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Old 07-28-2011, 10:48 AM   #1
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Question Spare tire and rear bunk to receiver clearance

Question #1 - Where do TM's carry a spare tire?

Question #2 - What is the vertical clearance (for transporting a couple of bikes) in inches from the top of the 2" bumper receiver to the bottom of the extended rear bunk/bed?

We are getting close to making an offer on a used TM and will be transporting our 2 bikes in a rear bumper receiver rack. I'm curious if the bikes could remain on the rack when the TM is raised and lowered. Would the bed support brackets be able to swing into their opened position without having to remove the bikes? I sort of doubt it, but I won't know until I can try it I guess. And is there enough height under the rear bed when extended to leave the bikes in place on their rack? The vertical support that hold the bikes erect can be leaned a bit with the bikes in place, but the hoops that the tires rest in remains horizontal (don't tilt)
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:08 PM   #2
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I canít see how it would be possible. First of all, the bikes would be against the rear of the upper shell when it is closed and I donít see how you could raise it with the bikes in the way. Maybe someone else has come up with a way to do it.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:53 PM   #3
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Default DanLE46

I initially asked the question because when watching the TM set-up video on YouTube, the unit in the demostration video has a rear bumper mounted spare tire and there doesn't appear to be any problem clearing the vertically mounted spare when erecting the unit. When I carry the bikes on my high top Chevy Van I can relatively easily squeeze my 290 lbs between the back of the van and the bikes and can actually partially open the van's rear doors to access things from the rear. Depending on just how high the bike's handle bars are above the receiver tube, it looks like there's a fairly good chance the bed would clear since its initial motion is almost entirely in a vertical direction and the design of the rack carries the bikes significantly further behind the rear bumper than the bumper mounted spare is carried. The self extending support arms might be a different matter though since they swing into position and might not clear the bikes. That's another reason I was asking for the vertical dimension from the top of the receiver to the bottom of the extended bed. Then I could compare those dimensions to how the bikes are carried on the rack regardless of what receiver they mounted in (car, truck, or trailer). DanLE46
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Old 07-28-2011, 01:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by DanLE46 View Post
Question #1 - Where do TM's carry a spare tire?
Before about 2002, the TM spare was carried on a rack that was bolted to the rear bumper. Starting in about 2002, the spare moved to a rack underneath the TM, right side, just forward of the entry door. The change was phased in on different models over a couple years, so the 2002 date is not hard and fast.

If you carry bikes in the back, you'll have to remove them to open or close the TM. My TM is not handy for measurment, so you'll need to wait for an exact number. But the clearance from the udnerside of the bed TO THE GROUND is about chest height. (Check out the setup video on the Trailmanor web site.) Subtract about 18 inches for the hitch height, and there isn't much left.

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Old 07-28-2011, 01:43 PM   #5
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Be careful if the bike tires are below the hitch receiver. Under some circumstances, it is possible to scrape the hitch receiver on the ground. I had that happen to me once on a fire road and once leaving a strip mall parking lot. In the strip mall situation I also scraped the battery tray on the front.

I have only scraped the battery tray and rear hitch receiver exiting via a driveway once since I bought the 2005 TM 2720 in March 2005. On fire roads I have scraped them both several times. I consider it to be a safety feature to drag the rear hitch receiver on fire roads because it helps protect the plumbing.

If you scrape the rear hitch receiver then either the bike tires will be pushed back, resulting in the upper part of the bike leaning forward a bit, or the bikes will lift a little.

You quite likely do not go on the fire roads that I do. But some driveways could be a problem. Just be careful.

This is not a problem unique to the TM. It can happen with almost any trailer where the rear hitch receiver is not high enough to accommodate the height of the bikes. It could also happen when the bikes are on the rear of a vehicle, such as my son's Subaru. Children's bikes are short. Bikes for tall adults (my son is 6 foot 5) are a bigger risk.

I'm not trying to make you paranoid or convince you to not purchase a TM. I just want to contribute a bit of details from my experience. Your, or anyone elses experience, may be completely different than mine.
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Old 07-28-2011, 02:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DanLE46 View Post
. . . Question #2 - What is the vertical clearance (for transporting a couple of bikes) in inches from the top of the 2" bumper receiver to the bottom of the extended rear bunk/bed? . . .
Distance from the top of my 2 inch receiver to the bottom of the extended rear bed is 38 3/4 inches. Distance from top of the bumper to bottom of bed is 34 inches.

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Old 07-28-2011, 02:31 PM   #7
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FYI...some one recently posted on here that when they arrived at their camping destination the bikes on their rack had been moving (as they can do) and dented there new TM.

I think I remember them saying that they would have bought the type of bike rack where the bike tires sit into tire holders and hold them firm had they had known.

We tow bikes to the beach and have observed how much they can swing.

I tried to find the post but could not.
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Old 07-28-2011, 05:00 PM   #8
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Default DanLE46

Thanks for all the answers each of you provided. I think all together everything was answered in very adequate detail. We are using a bike carrier that supports the bikes with hoops for the bike tires to rest in and the main insert support arm kicks up at an angle to at least 10" above the receiver to the height of the tire hoops and back at least 18+" to the vertical support that comes up between the bikes. So that design and those dimensions should provide a realitively decent amount of extra clearance at driveways not disregarding that precautions always need to be observed. We may end up resorting to a front receiver on our tow vehicles (a Chevy Express Van and a Dodge Durango, both with small V8's) and then be able to set up the TM with no rear carried bikes to contend with.
In our younger days while towing a 20' tandem upright travel trailer, we had a cheap bike carrier collapse on us and we ended up dragging our bikes unaware of what was happening until a helpful motorist waved us down and pointed out our predicament. We'd ground our way 1/2 way through the handle bars on one bike and pretty much destroyed an infant seat on the same bike dragging them on the pavement for multiple miles. Been there, done that! ;-( Gotta just chalk some things up to a learning experience!
We're looking at a used 2003 2720SL and a 2004 3124KB so the spare should be under the floor by the entry door on those particular models.
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