If you are a bike fan and you are living on the road full time, it is important that you have the best bike racks. It is the only surefire way to safely transport your bikes from one place to another with minimal effort possible. There are plenty of options when it comes to bike racks that you can buy on the market, and it can be challenging to find the right one. As long as you know the different factors to consider, then you will be able to find the right one.
Swagman Traveler XC2 Bike Rack: Best Rack Overall
One of the top brands that offer quality RV bike racks in the market is the Swagman Traveler XC2 Bike Rack. This particular model will exceed your expectations of what the brand has to offer. It has a unique feature that will make this hitch bike rack stand out from the rest of the bike racks on the market.
It is compatible with different travel trailers as well as campers, and the best part is it is easy to install. You will get this biker ack as a single piece, so all you have to do is connect it to your RV.
The Swagman XC2 Bike Rack is very adaptable since you can mount it on different kinds of RVs, and it is best to take a second look at this model. It comes with two different mount systems since this product comes as a two-in-one package. Aside from the two-inch hitch receiver, there is a 4.5-inch bumper adapter for bumper mounting.
It serves as a convenience if you don’t have that ‘garage’ space on your rig. The Swagman XC2 Bike Rack can adjust to different bike frames, which means that it can even fit children’s bikes. On top of these features, you can also get adjustable hook designs that will allow a unique way of mounting your bikes by using their frames.
The product only weighs about 36 pounds, but it can handle almost twice its weight which means that you can maximize the two-bike holding capacity. As long as the wheels of the bike range from 20 to 29 inches and it will remove the problem of incurring any damage to your bike while you drive.
The frame of the Swagman XC2 Bike Rack is lightweight, which makes it easy to carry. Thanks to its foldable design, it adds overall portability. The feature that you can get with this bike rack is lifelong insurance to boost your confidence in the product.
You can purchase the Swagman XC2 Bike Rack is available on Amazon for $250.00.
Ladder Mounted Surco 501BR Bike Rack: The Best Ladder Mounted Rack
If you want a bike rack that features an RV ladder, since you don’t want to use a hitch or bumper on your rig, the Ladder Mounted Surco 501BR Bike Rack is the best choice for you. It is compatible with the ladder on any type of RV and comes with pivoting arms that make it easier to access the ladder. You don’t need to remove the rack completely.
The bikes will still have to be taken off, which is a super convenient feature that many ladder-mounted racks don’t offer. You will be able to carry two bikes, and they can be installed without needing to get extra straps or remove the ladder from your rig.
The Ladder Mounted Surco 501BR Bike Rack is also super lightweight, weighing only less than four pounds. So you can easily move this bike rack from one place to another. It is made with heavy-gauge aluminum with a polished finish for added corrosion resistance.
It is made in the USA and will arrive at your door fully assembled, which will reduce the amount of effort and time required for installation. The Ladder Mounted Surco 501BR Bike Rack can handle up to 75 pounds which is great for two bikes that weigh around 37.5 pounds each.
Now, since this is a ladder-mounted rack, it is restricted to your RV ladder, and you can’t place it anywhere else. Also, another downside is it can only hold two bikes.
You can purchase the Ladder Mounted Surco 501BR Bike Rack on Amazon for $160.60.
Quick QPRBM2R Bumper Mounted RV Bike Rack: Best Affordable Option
When you are looking for an affordable option for a bumper-mounted bike rack, the option for you is the Quick QPRBM2R Bumper Mounted RV Bike Rack. It can be mounted on a four or 4.5-inch steel-welded RV bumper and is available for two bikes.
When it comes to the weight capacity, this rack is designed to hold a total weight of 60 pounds or 30 pounds per bike. However, it does allow you to customize the space between the slots where your tires will sit. Doing this will accommodate bikes for plenty of different lengths.
The entire Quick QPRBM2R Bumper Mounted RV Bike Rack is made of stainless steel, and it has a finished powder coating for added corrosion resistance. You can fit bikes with tires up to 29 inches, but it is not capable of transporting any fat bike tires.
The slotted wheel wells on the rack make it easy to set your bike tires in place whenever you are loading them. Also, the stabilizer post provides a convenient place to support and fasten your bikes once they are nicely loaded.
Aside from the mounting size of the welded bumper, another downside to this bike rack is it can only hold two bikes. Other than that, this is the perfect bumper-mounted RV bike rack.
You can purchase the Quick QPRBM2R Bumper Mounted RV Bike Rack on Amazon for $138.18.
Camco RV Ladder Mount Bike Rack: The Second-Best Ladder Mount
If you are not able to afford the Surco 501BR Bike Rack, the Camco RV Ladder Mount Bike Rack is the next best thing. It has the crucial features that you need for a bike rack that comes with ladder mounts. All you need with this bike rack is ladder mounts, and you are good to go.
Plenty of RVers can handle the installation process by themselves, but when you have issues during the installation, you can ask for the Camco’s expert installation add-on. The add-on might cost you a little more, but you might not want to risk improper installation of the bike rack.
The Camco RV Ladder Mount Bike Rack follows the standard size for ladder bike racks so that you can fit it on any ladder. It will give you a couple of advantages of holding your bikes. You can try using the ladder itself as a tough spot where you can lock bikes for some time. Also, you don’t need an extremely long lock to secure your bikes in place.
You can find two sets of soft grips on the horizontal rungs, and these grips provide your bikes away from any damage on a couple of long-road expeditions. Unloading your bikes is pretty easy, and the product screams conveniences left and right.
With the Camco RV Ladder Mount Bike Rack, your bikes shouldn’t exceed the bike rack’s loading capacity of 60 pounds to prevent any issues from happening. There is no need to worry about this bike rack competing for the storage space in your rig.
The folding RV bike rack doesn’t require plenty of effort as it only weighs eight pounds which makes it easy to manipulate. You can strap the Camco RV Ladder Mount Bike Rack on top of your roof in the most secure way possible. This bike rack has a foldable design which makes it stand out from its competitors in the market.
There are a couple of downsides to the Camco RV Ladder Mount Bike Rack, such as children’s bikes are impossible to fit in it. Also, the loaded bike is oriented horizontally, and the folding can cause damage.
The Camco RV Ladder Mount Bike Rack is available on Amazon for $55.06.
Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack: Most Capacity Available for Bikes
If you have more than two bikes with you on the road, the Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack is the best choice for you. The previous bike racks I have mentioned above can only carry two bikes, but this bike rack is able to carry four. The hitch receiver allows you to mount the RV bike rack directly to your hitch, which removes the need for any additional components.
The Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack also comes with a paddle cradle that can rotate 360 degrees which will let you fit bikes that come with different bike tires, sizes, and frames. Now, carrying four bikes at once may need some professional help since it can be complicated to install.
For starters, the Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack can only fit a two-inch trailer hitch. Since there are different kinds of two-inch trailer hitches, you should seek help when it comes to installing them with classes III and IV.
Another feature that these bike racks have is great stability since it has a patent design that can testify to their high-end durability. The patented design meets the standards set by a higher governing body. The Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack has 22-inch carrying arms where you can secure your bikes while you drive.
You can drop these arms out of the way when they are not in use which will give you access to your trailer. There is no need to worry about your bike’s security as well in case you decide to stopover. It also comes with a lock and two keys to make sure that your bikes are safe as well as secured.
Now, the downside to this bike rack is the bikes might be a bit too near to each other, and they might also touch each other while you are traveling.
The Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Rack is available on Amazon for $120.00.
CURT 18065 5 Bicycle Trailer Hitch Bike Rack: Provides the Largest Capacity
When you are a family of five and each of you has bikes, then the CURT 18065 5 Bicycle Trailer Hitch Bike Rack is the rack for you. It boasts a maximum total weight capacity of 225 pounds which comes out to about 45 pounds per bike. It is a hitch-mounted RV bike carrier that will fit a standard two-inch hitch receiver and has tapered arms that will make it easier to fit bikes of different sizes on the rack without handlebars getting in the way.
The CURT 18065 5 Bicycle Trailer Hitch Bike Rack is a great option for families on the road with both kid and adult-size bikes. The bike rack is equipped with built-in reflectors so that other drivers can clearly see you are carrying something behind your rig when the visibility gets low.
If you need to remove this rack, all you have to do is take out the pin and simply slide the shank out of the receiver hitch. The tampered arms fold down for more compact storage, and the entire rack only weighs 43 pounds. The vertical arm of the bike rack can also tilt down when you need to access anything on your RV behind the rack.
This feature is also useful for cab-over campers with entry doors on the back. Also, it is finished with carbide black powder coating to increase durability as well as provide extra corrosion resistance over its lifetime.
The only downside to the CURT 18065 5 Bicycle Trailer Hitch Bike Rack is it is only designed for RVs, vans, trucks, SUVs, and other vehicles that have a tow package. However, it shouldn’t be used behind the trailer or other accessory that is already being towed.
The CURT 18065 5 Bicycle Trailer Hitch Bike Rack is available on Amazon for $198.42.
Types of Bike Racks You Should Know
It is important that you know the type of bike racks available on the market for you to make the right decision. These racks are defined by the method they are attached to your rig, and there are different pros and cons for each method.
Hitch-Mounted Bike Racks: The Common Choice
The most common choice of RVers are the hitch-mounted bike racks, but they are only good if you don’t plan to use your trailer hitch while you are on the road. You should ensure that your rig already has a hitch receiver, or you will have a challenging time installing one of these bike racks.
These types of racks also need compatibility with the size of your hitch receiver. Also, most standard hitches are two inches in diameter, and there are different sizes on the market that you can get. Be sure that the hitch on the rack will fit inside the existing hitch receiver on your rig before buying one.
The hitch-mounted racks tend to provide you with the ability to carry more bikes than the other two types of bike racks. They come in different capacities, from two bikes up to five bikes or more, and at most times, they have a higher weight capacity than the other two types of racks available.
Since they can be installed easily into a standard two-inch hitch, these types of racks can also be installed on your other vehicles, if you have any. When you have a truck or an SUV with a tow package, you will also be able to use your hitch-mounted bike rack on other vehicles.
The hitch-mounted bike racks are super easy to install as well as remove from your rig. They come in two different styles, which are hanging and platform racks. The style you choose will be up to your personal preference and how many bikes you want to bring along on the road.
RV Bumper Bike Rack: Great for Supporting Weight of the Rack and Bikes
The bumper-mounted bike racks are great since your bikes will sit lower, and they can eliminate any visibility issues while you drive. You don’t have to worry about the visibility issues that come with your bikes being in the way of your rig’s back window or backup camera.
These types of bike racks require that you have a solid, steel-welded bumper that is placed at the back of your RV. The bumper rack will support both the weight of the rack as well as your bikes when you eventually load onto it. This is the reason why these bike racks only carry a maximum of two bikes.
Now, depending on the design of your RV, you may be able to install a bumper-mounted rack and will still have access to your hitch for towing purposes. However, these bike racks should generally only be purchased for RVs with a solid steel bumper that is strong enough to support the bike’s weight and the rack.
Bike Rack for RV Ladder: Hooks Onto the Rungs of the Ladder
Bike racks for an RV ladder usually hook onto the rungs of your rig’s ladder, and it will also work with ladders on the back of most travel trailers. These types of racks are designed so that your bikes hook onto them vertically with the front tire closest to the ground.
The main benefit of this rack is you can still use your hitch to tow a vehicle or trailer behind your rig. However, these racks also tend to have lower weight capacity, and a couple can hold more than two bikes at the same time. The downside to this ladder-mounted rack is you would need to remove it every time you need to go up to your RV ladder.
In case of an emergency, you might need quick access to your roof, and having this bike rack can hinder your ability to get up there quickly to perform any sort of emergency repair. Though they can offer a more cost-effective alternative choice to the other two rack types, they tend to be looked at as a final option for those who don’t have a hitch or bumper available to install the rack on.
Different Factors to Consider When It Comes to Buying Bike Racks
There are different factors that you would need to consider before you shop for your bike racks. Make sure to keep these in mind so that you can find the perfect rack for your RVs and trailers.
Number of Bikes You Want to Bring With You
The first factor that you need to consider is the number of bikes that you will carry with you on the road. It will definitely help you narrow down your bike rack choices. RV bike racks can hold anywhere from two to five bikes. However, the important point is that the rack you choose should be able to fit all of the bikes you would want to bring on your adventures.
If you like having friends or loved ones over that also ride bikes, it is important that you have a bike rack that can cater to other bikes. Doing this will have the option of coming up short when it matters most. Some of these bike racks provide the capability to add an additional accessory so that you can carry more bikes.
When you are a young couple with only two bikes as of the moment, but you expect to add more in the future, buying expandable racks could be a great option for you in both the short and long term.
The Size of Your Bikes
Knowing the size of your bike will dictate whether or not you will be able to strap them onto the rack securely. Also, strapping multiple bikes onto one rack can be challenging, depending on the size and design of your bikes. A great example is trying to fit a large mountain bike with straight handles next to a smaller bike that has curved handles, which are common to road bikes.
The handlebar incompatibility can present different issues when there is not enough space between the bikes. The size of your bikes can also impact whether or not they simply fit on your chosen type of rack. However, plenty of these racks is adjustable so that they can fit different types of bikes.
Make sure that you carefully measure the length of your bike so that it will fit on your chosen rack, which is especially true when you choose a bumper-mounted rack. You also need to make sure that your bikes won’t stick out on the side of your RV, which can be dangerous.
It can create a risk of clipping signs or running into other objects if you don’t swing wide enough. It can, in turn, make a ladder-mounted rack unsafe for other drivers on the road.
Rack Weight Capacity: Great to Know for Safe Hauling
There are plenty of bike racks that have maximum weight capacity for safe hauling. The said capacity should be clearly advertised when you are looking for the rack’s specification online. All you have to do is make sure the weight of the bikes you plant to load on the rack doesn’t exceed the rack’s maximum weight capacity.
Durability and Cost of the Bike Rack
Different types of materials are used in the construction of bike racks, and it is responsible for how well they can hold up against different elements. Due to their primary use, bike racks spend most of their time outdoors and are subject to different weather conditions.
The strongest bike racks on the market usually feature stainless steel construction, but there are also aluminum options on the market. If you can find a rack that is finished with exterior powder coating, that is going to go a long way since it can reduce the build-up of corrosion on the rack.
Having this feature is especially important if you live in or frequently travel in a wet or humid climate. One of the best ways to assess the quality and durability of the rack is to dive deep into the consumer reviews that people have posted on different eCommerce sites where the biker acks are being sold.
Another thing that you should consider is the cost of the bike racks. It shouldn’t put a huge dent in your RV budget, especially when you are saving money for your monthly expenses. You have to make sure that your bike racks are affordable and essential to safely transport bikes on your rig.
If you want to read about the essential downhill mountain bike gear, here is an article that I have written for you.