Planning a vacation can be complicated even when you’re taking your home from home with you. There’s no doubt that the RV is a fantastic tool and one of the best ways to explore any area. There is something incredibly satisfying about jumping into a well-packed RV and heading for the hills.
Quite literally the world is your oyster. Whether you choose to drive 10 miles down the road or thousands of miles across the country, your RV will give you the opportunity to see things that most tourists don’t. Part of the experience is the thrill of having your bike with you; opening up paths and tracks to all sorts of places. But, carrying your bike with you always poses a problem; what is the best RV bike rack?
For security, you could keep your bikes inside the motorhome. However, this is not going to make it easy to use the space you have available. That’s why it makes sense to add a rack to the rear of your RV. If you buy the right one you can keep your bikes there permanently which means you’ll always know where they are!
But, before we take a look at the best RV bike rack for your needs, it’s important to understand why you should get a purpose built one.
Why A Purpose Built RV Rack Is Best
A purpose built RV bike rack is not the only option, but it is the best. You could choose a trailer instead but this will present an array of issues regarding where the trailer gets parked, how the bikes are strapped to the trailer and whether you need the trailer for anything else.
You’ll also find that your RV is probably big enough to maneuver without the added complication of a trailer behind you; especially as you probably won’t be able to see it and could forget it’s there.
A purpose built RV bike rack is designed to fit your RV. It will stay securely in position while you’re traveling and it will handle the weight of all your bikes; providing you comply with the manufacturer’s fitting instructions and load limitations.
The types of RV bike racks are covered below but it is worth noting that not all hitch style racks will fit your RV. The reason is actually very simple. The ride at the rear of an RV is significantly rougher than a standard car or SUV. This is due to the length and nature of the vehicle. An RV bike rack is rated to handle this additional pressure, a non-rated one is not. The rack will fit but it is likely to shake itself apart with the stress when being used.
Don’t forget that any bike rack will extend the length of your rig and potentially make it more difficult to maneuver. You may need a sticker on your dash to remind you the bikes are there.
Types Of RV Bike Rack
Before you take a look at the best RV bike rack list it is worth being aware of the different types of racks that are available and can be used on your RV.
RV Hitch Bike Rack
As the name suggests this type of bike mount clips into your hitch. However, you will need to have a square trailer hitch insert on your RV. This is often installed as standard at the factory but, if you don’t have one, you’ll need to get one and factor this cost into the purchase of your RV bike rack.
This is actually the most common type of RV bike rack and you’ll find a variety of options available. A simple bar extends outwards from the hitch and angles upwards. There should then be a horizontal bar to which you attach your bike or bikes.
It’s worth noting that you may need to turn your handlebars if the bike is too close to the rear of your RV.
RV Ladder Bike Rack
If you have a ladder on the rear of your RV then you may wish to consider adding an RV ladder rack. These racks are generally designed to fit any RV ladder. They clip through the rungs of your ladder and bolt into place. You’ll then have extending arms that allow you to secure your bike to the rack. In most cases, the arms will swing out to allow you access to the ladder.
Of course, your bike will be hung vertically. Depending on the weight of your bike you may find it difficult to get into position. In addition, although the arms swing, you will find access to the trunk of your RV more difficult. It’s also likely that you’ll only be able to get 2 bikes onto this type of rack.
RV Bumper Bike Rack
This type of bike rack is perhaps the simplest in design. It is a flat design that rests on the rear bumper of your RV; hence the name RV bumper bike rack. The rack is then clamped into position around your bumper; you won’t need to remove your bumper to do this.
On larger bike racks there will probably be a supporting bar that runs diagonally from under the bumper to at least half way along the rack.
There should be a single upright arm that prevents your bike from being mounted too close to the RV. You’ll then find a number of grooves which should be wide enough to accommodate your tires. The number of grooves and the amount of room the rack takes up will depend on how many bikes you hope to mount.
All you have to do then is lift your bike into position and secure it using straps. It is very easy to lift your bike onto the RV bumper bike rack as it is close to the ground.
However, this does mean you’ll need to be a little more cautious with bumps in the road and when reversing your RV. The RV bumper bike rack can extend as much as 3 feet from the back of your rig; that’s quite a bit of extra space to remember.
RV Tire Mounted Bike Rack
If you have a spare tire on the rear of your RV then it is possible you can utilize this option. In general, this is associated with SUV’s but there are still RV’s with spare tires on the rear or you can move your spare tire there!
If you don’t already have a spare tire on the back of your RV you’ll need to get the bumper mounted tire carrier unit. You can then bolt your spare wheel to this and mount the RV spare tire bike rack to this. The RV spare tire bike rack hooks over your spare tire and then clamps around it, ensuring it is held firmly in place. You’ll then have a short platform where you can mount your bike and strap it into place.
These will restrict access to the trunk of your RV and can be a nuisance if you need the spare tire. Of course, you hope that never happens!
RV Tongue Mounted Bike Rack
In contrast to all the other mounts, the RV tongue mounted bike rack sits on the front of a trailer. This means it’s not really suitable for a traditional RV but it could be mounted on a caravan or the front of a trailer; if you’re RV is towing one.
The advantage of this style bike rack is that the bikes are better protected and within the existing rig profile.
Of course, you’ll need to deal with the issues of towing a trailer but this may be something you already do for your motorbike or car. The rack clamps to the diagonal bars between your trailer and the hitch. The bars extend upwards to clear any obstacle on the tongue and then a platform creates the space needed for your bike or bikes.
The bikes are shielded from the wind and are generally considered safer in this position but there are very few RV tongue bike racks made by manufacturers; this is more likely to be a custom option.
The 10 Best RV Bike Racks:
This offering from Swagman is designed to fit onto your bumper and comes with a bumper adaptor. The adaptor is useable on bumpers up to 2 inches. In addition, this RV bumper bike rack can also be used on your hitch; all you need is a 2-inch hitch receiver. It will need to be a class 3 hitch.
If you opt for the bumper adapter you’ll need to have a 4.5” continuous steel welded bumper on your RV. This can be advantageous if your hitch is the larger 4-inch size which is becoming more common.
The Traveler X2 is designed to accommodate one or two bikes. However, it is worth noting that the bikes must be no more than 35 pounds each. The rack is designed to take bikes with tires between 20” and 29”; that covers most models.
On each side of the central bar are grooves designed to accommodate your tires. You’ll need to slide the clamp up to position your bike correctly. Then, simply push the button and slide the clamp down until it holds your bike firmly in place.
It is important to note that you’ll need a locking hitch pin to secure the rack to your hitch or bumper and prevent anyone from removing it. This is available but sold separately. Once you’ve secured the rack to your RV you’ll probably want to use a security cable to lock the bikes to your rack; allowing you to confidently leave the bikes on the back of your RV no matter where you are.
The arms that clamp down onto your bike are padded to prevent your bike from getting damaged. The rack itself is made of steel but is black powder coated to ensure it is protected from the elements and your bikes are not likely to be damaged. In fact, Swagman states that this rack is anti-rust.
In addition, you’ll be able to enjoy peace of mind with the Swagman limited lifetime guarantee; it covers all defects on the RV bumper bike rack but only for the first owner.
The rack itself weighs 41 pounds and is 35 inches by 11 inches by 5 inches. You’ll probably want some help to get it mounted properly the first time. It is also possible to get an extension bar that will move the rack further away from your RV; this could be helpful if your bikes have wide handlebars or very little distance between the rack and the rear of your RV.
It is essential to be aware that the clamp must hold your bike firmly but not too tight. If you over tighten it then you’re likely to damage the top bar of your bike. This is most likely on longer journeys when the bike will be bumped around. It shouldn’t be an issue for anything under an hour. A nice additional touch is that the rack can be folded when not in use; this makes it easy to store.
However, you should be aware that the installation of this RV bumper bike rack can be complicated. Although there are instructions the process is complicated; you will need to allow plenty of time to complete it successfully. Of course, once you’ve mounted the Swagman Traveler XC2 you’re not likely to remove it!
The first thing to note is that this Swagman RV bike rack is RV approved. This means it’s designed to work with an RV and all the additional strain that occurs at the rear of one of these large vehicles.
The Swagman RV ladder rack is designed to carry 1 or 2 bikes; this is standard for this style of rack. As the name suggests it is designed to clamp to your ladder at the rear of your RV. If you don’t have a ladder this is not a good option; unless you’re planning on getting one fitted.
The Swagman RV ladder mount simply slots over one of the rungs on your ladder. The good thing about this is not just that you can put it on or take it off in seconds. It is actually the fact that you can choose where to hang it according to the size of your bikes and the amount of clearance you need.
This may seem like a small detail but it’s important; adding your bikes to this type of rack is generally much more difficult than sliding them onto any of the other types of rack. The lower the rack is the easier it will be to attach.
The rack itself is made of lightweight aluminum. This provides the strength it needs to support a maximum of 35 pounds per bike. The rack sits against the ladder to evenly distribute the weight and then curves outwards to provide you with bike supports. Each bike has two rubber clamps that secure around the wheels or the frame to hold your bike in position.
Of course, you won’t be able to access your ladder properly while the rack is in position.
The rack itself weighs just 5.32 pounds and measures 26.5 inches by 18 inches by 2 inches. It also benefits from reflectors at the end of each arm to ensure drivers behind your vehicle are aware of the bikes even in the dark. You’ll also appreciate the foam on the bar section of this Swagman RV ladder rack; it prevents damage to your bike and noise associated with the bike vibrating as you drive.
It is worth noting that the Swagman RV ladder rack is designed to be corrosion resistant and comes with the standard Swagman limited lifetime warranty. This means you’ll be covered against all defects as long as you own the rack.
The rubber clamps do an excellent job of holding your bikes in place without damaging them. However, there is no locking system that secures the rack to your RV or the bikes to the rack. The combined weight of the bikes and the rack should stop it from jumping up and down as you go over bumps. But, whenever you park it is possible to remove the bikes and the rack from your RV.
To prevent this you’ll need to purchase a security chain and lock separately. You can then secure this round your bikes and the rack; attaching it your ladder or another fixing on the rear of your RV.
It is also worth noting that you’ll need to decide the best way of putting your bikes onto this rack; the exact solution will depend on where your ladder is positioned and how big your bikes are.
With a longwinded name such as the Swagman RV Approved Dispatch Hitch Bike Rack you’d be forgiven for wondering what this actually does or how it works. In fact, this is a great piece of engineering and is designed to last for many years on the rear of your RV.
Just like the previous ladder rack this RV bike rack is designed to handle one or two bikes only. It will connect to your hitch providing you have a 2” receiver and you’ll be able to carry an impressive 45 pounds per bike.
The square tube frame is made from powder-coated steel to ensure both strength and that it won’t rust; ensuring this is an investment that will last you for years. Again this is backed by the Swagman limited lifetime warranty.
The Swagman Dispatch hitch is actually one of my favorite racks. It is well designed for ease and simplicity. You should note that this does not mount directly onto your hitch; that is left free for other uses. Instead, this slides into the 2-inch receiver which is fitted to the rear of your RV. If you don’t have one you’ll have to get one fitted.
Once the bar has been slid into place simply slide the locking pin into position to hold it firmly in place. You’ll also find a cable with your rack that can be locked around the hitch to ensure no one can remove it; unless they have the key.
The rack is set slightly higher than the hitch receiver due to a small mounting bock built into the frame. This block also allows you to pivot the bike carrying arm of the rack if necessary. It is actually very easy to lift your bike onto the Swagman Dispatch. Each side of the upright bar is two rubber clamps. These are designed to go round your wheels with the upright support post separating your bikes.
Once the bike is in position you can slide the clamp bar downwards so that it rests firmly on top of the bike. A push button on the side of the bar makes this very easy. When not in use it is possible to fold this middle bar and clamps down sideways; minimizing the size of the RV bike rack.
The rubber clamps and padding on both the post and top clamps help to ensure that your bike is not damaged while it is in transit. In all the entire rack is very easy to adjust to ensure it fits your specific bike. It can handle bikes with wheel sizes between 16” and 29”!
It is worth noting that the top clamps have integrated locks; preventing them from being moved unless you have the key. In addition, the locking pin and cable ensure this RV bike rack cannot easily be removed from your RV. This means you can leave your bikes safe in the knowledge they’ll still be there when you return.
The rack itself weighs 54 pounds and measures 37 inches by 14.5 inches by 9.5 inches. Overall this is likely to be the best RV bike rack for ease of use and practicality. Of course, it’s no good if you want to carry more than 2 bikes!
Folded up the Camco RV ladder bike rack actually looks like a ladder. This is a fun feature but also a practical one. You can leave the rack on your RV without affecting the access or look of your ladder; effectively making it less likely to be stolen.
As with most of the RV ladder bike rack offerings, this is designed to lot over your existing ladder; regardless of what position it occupies on the back of your RV.
This RV bike rack weighs just 8.2 pounds and yet it is strong enough to handle 2 bikes of 60 pounds each. You may need to check that your ladder is comfortable with this extra weight on it! The rack itself measures 23 inches by 11 inches by 3.7 inches.
A particularly good feature of this RV ladder bike rack is the fact that the hooks aren’t just a right angle, they are designed in more of a ‘D’ shape to ensure they lock over your ladder and stay there even when you’re heading down bumpy roads or fancy a little time off-road. Fitting is as simple as lifting the ladder rack into your desired position.
As with the Swagman ladder rack, this can be hung on any rung of your ladder; depending on what height suits you and the size of your bikes.
Once installed, you can unfold the lower arm; this is actually two prongs that stick out from the rear of your RV. They are designed to take the weight of your bikes. Again the weight of the bikes is distributed across your ladder and the rear of the RV through the design of the rack which leans against the ladder.
Both the prongs have two clamps on. These are to secure your bike to the RV. You can choose to fasten these to the wheels or any part of the frame that suits you. They are rubber to help prevent any damage from happening to your bike. Sections of the upright support are also coated in rubber to ensure they do not rub against your bikes.
Camco also provide additional straps that can be used to secure your bikes to the RV ladder bike rack; making sure that they don’t move while you are traveling.
However, there is no security cable supplied with this rack. You’ll need to get one that is long enough to secure your bikes to the rack and the rack to your RV. Alternatively, you can get two security cables to do the same job.
It should be noted that this RV bike rack is very easy to put on or take off your vehicle. But, there have been several people that have had issues with the strength of either the bars or the hinges. Although there is a manufacturer’s warranty this will not be of much assistance if you are about to embark on your vacation. This appears to be in an isolated number of cases but it is something you should be aware of.
The Surco ladder mounted RV bike rack uses a different approach to the others on this list. Instead of hooking over one of the rungs on your existing ladder this RV bike rack is designed to bolt to the arms of your ladder.
You’ll get two arms in your box but they are not attached together. In theory, this means it should fit any size or shape of ladder; making it a truly universal bike RV bike rack; almost. Unfortunately, you do need a 1-inch tubular ladder; the rack won’t fit if your ladder tubes are 1 ½ inches or more.
An additional feature which is very attractive is that the arms can pivot independently. Providing the bikes are not on them you’ll be able to swing them out of the way to use your ladder or aid access to the rear of your RV.
The Surco 501BR is designed to take one or two bikes. It weighs just 3 pounds and measures 24.5 inches by 18 inches by 3 inches. The material used to create this RV bike rack is heavy gauge aluminum; helping to establish the right balance between weight and strength. It can handle bikes up to 45 pounds.
The rack arrives fully assembled. All you need to do is decide what height you wish to set it at. You can then use the clamps and bolts provided to clamp the rack to your ladder. There are two clamps on each bar; ideally, you should slide these so that both rest on one of the steps of your ladder. This will help to distribute the weight effectively.
Once you’ve clamped the supports into place you can slide the pin through. You’ll need a chain to go through the pin. This will prevent anyone from being able to remove the ladder bike rack without your permission. You’ll need a second security chin to secure your bikes to the rack.
The two arms that curve out at 90 ° have circular clips in them with a rubber insert. The ratchet style clip goes over the top. Simply slide your wheel or frame into the clamp and secure the ratchet strap into position. Your bike is then ready to go. You will need to make sure these clamps are tight to ensure that the bikes do not move in transit.
It is also advisable to use a little Loctite on the clamp bolts as some users have reported these working to lose on long trips.
The one issue that may concern you if you go any distance in your RV is that this is not an RV approved rack. While in most situations it seems to perform exceptionally well it is possible that the bars can bend if your RV experiences excessive bouncing at the rear.
Fortunately this seems to be a relatively uncommon scenario; in general, this RV ladder bike rack is considered to be good quality and a worthwhile investment.
If you have a spare tire on the back of your RV then this is a stylish, simple and effective way to carry your bikes. However, it should be noted that the spare tire needs to be central on your RV.
It is important to note before you go any further than this rack will not stop you getting to your spare tire; if you need to. There are 2 pins that can be easily removed to allow access to your spare tire.
This RV bike rack is made from solid steel which has then be powder coated to ensure it is resistant to rust and other types of corrosion. If you damage the powder coating you’ll need to tape the damage and potentially get the rack re-powder coated.
The Swagman spare tire RV bike rack is designed to carry 2 bikes and leave you able to access your hitch for towing or other accessories. As the name states, this rack is RV approved; it is designed and tested against the normal stresses that an RV experiences.
Although this rack is described as a spare tire rack it is actually designed to go round your spare tire. To fit this rack to your RV you’ll need to have a square continuous welded steel bumper; it’ll need to be between 4 and 4.5 inches to accommodate the clamps. It’s solid once fitted and can accept two bikes of up to 30 pounds each. As already mentioned there are two pins that can be removed which allow you to remove the frame of your RV bike rack from the mount; leaving the back of your RV clear.
The RV bike rack weighs 20 pounds and measures 33 inches by 15 inches by 2 inches. Once you’ve clamped the mount to your bumper the bars will rise out under and past the spare tire. They then move upwards before coming out again at the top of the tire.
At the top of each arm there are two U bolts. These can be easily removed to allow you to place your bike on the frame and then clamp the U bolts down over the frame of your bike. These are plastic coated to prevent damage from being done to your bikes while they are in transit. Your bikes will not move!
Swagman does provide an additional two straps to help you secure your bike to the rack. It’s a good idea to use these; you can never have too many straps holding your bike safely on your vehicle. However, you should be aware that it can be difficult to lift your bikes on and off this RV bike rack; it is relatively high compared to many of the other options.
You must also verify that your bumper is both the right size and shape to accommodate the weight of this RV bike rack and the bikes. If it isn’t you could find yourself in need o a new bumper and still not having the bike rack to carry your bikes anywhere.
This RV bumper bike rack looks good, is easy to install and is RV approved. That means it can handle the bounce at the end of your favorite mode of transport.
The first thing that should be obvious is the fact that this RV bumper rack clamps around your bumper. You’ll need to have a continuously welded steel bumper that is between 4 inches and 4.5 inches square.
Installation is very simple. The rack comes with 6.5-inch bolts for most of the clamps and two 8.5 inch bolts; these are for the non-ladder side of your RV. On this side, you’ll want to put the extra support bar which will prevent your bike from bashing the rear of your RV as you drive.
The bolts simply clamp around the bumper and up through the rack; holding it securely in place. It is important to check the specified torque setting when tightening these bolts; you don’t want to damage your bumper! Equally, if you don’t do the bolts tight enough the rack is likely to bounce; causing damage to your bikes.
However, they don’t lock into place. If you’re worried about security you’ll need to run a chain around each rack and the bumper; locking them together.
The rack itself is black. This is a powder coated finish on top of heavy duty steel; ensuring protection against the elements. It is strong enough and spacious enough to hold two bikes of up to 30 pounds each. The tires of your bikes sit on the grooved section of the rack. This style of design should make it possible for you to put any size bike on the back of your RV. Of course, you’ll need another security chain to secure your bikes to the rack or your RV.
It is also worth noting that the first bike will be approximately 4 ¾ inches away from the bumper. If this isn’t sufficient for your handlebars you’re going to need to turn them. However, it should be sufficient and allow you to add a Swagman bike cover if you wish.
The rack itself measures 22.5 inches by 21 inches by 2.5 inches and weighs 21.8 pounds. It is also low enough to make it very easy to lift your bikes on and off the mount.
However, while the grooved section is theoretically enough to hold your bike; the reality is that you should play safe. You’ll need to strap the bikes to the rack to prevent them falling off ad to prevent them from bashing against the rear of your RV as you’re driving.
This type of rack allows you to maintain a low center of gravity while still retaining your access to the towing hitch; if it’s needed.
You should be aware that the finish on this rack can chip off over time. This is generally a case of wear and tear but it will leave the metal exposed. As this can start to rust quickly you’ll need to cover any exposed area immediately and possibly have the rack re-powder coated.
This is the first option on this list that can actually handle 4 bikes. That makes it a class winner if you need to take 3 or 4 bike son your RV.
In fact, there are a lot of benefits to choosing this rack; even if you only have 2 bikes.
The Heininger 2255 is designed to fit on either a 2-inch hitch receiver or a 1.25-inch receiver. It’s unlikely you’ll have one this small on your RV. It is important to note that it also has a hitch lock to ensure the rack cannot be removed from your RV without your permission.
The rack weighs a hefty 42.2 pounds and measures 36 inches by 16 inches by 10 inches. It’s made from heavy-duty steel which explains the weight and the strength of its construction. This is black powder coated to protect the metal and make the RV bike rack look good.
The bar simply slides into your hitch receiver and locks into position. You can unlock it and then remove the rack in seconds with the easy foot option; just push down to release the catch. This foot release can also be used to bring the bikes away from the rear of the RV. While this is designed to allow access to the boot on an SUV it can make it easier to get your bikes on and off the rack on the back of your RV. Impressively this part of the rack can slide out for 23 inches; that’s a lot of extra space!
Centrally located on the base bar is the vertical pole; from the top of this, there are two tubular bars which are designed to take the frame of your bike. These arms can fold down flat to the vertical post when the rack is not in use.
Each of the supporting bars has 4 rubber clamps which use ratchet style straps to lock your frame in position. The clamps can be moved along the bars to suit your personal needs and the size of your bike. This can be exceptionally beneficial to get the bikes away from the rear of your RV.
Built into the vertical post is a security chain that can be used to lock al 4 bikes onto the frame; this is the perfect safety option as the bikes cannot be removed and nor can the rack. A nice touch is that the key for both the hitch lock and the vertical cable lock is the same; this reduces the need to carry multiple keys and the risk of losing just one of them.
It’s worth adding extra straps to prevent the bikes swinging too much or bumping into each other; The Heininger RV bike rack is designed not to do this but it’s worth taking the extra precaution.
This is a very sturdy rack that can actually be used on your SUV or your RV; that’s a valuable bonus. It can take a few moments to install as you get to grip with all the instructions, but it’s definitely worth it.
This RV bike rack offering from Quick Products bears more than a passing resemblance to the Swagman RV approved 2 bike RV bumper bike rack. Perhaps this is simply a testimony to the quality of Swagman’s product and design team.
Alternatively, it could reflect how few different designs are really possible n the back of an RV.
The Quick Product QPRBM2R fits to a continuously welded bumper of between 4 inches and 4.5 inches diameter. In essence, it is made up of two flat platforms which are secured to your bumper. The fact that these two platforms are separate means that you can position them according to your needs on the back of your RV. This ensures they can accommodate any size bike.
The racks are made from steel and powder coated black. This and the simplicity of the design helps to ensure they will remain strong as your back end bounces down the road. The RV bumper bike rack is clamped to your RV using long U bolts. These go round the bumper and bolt through the assigned holes on the racks. There is one upright arm which can be positioned on the opposite side to your ladder; the pack includes longer bolts for this piece.
The upright post is designed to ensure the bikes don’t bang against the back of your RV. However, it is just powder coated so you may wish to add your own padding to protect your bike in transit.
The flat platforms extend out of the back of your RV. They have grooves that will accommodate most sizes of bike tires. You simply lift your bike into position and then place the second bike in front of yours. It’s worth noting that this rack is not designed to take a wheel bigger than 29 inches and can only handle 30pounds per bike.
The rack weighs 21 pounds and measures 26.5 inches by 21 inches by 2.5 inches. This is light enough to fit by yourself but it’s important to get the torque on the bolts right. This will prevent excess movement of the bikes without damaging your bumpers. It is also important to verify how much weight your bumper is designed to carry; you can check this in your owner’s handbook. For reference purposes, the rack should protrude approximately one and a half feet behind your RV.
However, you should consider the way you position the bikes to ensure the handlebars do not protrude too much further or that they can bash the rear of the R while you’re driving.
You should also consider whether the bots are enough security for you. If you wish you can purchase a security lock to wrap around the RV bike back and the bumper; effectively locking them together. You may also want a security lock to link your bikes to the frame; allowing you to leave your vehicle with the bikes in situ.
It should be noted that there have been several customers that have been missing parts when the rack is delivered. You must check the box immediately to ensure you can get any missing parts dispatched to you for free.
The Rola 59401 TX-104 is only the second RV bike rack on this list capable of carrying 4 bikes. That makes this a serious contender if you need the extra space.
The rack weighs 34 pounds and can be used with 22-inch receivers; you probably already have this fitted to your RV. It also has a tilting feature which allows access to the back of your vehicle. This is really a design feature for when it is used with cars or SUV’s but it could be beneficial.
The Rola 59401 measures 39 inches by 19 inches by 5 inches. It has a single slot attachment which slides into your receiver. You can then lock this into place using the locking pin provided. The design is simple, an extension bar leading upwards and then two prongs moving out from the rear of your RV.
Each of the prongs has 4 rubber cradles which are designed to accommodate your bike frame. A simple clap folds over the top to hold the bike firmly in position. The rack is made of a mixture of aluminum and steel; this is to maximize strength while keeping it as light as possible.
The Rola RV bike rack weighs 45.8 pounds and is designed to carry 100 pounds worth of bikes; this can be 4 bikes at 25 pounds or an odd mix. However, it is advisable to place the heaviest bikes nearest to your RV.
The arms are foldable when not in use and measure 14 inches in length. It can also be helpful to know that there is a 10-inch gap between the center of your hitch pin and the back of your bike rack. This should mean that your handlebars can stand in line with your bike without bashing your RV.
For added security, there is a security cable built into the central post. This can be put around all of the bikes if required.
The warranty may not last a lifetime but 5 years is a respectable length of time for any manufacturer to guarantee against defects.
This is a good example of an RV bike rack but it is important to note that it sits fairly high on the back of your RV; you may find it awkward to get your bikes onto the rack. There are also no straps supplied to ensure the bikes don’t move when in transit. While the built-in clamps are effective at holding the bike onto the rack there will be some sway which could cause the bikes to crash together. It’s a good idea to add extra straps and even some padding to help ensure the bikes arrive at your destination in the same condition as they left.
This RV bike rack is very similar to the Heininger mentioned earlier. It is difficult to say that either is a better quality one than the other. However, they are both good quality and can carry 4 bikes relatively easily. It certainly makes them an attractive option if you’re taking the whole family away. After all, no one wants to see the bikes inside the RV.
Why Swagman Is So Popular
You’ve probably noticed that Swagman has appeared a lot of times on this list. There is a simple reason for this; they have the most products that are actually specifically designed for RV’s.
As previously mentioned, due to the long wheelbase and distance from the rear wheels to the rear of the RV; there tends to be a lot more bounce at the back of an RV than at the end of a traditional vehicle.
This places additional strain on a rear mounted bike rack or any other equipment added there. A purpose built or RV bike rack has simply been tested to ensure it can withstand these additional pressures and still do the job properly. That’s why it’s best to get an RV approved bike rack.
Safety Advice & Accessories
When fitting an RV bike rack to your vehicle it is important to check that it is designed to fit. This means checking that the hitch receiver size is right or that your bumper is the right size to take an RV bumper bike rack.
This can save you time and hassle when ordering the wrong rack. It can also ensure that the rack is securely fastened to your RV and will withstand the journey. As mentioned above, a bike rack designed for RV’s is stronger and better able to deal with the stress of RV life. For your safety and the safety of other road users, it is important to use a properly tested and approved product.
It is also important to remember that you have a bike rack fitted. They can extend the length of your rig by several feet and make it more difficult to negotiate tight corners and entrances. If you forget it’s on the rear when you’re reversing you may find you damage your bikes! If you’re liable to forget then it can be a good idea to stick a reminder on your dash.
Your Guide To Choosing The Best RV Bike Rack
As you can see there are a number of good RV bike rack products available. Choosing the right one for your RV and your lifestyle is important. The following guide will help you to consider all the different elements:
Number of Bikes
The majority of the RV bike racks on this list are designed to accommodate 2 bikes. That’s great if there are just 2 of you. However, if you need to carry 3 or 4 bikes you’ll have to consider your options. You can’t simply load extra on the 2 bike rack; they are not designed for it and are likely to break.
If you think it is even possible that you’ll need to take 3 or 4 bikes then you’ll have to look at getting the larger bike rack; you can’t normally fit two different bike racks to the back of any vehicle.
Every RV is unique. The initial frame may be the same but what you do to it over time will change what it is capable of.
For instance, if you have, or have fitted a reversing camera you’ll need to consider whether the bike rack you want will block the view of the camera. If it does will this affect your ability to reverse your RV? You also need to consider the style of your RV; you can’t add a bumper mounted bike rack if you don’t have the right size continuous steel bumper.
Before you start to choose your RV bike rack it’s a great idea to take a good look at your RV; it will help you to understand which one will work best for you.
Of course, you also need to consider your budget. The cheapest RV bike rack may be as little as $50 with the more expensive options running into hundreds of dollars.
IF money is no object then you’re lucky. In reality, you need to consider what you can afford and base your decision on this. It can help to plan ahead as this will give you more time to budget for the RV bike rack you really want and actually get the best one for the job.
This doesn’t mean that the most expensive is automatically the best; you need to consider all the options.
Swagman has built a reputation for building high-quality RV bike racks. This makes them a pretty good bet when you’re looking to buy. However, if you have your heart set on a different manufacturer or are planning to buy a Swagman RV bike rack through an intermediary you’ll need to check their reputation.
The easiest way to do this is to ask fellow RV owners. You can do this in person or online. There are several social media forums where other RV users will happily share their opinions and experience of a specific RV related product.
In the case of your bike rack, you need to remember that not everyone can have a perfect experience; this is a virtual impossibility. But, as long as most people have a positive experience and the customer service is good you’re onto a winning RV bike rack manufacturer/supplier.
This can be difficult to but it is better for your budget if you can purchase one bike rack that can be used on your RV and your everyday car. The type of vehicle you drive will affect the possibility of this happening.
If you have an SUV there’s a good chance that an RV bike rack with a hitch receiver will be able to be fitted to your SUV. Both vehicles generally have 2-inch receivers. Of course, you’ll need to check first.
A hitch style RV bike rack is also one of the easiest to put on and off your vehicle; this makes it easy to transfer it from your RV to your daily vehicle. This is usually only beneficial if you are a keen cyclist throughout the year.
The RV bumper bike rack and RV ladder bike rack are not generally going to b able to be fitted to any other vehicle. If you opt for one of these and use your bikes a lot during the rest of the year you’ll need to purchase a second bike rack.
Size Of Bikes
You also need to consider what size bikes you have. If they are all a similar size then the majority of bike racks will suffice. However, if you have an oversized bike or several different size ones you’ll need to check that the RV bike rack you prefer will accommodate your specific bikes.
Think About Your Size And Strength
An RV ladder bike rack can appear as an attractive option. They are incredibly easy to fit. But, you’ll need to be strong and possibly tall in order to secure your bikes onto the rack properly.
Don’t forget that most RV ladder racks will connect to the wheels while a bumper or hitch mount can be either wheel based or frame based. This is worth considering; especially if you have an expensive bike. After all, you don’t want to damage it just because you picked the wrong RV bike rack.
Once you start looking you’ll realize that most RV’s actually have bike racks on the back. You can take inspiration by looking at what options they have chosen and how well they work for you. If you get the opportunity you can even speak to these RV owners and share their experience. Most RV owners are happy to help.
You can also look at pictures of RV’s online to see how the RV bike rack works and how it looks; this will help you to make a decision.
You’ll find that there are several stores and online shops that will allow you to exchange your RV bike rack without any fuss. This can help you to choose the one that you think is perfect and then return it when you find it doesn’t actually fit or work for you personally.
This is a good way to waste money if style is more important than practicality when making your choice!