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Old 05-03-2018, 04:56 AM   #1
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Rear Bumper Bicycle Rack vs. Spare Tire

I was reading on another thread in this forum about the "break away" bumper on the Sunlines. I was wondering why it looked like my bumper had been re-welded on at some point, where the metal plates are.

Discussions are such that bicycle weight would be too much, and cause the "break away" issue. However, the spare tire that comes mounted on the rear bumper is probably heavier than 2 of my bicycles combined.

I am needing a bicycle rack and I want access to the interior of the RV at rest stops without having to trip over bicycles or constantly taking them in and out of the RV.

I am starting to think that my only option is to put a hitch on the front of my Tahoe, and have the bicycles in front of the truck. That might be all I can do but the downside is that my very nice bicycles will take a lot of dirt and road debris, unless I cover them, and that might impact engine air cooling.

Any other suggestions, ideas, solutions for bringing 2 bicycles with me, outside the vehicles so I can have my additional storage space inside the vehicles?

I am also wondering if my spare tire could eventually cause another bumper break down sometime in the future? The re-weld does not look great.
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Old 05-03-2018, 05:05 AM   #2
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Old 05-03-2018, 05:52 AM   #3
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There is a rack that fits on the tongue over the propane bottles. The downside of that os how high you have to lift them to get them on. The other option is to have a receiver hitch welded to the backside frame of the Sunline, then get a bike rack for that. The way the back of a trailer bounces I wouldn't put a rack on the bumper. We put ours inside the truck, but that's really difficult getting them up in there.
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Old 05-03-2018, 06:46 AM   #4
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I agree that the bumper looks repaired somehow.

The biggest issue is with the bumper torquing, not static weight. A spare tire does it some. When the carrier is mounted right in the middle, the height and weight of the tire in the center will twist the tube as it bounces down the road. Just push on the tire a little bit and you'll see how much movement it has when standing still. Over many miles, it'll twist and eventually break those welds.

Similarly, many people want to mount hitch mount style bike carriers to the bumper, via a welded hitch or bolt on hitch. This creates the same issue as the spare tire, but many times worse, and bumper failure will happen quickly. If a bike carrier on the back is absolutely necessary, buying the style that the bike tires sit on is a much better option, because it distributes the weight and puts it closer to the frame rails. I always suggest mounting the spare tire to one side of the bumper, and the same would apply to the bike carrier- when you can have the mounting points as close as possible to the bumper mounting points/frame rail, it's much stronger and a lot less likely to break.

Generally the rule is 100 lbs max on the bumper, and in factory form, I wouldn't try to exceed it. Actually I'd argue that 100 lbs applies to things mounted near the outside/frame rails, not in the center.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/RV-or-Cam...ycles/29390141

https://www.campingworld.com/the-bike-bunk

The bike bunk is definitely a better option if you already have a hitch style bike carrier.
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:47 PM   #5
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Hi ...as Sunline Fan stated, it is the torquing which causes the failure. I have lost a few bumpers even after having the welds reinforced--it wasnt always the welds fault either,sometimes the thin bumper metal just twisted apart. I have had three types of carriers and the only one I had success with is the one Jon posted on the WM link. But we DID have another weld angle plate put on for reinforcement also as we traveled long distances.Its not fun pulling in for gas out in the country at night and find you are dragging part of your bike..ask me how I know...lol. The only drawback of this carrier is the ground clearance. You will have added two feet to the rear causing the clearance angle to change.It attaches with U bolts. Try to mount it on the top of the bumper,not hanging below. P.S it wasn't only my Sunnies bumpers--had problems on two of my motorhomes also! Janalee
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Old 05-04-2018, 10:15 AM   #6
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How many bikes are you carrying? I carry 2 in my 1950 and can still walk through without a problem. I made a very simple rack on the front wall to hold the wheels and attached some D rings as anchor points to strap them in. I posted pics on the FB page yesterday.

I do plan to carry my empty bike rack on the bumper so that I have to transport my bikes to nearby trails once I get to a campground, but I don't trust the bumper to carry the bikes on the rack. My spare tire fits under the bed, so I don't have anything but the empty rack on the bumper.
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:43 PM   #7
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The T1950 has a "unique" frame in the back of the camper. This shows up on the 2005 and newer 1950's and at least back into the 2004's as I have one. I'm assuming the pre 2004 ones have this too.

Due to the way the toilet is situated the black tank is under the toilet. This is common. However in the case of the T1950 and the way Sunline handled the problem of the dump pipe coming out of the black tank and missing the trailer frame, they stepped down the left side frame rail at the rear tire hanger down to a 3" tall frame rail all the way to the bumper. It starts as a 4" frame on the 2004 and the 2005 is larger. That 3" high frame at the end of the camper hanging back there is not as strong as the right side frame rail.

I would caution to not mount any bikes on that frame setup. This has nothing to do with the bumper in this case, the bumper is a problem too. But the 3" frame is overhung some 4 to 5 feet behind the rear axle hanger and it will not hold a bike hanging off the back for a long period of time.

As to your spare tire, slide it over the to door side of the camper next to the main camper frame so it clamps the bumper at the frame connection. That connection side is stronger than the non door side.

Hope this helps

John

PS, the front of the Tahoe has tranny heat and headlight issues as you noted. I tried this on my 2003 Suburban and while I only had a small tranny heat issue I had the 3/4 ton truck version to start with. And a tranny temp gage to see it. The head lights and the bike tires I helped by making a special rack so the tires were below the headlights. However I later learned their are DOT lighting laws that you cannot block the front directional signal either. We traded trucks by that time so I never added directional lights to the front of the rack.

Carrying bikes can be a challenge pending ones tow vehicle. It took me 4 places tried, 2 campers and 3 trucks... to find the place on the TT A frame I now use them on. Adding to the A frame increased the loaded tongue weight which means a large WD hitch and then can the truck and the trailer A frame handle the added weight? I do not think the A frame will work on your 1950 and the Tahoe due to the added weight.

My son was able to get 2 adult bikes into the back of a Ford Expedition. I do not recall if he ever had them in his GMC Jimmy. He had to take the front tire off I think as it had a quick release tire mounting and he had a blanket setup too I think to not get bike dirt in the truck. That may work in the Tahoe as long as there is no 3rd row seat.
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Old 05-08-2018, 08:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnB View Post
My son was able to get 2 adult bikes into the back of a Ford Expedition. I do not recall if he ever had them in his GMC Jimmy. He had to take the front tire off I think as it had a quick release tire mounting and he had a blanket setup too I think to not get bike dirt in the truck. That may work in the Tahoe as long as there is no 3rd row seat.
Here is the answer to what the son did/does now.

When we used the GMC Jimmy (with our popup) the bikes were in a roof rack mounted carrier. To put them inside the 2nd seat needed to fold down and that caused the driver seat to be more forward than normal and not comfortable for a tall guy on long trips.

Then when we had the Expedition since it was just the two of us we folded the 2nd seat down and the 3rd seat stayed in the garage. With all that space and the front bike tires removed they easily fit inside along with our other gear. Our kayak was on the roof.

Then came the Avalanche and the bikes went back on the roof rack (with the kayak) because with the popup we had more gear in the truck than we do with the Sunline now. Sometimes when I dont feel like loading them on the roof I'll fold down the 2nd row and put them in the cab, because now there is usually not much there its all in the Sunline, with the popup it was full.

The roof mount option is really a young and tall person solution on a full size SUV, it takes some some flexibility and strength to get them on the Avalanche. Your best bet may be to store them inside the Tahoe or camper.




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Old 05-10-2018, 05:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
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How many bikes are you carrying? I carry 2 in my 1950 and can still walk through without a problem. I made a very simple rack on the front wall to hold the wheels and attached some D rings as anchor points to strap them in. I posted pics on the FB page yesterday.
Can you post pictures here? Thank you!
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Old 05-10-2018, 05:22 AM   #10
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I am mulling over all these good suggestions. I can probably prop up both bikes in back of the Tahoe. I kind of need the room back there for chairs, water jugs, air pumps, etc.

The other thing I am thinking of doing, is seeing if one of the bikes can lay on the bed (without skuffing the walls) during the trip. The other one can maybe stand next to the sofa. They would not ding each other that way. (I am very protective of my Trek!) They can be chained up at night outside the RV.

I will play with them today and see what I come up with.

As John says, also, I should move the spare tire over the the stronger door side of the frame.
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Old 05-10-2018, 05:45 AM   #11
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:12 AM   #12
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In this pic you can see the piece that I made to hold the front wheels of the bikes. I have 3 anchor points on the front wall that i use for straps that go to the handlebars. There are 2 other anchor points that can't be seen in this pic. One is just inside the door, on the chair side. The other is across from that one under the sofa skirt. I use these 2 points to strap the rear of the bikes. The next time I have the bikes in there I'll snap some pics. I do have a piece of carpet I put on the floor to protect it from the bike tires.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:19 AM   #13
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The other thing I am thinking of doing, is seeing if one of the bikes can lay on the bed (without skuffing the walls) during the trip. The other one can maybe stand next to the sofa. They would not ding each other that way. (I am very protective of my Trek!)

As John says, also, I should move the spare tire over the the stronger door side of the frame.
I carry a Trek DS4 and a Giant without a problem. They don't hit when I strap them in properly. I put my spare tire under the bed.
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