs. (Trek 38, Specialized 32) and our current rack (Thule T2) weighs 47 lbs. If we retrofit our van with the Aluminess Ford bike rack swing arm our weight will be under the 200 lbs. capacity of the new arm (Deluxe box, Expedition kit, upper platform, 2 1UP trays). I like the extra stability of the hitch mounted modification. Iíve contacted Aluminess to see if their bike rack swing arm is available for the Transit. Iíll send you a PM regarding installation and fitment of your rack and hitch mount after I have communicated with Aluminess. Thanks again for your input and help.
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Old 11-24-2021, 12:34 AM   #17
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I use the Yakima swing away and Kuat double carrier that fits the hitchÖ. Works well with spare tire swing arm on driver side. e350 RB on 35s. The Kuat can dip down and allow passenger rear door access as well without having to completely swing the bikes away. Very robust system.
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:47 AM   #18
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Iíve used two different Yakima swing-away systems with my E250 with door-mounted spare (not an Aluminess mount). I have a step bumper and an aftermarket receiver hitch.

One setup is a Dr Tray platform rack coupled with the Back Swing for when Iím carrying full suspension MTBs. The other is a Full Swing arm-style rack (no need for the Back Swing unit with this) if I need to carry more bikes. Both clear the tire, although the Back Swing combo adds more clearance (and sticks out pretty far when combined with the tray rack). The Back Swing swing arm seems very robust, even when swung fully open with three bikes cantilevered out.

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Old 11-25-2021, 10:00 AM   #19
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Welcome Charliesmom/Scott! Drop a line anytime. If anyone is in the SF Bay Area/South Bay the fabricator that made our support was Bob Graves, super competent and good guy found here:

https://www.instagram.com/graveswelderservice/?hl=en
https://graveswelderservic.wixsite.c...swelderservice

Graves Welder Service
195 San Pedro Ave Ste E-7
Morgan Hill, CA 5037
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Old 11-26-2021, 09:43 AM   #20
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Thanks for the info. Still waiting for communication from Aluminess.
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