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Old 03-01-2014, 06:27 PM   #1
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Bike Rack

What bike racks are being used out there? Bought a Thule Helium Aero today, however Thule states in the manuals that none of their racks are for use with trailers. Whaddya think....is Swagman the one to use?
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:40 PM   #2
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What bike racks are being used out there? Bought a Thule Helium Aero today, however Thule states in the manuals that none of their racks are for use with trailers. Whaddya think....is Swagman the one to use?

We have a Swagman and it is the one NOT recommended for trailers, as there is a reducer that allows it to be used on a small or large hitch. I've only carried one bike on it without problems.

The one that has the larger bar going all the way back to the bike supports is trailer rated supposedly.

Get a real hardened chain and lock. I had a cable lock and last week in Mesa, my bike became someone elses. Cut the cable clean like butter.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:59 PM   #3
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What bike racks are being used out there? Bought a Thule Helium Aero today, however Thule states in the manuals that none of their racks are for use with trailers. Whaddya think....is Swagman the one to use?
Dang - that's too bad - that's one nice bike rack! We have the XC hitch mount rack from Camping World. We carry 2 bikes and have traveled thousands of miles with no problems.
XC Hitch or Bumper Mount Rack - Swagman 64663 - Bike Racks - Camping World

Deadeye - sorry about your bike!!

Kathie
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:15 PM   #4
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Dang - that's too bad - that's one nice bike rack! We have the XC hitch mount rack from Camping World. We carry 2 bikes and have traveled thousands of miles with no problems.
XC Hitch or Bumper Mount Rack - Swagman 64663 - Bike Racks - Camping World

Deadeye - sorry about your bike!!

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I use that same Swagman carrier with two mountain bikes off the back of my trailer. I've carried my bikes from the east to the west and back with no problem.

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Old 03-01-2014, 09:17 PM   #5
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Thanks, yeah I liked that bike, it wasnt cheap and had aftermarket wheels on it. SUX. Oh well, it's just stuff.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:30 PM   #6
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We have the swagman xc 2. We found it moved a fair bit so we had some modifications done to it. It is rated for a trailer I believe. We also added loops and turnbuckles that allow us to really tighten it up and stop the momentum. We used it for a fair bit of miles and with the mods I feel very confident with it.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:31 PM   #7
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Sorry - it is a swagman XTC 2
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:45 PM   #8
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Aw Jeez Dan, that's terrible-exactly what my 20 year old mtn. biker son warned me about today. I just find it hard to believe that one mfg. has the market corned on RV bike racks.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:43 PM   #9
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What's the receiver size, 1 1/4" or 2"? I was hoping to use the 2" Thule I already own but didn't know there was such thing as trailer rated units. I use a reducer when using it on the Carolla but it leaves way too much wiggle in it for any sort of distance use.
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Old 03-02-2014, 05:55 AM   #10
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Sorry - it is a swagman XTC 2
I have the swagman XC2 and it is for a 2 inch hitch receiver. There is a heavy duty screw that feeds from the side of the of the hitch receiver and when tightened down snug there is no rack wiggle. The rack is designed to prevent movement of the bike rack or bikes and works very well.

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Old 03-02-2014, 06:03 AM   #11
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Lost my carbon fiber road bike off the back of a friends truck on the DC beltway with a rack like that Swagman. Luckily someone saw it go, put it on the side of the road and raced to catch us. Bike is fine, no accident was caused, but I will stick with my Yakama hitch mount racks. U-bolt is a must! Get a rack that has multiple secure attachment points, not Velcro straps!
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:24 AM   #12
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One thing I consider a must for the rear of a trailer, with the bounce, it has is to be a 2" model, not a 1 1/4" one, with a sleeve to adapt. The 2" is way more solid, and less prone to bending. I have a Swagman G2 which uses a hook over the bar, but I am selling it in the spring for two reasons, the mounting bar will bend a bit in use, and the single hook over the top tube wears on the paint in use, unless added padding is used. I would never use it on my carbon fibre frame, though my good bike rarely comes along anyway.

I would buy one that the hooks attach to the top of the tire, as there is no stress or wear on the top tube with them. High on my list is the Kuat NV. Lots of great features, including a built-in bike stand for maintenance, and seems to be built real tough.
Products » The NV | Küat
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Old 03-02-2014, 09:43 AM   #13
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One thing I consider a must for the rear of a trailer, with the bounce, it has is to be a 2" model, not a 1 1/4" one, with a sleeve to adapt. The 2" is way more solid, and less prone to bending. I have a Swagman G2 which uses a hook over the bar, but I am selling it in the spring for two reasons, the mounting bar will bend a bit in use, and the single hook over the top tube wears on the paint in use, unless added padding is used. I would never use it on my carbon fibre frame, though my good bike rarely comes along anyway.

I would buy one that the hooks attach to the top of the tire, as there is no stress or wear on the top tube with them. High on my list is the Kuat NV. Lots of great features, including a built-in bike stand for maintenance, and seems to be built real tough.
Products » The NV | Küat
I agree, the hook over the bar really does wear the paint on the top tube. I've even wrapped the tube with cloth and it still wears the paint.
The Kuat looks like a perfect bike rack. Looks like it would work well on a camper trailer.

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Old 03-02-2014, 10:42 AM   #14
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Thanks everyone for helping me decide. Looks like the key here is that the rack be RV suitable. Not all of Swagman's are, and it seems that the ones that are like the XC should perform well. Got mine ordered from Amazon for $152 U.S delivered. The Kuat NV looks really good, and is RV rated, but pricy- $500. If it had been $300, I probably would've bought it.
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Old 03-02-2014, 11:44 AM   #15
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Orbital Machine Works thoughts on bike racks.

Orbital machine works supplies a rear hitch receiver for Casita's. He has some specific thoughts on bike racks. I had planned on taking his recommendations on bike racks:

FAQs

See the end of the page.
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Old 03-02-2014, 12:09 PM   #16
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ETI offers a lot of options, however am grateful the previous owner invested $75 for the bike rack ready option. With all the options to consider, and seeing all the problems people have trying to retrofit a bike rack solution, it seems this is one of the better option values offered by Escape.
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Old 03-02-2014, 01:50 PM   #17
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Even though I have the receiver on the back of our 19', I would go with a roof mounted bike rack on my truck before I put a bike rack on the back of our 19'. Would be easier and more secure to do (for me), and would allow me to carry the bikes away from camp to do day rides elsewhere. Just need to keep the bikes far enough to one side so that I can still carry at least one canoe on the roof also.

My choice would be to use the receiver on the back of my Escape to support a generator (if I ever decide to bring one along), and would buy or build a small carrier to work with the generator I get.
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Old 03-02-2014, 02:09 PM   #18
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Dave, how would you carry your canoe then?

I had considered a roof mount, but they really drag your fuel economy down (not that the trailer doesn't either), and makes it tougher to carry a canoe on the car. As well, it is nice to not have them with you everywhere you go, when the trailer is parked, unless you remove them every time.
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Old 03-02-2014, 03:03 PM   #19
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Dave, how would you carry your canoe then?

I had considered a roof mount, but they really drag your fuel economy down (not that the trailer doesn't either), and makes it tougher to carry a canoe on the car. As well, it is nice to not have them with you everywhere you go, when the trailer is parked, unless you remove them every time.
I have been carrying canoes on the roof of my FJ with a really simple rack that I put together using a couple of 2x4's, some U-bolts, and a couple of eye bolts. They bolt right to the factory rack and is super solid. I have carried three boats at a time and would feel comfortable with four. For hauling a canoe plus a couple of bikes, I would simply add a couple of 9mm fork bed mounts to either the canoe rack or to the truck rack cross bars, bungee the back wheels of the bikes down, and I would be good to go. Here are a couple of pics.


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Old 03-02-2014, 03:51 PM   #20
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I agree, the hook over the bar really does wear the paint on the top tube. I've even wrapped the tube with cloth and it still wears the paint.
The Kuat looks like a perfect bike rack. Looks like it would work well on a camper trailer.

John
I agree with the others that if you can carry them on a roof mount or tuck bed mount is the most secure and stable - especially if you have nice light bikes.

Unfortunately I recently switched tugs and the roof mount system I was using with the old tug is not do able on the new tug. I do have a nice Yakima Hitch mount from another tug but its way to heavy for the trailer. I looked at the Swagman being suggested but was advised by the folks at the hitch shop it wasn't a good idea to use with lighter bikes - in particular carbon fiber ones due to the way it presses down on the bikes to hold them in place. Yakima sells a similar style rack called a HoldUp 2 that will work with lighter bikes but they also costs way more than the Swagman one.

I ended up purchasing a Kuat Alpha to use on the rear of the trailer - its only 13lbs - it has a system built into the section that goes into the receiver that expands to tighten it right up to the hitch. Seems to be pretty stable. Actually more stable than my heavier Yakima.
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