What Hitch Mount Bike Rack Should I Buy For My RV?
You want to bring your bike on the next camping trip, but where do you put it? I’ve seen some people just throw their bikes into their travel trailer or RV and head off. Once the bike is used and covered in dust or mud that method doesn’t seem so great. Luckily there are hitch mount bike racks rated to go onto your RV or travel trailer.
If you don’t want to buy a hitch receiver for your bumper or use a hitch mount bike rack for your RV there are more options.
Best Hanging Rack
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RV Hitch Mount Bike Racks Reviews and Info
Thule makes some of the best bike racks in the world and as luck would have it they make an RV-approved hitch mount bike rack. The Thule Range is a hanging style rack with room for 4 bikes.
The bikes are secured using strong ratcheting straps. There is an integrated anti-sway cradle that you can use when the rack is filled with bikes to stop them from hitting each other along with seven inches of space between each bike.
A useful feature on this bike lock is the integrated cable lock so you can lock all the bikes to the rack without having to bring your own lock. There is also a Thule STL2 bolt lock that secures the RV bike rack to the hitch. It fits a 2-inch receiver hitch.
When not in use the arms can fold down and be secured out of the way.
Each bike can weigh up to 37.5 lbs and the rack weighs 36 lbs total. That means if you fill the rack with 4 bikes that weigh the max this RV hitch mount bike rack can weigh up to 186 lbs. So the heavy-duty bumper hitch adaptor will be able to handle it fully loaded down.
The Thule Range Bike Rack is RV-approved and guaranteed to be sturdy enough to withstand the pressure they get on the back of a travel trailer. You get high-quality and workmanship when you go with Thule. Even if you only have 2 bikes getting a larger rack that can hold a few more is never a bad idea.
- Holds 4 Bikes
- Arms can fold down
- Anti-sway cradles
- 7 inches of space between bikes
- Integrated bike lock
Yakima is another big name in bike racks and can be compared to Thule in their quality and durable bike racks. The Long Haul is another RV-approved hitch mount bike rack built to withstand bumps, highway speeds, and many miles. The hitch mount fits 2 inch receivers.
The rack can hold up to 4 bikes that are secured using their Yakima designed SuperCush Zipstrip cradles. There is also an integrated anti-sway cradle for use when the rack is filled with bikes. As a special feature, Yakima has placed a bottle opener at the end of both rack arms.
The arms of the RV hitch mount bike rack fold down so you won’t accidentally run into them when there aren’t bikes hanging from them. There is also a 9 foot SKS cable for locking the rack to the hitch and an integrated cable lock to secure the bikes to the rack.
The rack weighs 32 lbs and can carry 4 bikes weighing up to 37.5 lbs each. That’s 182 lbs total the RV bike rack can weigh loaded down. The heavy-duty bumper hitch adapter should work fine.
The Yakima Long Haul RV Hitch Bike Rack is another great piece of equipment made by another great company. The choice between Yakima or Thule comes down to small details. Which secure system do you like better? What company do you trust more? In the end, they are both great choices and either one will keep your bikes secure behind your RV or travel trailer for years to come.
- Holds 4 bikes
- Arms can fold down
- Bottle openers on ends of arms
- Integrated bike and hitch lock
- Anti-sway cradles
Swagman makes a lot of RV specific bike racks and products and the Dispatch platform hitch mount bike rack is one of their best. It’s a heavy-duty RV-approved rack that weighs 54 lbs on its own and can carry up to 2 bikes weighing as much as 45 lbs each. That means the entire set-up can weigh as much as 144 lbs.
The platform RV bike rack fits 2-inch hitch receivers and a locking pin is included to secure the rack to the hitch receiver. There are also locking straps to lock the bikes to the rack.
The wheel trays can slide to adjust to the length of different bike frames and can take wheel sizes from 16-29 inches. There are ratchet straps to secure the wheels to the trays as well as adjustable hooks to secure the bike frames to the rack.
The vertical bar used to secure the bikes folds down in case it’s blocking the view from a rear window or to make the rear of the trailer more accessible
The Swagman RV Dispatch Hitch Bike Rack is a high-quality platform style bike rack for those of you who prefer the peace of mind that comes with having bikes secured by their frames and wheels and not just by their frames. It’s also easier to fit bikes with oddly shaped frames.
The Swagman is very adjustable to fit most bikes and it’s fast and easy to take bikes on and off of it. One of the benefits of having a platform bike rack. The only downside is it can only carry two bikes.
- Adjustable wheel trays
- Integrated hitch and bike locks
- The vertical bar folds down
- Secure points on frame and wheels
- Can take heavy bikes
The Tow Tuff cargo carrier is a cool idea for campers because it’s a cargo rack and a bike rack with a very high weight capacity of 500 lbs. The rack weighs 62 lbs on its own and if you’re planning on loading it down you are going to want to use a real 2 inch hitch receiver and not a bumper mount one.
The carrier is 27 inches long 62 inches wide and has a 3 inch lip. The extensions for holding bike wheels are removable. It’s great for camping because you can put a couple of bikes on it, then load the space leftover with wood or anything else you might need.
The RV bike rack part can carry up to 4 bikes and if you have heavy e-bikes this is a good option. A tie-down strap is included with purchase.
The Tow Tuff Cargo Carrier with Bike Rack isn’t an RV-approved bike rack but that’s because it’s not technically a bike rack. The heavy-duty build of it can withstand being behind a trailer or RV, just make sure the bikes are strapped down extra tight.
The only downside to this style of bike rack is there’s more risk of the bikes rubbing together as there is no vertical bar to sit between them.
- Cargo carrier and a bike rack
- 500 lbs weight capacity
Now this RV-approved platform bike rack is something special. It only works if you have a bumper or tongue pull trailer which makes it unusable for 5th-wheel and RV owners but the concept behind it is unique and genius.
Instead of letting your bikes bounce around on the back of your trailer you can use this kit to mount them on the front of the trailer on the tongue instead. And to top it all off you can transfer the platform bike rack from the trailer to your trucks 2 inch hitch receiver. It’s a 2-in-1 bike rack.
The platform bike rack inserts into a receiver that is mounted to a 26 inch tall frame. This helps keep the bikes above the propane tanks and out of harm’s way. Storing your bikes upfront not only keeps your bikes safer it also helps with towing. Having more weight up front makes bumper pull trailers more stable when towing.
The platform hitch mount bike rack is lightweight and made of aluminum. It has rubber-coated hooks to secure the bikes to the rack and the vertical bar can fold down. It is compatible with almost all bikes and is 69 inches wide. It can take bike wheels from 20-30 inches and widths up to 2.5 inches.
Things that are not included with this RV bike rack are safety cables and hitch pins.
The is a great product for bumper-pull owners and a great idea for expensive bikes. You can see them the entire time you are driving and they don’t get bounced around near as much. To top it all off you have a very lightweight bike rack for your vehicle when you aren’t using your travel trailer.
- Safer to mount on tongue
- Works on vehicles
- Can be locked with a padlock
- High weight capacity
What To Consider
Hitch Receiver Tongue Weight Rating
All hitch receivers are rated to take a certain amount of weight directly on it. Some may be able to tow thousands of pounds but the amount that can be directly on it is much less. Most frame mounted hitches will be fine with any size of hitch mount bike rack or cargo carrier but it’s always a good idea to check.
Bumper mounted hitch receivers have a much lower tongue weight limit because they are not mounted directly to the frame. Even the heavy-duty ones that can tow trailers like the Curt camper RV bumper hitch that can tow up to 3,500 lbs can only take a tongue weight of 350 lbs.
It’s unsafe to overload hitch receivers because they can bend or break while driving. Make sure you do your research and know how much weight the receiver can take before you load it up. For more information about tongue weight capacity check out this article.
Individual Bike Weight Limit
If your bike rack has a weight limit of up to 37.5 lbs per bike and it can take up to 4 bikes that doesn’t mean you can put one bike weighing 60 lbs on the rack, even though it can take up to 150 lbs of bikes. The bike rack is engineered to take 150 lbs of distributed weight, that’s why the individual bike weight is important.
When choosing a bike rack make sure your hitch receiver can take the weight of the bike rack plus the weight off all the bikes it can carry put together. Most of the bike racks on this list plus all the bikes they can carry doesn’t go over 200 lbs. Except for the cargo rack that goes well over 500 lbs if loaded down. Having a hitch with a tongue weight rating of 350 lbs should be plenty.
Not any kind of hitch mount bike rack will work on an RV, travel trailer, or pop-up camper. Bike racks on the backs of trailers and RV’s take a lot more of a beating and have more force pressed on them than those on the back of a car or truck. Because of this, you need to buy a bike rack rated to go on the back of an RV. If you buy just any old bike rack it may start to wear and bend after a short amount of time and the company will often void the warranty.
It’s easier to buy an RV-approved bike rack then risk your bike rack or bikes being destroyed.
Most people don’t know this but having an RV-approved hitch mount bike rack is important. People who buy just any hitch mount bike rack and throw it on the back of their RV or travel trailer often find that the rack has bent under the weight and pressure after driving to their destination.
RV-approved hitch mount bike racks are heavy-duty and build to withstand the high pressures that are amplified from being on the back of a trailer or RV. A normal bike rack may work a few times but the risk of it breaking is much higher than with an RV bike rack.
RV platform hitch mount bike racks don’t have the same problem as the hanging kind of bike rack with bikes rubbing together while the vehicle is in motion. Higher-end bike racks like the ones on this list have extra cradles and straps in place to stop bikes from swinging around and damaging each other.
Ultra-lightweight road bicycles can get dents in them just from bikes rubbing together on the rack. Bikes on the back of an RV or travel trailer bounce around even more than when they on the back of a car or truck. It’s a concern and something to think about when buying an RV bike rack.
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