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Old 12-13-2019, 11:31 AM   #1
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Outdoors RV Owners Club
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Trailer bike rack question

We currently have a ladder mount bike rack on our 24RKS. It's mounted high to clear the spare tire, but still not obstruct the tail lights. The issue is that it doesn't quite fit the configuration of our mountain bikes, and is a pain to load.
I'm thinking about a hitch mounted rack on our rig. We've seen trailers that have had the bikes just flapping around back there due to shoddy attachments for the rack. Our rig has the welded hitch set up, so I'm looking for your thoughts on carrying them on a standard rack - any problems with using a hitch extension - locking the bikes to the rig, etc? Our RV bikes aren't worth much, but we don't want them flailing around, coming loose, or stolen easily.

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Old 12-13-2019, 11:36 AM   #2
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Carried bikes on a hitch mounted rack. Only one timemdid I have a problem. Hitch not reinforced well enough for 50 miles of really rough road.
One thing I did was drill and tap the hitch so that I could lock the rack on using a bolt. Took all of the slop out of the fitting.

Don and Lorri
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Old 12-13-2019, 01:21 PM   #3
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1. Watch your weights. Hitch mounted racks are far heavier than most people think and unless you spent close to 4 figures (or more) on each of your bikes, they're probably far heavier than you would think.

2. You will need to use an anti-rattle device to take all the play out between the rack and the hitch.

3. Don't even think about a hitch extension, except for storage.

4. We use a hitch mounted Thule XT2 Pro (with 2 bike extension). It'll get replaced with a 6 bike rack from either LOLO racks or Recon Racks. (1-up if I was only going to have 2 bikes instead of 4-6)
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Old 12-13-2019, 01:27 PM   #4
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We carry our bikes on a hitch platform. It was fairly stable, but I added one of these and it doesn't wiggle in the hitch at all now.

2013 Winnebago Sightseer 36V
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Old 12-13-2019, 02:11 PM   #5
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A 2" hitch receiver and bike rack with a 2" shank should help with the bouncing.
The 1.25" mounts are pretty wimpy.

We had that problem with the previous trailer. The handlebars made a dent in the back of the trailer. Ended up devising a strapping system that tied them to the ladder and spare tire.
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Old 12-13-2019, 09:10 PM   #6
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I use a Overdrive bike rack I bought from Amazon.

It mounts into the 2" receiver and carries my 65 pound e-bike and my wife's cruiser. The rack is heavy duty.

I back up the carriers straps with additional straps just in case.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 12-13-2019, 09:40 PM   #7
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Thanks---Our "trailer bikes" aren't very expensive in today's standards, but were the cat's meow a decade ago. In fact, we made them look sort of goofy to ward off folks.
I think I'll try a hitch mount and I really like the gizmo that tightens the shank.
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Old 12-14-2019, 04:58 AM   #8
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I lost our bikes on the back of the 5'er one time. I had purchased a bike rack which was not built for trailers. Didn't know there were such racks, but I do now! Shop carefully.
May your smiles be many and the miles be plenty.

Karen & Allen Van Zandt
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Old 12-14-2019, 05:50 PM   #9
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A few of the builders of racks will say they do not approve of mounting on a trailer, either ball pull or fifth wheel.

The way I look at it is our GP has a suspension system much like any other vehicle. That eliminates a lot of movement back there. Plus, our backup camera has a good view of the bikes at all times.

If we have to travel and stay near or in sketchy areas, both bikes go inside the trailer in chocks I built to hold them while we're traveling.

Never the less, better safe than sorry! That's why we add additional straps and safety to the rack. Never been an issue.
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Old 12-14-2019, 06:59 PM   #10
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I bought this cheapo bike rack.

Being the welder that I am, I welded all the connections, made a bar to connect the center vertical bar to the ORV bumper using disconnects. I made a bracket that attaches to the bumper with self tapping hex screws. I then run a couple of ratchet straps from each bike to some eye bolts I put in the bumper. Really quick to load and unload. Rock solid as well. I just couldn't see spending $250-400 for a bike rack when for a few $ I could rig up something thats more solid.
I've gone over 5,000 miles this year and over all kinds of junk roads as well as gravel roads and the bikes are still back there.
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Old 12-16-2019, 10:55 PM   #11
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I will offer my $.02 on this topic. After retiring I went to bike mechanic school and worked as a wrench for several years. I am also an avid cyclist and have worked for many different cycling product manufacturers as a sales rep (even a bike rack manuf).

1) Do NOT buy a cheap bike rack if you care anything about your bikes. Go to an actual bike shop, not an RV dealer or REI or a website, but an actual bike shop and tell them what you are wanting to do and they will help find the proper rack. If you don't care about your bikes, then buy whatever rack you want and deal with the consequences.

2) If you have the free space in your truck bed, I recommend buying the Yakima Bedrock system that will give you cross-bars over your bed allowing you to use rooftop style bike racks. This eliminates bikes dangling off the back of your trailer and still allows you to use the bed for storage. It does cost a bit of money but hey, this is the ORV forum...


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Old 12-18-2019, 06:37 AM   #12
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We hadn't carried our bikes for years. I had arm and shoulder issues until I found the pedal forward design bikes. I ended up with an electric assist one. It weighs in at 50# and was spendy by my standards. Removing the battery cut out about 10#, but it's still heavy. I did a lot of research and ended up with a Swagman from etrailers. It is rated for 2 60# ebikes and is also approved for the back of trailers. Cost in the $3-400 range so again spendy by my standards but considerably less than a comparable Thule or Yakama. It comes with a wobble preventer but I still run a small load binder strap between the carrier and the trailer frame to prevent wobble. Overall I'm impressed with how well it works.
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Old 12-30-2019, 09:24 PM   #13
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I was using a Thule bike with rack where the bikes (2) hang from two bars on the frame in rubber holders that had a strap over the top of the frame (1 on each bar) to keep them in place.
We were driving our 2019 ORV 24RKS on CA Hwy 99 on our way to Sequoia N.P. Parts of this hwy are rough!

When we stopped for gas I noticed that the rubber straps that keep the bikes in place were gone and the bikes had fallen towards the trailer and held in place on the vertical center bar and my cable locks.

We are lucky they didn't come off and cause issues with the vehicles behind us.
This is when I learned that there are bike racks that are approved for the back of travel trailers.

So like MtCamper, I purchased a Swagman Item # S64693 rack from E-trailer. It is rock solid, but heavy.
A $400 investment that can hold e-bikes if we decide to try them.

I had to redo the spare tire holder to make room for the bikes.
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Old 12-31-2019, 02:27 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Blazing zipp View Post
I'm thinking about a hitch mounted rack on our rig.
We had a rear, hitch mounted, bike rack on our 260RLS.
We also have rear utility connections.
It was a REAL PITA to hook up our utilities with two spares and the bike on the rack. I finally knocked it, and the bike down, and carried it in the bed of my truck.

Wants and needs are "pesky" things to distinguish, and the bigger the "peskier"
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bike rack, trailer

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