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Old 03-21-2018, 11:45 AM   #1
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Wink Carrying Bikes - 200th Post; Making it count

Over the last few weeks I have completed some extensive research on this forum and elsewhere on how people transport their Bicycles. It seems there is no clear "Best way" to do it and each option has its Pro's and Con's depending on and individuals wants and needs.

We want to transport 4 adult size bicycles and we are trying to find the optimal solution given our set of circumstances. SUV TV and a Hybrid TT. Our Bikes are typical recreational type found at a box store for less than $200. We do not have professional or expensive bikes to take into consideration like some of you may have.

Here are some options starting from the front and working my way backwards...

1) A front bumper hitch.
Pro's - Takes advantage of unused space and front axle weight limits. Inexpensive, especially if you already have a bumper bike rack.
Con's - Adds to overall TV Cargo capacity weight, which for SUV's is limited (mine is 1,589 lbs). Might cause visibility issues, especially at night with partially blocked headlights.

2) TV Roof Racks (SUV) or Truck Bed
Pro's - Out of the way, balanced load, no interference with RV.
Con's - Expensive (for SUV). Adds to overall TV Cargo capacity weight. Takes away cargo space (Truck)

3) A Frame Racks
Pro's - Several to choose from. Moderately priced (but could get expensive).
Con's - All the weight up front. Added tongue weight. Potential turning radius issues. Harder to install/remove bikes due to height.

4) Carry in the Camper
Pro's - Balanced Load. Some ingenious home made solutions. Secure from thieves. Protected from the elements. Very limited dangers for driver or the drivers around you.
Con's - Rain, Dirt, Mud being brought into RV. Limited space.
Potential to scratch, ding or damage inside of RV when installing or removing.

5) RV Bumper Rack (Assuming bumper is properly rated and/or strengthened)
Pro's - Out of the way. Easy to access, remove/install. Inexpensive, especially if you already have a bumper bike rack.
Con's - Lots of weight in the rear. Potential for unbalanced load creating dangerous sway conditions. Bumper stress and safety issue if not properly rated or reinforced.

So there you have it. I can find goodness and badness with all of these solutions. So what am I to do?

Because I have an SUV, option 1 and 2 will just not work well. I will exceed my TV cargo capacity limits as I'm close to those limits without bikes. Option 4 (Inside the RV) is what we did last year. We got very lucky as we did not have to deal with inclement weather dirt or mud. I was also fortunate that I did not cause any damage to my table, counter, cabinets or door during install removal.

I'm leaning towards a multi solution of an A frame Rack and a RV Bumper Rack. I would install safety struts on the rear bumper and use my own bike rack for 2 bikes. Then I would purchase an A frame rack (Still have not decided on brand) and carry 2 bikes in the front.

My logic is the added weight to the RV is now balanced and minimally added tongue weight. This solution also allows us to use the bumper bike rack on the TV in case we want to go to a bike trail while we are at our campsite.

Does anyone have any added thoughts or are there any flaws to my solution that you want to share?

Phew... Long post. But number 200 had to be special.
Thanks!
Ron
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Old 03-21-2018, 11:58 AM   #2
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Does your trailer have a cargo carrier on the back? If so they have attachments to put bicycles on (looks similar to bike stands at a school). I havent used them but will be buying them this season.
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Old 03-21-2018, 12:59 PM   #3
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Excellent summary. I don't have a good answer for you, but appreciate the research and summary. Your plan sounds like a good one. Good luck.
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Old 03-21-2018, 01:08 PM   #4
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I made my rack (part of it) so I could put them where I wanted to. You will probably get 200 answers to this question as everyone has their own idea.


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Old 03-21-2018, 01:19 PM   #5
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Personally, my bikes are to valuable to risk hanging off the trailer bumper.
I would spring for the roof rack.

Thankfully I don't need a SUV. So I have way more options for carrying bikes.
I had a SUV once, never again. Too many weak points for towing and carrying stuff.
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Old 03-21-2018, 01:26 PM   #6
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Have you looked into making a PVC bike stand that could fit into the camper? I have a toy hauler but will probably be making myself one this season in order to haul bicycles easier.

Edit: After watching a video on that model camper that may not be an option either.
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:45 PM   #7
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I appreciate the thoughts so far...

Erock67 - The rear bumper does not currently have a carrier, but I was considering these to go along with my existing Thule bike rack.
https://mount-n-lock.com/mnl-cargo-p...ruts-hilohitch

Total Loss - Interesting pic... But I can't open or enlarge. Not sure your solution would work for me on a Hybrid.

bikendan - Mine are not. I can understand, if you have the word Bike in your name... You must be pretty serious about it.

Electra glide - You are right, the Hybrid is tight when all packed up. I only have room just inside the door in front of the couch. As mentioned we traveled with 4 Bikes inside last season. I would put down a tarp and snake the Bikes in the door. My Bike and my sons bike just barely fit between the center island and the front cabinet. I'm just one slip away from breaking or damaging something and I don't want to hear about it from my better half. We also lucked out with no rain or mud last year. I have to imagine that will happen eventually. Can't imagine putting a wet bike with muddy tires in our clean camper while the rain is coming down. It just sounds like a recipe for disaster. If I had toy hauler that I could hose out at the end of the trip... different story.

Thanks for the comments thus far.
Ron
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Old 03-21-2018, 04:59 PM   #8
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so i take it you don't have a dinette but rather a table and chairs in your hybrid? I have the dinette and am able to put them there with the fork mounts. There is no chance of those bikes moving while underway and it works really well. I have never had a muddy bike that a hose could not clean off and dry with a rag before I put it in the camper.

Couple of thoughts come to my mind:
dealing with two bike racks would be a pita for me, both dealing with them at home and at the campsite.
Also, you may have to remove the racks from the camper to lower the beds - so again dealing with those two racks at the campsite.

camper modifications for a back bike rack that I have seen seem to use the camper's frame, not modifications to the bumper. I am not sure how well those reinforcements kits you pictured for the bumper would work. I am very leery of putting anything on the bumper, even modified.
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Old 03-21-2018, 05:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GalsofEscape View Post
camper modifications for a back bike rack that I have seen seem to use the camper's frame, not modifications to the bumper. I am not sure how well those reinforcements kits you pictured for the bumper would work. I am very leery of putting anything on the bumper, even modified.
Great Input... Just watched a video of the Curt adjustable RV Hitch that can be bolted or welded to the frame. I think I like that better than the bumper reinforcement.

Yes... We do have the table/chairs option. 6'4", 6'3", 5'11", 5"10". We really like having the space and the movable chairs.

https://www.etrailer.com/tv-install-...ler-13703.aspx

Ron
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Old 03-21-2018, 06:09 PM   #10
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Thought for you. Go with the back hitch welded to the frame and try putting all the bikes on the back with your current rack and see how that goes. If any issues with the weight, add water to the fresh tank and see if that solves the problem rather than going to the expense and bother of a second rack on the a frame.
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