The "BRAT" Rack

Friday, February 27, 2009

Well, a major hurdle is done. We now have added another 5 feet to our overall length. Yup, the rig is now a total of 59 ft long. Are we nuts or what? LOL! When I said to my late wife, "I like to get a motorcycle" I had no idea where it would lead. We needed a way to carry it...OK, we'll get a toyhauler...that works.... Oops, need a bigger truck....gee, that Freightliner will do it.... How about some longer trips on the bike...OK, let's get a cargo trailer on eBay... Now how the hell we gonna carry that thing? Aha, the "BRAT" rack.

Our collection is complete: FREDDIE the Freightliner, KAZY the toy hauler, BIG RED the trike, BRAT (Big Red's Attack Trailer) and finally the BRAT RACK.

The BRAT rack is a fairly simple affair. A couple of ramps welded to some square tubes that slide into receivers in the rear of KaZy. Some pins and straps and we go down the road. Sounds pretty straight forward. We contacted a local company in nearby Pharr TX, Camco Wheel and Axle. These folks were recommended by 2 other RVers and by Camping World. After an appointment and some brainstorming by yours truly, the owner and his "free" engineer, we decided on a design.

The first day of the installation, we dropped KaZy off in the shop. Donna and I hopped in Freddie and headed off for some breakfast and later a movie. We saw The International, an adventure/drama with plenty of action. Good movie, we enjoyed it. We returned to Camco to check on progress and take KaZy back to Retama Village. The receivers were just about finished and the rack was "tacked" together. We would have to come back on Thursday to complete the project, something we knew was likely. Here are some pics from the early stages of building the BRAT Rack.

While the crew finished the receivers, James (Camco owner) showed us some of his "toys". He has a couple of street rods that were absolutely fantastic. His brother also works on motorcycles. The pictures here don't do them justice. He told me what the original cars were but I sure can't remember all those details. I only know they were beautiful. After some pictures and drooling, we hitched up and returned to base. [see all photos at SmugMug]

On Thursday we were up early and back to Pharr for the completion of the rack and installation of the receivers on Freddie. Of course, as the project had progressed, I added some some things to the list. I had quickly realized that the rack would be a bit heavier than Donna and I could handle easily, so I had them add trailer jacks to 3 points on the rack. This was so I could roll it to the back of KaZy and slide it it the receivers. I also decided to add identical receivers to Freddie. This added some versatility to using the rack with Freddie as well as KaZy.

We dropped KaZy in the yard and backed Freddie in the shop. Donna and I fired up the generator in KaZy, tuned the satellite and settled in for the day. Periodically, I would be summoned for some last minute decisions on details and by late afternoon we were ready for test fitting and final installation. And....oh yeah, gotta pay the bill. LOL!

First time we tried to put the rack on we were met with some fit problems. The tubes would not go in all the way and once in got stuck. Jesus ("worker bee") and I struggled a bit. The tubes needed to ground down and lubed up...then the whole assembly slid in with ease. The ramps were put down and the BRAT rolled into position. Some straps and a few other storage chores and we headed back to Retama village...a few bucks less in the pocket but we were pleased with the end result.

We arrived at the campground, backed in and rolled BRAT off the rack. Easy enough. Next we slid the pins out of the rack and rolled it out of the receivers, stored the straps etc. and set up the rest of the rig. It was beer-thirty, thank you very much. Oh, all the photos are on SmugMug.

Keep rolling...we will...


  1. 59 ft going down the road isn't so bad. We are 60 ft. The only thing I noticed is your truck and trailer's license plate might be covered when you are carrying the BRAT. Cops might get on your about that.

  2. 59 feet sounds like a lot, but when we consider our 36 foot motorhome plus towbar and our Suzuki XL7 SUV, we're well into the 50s ourselves.

    Yes, watch that license plate visibility. Arizona is getting picky about it.

  3. Looks nice, glad you got a place for Brat. Have a safe trip to Maryland. Ummm by the way, don't you know being full - timers your suppose to run from the cold and not go running to it? LOL

    I look forward to following your next adventures .. Safe and Happy Trails

  4. Glad to see there are people out there who are as crazy as me! That rack is really going to put some torque on the rear end of your 5er. Hope it work well for you.


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