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Car flex and losing a roof rack with bikes?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by luvacoustic, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. Leeclanual

    Leeclanual Member

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    What section of the insurance policy was triggered by this event? It’s not collision...
     
  2. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker S 100D 2019.28.3.1

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    Comprehensive insurance?
     
  3. tes-s

    tes-s Supporting Member

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    #23 tes-s, Apr 18, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
    When you drive into the garage with the bicycles on the roof, don't they pay? Who is at fault?
    When you step on the gas instead of the brake and drive into a store, don't they pay? Who is at fault?

    I'm pretty sure they pay for just about anything that is "accidental".

    I am not an insurance guy, but I doubt they will investigate. Not enough money involved - probably around $10k. I'm sure some lawyers could make money representing the insurance company, the rack manufacturer, and Tesla. They would be the only ones that would come out ahead.

    BTW, bicycles may be covered under homeowner's and not auto. Hopefully you have both auto and home (or renter) with the same company - they usually only make you pay one deductible.
     
  4. luvacoustic

    luvacoustic Member

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    You guys are right on the bike weight. The frames are 18lbs, but as they are they’re closer to 32lbs. It was definitely close or just over the 165 max - I hadn’t really considered that. I have 29k miles on the car and around 4K with toys on the roof rack, mostly at highway speeds. I struggle to think about the potential outcomes if this had happened on an interstate... coming off on a country road was definitely the luckiest place to happen.

    The front driver and the read passenger stripped - leading me to believe that when I slowly went over a hump and scraped the bottom, the popping noise on top was when those two stripped. Both the bolt and the car mounting threads stripped. I had it threaded deeply in, so it would have to strip to come out like that.

    As for insurance - it’s comprehensive insurance. They didn’t ask many questions, just got a quote and are sending it out when the parts come in and covering a rental car. They are not covering the bikes or rack - those are under home owners policies. In the end, I only need about $400 in bike parts and likely will get a hitch system - so I won’t file a claim on those.

    For hitch systems, the 1up looks great. I’ve seen two around town today that had 4 mountain bikes each. How much should I worry about load on hitches? I definitely don’t want anything like this to happen again!
     
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  5. tes-s

    tes-s Supporting Member

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    Sounds like you are well on your way to recovery. Doesn't look like the rear window will leak, but you might consider putting some packing tape on the outside just to make sure.

    Make sure the shop has everything before you bring the car in. Mine was in the shop 5 days, 10 days, and 2 days for various body repairs - because they had everything there before I dropped it off.

    I don't have a hitch on my MS - but look at the recommended load limits carefully.
     
  6. docbrown

    docbrown Member

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    I never suggested the insurance company wouldn’t pay. I was thinking of the possibility that if they determined that you had misused equipment and were at fault, that would affect if and how much they would raise your rates.
     
  7. Leeclanual

    Leeclanual Member

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    Comprehensive should cover the car damage but probably not the rack and bikes... rates will go up.
     
  8. Watts_Up

    Watts_Up Member

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    I don't think that the weight of the bikes was really the issue but certainly the wind resistance which is at the origin of the metal fatigue.

    When I carry something big on my roof rack, I always use some straps connected to the hood to compensate the wind pressure,
    and also as a security measure incase something goes wrong.
    I felt bad for the damage to your car, in particular the rear window.
    Using a hitch carrier for the bicycles or a small trailer for the kayacks would be certainly a good idea.
     
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  9. Leewx

    Leewx Member

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    I have not heard of a 75% rule for roof racks. Racks are engineered to handle the stresses of a load well over the stated max weight to allow for the increased forces applied to the rack and roof do to emergency swerving, braking and uneven roads (maybe 50-150% more force). Do the instructions for the rack say do not load the rack more than 75% of the max weight? If this is the case the manufacturer should be more straightforward and just lower the max load by 25%.
     
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  10. docbrown

    docbrown Member

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    I agree, this 75% rule doesn't make sense. If anything, manufacturers will understate their max weight limit to protect themselves from lawsuits.

    But in this case, now that the OP has stated he was giving frame weights, and not total bike weights, I can see those bikes being in the 35-40 pound range. Which means he was 20-30%+ over the max weight limit of the rack when carrying 4 bikes.
     
  11. bsilva

    bsilva Member

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    #31 bsilva, Apr 19, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
    Very sorry to read this but very grateful it happened on a side road on not the freeway, as you said. That could have been bad, real bad.

    I’ve been using the 1up racks for the past couple of years on my Audi Q5. Hitch mount is the way to go for peace of mind.

    I am sitting right now in the customer waiting area at Torklift Central waiting for an Ecohitch to be installed on my Model 3.
     
  12. ac_power

    ac_power Member

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    Way to go.
    Most of the load in bikes-on-roof-rack scenario comes from the air drag, so mounting them behind the car (in "aerodynamic shadow") would remove that, also improving energy efficiency.
     
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  13. Dave EV

    Dave EV Active Member

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    Got any closeup pics of the bottom of the rack/rail mounting points as well as the mounting points on the car?

    It's hard to imagine body flex of the Model S causing a lot of extra stress on the mounting hardware - the rack itself should be fairly flexible with the end of each bar able to move up/down fairly independently. The bike racks also shouldn't add enough stiffness to cause major issues.

    The other thing that's confusing - where are the standoffs that go between the rails and car? They seem to be missing in the "aftermath" photos? I think I'm missing something here. (My reference is the whisper bar install instructions and video on Tesla's website.

    Model S Roof Rack Installation Support
     
  14. docbrown

    docbrown Member

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    If the threaded rod and the mounting bracket are stripped as the OP described, then there would be nothing to hold those standoffs on the car. They're either still on the side rails, or they fell off somewhere when the rack ripped off the roof.
     
  15. Hazelwood

    Hazelwood Member

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    I'd love to hear what Tesla says about it, and understand more about what happened (did bolts strip out)? I literally just put my rack on for my bike and that does cause concern. Did bolts come out? Did mounts the bolts screw into remain? I'm using a Thule rack, but same mounting system with 4 bolts.
     
  16. WVJohn

    WVJohn Member

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    Upon inspection, two mounts on the roof of the car are stripped - that must’ve been the pooping noise I heard when the car flexed over the hump. Has anyone experienced anything similar?

    I’ll probably move on to a hitch system like 1up for the peace of mind. Y’all be careful out there![/QUOTE]
    Most comments seem to be about the weight. I think the FLEX may well be the problem. You've got an S, I've got an X, but will mention what I note when pulling into a private driveway that was use periodically. There is quite a dip (essentially the drainage along the shoulder of the road) followed by a fairly steep incline. Drive that at an angle and there's a lot of twist applied to the chassis. I seem to hear some creaking noises throughout the car, particularly the doors and back hatch. Nothing's broken or seems out of sorts. As an aside, my F150 takes it all in stride without a peep.
     
  17. Ludalicious

    Ludalicious Member

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    It's a general rule of thumb most people go by that I know. The same goes for towing as well. If your vehicle is rated for 7500 lbs towing capacity the rule of thumb is 75%. Really doesn't mean much but it just makes allot of difference and ensures that you are within the safe limits.
     
  18. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Well-Known Member

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    So what happened to the other two? Did the studs break off? Did the unscrew?
     
  19. Knotkracker

    Knotkracker New Member

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    Sorry to read about your loss. I have multiple 1UP racks and swear by them. Originally purchased one to hold an Optibike and have additional 1UP racks, all with 2" receivers. I use a Torklift Eco (hidden) 2" hitch on my Model 3 Performance. Good Luck.
     
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  20. Zorg

    Zorg Member

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    Love my one up bike rack
     
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