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Old 10-16-2018, 05:00 AM   #21
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Default Here are some pictures

As promised here are some pictures I took from a screen capture of a video I made at one of our campsites. The rack is tilted back and is resting securely on the hitch pin which holds it at the angle you see. The two swing arms of the Aluminess bumper clear the kayaks even with the bike racks on top of the storage box on the right arm. The rear doors are easily opened and give very good access to the entire rear of the vehicle and storage under the bed.

We just came down out of the mountains yesterday. I would have posted the pictures earlier but the satellite internet was so restricted where we were at since June. I will keep an eye on this thread and answer any questions you may have.

https://imgur.com/gallery/QpnPZjx
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:17 AM   #22
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Mr M: Thanks for posting this solution to carrying kayaks vertically, but allowing some access. Look forward to seeing the other pics you referred to once you have better connectivity. Can you define the actual carrier brand you started with as well, ad are your kayaks 10 or 12 feet long as I'm wondering about the overall height issue?
Hi Kenny

The original part is from Vertiyak. It is well made and sturdy The upper arms that hold the middle portion of the kayaks were cut and re-welded so that the kayaks lean to the right and the width of the arms fit our kayak width securely with pool noodles for cushion. That way the left turn signal/brake light are clearly visible. The kayak holder has a D-ring welded on the back from the factory. Heavy duty motorcycle straps stabilize the kayaks and keep them from swaying so that metal fatigue is not an issue. Hitch bolt on stabilizers will not keep the swaying from happening. There must be stabilizing straps.

Our kayaks are Old Towne Loon 106ís. 10 feet 6 inches. We have not had any problems with the height of the kayaks. Interesting thought was if we encountered a shorter tunnel like at Custer State Park. We could just tilt the kayaks back and drive right through. Same if we are squeezing into a very tight spot threading the van through the trees. We get our van through some very narrow spots in our quest to escape the masses.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:27 AM   #23
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It looks like they are aluminess.com bumpers,swingarms,etc. Pricey ($2,600 for the rear bumper with the 2 swingout arms + $650+ for the cargo box), but very impressive.. I'm considering them for carrying a honda 2200 genny and for the ability to easily use both back doors.
I saw them on a friends roadtrek this past weekend... I was very impressed.. front and rear bumpers, lights, etc probably come in around $6k.

They do leave both receivers free to hang other "stuff" off them..
Yes, very very pricey. Extremely well made. The monster winch on the front added a pretty penny too. I spared no expense getting my Roadtrek just the way I wanted. Still have to put in the lithium batteries next so that boon docking power is not an issue. I will probably have that done by Larry at Starlight Solar in Yuma. The man is a genius. He redid the entire electrical system of my Bluebird Class A motor home and it is a work of art. The big motor home (Bluebird) tows the little motor home (Roadtrek). The tow bar attaches directly to the winching shackle points on the Aluminess bumper.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:35 AM   #24
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Very crafty way of carrying your watercraft with you. I did not see your vehicle license plate on the back. I was pulled over out West (forget the State) for having my license plate obstructed by my cargo. Only given a warning; but, I had to remove my plate and attach it to the cargo so it was visible. Never heard of anyone else being pulled over for that; so maybe it was 1 in a million?
Yes, something to think about. The original location of the Roadtrek license plate is the middle of the rear door. Aluminess arranged for my plate to be in the middle of the rear bumper. They also cut a custom hole in the rear bumper so that the propane fill is accessible. The plate holder is spring loaded so the plate swings up and out of the way to fill propane. The kayak holder and kayaks do not get in the way. I made it even easier to fill by having a professionally made propane extension hose installed. The plate swings up and the extension hose comes out of the large storage area built into Aluminess bumpers.
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Old 10-16-2018, 05:46 AM   #25
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Hi - I saw in your photos that you had two lounge chairs. Do you also carry those? Where ?
Yes, we have two of those reclining lounge chairs which we cannot live without. The two chairs are placed on top of the kayak holder that plugs into the receiver. A quick cinch kayak strap is threaded through and over the top of the spare tire and through the legs of the chairs. I just use that strap as a ďsafety strapĒ

What really holds the chairs in place is when I pull the stabilizing straps that are attached to the D-ring on the kayak holder. It pulls the kayak holder towards the rear of the van trapping the chairs between the kayak holder and the spare tire. It is very snug and secure. Those chairs are not going anywhere. The safety strap I mentioned is also there as a backup. I have not encountered any chafing of the chairs yet.

I absolutely love those chairs! We have two more chairs that fold into an amazingly small shape that go behind the drivers seat. Those chairs are for grabbing real fast for a happy hour gathering or something like that. They are fairly comfortable too.
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:48 PM   #26
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Yes, something to think about. The original location of the Roadtrek license plate is the middle of the rear door. Aluminess arranged for my plate to be in the middle of the rear bumper. They also cut a custom hole in the rear bumper so that the propane fill is accessible. The plate holder is spring loaded so the plate swings up and out of the way to fill propane. The kayak holder and kayaks do not get in the way. I made it even easier to fill by having a professionally made propane extension hose installed. The plate swings up and the extension hose comes out of the large storage area built into Aluminess bumpers.
How long have you had the aluminess rear bumper w/ swing arms ? I'm concerned about potential sag or binding at the door attachment points over time..

The small chairs that fold up, Pico ?? i just got 2 of them yesterday..
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Old 10-16-2018, 09:24 PM   #27
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How long have you had the aluminess rear bumper w/ swing arms ? I'm concerned about potential sag or binding at the door attachment points over time..

The small chairs that fold up, Pico ?? i just got 2 of them yesterday..
I have had the Aluminess bumpers and swing arms for about two years. There is no sagging at the door because the swing arms exert no force on the door, especially downward force. The entire weight of the swing arm is supported by the bumper. The small bracket that you see attached to the door halfway up is just a spacer guide.

The small folding chairs I have had for a very long time. They say GCI Outdoors on the tag. gcioutdoor.com They fold in this interesting way that makes them so small. However they are quite sturdy and fairly comfortable when unfolded. Both fit right behind the driver seat and I still have good legroom. I am 6í1Ē. I also have a California car duster and large umbrella behind the seat too. When we go full time in the Roadtrek next fall, I will probably put the small seats in the roof cargo carrier. That way the small seats donít interfere with rotating the drivers captains chair. I want minimum fussing with moving things around in the van when I am traveling full time in this thing.
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Old 10-17-2018, 07:21 AM   #28
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@MrMyagi, do you have links to the folding hitch and rack you used?

I am having the same issue with my Roadtrek. I NEED my kayaks back with me...
I just now saw your message.

Vertiyak www.vertiyak.com

GoPlus Folding cargo wheelchair hitch. Looks out of stock or discontinued on Amazon. I donít think just any hitch will perform the same way or just as good. Study the design if you want the hitch you buy to make sure it will do what you want. The Vertiyak is well built and ready to go. The shipping crate was a work of art.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 10-24-2018, 03:03 AM   #29
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Thanks. I'm looking to build something similar. Looked at the aluminess site too. They make some cool stuff I wish I could afford! Their Sprinter front bumper is sick for about $2300... Maybe one day.

Biggest thing I want is a swing away vertical rack offset to the right so I can access the passenger side rear door and clear my spare tire rack on the left.
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Old 10-24-2018, 03:24 AM   #30
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Thanks. I'm looking to build something similar. Looked at the aluminess site too. They make some cool stuff I wish I could afford! Their Sprinter front bumper is sick for about $2300... Maybe one day.

Biggest thing I want is a swing away vertical rack offset to the right so I can access the passenger side rear door and clear my spare tire rack on the left.
I'm thinking of their rear bumper with the 2 swing arms for my 2015 Roatrek 190P. It's the only thing i've seen that will allow the use of both doors.

When i'm ready later this fall/winter, i need to see if they have ever hung a mount for a folding electric bike on the back of the tire carrier. It wouldn't be any wider than the tire, so i'm thinking it might work..

@ 71, i don't think i can hoist bikes up over the cargo box on a regular basis..
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Old 10-24-2018, 03:44 AM   #31
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Thanks. I'm looking to build something similar. Looked at the aluminess site too. They make some cool stuff I wish I could afford! Their Sprinter front bumper is sick for about $2300... Maybe one day.

Biggest thing I want is a swing away vertical rack offset to the right so I can access the passenger side rear door and clear my spare tire rack on the left.
If you are talking about a swing away vertical kayak rack, it might be feasible to have a custom welded rack attached to the Aluminess swing arm that has a spare tire plate on that side. The vertical rack would take the place of the spare tire on the right side. I am not sure if you already have a swinging spare tire rack on the left side.
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Old 10-24-2018, 03:55 AM   #32
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I'm thinking I'm going to weld up my own. I'm looking at swing away wheelchair mounts that fit my hitch. Then mounting something like a "truck bed extender" in a vertical position with a padded fork at the top. The bottom would be a square or maybe a vented V-shape to protect the bottom of my boats should I hit a dip or something. I figure a couple hundred bucks in metal will get it done. Some enamel and foam and it'll be good to go.

Gotta figure out a way to get upper support straps too. Maybe something tied to the rain gutter? I don't want to penetrate the body, but if it gets me kayaks I'm down for whatever...
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Old 10-24-2018, 03:56 AM   #33
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I'm thinking of their rear bumper with the 2 swing arms for my 2015 Roatrek 190P. It's the only thing i've seen that will allow the use of both doors.

When i'm ready later this fall/winter, i need to see if they have ever hung a mount for a folding electric bike on the back of the tire carrier. It wouldn't be any wider than the tire, so i'm thinking it might work..

@ 71, i don't think i can hoist bikes up over the cargo box on a regular basis..
Lifting the bikes up can be tricky, especially since our mountain bikes are electric bikes with electric hubs from many years ago. Heavy!

One thing I will say about Aluminess is that they seem very uninterested in doing custom one off projects. Your idea of the spare tire bike rack would probably not be enthusiastically received. However, a custom welder could retrofit whatever you designed onto the spare tire plate of their normal swing arm. I can tell you that Aluminess is not endorsing or approving of the method of placement of my bikes on top of the swing arm storage box. I am surprised they even used a picture of my rig on their Facebook site because of that.

The Aluminess folks are awesome folks but very conservative liability wise. BTW, I have not had one bit of trouble with my bike setup so the swing arm strength is more than adequate.

Oh, one more thing. When they make the hole in the rear bumper for your propane fill, make sure they make it big enough. I had a custom propane fill extension made because the cutout they made was too small. The extension works great but you might not want to have to use one.
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:01 AM   #34
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Btw, I'm also not worried about it tilting, just clearing the door. I do like the idea of it. Although I was recently in Custer St Park myself on the Needle Hwy and Iron Mt Rd... Those tunnels would be tough... My rig barely fit a couple of them as is...
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:10 AM   #35
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I'm thinking I'm going to weld up my own. I'm looking at swing away wheelchair mounts that fit my hitch. Then mounting something like a "truck bed extender" in a vertical position with a padded fork at the top. The bottom would be a square or maybe a vented V-shape to protect the bottom of my boats should I hit a dip or something. I figure a couple hundred bucks in metal will get it done. Some enamel and foam and it'll be good to go.

Gotta figure out a way to get upper support straps too. Maybe something tied to the rain gutter? I don't want to penetrate the body, but if it gets me kayaks I'm down for whatever...
Yeah, something to protect the stern or bow of your boat from scraping. I have seen pictures of one guys kayaks that hit on concrete. The bows were squared off at the tip. Not pretty. Our boats supports are on the highest setting of the Vertiyak. Also our Roadtrek is higher because of being 4x4 so we donít have dragging issues on driveways or other off road obstacles (so far). My backup camera can be activated at any time so I have watched the kayaks while I was driving forward over potential problem areas. Have come close when we had the kayaks on a medium height setting. But now that they are on highest setting, not even close. I am not worried about kayak height as when I first put them on. Everything is working out just fine.
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:23 AM   #36
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Btw, I'm also not worried about it tilting, just clearing the door. I do like the idea of it. Although I was recently in Custer St Park myself on the Needle Hwy and Iron Mt Rd... Those tunnels would be tough... My rig barely fit a couple of them as is...
Oh yeah, and do it yourself car wash stalls are a no go now, unless they are the super tall ones designed for motor homes! Donít forget those kayaks are sticking up back there. You will be paranoid at first.

Your toughest part probably will be figuring out the how and where of the stabilizing straps. Must be strong, tight and easy to cinch and release. Without them, your rack will sway and metal fatigue will happen fast. I know! Just call my current hitch connector attempt #2. I learned after seeing my kayaks tilt sideways on a narrow windy road with no turn offs and rush hour commuter traffic behind me. Fun times. I bought the exact same tilting hitch connector, put the stabilizing straps on and no issues. The straps take the strain off to each side and also the downward force. I donít use the bolt on hitch antisway devices because the straps stabilize very well.
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:26 AM   #37
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Yeah, something to protect the stern or bow of your boat from scraping. I have seen pictures of one guys kayaks that hit on concrete. The bows were squared off at the tip. Not pretty. Our boats supports are on the highest setting of the Vertiyak. Also our Roadtrek is higher because of being 4x4 so we donít have dragging issues on driveways or other off road obstacles (so far). My backup camera can be activated at any time so I have watched the kayaks while I was driving forward over potential problem areas. Have come close when we had the kayaks on a medium height setting. But now that they are on highest setting, not even close. I am not worried about kayak height as when I first put them on. Everything is working out just fine.

Yeah I spent too much on my boats to tear them up. I considered some cheap dolphin rec boats or something for RVing so I don't have to worry about damage or theft so much, but I love my boats. I will be looking into a back up camera too. My old T1N SS Agile doesn't have one.
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:30 AM   #38
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Oh yeah, and do it yourself car wash stalls are a no go now, unless they are the super tall ones designed for motor homes! Don’t forget those kayaks are sticking up back there. You will be paranoid at first.

Your toughest part probably will be figuring out the how and where of the stabilizing straps. Must be strong, tight and easy to cinch and release. Without them, your rack will sway and metal fatigue will happen fast. I know! Just call my current hitch connector attempt #2. I learned after seeing my kayaks tilt sideways on a narrow windy road with no turn offs and rush hour commuter traffic behind me. Fun times. I bought the exact same tilting hitch connector, put the stabilizing straps on and no issues. The straps take the strain off to each side and also the downward force. I don’t use the bolt on hitch antisway devices because the straps stabilize very well.
I'm lucky to have a local RV stall carwash. I'm nervous about the height as it is.

Question. What do you attach the straps to on your van?

I'm thinking some kind of clamp on the rain gutter and a higher density foam block between the rack and the rear door below the window...
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Old 10-24-2018, 04:50 AM   #39
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I'm lucky to have a local RV stall carwash. I'm nervous about the height as it is.

Question. What do you attach the straps to on your van?

I'm thinking some kind of clamp on the rain gutter and a higher density foam block between the rack and the rear door below the window...
The left strap hook attaches to my spare tire. The right strap to my bike rack tower on top of the cargo box. Both are very sturdy. The Vertiyak has a stout D ring welded to the back side of the vertical main bar of the rack. There is actually two of them upper and lower. No doubt this was designed from the factory to be used with stabilizing straps. I use the upper D ring to attach the stabilizing straps.

I pull each strap evenly so that there is no strain on the folding hitch mechanism. That way metal fatigue is avoided. Pulling the straps tight makes the rack tilt closer to the rear doors of the van which relieves the folding hitch mechanism from having to support bouncing weight while driving. Also that tilting towards the van traps my super comfy big reclining chairs against the spare tire holding them securely. I use a backup safety strap to attach the chairs to the spare tire in case they came out from between the rack and spare tire somehow. Safety first!
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Old 10-27-2018, 03:11 PM   #40
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Great pics....saw the bike on the front...any trouble with the front collision sensors...I put a bike rack on front and even though I turned off the sensor from the inside button, it still braked a couple times.
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