One of the most popular recreational activities for campers heading away in their RVs is biking. Not a surprise given the thousands of bike tracks available around the states. Colorado alone has more than five thousand miles of bike tracks that will take you through pine forests, up mountain trails, and through park after park. Nearly every coastal state has boardwalks and trails that will take you to hidden coves and stunning beaches. It’s no wonder more of us are getting out on two-wheels.
Parking up your RV and jumping on your bikes to explore is an activity everyone can enjoy, from the solo camper to couples on tour and family RVers. The only bugbear about traveling with bikes in an RV is trying to fit them in. Instead of trying to maneuver handlebars through narrow RV doorways and to avoid oil from rubbing off the chain onto your newly cleaned interior, you would be best advised to get an RV bike rack.
A 2 bike, rust resistant, RV Approves, bike rack. Fits fat-width tires. Comes with a bumper adaptor.Check Amazon Price
This 2 bike, powder coated, rust-resistant, bike rack works for RVs of all sizes, trailers, and campers alike. It is straightforward to assemble and install and comes with a 2″ Bumper Adapter. Your RV will need a 2″ Class 3 hitch receiver or a 4.5″ continuous steel welded RV Bumper Adapter for this bike rack.
Once installed, bikes are held in place by adjustable upright hooks that slide up and down at the touch of a button to allow you to fit them to the size of your bike frame. These hooks allow for a quick load and unload time for your bikes. To keep your bikes snuggly in place whilst you drive, there are four wheel cradles on the lower horizontal that can be individually adjusted. These can fit a tire width up to 3.5 inches and a maximum wheelbase of 52 inches.
This is a sturdy bike rack that has been tried and tested by Swagman to earn its RV approved status. With a maximum weight load of 35lbs per bike, it will easily hold 2 adult mountain bikes. When not in use, it easily folds out of the way so you can access any rear storage on your RV. For extra protection, you might include some padding between the hooks and your bike frames to prevent rubbing.
At the higher end of the budget scale, this may be the best RV bike rack for you if you hit the bike trails each weekend.
Best 4 Bike Hitch Bike Rack
No wobble RV bike rack with patented hold down cradles. Fits 4 bikes and fits 2” hitch mount.Check Amazon Price
Let me pre-warn you before you read on that this RV bike rack only fits a 2-inch trailer hitch. Assuming that suits your RV, let’s look at why this may be the best RV bike rack for you. Suitable for up to 4 adult size bikes, this powder coated bike rack comes with a patented tie-down system and ‘no wobble’ bolt as standard. The latter prevents the bike rack from jiggling when you’re on the road and therefore offers a secure fit to your RV. The tie-down systems are easy to use cradles that grip the bikes individually to prevent them from sliding and swinging.
This bike rack has only 3 bolts for installation making the process simple and painless. The 2 carry arms are 22 inches long and fold down when not in use. The whole bike rack also tilts away from the vehicle if you need to access storage in the back of your RV or trailer. There’s no wheel holder which means you may experience some movement, but this can be resolved with a bungee cord.
Best Bumper Mounted Rack
Affordable, RV bumper mounted adjustable bike rack. Fits 2 bikes.Check Amazon Price
An affordable 2 bike RV bike rack that fits easily on the back of your RV. This rack bolts on easily with 8 bolts holding 4 U-shaped brackets, specifically for a 4 – 4.5 inch, continuous-weld, square bumper. This steel rack is primarily made up of 2 platforms which your bikes sit on top of. These can be adjusted to fit the width of your bike but can not be adjusted to fit different sized bikes. The bikes then need to be secured to a curious looking and quite short vertical bar with a small hole in it.
With this rack, you get what you pay for. It is a simple fitting, simple to use bike rack and does not pretend to be anything else. That said, I can see this being useful for carrying other RV equipment too as the platforms are quite versatile.
The weight limit for this particular bike rack is the standard 30 lbs per bike but you won’t have much luck with it if you like your tires chunky as it does not suit fat tires.
Best Bike Rack for RVs With Spare Wheels
Bike rack that fits around a spare RV wheel. Bumper mounted, Rust Resistant.Check Amazon Price
Get around your spare wheel with this RV approved bike rack. Designed specifically to overcome the frustration of fitting a bike rack next to or over a rear-mount spare, this version works for RVs with a 4 – 4.5 inch, continuous-weld, square bumper.
You will get everything you need to install this bike rack which fits your bumper with 4-bolted U-brackets. Once attached, you can carry 2 bikes at a time that are held in place with anti-sway grips. The bikes can be strapped on separately to prevent them from knocking into each other.
Two pin bolts ensure that the bike racks arms will quickly release if you find yourself in need of the spare tire or even if you want to remove it when not in use. When loaded, your bikes essentially hang from the bike rack with no additional support or restraint for the wheels. This shouldn’t be an issue, but you might like to employ some bungees for extra snugness.
Lightweight, RV ladder mounted 2-bike bike rack. Aluminium frame and easy to install.Check Amazon Price
I’m not sure that there is a bike rack that could be simpler to install to an Rv than this one. That’s only good news for you if you have a ladder on the back of your RV though (sorry). When you receive your ladder bike rack, you will need to do about 2 minutes of easy assembly before hooking your bike rack onto your ladder and – voila! – you are done.
The vertical frame of the bike rack has padding to stop it from damaging or banging on the ladder when in use. There are also handy reflectors on the horizontal arms which is a small but welcome safety feature.
On the Swagman ladder rack, your bikes will hang vertically, handlebars down. The bike seat tube sits across the bike rack arms and into rubber cradle grips that strap each bike in place. This is a mid-range budget bike rack, made from corrosion-resistant aluminum. Being aluminum the frame is lightweight meaning there’s less load on your ladder than a steel frame would have.
Best RV Ladder Bike Rack
Affordable, ladder mounted bike rack for RV with extra strap. Fits 2 bikes.Check Amazon Price
Another winner for RVs with a rear ladder. The Camco RV Ladder Mount Bike Rack (51492) is slightly cheaper than the Swagman version above but has many similar attributes. For assembling, the ladder hooks screw onto the frame easily and the bike rack arms fold down and are held in place with easy fit bolts. It has a large piece of padding on each vertical rung and also comes with an adjustable strap so that you can secure the bottom of the rack to the ladder too.
This is one of the cheapest bike racks on the market and one of the better quality RV bike racks at this end of the bracket. When not in use, this bike rack folds away to sit flush with the ladder.
You can carry two bikes with a combined weight of up to 60lbs. To avoid them slipping around, each bike is strapped on using rubber grips that wrap over the seat bar. When you are not taking your bikes out with you, this bike rack would double up nicely for carrying folding camp chairs or a small step ladder.
Factors To Consider When Purchasing An RV Bike Rack
Generally, bike racks are not overly expensive. You will probably pay more for an average adult size bike. However, that’s not to say they are all the same price or created equally. When looking for lower priced bike racks, take note of every detail before making your purchase. Look at how it attaches to your rig, what it is made out of and all moving parts to make sure you’re not paying less because it’s shabbily made.
Number of Bikes
Not only do you need to think about the number of bikes but also the weight and combined weight of those bikes. Bike racks, usually hold around 30 – 35lbs per bike, which works out at a maximum of 70lbs for 2 bikes and 140lbs for 4. Check with the bike manufacturer if you don’t know for sure. Overloading a bike rack can result in damage to your RV, a loss of bikes and a ruined trip. The last thing you want is to leave your bikes and bumper behind when they fall off.
Quality and Reliability
Consider how often you will want to use the bike rack. For a biker who goes out weekly, you will need something sturdy and well made. On the other hand, if you’re more of an occasional biker, then something that can easily pop on and off would probably suit your needs.
You might be forgiven for believing that all bike racks are made a standard size for a standard size bike. This is not so. The wheelbase of bikes can vary in size and not all bike racks are flexible on size. Measure from the center of one wheel to the center of the other to work out your wheelbase and use that as your reference point when deciding what the best RV bike rack is for you.
I’d always recommend looking for two things in an RV bike rack. The first thing is how well it attaches to your RV and the other is how secure are your bikes once they are attached. Buying extra straps and bungees is a hassle. My preference is for bike racks that are designed to work well in both departments.
You might notice that some bike racks are described as being ‘RV Approved’ and others are not. After some digging around I was able to find that this term is specifically used by Swagman for their RV bike racks. It means that they have tested the rack on an RV and found that it works as planned. Therefore if you come across a bike rack that doesn’t appear to be RV approved it is most likely not a Swagman. If it is, then it is not a bike rack that they recommend for RVs.
Mounting Methods for RV Bike Racks
Bike rack mounts are not universal in design. Some suit cars, others are best for RVs and some are ok with a few different types of vehicle. What you need to know is what kind of mount your RV has. Read the small print of your RV bike rack carefully before purchasing. There is no getting around a bike rack that mounts to a different kind of mount.
Hitch-Mounted RV Bike Racks
A hitch mounted bike rack literally just slots into your RV’s hitch mount and is secured with the pin. Not all RVs come with a hitch mount but it is possible to get one put on if you think you will get a lot of use out of it. You can also get a bumper adaptor that is easy enough to install yourself.
Bumper-Mounted RV Bike Racks
Two things to keep in mind with bumper mounted bike racks. One, is your bumper one continuous weld? Two, what is the width, circumference and shape? Most of the bike racks that attach to your bumper do so with brackets that fit around the circumference of the bumper and then bolt into the bike rack.
It can also help to know what the weight bearing capacity of your bumper is. If you’re not sure then call up the RV manufacturer and they will give you the specific information for your model of RV.
Ladder-Mounted RV Bike Racks
These types of bike racks are some of the easiest types to install. They actually just hook over a step on our ladder, no bolts, no screw, no tools. Before buying one of these, I would get a mechanic to look at your rig and check if the ladder is secure enough to carry a rack and bikes. It is likely that it will be fine but if your RV has a few years on it the ladder may not have been checked recently.
Know your RV and bikes well before buying your RV bike rack. This will save you a headache down the line when you realize something doesn’t fit. It pays to be detailed with measurements and to ask questions if there’s anything at all that you’re not sure of. At the end of the day, you want your bikes to be secure and you’re driving to be safe.