Hauling Our New Trikes

One thing is for certain: we love our new TerraTrikes!  We knew they would be a challenge to transport though.  This post will show you what we came up with to solve this issue.

 
When we purchased Diana’s TerraTrike, it didn’t take us long to figure out how to haul it.  With the fifth wheel, we needed to get it out of the way of the hitch.  Mounted in the position above, it is safely in front of the trailer.  We’ve since purchased a TerraTrike rooftop kit from Suttons Bay Bikes, which consists of three foam blocks for the tires, and two straps.  I use the straps in place of the orange bungees.  We also remove the seat fabric, which easily snaps on and off.  Trike #1…issue solved!

When I decided to also purchase a trike (as Pam from Oh, the Places They Go kidded with me, “I had a feeling this was coming”), Diana and I had to come up with a solution…and fast.  Our time at Wild Cherry is winding down for this year, and we now owned two trikes, two bikes and a two bike receiver-mounted rack.  We quickly sold the bikes on Craigslist…as in hours after I posted the ad.  That was a relief.  🙂   The rack is a very sturdy Yakima, and it has served us well on the back of the fifth wheel.  I took a long look at it, hoping to come up with a way to modify it for my trike…without losing the ability to change it back to a two-bike rack, if we needed to sell it.  Here is what I came up with:

  
Here is the rack after I flipped the outer rail end to end.  It originally had one bike facing left and one bike facing right.  My goal here was to have both of the wheel supports on the right side in this photo to be aligned with each other.  The single rear wheel is going to ride in the left wheel support, furthest from the truck in this image. This rack also mounts to the back of the trailer, when the truck and RV are hooked up.

With the wheelbase of the two front wheels being 29-1/2″, the current 11″ spread between the wheel supports on the right wouldn’t work to support the front wheels. This is where the modification was needed.

  

I disassembled the supports from the rack and set them aside to use later.

  
This is the piece of 1-1/2″ square steel tube I picked up yesterday at a Traverse City steel supply company.

  
I cut and drilled four small pieces from some scrap steel that Jim (Wild Cherry’s owner) had on hand.  It helps that he is also a cherry farmer, as he has all sorts of equipment that he let me use.  🙂 Thanks Jim!

 
Here are the four pieces.  The steel was from an old garage door track, hence the extra hole in the one on the right.  That won’t affect anything.

  
I then dusted off my welding skills that I hadn’t used in 35 years and fired up the arc welder….yes, Jim has one of those also!  I welded two of the flanges I had made on one side of the bar, the same distance apart as the wheelbase of the trike.

  
I then marked the center of the bar on the opposite side of the flanges.  I lined that up with the outer arm of the rack, as that is where the center of the trike was going to be.  I then marked the bar where it was going to attach to the inner arm…the mark seen here on the right.

  
I then welded the two remaining flanges into position.  I cleaned up the assembly a little with a hand grinder…my welds were strong, but none too pretty.  :). Once I was done with that, I gave it a couple of coats of black satin Rustoleum.

  
I mounted the bar to the rack with stainless steel bolts and lock nuts. I used stainless steel washers as spacers to fill the void between the flange on the rack. 

  
I then remounted the wheel supports in their new position on the bar.  All that was left now was to head back up to our campsite and try it with a trike!

  
 
It worked!  Here is how the trike fits in the rack.

  
The wheels strap down, just as they did before.

  
Here is a photo from the back.  The one trike actually weighs less than the two bikes combined that used to ride there, so this setup should be very stable.

  
And when the trike is off, I am able to still fold the rack into its upright position.  If for any reason we ever want to sell the rack, all we have to do is bolt it back into its old position, discard the bar I manufactured, and it is good to go.

Trike #2…issue solved!

12 thoughts on “Hauling Our New Trikes”

    1. No, Bob…this rack comes off the truck and attaches to the receiver on the back of the trailer when hauling the fifth wheel. I’m showing it on the truck, as that is where I was testing my modification. Hope that clarifies.

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