Bike Rack on a Fleetwood E3

Discussion in 'Cargo Carriers / Bike Racks / Other Storage Option' started by grcooperjr, Aug 2, 2007.

  1. grcooperjr

    grcooperjr Lunatic

    1,557
    0
    May 21, 2007
    Tigard, OR
    Hi Folks

    I have been looking for a bike rack solution that did not involve installing it on the roof. The reason I did not want that, is the roof top is almost 6 ft off the ground to start and after install the cross bars and a rack I’d need a ladder to get em off…

    Putting them on the frt deck was a option for a while but, because of the equipment I haul, I ran out of room.

    So that only left two choices, On the rear bumper or leave them at home. After doing the math on tongue loading and checking around a bit, this is what I did. I got a light weight receiver hitch that would span the distance (60”) between the frame rails. I found a Thule swing out receiver bike rack. These two items brought the added weight up to 68 lbs before adding the two bikes. The bikes weigh in at roughly 15 lbs per. All said and done I added roughly 85 lbs to the rear. Using a shipping scale I borrowed from work, I checked the tongue weight. It changed form 492 to 476 with the deck and trailer loaded up as I would normally tow. Here some pics of it installed:
    <img src="http://www.buyastrostuff.com/ftp/Rays/camper/P4243526.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="http://www.buyastrostuff.com/ftp/Rays/camper/P4243527.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="http://www.buyastrostuff.com/ftp/Rays/camper/P4243531.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="http://www.buyastrostuff.com/ftp/Rays/camper/P4243532.jpg" border=0>


    This was not a cheap way to go. But it does look good and the rack can be used on the car also. Another side benefit of using this mount is you can leave the bikes mounted when you set up. They just swing out of the way to the side of the trailer.

    The cost were as follows…

    Hitch: $249
    Thule Bike rack $410
    Total $659


    I took it a short trip to see if the handling changed any. Worked great with no issues. So anyway here’s a option that worked for me on my Fleetwood E3. It may work on others but be sure it does not unload the tongue to much..


    Ray Cooper
    Tigard OR
    2007 Hummer H3(DW)
    2007 Hummer H2 (Mine)
    2007 Fleetwood Evolution E3

    Edited by - grcooperjr on August 02 2007 19:32:02

    Edited by - grcooperjr on August 02 2007 19:35:07
     
  2. jhower

    jhower New Member

    1,208
    0
    Jul 25, 2006
    That probably works well since the E3 is configured so differently than almost any other PUP.

    You certainly did your homework before jumping into it!


    John & Cindy in Pennsylvania
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle> <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle> 2007 Flagstaff 620ST, '95 Dodge Dakota
    His <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> & Hers <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> Pelican kayaks

    http://community.webshots.com/user/jhower55
     
  3. grcooperjr

    grcooperjr Lunatic

    1,557
    0
    May 21, 2007
    Tigard, OR
    Thats what I was thinking too that E3 has so much in frt of the axle, that the weight did not change much. As far as doing the homework first. It's easer to do that then spend the money than to spend the bucks and have to rip it off when it didnt work well. As far as the math goes. I borrowed that from my flying days and calculating the weight & balance.

    Ray Cooper
    Tigard OR
    2007 Hummer H3(DW)
    2007 Hummer H2 (Mine)
    2007 Fleetwood Evolution E3

    Edited by - grcooperjr on August 02 2007 19:55:13
     
  4. nummyx6

    nummyx6 New Member

    79
    0
    Jun 21, 2007
    I am hearing issues of the weight on the actual bumer or frame of the PU. Is this really and issue, or does it depend on the PU?

    I have messed up a bike twice by hauling it in the back of my truck. Therefore i need to get a rack, but i don't want it on the roof.

    '69 Michael
    '72 Missy
    '94 Bailee
    '96 Meg
    '03 Madelyn
    '04 Cole (mamma finally got her boy) :)
    '06 Bruzer the Killer Chiauau (long coat)
    '02 Silverado
    '07 Flagstaff HW 25 s/c
     
  5. grcooperjr

    grcooperjr Lunatic

    1,557
    0
    May 21, 2007
    Tigard, OR
    Well....

    I'd say it is popup dependent. On the E3 there is so much of the trailer forward of the axel (15 ft out of 21 ft total length) that the weight and balance did not change much. On others I’ve seen 85 lbs would make a big change to the tongue weight.

    If you want to know what the weight would do to your tongue weight. get these measurements...

    center axle to center ball
    center axle to most rearward point.
    total tongue weight

    Once you have the above you can calculate the weight and balance for any location that weight is added.

    If you don’t feel comfortable doing the math, measure the tongue weight as is, then add a static weight(in my case 85lbs) at the mount point of the rack and re-measure. If it unloads the tongue more than 5 to 10 %, I’d find another method…


    Ray Cooper
    Tigard OR
    2007 Hummer H3(DW)
    2007 Hummer H2 (Mine)
    2007 Fleetwood Evolution E3
     
  6. nummyx6

    nummyx6 New Member

    79
    0
    Jun 21, 2007
    So what i am hearing you say is that it is more of a tongue weight issue than a structural issue?

    That being said, how do you mount a hitch receiver to the rear of the camper?

    '69 Michael
    '72 Missy
    '94 Bailee
    '96 Meg
    '03 Madelyn
    '04 Cole (mamma finally got her boy) :)
    '06 Bruzer the Killer Chiauau (long coat)
    '02 Silverado
    '07 Flagstaff HW 25 s/c
     
  7. grcooperjr

    grcooperjr Lunatic

    1,557
    0
    May 21, 2007
    Tigard, OR
    Hi again

    I bolted the receiver on mine directly to the frame and then welded it for a bit more support.(way over kill)
    <img src="http://www.buyastrostuff.com/ftp/Rays/camper/P4253534.jpg" border=0>
    <img src="http://www.buyastrostuff.com/ftp/Rays/camper/P4253533.jpg" border=0>
    The bumper on mine is just thin sheet metal and would not support it. The frame on mine is somewhere between 3/16" and 1/4" rectangle box tube. Strong stuff but weird dimensions. So I suspect that Fleetwood had the stuff made just for them rather than using standard dimensional steel box tubing.

    Ray Cooper
    Tigard OR
    2007 Hummer H3(DW)
    2007 Hummer H2 (Mine)
    2007 Fleetwood Evolution E3



    Edited by - grcooperjr on August 03 2007 15:02:26
     
  8. Rdav13

    Rdav13 New Member

    1
    0
    Aug 3, 2007
    Hey grcooperjr, could you give me the brand name and maybe the model of the receiver hitch you used? I have an E3 and can't find a hitch that goes 60" wide. It looks like it works great on yours!
     
  9. grcooperjr

    grcooperjr Lunatic

    1,557
    0
    May 21, 2007
    Tigard, OR
    The best Price I found was @ etrailer at this link
    http://www.etrailer.com/pc-UMH~82201.htm
    It's made by hidden hitch

    Ray Cooper
    Tigard OR
    2007 Hummer H3(DW)
    2007 Hummer H2 (Mine)
    2007 Fleetwood Evolution E3

    Edited by - grcooperjr on August 03 2007 17:01:38
     
  10. jhower

    jhower New Member

    1,208
    0
    Jul 25, 2006
    nummyx6,

    On most PUPs attaching anything like a bike rack or receiver to the bumper or frame is not a good idea. Standard frames just aren't designed for any kind of load like that.

    The E3, on the other hand, is quite a different animal! The Evolution and Scorpion series are designed for off road and hauling toys and have heavier construction.

    I've seen receiver hitches on the back of some PUPs. I've also seen some bent and twisted frames due to receiver hitches added to the back.


    John & Cindy in Pennsylvania
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle> <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle> 2007 Flagstaff 620ST, '95 Dodge Dakota
    His <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> & Hers <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> Pelican kayaks

    http://community.webshots.com/user/jhower55
     
  11. ALICAM

    ALICAM New Member

    307
    0
    May 10, 2007
    Southwestern Ontario
    I just have to say that this looks like the most awesome looking bike rack I have ever seen on a popup. I am totally impressed with what you have done.
    Alicam
     
  12. grcooperjr

    grcooperjr Lunatic

    1,557
    0
    May 21, 2007
    Tigard, OR
    Well.... Thanks...

    It's going to get a trial by fire at the end of the month. 1800 miles on the road and 3 off road locations in the desert for our amateur astronomy habit. Almost 4 weeks total on the road, should be fun. If it well hold up to this trek, it should work fine for everything else....



    Ray Cooper
    Tigard OR
    2007 Hummer H3(DW)
    2007 Hummer H2 (Mine)
    2007 Fleetwood Evolution E3
     
  13. grcooperjr

    grcooperjr Lunatic

    1,557
    0
    May 21, 2007
    Tigard, OR
    You know folks….

    I was just re-reading the posts and I have to agree with John. This may not work on all PU’s. The E3 is a beast in it’s self. It’s built extremely stout compared to most PU’s. So if you want to go this route, two things you have to have….

    1 a frame stout enough to support it
    2 after all said and done the tongue weight must still be enough to keep the PU stable when towing.

    If your PU is using C channel or very thin wall rails for the frame, don’t go this way. You wont have enough support.


    Ray Cooper
    Tigard OR
    2007 Hummer H3(DW)
    2007 Hummer H2 (Mine)
    2007 Fleetwood Evolution E3
     
  14. jhower

    jhower New Member

    1,208
    0
    Jul 25, 2006
    Ray hit it on the head. The E-series from Fleetwood and maybe Starcraft's RT series are pretty close to the only ones that have a stout enough frame to handle a rear mounted rack. Both of those are designed for off-road use and have decks for carrying ATVs or cycles, so they have to have a stronger frame to start with.


    John & Cindy in Pennsylvania
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle> <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle> 2007 Flagstaff 620ST, '95 Dodge Dakota
    His <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> & Hers <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_kayak.gif border=0 align=middle> Pelican kayaks

    http://community.webshots.com/user/jhower55
     
  15. nummyx6

    nummyx6 New Member

    79
    0
    Jun 21, 2007
    10-4 That is the information i was looking for. Thanks.

    '69 Michael
    '72 Missy
    '94 Bailee
    '96 Meg
    '03 Madelyn
    '04 Cole (mamma finally got her boy) :)
    '06 Bruzer the Killer Chiauau (long coat)
    '02 Silverado
    '07 Flagstaff HW 25 s/c
     
  16. grcooperjr

    grcooperjr Lunatic

    1,557
    0
    May 21, 2007
    Tigard, OR
    Howdy Folks....

    Just got back from a weekend trip and just thought I'd report that the hitch & bike rack worked flawlessly. It was only a 150 mile jaunt, but I could not be happier. Next trip at the end of the month for 3 weeks should be a blast….


    Ray Cooper
    Tigard OR
    2007 Hummer H3(DW)
    2007 Hummer H2 (Mine)
    2007 Fleetwood Evolution E3
     
  17. grcooperjr

    grcooperjr Lunatic

    1,557
    0
    May 21, 2007
    Tigard, OR
    Hi Again Folks

    Well we just got back from a 2300 mile 12 day excursion to Idaho. What a blast. Any way I just thought I would add that the rack preformed GREAT. No towing issues at all.

    The only problem we had was after loading up to go, Someone tried to steal our bikes off the rack at home in the wee hours of the morning. We made our first gas stop 4 hrs from home to find one bike just hanging on with no tie-downs. All of them had been cut including two 1/2 inch lock cables. So it appears that our 3am departure interrupted their attempt to acquire our mountain bikes.

    To sum up, the Rack while a bit pricey, worked great for our use on the E3. Best of all i did not have to use a roof rack. That save the need for me to carry a ladder to get the rack loaded or unloaded.


    Ray Cooper
    Tigard OR
    2007 Hummer H3(DW)
    2007 Hummer H2 (Mine)
    2007 Fleetwood Evolution E3

    Edited by - grcooperjr on May 28 2008 09:53:52
     
  18. grcooperjr

    grcooperjr Lunatic

    1,557
    0
    May 21, 2007
    Tigard, OR
    Howdy again folks....

    Another side benny of mounting the hitch on the back of the E3, It gives me a place to mount the swingarm for my new grill into the hitch crossbar... here's a LINK

    <img src="http://www.buyastrostuff.com/ftp/Rays/camper/P4253534.jpg" border=0>

    <img src="http://www.buyastrostuff.com/ftp/Rays/camper/camper-stuff/images/fg-50a.jpg" border=0>

    enjoy....

    Ray Cooper - Tigard OR
    <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 2007 Hummer H3 - <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> 2007 Fleetwood Evolution E3
    The boys & one Girl... Katie, Buddy, Toby, Ralphie, Sammy, & D.B."Cooper"
     
  19. jeepmaniowa

    jeepmaniowa New Member

    68
    0
    Sep 2, 2008
    grcooperjr,

    Thanks for the write-up and followup on your E3 - hitch bike rack.

    Between you and He Ruide, I don't have to do much research on my mods. :)

    The hitch is part of my winter mods (this is my first year and first popup).

    Later,

    Bob

    Evolution E3 (2008) Silver
    TV: Dodge Ram 2500 Silver CTD
    Bob, Janie and two sons.
     
  20. grcooperjr

    grcooperjr Lunatic

    1,557
    0
    May 21, 2007
    Tigard, OR

Share This Page