Another Bike Rack on rear of camper

Discussion in 'Cargo Carriers / Bike Racks / Other Storage Option' started by adrianpglover, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. adrianpglover

    adrianpglover Active Member

    Jul 8, 2014
    I did this one right around New Year's Day this year, but either didn't take pictures, lost the pictures, or forgot about not having posted about this until now. I modeled my version of this mod from grcooperjr's version, although I used a different hitch mount.

    I had ordered a Draw-Tite 75649 hitch receiver which is meant to bolt around the rear frame member of a Toyota Sequoia (found it cheap on ebay). The frame member it bolts around should measure about 2.81" x 4.625". I took my camper to a local welding shop to add a member just behind the bumper that I could attach this to. They said that the 2x6" boxed frame members used were a little thin to weld a new member to, so they started by welding 1/4" steel plates on the inside of my main frame members to beef it up. Between the two steel plates they welded a 3x4" boxed steel member. You can see the left and right sides of this here:



    Before welding it in place, they knotched the boxed member on one side and welded the cut out piece back in place, but recessed some, along one side of the member about 1' in length. This was to bring the 3" dimension down below the 2.81" max opening of the hitch mount. After they were finished, I took it home, masked off the entire rear of the camper, primed and painted all of their work. I then mounted the hitch receiver and put some shims in place to make up the difference between the dimensions of the tube and the dimensions of the receiver. To keep the shims in place I put some self tapping screws through them. You can see some in the following images.



    When they were positioning the new frame member I made sure they had the manual lift crank and the hitch receiver on hand so that everything would line up correctly. You can see we ended up with little clearance to the manual crank, but there was at least some clearance.


    No, I don't know that if I needed to service the lift motor or whiffletree that I could get the parts out around this. I figure if it ever comes to that point that I'll deal with the clearances then.

    And here are some pictures of the end result with the Yakima FullSwing 4-bike carrier in place.




    When giving the instructions to the welder, I gave him a range below the bumper (top of the receiver bracket around 1.5" below the bumper) and a range to the curb side of center (about 7.5") that I wanted the receiver opening to come out at. I did this so that with the camper set up I could have the bike rack still mounted and both the bed clear the upright post of the rack and the bunk support clear the lower horizontal beam of the bike rack.

    I had to swap the spare tire mount and the license plate bracket. I called CNW for advice when I did this. The spare tire mount is straight forward, but the license plate bracket isn't as clear as it may seem. First, Kevin at CNW (the only person I have ever really talked to there with technical questions) recommended that I use both silicone caulk and a rivet in each of the old rivet holes from where the old license plate bracket was. They also recommended that I caulk the old hole where the wiring for the license plate light came through the rear of the camper. I did this as often as I remembered to, although I forgot in one or two places. I also did this on every other pop-rivet that I replaced in my process, but I did forget a few. As I removed rivets I started noticing that there was indeed caulking under each rivet already. Now, that gets you to moving the bracket and spare tire mount, but not the license plate light wiring. For that I had to lift the roof some and removed the top extruded aluminum piece of the back wall of the camper. This is done by removing the screws that are in it and drilling out any rivets that are present. I then used some small boards to gently pry out the diamond plate on the rear wall to access the wiring. The rear wall has some 1"x1" wood in it as spacers to give the large sheets of metal exterior and faux wood interior some structure. The wiring for the light is below one of these but connects to the same wiring as the running lights above. I just wired into the running lights and ran it down to my new hole, using an old metal coat hanger as a wire fishing tool. The old wire I just capped off and pushed back into the camper wall. Reassemble the entire setup using caulk on the mitered corners of the top extruded aluminum piece removed previously and on each rivet and screw hole. Caulk the remaining holes and then I was done.

    We've had it out a handful of times this year and this setup has worked great. Our camper started out as being rather tongue heavy and now I'm guessing that it will be a bit tongue light unless I heavily load the tray on the front of the camper. We haven't done a weight check with this setup yet, but likely will in the next month or so, just to make sure it's all balanced correctly.

    The first time we took it out like this we only had two bikes back there and had the tray on the front of the camper rather lightly loaded. That time we didn't notice any issues. The next time out we added two zero gravity chairs on the rear. This turned out to give us the first sway we've ever experienced with this camper, but only when passing a semi on a banked turn with good cross winds while going around 75 mph. Since then I've been loading all six of our Plano sportsman trunks full of all of our camping gear on the tongue and we've not had another issue.

    I would advise anyone who may think about attempting this to first check the weight limits of your camper, how much extra weight you will add, and do the fulcrum math to figure out roughly how much weight it will remove from your tongue. Also make sure you have a shop that is used to doing this type of work to help make sure your plan is viable for your camper. I did all of this early on, even before I upgraded my running gear, which was done partially to allow this mod to happen.
    Thedude66, daschnoz and JPBar like this.
  2. daschnoz

    daschnoz Active Member

    Feb 9, 2015
    Nicely done.

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