What Are Bumper Bike Racks?
Some travel trailers, pop-up campers, and small RV’s don’t have a hitch receiver in the back. You can buy one that clamps onto your bumper like the Towever bumper hitch receiver and get a hitch bike rack, or you can buy a bumper bike rack.
Bumper bike racks work well and they are pretty budget-friendly compared to hitch bike racks. I myself have a bumper bike rack on my travel trailer because I didn’t want to buy the extra hitch receiver part and I needed something that would fit over my spare tire.
It was easy to install and has worked fantastically for many miles.
What Are RV Ladder Bike Racks?
Some RV’s don’t have a bumper you can clamp a bike rack around and a lot of travel trailers and 5th-wheels have ladders. If you want to utilize that latter space you can buy a ladder bike rack that hangs from the already installed ladder.
You can even use these to hang chairs and ladders from so there’s a multi-use capability.
You hang your bikes vertically from ladder RV bike racks so if you prefer the horizontal way you should go with a bumper RV bike rack or a hitch one.
This is a review of the best bumper and ladder bike racks you can buy for an RV, pop-up camper or travel trailer. Even if you have a ladder you may decide on a bumper bike rack. Each kind has it’s benefits and I’m here to help you decide.
RV Bike Racks Comparison Table
Best Bumper Mount Bike Rack
Best RV Ladder Bike Rack
Note: Scroll left/right on tablets and phones
RV Bumper Bike Rack Reviews and Info
The Swagman spare tire bike rack carries up to two bikes and is one of the only around the spare bike racks for RVs, travel trailers, and pop-up campers on the market today.
It secures bikes horizontally using two anti-sway cradles that use 4 thick rubber straps for each bike. It mounts around most RV spare tires and fits onto 4 to 4.5-inch steel bumpers. It can carry up to two bikes that weigh up to 30 lbs each.
The Swagman Around the Spare Delux Bike Rack is the bike rack I have for my travel trailer. The reason I got this is my spare tire is also mounted to the bumper and it takes up a lot of space. It didn’t seem possible to put another bike rack next to the spare tire and Swagman is one of the only companies that make an around the spare bike rack.
The Swagman bumper RV bike rack was easy to install and fit around my spare tire like a dream. There’s plenty of room for my 2 mountain bikes and as an added security I strap the bikes, the bike rack, and the spare tire together which makes everything solid and very secure.
I highly recommend this RV bike rack to those who have a bumper with a spare tire mounted to it behind their RV or travel trailer. It makes it so you can easily see the license plate even with 2 bikes mounted back there and it’s not too crowded. And to top it all off it’s budget-friendly.
- Mounts around the spare tire
- Can secure bikes and rack to spare tire
- Durable rubber straps
- Anti-sway cradles
- Not hitch insert needed
Some people dislike the kind of bike rack where you hang the bike from the frame, and I get that. There are stories of bikes flying off them down the freeway and while I think it’s because they just weren’t secured enough sometimes having a platform bike rack gives peace of mind.
Normally a platform bike rack mount, where the bikes stand on something instead of hang, is in the higher budget range. But because we are mounting the RV bike rack to a bumper Quick Products has found a way to make secure platform bike rack that is very budget-friendly
The way it works is you get two separate steel platforms that mount to a 4-4.5 inch RV, travel trailer, or pop-up camper bumper. The fantastic thing about this bike rack is you can change the distance between the platforms making it custom to your bikes. This is a feature that is only possible because you are mounting them to a bumper.
Each platform has slots for bike tires so they will be secure and one of the platforms has a stabilizer bar to secure the bikes to. The only downside to the slots is fat tire bikes and wheels over 29 inches will not fit in them. Most standard mountain and road bikes will fit fine though.
The platform bike rack can carry up to two bikes weighing up to 30 lbs each.
Normally platform bike racks are way out of budget range for most people, but this is a way you can afford one. The design is very simple but very customizable and sturdy.
The Quick Products RV Bumper Mounted Bike Rack is an excellent product. But if you have a spare tire mounted to the bumper like a lot of RV, travel trailers, and pop-up campers do make sure it won’t be away. You may need to move the spare tire or make adjustments to make the platform RV bike rack work.
- Very budget-friendly
- Sturdy platform bike rack style
- Can customize to bike’s length
- No hitch receiver required
The Swagman Traveler is a platform hitch mount RV bike rack but I added it to the bumper mount bike rack list because it comes with a bumper hitch receiver adaptor. It’s almost the same as a bumper mount bike rack except that the bike rack is easily removed by pulling a pin and sliding it out of the receiver.
A lot of people prefer platform bike racks and this is a classic. It’s easier to take bikes on and off of than the simple bumper mount platform bike rack because it requires no straps but it’s not nearly as budget-friendly.
There are a lot of features on this RV bike rack that make it user friendly and a fantastic choice for travel trailers or RVs. First, after you’ve installed the bumper mount hitch receiver you can take the bike rack off easily. The stabilizer bar that sticks up in the middle also folds down if you need quick access to rear storage or if it’s blocking the view.
The bumper mount is compatible with 4-4.5 inch RV bumpers and is a 2-inch receiver. The 2″ receiver is a good size because that’s the same size your truck probably has. Once you unhitch your trailer you can transfer the bike rack to your truck so you can transport your bikes that way.
The platforms wheelbase is up to 52 inches, it can take tire widths from 1/2-3 inches, and each bike can weigh up to 35 lbs. The upright arm uses two padded hooks to clamp onto the bike frame for a quick and very secure connection.
The only downside to this RV platform bike rack is the bikes are mounted close to the back of the trailer. If you have a large rear window the handlebars of the bikes may bump up against it which may shatter your window while you’re driving. This is only on very specific trailers and won’t be a problem for most people, but it is something to think about if your trailer has a rear window.
The Swagman Traveler XC2 RV Bike Rack with Bumper Mount Adapter is made with quality and RV and travel trailers in mind. It’s very versatile because you can mount it to your truck as well. There’s no extra work trying to find a compatible bumper mount hitch receiver because they included it with purchase. With all things considered this really is one of the best RV bike racks you can buy for 2 bikes.
- Sturdy platform style bike rack
- Bumper hitch adaptor included
- Can be used on a truck as well as RV
- Can put bikes on and off very fast
- Can take more weight than other bike racks
RV Ladder Bike Rack Reviews and Info
If you have a ladder on your RV, travel trailer, truck camper, or 5th-wheel then ladder mount bike racks are a simple and budget-friendly way to go. The Swagman RV ladder bike rack is very simple to install, just hook it onto your ladder.
The rack made of aluminum, is very lightweight, and has two arms that stick out for you to hang your bikes on. There are two anti-sway rubber cradles for each bike with a rubber strap on them to secure the frame. That’s two rubber secure straps per bike.
The RV ladder bike rack can hold two bikes up to 35 lbs each. The bikes will hang vertically off the ladder so make sure you place the rack high enough so the bikes will have space to hang. I would also use a strap or bungee to secure the bikes to the ladder as well for added security, you never can be too careful.
You can also use this rack to hang chairs or ladders from so it’s multi-use.
The Swagman RV Ladder Bike Rack is easy to install but it can be harder to take bikes on and off of because they are higher up in the air, which is something to think about. It does save a lot of space though and you can secure bikes to your trailer by using the rest of the ladder as anchor points. If you want a bike rack for you RV ladder Swagman is the way to go.
- Easy to install
- Saves space on the rear of RV or trailer
Camco also makes an easy to install ladder bike rack for RV’s, travel trailers, 5th-wheels, and truck campers. There’s even a handy feature that makes it so you can fold the rack arms up and easily use the ladder while the rack is still hanging on it.
It’s a little heavier than the Swagman because it’s made of steel and not aluminum. The steel makes the parts themselves stronger but the hinge at the elbow you use to fold up the arms weakens it slightly so it cannot take more than 2 bikes weighing 30 lbs each.
There are 2 form-fitting rubber cradles for each bike that has a rubber strap. That’s two rubber straps per bike.
The bikes hang vertically from the rack. Once again like the other ladder bike rack you can secure the bikes to the ladder at multiple points for extra security when driving down bumpy roads.
The Camco RV Ladder Mount Bike Rack is another budget-friendly bike rack that saves a lot of space at the rear of your trailer or RV. Taking bikes on and off of it is a little more difficult but sometimes it’s worth it to make for room and save on weight.
- Easy to install
- Arm fold up
My Recommendation For Best RV Bumper Mount Bike Rack
I recommend the Swagman around the spare bike rack because there is a spare tire mounted to the bumper of most RV’s and trailers. It’s lightweight, and fantastic quality with some serious rubber secure straps.
Because it’s mounted around the spare tire there’s no risk of the bikes hitting the rear the trailer which is a bonus you don’t notice until you’ve mounted bikes to a trailer.
The idea of saving space by mounting bikes around the spare tire is genius and it makes this RV bike rack even better for pop-up campers. I highly recommend it to cyclists who camp with an RV or trailer.
My Recommendation For Best RV Ladder Bike Rack
The Swagman may not fold up like the Camco but it’s very easy to remove if you need it out of the way and I like how lightweight it is. Sometimes simple is better and that’s exactly what this ladder bike rack is. A lot of people buy these for more than just bikes. You can hang chairs, ladders, and other camping gear from them and you can buy multiple racks to hang from the same ladder for lots of storage options.
Swagman makes some amazing RV related products and their bike racks are no joke.
What to Consider
Travel trailers and RVs can only be so wide and bikes can fill up that space very quickly, especially if you have more than one. There’s often a spare tire you have to worry about back there too, and don’t forget about the license plate. Most states require the license plate to be visible on an RV or trailer. For more info about license plates on recreational vehicles by state check out this table here.
Number of Bikes
When it comes to bumper and ladder mounted RV bike racks they are usually only for up to 2 bikes. You can find some for more than just 2 but they normally aren’t very good. If you need a bike rack for more than 2 bikes I suggest getting a hitch mount bike rack instead.
Weight matters when it comes to RVs, campers, and travel trailers. You don’t want a bike rack to weigh too much and you don’t want your bikes to go over the recommended weight limit. Most bike racks can take bikes that are 30-35 lbs. If you have ebikes or just really heavy bikes you may need to get a heavy-duty platform bike rack that is made for heavy bikes.
Most of these RV bike racks come with rubber secure straps. I think just a few rubber straps aren’t enough security for going down a freeway or a bumpy washboardy road. I always take an extra ratchet strap and secure my bikes to the rack, it also keeps my bikes from swaying and protects the frame of the bike itself.
Some platform RV bike racks have a heavy-duty hook that clamps down the bike. These are nice because they are very secure and make it easy to take the bike on and off. If you don’t want to mess with extra straps or just want to know that your bikes are very secure buying a platform bike rack is a good way to go.
Have any questions about RV bike racks? Leave a comment below.