Recommended Option for Safely Towing Tear Drop Trailer and Using Bike Rack

Question:

Vehicle: 2016 Canyon 4WD V6 with a factory 2inch receiver. I am towing a 2017 NuCamp [email protected] Outback tear. Loaded, it is around 2000# with less than 200# tongue weight. I would like to carry two bikes and safely tow the camper. I bought a Swagman Traveler XCS two bike carrier and put it on a 12inch ball mount. To get additional clearance to open the tailgate and ensure enough space for turns, I am adding a 14inch extension. The bike carrier and two bikes add approx 100#+-. I understand adding the extension reduces all the numbers by 50. The extension and longer ball mount add additional leverage on the factory receiver. I am adding a Malone anti-rattle device to the extension/ball mount to make it a little more solid. My question is simple. Is this safe? I have grown fond of the camper and bikes and would hate to see them destroyed.

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Expert Reply:

Your 2017 NuCamp [email protected] Outback tear-drop trailer is nice indeed, but it does not lend itself too well to use with an RV bike rack since the tongue area is already well-utilized for (and mostly covered by) cargo and storage structures.

Were this not the case then the a-frame-mount Bike Bunk # CC-275 would do the trick. The adjustable Bike Bunk mounts to the a-frame and provides a 2-inch receiver for use with an RV-approved bike carrier like the Lets Go Aero BikeWing-2 2-Bike Rack # B01311. Since the Bunk carries your rack and bikes up high it typically provides excellent clearance for a-frames. But with the tight space of your tear drop's frame, no go.

The Swagman XCS towing rack # S64664 is a great item for use on the shank of your ball mount but adding the 14-inch hitch extension is not so great. Even with anti-rattles you still have the issue of extreme leverage applied to the hitch tube due to the long distance between the hitch and the actual load. A bit scary, to be perfectly honest.

Since the trailer's rear cooking area appears to overhang the frame quite a bit there is probably not enough room to install a frame-mounted hitch that would otherwise let you install a bike rack there.

So....my safest recommendation is to install a front-mounted hitch on the truck to allow you to use a bike carrier up there, well away from the trailer. We offer 2-inch Draw-Tite hitch # 65071 which installs without drilling. This hitch provides a 500-lb tongue weight rating, more then plenty for any 2-bike rack of your preference.

This method may even allow you to dispense with the hitch extension and just use an extra-long ball mount like # 80232 to provide enough clearance between the trailer tongue and the tow vehicle.

expert reply by:
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Adam R

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