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Old 04-18-2013, 08:36 AM   #1
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Front of vehicle bike rack

We have a 2008 31QBSS and tow with a Yukon XL. Family of six and sometimes another guest so 6-7 bikes laid out on beds is getting to be a hassle, especially on quick overnight stops.

I considered top of vehicle, but Yakima doesn't make a system that works with the Denali trim without customization.

I've read enough on here to know that back of trailer is bad mojo. From what I've seen, over the tongue racks won't hold enough bikes to be useful. I thought about a double receiver that would allow a bike rack above and the trailer hitch below, but I'm not sure I'd have the space for 4-5 bikes or the turning discipline to not damage the bikes.

This leaves me wondering about a front mount hitch receiver combined with something like a Yakima Doubledown 5. Less than $500 for the hitch and the rack and it would hold 4-5 of the bikes. I don't mind one or two up in the trailer.

Any experience with mounting bikes up front? Impact to air flow to the engine?

Several weekend trips scheduled as well as a two week trip from Indiana to the I'm looking for a better solution.

Thanks in advance for input -


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Old 04-18-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
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Lou "herk7769" does this .
I am sure he will be along any minute to show you pictures !


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Old 04-18-2013, 09:57 AM   #3
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I am back!

Did this for 2 trips to FL when DW had knee issues.


1 MPG less and about 5 degrees more in tranny temps.

I also put a bolt on bumper hitch that was ONLY used in camp to get the bike rack off the front of the truck so we could go out to dinner, etc.

Otherwise it was great.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:17 AM   #4
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I check Thule, and they seem to agree with Yakima (no solution). How stupid of GM to put such restrictions on their customers.

For a trailer this large, which certainly has enough strong frame in the rear, I would be tempted to get 4 of the bikes behind the trailer on a hitch mount carrier. Have a cable lock thru the bike frames, and the camper frame (or hitch), in case something were to come loose. I would then get a wireless rear camera system so you're not constantly wondering if the bikes are still with you. Rear camera would be nice to have anyway.
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:52 PM   #5
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If you decide to put the rack on the front make sure you get one short enough the bikes don't protrude above the hood. Check out Herk's set up in post #3. Our rack is tall. The bikes end up being in your line of sight while driving. It is annoying beyond belief.

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Old 04-18-2013, 10:30 PM   #6
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Weird the Denali roof rack cannot work with an aftermarket system. Does it have a rack with cross rails? I have seen several generic bike racks that just use the cross rails. A buddy who worked at a bike shop in our misspent youth used to make racks for people that bolted to their existing roof rack. Maybe local bike shop could fab one up.

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Old 04-19-2013, 08:23 AM   #7
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I helped a buddy install permanently mounted footpads for the Thule systems onto his jeep for mounting towers and rails to carry kayaks. He went this route because he lived in an ugly part of the city and was afraid of theft at night when parked of the rack itself.

It was pretty hard watching him drill into the roof, but it served him well and looked decent when he was done.

Not what you asked for, of course - but you're going to have a devil of a time finding anything to carry 6-7 bikes (front mount rack or not).
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:07 AM   #8
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What year denali do you have? I looked on the yakima site and it showed a system for the newer danali with flush rails.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:32 AM   #9
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We use a front mount bike rack as well and love it.
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:21 AM   #10
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I have a front receiver hitch and often carry two bikes on a Yakima carrier. It does extend out far so I shimmed the hitch at the frame to slightly angle the hitch upwards. At first, driving and looking over and through two bikes was weird. You will get use to it.

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