Homemade hitch tray mounts- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Homemade hitch tray mounts

    Hi- new to the forum here...

    I have a Haro Mary XC 29er that I'm pretty obsessed with. It might be time for a bit of an overhaul soon, but I'll ask about that in another thread.

    I recently purchased 2x Yakima High Roller roof racks, with some plans in mind. (similar to Yakima Holdup)

    I have a one of these coming in the mail.

    And am looking at purchasing 1 or 2 of these.

    I have access to metal working tools and am comfortable using them.

    I'm sure a few of you know where i'm headed with this...
    I'd really like to be able to leave one of the High Rollers installed (folded up) on the vehicle, with the option of adding the second High Roller, when needed. The thought is to weld a length of angle iron on each side of the hitch extenders and the High Rollers will bolt to this.

    What I need from the community is some recommendations/measurements of their tray mounts.

    1) How far apart are your trays mounted? Center to center? Or space between is fine.

    2) Suggested distance from the vehicle for bike tray #1 to be mounted? To avoid the handlebars banging into the vehicle after hard stops.

    I REALLY like the Thule & Kuat tray mounts, but I've always been a tinker'er and will enjoy making this mount myself. Pics to follow

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    I get about 17" from the rear glass of a Scion xB to the center of the inboard tire hoop. In theory, that would allow for 32" wide handlebars with an inch to spare at the glass. In practice, my handlebars don't threaten the glass.
    The tire hoops are 15.25" long by 2.5" wide:


    The tire hoops are about 10-10.25" apart O.C.


    These hoops have about a 2" rise. Only raises the bikes higher off the ground. Null effect on the 15.25" length:


    The distance between the pair of hoops that are in line for the same bike depends on your bike's center-to-center axle measurement, but for our 29ers, about 49" seems to work.

    Last edited by Rat Face; 03-14-2014 at 02:07 PM. Reason: nunya

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply! The pictures are MUCH appreciated!

    Are you satisfied with the distance between the bikes when you have 2 mounted? I will be mounting the bikes in opposing directions, so as to have no issues with the handlebars.

    Obviously I'd like to get them as close together as possible, but not as to make it difficult to mount/dismount.

  4. #4
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    I don't seem to have any issues with the 10-10.25", on center, spacing between bikes. My rack has a one inch square post that runs up between the bikes. The post has hooks that slide up and down, one facing front one facing back, that secure the bikes. I'll bet you've noticed similiar on racks like the Swagman (ours is not a Swagman rack). When my gal loads her bike by itself, she loads it to the rear-most spot, which makes loading and un-loading very easy for her.
    Post up a pic of it when you're done. Let me know if you need another measurement.
    Last edited by Rat Face; 03-14-2014 at 01:56 PM. Reason: nunya

  5. #5
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    Any update on the finished product? I have really been tempted to do something like this, but instead of permanently bolting the trays on, building a rail system so that I can remove the trays and use them on the roof (I use roof for short distance and always during the winter). Great idea!

    Sent from a one-finger keyboard...pardon my autocorrect

  6. #6
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    DIY Bike Tray Hitch Rack pictures

    After much delay, my DIY bike tray hitch rack is done.

    You will see from the photos that I wanted maximum expand-ability.
    The ability to carry 1, or 2 bikes.

    List of supplies:
    (2) 5' lengths of 1/4" angle iron.
    (2) Yakima High Roller trays
    (1) 2" folding hitch receiver
    (1) 2" hitch extender (12" length)
    (#) various nuts, bolts, etc

    I started out by cutting and notching the lengths of angle iron as seen below.
    Homemade hitch tray mounts-20140322_132402.jpg

    Post-welding
    Homemade hitch tray mounts-20140322_142938.jpg

    Test fit on vehicle
    Homemade hitch tray mounts-20140322_143047.jpg

    Test fit on vehicle (folded up)
    Homemade hitch tray mounts-20140322_143131.jpg

    Folded up, out of harms way.
    Homemade hitch tray mounts-20140324_073241.jpg

    Ready to use!
    Homemade hitch tray mounts-20140423_095743-1.jpg

    For maximum strength I wanted to make sure the square base portion of the High Roller was bolted directly to the angle iron. Luckily the base is steel. This of course required some disassembly of the High Roller. Note, there is NOT a lot of clearance between the inside of this plate, and the inner workings of the rack. Be mindful of where you drill this hole.
    Homemade hitch tray mounts-20140423_111640-1.jpg

    After all the fabrication, painting, and so forth... I decided that the 2nd rack is just too heavy to reasonably be adding/removing with any frequency.

    Soon I will be posting a brand new 2nd Yakima High Roller (complete with all pieces PLUS lock&key) for sale. I have decided I will recoup what cash I can there, and purchase a very standard hitch (non-tray) style bike rack. That way I will have be able to carry an additional 2-3 bikes, AND have a "work stand" for my 29'er whenever needed

    *And for all of you sitting out there, thinking how simple this project looks, but you don't have a welder Fear not! I did 90% of the work myself with nothing more than an angle grinder, and a drill. When it came time for welds, I found an exhaust shop without much business at the moment, and tossed them 2 crispy $20 bills. They were more than happy to help with the project!

    Please feel free to ask any questions.

  7. #7
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    I should also note... if you are thinking about an application similar to this AND you have any backup sensors on your vehicle... make sure you can disable that system as needed.

    Having the rack in such close proximity to the rear bumper, did NOT make the parking assist sensors happy. Luckily I was able to turn them off.

  8. #8
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    Sweet.
    Thanks for the follow-up and pics.

  9. #9
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    Where did you get the Yakima roller trays from?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by flodgodsetes View Post
    good,When my gal loads her bike by itself, she loads it to the rear-most spot, which makes loading and un-loading very easy for her.thanks
    It's a little bit of a stretch, but I see the humor.
    Have fun with that statement, too.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the update. Bummer that the extension didn't work out. That is what I really loved about your original plan; the modularity was great.

    Sent from a one-finger keyboard...pardon my autocorrect

  12. #12
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haro29er View Post
    After much delay, my DIY bike tray hitch rack is done.

    You will see from the photos that I wanted maximum expand-ability.
    The ability to carry 1, or 2 bikes.

    List of supplies:
    (2) 5' lengths of 1/4" angle iron.
    (2) Yakima High Roller trays
    (1) 2" folding hitch receiver
    (1) 2" hitch extender (12" length)
    (#) various nuts, bolts, etc
    Where did you aquire the folding hitch receiver from? I'm having no luck finding one. I'm looking to replicate your rack.

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    Found one at my local trailer supply place. Now just need to order my hitch. When you get a chance can you post up rough dimensions of the pieces of angle iron you used. Like distance from center where you notched it to ends and length of the second piece you welded in.

  16. #16
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    The piece of angle iron started its life as a 5' length (60").

    Then cut at a distance of 43" long.

    The two pieces 43" and 17" long, are overlapped a total of 8".

    The net length is 52".

    The hitch is notched out, centered on 26".
    This is the center of the overall width of my fabbed steel frame.

    My goal was to center the rack on my vehicle, and center the weight the best I could as well.

    Homemade hitch tray mounts-20140818_170738.jpg
    Homemade hitch tray mounts-20140818_170756.jpg

    I will likely add another piece to brace the depth of the rack better. (similar to below) The rack is sufficiently strong now. I trust it. But my 29er is near 50lbs, and a little cross bracing may prove to be good security.
    Homemade hitch tray mounts-20140818_170617.jpg

    Let me know if you need anything else.

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