Swagman Traveler XC2
When looking for the best RV bike rack, the Swagman Traveler XC2 is outstanding when it comes to quality. The Traveler is manufactured with precision and uses the highest quality of powder-coated steel. Every screw, pin, and part are top-of-the-line making this bike rack an excellent investment for someone who will often be using their RV bike rack.
The most impressive aspect of this product is the versatility of being able to use it as a bumper rack or a hitch rack. Both adapters come as standard, and both provide superior security for your bicycles as you travel. On top of this, the push button ratchet arms are a big bonus since it allows customized securing of any bicycle regardless of the model or the way the bars are made.
While all the products in our list are excellent, none of them come close to providing the features and security of the Swagman Traveler XC2 winning it our best RV back rack title.
Best Bike Racks for RVs
If you’re an RV camper, you’re likely an outdoors person, and what better way to get out and about in nature than on a bicycle. Cycling in new places, taking in the scenery and fresh air as you go, bicycle rides are an accessible bonus of the RV camping lifestyle.
If so, this means you will need somewhere to store your bikes when they are not in use. This is where RV bike racks come in. Having one will give you peace of mind knowing your bicycle is safe and secure as you travel in your RV.
In this guide, we have researched multiple brands and models in our search for our favorite bike racks. With so many to choose from on the market we have narrowed it down to seven. The Swagman Traveler XC2 is our overall winner, however, another model may suit your own needs better. We have created this guide to help RV travelers find the right RV bike rack for them.
Looking for the Best Bike Carrier for Your Rig?
- Benefits of owning an RV bike carrier
- The different types of bike racks for RV use
- Our unbiased reviews of the best RV bike racks on the market
Choosing the Best Bike Rack: Four Different Types
There are several types of bicycle racks for campers, but not all of them are suitable for use with a recreational vehicle. Four popular types that are RV compatible are hitch receiver racks, bumper-mounted racks, ladder racks, and front-mount racks. These four types sometimes go by different names, we have listed their names based on where the product will be attached to your vehicle. Here is a quick description of each one.
Hitch racks are installed onto your trailer hitch receiver and are one of the most popular bicycle racks for travel trailers. They are easy to install and free of height restrictions. Hitch mounted racks tend to stick out a little more than trunk racks but not excessively. They can also be attached to a vehicle’s hitch receiver if you need your RV’s hitch to tow a vehicle.
The bumper-mounted bike rack is another of the most popular frames used for recreational vehicles. As the name suggests, this type will attach to the bumper of your recreational vehicle and must be a square bumper for the RV rack to work. You’ll also need to make sure your bumper is in good condition and that it is stable so it can support the bicycles as well as the mount.
Like the other racks, this one is straightforward to install. It sticks out a little more than one that hitch mounts, but not so much that it becomes awkward. If you get this type, keep in mind that it needs to be installed on a continuous-weld steel bumper.
One consideration when it comes to rear-mounted frames is to accommodate for spare tires (if this is where your vehicle’s spare tire is located. There are several products available that will fit around a spare tire. Always do your homework and make sure to measure the area where you want to attach the mount and compare it against the product’s dimensions. The downside to this type is you won’t have easy access to your spare tire should you need it in an emergency.
If your recreational vehicle has a ladder, you can use a ladder-mounted rack. Ladder bicycle mounts are great for people who need to tow a vehicle behind their RV. Utilizing a ladder mount frees up the hitch as well as the bumper space so you can easily tow vehicles. They are also usually the cheapest type to purchase. However, a ladder-mounted rack generally isn’t as heavy-duty as other racks, so you may not be able to carry as many bicycles.
Front-mount racks are less popular because they only work for Class C motorhomes. However, if you have a Class C and like the idea of keeping your bicycles in view, you may prefer a front-mount.
Key Considerations When Buying an RV Mounted Bike Rack
Once you’ve picked your favorite type of bicycle rack, it’s not advised to just run into the store and pick one based on price alone. There are a few features to consider before spending your hard-earned cash on a travel trailer bike rack to prevent you from being disappointed in the purchase. We’ve listed some of the most important criteria and features so you can find the right bike rack for you.
Number and Weight of Bicycles
The first thing you need to know is how many bicycles you’ll be hauling and get a rack that holds that number of bike frames. A good rule of thumb is not to get an RV bike rack with too many slots because you don’t want it to stick out more than it has to. If you only plan to haul two bikes, don’t go out and get a product that can hold up to five bikes.
Know the combined weight of all your bicycles before you begin shopping. The average weight of an adult bicycle is between 21 pounds and 29 pounds. RV bike racks have weight limits, just like anything you use to haul items. Most models have a weight limit of 30 to 35 pounds per bicycle. If you get a product that can’t handle the weight of your bikes, you may find your bikes missing by the time you get to your destination.
With ladder mounts, you also need to consider the weight limit of your ladder. In this case, you’ll have to add the weight of the frame along with the weight of the bicycles. The good news is that ladder-mounted racks are usually made from lightweight aluminum and rarely weigh over ten pounds.
Bicycle Sizes and Shapes
You’ll want to consider whether your bicycles are the same sizes or different sizes. If they are different, make sure you get a bike rack that can accommodate a larger bike size as well as smaller ones. You should also check your tire width and circumference since the accommodations for bike wheels vary widely from model to model.
One shape-related factor to check for is the bars on the body of your bicycles. Are they straight or slanted? Some products don’t accommodate slanted bars, so you’ll have to check for this as well.
While you’re checking the size of your bikes, check the size of the bicycle racks. For hitch-mounted racks, the average slot size is 2″ x 2″. For bumper-mounted racks, most bike racks will fit a 4″- 4.5″ square bumper. A ladder-mounted bike rack can be slightly more versatile, but only slightly! Most ladder-mounted racks are designed to fit a standard-size RV ladder, which is about 11 inches wide, but you should still measure the ladder and rack width just to be on the safe side.
Another concern is the material that the bicycle rack is made from. Most ladder bike racks will be made from aluminum, while most other bike racks are made from steel. Keep in mind that aluminum is nowhere near as durable as steel, so don’t expect a ladder bike rack to be able to handle heavy bikes. Also, powdered steel is better than painted steel since powdered steel protects against corrosion.
Now you know what to look for in a bike rack, it’s time to browse. We’ve provided a list of seven great bikes to get you started on your search. Keep reading to find out the top picks we have selected for all you bike riding RV owners.
Best RV Bike Rack: The Reviews
Rage Powersports BC4BM
Let’s start this list off strong with our sturdiest model, the Powersports RV bumper rack. It’s a bumper-mounted bike rack that will fit the average-sized bumper of 4 to 4.5 inches. It’s made from heavy-duty steel and can hold up to four bikes with a maximum weight capacity of 35 pounds each (total 140 pounds).
This RV bike rack can accommodate bicycle tire diameters of up to 1.75 inches wide. The average bicycle tire width is about 0.9 inches – 1.18 inches for road bikes, so you’ll be able to accommodate these with no problem. We especially like the two 26.5-inch angled brackets to give the rack extra support when it’s full.
This model weighs 35 pounds and measures 40″L x 20″W x 3″D. It would be preferred if the steel were powder-coated, but we can let that slide being that it’s of excellent quality.
- Extra support bars
- Extremely sturdy
- Straightforward installation.
- No straps included to hold bikes
- Slots are too small for typical mountain bike tires
Bottom-Line: This is a great sturdy product that will keep your bicycles safe on long or short trips.
Swagman Approved Ladder Rack
If you’re looking for a good, lightweight, easy to use ladder-mounted frame, this ingenious hook design is a great choice. At 5.32 pounds and with only two ladder hooks to install, you could hook this up with one hand. You’ll have a great, sturdy bicycle mount while keeping your hitch-free.
This model holds two bikes at a maximum which can be up to 35 pounds each. It’s made of aluminum, which is good for preventing corrosion. This RV bike rack model measures 26.5″L x 18″W x 2”D and will easily fit a standard RV ladder. With a full bicycle load, you’re looking at a little over 75 pounds in extra weight, and so your recreational vehicle should be able to handle this with ease.
The only change we would make to this RV bike rack is to make it a folding ladder mount to save space when not in use. However, this isn’t a big deal as it’s a great product.
- Great hook design
- Comes with two straps for securing
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Foam on ladder absorbs vibrations
- Bicycle clamps made of rubber – not highly durable
- Clamps are a little too close together
Bottom-Line: If you’re looking for an RV ladder bike rack, or you want to save some money and still get a great product, this Swagman model may be just the ticket for you.
Quick Products QPRBM2R
This is a more compact bumper-mounted rack measuring at 26.5″L x 22″W x 3″D. The more compact the product is, the easier to install and handle. Despite the smaller size, it’s still a great mount assuming you don’t have more than two bikes to secure.
This model can hold two bikes up to 30 pounds each. It weighs just over 21 pounds, so with a full load, you’re looking at 81 pounds total extra weight. The best feature of this model is that it has adjustable wheel cradles so you can set it to the perfect length for your bikes. It would be nice to have some extra support bars at the bottom, but since it only holds two bicycles, you can do without the extra bars.
- Powder-coated steel construction
- Compact and easy to install
- Very affordable
- No extra support bars
- The stabilizer post gets wobbly over time
Bottom-Line: If you want a rear bumper mount at a great price, without compromising on quality, the Quick Products bumper-mounted rack is a great choice.
Yakima Roadtrip Hitch Rack
Most Heavy Duty
If you have heavier bikes, wider tires, mountain bikes, or simply want a top-of-the-line product, the Yakima Roadtrip is perfect for you. This four-bicycle hitch-mounted rack can easily hold up to 160 pounds (40 pounds per bicycle).
The design and construction of the product is impeccable. It’s made from a powder-coated heavy-duty, steel construction and features SuperCush ZipStrip™ cradles to hold your bikes in place securely. It also features anti-sway cradles to minimize swaying and rattling while driving down the road. To further sweeten the deal, Yakima offers a limited lifetime warranty for the model.
The product measures 28″L x 13″W x 41″H and only weighs 29 pounds (great for a hitch mount). We will admit this model is at the higher end of the price scale. However, it’s an excellent investment and most likely one that won’t need to be replaced anytime soon – if ever.
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Powder-coated steel
- Cradles are heavy-duty and won’t break easily like others
- Must have additional tube top for bikes with slanted top bar
- Very expensive
Bottom-Line: If it’s within your budget to get this mount, go for it. You won’t have to worry about any quality issues while traveling.
Swagman Traveler XC2
We’ve named the Traveler XC2 our top choice due to its versatility in attachment style. It can be used as either a 4.5″ continuous steel welded bumper mount or a 2″ x 2″ Class 3 hitch mount. This makes it useful for attaching to either your RV or another vehicle.
This model holds up to two bikes with a maximum weight of 35 pounds each. The unit itself weighs 39 pounds, so you’re looking at a maximum load of 109 pounds. It’s made of heavy-duty steel with a powder coating, so you don’t have to worry about rust and corrosion.
Our favorite feature of this model is the mechanical, push-button ratcheting hooks on the stabilizer posts. This makes it extremely easy to load and unload the bikes. It also provides extra security for keeping the bikes in place while traveling.
- Use on your bumper or hitch
- Includes everything you need including extra adapters
- Mechanical ratchet hooks are sturdy and supportive
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Easy access to your bikes
- Very expensive
- Bicycle handlebars may scrape your window
Bottom-Line: This is a fantastic, high-quality RV bike mount that will keep your bikes safe and secure if you can afford to splurge.
Swagman RV Approved Original Hitch
Best Hitch Rack
If you need a four-bicycle hitch mount, the Swagman Original hitch mounted bike rack continues to be one of the most popular choices around. Like all Swagman bike rack products (not including ladder-mounted models), this model is manufactured from high-quality, powder-coated steel. It also has a limited lifetime warranty so you can rest assured that your investment is protected.
The mount can hold up to a total of 140 pounds (35 pounds per bicycle) and measures 45″L x 19″W x 5″D. It weighs 35 pounds, so your total max load with bikes would be 175 pounds. The design of this product is impressive with a swedge design making it easy to install/uninstall, and with a soft kraton foam to protect your bike’s bars from rubbing and scraping.
- Kraton foam protects against bicycle damage
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Incredibly sturdy
- Needs a threaded hitch pin instead of a standard one (inconvenient)
- Sticks out past hitch a little more than others
Bottom-Line: If your main concern for a hitch mount is quality, look no further because the Swagman Original hitch mount is time-tested and highly rated.
Camco Ladder Mount
Sometimes you just need something basic to hold your bikes. That’s where the Camco comes in. It’s cheap, it’s easy to use, and best of all, it works very well. Most budget products take a hit in the quality department, but the Camco is durable and secure as long as you don’t overdo it with bicycle weight.
This two-bike rack can handle up to a maximum weight capacity of 60 pounds (30 pounds per bicycle). Since it only weighs a little over eight pounds itself, your RV ladder can easily handle this load. This ladder mount measures 23″L x 11″W x 3.7″D and will fit any standard RV ladder. It comes with extra straps to secure your bikes, and the entire rack folds up for easy and convenient storage.
- Folds up for flat storage
- Comes with secure locking pins
- Quick and easy set-up
- Built-in bar holders are soft and not as durable as we would like
- Ladder may sway a bit as you drive
Bottom-Line: This is an excellent choice for someone who just wants a basic RV bike rack.
Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API