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  View original topic: Front of Westy Tray Rack ?
billwilson Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:43 am

Gents

i used the search did not find anything
(of course i only looked for 20 min :)

Concept:
Front trailer hitch
"tray style" rack

to hold:
Small Ice chest
PortaPoti
3-5 "grocery store" bundles of firewood

why:
i want to keep floor space clear inside van
i dont want to lift all that crap on into the cargo basket
(i am lazy, old and taking the path of least resistance)

have:
yakama racks with solar panel and cargo basket
most likely will swap cargo basket for cargo box
Cargo box will have bedding, fishing, roll up carpet
rear hitch with swing away bike rack

Real Question:
how much weight do you think i can do w/ out drama??

comments?
suggestions?

YOUR PICS???




buildyourown Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:30 am

I don't see an issue weight wise. Especially since you are reasonably balanced with the bike rack. Finding a bolt on hitch will be an issue. Throwing $300 at your local welder would get it done though.

Cooling may be an issue, but I imagine enough air gets through there at Hwy speeds.

I've never seen them for sale, but twice now I've seen front hitches for GW bumpers meant for portable winches. They bolted to the top of the GW bumper.

ohlott Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:36 am

Bill, there is a welder that can do about anything you want. He is located in north beach area if you are heading south on el camino real he is just past dewys on the left. Right beside the bar, I think his sign reads muffler something. Talk to him he can build you something. Hope this helps.
Lott

billwilson Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:38 am

buildyourown wrote: I don't see an issue weight wise. Especially since you are reasonably balanced with the bike rack. Finding a bolt on hitch will be an issue. Throwing $300 at your local welder would get it done though.

Cooling may be an issue, but I imagine enough air gets through there at Hwy speeds.


cooling, agree, will ck the space
my concept is a rack above the starting below the bump
one layer "ice chest high" should not restrict air flow
(gotta look at the front cooling)

$300 will do the job and i think he will throw in the rack
will ck weight on potty, icechest loaded and wood

may slant the weith on passenger side
Wife with dog in lap is only 100 pounds :lol:

j_dirge Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:43 am

I think you will find that anything more than 100lbs (including rack and mount) will begin to compress the front suspension considerably.
Especially if you have two adults sitting up front.

That affects tire wear, handling, and ride quality.

Ice chests and firewood are some of the most dense cargo you will carry.
It won't take much to top 200lbs on the front.

Did you upgrade springs yet?
Shocks? (I don't recall from your posts) HDs?


Thing is.. its easier to beef up the rear..
I'd be tempted to look into a combo bike rack and tray rack in the rear.
Cost wise it may be a wash.. both options (front or rear) would require a bit of custom work.

PDXWesty Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:45 am

Inside to me seems to be the best cleanest safest option. You don't want to be looking too much like Jed Clampett!



The wind and sun on an ice chest would melt your ice pretty fast. I prefer to carry ice chests inside. Not to mention the temptation to someone if you park and leave it somewhere for a while. Free beer. WooHoo!

billwilson Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:01 am

j_dirge wrote: I think you will find that anything more than 100lbs (including rack and mount) will begin to compress the front suspension considerably.
Especially if you have two adults sitting up front.

That affects tire wear, handling, and ride quality.

Ice chests and firewood are some of the most dense cargo you will carry.
It won't take much to top 200lbs on the front.

Did you upgrade springs yet?
Shocks? (I don't recall from your posts) HDs?


Thing is.. its easier to beef up the rear..
I'd be tempted to look into a combo bike rack and tray rack in the rear.
Cost wise it may be a wash.. both options (front or rear) would require a bit of custom work.

ok, i buy into the weight deal
HOW do i beef up the rear suspension?
seems to me that there is a shxtload of weight back there already??

IF i lug it to the top rack/cargo box
Ya'll think i am better off??

Vanagon Nut Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:12 am

PDXWesty wrote: Inside to me seems to be the best cleanest safest option. You don't want to be looking too much like Jed Clampett!


....

I could handle the Elly May part of it though... :)

Good points on sun + ice box.

billwilson

Not to be a wet rag, but one of my concerns, IF I understand the design, is what happens in a collision? Would that tray just push through?

Neil.





billwilson Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:35 am

1) ely may is cute, but white caucasion :(
2) dont eat cornflakes
3) front end smash... good point

one reason i like this board ( there are 2 more...)
is that you guys are a good sounding board, thank you

looks like my real options are:

A) custom rear rack
B) cargo box

dont like the rear weight

maybe:
camp chairs on the bike rack
ice chest and potty in the luggage rack

that leaves homeless:
folding kayak
firewood

cargo basket??
Cargo box??

gotta work a bit, keep em coming

madspaniard Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:39 am

billwilson wrote: 1) ely may is cute, but white caucasion :(
2) dont eat cornflakes
3) front end smash... good point

one reason i like this board ( there are 2 more...)
is that you guys are a good sounding board, thank you

looks like my real options are:

A) custom rear rack
B) cargo box

dont like the rear weight

maybe:
camp chairs on the bike rack
ice chest and potty in the luggage rack

that leaves homeless:
folding kayak
firewood

cargo basket??
Cargo box??

gotta work a bit, keep em coming



you are starting to look like you need a trailer my friend, lots of toys/stuff you are carrying, I do the same....

j_dirge Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:39 am

billwilson wrote:
ok, i buy into the weight deal
HOW do i beef up the rear suspension?
seems to me that there is a shxtload of weight back there already??

IF i lug it to the top rack/cargo box
Ya'll think i am better off??
I use Monroe Sensatrac coil over shocks.. or "helper springs"
Its a relatively cheap mod ($150 available on-line) that seems to work for most everyone who has tried them. There are naysayers.. But I have loaded up my Westy with no problems. In fact the ride seems better with 200lbs+ hanging off the rear than unloaded with those coilovers in place.

Others use AirLift air bags. I have not had luck with those however. I think light-duty air bags like those are fine for a little stiffening of the soft stock van, but they do not add much weight bearing capacity.. (my opinion, YMMV) Airlift makes some pretty lofty claims in that department.


I would not put full coolers or much boxed firewood up top.. I don't know the specific weight rating of the Westy FG rack, but I've had mine apart and the brackets are not real robust.. the mounting questionable. mine shows signs of having been overloaded under previous ownership.

I keep mine limited to lawn chairs and stuff like that.. sleeping bags that kind of thing.


FWIW.. You look to be on the verge of needing a small utility trailer.
NTTAWWT. :lol:

Crughy Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:05 pm

Hi,

Why don't you do the reverse?
Install the bikes up front. I don't like that. Because of flies, stones and such.
But that's more efficient that a big box, plus no cooling limitation.

On the back, you get a classic RV box or rack. Many to choose from etc.

?

Just a thought. Changing back and forth won't be such a hassle: you bike rack remains the same. You need some kind of front hitch. It's been done often.

At the back, most solution use the hitch too, plus some other fixation points (2).
Access to the engine, opening hatch may vary according to the solution you go with.
Some are better than others. I would go this way personnally.
JP

billwilson Tue Jun 09, 2009 12:39 pm

Crughy wrote: Hi,

Why don't you do the reverse?
Install the bikes up front. I don't like that. Because of flies, stones and such.
But that's more efficient that a big box, plus no cooling limitation.

On the back, you get a classic RV box or rack. Many to choose from etc.

?

Just a thought. Changing back and forth won't be such a hassle: you bike rack remains the same. You need some kind of front hitch. It's been done often.

At the back, most solution use the hitch too, plus some other fixation points (2).
Access to the engine, opening hatch may vary according to the solution you go with.
Some are better than others. I would go this way personnally.
JP

i like it, but dont particularly like the bikes up front

Goal:
floor space while traveling
(some eaten up by dog crate behind passenger seat)
minimum camp set up take down

Thought #1-
cargo box for Kayak and bedding (bedding eats up space over engin)
leaves room for:
- small ice chest ( for fridge overflow, with dry ice)
-porti potty
-3 bails of firewood
-lantern
-pastic tote, kitchen, gear box

Thought #2 -
-luggage rack = ice chest, potty
-rear swing away bike rack with camp chairs between bikes and westy
- cargo box = bedding & kayak
- rear above engin- firewood & kitchen/gear tote

* i know the potty is gay, but wife really wants it
* think i need to beef up rear any way
* i know carrying IN firewood is also lame, but wife wants it
and i dont want to hunt around to find it after i get there :)

missing solution = freaking ladder to get up top !

NO trailers, just trying to keep it compact



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