Best Bike Racks For RVs Reviewed [2020]

Posted on October 29, 2020 by Daniel Renfro in Towing & Utility

The Quick Pick
Best 4 Bike Hitch Bike Rack
Allen Sports 4-Bike Hitch Racks for 2 inch Hitch
Best Bumper Mounted Rack
Quick Products QPRBM2R RV bumper-mounted 2-Bike Rack
Best RV Ladder Bike Rack
Camco RV Ladder Mount Bike Rack

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.

Factors To Consider When Purchasing An RV Bike Rack

Budget

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.

In Summary

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.