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Old 11-07-2011, 07:56 AM   #691
troidus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infracaninophile View Post
I was surprised by Geek's statement that the Sprinter is a unibody. Would have thought it had a chassis and a body on top. Guess I should go out and take a look one of these days. For a vehicle that can hold between 3000 and 4000 pounds inside or pull a 5000 pound trailer I just assumed there was a frame.

Did the original model Sprinters have a frame? As Geek said they could be had with a Class IV?

Tom
I used to know someone who bought a '92 LWB GMC 1-ton van with a 454. It was unibody. The concept isn't new.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:57 AM   #692
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Infracaninophile View Post
I was surprised by Geek's statement that the Sprinter is a unibody. Would have thought it had a chassis and a body on top. Guess I should go out and take a look one of these days. For a vehicle that can hold between 3000 and 4000 pounds inside or pull a 5000 pound trailer I just assumed there was a frame.

Did the original model Sprinters have a frame? As Geek said they could be had with a Class IV?

Tom
All vans are unibody, Ford Transit, MB Sprinter, VW Crafter, Fiat Ducato even the GM Express is unibody. I think it's only Ford with the Econoline that has kept with the unibody-kind-a-tub on a full frame design.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:59 AM   #693
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Tom:

"The Sprinter IS a unibody but does have an integral "frame"-more like a reinforcing spine and mounting for springs etc. A true frame is typically much thicker material and bolted to a body structure. This integral Sprinter "frame" is same thickness sheet metal as the thickest sheetmetal to be found on a Sprinter-about 1.5mm(0.060") The cab/chassis adds an upper, inverted , mirror image, open box member, welded on top of the lower open frame creating a true, closed box member with a tall vertical dimension and high strength. "
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:00 AM   #694
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Mercedes lists a factory tow option for U.S. Sprinters. Dunno if it can be fitted after it leaves the factory.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:08 AM   #695
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It is a class 3... the key to the factory tow option is it upgrades the ASR (stabilization software) in the van so that it can compensate for towing.

the ASR is pretty amazing technology to keep such a tall vehicle from "getting squirley" in emergency situations.

If you don't have time for the entire video start it about 2:45

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Old 11-07-2011, 09:51 AM   #696
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I wonder what the best way to beef it up would be if I wanted to reduce the flex/twist that's so common with a receiver hitch carrier..
Don't worry about it.. hitch carriers will move a little, but as long as the bike is tied down well, there's no problem. I've carried my R100GS on my JoeHauler (Deluxe Cam-Loc Heavy Duty), my Street Triple, as well as my KTM with 4 milkcrates of firewood, and had it offroad. It moves, drags a little offroading, but it's not a problem.
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Old 11-07-2011, 05:28 PM   #697
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Anybody have any idea of when they say "tounge weight" - at what distance out are they referring?
600lbs at the end of their receiver vs. 600lbs bouncing around 2.5 feet back on a rack is quite a bit different in applied force eh?
The torque applied on the hitch is the only thing that will increase with the load pushed rearward, but it really shouldn't be a problem with all those big-ass mounting bolts.

The tongue weight limit is usually more of a safeguard against handling problems (rear has too much weight, front end becomes light, big ass trailer behind you = stability problems) than an issue with the hitch itself somehow failing. You could probably put 1,000+ pounds on the hitch itself without any structural issues if it didn't cause handling issues.

If anything, I would see the weak link to be strength of the main bar on the carrier itself, not the hitch. Want to haul a big bike? Buy a BEEFY hitch carrier and I think Class III hitch would be more than enough.

Quote:
I wonder what the best way to beef it up would be if I wanted to reduce the flex/twist that's so common with a receiver hitch carrier..
That is one of the sucky things about hitch mount carriers. Typically the only point of contact with the carrier is the 2" male hitch rack sliding into the 2" female receiver, and it isn't exactly a precision fit.

They make a variety of bolts and gizmo's to tighten up the connection once you have slid in the rack. They help, but you still get some rotation/sway around the receiver. It looks disconcerting, but I've never had a problem with it. Google "hitch stabilizer" and you'll see dozens of solutions.

If you wanted to design a custom solution to reduce the rocking, you could start with something like that etrailer hitch and have a local welder put on an additional female 2" receiver as far to one side as you can, and then modify the hitch carrier with another male structural member () so you would have two points of contact. But the alignment would have to be pretty much spot-on. Likely more of a pain than it would be worth and IMHO unnecessary.
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:11 PM   #698
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Thanks for your input Paul


I got my UPS tracking number for the 36 incoming 80/20 extrusions today...
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:17 PM   #699
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That looks like an amazing rig!
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Old 11-07-2011, 07:21 PM   #700
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That looks like an amazing rig!
+1

That's the goal! Can't wait.
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Old 11-07-2011, 08:35 PM   #701
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Geek,

My hitch carrier has one bar out and up from the back that I strap the bike to (running up to the handlebars), but on the inside, I have a strap running to the van itself (to where safety chains would hook on the receiver). I run one strap on either side; one to the bars, one to the back somewhere (luggage racks in this case). Having straps to the van and not just the carrier seems to help stabilize things and I don't get as much rocking.

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Old 11-08-2011, 06:01 AM   #702
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Great idea!

Have you ever been harassed by the man for having your license plate blocked by the bike?

I see you have some auxiliary brake lights.. something I likely need to think about as well.. the 950 makes a better door than a window
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Old 11-08-2011, 06:46 AM   #703
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Originally Posted by Geek View Post
......

Have you ever been harassed by the man for having your license plate blocked by the bike?

.....
I drive B-class trucks Interstate for my job. I see a LOT of "obscured" plates, on all kinds of vehicles. It is a ticket-able offense, but I don't think it's a real problem unless the cop's just looking for an excuse to pull you over.



I have also noticed a few relocated plate mounts (w/ plate light), mostly on RV's and B-trucks. Nowhere good to move it to on a van.
Saw a Goldwing w/ a plate mount on the back of his Packit Rack setup, but he probably leaves his "trunk" on all the time.




Just don't put the "Stalker" or "Free Candy" lettering on the van and you're probably Good To Go!



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Old 11-08-2011, 07:46 AM   #704
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Great idea!

Have you ever been harassed by the man for having your license plate blocked by the bike?

I see you have some auxiliary brake lights.. something I likely need to think about as well.. the 950 makes a better door than a window
No; I've driven all over the place like this and no problems (yet). My auxiliary lights are just magnetic trailer lights.

I know Robb has his plate mounted to his bike rack, along with lights. I think he leaves it on all the time and pretty much always puts his bike outside of the van.
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Old 11-08-2011, 07:53 AM   #705
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I thought painting "Free Candy" on the side of a van was always the first modification that needs to be made.

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