Ideas for [email protected] 320 s bike rack

Hi All, we have a 2017 [email protected] 320 S with over sized utility box on the front.  Has anyone got any recommendations on a type of bike rack for 2 mtn bikes for this setup?
Any info or tips is much appreciated!

Comments

  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Administrator Posts: 9,002
    Please search “bike rack”.  There are numerous threads.
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • VikingsVikings Member Posts: 147
    Aluminum sq. tube and plate. 
    Box kind of 'flimsy' with only one latch so added snubbers on both sides seen under front bar. 
    Works surprisingly well...fork locks and twist ties are all I use to anchor bikes in place.    

    Kim & Mary Kay,  2016 CS-S,  Spokane, WA


    Map of Provinces I Visited

  • webers3webers3 Member Posts: 377
    edited September 2020
    I use a simple rack that attaches to the rear of my TV via straps, carries 2 bikes, does not interfere with the front mounted spare or the crank and does not add to the tongue weight
    2017 [email protected] 320S   2019 Jeep Cherokee - Southern Connecticut
  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Member Posts: 1,423
    edited September 2020
    Before adding a rack that adds weight to the hitch or tongue, you need to make sure you have the capacity remaining for that additional weight. Given that you appear to be towing with something other than a full size truck, this maybe critical in deciding where those bikes are going to work.

    So, three things you need to know:
    -Actual trailer tongue weight when fully loaded (since that’s an S model, include groceries in the fridge). Don’t guess on this, you need to weigh it. Many have been surprised to find they are heavier than they thought.
    -Vehicle tongue weight limit
    -Weight of both bikes

    Assuming you have the capacity to handle the bikes, you’ll also need to look at the weight of the actual bike rack you choose.

    One other thing to know: do not, under any circumstances, get a hitch extender as part of your rack setup, as do many hitch “doublers” that allow both a hitch and trailer coupler stacked together. These cut your tongue weight capacity in half. Most SUVs and crossovers max out at 350-500 pounds tongue weight. Half of that won’t even support the trailer tongue, let alone with the rack and bikes.
    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r (unsafe 200lb tongue weight limit until 2020 models)
    2020 Subaru Outback XT
    Pacific NW
  • DarraghDarragh Member Posts: 5
    VictoriaP said:
    Before adding a rack that adds weight to the hitch or tongue, you need to make sure you have the capacity remaining for that additional weight. Given that you appear to be towing with something other than a full size truck, this maybe critical in deciding where those bikes are going to work.

    So, three things you need to know:
    -Actual trailer tongue weight when fully loaded (since that’s an S model, include groceries in the fridge). Don’t guess on this, you need to weigh it. Many have been surprised to find they are heavier than they thought.
    -Vehicle tongue weight limit
    -Weight of both bikes

    Assuming you have the capacity to handle the bikes, you’ll also need to look at the weight of the actual bike rack you choose.

    One other thing to know: do not, under any circumstances, get a hitch extender as part of your rack setup, as do many hitch “doublers” that allow both a hitch and trailer coupler stacked together. These cut your tongue weight capacity in half. Most SUVs and crossovers max out at 350-500 pounds tongue weight. Half of that won’t even support the trailer tongue, let alone with the rack and bikes.
    Fairly new to this so thanks for your input @VictoriaP, it's much appreciated. Yes I am towing with 2015 Audi sq5. From what I can find out has a TW of 440 - 500 LBS - TONGUE WEIGHT (TW). I installed a stealth hitch with a 750 lbs TW so that shouldn't be an issue. 
    I've never weighed the [email protected] or know how to go about this so any tips will be appreciated!

    My bikes are 28lbs and ~50lbs.  I'm assuming this and the bike rack all add to the tongue weight limit?

    I have seen others use a Jack it or the Arvika bike rack so will check out the weight of them and consider all 3 items. Cheers again. 
  • DarraghDarragh Member Posts: 5
    webers3 said:
    I use a simple rack that attaches to the rear of my TV via straps, carries 2 bikes, does not interfere with the front mounted spare or the crank and does not add to the tongue weight
    Can you send a picture? Do you have a link?
    Thanks 
  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Member Posts: 1,423
    Darragh said:
    VictoriaP said:
    Before adding a rack that adds weight to the hitch or tongue, you need to make sure you have the capacity remaining for that additional weight. Given that you appear to be towing with something other than a full size truck, this maybe critical in deciding where those bikes are going to work.

    So, three things you need to know:
    -Actual trailer tongue weight when fully loaded (since that’s an S model, include groceries in the fridge). Don’t guess on this, you need to weigh it. Many have been surprised to find they are heavier than they thought.
    -Vehicle tongue weight limit
    -Weight of both bikes

    Assuming you have the capacity to handle the bikes, you’ll also need to look at the weight of the actual bike rack you choose.

    One other thing to know: do not, under any circumstances, get a hitch extender as part of your rack setup, as do many hitch “doublers” that allow both a hitch and trailer coupler stacked together. These cut your tongue weight capacity in half. Most SUVs and crossovers max out at 350-500 pounds tongue weight. Half of that won’t even support the trailer tongue, let alone with the rack and bikes.
    Fairly new to this so thanks for your input @VictoriaP, it's much appreciated. Yes I am towing with 2015 Audi sq5. From what I can find out has a TW of 440 - 500 LBS - TONGUE WEIGHT (TW). I installed a stealth hitch with a 750 lbs TW so that shouldn't be an issue. 
    I've never weighed the [email protected] or know how to go about this so any tips will be appreciated!

    My bikes are 28lbs and ~50lbs.  I'm assuming this and the bike rack all add to the tongue weight limit?

    I have seen others use a Jack it or the Arvika bike rack so will check out the weight of them and consider all 3 items. Cheers again. 
    OK, so just to be clear. Your Stealth hitch DOES NOT increase your tongue weight limit to 750. No hitch can ever increase tongue weight beyond what the vehicle is capable of handling. Your limit is whatever is listed in your owner’s manual for the Audi.

    You can Google exact instructions for how to weigh a trailer tongue, using a bathroom scale and a piece of wood of the correct height to bring the coupler onto the scale at the same level height it is when you tow. Again, it’s critical that you load the trailer as you would prior to a trip, including groceries and filling tanks if that’s how you normally would travel. I’m not kidding, a trip’s worth of groceries in the fridge has been known to change my tongue weight by 20 pounds. 

    And yes, a tongue mounted or hitch mounted rack will add to the weight you are carrying, which is why knowing both your limit and your actual tongue weight is critical. We have many people who try to do this and almost immediately exceed their limits. Because you already have an oversized tub that likely weighs more than the stock tub, and you have a front mounted tire, you are very possibly already at as much as 300 pounds when loaded, which could limit your ability to add 100 pounds of bikes and carrier to the tongue if your vehicle limit turns out to be 440. (You don’t want to push that limit by much, if possible.)

    To further add to the dilemma and the math, your tongue weight counts towards your vehicle payload, so if you tend to carry a lot of gear or a lot of people or both when towing, you may not be able to add the bikes. But one step at a time, you need to find the tongue weight and limits first. 😁 With any luck, we’ll find your tongue weight can easily accommodate the bikes and then it’s just a matter of figuring out what rack will work.

    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r (unsafe 200lb tongue weight limit until 2020 models)
    2020 Subaru Outback XT
    Pacific NW
  • DarraghDarragh Member Posts: 5
    Great stuff.
    From my research the Q5 & SQ5 max T. Capacity is 4400lbs and the MTW is 440lbs.  
    [https://www.audiontario.com/audi-q5-towing-capacity.htm]

    Also found this:
    "2018 320S specs list "Total Weight w/LP & Battery:  1,848 lbs", and 200 lb tongue weight.  If you fill the 11 gal fresh water tank, then add 88 lbs, so 1,936 lbs.  GAWR is 2900 lbs, so you can carry up to about 900 lbs of your own stuff"

    Typically we don't travel with much stuff at all for a weekend so should be covered.  However I did travel from AZ to VA in March and had the car and camper fairly packed.  Drove up to the top of Snowshoe mountain in West Virginia and down again while it was snowing with a nearly 2 full tanks and no problems! 

    I also have the option to use the roof racks on the car (haven't tried this while towing yet) but I suspect this creates a lot more wind resistance and lower GM.

    Found this picture and post which really shows the awesome towing capabilities of the Q5 & SQ5.


  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Member Posts: 1,423
    Darragh said:
    Great stuff.
    From my research the Q5 & SQ5 max T. Capacity is 4400lbs and the MTW is 440lbs.  
    [https://www.audiontario.com/audi-q5-towing-capacity.htm]

    Also found this:
    "2018 320S specs list "Total Weight w/LP & Battery:  1,848 lbs", and 200 lb tongue weight.  If you fill the 11 gal fresh water tank, then add 88 lbs, so 1,936 lbs.  GAWR is 2900 lbs, so you can carry up to about 900 lbs of your own stuff"

    While I *suspect* you are fine, you cannot count on those trailer weight figures being accurate. That tongue weight is when unloaded, and with only stock features, and again, is with the original plastic tub, not the much larger 3rd party tub and likely heavier bin you have on yours. It also doesn’t include the tire or the tire mount, neither of which is standard, nor any changes that were made by upgrading the battery (a very common reason to change the tub).

    You really do need to get an actual weight before you add an additional 100 lbs to the tongue. I can’t emphasize this enough.


    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r (unsafe 200lb tongue weight limit until 2020 models)
    2020 Subaru Outback XT
    Pacific NW
  • TabberJohnTabberJohn Member Posts: 588
    edited September 2020
    2015 [email protected] Max S (White/Silver) -> 2014 Ford Escape 2.0L (turbo, AWD, factory tow)
  • keithk26keithk26 Member Posts: 10
    edited September 2020
    Our [email protected] 320 had a Jack-It bike rack when purchased it from the dealer, but I found I did not have sufficient upper body strength to lift our bikes that high. I sold it and bought a Swagman XCS Traveller bike rack on Amazon. I had to also purchase a 14" extended ball mount. This rack can safely carry bikes up to 35 lbs. each. When the upright support is folded down I can still open the tailgate and it does not interfere with the crank handle of the trailer jack.


    2020 [email protected] 320 S, 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee /w tow pkg., Twin Cities MN
  • ZippyAZippyA Member Posts: 59
    @keithk26 - your bike set up looks interesting.  Forgive my ignorance - but does using the Swagman add to the tongue weight or not.  @VictoriaP posted this:  "One other thing to know: do not, under any circumstances, get a hitch extender as part of your rack setup, as do many hitch “doublers” that allow both a hitch and trailer coupler stacked together. These cut your tongue weight capacity in half. Most SUVs and crossovers max out at 350-500 pounds tongue weight. Half of that won’t even support the trailer tongue, let alone with the rack and bikes."

    Is the Swagman a hitch extender?  

    Aggie/ [email protected]; Alde Compact 3020 HE/ 2021 Subaru Ascent
    Rockville, MD (a D.C. suburb)
  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Administrator Posts: 9,002
    @ZippyA - there is a good discussion and resource in this thread that should help.  
    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
  • VictoriaPVictoriaP Member Posts: 1,423
    ZippyA said:
    @keithk26 - your bike set up looks interesting.  Forgive my ignorance - but does using the Swagman add to the tongue weight or not.  @VictoriaP posted this:  "One other thing to know: do not, under any circumstances, get a hitch extender as part of your rack setup, as do many hitch “doublers” that allow both a hitch and trailer coupler stacked together. These cut your tongue weight capacity in half. Most SUVs and crossovers max out at 350-500 pounds tongue weight. Half of that won’t even support the trailer tongue, let alone with the rack and bikes."

    Is the Swagman a hitch extender?  

    The Swagman appears to have a sleeve that slides over the hitch insert. It wouldn’t be classed as a stacked or doubled receiver, where you have an there are two square receivers on top of one another, so wouldn’t cut your hitch weight limit on its own.

    HOWEVER, it may require a longer than typical insert to accommodate the bikes, depending on your setup, which will change the leverage on your hitch and affect the towing. Calculations for that are beyond my math skill set, but others might be able to assist.

    More explanations here (quoted below): https://www.etrailer.com/question-59322.html

    “In a regular towing situation like towing a trailer and not a vehicle, the use of an adapter or extender reduces the tongue weight capacity of the hitch by 50 percent. This is because the additional length of the extender puts much more torque or leverage on the hitch, like using a cheater bar to loosen a lug nut. The gross trailer weight capacity of the hitch is not affected, just the tongue weight capacity.“

    2019 320s BD Lite, white with blue (“Haven”)
    2015 Subaru Outback 3.6r (unsafe 200lb tongue weight limit until 2020 models)
    2020 Subaru Outback XT
    Pacific NW
  • ScottGScottG Administrator Posts: 5,175
    edited December 2020
    @Darragh, I can't offer much help regarding bike racks, but I am curious about your aftermarket box. What is the box and how did you mount it? Does it have "side wings" (like @Vikings' version) to close the gap between the back of the box and the front of the trailer?

    I'm considering something similar this year, so any info is appreciated.
  • Bill_FBill_F Member Posts: 36
    MELTED white 'number plate'
  • AnOldURAnOldUR Member Posts: 912
    edited January 12
    Thought that I'd point out that what @Bill_F has done is a tongue extension, not a hitch extension. A tongue extension can reduce sway, but puts more load on the frame so still requires some research to determine how much and if the frame can handle it. One thing about this and hitch extender to keep in mind is that it's not as simple as a flat 50% reduction. In both cases, the amount of capacity change depends on the length of the extension.

    edit to add:
    We personally went with a hitch mounted on the front of our tow vehicle. There are benefits to load balancing with this setup, but probably would not be good for your car. With our lifted Jeep, reduction in visibility is minimal.
    Stockton, New Jersey
    2020 nuCamp [email protected] 320S * Jeep Wrangler

  • Phil0110Phil0110 Member Posts: 9
    I use Swagman Bicycle Carrier it's ideal for our 2 Tommaso bikes, mine and my wife's. Easy to assemble. Strong, well built. Took 1st 6 hour trip with rack in the back hitch of 5th wheel RV. Had to add an 8" extender so handlebars would clear. Used a hitch clamp too. Very stable and secure. Added a 1" ratchet strap over the bike frames for cheap insurance. Got to destination and everything was still tight and secure.
  • Basil48192Basil48192 Member Posts: 184
    Like Phil0110 and Keithk25, I also chose the Swagman.  I really like the 1up as well....but it was not available last year when I finally made the decision to buy.  I deliberated for the better part of year regarding clearance, weight distribution, rigidity, loading, etc.  I can say that I'm very happy with the decision I made...but....like every other approach I considered....there are some compromises: 
    - I wish the riser bar was just a little higher.  The rack does clear my propane tub on a sharp turn...but not by much.  I am still concerned about making a sharp turn on an incline.
    - On the plus side, once I get to site, it literally take about 30 seconds to remove the bikes before backing in.  
    - I cannot open my tailgate fully with the rack in place.  I can open it enough to release the tonneau cover...but that's about it.  
    - Again, on the plus side, all of the load is on my original (non-extended) hitch.

    I hope this helps!
  • AnOldURAnOldUR Member Posts: 912
    edited January 27
    - Again, on the plus side, all of the load is on my original (non-extended) hitch.

    You may not have a hitch extender, but it looks like you do have an extended length ball mount. Both result in a reduction tongue weight capacity. A standard ball mount has about 8 or 9 inches from the pin to the ball. Extended length ball mounts are 13" or more. The resulting change in additional sway and tongue weight are identical to a comparable hitch extender.

    With your tow vehicle you may be fine, but it is a consideration for others thinking about taking this approach.
    Stockton, New Jersey
    2020 nuCamp [email protected] 320S * Jeep Wrangler

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