Choosing the best RV bike rack doesn’t have to be overwhelming. While there are several things to take into consideration, it’s not difficult to pick a bike rack that works for your recreational vehicle.
I spent a year travelling full-time with my three young children so I know how important getting out of your living space and onto your bikes is for both physical and mental health! Do check out my articles on the best travel toys for toddlers, and tips for keeping children happy while traveling.
Below are my top picks of the best bike racks on the market along with a few tips to keep in mind when choosing one.
Why do you need an RV bike rack?
If you’re wanting to do a little (or a lot of) biking while visiting different places, getting a bike rack is a great choice for RV owners. In addition to wanting to take your bikes wherever you go and having easy access to them, having a bike rack is the best way to give you more storage space inside your RV.
Without one, you’ll have to figure out an inside storage solution which could take up more space than you really want to give.
How to Decide on the Best RV Bike Rack
First, you should know that there are certain requirements that should be met in order for your bike rack to be considered RV-approved. For starters, the bike rack must have gone through the appropriate tests to ensure stability and retention.
Your RV is much different than your car, meaning it will endure much more weight and suspension. Without proper testing, your bike rack could break under the pressure put on it by your trailer, 5th wheel, or motorhome.
You’ll also want to consider the type of mounting you prefer. The most common mounts are front-mounted, ladder-mounted, bumper-mounted, and hitch-mounted.
Each one of these selections provide unique holding characteristics and should play a big role in the type of bike rack you end up selecting. We’ll look at the best ones in each of these categories below.
Bike Capacity and Types of Bike
The best bike rack for your peace of mind depends on important factors such as which type of bikes, how much weight you need to carry and the number of bikes you want to bring with you.
You may have children’s bikes, mountain bikes or other types taking up different amounts of space, and there are different types of bike racks with essential features for your needs.
Best RV Bike Racks
Here we have information about the different types of RV bike racks to help you make the best choice for your road trips, along with the best options for each on the market today.
Ladder-Mounted RV Bike Racks
Ideal for: A ladder mounted bicycle rack is a great option for motorhomes with 1-2 bikes, and a ladder at the back of your RV- this option can be bought for under $100.
You’re going to save the most amount of space with an RV ladder bike rack. A ladder rack usually comes in one or two parts and is bolt-on so it’s a top choice if you’re looking for a super easy and cheap way to get take your bikes on adventures with you.
The good news is that whether you’re driving a Class A or trailer, as long as you have one of the usual standard RV ladders, RV ladder bike racks should work. So which ones are most highly sought after?
This is one of the less expensive options that still provides the right kind of stability for your bikes and RV, with a double bike carrier system. It even comes with bonus straps to provide added security. The rack will hold up to 2 bikes up to 60lbs and folds up for easy storage.
This particular model is lightweight (5lb), has just 9” between bike cradles and a length from bend to tip of extended bike arms being 13?. The maximum weight it can carry is 50 lbs. It is sturdy, durable, and can handle long trips.
Bumper-Mounted RV Bike Racks
Ideal for: Bumper bike racks work well on the type of mount that has additional support such as being reinforced with steel construction. They are also good for attaching to your rear bumper and will carry up to 4 bikes of different sizes at a time.
Bumper mounts are the perfect choice for saving space as they leave your ladder and hitch free when positioned on the front. You may need a bumper adapter to create a hitch receiver to use these bike racks- a popular choice is the Swagman RV Approved Bumper Adaptor.
Conveniently carry up to two bikes from your 4″ to 4.5″ square bumper along with an adjustable mounting that allows a fit for nearly any length bicycle for ease of use. This bike rack has an all-steel construction and is powder coated which is a great way to ensure corrosion resistance. Enjoy a per-bike maximum load of 30lbs!
The Swagman bumper bike rack is possibly the most popular option for this type of rack. It transports up to 4 bikes on the rack, and the best part is a weight capacity of 30 lbs PER bike- that’s a total weight of 120lb!
It is designed for 4″ to 4.5″ square RV bumpers and can be installed with 6.5″ and 8″ long bolts around the RV bumper. The security lies in its upright bar for extra support, heavy-duty steel construction with a black paint finish and powder-coated to resist corrosion.
Hitch-Mounted RV Bike Racks
Ideal for: Hitch mounts are known for being the common choice for heavy bikes. Heavier bike frames can fit into these racks which mount straight onto your tow hitch (the square box where you may install a towbar).
Being RV-approved and reasonably priced, this Swagman bike rack is typically one of the most go-to’s. It only takes a few minutes to install and will transport up to 2 bikes. When not in use, it conveniently folds upright to give you access to the back of your RV.
Although this option is more on the expensive end, this model features a strengthened hitch mount designed to fit Class 3 or higher hitch receivers (front and/or back), giving you extra safety on the road.
It needs to be chassis mounted, and once fixed this supports up to 70 pounds per rack and is compatible with mountain bikes, electric bikes, road bikes with up to 5-inch fat tires, and up to 58-inch wheelbase.
When choosing the best RV bike rack for you and your family’s two-wheel transportation, keep the tips and suggestions mentioned above in mind.
There are a many types of racks to choose from so always take into consideration the amount of bikes you’ll be carrying, their style, weight, and the type of recreational vehicle you’ll be transporting them on.
Choosing the right bike rack for you will ensure you have a long time to enjoy the freedom that a sporty RV lifestyle affords!