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Old 06-22-2017, 03:24 AM   #1
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Experience with Ladder Mounted Bike Rack?

I ordered a 2018 29RKWS on May 20th that was to come off the line on June 21st and ordered the FR Ladder Mounted Bike Rack. I saw posts that were several years old on the new bike rack but haven't seen any follow up from actual users if it is working or if they are tearing up the trailers/bikes. I know mounting anything not approved by FR will void the warranty and wanted to know after several years if the Ladder Mouned Racks are damaging the trailer or working the way they should without damage. Would rather know before I ever use it if it was a good idea or money wasted.
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Old 07-06-2017, 10:33 AM   #2
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Not advised

A friend of ours broke his ladder using a bike rack with one bicycle on it. I would not trust it.
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:29 AM   #3
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Ladder bike racks are a royal PITA. Besides killing yourself to hang; unhang at each use, re hang,
Keep plenty of band aids and antiseptic close by. Then, IF YOU ARE LUCKY, Your ladder MAY NOT break. ( I only have 1 finger remaining on each hand. I use it to express my joy in using a "ladder rack". )
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Old 07-06-2017, 11:42 AM   #4
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My Crusader has a factory mounted roof access ladder. Mounted means a few screws into the rear cap. It is probably OK for roof access now and then but I would not trust it for supporting bicycles on a bouncing RV at highway speeds. I can see the little screws coming loose.
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Old 07-07-2017, 07:58 AM   #5
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We took a factory tour a few weeks ago....looking to possibly get a 2706 ws. The tour guide showed us the ladder mounted bike rack and recommended it. It is the only factory approved way to carry bikes externally that I know of.

My thoughts are...if the factory approves it, the factory sells it, then the factory warranties it. Their product, their problem.
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Old 07-07-2017, 08:47 AM   #6
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Only for year 1.....then YOU own the responsibility. EVEN If they own it, abuse may abort that clause.
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Old 07-08-2017, 02:13 AM   #7
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I just installed the bike buddy on the a frame and it is great.
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Old 10-17-2017, 10:48 PM   #8
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Stay away from the ladder mounted. It bent my ladder. I did not put more than 150lbs on it. 60mph and some bumps. Happened after 5 trips.
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Old 02-20-2018, 11:43 PM   #9
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We also got the ladder rack, thinking the same way about coverage for any issues (1st year), but given the ladder is way over to the left side, bikes would be hanging in to oncoming traffic . The ladder rack is a handy folding camping chair holder now.
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:28 PM   #10
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I have used mine many times with no problems. Need to make sure things don't move, wheels don't spin. Working fine for us
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Old 03-02-2018, 07:55 PM   #11
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I used one for awhile and found that if I either tied any moving part off to the ladder all was well. After several trips I started taking the front tire and wheel of my bike. That worked even better. My bike is pretty light and it never caused any issue with the ladder.
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Old 03-02-2018, 08:52 PM   #12
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I have a Stromberg Carlson LA-102 to carry 1 adult bike. I hang the bike vertically, so I can just see a bit of the wheels while towing. Bike is secured with several bungees. So far no issues after several thousand miles on the road.

Note that mine has a 50lb weight limit. Putting 150lbs on it probably would cause damage...
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Old 03-04-2018, 10:23 AM   #13
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We also ordered the ladder bike rack for our Micro lite 21fbrs. Our bikes are at most 25#. In theory it should be ok!! The consensus does not sound good. I hope we have a better experience. Will report back after a summer of travel. We about 35 nights planned. May add more if weather in MN lets us
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Old 03-19-2018, 10:19 AM   #14
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Always take forum "opinions" with a grain of salt.

I called forest river, and what they had to say about ladder mounted bike racks was the following....

If the ladder was installed at the factory and not by the dealer, then it is mounted to secure mounting points and will not have any trouble holding up to 2 bikes, with the supplied bike rack. The warranty people claim they have never had a warranty claim for a ladder failure installed a the factory with the factory bike rack.

However, if the ladder was installed by the dealer they can't guarantee its strength and if it was installed/mounted to the correct locations.

AS for bumper mounting bikes, the rear bumper is not designed to accommodate anything other than 80lbs of spare tire on the rear bumper. However, the bumper manufacturer (varies from trailer to trailer) specifies a maximum allowable weight of 150lbs on the rear bumper. So you could have 2 spare tires, or 2 light weight bike back there.

However, putting more than 150lbs, will void the frame warranty should damage occur, such as cracking, bending, etc. Also there are concerns about overloading the axles on the trailer as your sticking weight out past the rear of the trailer, changing the balance and shifting more weight off the tongue and onto the trailer axles, and shifting how the weight is distributed on the frame.

Basically they do not recommend bikes on the rear bumper. However, its probably safe to put no more than 70lbs worth of bikes, bike rack, and mounting hardware (basically max 2 light bikes). This stuff is very easy to exceed the rear bumpers towing load capability.

Putting 3-4 bikes back there or a generator without reinforcing the bumper and frame and measuring the axle and tongue weight is a recipe for problems. Yes, they have reported frame a handful of failures due to heavy generators mounted on the rear bumper, even with it reinforced. Usually folks are sticking 300lbs of generator + fuel, + spare and it can damage the frame (probably doing 400-500lbs).
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Old 03-21-2018, 12:19 AM   #15
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Stop using while your ahead. Put them on the front of hitch, in trailer or truck. My $.02.
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Old 04-03-2018, 06:40 PM   #16
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Have been using ladder mounted bikerack for 1 bike for 4500 miles now on 21FBRS with factory mounted ladder and no problems. Make sure all parts of bike are snug, nothing rotates or flaps. I carry 2nd bike inside TT.
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