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Old 09-28-2020, 09:30 PM   #1
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Bikes with front mounted hitch

Is there any legal issue with setting up bikes like this? The 1.25 hitch on the back of my 5th wheel really scares me and I don't trust the bike rack back there. We did a trip with this setup and I didn't mind it too bad as far as being distracted or having visibility issues. However it got me thinking, are there any laws about having reduced driver visibility with this setup?
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:34 PM   #2
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I've used the same setup for 4 years now and haven't had any visibility issues or problems with law enforcement.
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:41 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by parver View Post
Is there any legal issue with setting up bikes like this? The 1.25 hitch on the back of my 5th wheel really scares me and I don't trust the bike rack back there. We did a trip with this setup and I didn't mind it too bad as far as being distracted or having visibility issues. However it got me thinking, are there any laws about having reduced driver visibility with this setup?
That would definitely bug the heck out me, but if it works for you, that's great! I have no idea about law enforcement outlook on possible view impairment, but I'm sure a little investigation would turn up some info on that.
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Old 09-29-2020, 08:56 AM   #4
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I see people carrying motorcycles in front of their pickups, so it must be legal. Even so, I would avoid driving at night. In some cases, engine cooling and crash/airbag deployment might be a concern. Watch your temp. gauge.
Also take a look how turn signal visibility is affected the by the load up front.
Canada with their mandatory daytime headlights might be another issue.
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Old 09-29-2020, 12:22 PM   #5
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Smile Front receivers

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Originally Posted by parver View Post
Is there any legal issue with setting up bikes like this? The 1.25 hitch on the back of my 5th wheel really scares me and I don't trust the bike rack back there. We did a trip with this setup and I didn't mind it too bad as far as being distracted or having visibility issues. However it got me thinking, are there any laws about having reduced driver visibility with this setup?
I have never owned an RV or pickup without a front receiver so that is over many years. I have used it to carry bicycles almost exclusively and have never had a challenge for the practice from anyone. So it is my experience that my bicycles have never effected the headlighting enough to tell the difference.
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Old 09-29-2020, 12:53 PM   #6
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Airbag sensor

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I see people carrying motorcycles in front of their pickups, so it must be legal. Even so, I would avoid driving at night. In some cases, engine cooling and crash/airbag deployment might be a concern. Watch your temp. gauge.
Also take a look how turn signal visibility is affected the by the load up front.
Canada with their mandatory daytime headlights might be another issue.
The airbag sensors sense impact shock. Crumpling a bicycle or two before the impact won't affect their sensitivity.
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Old 09-29-2020, 01:19 PM   #7
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What are some of the good brands of front bike racks? That are easy to remove and put on? Not too heavy?
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Old 09-29-2020, 01:20 PM   #8
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I have carry bikes this way. My state law says no more than 24" beyond bumper. I have been well beyond this and never been questioned. Click image for larger version

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Old 09-29-2020, 01:26 PM   #9
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Kuat NV2 is a very good rack. Nice built in anti rattle device for reciever. Built in bike locks are a nice touch. Very good customer service. Easy to mount bikes, takes just moments.
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What are some of the good brands of front bike racks? That are easy to remove and put on? Not too heavy?
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Old 09-29-2020, 01:28 PM   #10
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You may need to try a couple of types of carriers to find one the that works for you, your truck and your budget. I have the Yakima unit that has the two bars where the bikes hang on the top tube.

I put a front receiver on my 2015 Yukon and only used it once for bikes. It was OK in the daytime and I removed the seats to lessen the obstructions. With my rack, the bikes were simply too high and in my line of sight. Worse, we had to travel about an hour into the darkness as well. Between the light reflecting off the bikes and blocked headlights, it was scary.

The only way I could do it on that truck was to potentially use a fork mount tray to lessen the length of the bikes and to keep the bikes below the hood and between the lights. I may look at it again for my F250 as it has a much higher hood and headlights which would help.
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Old 09-29-2020, 01:37 PM   #11
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I have had my Yakima rack on the front of my 2015 Silverado for about 2 years.

The only annoyance is the proximity sensors that sense when you are getting close to something, detects the rack and I have to keep this feature turned off.

Given I mostly use the rack when pulling the TT it is not on anyhow when towing.

It does block a bit of the light at night, but I have to think about it to even notice it.
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Old 09-29-2020, 01:40 PM   #12
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I have carry bikes this way. My state law says no more than 24" beyond bumper. I have been well beyond this and never been questioned. Attachment 240246
That is definitely extreme. At first I thought this was that thread showing pics of bizarreness folks have seen in their travels..... .
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Old 09-29-2020, 01:57 PM   #13
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I have carry bikes this way. My state law says no more than 24" beyond bumper. I have been well beyond this and never been questioned. Attachment 240246
Here in Alaska, that would attract the attention of a trooper. Even vehicles here with mounted snowplows are required to have a flashing caution light affixed to the vehicle. Here in the summer those bikes would be plastered with mosquitoes.
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Old 09-29-2020, 02:04 PM   #14
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Bikes

As long as turn signals and lights are visible you should be legal. I tried it and it bugged me. I second the recommendation for the Kuat rack, it sits lower and is very stable. I have logged thousands of w/ mine and I like there features including the tray and built in lock cables.
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Old 09-29-2020, 02:09 PM   #15
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Not "front racks", just racks

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What are some of the good brands of front bike racks? That are easy to remove and put on? Not too heavy?
There's nothing unique about racks in the front. You mount a standard receiver (1.25 or 2.0 inch square tube, similar to what's in back of your vehicle) in the front, and then you are free to use any of the racks on the market.

Some racks use the lightweight 1.25" receiver. Others use the 2.0". If you mount a 2.0" receiver on the front, you can always get an inexpensive reducer sleeve if you wind up with the smaller, less robust rack.

First thing to decide is whether you are able to lift the bicycle or you need a rack that "leans over" to let you connect the bar and then push to get the bike aloft.

Second thing is how many bikes you want to carry. Do you need a unit for two? Or three or four?

Third thing to decide is how many anchor points you want. Avoid a rack which just grabs the bar and lets the bikes swing back and forth and scratch each other.
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Old 09-29-2020, 04:44 PM   #16
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I have dents in the bike frames from our mosquitoes. I have been up and down east coast with the bike rack never any issues.
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Here in Alaska, that would attract the attention of a trooper. Even vehicles here with mounted snowplows are required to have a flashing caution light affixed to the vehicle. Here in the summer those bikes would be plastered with mosquitoes.
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Old 09-29-2020, 08:30 PM   #17
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I use a front 2” receiver and a Kuat Transfer 2-bike rack. No problems at all but I have never used it in the dark.

As for legality, that will depend on your jurisdiction. You’ll have to research the laws in your state.
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Old 10-02-2020, 09:04 AM   #18
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double post sorry
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Old 10-02-2020, 09:14 AM   #19
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The airbag sensors sense impact shock. Crumpling a bicycle or two before the impact won't affect their sensitivity.
Would the bicycles and rack in front of the truck affect airbag deployment in a frontal collision? Only an engineer knows the answer.
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Old 10-02-2020, 09:52 AM   #20
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My brother received a few inspection notices for a rack where the front post slightly inteferred with the headlights. (rack was removable so inspections passed). It did not impact night driving.
That kind of thing is pretty far down the enforcement list, but possible.
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