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Old 09-25-2013, 03:38 PM   #1
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Advantage SportsRack V-Rack 2 Bike Carrier

We've been kicking around ideas for hauling bikes, and I've been eyeballing the two bike Advantage Bike Rack that I see advertised here on the forum. Bike Rack We're empty nesters, so this one seems like it would suit our needs nicely.

So, I ordered one. It arrived yesterday. After hooking it up and putting the bikes on, I have to say that I'm impressed so far with the rack. It's a smartly designed piece of equipment. We'll be camping this coming weekend about 5 hours away, so I'll be able to give a more detailed performance report then. I'll get some pics of the unit installed, with the camper in tow, and post them for y'all to check out.

For anyone interested in the follow up, stay tuned.
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Old 09-25-2013, 06:54 PM   #2
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Looks nice. How is the bike clearance from the propane tanks?
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:53 PM   #3
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I have seen a few people asking about carrying bikes with A Frame so good seeing a solucion.
I also saw this at Harbor Freight the other day. Maybe help those that have a hitch rack already.

Multi-Use Ball Mount
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Old 11-14-2013, 08:04 AM   #4
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After using the rack for a few outings I figured it was time to report back. Long story short...I love this bike rack.

Now for the details.

Stability: The rack is far more stable than I dared to hope for. When it is clamped onto the hitch there ain't no moving it. We've used it both with the camper hitched to the tow vehicle and without. The bikes do move more when the camper isn't hitched, but it's not the rack moving...but the hitch in the receiver. The weight of the camper when hitched removes that play.

Weight and Foldability: The rack is as advertised, coming in at 11 pounds. It folds up nicely, and takes up little room when tossed into the back or our Explorer while we're camping.

Sturdiness: I figured at 11 pounds this thing would feel "cheap". It does not. It is a solid piece of hardware.

Space Between Rack and Camper: This was my biggest concern, and I thought I'd be going out to buy an extended length hitch. With the bikes mounted and just hanging there would be interference with the tongue jack and possibly the propane tanks. However, I used two bungees to secure the bikes to the hitch, which pulls the bottoms towards the tow vehicle and angles the bikes out of the way. I also played around for a while to find the best configuration...which bike to load first, and which direction to point the bikes in. Once we had the right configuration and the bungees attached it was pretty obvious that it was going to work without an extended hitch. We did a bunch of test back-ups, with my wife outside of the car as a spotter...ready to yell if it looked like I was going to crunch something. We had the camper into a near jackknife in either direction, and had no clearance issues. I'm not going to tell you that we had a TON of clearance, but enough. I may still wind up buying an extended hitch, but it's more a mental thing than anything else. It really is fine the way it is. I'd just "feel" better with the camper a little bit further away from the bikes.

Con #1: The manufacturer supplies a small tethered pin, which is inserted when the rack is mounted to prevent it from folding up if the release lever is accidentally activated. It takes a bit of downward force to secure the rack, and when the release lever is engaged that downward force is reversed. It can be a bit startling until you get used to it. I don't trust the provided pin to stay in place during transit. However, there is a second and larger hole which allows for the insertion of a hitch pin or a lock. I put a hitch pin there, and I felt a whole lot better.

Con #2: As I said previously, using the rack without the camper attached allows for play in the receiver, and subsequently movement from the rack/bikes. It's not a ton of movement, and at no time did I think the bikes were in any sort of jeopardy. Also, we already have a hitch mounted four bike rack, and we experience roughly the same movement from it inside the receiver. One of the negative reviews I saw on Amazon complained of excessive movement, and I'd venture a guess that they were testing out the rack without the camper attached.

My wife and I have absolutely no buyer's remorse whatsoever with this rack. It wouldn't have worked for us when the kids were camping with us, but it's perfect for empty nester camping.

One other cool thing to note. When I was removing the rack from the hitch and folding it up, it was getting nearly as many looks as our camper gets. Same thing when unfolding it and reattaching it.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:06 AM   #5
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Great review. Thanks for posting.
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:28 AM   #6
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We have always used a combo stacker with our Alite because we already owned a great Thule bike rack. Never had any issues with it, great solution. But we just got an A122S. So we'll see how it works this spring.

If you already have a bike rack like a Thule or Yakima you would not lose that considerable investment. Those things cost more than most bikes!

Mark
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:28 AM   #7
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Agreed. That's a darn good way to go if you've already shelled out the cash for a rack of that caliber. Our old rack is a Wally World special...Master, I think. I'm not overly fond of it, especially the weight of the darn thing...and the thought of stowing the beast after getting to the campground.
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Old 12-21-2013, 11:19 AM   #8
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Glad to see that this is an option that may work. I had been using a dual receiver on with my old Fleetwood Santa Fe with a Thule Bike Rack and it worked ok. The propane tanks on the Santa Fe were in the back so when we bought the Rockwood, I just assumed it would never work since the tanks were up front. Just looked like there was no room. So, I may try it out this spring and see if it will work or not. We are still in the stage of only needing to take two bikes as my son is still on a tri cycle.
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