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Old 06-14-2015, 01:41 AM   #21
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Some progress today. I bolted the racks for the bike carriers in place. I used strips of eternabond on the topside and underside of the steel to weatherproof the holes.

It looks like my plan for the two front wheels will work fine. I'll probably use velcro straps to hold the two front wheels. They're cradled in there nicely.

two front wheels.JPG

Sorry for the poor quality photos. I'm using an ancient camera in my not so greatly lit garage at night.

These two photos will give an idea of what the finished project will look like:

two bikes on cargo box.JPG

two bikes on cargo box 1.JPG

There's plenty of space to open the rear doors of the van. I can load / unload a bike from the back or front of the box. I only have to lift the bikes a bit over 3 feet so that's very manageable.

lots of space.JPG

My old hitch mount bike carrier had cradles for 4 bikes. I'm going to use 2 of the cradles mounted on the ABS pipe in the photo to tie the two bikes together. It should eliminate any movement. I'll probably run a cargo strap for added peace of mind. The cargo strap will run through the ABS pipe and either loop under the bike carrier tracks or attach to an adjustable cargo bar I have.

bike brace and cargo tie down.JPG

For security, I'll loop a cable lock through all 4 wheels, the two bike frames and under the bolted on rack.

I have 30 inches of space in the garage behind the box when it is the travel position so that's enough space to access the cargo box or get around the rear of the van etc.

I'll post better photos - outside the garage - once I've got everything set in their final positions.
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:28 PM   #22
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I'm nearing the end of this project - just a few things to do like add some reflectors to hide the slide ends. The van lights and plate are very visible. I could always add lights and a plate holder if necessary.

bikes on cargo box.jpg

One nice thing is that the bikes can just stay on the box ready for any trip. That regains some garage floor space and it's easy enough to load or unload the bikes or just one bike. I added a shelf in the box. Two full lounge chairs - http://www.classbforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=288 - take up the lower half of the cargo box. I had to trim the lounge chair feet a bit so they'd fit in. Only L48" x W18" x H8.5" space left for the Coleman, cords, hoses, blocks, 1lb propane bottles etc.

bikes on sliding cargo box.JPG
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:42 PM   #23
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Very nice job-I think the folks that make the boxes need to talk to you! Getting the front wheels off so you can lock down the fork really makes it compact and stable.

Can you get the inner bike off without removing the outer one, as you can slide the whole thing out?
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:50 PM   #24
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Looks good! I read back through this thread but couldn't find where you got those hitch risers. Can you post the link again or whatever? Thanks.
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:16 PM   #25
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Thanks guys. Yes, the bikes can go on or come off from the front or back of the box. One or two.

The hitch riser thingy came with a cargo carrier like this: http://www.princessauto.com/en/detai...er/A-p8137986e

I happened across them on sale at $29 each when I was shopping for steel. It's a 6 inch height gain I think. It brought the box up a bit higher than the standard hitch receiver. You can see the original hitch receiver under the box in the second to last photo.
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:42 AM   #26
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I didn't fasten the shelf in the box to the shelf supports instead I opted to leave it secured but "floating" with minimal front/back and sideways movement. That allows it to be lifted a bit when putting the large lounge chairs in the box. A 1/2" to 1" lift makes that task easier.

bike cargo box shelf.JPG

I decided to put items in the cargo box based on size (lounge chairs), safety (propane), potentially smelly (BBQ), immediate need when arriving at a camp site (blocks, hose, power cord). I added a mat that gets dirty to the items in the box after taking the photo.

Boxworthy
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Old 06-18-2015, 11:56 AM   #27
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Looks great! Love that you can leave your bikes mounted and still get in the box.
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Old 07-23-2015, 04:06 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
it will be interesting to see if you notice the 200# (plus what you put in it!) in stability. At least you have the big diesel to help down the front end
Maybe I'm imagining things but the handling of the van seems even better - I'd describe it as absolutely great.

That's with it well loaded, cargo box full, but without the bikes. 80 psi rear, 65 psi front and in good and bad weather.

I might ease up on the 65 psi front just to make it a bit softer.

Related mods: rear sway bar, Bilstein shocks and wheel alignment all previously done.

I need to put the bikes on top of the box and visit the weigh scales to get the numbers. Maybe next trip.
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Old 07-23-2015, 04:49 PM   #29
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Did any of you happen to catch this thread?

At RV Net

I suspect a bad weld but geez.
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Old 07-23-2015, 05:18 PM   #30
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This link shows the setup : http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fu...3.cfm#28277973

Two extensions shown and, in addition, the box is also pretty far back. All the forces would have been multiplied. Push, pull, up, down, side to side etc.

I used a dual hitch extension in a previous project: http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8...rack-2495.html

The two inch bar was solid metal, not hollow tube though. I didn't use the center hitch at all on this current project.
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Old 07-23-2015, 05:45 PM   #31
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Way too much leverage on that section. It might have held with a solid plug in it for reinforcing, but it is still a pretty scary setup. It is a 4 wheel trailer, so probably pretty heavy, and you have to be very careful with the tongue weight adjustment with a 4 wheel.

As a point on bad welds (which I am really good at making ). As the popularity of wirefeed welders has increased, especially for home use, so has the frequency of weak welds. It is very easy with a wire welder not to get good penetration on a weld that looks just fine. The smaller 10v home units are very bad for this when the material gets heavy, like the hitch tubing. The old stick welders tend to get much better penetration, and lots of old timers still prefer them for heavy work.

Marko-very interesting that the handling may have gotten better. Perhaps related to the very heavy diesel?
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Old 07-23-2015, 06:01 PM   #32
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I could be imagining things. It does track nicely though - hardly have to move the steering wheel at all.

Previous weights were:
Front: 4040 lbs
Rear: 4780 lbs
Total 8820 lbs

Maybe the new numbers when I get them will shed some light on this.
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Old 10-04-2015, 07:40 PM   #33
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I forgot about hitting the scales .....

This box has come in handy. It's strong enough to stand on to work on the rear view camera
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Old 12-13-2015, 02:00 PM   #34
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Default Bikes on top of cargo box

The box project continues

Remember Wincrasher adding Valterra tubes to his Stowaway? - http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f6...html#post24792

I copied that idea and added one and also left space for another, maybe longer one if needed above it.

carrier tube added to box.JPG

I put half of a spaghetti mat - http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...mats-2450.html - in there. I'll see if unrolls flat enough to use.

rolled up spaghetti mat.JPG

I also added lights and the license plate to the box. All tested and working. I chose the locations because of what is on the inside of the door.

added lights to bike box.JPG

A short connection to the 4-way on the rear of the van supplies power:

short connector to 4 way.JPG
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Old 12-13-2015, 02:35 PM   #35
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Looks goods. Every once in a great while I have a good idea!

For others doing a similar project, for the lights and wiring, you could just get a boat trailer light kit - they come with the wiring harness all set up to use the 4 way plug.
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:57 PM   #36
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I don't think you will have any issues with the mat. We roll our 3X5 that small, and it always is down flat is a very short time.
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:27 PM   #37
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You have the mat rolled the correct way. They flatten out quicker if they are placed down convex rather than concave.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:20 PM   #38
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Quote:
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You have the mat rolled the correct way. They flatten out quicker if they are placed down convex rather than concave.

If that is a spaghetti mat like ours, there is no top or bottom to the them, so you can roll them anyway you want. We even fold ours in half, flat, and then roll it up besides. They are so flexible they lay flat almost as soon as they hit the ground.
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Old 12-13-2015, 06:44 PM   #39
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That photo looks like it has a backer scrim to it to me. I mostly use the artificial grass like mats that have a smooth side scrim. The tendency is to roll the mat with the smooth side out and the edges stand up longer that way.
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Old 12-13-2015, 07:34 PM   #40
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This mat does have top and bottom. Water would pass right through. So would very fine dirt.

Top:
noodle mat top.JPG

Bottom:
noodle mat bottom.JPG

I tried to put a full mat in the tube (2' x 3') but it's too thick.
Half a mat approx 1.5' x 2' fits easy.
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