Friday, December 14, 2012

Airstream Bike Rack

I have blogged about the Airstream bike rack, made by Flamma, before.

We have had additional problems with this bike rack. When purchased the rack allowed access to the back storage cabinet. The door could open and lay flat. This allowed fair access to the storage area. As we travelled the weight of the bikes gradually deformed the rack so that we could not open the door more than half way. We took it to an Airstream dealer. They contacted Airstream who told them to bend the rack back to the original position. I asked what would prevent this from happening again and got a strange look like we did all we could do. I don't think Flamma was consulted.

When I got my Airstream back I was determined to not let this happen again. I decided to fashion a brace to prevent the rack from bending into the bumper and blocking the door.

Tbis is a view of the rear bumper and storage compartment.
The rack is attached to the bumper and to the body of the Airstream.

The rear storage compartment with the door open. As we travelled the weight of the bikes, and the bumps on the road, caused the bike rack to deform inward to the point that the door could only open part way.

I added these two homemade braces bolted to the bumper and the bottom pole of the rack.
It is made of oak but painted to match the Airstream.

Another view of the braces. Flamma should have anticipated this issue. The Airstream dealer should have figured out how to prevent it from recurring. I hope this works. For a $650 bike rack we sure have had problems.

Incidentally, I was told by the dealer that the bike rack is rated for a maximum of 72 lbs. It is a 2-bike rack. Our bikes together weigh 73 lbs. They are regular hybrid bikes, one female and one male. Why would Flamma design a rack for 72 lbs when regular bicycles weigh that much. I think they should have designed it for 85 to 90 lbs. to take care of larger bikes.