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Bike rack versus Thule towbar rack


Pister

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Am struggling with the measurements/maths involved in calculating whether or not I would be better off removing Thule (2 bike) towbar-fitted bike rack and having a Fiamma-type rack clamped directly onto the back wall (higher up - over the window). The 2 bikes and Thule rack weigh 46kgs and stick out much more than the Fiamma rack would. Presumably the forces involved mean that the further away from the back axle the 46kgs is, the heavier the load becomes - but how much weight would I save by moving the bikes (and new rack) nearer the body of the motorhome? I know that more precise figures are needed to calculate but can anyone advise generally if it would be likely to make a lot of difference. I need to save about 50kgs of payload. The towbar is not a heavy 'towing' towbar - merely fitted to take the Thule rack.
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Hi Pister,

 

Before you get into the technicalities remember that moving the weight from the towbar to the back wall will not affect your payload unless you can actually shed some of that weight.

All it will do is possibly shift some weight from your back axle to your front.

Imagine a fulcrum under your back axle acting as a pivot a bit like a seesaw, the further from the fulcrum the greater effect the load will have and so eventually will pick your front wheels off the ground.

 

Keith.

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As keithl said it will not affect your "payload", but the distribution of the load on the axles.

I can only guess the distances, wheel base and the new and old over hangs from the back axle, but answering your question the small change in the overhang "would NOT be likely to make a lot of difference" to the weight distribution. Small as it is, the back axle load will ease at the expense of the front axle.

Can't imagine it can be worth doing but easy to calculate if you quote the distances mentioned above.

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I installed a Fiamma rack on the rear wall, and no longer use the Thule rack, except on my Jeep.

The Fiamma is some 6 - 8 kilos lighter than the Thule, and it's centre of gravity is visibly nearer the rear axle, so for almost everyone that will be an advantage.

For those who count the pennies, the Fiamma is cheaper, does not require an extra number plate, and does not have to be plugged into the vehicle electrics.

I think it's a good option.

AGD

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Ta for reply. I'm beginning to think I've made a mistake with the Thule. Yes you don't have to lift the bikes so high to clamp them to the (Fiamma) bike rack over the back window but the downside is (i) extra weight on the back axle and (ii) we have a lovely rear-end lounge with a big panoramic window which we'd 'lose' with bikes clamped over it.

 

Anyone want a nearly new Thule 2-bike rack???

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