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Bikes and/or Kayaks on the roof???

Discussion in '3rd Gen - 2007 - 2017' started by Jason Mankey, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. MrBond

    MrBond New Member

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    Only had our 2016 a few weeks and have been testing various options. Still trying to find clamps for my Rhino Rack bars, so still using factory.

    First attempt below was a tandem kayak on j-hooks, terrible! Needed a stepladder to strap up and bounced like mad.

    This weekend we had a 8' in the j-hooks and a 10' on saddles. The saddles were a breeze to load and much easier to strap up. Will be ditching the j-hooks and getting more saddles!

    Intent is to build a vertical kayak/bike rack for the trailer as that's when they get used most.

    I do wish the rails continued forward more so that loads were better supported at the front. My Flex was sturdier!

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  2. Jason Mankey

    Jason Mankey Active Member

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    Update for everyone.....

    We ended up getting a new to us 18 foot travel trailer camper. It is a 2018 model, but was only used 4 times. And we got it for 1/2 the price of new.

    It is MUCH easier to setup. The popup had all the options, so it generally took 1 1/2 - 2 hours to setup. This travel trailer takes about 15 minutes.

    It has bunk beds in the rear. The bottom bunk bed folds up and there is a door in the rear where you can put the bikes inside in the bunk bed area.

    We have used it twice since getting it in late July and we have been very happy.

    Our older 5.4L expy towed it quite nicely on our 5 hour drive from Northern Indiana where we live to Southern Indiana next to the Ohio river. I guess it is considered a super light weight model. 2,900lbs empty and 3,700lbs with max payload.

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    mjp2, jimz and whizkid like this.
  3. chuck s

    chuck s Full Access Members

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    Looks good! I doubt your Expedition even breathes hard pulling it. Got a good proportional brake controller like the Tekonsha Prodigy?

    You sure the trailer is really this light? My 12' popup was nearly this loaded weight. I found a lightweight WDH helpful as even 500 pounds on the ball caused the rear suspension to sag a bit and the WDH had sway control.

    -- Chuck
     
  4. Jason Mankey

    Jason Mankey Active Member

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    It pulls nice at slower highway speeds 55-60mph. But I can tell a difference between the travel trailer and the popup at Interstate speeds 70-75mph. It catches more air at those speeds.

    In tow mode, my Expy spent almost all of it's time in 5th gear while on the interstate. It could tow the popup in 6th on the Interstate.

    Yes, the weights I gave are the weights listed on the side of the camper itself. It weights almost the same as the old popup. I did round them a bit as I did not think the + or - 18lbs was a big difference.

    I am running a Reese proportional brake controller with digital screen. It is pretty small inside the cab and seems to work really nicely. I have been quite pleased.

    https://www.reesetowpower.com/produ.../TzaIxkVx1cKDK6xalvIR9NBTwcEEm3G2kVSbNpZ3eRM=

    I have toyed with the idea of a WDH. I have been looking at the Anderson Hitch with it's simplicity and lack of noise and bars.....

    https://andersenhitches.com/Catalog/weight-distribution-kits.aspx

    What light weight WDH have you been using?

    They all seem expensive for my taste.
     
  5. chuck s

    chuck s Full Access Members

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    I recall the WDH on my Coleman popup was a Reese but that was 18 years ago. Current WDH is an Equalizer (brand) 8000# which would be way overkill for your weight. Bought this when I bought the camper 15 years ago.

    I rarely run Tow/Haul with this or any trailer as the transmission is not hunting for gears and the transmission temperature seems to remain below 205°F all the time, normally just below 200° running 5th and 6th gears. I do run it in what passes for mountains here in Virginia and North Carolina mainly for the automatic downshifting when descending the grades. With and without the trailer.

    Full height campers have the aerodynamics of a brick! The major resistance to movement is air resistance which is exponential. At 70mph it's twice what it was at 50mph. I prefer to avoid the traffic speeds with the trailer on the interstates and run the US highways which are frequently 4 lanes here. I'll run the speed limit.

    The computer says I averaged 12 point something MPG last week on vacation in the NC mountains 300 miles away. Probably 2/3 (600 miles) of that mileage was towing.

    -- Chuck
     
  6. Jason Mankey

    Jason Mankey Active Member

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    According to my computer, I averaged 13.1 with Interstate driving. I was pretty pleased.

    The North half of Indiana is pretty flat, but the southern part can get hilly.

    Although we do have some 4 lane highways, most of our regular highways are 2 lane roads that stop at every little town over 500 people. So it is a lot of stop and go traffic.

    So either I stop and go every 5-10 miles, or I get interstate higher but constant speeds. I was willing to do either, but tried the Interstate first. I was satisfied with how it towed, so I stayed on the Interstate.

    But ya, at 55-60mph, it tows pretty easily.

    I did find the easiest way on the interstate to tow was to find a semi truck that was running a speed I liked and kind of fall in a little ways behind him. If you get the right distance, you miss the side to side wind effect, but get a little bit of wind relief from the big rig.

    I do know that the cruise control on my Expy is NOT setup for towing. It wants to slow, then floor it, then slow, then floor it when in cruise. That is never an issue without the trailer. It was easier when following the big rig to just keep the cruise off anyway.
     
  7. chuck s

    chuck s Full Access Members

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    My '07 5.4V* didn't have Tow/Haul and towed this same trailer across Pennsylvania's mountains in cruise control dozens of times without the excessive shifts that my Explorer had. 3.73 axles on those, maybe that was key with that engine. 3.31 axles on my '17 EcoBoost though doesn't have excessive shifts. All with HD tow.

    A lot depends on terrain and road speed in my experience 62mph on the PA Turnpike was the sweet spot for towing thru the mountains. 9mpg though. :( The '17 is a more competent tow vehicle and I imagine the later trucks with the 10-speed transmissions excel at towing. I'd have wait for a '18 if it didn't have a knob instead of a transmission lever. Too many years of not looking at the lever to shift.

    -- Chuck
     

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