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2pedallers

Another Bike Rack Idea

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Here's another approach to bike rack carriers for Oliver Travel Trailers. Before going any further, I must say this might not be ideal for folks with a desire for maximum rear clearance ... and I've seen a post where an owner scraped one the rear cross supports. With 12-inches clearance on level ground, we haven't had that problem even with a steep driveway.  Our old Airstream did drag when we attempted parking in that driveway.  I'll acknowledge some folks may need more clearance, so for those folks I recommend going with an above bumper mount or tongue mount.

We've been toying with ideas for a bike rack receiver for Dickens (OLEII 397) since the day of our factory tour last summer. At that time, Oliver had discontinued the model previously sold and we wanted a way to securely carry bikes outside the pick-up truck bed. After looking at ways other folks approached this and thinking about receiver hitches on various vehicles, we came up with essentially what you see in the attached photos. A big difference from the prototype ready for installation the weekend before the 2019 Rally is that the frame attachment points are inside the frame rails instead of outside. Once I had the diamond plate cover off it became evident that we could mount the support plates up between the sheet metal pan and the frame rails. That would shorten the receiver cross member (making is stronger) and much more importantly preclude cutting the diamond plate thereby improving the outward appearance. So, I reinstalled the diamond plate and prepared Dickens for the trip to Alabama ... without bikes.

I should say that my original desire was to fabricate this receiver from aluminum to be consistent with the awesome Oliver frame. However, since my bike rack (1UP-USA.com) uses a 2-inch tube I needed a 2-inch receiver. Unfortunately, my metal supplier wasn't able to locate the necessary stock. We could have had it machined from bar stock but decided to just go with readily available steel. I have the design drawings in both aluminum and steel, with both analyzed to ensure adequate strength. While my intent is to remain below Oliver's limits (even with two bikes), the analysis shows the receiver can withstand far greater weights. By the way, you may note there are no safety chain attachment points on this receiver!

Last point, for those possibly concerned with license plate visibility, 1UP-USA racks have an accessory for mounting the plate. We haven't gone that route because the tag is visible through the bike frames. If we decide to put a cover on the bikes, we'll get the plate holder.

Okay, enough typing. Take a look at the pictures and please feel free to comment or PM me if you'd like more information.  Thanks for your interest.

 

Update:  Attached is a copy of the design drawing from which the receiver was fabricated. It is offered for information only; therefore, no guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied, applies. The receiver was drawn to measurements taken from our OLEII. Anyone using this drawing and photos for fabricating one for their Oliver travel trailer are advised to take their own measurements and use them accordingly.

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Dickens-Hitch.pdf

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Mitch & Debbie Brockman


"Dickens" 2018 Oliver LE II, Hull # 397


2004 Ford F250 Super Duty Diesel

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Neat! Can you post the design drawings or photos of the cross beam and braces before they were installed under the frame?

 

It appears that the frame bolts go all the way through, and are there inner spacers?

 

For me this design would never work due to limited ground clearance (reduced departure angle) but the steel receiver would act as a skid plate on a hard surface like concrete and protect the softer frame.... on a soft surface it would dig in and possibly catch on a rock....

 

Do you worry about expansion/ contraction issues? I see a cushion under the one frame bracket, is that for sideways movement or corrosion protection? For those who are unaware, steel expands about half what aluminum does, for a given temperature change.

 

https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/linear-expansion-coefficients-d_95.html

 

As long as a hitch can shift some due to the way the mounts attach, this should never be an issue unless you plan to tow your Ollie in outer space where it gets quite hot and chilly at the same time. FYI, I fabricated a steel bumper/ skidplate for an aluminum utility trailer and I never had any issues. I drilled the mounting holes a little oversized so things could shift if they needed to.

 

It’s great to see folks engineering stuff to make their trailers more useful and personal... thanks for posting.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Amazing. Beautiful and best of all you not need to remove the bike rack to access the spare tire, which you need to do with the Oliver’s bike rack.

 

I had the long Oliver bike rack and changed it to their newer model but this is 100 times better.

 

i want one ☝️

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Well thought through and nicely executed.  I really like this solution.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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Thanks much.  We enjoyed seeing all the great modifications you've done to Snowball, and they are an inspiration to us for future efforts.

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Mitch & Debbie Brockman


"Dickens" 2018 Oliver LE II, Hull # 397


2004 Ford F250 Super Duty Diesel

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John, thanks for the feedback.  The gaskets do allow for expansion and the holes are drilled slightly larger than the bolts to allow movement (and easier installation).  I'll try to post the drawing tomorrow.


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Mitch & Debbie Brockman


"Dickens" 2018 Oliver LE II, Hull # 397


2004 Ford F250 Super Duty Diesel

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I wondered if removing the tire cover would be hindered by the above-bumper hitch.  Sorry to hear it does.

 

I didn't mention or show it last night, but this receiver also doesn't interfere with the bumper being lowered.  The attached photo, taken before I reinstalled the diamond plate cover, shows the bumper in the down position.  In fact, it rests on the receiver tube instead of swinging down.  The drain hose can be easily used.

 

You'll have to help me convince the great folks at Oliver to make and install this style.  Or, you could have a local welding shop fabricate one and you install it.  The materials should be available locally.

20190511_110637.thumb.jpg.5e1016826a6071c0ff83bad3a032ce52.jpg

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Mitch & Debbie Brockman


"Dickens" 2018 Oliver LE II, Hull # 397


2004 Ford F250 Super Duty Diesel

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Excellent solution!  As one who has struggled with 3 different bike racks on my Ollie, your version is unique and well executed.  Thanks for sharing.


Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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Any chance of getting this made in the aluminum and selling it on this forum for self-install?


- Mike


Nashville, TN


2018 Elite II - Spirit of Adventure Hull #308  - Toyota Tundra 


 

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I like your mod well done. I’m not trying to be critical of your mod just a word  from experience  i made something similar on a class c  it worked great but later learned that the weight of the bike and the constant bouncing in the rear i had stress cracks in the weld area. If I didn’t notice it, it might have come apart  i put more bracing at the receiver to the main frame and never had a problem. Just a thought. Nice work

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We have the Oliver bicycle rack, I will say here we don't use it because just after getting the trailer we did away with our bicycles and purchased ebikes that fold, we carry them in the pickup bed, just works better for us. We might purchase a rack for the rear bicycle rack mount someday, but for now we don't need the extra caring capacity. 

 

trainman


Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #489, 2019 RAM 1500, 5.7 Hemi, 4X4, Crew Cab, 5'7" bed, Towing Package, 3.92 Gears.

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rideadeuce - We considered making the receiver out of aluminum but that takes a different skill level and the finished product would be more succeptable to stress cracking.  If we had Oliver's talented welders and materials available, things might be different.  

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Mitch & Debbie Brockman


"Dickens" 2018 Oliver LE II, Hull # 397


2004 Ford F250 Super Duty Diesel

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On 6/4/2019 at 8:07 AM, Corcomi said:

Amazing. Beautiful and best of all you not need to remove the bike rack to access the spare tire, which you need to do with the Oliver’s bike rack.

 

I had the long Oliver bike rack and changed it to their newer model but this is 100 times better.

 

i want one ☝️

We have the 1Up rack.  It tilts downward (it also folds up when not in use) so I think accessing the spare would not be a problem..  I can't say for certain if this would be the case on the Oliver, as we are still prospective owners.  Hoping to have a solution so we can use the 1Up rack that we love.  Curious to see other solutions for using a 2" bike rack.


Ray and Susan Huff

Prospective Elite II Twin owners

2013 F350 3.2l Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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On 6/4/2019 at 12:07 PM, 2pedallers said:

I wondered if removing the tire cover would be hindered by the above-bumper hitch.  Sorry to hear it does.

 

I didn't mention or show it last night, but this receiver also doesn't interfere with the bumper being lowered.  The attached photo, taken before I reinstalled the diamond plate cover, shows the bumper in the down position.  In fact, it rests on the receiver tube instead of swinging down.  The drain hose can be easily used.

 

You'll have to help me convince the great folks at Oliver to make and install this style.  Or, you could have a local welding shop fabricate one and you install it.  The materials should be available locally.

20190511_110637.thumb.jpg.5e1016826a6071c0ff83bad3a032ce52.jpg

Don't have our rack at the house to tell: is there enough clearance for the bumper door to be opened when there are bikes loaded on the rack?  Our rack has an 8" extension because the RV we use it on has a recessed receiver.

I would welcome this set up, providing the ground clearance is sufficient for towing on less than perfect forest roads.  Count me in if you need more requests for this type of receiver factory installed on the Oliver.


Ray and Susan Huff

Prospective Elite II Twin owners

2013 F350 3.2l Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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Posted (edited)
On 5/3/2020 at 7:51 AM, rideadeuce said:

Any chance of getting this made in the aluminum and selling it on this forum for self-install?

Please!!!!

BTW: the 1up rack is one of few approved for use on RVs.  It is so easy to load and unload (takes less than a minute); can accommodate 29" and "fat tires";  200# capacity (225# if you get the Super Duty model) so can carry most electric bikes; is extremely well built; and made in the USA.  I highly recommend it 👍

https://www.1up-usa.com/product/2in-heavy-duty-double-bike-rack/

Edited by Susan Huff
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Ray and Susan Huff

Prospective Elite II Twin owners

2013 F350 3.2l Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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I would settle for a steel one! ;). Thanks to this forum I now have a  1UP (which is awesome) bike rack and would love to have a solution like this vs. the factory design to carry our bikes. Can we get a vote on who would order one and if enough people pledged might it be possible to get some made? I would be in for sure!

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- Mike


Nashville, TN


2018 Elite II - Spirit of Adventure Hull #308  - Toyota Tundra 


 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Susan Huff said:

I would welcome this set up, providing the ground clearance is sufficient for towing on less than perfect forest roads.  

Simply put, it is not. An LEII will occasionally drag the frame (actually the aft-most small cross supports for the bumper compartment floor) and this low slung hitch will make things much worse. For uneven surfaces you must position the receiver above the bumper. If you drag a $600 1-Up rack over a ledge it will be a costly repair and it might even dump one or more of your precious bikes onto the ground. Here is the double rack, imagine lifting several thousand pounds of your trailer by dragging the low point..... ouch.  If that lower bolt sheers off, the rack will come crashing down.

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John Davies

Spokane WA

 

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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On 6/5/2020 at 9:15 PM, John E Davies said:

Simply put, it is not. An LEII will occasionally drag the frame (actually the aft-most small cross supports for the bumper compartment floor) and this low slung hitch will make things much worse. For uneven surfaces you must position the receiver above the bumper. If you drag a $600 1-Up rack over a ledge it will be a costly repair and it might even dump one or more of your precious bikes onto the ground. Here is the double rack, imagine lifting several thousand pounds of your trailer by dragging the low point..... ouch.  If that lower bolt sheers off, the rack will come crashing down.

E181E4E6-83A8-422A-B795-FECE6C7242FF.thumb.jpeg.8bed1b7cba9dd85ee3b7b43f186f023c.jpeg

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

Thanks for the warning!  Our RV isn't at the house right now, so I can't see what the clearance is.  We do have skid wheels installed in the rear, but more to protect the sewer macerator pump that is the low point on the chassis.  The wheels have only drug I time when we were coming down a steep driveway onto a street.  I wonder if the 1Up could be mounted with a riser receiver adapter?  Grasping at straws here, but I love this rack!  Another possibility might be to make an attachment for the rack in the bed of the pickup.  Comments?


Ray and Susan Huff

Prospective Elite II Twin owners

2013 F350 3.2l Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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On 6/5/2020 at 7:37 PM, rideadeuce said:

I would settle for a steel one! ;). Thanks to this forum I now have a  1UP (which is awesome) bike rack and would love to have a solution like this vs. the factory design to carry our bikes. Can we get a vote on who would order one and if enough people pledged might it be possible to get some made? I would be in for sure!

Count me in!  We already have a 1UP 😀


Ray and Susan Huff

Prospective Elite II Twin owners

2013 F350 3.2l Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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Surely Oliver can be convinced to put a 2” tube on their receiver.  This seems to be a constant complaint on the forum.

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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11 minutes ago, Overland said:

Surely Oliver can be convinced to put a 2” tube on their receiver.  This seems to be a constant complaint on the forum.

I think I read a comment, somewhere, that is was a liability issue.  Oliver is afraid someone would use the 2" receiver to tow another trailer (legal in some states).

 


Ray and Susan Huff

Prospective Elite II Twin owners

2013 F350 3.2l Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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Probably, but then if someone is dumb enough to hook another trailer to their Ollie, then they’re probably dumb enough to use a 1 ½” hitch to do it. 

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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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On 6/3/2019 at 12:27 PM, 2pedallers said:

Here's another approach to bike rack carriers for Oliver Travel Trailers. Before going any further, I must say this might not be ideal for folks with a desire for maximum rear clearance ... and I've seen a post where an owner scraped one the rear cross supports. With 12-inches clearance on level ground, we haven't had that problem even with a steep driveway.  Our old Airstream did drag when we attempted parking in that driveway.  I'll acknowledge some folks may need more clearance, so for those folks I recommend going with an above bumper mount or tongue mount.

We've been toying with ideas for a bike rack receiver for Dickens (OLEII 397) since the day of our factory tour last summer. At that time, Oliver had discontinued the model previously sold and we wanted a way to securely carry bikes outside the pick-up truck bed. After looking at ways other folks approached this and thinking about receiver hitches on various vehicles, we came up with essentially what you see in the attached photos. A big difference from the prototype ready for installation the weekend before the 2019 Rally is that the frame attachment points are inside the frame rails instead of outside. Once I had the diamond plate cover off it became evident that we could mount the support plates up between the sheet metal pan and the frame rails. That would shorten the receiver cross member (making is stronger) and much more importantly preclude cutting the diamond plate thereby improving the outward appearance. So, I reinstalled the diamond plate and prepared Dickens for the trip to Alabama ... without bikes.

I should say that my original desire was to fabricate this receiver from aluminum to be consistent with the awesome Oliver frame. However, since my bike rack (1UP-USA.com) uses a 2-inch tube I needed a 2-inch receiver. Unfortunately, my metal supplier wasn't able to locate the necessary stock. We could have had it machined from bar stock but decided to just go with readily available steel. I have the design drawings in both aluminum and steel, with both analyzed to ensure adequate strength. While my intent is to remain below Oliver's limits (even with two bikes), the analysis shows the receiver can withstand far greater weights. By the way, you may note there are no safety chain attachment points on this receiver!

Last point, for those possibly concerned with license plate visibility, 1UP-USA racks have an accessory for mounting the plate. We haven't gone that route because the tag is visible through the bike frames. If we decide to put a cover on the bikes, we'll get the plate holder.

Okay, enough typing. Take a look at the pictures and please feel free to comment or PM me if you'd like more information.  Thanks for your interest.

 

Update:  Attached is a copy of the design drawing from which the receiver was fabricated. It is offered for information only; therefore, no guarantee or warranty, either expressed or implied, applies. The receiver was drawn to measurements taken from our OLEII. Anyone using this drawing and photos for fabricating one for their Oliver travel trailer are advised to take their own measurements and use them accordingly.

20190602_1606121.thumb.jpg.e9e9916ae5092681051673e82317f368.jpg

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Dickens-Hitch.pdf 74.87 kB · 28 downloads

Exactly what is the clearance to the lowest point on the bike rack?  Our rack, mounted on the recessed bumper receiver of our Leisure Travel Van Unity has more clearance than the lowest point on the chassis (the macerator pump).  In addition, the distance from the receiver to the rear axel is much further.  I really want to make the 1UP work with an Oliver, but I want it to be safe!


Ray and Susan Huff

Prospective Elite II Twin owners

2013 F350 3.2l Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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8 hours ago, Susan Huff said:

I think I read a comment, somewhere, that is was a liability issue.  Oliver is afraid someone would use the 2" receiver to tow another trailer (legal in some states).

They could sell you the factory over-the-bumper rack, with its 1.5” receiver installed, and offer the 2” receiver and mounting hardware as a “universal accessory“. If they did not install it, they would have ZERO liability. This is such a very simple and affordable solution.

I do think that the rack cross beam should have some built in anchor points for guy ropes or straps, to limit sway. Anchors are fairly easy to install, but built- in aircraft style tiedown tracks would be very nice.

John Davies

Spokane WA


"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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2 hours ago, John E Davies said:

They could sell you the factory over-the-bumper rack, with its 1.5” receiver installed, and offer the 2” receiver and mounting hardware as a “universal accessory“. If they did not install it, they would have ZERO liability. This is such a very simple and affordable solution.

I do think that the rack cross beam should have some built in anchor points for guy ropes or straps, to limit sway. Anchors are fairly easy to install, but built- in aircraft style tiedown tracks would be very nice.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Tiedown tracks?  I don't understand what you are saying.  


Ray and Susan Huff

Prospective Elite II Twin owners

2013 F350 3.2l Super Duty 4x4 long bed crew cab

2017 Leisure Travel Van Unity Twin Bed

AZARCACOGAHIIDILKSLAMSMONENVNMOKORSCTNTX

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