5th Wheel Hitch and RV Bike Rack Installation on Heartland Big Horn 3610RE 5th Wheel

Question:

I have a 2012 heartland big horn 3610re. The last question was for a 2014 3610re. Will all the same parts- curt uf35-946403 hitch and swagman s63381 work for the 2012 3610re. Also do you recommend a 2 bike platform type bike rack instead of the s63381. For example the swagman xc2 cross country hitch . Are there pros and cons to either for swaying on long hauls

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Expert Reply:

Most likely the frames on the 2012 and 2014 model years of the Heartland Big Horn 3610RE 5th wheels are the same. But since RV makers typically don't provide those specs all you need to do is measure the space between the trailer's frame rails to find out if the Ultra-Fab hitch # UF35-946403 will fit. This hitch will fit for weld-on installation on I-beam, C-channel or rectangular trailer frames of widths from 47-1/8-inches out to 77-inches and it provides a tongue weight rating of 350-lbs, plenty for an RV bike rack application.

You also might contact Heartland with your trailer's VIN to confirm they are okay with you welding the hitch on to the frame; they can also possibly provide a tongue weight spec for the frame as well. If this turns out to be different than the hitch's rating you'll need to go by the lower of the two.

Also note that the mounting point for the hitch will determine how much clearance you need from the rack's hitch pin hole. We provide this spec for all hitch racks. The Trailhead 4 provides 9-1/2-inches of clearance from the hitch pin hole to the upright bar.

The Swagman Trailhead 4-bike hitch-mount bike rack # S63381 is an excellent choice in a high-capacity RV-approved hitch bike rack. For a 4-bike rack this one is hard to beat for value. But if you only need a 2-bike capacity and prefer a rack that includes locks (instead of you having to spend extra to get them) then the platform-style Dispatch 2 rack # S64684 might be preferable to you. This rack also has a higher weight capacity of 45-lbs per bike. The Dispatch provides 12-inches of clearance from the hitch pin hole.

In general the motion or sway of a hitch-mounted bike rack installed at the rear of a trailer will depend on its overall weight and dimensions. Heavier racks and racks that extend further back from the hitch will typically sway more. All racks will have some sway; there's no way around that. The simplest fix is to use straps like # 05605 or another similar item to support some of the rack weight and to limit its motion. RV ladders are often a handy spot to secure the strap.

I linked a helpful article you can refer to as you consider the best match for your specific type of bikes. I also linked our main page for all RV-rated hitch bike carriers.

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Adam R

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