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Old 09-06-2022, 03:48 AM   #1
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Rear Ramp Flexing

I have a 2012 Desert Fox SW-21 we bought new. For just my wife and I, this has been a great tool to travel and boondock with our two dirt bikes and two BMW road bikes.

The BMW's each weigh about 600 pounds. Given we are both 66 years old, we winch the bikes up and down using a small 110 volt AC winch. Starting to notice a lot of ramp flex when loading and unloading the bikes. I'd like to do something now versus waiting for a stress induced failure in the future.

Has anyone put hardware structural "helpers" on the outside of the ramp to avoid the stress of repeated load cycles? Something providing more structural strength than an angle iron from top to bottom of the ramp, more like an I-beam.

If you have put together your own project I would be more than grateful for a few photos and description of what you did. Somebody besides me must have had this issue come up before. I imagine replacing the ramp door would be pretty expensive and in time I'd just be back in the same boat.
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Old 09-06-2022, 10:59 AM   #2
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I have seen people rebuild the rear ramp and install aluminum "T" braces inside the door structure. Not sure how long it will last. But on our ramp, I use Durabak coating to recoat the deck seal the edges.
If you rebuild it, you may want to consider something like that to help weatherproof it.

https://www.durabakcompany.com/pages/other-uses

In the Navy we called this stuff "Non-skid"
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Old 09-08-2022, 10:03 AM   #3
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I don't have your model, but I assume one of you are walking each bike slowly up the ramp while it is winched? I'm wondering it you would be better off riding them up quickly, not allowing them to sit on the ramp door for so long with the added rider/walker weight?

I ride my 1,200 pound Harley up my ramp but do it quickly so I have no idea if there is flex or not.
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Old 09-11-2022, 08:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLJOE View Post
I don't have your model, but I assume one of you are walking each bike slowly up the ramp while it is winched? I'm wondering it you would be better off riding them up quickly, not allowing them to sit on the ramp door for so long with the added rider/walker weight?

I ride my 1,200 pound Harley up my ramp but do it quickly so I have no idea if there is flex or not.
I'm not an engineer, but I'd think a fast, 1,200 lb hit to the ramp would be worse than a slow hit.

Regardless, I still want to reinforce the ramp. No one out there has had this issue where they've found a fix?
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Old 09-13-2022, 08:39 AM   #5
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So different toyahauler manufacturers use different ramp gates. First things first, what is your ramp rated for? I've seen 2000 lbs to 3000 lbs in the higher end units. 5000 lbs in custom units built to haul jeeps. I can tell you that even the 2500 lb ramp gate flexs a lot with just a 350 lb man walking up it. Good friend of mine was 350 Nd I had him stNd in the middle and jump up and down while it was still under warranty because it flexed so much. My sand rail weighs 2k lbs and had no issues with the gate for the 10 years we owned it. Our new custom dune sport has the 3k lb gate Nd it still flex some when I drive up it.
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Old 09-13-2022, 11:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregon RR View Post
I'm not an engineer, but I'd think a fast, 1,200 lb hit to the ramp would be worse than a slow hit.

Regardless, I still want to reinforce the ramp. No one out there has had this issue where they've found a fix?
I actually think you are worried about a problem that doesn't exist. A lot of things "flex". Bridges over large bodies of water flex with the weight of vehicles, tall skyscrapers flex in the wind, etc. My ramp is heavy enough that I certainly would not want to start adding more weight to it. I think it would make it very uncomfortable lowering or raising it.
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Old 09-13-2022, 11:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
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I actually think you are worried about a problem that doesn't exist. A lot of things "flex". Bridges over large bodies of water flex with the weight of vehicles, tall skyscrapers flex in the wind, etc. My ramp is heavy enough that I certainly would not want to start adding more weight to it. I think it would make it very uncomfortable lowering or raising it.

Really?
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Old 09-14-2022, 08:33 AM   #8
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OregonRR, have you thought of using some kind of portable ramps to help? Not sure if it would help or not just a thought.
Even if it was just 1-2" off the ramp it may help.
Just thinking here.
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Old 09-14-2022, 08:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oregon RR View Post
I'm not an engineer, but I'd think a fast, 1,200 lb hit to the ramp would be worse than a slow hit.

Regardless, I still want to reinforce the ramp. No one out there has had this issue where they've found a fix?

Really?
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Old 09-18-2022, 12:51 PM   #10
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I have a brand new ORV 29TRX and load a ~2300 lb Suzuki Samurai that I've loaded and unloaded at least 10 times already. The ramp does flex. It's rated for 3000 lb's. It hasn't bothered me because I believe it's doing what it's supposed to.
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