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Old 08-04-2014, 11:34 PM   #1
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Bike Rack Redux

Returned my Swagman bike rack because I couldn't stop it from rubbing the paint down to bare metal as was mentioned here previously. Had it five months but got Amazon to take it back on a one-time exception. It was also a PIA to release the hook bar.

Anybody have experience with the Highland SportWing 4 Bike Rack for 2" Hitches - Aluminum? $200 at etrailer.com(RV suitable). All Thule & Yakima racks are not suitable for RV use, so if you use one and have any failure you're on your own. Not sure about Kuat, but not excited about spending $400+ anyway as we have average bikes but find them very useful to have.
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Old 08-05-2014, 09:00 AM   #2
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What makes the Yakima and Thule racks unsuitable for RV use?
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:26 AM   #3
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Maybe Thule and Yakima don't want to accept the liability, but I have used a Thule T2 for going on 8 years. They also mention it is not intended for offroad use, but I have taken it on many rough adventures. The only failure I have had was on a 100 mile dirt road drive down in Utah. The dust had penetrated into the latch and caused it to loosen. We washed it out and continued down the road.

We only recently got our trailer and have taken it one long washboarded dirt road drive. At the end of the drive the bike was still on the back. I would not trust my carbon mountain bikes on a Swagman.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:43 AM   #4
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What makes the Yakima and Thule racks unsuitable for RV use?
I brought home a T2 originally and when looking at the manual to set up saw the disclaimer. Found out later that all Thule racks state that. Then saw the Yakima Holdup which is comparable to the T2- they say of course it is sturdier, but again not suitable.
Yeah, I thought it was just CYA too. But RV's are a big market.

Spoke with Rose at etrailer.com and she acknowledged that some people do use the T2 for RV's. All she could say was "if it were me would I use one? Well, if it were for a few trips, yeah maybe, for 100 trips, no."

If you look closely the ones built for RV's have pin bolts that are secured by wire. They tend to be more simply built and probably have other features to help withstand the pendulum effect.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:13 PM   #5
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Returned my Swagman bike rack because I couldn't stop it from rubbing the paint down to bare metal as was mentioned here previously.
One of my biggest issues with the Swagman as well, they aren't that stable in transit either.

After now using my 1Up USA rack, and showing it to dozens of bike enthusiasts, I can with great certainty say it is by far the best built, and easiest operating rack I have seen or owned. This is one skookum unit.

There are really only two drawbacks I could see at all (other than cost), it is not light at 48 lbs, and no built in security cables. To get this level of build quality, weight really can't be compromised. We had two of us sitting on it having a beer after a ride, makes a good seat. You can use a trailer hitch lock, but this only locks the wheels, but a good cable with fix all that.

I did another test this past weekend when getting set up to go camping. I had our 19 on one side of the drive, and the bike rack and two bikes on the other side, and timed myself on getting it all loaded up. 25 seconds to get and securely install the rack, 20 seconds to get and install the first bike, and 35 seconds to install the second bike, as I had to adjust the forward and backward to have seats avoid bars. 1 minute and 20 seconds, and it is still fairly new to me, that is fast.

You can easily add one or two more add-ons to the rack too. Plus, it folds in on itself to easily fit in a trunk or back of an SUV or truck.

Oh yeah, no bounce to the rack at all. The bikes seem to have a bit of forward to back play, but when they were only on the back of my Pilot a couple times, and watching in the rear view mirror, they never moved a bit.

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Old 08-05-2014, 03:02 PM   #6
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Jim, have you used it on the back of your 19"
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:15 PM   #7
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Cheese and crackers...
$529.00 for a bike rack?
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:34 PM   #8
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You can skip answering my question, too pricey for me.
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Old 08-05-2014, 03:36 PM   #9
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Returned my Swagman bike rack because I couldn't stop it from rubbing the paint down to bare metal as was mentioned here previously.
What paint and where?
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:10 PM   #10
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One of my biggest issues with the Swagman as well, they aren't that stable in transit either.

After now using my 1Up USA rack, and showing it to dozens of bike enthusiasts, I can with great certainty say it is by far the best built, and easiest operating rack I have seen or owned. This is one skookum unit.

There are really only two drawbacks I could see at all (other than cost), it is not light at 48 lbs, and no built in security cables. To get this level of build quality, weight really can't be compromised. We had two of us sitting on it having a beer after a ride, makes a good seat. You can use a trailer hitch lock, but this only locks the wheels, but a good cable with fix all that.

I did another test this past weekend when getting set up to go camping. I had our 19 on one side of the drive, and the bike rack and two bikes on the other side, and timed myself on getting it all loaded up. 25 seconds to get and securely install the rack, 20 seconds to get and install the first bike, and 35 seconds to install the second bike, as I had to adjust the forward and backward to have seats avoid bars. 1 minute and 20 seconds, and it is still fairly new to me, that is fast.

You can easily add one or two more add-ons to the rack too. Plus, it folds in on itself to easily fit in a trunk or back of an SUV or truck.

Oh yeah, no bounce to the rack at all. The bikes seem to have a bit of forward to back play, but when they were only on the back of my Pilot a couple times, and watching in the rear view mirror, they never moved a bit.

1UPUSA.com :: Double Quik Rack Silver
Jim, I would like to know if you've used it on your 19. I have a 5.0 TA on order, the only location for my bike will be the hitch on the trailer. I only need a single bike rack as my wife does not ride...

Thanks,
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:15 PM   #11
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The hitch pin that holds my Swagman 3 bike rack is threaded making it very secure and bounce free IMHO.
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Old 08-05-2014, 04:56 PM   #12
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My Swagman X2 has worked fine for many years, holding 2 bikes, behind my trailers. Figured it would be fine if I could sit on it without it bending - at 195 pounds I weigh a bit more than 2 bikes. Reasoning was being a mechanical engineer for 30+ years I don't expect metal to be rigid - otherwise airplane wings wouldn't go up and down on takeoff and landing. Stresses have to go somewhere and I'd rather they were on the rack than on the bikes.
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Old 08-05-2014, 05:31 PM   #13
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Tractors, are you saying your bikes weigh almost 100 pounds each?
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Old 08-05-2014, 06:48 PM   #14
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Bike Rack Redux

This is what it looks like...whole lotta ugly: Swagman XTC where tires rest on the hoops and a foam covered hook ratchets down on frame.
Nobody heard of the Highland Sportwing? Guess I'll order one and beta test it then. The 2 bike version $110. The 1UP USA rack looks like you get what you pay for, but can't get ahold of them to see if RV rated. Don't answer phone, and haven't returned email inquiry yet. Not sure I want to pony up $5 bills.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:09 PM   #15
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Jim, I would like to know if you've used it on your 19. I have a 5.0 TA on order, the only location for my bike will be the hitch on the trailer. I only need a single bike rack as my wife does not ride...

Thanks,
As mentioned in my bit on installation timing, I did put it on our 19 this past weekend (and one other time), with two bikes. I installed the rack, then loaded two bikes, in just over a minute, ready to roll.
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This is what it looks like...whole lotta ugly: Swagman XTC where tires rest on the hoops and a foam covered hook ratchets down on frame.
Nobody heard of the Highland Sportwing? Guess I'll order one and beta test it then. The 2 bike version $110. The 1UP USA rack looks like you get what you pay for, but can't get ahold of them to see if RV rated. Don't answer phone, and haven't returned email inquiry yet. Not sure I want to pony up $5 bills.
Yep, that looks a lot like the rubs our bikes took. We ended up using pieces of pool noodles to help, but what a pain.

I believe the price to be very well worth it, you definitely get value for the money compared to other racks. I didn't cheap out buying my Escape 19, and won't for something else important to me, especially considering that it has to carry up to the $7,000 of bikes at times.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:29 PM   #16
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And I thought my brother in law (who is a senior design engineer at TREK working with fiber frames) was kidding about bike prices in the thousands for non-racers.....
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:36 PM   #17
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And I thought my brother in law (who is a senior design engineer at TREK working with fiber frames) was kidding about bike prices in the thousands for non-racers.....
My bike, bought in spring 2013, was a discounted 2012. It was about $500 more than I wanted to spend (but still over $1,000 of list), costing me $3,500, but I did get a carbon fibre frame, and good quality components. I absolutely love it, and hitting the mountains for a days riding has never been so much fun. Great exercise too. Some of the guys we ride with have a bit cheaper mounts, but most of them are WAY more expensive than mine, a couple nearing $10,000. But hey, I bet they get WAY more use out of them than many RV owners do of their units that cost many, many times more. It is all relative.

If you spend good money on something you get good use out of, then there is value in the purchase.

Lots of expensive hobbies out their, shooting, photography, paddling, flying, quads, sleds, skiing, and so on.
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:41 PM   #18
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Scuba diving in only warm areas of the planet isn't cheap either - but worth it to me.......
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Old 08-05-2014, 08:44 PM   #19
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Scuba diving in only warm areas of the planet isn't cheap either - but worth it to me.......
I certainly would think it would be hordes of good fun, and would love to do so too, but just too many things like that to get do them all.
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Old 08-05-2014, 10:38 PM   #20
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My bike, bought in spring 2013, was a discounted 2012. It was about $500 more than I wanted to spend (but still over $1,000 of list), costing me $3,500, but I did get a carbon fibre frame, and good quality components. I absolutely love it, and hitting the mountains for a days riding has never been so much fun. Great exercise too. Some of the guys we ride with have a bit cheaper mounts, but most of them are WAY more expensive than mine, a couple nearing $10,000. But hey, I bet they get WAY more use out of them than many RV owners do of their units that cost many, many times more. It is all relative.

If you spend good money on something you get good use out of, then there is value in the purchase.

Lots of expensive hobbies out their, shooting, photography, paddling, flying, quads, sleds, skiing, and so on.
Rule of thumb from my cycling days was that the third bike you buy is the "keeper" and costs about the same as the first new car you bought.
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