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RVing message boards => Newcomers' Corner => Topic started by: Jeff F250 on April 18, 2017, 07:26:17 AM

Title: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: Jeff F250 on April 18, 2017, 07:26:17 AM
We are looking for solutions to carry 2 mountain bikeS with our 5th wheel.   So far we have had them inside.  Our camper has a spare mounted to the bumper. My question is, does anyone know the overall weight capacity for the RV bumpers?  Yes it's continuous welded.  Looking at bumper mount hitch receiver and Thule 2 bike rack.  Will it be safe to add the additional 80 pounds to the bumper?  2016 Cougar 29RLI
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: Joezeppy on April 18, 2017, 09:12:03 AM
My question is, does anyone know the overall weight capacity for the RV bumpers?


There is no standard answer to this and very few manufacturers (and even models within the same manufacturer) have an actual rating. I see a lot of bumper-mounted bike racks out there and I had one on our prior TT but I was not happy with the amount of bouncing (and that bumper was a continuous weld). I bought a ladder mounted rack for our current 5th wheel and am very happy with it. I am able to tie the bikes tight to the ladder so there is no bouncing. If you have a ladder, I'd recommend this method.
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: Jeff F250 on April 18, 2017, 09:16:12 AM
I had forgotten about the ladder option.   Any brand or style you suggest?
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: Joezeppy on April 18, 2017, 09:38:10 AM
Took me a while to remember but this is the one I bought: https://www.amazon.com/Swagman-Bicycle-Carriers-80630-Ladder/dp/B003DIMST2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492525884&sr=8-1&keywords=rv+ladder+bike+rack


It just hangs on the ladder (there are others that actually bolt to the ladder). The two cushions in the middle slide so you can move them to rest against a ladder step. It comes with nylon straps to tie up the bikes but I actually just use bungee cords. I also employ a couple of chunks of pool noodle to protect the bikes/ladder in various spots.
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: scottydl on April 19, 2017, 04:49:51 PM
Looking at bumper mount hitch receiver and Thule 2 bike rack.  Will it be safe to add the additional 80 pounds to the bumper?

Short answer, don't do it.

My cousin has a now-hilarious (although not at the time) story about this.  He had his whole family's bikes on a bumper-mount rack on the back of his TT while returning home from a camping trip.  Never thought anything about it before that time, until an adjacent motorist pulled up beside him and was waving frantically and pointing toward the rear of the trailer.  Never a good sign.  ;)  He pulled over and was surprised & terrified to find the ENTIRE BUMPER (bike rack still attached) bent backwards nearly 90 degrees with the bikes almost dragging on the ground.  His wife's bike had been in the outermost position, with 1 tire/wheel missing completely and the other 1 sheared completely in half (as if it had been sawed straight through) from being dragged along the pavement at highway speed.  :o

He only had 30-40 miles left until home, and just wanted to temporary solution.  With the idea of bending the bumper back up into place temporarily, he grabbed the bike rack and gave it 3 big "Heave Ho!" type shoves in an upward direction.  On the third one, the bumper went up as expected... then *BOOM* completely busted off and landed on the pavement!  Bikes and all still attached!!  Standing there on the roadside like a deer in headlights staring at the bumper on the ground, it was all he could muster to pull the bikes off and throw everything (including the entire bumper!) into the side door of the TT.

So there's one option for bumper-mount bikes.  ;D

My cousin soon had a metal fabrication shop build/bolt on a much sturdier (compared to stock) metal bumper that would hold just about anything he wanted to mount there.
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: Triple Slide Jayco on April 19, 2017, 05:21:50 PM
You could try this option. Pretty neat. Go to amazon and search "safety struts" for rv's. They make a bracket of the sort to support the thin bumpers.
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: TimFRoo on June 04, 2017, 11:56:02 AM
Are these safety struts worth it? I want to put a 5 bike rack on ours. Bumper appears to sit on AND against I-beams of frame
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: quadna71 on June 04, 2017, 03:13:47 PM
At risk of going against the grain, I have no problem with a bumper-mounted bike rack.  We bought an aluminum Yakima rack that holds two bikes and a bolt-on hitch.  I loosened up the spare tire mount, slid it to the left about 18" so that it was much closer to the license plate but not blocking the view at all.  I then mounted the bolt-on hitch and tossed on the rack.  It's designed to be able to hinge backwards 45 degrees but we don't use that feature at all on the camper.  It easily holds my aluminum Diamondback with 29" tires and her steel Huffy with 26" tires.  I put her heavier Huffy on first and then my DB on the outside to keep the weight better balanced over the rack and we haven't had any movement at all in the past year or so.  She typically is following me in the car with the kayaks on the roof and can see them clearly...not to mention helping me change lanes!

Here's the rack we have, but for some reason got it for about half of that:  https://www.amazon.com/Yakima-Highlite-Bike-Rack/dp/B004O77C2O
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: Rene T on June 04, 2017, 03:46:45 PM
I would be going to a fabrication shop and have them weld on a 2-1/2" receiver right to the frame. . Then buy a hitch mounted bike rack. 80# is a lot of weight for a thin RV bumper.
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: John From Detroit on June 05, 2017, 07:16:05 AM
I agree with Rene but only because it is easier to remove the bike rack when it is on a receiver mount (Remove when you don't need it)

I have no problem with a bumper mount rack provided

1: You have a proper bumper (many vehicles do not now days)
2: You don;t mind the hassle of how to remove it.
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: JoelP on June 05, 2017, 08:41:06 AM
My worry about the ladder mounted rack is that the ladder is only made of aluminum and I fear that such a rack might bend the ladder.

I had considered at a receiver mounted version like this one

https://www.amazon.com/Swagman-Bicycle-Carriers/b/ref=w_bl_hsx_s_sp_web_2601658011?ie=UTF8&node=2601658011&field-lbr_brands_browse-bin=Swagman+Bicycle+Carriers

Is there a good solution to turning the receiver into double receiver so that you could attach this rack and also still tow your dinghy?
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: merlinmurph on June 05, 2017, 01:58:50 PM
Questions:
- Are these expensive bikes? A bike on a bike rack might as well have a sign on it saying "STEAL ME"

- Do you care if they are out in the elements? The bikes will get absolutely filthy on the back of your unit and components will corrode.

One of the main reasons we ended up with a TT was so that we had a fairly secure place to put our kinda expensive bikes. We put them in the bed of the truck which has a cap on it. We met some like-minded people with expensive bikes, and they put their bikes in a storage area with fork mounts on the floor. Some had as many as 4 bikes inside. It worked out well. 

Since you don't have the option of putting the bikes in the truck bed, you'll have to make the choice of using a storage area (if the bikes fit), or putting the bikes out in the elements where they will get dirty and could get stolen. When stuff gets corroded and your bikes don't shift very well, you'll know why.

Good luck,
Dan
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: Rene T on June 05, 2017, 02:09:36 PM
We have friends who live in Canada and they have a bike rack mounted on the king pin box. Here's the instructions on how to make one.

http://learntorv.com/diy-fifth-wheel-pin-box-bike-rack-pictures/

http://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f68/my-pin-box-bike-rack-with-pics-25204.html
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: Taylorm3 on April 07, 2018, 06:36:46 PM
Questions:
- Are these expensive bikes? A bike on a bike rack might as well have a sign on it saying "STEAL ME"

- Do you care if they are out in the elements? The bikes will get absolutely filthy on the back of your unit and components will corrode.

One of the main reasons we ended up with a TT was so that we had a fairly secure place to put our kinda expensive bikes. We put them in the bed of the truck which has a cap on it. We met some like-minded people with expensive bikes, and they put their bikes in a storage area with fork mounts on the floor. Some had as many as 4 bikes inside. It worked out well. 

Since you don't have the option of putting the bikes in the truck bed, you'll have to make the choice of using a storage area (if the bikes fit), or putting the bikes out in the elements where they will get dirty and could get stolen. When stuff gets corroded and your bikes don't shift very well, you'll know why.

Good luck,
Dan


Iíve been trying to figure out how to take our bikes (no rack on the new RV).  And after reading your post, I think Iím going to carry them inside the TT.    Mine is a 1000 bike, the rest are Walmart bikes.   But still donít want them stolen.   Or rusted up from the weather.   
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: FunSteak on April 09, 2018, 12:45:23 PM
We use a two-bike, hitch mounted rack, similar to this:  https://www.amazon.com/Husky-81146-2-Bike-Hitch-Mount/dp/B00GJLYNQQ (https://www.amazon.com/Husky-81146-2-Bike-Hitch-Mount/dp/B00GJLYNQQ)

Very inexpensive and a snap to install or remove.  I have a 1.25" tongue on it for our car, and use an adapter to take it up to 2" to fit the receiver on our coach.

I have a 10' security cable.  When traveling, I wind it through both frames and lock it to the coach bumper.  When camping, I remove and stow the rack, but still use the cable to lock the bikes to the coach.  Works great and is very easy to deal with.
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: DanKearney on April 09, 2018, 01:20:02 PM
You could always install a front receiver on your tow vehicle.  I've been doing it for years.  I carry either my mountain bikes or trail moto on it.  In my particular case, if carrying the moto, the headlights are blocked, so I can only drive during daylight, but otherwise a good solution.

Cheers,

Dan K.
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: Nate in FL on April 09, 2018, 03:13:24 PM
Just to be a little different... have you thought about the possibility of installing (or using any already installed) roof rack on your tow vehicle? No extra length issues and you can use when you're not towing your TT.
Title: Re: Bumper mount bike rack
Post by: frank1947 on December 08, 2019, 01:51:42 PM
We are looking for solutions to carry 2 mountain bikeS with our 5th wheel.   So far we have had them inside.  Our camper has a spare mounted to the bumper. My question is, does anyone know the overall weight capacity for the RV bumpers?  Yes it's continuous welded.  Looking at bumper mount hitch receiver and Thule 2 bike rack.  Will it be safe to add the additional 80 pounds to the bumper?  2016 Cougar 29RLI

I've been using a Swagman RV approved 2 bike bumper rack (https://rvingreviews.com/towing/best-rv-bike-racks/). The rack is exactly what I needed. Fits snugly on my fifth wheel bumper. We hauled our two Trek bikes 1100 miles to Phoenix. Stopped every 150 or 200 miles for gas and a break.

I just added checking the rack to my list of things to check at each stop. I never had to retighten the bolts. I like this better than the receiver type hitches because there's less bouncing. Just get into the habit of checking it when checking your tires and axles at stops.

The way it's built it keeps the bikes off your trailer. I use a 15' locking cable through and around the bikes, a couple of nylon luggage straps snapped on as well as a couple of good quality bungees. Snug the bikes down good and you're ready to roll!