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Old 09-07-2009, 12:14 PM   #1
Schmill
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Bicycle Rack for 2003 Montana 3295RK

We enjoy bicycling on our ventures and have a ladder rack we acquired at Camping World. After using the ladder rack for several trips we decided loading and unloading was too much of a hassle and have been piling the bikes on the bed when on the road, this is also a hassle wrestling the bikes on and off the bed.

Our question is does anyone have any suggestions regarding adding a 2" hitch to the Montana? I don't want to pull the belly pan without knowing a tow hitch can be fitted.

Thanks again for any ideas.

Jacob & Sharon Schmill
Peabody, Kansas
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:30 PM   #2
HughM
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I'm glad you decided not to have your bikes hanging off the ladder. Several on the forum have reported ladders that became loose because of the bikes.
I added a hitch to the back of my SOB and had it done at a welding shop. Just make sure that the receiver goes from one side of the frame all the way across to the other side to the frame. No spot welding ...go directly to the frame.
Hugh
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Old 09-07-2009, 03:57 PM   #3
Ozz
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Schmill, where is Peabody? I bought my hitch kit from Croft trailer here in K.C. Doug runs the shop by our local Montana dealer in Grain Valley. Lifestyles RV
Hugh is 'spot on' with his comments.
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Old 09-08-2009, 02:33 AM   #4
H. John Kohl
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EDIT

I had a 2" receiver installed on the back of our Monty. It is the 70 to 72 inch wide hitch receiver and bolted to the frame, made by Reese.

I had a service shop install it and they had to move the rear stabilizer legs forward about six to eight inches.

The 2" receiver is about 10 to 12 inches under the rear of Monty so I had to add an extension. I am having a bad time with hitch movement/flexing. The insertion points for the main receiver and extension have slop. The insertion point for the bike rack and the extension have slop. I have added a angle iron strap (thanks to the advise from Dave - EXNAVYDIVER) that helps a little. Still have some side to side flex and now I find the main 70/72 inch square tubing that the main receiver is welded to is twisting inside the end "caps" that are bolted to the frame. EDIT I found one bolt missing on the Reese bracket that holds the end cap to the 72” square tube. I replaced and tightened them and most of that motion is gone. I may still add a second pair of bolts.

My bide rack is for two bikes and it is beating them real bad from the movement. One bike can survive back there but I am still working on two.

If I had new expensive bikes I would consider going to a front receiver on the Tow Vehicle.

EDIT – Tom S. Thanks for the input. I am going to put spacers between the anchor points on the bike rack, but will keep the wrap in mind. The loose movement on the hitch and receiver assembly did most the damage.

I did add a chain and turn buckle to firm up the extension and that seems to help also. The trip to Goshen will be a great test.


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Old 09-08-2009, 04:43 AM   #5
Tom S.
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John, maybe you could put something between the bikes to keep them from coming in contact with each other. Don't laugh, but bubble wrap might work for you. It's light weight and you could stuff some between contact points and keep it in place with tape or string.

As John has found out, 72" is a long span, even for 2" square tubing. The problem is 'enhanced' by having to use a 10 or 12 inch extension to clear the back of the trailer. The extension acts like a lever on the hitch, and the more weight added to the extension (such as an additional bike) only makes matters worse. It would be pretty easy to beef up the Reese to make it stronger, but would require being able to cut and weld steel.

We have a front mount hitch on our tow vehicle. It was cheap ($120 or so), and a lot stronger with a suspended weight rating of 300 pounds. We don't use it for bikes, but it would definitely work.
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:33 AM   #6
Mrs. CountryGuy
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We use front hidden hitch, and works well for us,

yes, some degradation of headlights at night, but, we only drive at night with bikes on there in extreme emergency conditions, like we are outrunning a snow/sleet storm!
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:19 AM   #7
Ozz
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I had to install an extension as well, I drilled through and then welded 2 nuts on, and used 2 HD bolts, took all the slop out of it. I did the same mod. to my Keystone Sprinter before I got the Monte. We always have to tinker with them...
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:42 AM   #8
Tom S.
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Ozz

I had to install an extension as well, I drilled through and then welded 2 nuts on, and used 2 HD bolts, took all the slop out of it. I did the same mod. to my Keystone Sprinter before I got the Monte. We always have to tinker with them...
Well heck, if you have a welder, you have to have an excuse to use it!
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Old 09-09-2009, 01:16 PM   #9
sgtpp214
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I had a reciever hitch placed on the front of the Dodge and got a bike rack for the front of the Dodge. Sorry can't remember the name. Google bike racks and you will find plenty of options. Not worried about decreasing the headlight situation as I don't drive at night unless it is an emergency and then the bikes would be off.
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