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Hitch mount bike racks

bike racks

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#1 robcc

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 02:21 AM

Anyone have experience with rear mounting bike racks on a popup? We have an ATC Bobcat popup and want to install rear mounted bike racks for a 2” receiver.  Weight is a concern with a Nissan Frontier with a 1215 payload. We’re thinking of 3 options. Our question is similar to BillTheHiker but we already have a Thule T2 so we started a new post since we have some specific questions:

 

Option #1 

We already have an old Thule T2 classic bike rack that tilts. We’re thinking of getting at least a 10”-12” hitch receiver extension with step. This way we can still have quick access the back with the rack in the driving/untilted position. Weight 50 lbs, Cost $60. Question - will we need to worry about this rig on 4wheel drive roads with the racks extended? There are hi/lo hitch extensions which increase the height of the rack but not sure if they are recommended.

 

Option #2

RockyMounts BackStage 2 Bike Platform Rack - 2" Hitches - Swinging - Wheel Mount. Cost $700. Weight 60 lbs. Question - how hard will it be to quick access the back door and do you have to swing to do so?

 

Option #3 

Do option 1 and get Thule Access or the Yakima backswing. The issue here is the Thule 2 is $350 at 56 lbs which will be 106 lbs with the rack, which is starting to get heavy.  

 

Which option is suggested or other ideas?


Edited by robcc, 14 April 2021 - 02:37 AM.

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#2 Vic Harder

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 03:18 AM

Front hitch with your T2.


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#3 BrianG

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 05:15 AM

Front hitch, I’ve travelled all over BC and the Mid West with mine, works great. 


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#4 Taku

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Posted 14 April 2021 - 12:00 PM

We have a Yakima Swingdaddy and Thule. Both work well with the custom step we had built using a hitch extender (had the shop cut off the step it came with and welded on a steel frame with expanded steel). Use both of them at different times depending on how many bikes we are carrying or I also use the Thule to carry my kickboat frame. I personally do not like front mounts, but that does keep the bikes out of the way too.


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#5 zoie

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 02:25 AM

I also have yakima swingdaddy and am very happy with it. swings all the way around to the passenger side of the truck out of the way so your bikes are parallel with the camper.  Can tighten it down in the receiver so get little movement.  Another option might be to mount your bikes vertical from the back of the camper with a couple of fork mounts.  I have one mount set up like that for when i take only one bike, but I've seen on here folks doing that with two bikes and saves the weight of a hitch carrier.


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#6 Beach

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 03:00 AM

I modified a hitch rack(2 bike) so it mounts on the brush guard on the front. No more bikes in the way of the camper door and they don't get covered in oily road grime on wet pavement or mud when driving dirt roads in the rain, (at least not as bad as when rear mounted). Bonus: moved all that weight forward.


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#7 Taku

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 12:42 PM

As for the dust and grime - we have used a bike cover for the our hitch mount that was $60 on Amazon about 6 years ago. Need to keep the zipper clean, but it still works well. If you are handy with a sewing machine repair would be easy. I am continually amazed at how many people have bikes and even expensive bikes riding around on racks with no cover. Years ago, we went into the Utah desert about 30 miles of Utah dust. Our bikes had a bit of dust on them, another friends bikes were not usable until all the dust was cleaned off/out of the chain, bike cables, etc. Cheap to keep the bikes in good order - an the combined new cost of our two mountain bikes was about $1400 - so seeing all those expensive bikes getting trashed is a real head shaker.


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#8 fuzzymarindave

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Posted 16 April 2021 - 11:38 PM

I have a Rocky Mounts Backstage 2-bike swing away which I primarily use with the truck/camper.   It is very solid and kinda heavy.   I can shimmy into the camper without swinging it away; but that is not ideal.   When swing away it is well clear of the rear of the vehicle.  For my SUV I have a roof mount single tray and I also picked up a 1-UP heavy duty single tray for the 2" receiver hitch.  The 1-UP is very well designed and light weight.   It tilts down to access typical hatch and I'm planning to try it on the truck/camper to see if it clears the door well enough.   If it does clear the camper door then a second tray can be added to the 1-UP and that would be a lighter option than the Rocky mounts.


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#9 buckland

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 12:36 PM

Front receiver hitch works great for us too.... across Newfoundland and Labrador... without a "hitch" (pun?)

Great to not worry about blocking the camper door.


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#10 robcc

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Posted 17 April 2021 - 02:09 PM

Okay 3 people suggested a front hitch which is something I never thought of for carrying bikes. I just watched the etrailer video and it seems like an relatively easy install. Questions for you front hitchers:

1. Does it (w/bikes) impede on you driver visibility?

2. Does it (w/bikes) interfere with headlights?

3. Does it (w/bikes) reduce gas mileage?

4. Did anyone have trouble with bikes clearing the bumper?

 

We're thinking of a draw tight w/ a Thule 2


Edited by robcc, 17 April 2021 - 02:11 PM.

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