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Ultimate Pop-Up Camper Bike Rack Guide: Reviews & DIY!

What Style Of Bike Rack For Pop Up Campers Is Best?

Pop up campers, also called tent trailers, are a fantastic camper tent hybrid. They start out looking like the bottom half of a camper, but pop up into a full sized trailer.

When folded up and ready for travel, the roof of pop up campers turns into the perfect spot to put a cargo or bike rack.

Related Product: Ditch the crank and use a drill to set up your camper using a Slotted Drill Attachment for Pop-Up Campers & Scissor Jacks (click to view on Amazon)

If your tent trailer doesn’t have cross bars to add a roof bike rack, there are more options as well.

You could add a hitch insert to the back of the trailer and use a standard RV hitch mount bike rack (click here to see post) or even a tongue mount bike rack that attaches to the front of the trailer

See Also: Best Portable Power Station/Solar Generator For Camping

In this review, I’m going to go over some of the best bike rack options for pop up campers. This includes roof mount bike racks and trailer tongue bike racks.

At the end of this article, I’ve also included a cool do-it-yourself idea for a pop-up camper bike rack.

Summary (Links to Amazon)

Best RV Cross Bars
Swagman ROAMER RV Approved Cross Bars Roof Bike Rack, White
Best Roof Rack
Yakima FrontLoader 1 Bike Capacity Zero Contact Car Rooftop Mount...
Best Value
Swagman STANDARD Fork Mount Rooftop Bike Carrier, Black
Swagman UPRIGHT Roof Mount Bike Rack, Black
AA Products Universal Bike Carrier for Trucks SUV Quick-Release Alloy...
Futura GP RV Bike Rack for Travel Trailer Tongue A-Frame Bike Rack...
Style
Roof
Roof
Roof
Roof
Roof
Trailer Tongue
Weight
25 lbs
18 lbs
6 lbs
5 lbs
3 lbs
44 lbs
Weight Capacity
75 lbs
40 lbs
35 lbs
35 lbs
45 lbs
80 lbs
Max Bike Capacity
3-5
1
1
1
1
2
Cross Bars Required
Not a Bike Rack

Best RV Cross Bars

Swagman ROAMER RV Approved Cross Bars Roof Bike Rack, White
Style
Roof
Weight
25 lbs
Weight Capacity
75 lbs
Max Bike Capacity
3-5
Cross Bars Required
Not a Bike Rack

Best Roof Rack

Yakima FrontLoader 1 Bike Capacity Zero Contact Car Rooftop Mount...
Style
Roof
Weight
18 lbs
Weight Capacity
40 lbs
Max Bike Capacity
1
Cross Bars Required

Best Value

Swagman STANDARD Fork Mount Rooftop Bike Carrier, Black
Product (Link)
Style
Roof
Weight
6 lbs
Weight Capacity
35 lbs
Max Bike Capacity
1
Cross Bars Required
Swagman UPRIGHT Roof Mount Bike Rack, Black
Style
Roof
Weight
5 lbs
Weight Capacity
35 lbs
Max Bike Capacity
1
Cross Bars Required
AA Products Universal Bike Carrier for Trucks SUV Quick-Release Alloy...
Style
Roof
Weight
3 lbs
Weight Capacity
45 lbs
Max Bike Capacity
1
Cross Bars Required
Futura GP RV Bike Rack for Travel Trailer Tongue A-Frame Bike Rack...
Style
Trailer Tongue
Weight
44 lbs
Weight Capacity
80 lbs
Max Bike Capacity
2
Cross Bars Required

Last update on 2024-05-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Bike Rack For Pop-Up Camper Reviews

1. Swagman Roamer RV Cross Bars

Swagman ROAMER RV Approved Cross Bars Roof Bike Rack, White

Check Price at Amazon

The safest and most versatile way to mount anything to the roof of a tent trailer or pop-up camper is to install cross bars.

Cross bars will not only allow you to use most roof mount bike racks, like the ones in this review, but they also open up the ability to add a cargo rack, or tie things down on the trailer roof.

This is especially useful for things like canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, and other things you commonly see mounted to the roofs of vehicles.

The Swagman Roamer RV cross bars are rated for RV use. They measure 84 inches across but can be cut shorter to fit any width of pop-up camper.

They can hold anything from bikes to kayaks so long as the total weight of the items doesn’t go over 75 lbs.

The side brackets use a rubber pad that sits between the roof and the metal to protect it. There are bolts included as well as instructions.

When you install them, make sure you bolt them into either a roof support or the metal trim that is commonly found around the inside edges of a tent trailer’s roof.

See Also: Best Portable Propane Tabletop Grills & BBQs For Camping

If the screws go all the way through the roof and stick out the other side, you can add some blocks of wood or metal to better anchor the cross bars to the camper roof.

These cross bars are compatible with most roof mount bike racks and the upside to this style of bike rack is if your tow vehicle has cross bars, you can transfer the bike racks from the pop-up camper to your vehicle.

The Swagman Roamer RV Cross Bars are technically not a bike rack but it’s the first step to getting a bike rack for your pop-up camper.

Many pop up campers come with cross bars already installed. In that case, you can go right to the roof mount bike racks reviewed below.

PROS

  • Can Be For More Than Just Bikes
  • Lightweight
  • Keeps Bikes Out Of The Way When Towing
  • Good For More Than Two Bikes

CONS

  • No Bike Rack Included
  • Bikes Must Be Removed To Set Up Camper
  • Must Drill Holes In Camper Roof

2. YAKIMA FrontLoader Roof Bike Rack

YAKIMA, HighRoad Wheel-On Upright Bike Mount for Rooftop Racks for...

Check Price at Amazon

The Yakima Front Loader roof bike rack is not specifically made for a pop-up camper or trailer, but it’s one of the best roof mount bike racks available today for any kind of vehicle or trailer.

If your pop-up camper has cross bars on the roof or you install the Swagman Roamer RV Cross Bars (click to view on Amazon) the Yakima should be compatible with them.

From what I’ve seen, most pop-up camper owners prefer to put their bikes on the roof of the tow vehicle to keep the weight of the camper down and to allow them to transport their bikes when the camper isn’t hooked up.

The Yakima FrontLoader can fit bikes with wheels that are 20 to 29 inches wide and up to 3 inches thick. Those wheel sizes cover a majority of bikes.

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Using universal clamps, it can attach to round, square, or flat aerodynamic cross bars that are mounted with 16 to 48 inches between them.

Each roof mount bike rack is made for one bike, but you can add multiple racks to cross bars. Each rack weighs only 18 lbs and can hold bikes up to 40 lbs securely.

It’s easy to use, doesn’t require the removal of any bike tires, and it’s very stable and secure, which is important for racks on trailer roofs.

The YAKIMA Front Loader Roof Bike Rack is definitely on the higher end as far as bike racks for pop up campers go but it’s a safe and easy to use option if your tow vehicle or pop-up camper has cross bars.

PROS

  • Fits Most Cross Bars
  • No Frame Contact (Clamps To Tires)
  • Lightweight
  • Super High Quality
  • Very Secure
  • Super Fast Bike Secure System

CONS

  • Requires Cross Bars
  • Very Premium Option

3. Swagman Fork Mount Rooftop Bike Rack

Swagman STANDARD Fork Mount Rooftop Bike Carrier, Black

Check Price at Amazon

If you don’t mind taking off the front wheel, a fork mount bike rake is a simple rooftop bike rack you can put on the cross bars of a pop-up camper.

This version by Swagman uses very simple U-bolts to clamp to fit all shapes of crossbars that aren’t over 3 inches thick.

The front fork clamp uses a 9 mm quick release bolt that secures the front forks to the bike rack.

A cam buckle and strap hold the back tire securely in place.

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It’s a very simple design and you’ll need to find a spot to store the front tires, but the downward angle is more aerodynamic and will save you some fuel on long trips.

This is a value option, so it won’t be as sturdy as some of the higher end rooftop bike racks, but it will still keep your bikes securely mounted to the roof of a tent trailer or vehicle.

If you are planning on taking some rough roads to a remote campsite, add a few more straps to make sure nothing rattles out of place.

Overall, this is a fantastic fork mount option for anything with compatible cross bars.

The Swagman Fork Mount Rooftop Bike Rack is simple but effective. It will work on most crossbars and it’s a great option if you need a lot of bike racks for your camper.

PROS

    • Fantastic Value
    • Lightweight
    • Easy to Install
    • Fits Most Crossbars
    • No Frame Contact

CONS

    • Must Remove Front Tire
    • May Need Extra Straps for Rough Roads
    • Requires Cross Bars

 


4. Swagman Upright Roof Bike Rack

Swagman UPRIGHT Roof Mount Bike Rack, Black

Check Price at Amazon

If you don’t want to remove the front tire to transport bikes on your pop-up camper, Swagman makes another very similar option with a frame clamp.

The tires are secured using ratchet clamps and straps. The frame is secured using two arms that extend up and secure to the bottom frame tube.

This makes it so you don’t have to remove any tires. There will be direct contact with the bike frame, which isn’t always optimal for ultra lightweight and carbon fiber bike frames.

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It also can limit the bike rack compatibility since the frame needs to be fairly standard for the arms to secure properly.

Much like the other rooftop bike racks in this review, this version is compatible with most shapes and sizes of cross bars. The only requirement is they are under 3 inches thick.

The Swagman Upright Roof Bike Rack is another excellent option for tent trailers at a great value.

It’s secure, easy to install on the cross bars, and can fit most bikes.

PROS

    • Fantastic Value
    • Lightweight
    • Easy to Install
    • Fits Most Crossbars
    • Fast Bike Secure System

CONS

    • Bike Frame Contact
    • May Need Extra Straps for Rough Roads
    • Requires Cross Bars

5. AA Products Universal Bike Carrier

AA Products Universal Bike Carrier for Trucks SUV Quick-Release Alloy...

Check Price at Amazon

If simplicity and value are what you’re after, the AA Products fork lock bike carrier is the perfect option.

Instead of using a long rail for the bike to stand on, this bike rack uses just two small clamps that secure to any style of cross bar.

The back clamp is a simple strap and cradle you put the back tire in. The front clamp is a fork lock that quickly attaches the front forks of pretty much any kind of bike to the rack.

It’s a very simple system which has its benefits such as a great value, very easy to install, and super lightweight.

Things you don’t get when you aren’t using a rail is adjustability. The distance between the tires must line up almost perfectly with the cross bars.

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You’re limited to bikes that are almost the same size since you can move the back tire cradle to line it up with the back tire.

The back tire strap isn’t very durable either. But you can fix that by adding another strap around the cradle and cross bar.

It’s compatible with most styles of cross bars and even has bolts to slide into bars with T-slots.

The AA Products Universal Bike Carrier is the most simple pop-up camper bike rack option in this review, but it will hold a bike securely because of the fork mount system.

Since you don’t get a rail with this bike rack, and the back strap isn’t super high quality, I wouldn’t call this a fantastic value, but it’s the most budget friendly option in this review.

PROS

    • Very Lightweight
    • Easy to Install
    • Fits Most Crossbars
    • No Frame Contact

CONS

    • Must Remove Front Tire
    • Will Need Extra Straps for Rough Roads
    • Requires Cross Bars

6. Futura GP RV Trailer Tongue Bike Rack

Futura GP RV Bike Rack for Travel Trailer Tongue A-Frame Bike Rack...

Check Price at Amazon

If you don’t want to put holes in the roof of your pop-up camper, or add cross bars, a popular option is to use a trailer tongue bike rack like the Futura GP.

This RV bike rack comes with a steel stand that bolts to the frame of your pop up camper’s tongue hitch.

The frame will raise the bike rack 26 inches, which is enough space to clear most standard camper propane tanks.

The frame can fit trailer tongues that have steel tube widths from 2 to 6 inches.

The bike rack part is made of aluminum with steel bike tire holders. It’s basically a platform style hitch mount bike rack that uses tire trays and padded bars to hold bikes by the frame.

From end to end, the bike rack measures 67 inches wide, 12 inches deep, and 38 inches tall from the center support bar.

It can hold up to two bikes that weigh up to 40 lbs each. The entire platform bike rack weighs only 23 lbs, which is incredibly light for this style of bike rack.

See Also: Best Folding Camping Tables (All Types Reviewed)

The bike rack part is actually hitch mount style. Which means you can use it in regular hitch receiver. The stand that secures to the A-frame is a raised hitch receiver the bike rack slides into.

It’s the perfect two bike racks in one solution for cyclists who want to leave their camper at the campsite and take bikes somewhere else with their vehicle.

The main downside to using this trailer tongue bike rack with a pop-up camper is they will sit above the roof of the camper and the bike rack will need to be removed before you can slide out the bed that hangs over the hitch.

It can also be difficult for larger vehicles like suburbans to make sharp turns because the tall sides might hitch the edges of the bike rack. This is only a problem with large SUVs and trucks with shells.

The Futura GP RV Trailer Tongue Bike Rack is a safe way to transport your bikes on your pop-up camper without having to mess with the roof at all.

It’s versatile, sturdy, can be used as a regular hitch mount bike rack, and it carries two bikes.

PROS

  • Bikes Weight Is On The Tongue Of Camper
  • Can Be Used As Hitch Bike Rack for Vehicle
  • Safer Location For Bikes
  • Easy To Install
  • No Holes On Roof Required

CONS

  • Rack Must Be Removed To Set Up Camper
  • Only For 2 Bikes
  • Bikes May Be Above Short Vehicles
  • Heavy
rear view of tongue bike rack on a pop up camper
Pop-Up Camper trailer tongue bike racks keep the bikes close to the back of the tow vehicle.

DIY Bike Rack For Pop-Up Camper

If your pop-up camper or tent trailer doesn’t have cross bars, and you don’t to get any, there’s another simple way you can add a bike rack to the roof.

Note this is just an idea for how to transport bikes on your pop-up camper. It’s not an actual bike rack and if you decide to build one, it’s at your own risk.

This bike rack incorporates a very simple design that uses some wooden 2×4 boards and MBP Alloy Quick Release Fork Mount Bike Blocks (click to view on Amazon).

MBP Alloy Quick Release Fork Mount Bike Block (9x100mm) Truck...

All you have to do is cut a 2×4 down to size so it fits the width of the roof of your tent trailer.

You then take about 4-6 6 inch pieces of 2×4 and screw them to the bottom of the main board so it’s sitting on “feet”.

You can also add pieces of a rubber mat like this (click to view on Amazon) between the wooden “feet” and the roof to help protect it.

You then install the fork mount bike blocks to the top of the 2×4. The number you want to add is up to you, just make sure they are spaced enough to allow room for the handlebars of the bikes.

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You can now secure the homemade pop-up camper bike rack to the roof near the front.

Do this by either screwing it in permanently or using a long ratchet strap to wrap around the rack and the entire pop-up camper.

You will also need a few more extra long ratchet straps to go around the back tires of the bikes and the frames.

You’ll have to measure the circumference of your pop-up camper and add the height of the bikes and bike rack to know exactly how long the straps need to be. Somewhere between 30 to 40 feet long should be more than enough (click to view Amazon).

Make sure the bikes are strapped down tight at multiple points so they will not slide around. This will put some pressure on the roof of your pop-up camper.

For pictures and more info on how to make a bike rack for a pop-up camper, check out this forum post here.

We take no responsibility for any damages to bikes, campers, or others from this DIY bike rack for pop up campers.

pop-up camper tent trailer with a bike rack on the roof at a campsite in the forest
Pop-up campers and travel trailers can transport a lot of bikes with the right kind of bike racks.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some key features to consider when getting a pop-up camper bike rack?

The biggest thing you need to consider when looking for a pop-up camper bike rack is if you are going to be using cross bars.

If you already have some installed, it’s going to be pretty easy to pick a style. Most rooftop bike racks will work and they’re going to be a really versatile option.

If you don’t want anything to be on the roof of your camper, you are going to be limited to a rack that goes over the front tongue of the trailer.

Another option would be to install a hitch receiver on the back of the trailer and get an RV approved hitch mount bike rack (click to go to review).

Also consider factors like overall weight, the type of bikes you’ll be bringing, how many, and how much weight you can lift.

How do I know if a bike rack is compatible with my tent trailer’s cross bars?

Most rooftop bike racks are universally compatible with cross bars.

You should be fine with most bike rack options, but to make sure, measure the diameter of the cross bars on your camper.

Also, look at the bike rack manufacturers’ recommendations on cross bar shape and thickness for the bike rack.

Do pop-up camper roofs have weight limits?

Yes, no matter what material is used for the roof of your pop-up camper or tent trailer, it’s going to have weight limits.

Most roofs can take the weight of an RV AC, which can weight over 100 lbs. So a few bikes shouldn’t be an issue.

Some roofs can take as much as 300 lbs when closed, but that weight capacity decreases when the roof is raised up.

You should check with the manufacturer of your trailer to make sure it’s compatible with cross bars and to see what the exact weight limit is.

How do different bike racks (e.g., hitch-mounted, roof-mounted) compare in terms of convenience and functionality for pop-up campers?

The biggest difference is the location of the bike rack. Roof bike racks keep bikes more out of the way, but it’s harder to put bikes on them since they’re up high and not as accessible.

If you plan on bringing more than two bikes, make sure you can reach the inner bikes to secure and remove them.

Hitch bike racks and A-frame racks are easier to put bikes on, but they are going to be more in the way. Also, the location of them can be more dangerous for bikes.

Bikes on the backs of trailers are more susceptible to damage from road debris and they have a lot more pressure put on them. Bikes need to be secured really well to keep them from falling off.

Are there any budget-friendly DIY solutions for adding a bike rack to a pop-up camper?

Yes, there are some simple ways to secure bikes to the roof of a pop-up camper using simple fork mounts and straps.

Check out the section above this one to see a simple DIY bike rack for tent trailers and pop-up campers.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when installing or using a bike rack with a pop-up camper?

The biggest mistake you can make is not securing the cross bars or rack to the right part of the camper roof.

Most camper roofs are made of a thin material screws don’t secure well to. When installing something on the roof permanently, make sure you screw into the roof supports.

If you can’t find roof supports, you can add some to the inside of the roof and secure the rack or bars to that.

Also, make sure you are waterproofing everything. Even roofing screws with rubber washers won’t be enough to keep the inside of your camper watertight.

Always use Butyl Tape (click to view on Amazon) under everything and cover the screw heads with a sealant like Self Lap Sealant (click to view on Amazon).

Have any more questions about bike racks for pop up campers? Leave a comment below.

by Jenni
Jenni grew up in a small town in Idaho. With a family that loves camping, she has been towing trailers since a very young age.

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