Another Bike Rack Idea

PhaedrusPhaedrus Posts: 4Member
Hello all, new owner of a 5 wide little guy.
I've spent considerable time browsing this site both before and after purchase.
I've read through all of the bike rack threads and the consensus seems to be that using a hitch mounted rack on the rear of the trailer is risky.

I've also seen some good ideas for mounting a standing type bike rack on the tongue.

My idea is a variation of that and I'd like your feedback.

I have a Yakima Stick Up bike rack for my car
 https://www.amazon.com/Yakima-StickUp-2-Bike-2-Inch-Receiver/dp/B0012SHLLK

My idea is to remove the tongue cargo rack and install a receiver hitch on the front of the trailer.
Sort of a mirror of the one on the back.

The stick up has a large curved male hitch part to allow the rack to go on my low Ford Focus ST.
This type of curved raised male hitch part would also work on the front of the trailer.

I removed the cargo rack and did a mock up and it looks like it will work.

This would allow me to continue to use the bike rack for my car and the trailer.
It also folds up out of the way.

I've taken photos of the mock up but Photobucket is giving me fits so I can't post them here.

Questions:
Is the front tongue cargo rack integral to the structure of the trailer?
What kind of room do I need when the trailer is jackknifed? The bike rack is considerably larger than the cargo rack.
The only time jackknifing would occur is when I'm backing into a camp spot and I could remove the bikes first and flip up the rack.
Any other concerns?

Thanks in advance.

Comments

  • VernaVerna Posts: 3,855Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2016
    My concern would be tongue weight on your Ford Focus. Have you checked your owner's manual for how much tongue weight it can handle? 

    Sorry, but Ford's Official Towing Guide does not even mention the Ford Focus as being able to tow.  

    https://www.ford.com/towingguides/
  • PhaedrusPhaedrus Posts: 4Member
    Ya the lawyers at FORD don't want me towing anything.  this is an ST lots and lots of horsepower and does a great job of towing  however tongue weight is a concern
  • VernaVerna Posts: 3,855Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Your insurance company would probably love to have a conversation with you, too. Since you are aware you shouldn't tow, they may be likely to cover another vehicle in an accident, but not yours.   

    Do a search (upper right corner of this page) about undersized cars. You are not only taking a great chance at ruining your car, you are taking a great chance at hurting others. If you can tow it, can you stop it? 
  • PhaedrusPhaedrus Posts: 4Member
    I appreciate the concern but I'm  interested in feedback on my bike rack idea as its independent of whether my tow vehicle is competent or not.

    I'm sure there are lots of other threads on tow vehicles.
    I'm not about to endanger others on the road.

    With respect to the tongue weight. The entire force of the weight of the bike rack and the two bikes will be just in front of the tongue as the bike rack will not actually rest on the tongue but rather hang from the receiver which will be welded to the frame. I'm hoping that plus the removal of the storage rack and relocation of the battery would solve any issue relating to tongue weight.

    So my other questions are:

    Is the storage rack that's bolted on the tongue from the factory integral to the structure of the trailer?

    How far can the bike rack come forward on the tongue before I run into clearance issues on turns (jackknife)

    Any other thoughts on this.

    Thanks in advance

    Peter
  • MaryVanMaryVan Posts: 357Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2016
    I have that same bike rack, but attach it to a receiver on the back of my ss.  The tongue box and rear bike rack balance the weight on the receiver hitch.  I did remove one of the bike holders since I travel alone and take only one bike.  I hate to travel without my wonderful bike! I did toy with the idea of attaching the bike between the trailer and tow vehicle - concern about turning ratio and tongue weight discouraged me.  
  • Michigan_MikeMichigan_Mike Posts: 8,776Member ✭✭✭✭✭
    Phaedrus said:
    I appreciate the concern but I'm  interested in feedback on my bike rack idea as its independent of whether my tow vehicle is competent or not.

    I'm sure there are lots of other threads on tow vehicles.
    I'm not about to endanger others on the road.

    With respect to the tongue weight. The entire force of the weight of the bike rack and the two bikes will be just in front of the tongue as the bike rack will not actually rest on the tongue but rather hang from the receiver which will be welded to the frame. I'm hoping that plus the removal of the storage rack and relocation of the battery would solve any issue relating to tongue weight.

    So my other questions are:

    Is the storage rack that's bolted on the tongue from the factory integral to the structure of the trailer?

    How far can the bike rack come forward on the tongue before I run into clearance issues on turns (jackknife)

    Any other thoughts on this.

    Thanks in advance

    Peter
    To answer your question, no, the front storage rack isn't integral to the frame and you can remove it if you want and it will not affect the frame integrity whatsoever.  Others have removed the racks before and without any issues.  

    As for turning radius, you will need to determine that as every trailer is different and you should probably experiment with the distances you are considering and calculate the minimum space needed via placement of the rack, etc.  

    I respectfully will disagree with my good friend Mary Van as bike racks on the rear of these trailers is a good recipe for failure and future disaster.  My personal experiences speak for themselves here and if you use the search function you can read about them (and from others) as I am an advocate for bikes between the car and trailer to eliminate the extreme down forces and torque created by the whipsaw style action created from objects hanging off the rear of these trailers.  If people choose to take risks via this method and turn away from others who offer up their personal experiences and have experienced bike rack failures, losing bikes out on the road during travel and endangering others this is their choice.  You can lead a horse to water but can't force it to drink...   ;)
  • PhaedrusPhaedrus Posts: 4Member

    thanks for that helpful information. I'm still working out ideas. Not crazy about welding on the frame as the steel does not look that thick. Same with drilling holes.

    I may just end up using long U bolts and grooved wood to fasten the rack direct to the tongue. I will let you know how it all works out.

  • renatolsmarenatolsma Posts: 5Member
    I bought a folding bike and stick it in the back of my tow vehicle. 
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