Many RVers love to bring bikes along on trips to ride around the campground or explore local trails and towns.
Transporting bikes inside a recreational vehicle is possible but often ends up causing damage to furniture and floors when they tip over or slide about during travel.
The ideal way to take bikes on RV trips is to carry them on the outside of your RV, and I put together this list of the five best bike racks on the market, including features and price, to help you start your search.
Having bikes on RV vacations is fun and healthy, so check out the bike racks below and see why they get high marks from recreational vehicle owners!
Features to Look For When Buying an RV Bike Rack
Type of RV Bike Rack
RV bike racks come in various shapes, designs, and weights, allowing you to find the most suitable to your needs.
Next up are the three types of bike racks for RVs you can install, with details on the benefits of each.
Hitch-Mount RV Bike Rack
The hitch-mount bike rack is the most popular type RV owners choose since it’s easy to install and can hold more weight and capacity of bikes.
There are two designs for a hitch-mount bike rack for RVs, and both work with 2-inch hitch receivers.
The first has a low platform that the bikes sit on, while the second type has a tall bar with a bracket that sticks out at the top so you can hang the bikes.
The most common hitch-mount bike racks will accept two to four bikes and can be moved to different vehicles with a hitch receiver, increasing the flexibility of use.
You can opt to remove the bike rack quickly when you don’t need it, or you can purchase a hitch lock to deter theft of your RV bike rack.
Ladder-Mount RV Bike Rack
If your RV has a rear ladder, a ladder-mount bike rack allows you to secure your bikes in a vertical position, with the front tire facing down.
Ladder racks keep the bikes closer to the RV, which feels more secure and makes it much easier to lock them up to prevent theft.
The downside of this type of RV bike rack is that you’ll need to move the bikes each time you use the ladder to get up on your RV. Fortunately, there is rarely a need to climb up on your RV roof outside of routine maintenance, which makes this rack a relatively hassle-free choice.
Another pitfall of a ladder-mount RV bike rack is the capacity, which tops out at only two. An RV ladder rack’s weight capacity is also less than a bumper or hitch mount bike rack.
Bumper-Mount RV Bike Rack
A bumper-mount bike rack will attach to the front or rear bumper of your motorhome and position the bikes, so they don’t interfere with visibility out your windshield or rear window.
Having your bikes at the front of your RV means they will get the brunt of wind, dirt, and possible damage from driving too close to the vehicles ahead of you.
Having a heavy-duty steel bumper is a requirement to attach a bike rack securely to the front or rear of your RV. However, when done correctly, it can withstand a good amount of weight.
The biggest benefit of using a bumper-mount RV bike rack is that it frees up the rear ladder and hitch for other needs.
RV Bike Rack Capacity
You’ll need to purchase a bike rack with enough capacity to hold all the bikes you wish to bring on your RV trips.
Most bike racks are for two bikes, but you can find ones for a single bike or with more capacity if you have a family and need to carry four or five bicycles.
I have to state that it’s a good idea to get a bike rack with an extra slot, as you may want to carry a bike for an RV guest you invite on a trip.
What Size Bike Fits the RV Bike Rack
Not getting a bike rack for your RV that fits your specific size bikes can lead to problems.
Some bike racks are not adjustable, which means the braces that hold the bikes in place may not correctly fit your bike’s tire span, framing thickness, or vertical height.
Trying to carry a kid’s bike on the same rack you have adult bikes will require different bike latch settings, so all are held securely.
Unless you have no plans to change the bikes you carry with you on your RV trips, I suggest always buying an adjustable bike rack so it can work over the years as your bike design and size change.
Also, note that some racks will need an adapter to fit children’s bikes, so read the description carefully to learn whether it’s included in the purchase or will be an additional expense.
Construction Quality of RV Bike Rack Components
An RV bike rack design, materials, and construction are crucial for performance and longevity.
Look for thick-gauge metal piping or framing with rust and weather-resistant powder coat finish.
Any plastic or rubber components and latches should be durable so they can withstand hundreds or even thousands of movements without cracking, snapping, or breaking.
Straps should be of woven nylon that won’t deteriorate with constant exposure to the elements.
If you cannot inspect a bike rack in person before purchase, take the time to read through customer reviews if available for a better idea of what to expect after several months of use.
How the RV Bike Rack Attaches to Your Camper
Installation of an RV bike rack will require a sturdy attachment to your camper.
Mounts that screw or bolt onto your RV exterior or hang from the ladder can fail if you don’t attach them correctly or tightly. After each trip, you should inspect attachment points for looseness.
The last thing you want to see in the rearview mirror is your entire rack full of bikes hitting the pavement as you’re driving your camper to or from a campsite.
The combination of the bike’s weight and road bumps, and vibration causes extreme stress on the attachment points.
You need to read the instructions for placement and ensure you can install the rack securely on your RV’s shape or design and still be able to load bikes and not have them in the way or sticking out the sides.
For example, I wanted a hitch-mount bike rack for my motorhome as I have a hitch receiver on the bumper, but my RV spare tire stuck out too far to load a bike in the first slot, making it useless for my needs. So instead, I had to go with an RV ladder mount bike rack.
RV Bike Rack Price
Price plays a role in which bike rack you choose since everyone has different budgets. Expect bike racks for campers to range in price from $50 to $500+.
A low-cost bike rack for an RV may seem like a bargain, but if it rusts out in a matter of weeks, bends, or the latches don’t stay tight, you’ll be wasting money.
The best advice is to shop around in person and compare the construction and cost of several bike racks in your budget range and buy the highest quality version you can find.
Ladder mount RV bike racks tend to cost the least versus a hitch or bumper mount rack, but spending $30-$50 more can significantly improve the longevity and quality of any bike rack you choose.
5 Best RV Bike Racks
The following products are the top bike racks RV owners rate the highest for quality and performance.
1. Swagman Dispatch RV Approved Hitch-Mount 2 Bike Rack
The Swagman RV Approved Dispatch Hitch Bike Rack has a unique design that increases the strength and durability to withstand the additional stresses of RV travel like more bumps, vibrations, and swaying.
I find the features of this two-bike rack impressive, such as the 90-pound load capacity and adjustable frame hooks, tire ratchet straps, and sliding trays for the wheels to fit many bike sizes.
How easy this rack installs onto the RV is another highlight. After a few minutes of assembly, the frame quickly slips into any 2″ hitch receiver and is ready for use.
The lifetime warranty and the ability to fold down the vertical mast only increase this bike rack’s value.
- Each bike mount can hold 45 pounds (90 lb capacity)
- Simple and fast installation
- Adjustable wheel trays and frame hook
- Mast folds down for storage/RV rear access
- Steel construction with weather-resistant finish
- Heavy to move/load into hitch
2. Let’s Go Aero – 429756 Jack-It Double Bike Carrier System
The Let’s Go Aero – 429756 Jack-It Double Bike Carrier System gives travel trailer owners a safer and more stable way to mount bikes in front of the camper instead of behind.
What I like most about this bike rack is the design locks in the bikes by their wheels and the thick foam bumpers to cradle the bicycles in position to prevent scratches or damage during travel.
The adjustable wheel cradles and heavy-duty straps allow mounting of nearly any size bike, while the NoMotion pins lock the unit in place to reduce movement and annoying rattling of the bikes.
Installation is easier by lining up the unit over the 3-bolt pattern found on most tongue jacks and bolting it down firmly.
- Each bike mount can hold 40 pounds (80 lb capacity)
- Steel frame with rust-resistant powder coat finish
- Adjustable wheel mounts
- Disassembles quickly for storage
- PowerTower frame protects tongue jack from damage
- Installation takes longer than other models
- Mounting bikes can be awkward for one person
3. Swagman RV Approved Around the Spare Deluxe Bike Rack
The design of the Swagman RV Approved Around the Spare Deluxe Bike Rack takes care of the problem many RVers have with a traditional bike rack and the reason it makes this list.
The rack mounts in no time around a 4″ to 4-1/2″ solid back bumper found on most recreational vehicles and can hold two bikes. The manufacturer states this rack should only mount on a bumper with a continuous weld for a secure attachment.
The anti-sway cradles are a great feature that reduces bike motion and damage during travel days, while the durable construction and anti-rust and corrosion finish will keep the rack looking good for years.
The biggest downfall of this bike rack is the lesser weight capacity and non-adjustable bike mounts, which you need to consider before purchase.
- Each bike mount can hold 30 pounds (60 lb capacity)
- Alloy steel frame with corrosion/rust-resistant finish
- Anti-sway cradles
- Removable masts for storage/tire access
- Rack won’t fit over some spare tires
- Bumper mount design creates more bike movement
- Not made for heavier bikes
4. Camco RV Ladder Mount 2-Bike Rack
The Camco RV Ladder Mount Bike Rack is super affordable and installs fast by hanging it over the ladder steps and strapping it down.
I appreciate the compact way the rack folds up, but how you can leave it down and use it as a convenient hook for drying clothes or hanging beach towels while camping and the bikes are off.
Mounting your bikes is simple, with form-fit cradles and straps to hold the rear frame under the seat securely, with additional straps to attach the bike to the ladder lower down to prevent movement.
This bike rack for RV ladders does have some pitfalls, such as the limited weight capacity and fewer cradles and latches for security. You’ll also need to inspect your ladder to ensure it’s in good condition to hold the rack and bikes without failure.
- Each bike mount can hold 30 pounds (60 lb capacity)
- Very affordable and easy to install
- Folds up for storage
- Ideal for kids bikes
- Rack isn’t as security/durable as other models
- May not fit on some RV ladder designs
5. Swagman RV Approved Original 4 Hitch Bike Rack
The Swagman RV Approved Original 4 Hitch Bike Rack is perfect for family RV trips and provides convenient and quick hitch installation into any 2-inch receiver.
I like how the four cradles for bikes have padding to protect the bike frame from scratches and creates a tighter hold when you clamp down the upper bracket before driving your fifth-wheel, travel trailer, or motorhome.
The flexibility of the top bracket allows you to mount bikes with different frame thicknesses and keep them all secure. The hitch bolt included with the purchase keeps the rack tight in the receiver, but most RVers choose to buy and use a hitch bolt that locks to deter theft.
The bike rack framing is heavy-duty to withstand the abuses of RV travel, and the finish remains nice thanks to the durable finish coat.
There are two negatives of this hitch-mount RV bike rack that need mentioning. The first is the simple loading mounts with no additional security measures to prevent bikes from falling off if the top bracket or tightening knobs fail.
The second issue is that some customers find the rack doesn’t seat fully into the receiver, which weakens the overall strength and stability of the unit because the frame sticks out too far.
However, RVers found the best solution is to have new holes drilled in the hitch, which fixes the problem.
- Each bike mount can hold 35 pounds (140 lb capacity)
- Easy to install and mount bikes
- Beefy steel construction won’t bend
- Ideal for families
- Design doesn’t have extra security features like straps or locks
- Nut for hitch bolt can rattle loose and need tightening
- Location of hitch bolt may need alteration
Camping and biking go hand-in-hand, so finding the best bike rack for RVs will allow you the freedom to bring them along on every adventure.
I hope you check out the top RV bike racks on my list above and find a suitable model for your needs and fits your budget.
When you own a quality bike rack that holds your bicycles secure and safe, you can RV with less stress which is always a good thing!
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