Best RV Bike Racks(What you need to know)

Traveling in an RV can be one of the most exciting times for the whole family. When you consider the opportunities for family road trips to uncharted places, there are ample adventures that await! These adventures include everything from visiting beautiful beaches to biking through unfrequented mountain paths. So, what do you do when you want to bring your bikes along?

Choosing an RV bike rack is all about finding the perfect fit. Your bike rack has to be compatible with your RV and your bikes have to be compatible with the bike rack. To find the best fit, it’s important to do research, ask questions, know your budget, and know your bikes. In this article, we will be diving into the best RV bike racks available today and what you need to know when choosing one. Let’s begin!

Choosing The Best Bike Rack: 3 Different Types

Choosing the best bike rack means knowing your RV. If you choose to mount the bikes rack in the front, will it obstruct driving visibility? If you are towing a vehicle in the back, is there room for a Bumper-Mounted back rack? With this in mind, let’s look at the three different bike racks available today.

  1. Bumper-Mounted Racks

A bumped-mounted bike rack can remove any worries of potential front-end visibility obstructions. However, it is important to note that bumped-mounted bike racks are only best for RV’s that have steel construction with a wield that stretches the length of the whole back bumper. This type of bumper allows for maximum strength. Otherwise, the bumper may not be able to support the weight of the bike racks with the bikes.

With a bumper-mounted bike rack, you can rest assure that you can tow your favorite bikes. A bumper-mount style bike rack allows you to carry 2 or more bikes. The best part is that it does not require a trailer hitch and leaves the RV ladder completely open for cargo storage or roof access when you are parked.

  1. Ladder-Mounted Bike Racks

Speaking of ladder-mounted bike racks, ladder mounts for your RV is another solution if you are thinking about taking your bike with you. A ladder-mounted bike rack is mounted on the RV’s rear ladder. The bikes are secured vertically with the front tire facing the ground. However, it is important to keep in mind that with a ladder-mounted bike rack, you will not be able to use the ladder unless you dismount the rack every time.

Also, ladder-mounted bike racks are great for carrying 2 bikes but they must be relatively light. This is the best option if your RV does not have a hitch receiver or a bumper. Although they can be easily removed, they might not be able to carry larger and heavier bikes.

  1. Hitch-Mounted Racks

The great news about hitch-mounted bike racks is that most RV already come with a hitch installed. With this in mind, hitch-mounted bike racks come in 2, 3, and 4 bike designs. With two styles, hanging and platform, you can choose the best option for you and your bicycles.

One of the biggest benefits about a hitch-mounted bike rack is that they fit and work well with other motor vehicles. Hitch bike racks will fit any standard 2 inch hitch receiver, making it easy for you to dismount from the RV and onto a truck. If you happen to be towing a car with your RV, you can easily detach the hitch from the RV and onto the car for when you want your bikes on the go.

RV Hitch Bike Rack

The RV bumper bike rack seems to be the simplest type to get for smaller RVs. This is the kind that we ended up going with and I’ll share some tips about the whole process with you. Most of these types of bike racks can hold two or more bikes easily. Mounting them on your hitch should be easy. The biggest thing we noticed with ours is that the racks can sway a bit on the hitch so you have to make sure you ratchet everything down in the back.

Pro-Series 63124 Eclipse Black 2-Inch Sq. 4 Bike Carrier

pro series 63124 eclipse black 4 bike carrier

Tech Specs:

  • 31 Pounds
  • Fits 2″ receivers
  • Has reflective tape for nighttime visibility
  • Carries up to 4 bikes. Most makes and models will fit
  • Tilting arm for easy access to the spare tire or vehicle access if loading the bikes on your toad
  • Threaded bolt for tilting arm

This is a great bike rack for RV’ers who have kids or need to carry more than two bikes at a time. The rack fits nicely in a 2″ inch receiver and would be great for either an RV bike rack or to install it on your towable. They have padding in all the right places to reduce friction while on the road.

Pro: Sturdy build that most people like. It doesn’t feel flimsy on the hitch. Straps work really well in securing all the bikes to the rack.

Con: Although it states that it works for most bikes, you’ll need to have a bike with a horizontal bar. Since most women’s and children’s bikes don’t have this, you’ll need to get the bar adapter to make it work. This extra piece makes the set up a little more difficult going down the road.

Our best friends have this kind of setup and love it, but the extra work of getting a bar adapter wasn’t worth it to us.

Click here for more info and current pricing

Stromberg Carlson (CC-275) Bike Bunk for Cargo Tray

Stromberg Carlson Bike Bunk for Cargo Tray

Tech Specs:

  • Fits most a frame trailers
  • 2″ receiver fit
  • 49 pounds
  • Supports up to 100 pounds
  • Made in the USA

If you have a travel trailer or an A frame trailer and have been trying to find something to work with it, here is your bike rack. It’s adjustable to fit most A frames and puts here bikes over the propane tanks and out of the way. Also make sure they fit with your battery box if you have one there.

Pro: Sturdy built and made in the USA. Easy to see the bikes from the cab. Absolutely great for Airstream travel trailer owners.

Cons:  Some people had to cut bars for a better fit and some bolts didn’t work correctly. You’ll have to do some trial and error on the installation because every frame can be just a little different. If you’re handy and don’t mind the extra work, this is not an issue.

Side Note: They also have a cargo carrying system that holds up to 300 pounds and would work great for external generator.

Click here for more info and current pricing

RV Bumper Bike Rack

The bumper bike rack needs a bumper adaptor to go over your RV bumper instead of installing at the hitch.

Best Bike Rack for RV
Swagman Traveler XC2-RV 2 Bike Carrier with Bumper Adaptor

Swagman Traveler XC2-RV 2 Bike Carrier with Bumper Adaptor best bike rack for rv

 

Tech Specs:

  • 30 Pounds
  • Fits 2″ receivers and 1 1/4″ with anti wobble hitch device
  • Folds up nicely when no bikes are mounted
  • Carries up to 2 bikes. Most makes and models will fit
  • Tilting arm for easy access to the spare tire or vehicle access if loading the bikes on your toad
  • Adjustable ratchet to keep bikes from swaying
  • Bumper Adaptor

If you were wondering, this is the bike rack we have. This was the best bike rack for RV we could find for our needs. We like that you can easily mount two bikes and have the ratcheting system come down on the frame to keep it from swaying. They have several velcro straps to help secure everything down as well. When not in use, you can fold it up and it doesn’t take up too much space.

Pros Carries our 2 bikes very well, even though I have a Baria bike that doesn’t have a horizontal bar, I can mount my bike on this no problem. It takes maybe 5 minutes to mount our bikes when we’re heading out and secures them in place while going down the road.

Cons The ratcheting is great for keeping the bikes from swaying, but in one spot on one of our bikes, the pain has rubbed off in that area. It’s just from the sheer friction of going down the road. It’s a harder rubber, if it was foam it probably wouldn’t have done that.

Click here for more info and current pricing

RV Ladder Bike Rack

If you have a towable already hitched to your RV or you just don’t like the way the bumper mounted rv bike racks work, then you can use the RV ladder bike racks to mount your bikes to your motorhome. Most of these types of racks are “universal” and should fit your ladder attached to your RV.

Be very careful when deciding to go with a ladder bike rack. The leverage of the bikes on the ladder and going over bumps or potholes can cause enough pressure to bend the ladder. We got our Lazy Daze used and the ladder was bent. We think it was because the previous owner probably had a ladder bike rack.

Surco 501BR Ladder Mounted Bike Rack

Surco 501BR Ladder Mounted Bike Rack

Tech Specs:

  • Universal mount
  • Pivoting arms
  • Made in the USA
  • Carries 2 bikes
  • 3 pounds

This rack has swaying arms that allow you to move the rack out of the way when the bikes aren’t loaded. The lighter weight reduces the overall weight that you’re carrying down the road.

Pros Bikes stay cleaner on ladder than when mounted on hitch systems. Good for long travels.  No bike movement

Cons Only fits rounded ladder rails. If you have oblong rails like on a Lance Truck camper, then it might not fit yours. Steel plated pins so rusting can occur. Some users saw the rack bend while traveling.

Click here for more info and current pricing

Swagman RV Ladder Rack

Swagman RV Ladder Rack

Tech Specs:

  • Universal mount
  • Carries up to 2 bikes
  • Hook design makes fast installing
  • 6.5 pounds

Many like the look and feel of this sturdy ladder and Swagman is a top manufacturer for the different bike racks that you need. They have reflectors at the end for added safety at night and the straps are rubber to make securing them easier.

Pros Quickly mounts onto ladder. Straps work great at securing bikes to ladder. Keeps bikes up and out of the way

Cons Might have to remove front tire if ladder in near the passenger side so they don’t extend past RV.  Don’t overload or the rack can bend.

Click here for more info and current pricing

Never Worry About Your Bikes Again

When it comes to taking your bikes on your next RV adventure, bike racks make it easy. Whether a ladder style bike rack or bumper mount is the best option for you, only you know. It is important to test the sturdiness of your ladder, your bumper, or any other area you might place the bike rack to ensure it is secure and safe.

When looking for a bike rack ask yourself these key questions:

  • How many bikes do you plan to take?
  • What is the maximum weight per bike?
  • Will the bike rack obstruct any views?
  • Is it a trusted company?
  • Is there a warranty?

As always, looking for the best of anything requires patience and time. We hope to have shed some insight and light on the best bike racks out there. Whether you are choosing a ladder mount or spare tire bike rack, the adventures that await are priceless. Enjoy your next trip!

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