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Old 04-22-2021, 10:01 PM   #1
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Hitch Bike Rack for 4 Bikes on Escape 21C

Hi everybody,

I have been reading some old threads and a recent one about hitch bikes racks (namely the 1UP racks).

My wife and I want a rack for our bikes but our little one will have a bike of her own, so we will be traveling with 3 soon. Down the road if God willing we grow our family we will need a rack for 4 bikes.

I would love to get a 1UP rack with the extender to carry 4 bikes, but I wonder if it will be too heavy and I believe the 1UP racks are only rated for 2 biked in an RV application.

I see that Swagman has a few racks that are RV approved for 4 bikes, but they are the type of racks that the bikes hang on the top rail of the frame of the bike, instead of sitting in the rack with the wheels in a platform (like the 1UP racks). I would prefer a platform style, but want to be safe.

Does anybody have a recommendation for a hitch rack for 4 bikes (ideally platform style) that they have used on an Escape hitch? Any input on traveling with 4 bikes? Our tow vehicles is a Lexus LX470 V8 (like a Land Cruiser), so we do not have a truck bed and the vehicle is pretty tall so traveling with bikes on the roof would be a bit of a drag.

Any input would be much appreciated!!!


Blake
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Old 04-22-2021, 11:43 PM   #2
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Speaking from experience...don't do it. Stick with a two-bike hitch rack and then put any others on a roof rack on your LX. The Escape hitch is only rated for 150 lbs., so most combinations of four bikes plus a rack will be over that limit (IIRC, a four-bike 1up rack is somewhere around 85 lbs).

The bigger problem with more than two bikes on a 1up is the lever effect of the longer rack with more weight off of the back of the camper. This places a lot more force on the rack compared to when mounted to a vehicle hitch and can cause the bikes to bounce around quite a bit. It also can significantly decrease your tongue weight to have that much weight hanging off the back, particularly if you also have a full fresh water tank.

When we picked up our Escape five years ago my thinking was the same as yours, and I tried a three-bike 1Up rack. My reasoning was that the third bike was a lightweight kids bike, and we were still within the 150 lb limit. As a longtime 1Up user I thought this wouldn't be a problem. I was wrong. There was a ton of movement: lots of sway and bounce causing the bikes to contact one another, and on two or three occasions a wheel popped right out of the 1Up wheel tray/arm. (I wouldn't have believed this could even physically happen with a 1Up until I experienced it.)

We have since stuck with two bikes on the back of our 19, and two on the roof of our SUV (first a 4Runner, and now a Land Cruiser). Yes, the bikes on the roof are a bit of a hassle, but using the running board step combined with the flat spot "step" inside the vehicle next to the backseat it works. And no issues with bike damage or trailer handling caused by having a lot of weight off the back.

No experience with the Swagman, but think you would still exceed the hitch weight limit and have potential movement issues.
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Old 04-23-2021, 07:37 AM   #3
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Two bikes and take turns........
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:24 AM   #4
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Look at recon racks though you may hit the 150lb hitch limit quickly
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Old 04-23-2021, 02:15 PM   #5
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I do the same...2 bikes on my 1up and I put 2 more on the roof of the TV. I converted 2 of the trays from the 1up to work on my roof rack. You could also put bikes inside the trailer of course and that is the most stable solution ride-wise. So far I've only been traveling with my cheap beater bikes, but if we make a mountain bike trip to Bend most likely at least 2 bikes will go inside the trailer.
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Old 04-25-2021, 12:06 AM   #6
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Hi everybody!!

Thank you so much for all the thoughtful responses! I agree that the 1UP seems like a great product. Looks to be very well made and I love how it does not have any points that would rub the finish of the bike frame or wheel. Unfortunately 1UP looks to be sold out right now. I just added myself to a waiting list for a double rack.

canyonrider, would love to see some pics of your rig and Land Cruiser!

Does anyone have input/experience as to how to secure bikes inside their trailer? I think I have seen pics of people with other types of trailers mounting fork mounts to the ply wood bases of their dinette. So taking the front wheel off the bike and cushions/table out of the dinette and mounting the bikes up in that space.

Any input would be much appreciated!

Blake
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Old 04-25-2021, 07:56 AM   #7
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This is how we added a bike rack to the inside of the trailer....
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bike rack 2.jpg (262.6 KB, 48 views)
File Type: jpg bike racka.jpg (258.4 KB, 31 views)
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Old 04-25-2021, 08:02 AM   #8
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This is how I carry three bikes inside my vehicle, one is a tandem.

This not a photo of my setup but the principle is exact.
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File Type: jpg bike rack inside car.jpg (55.0 KB, 36 views)
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Old 04-25-2021, 04:07 PM   #9
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Nice setup fudge_brownie! Does the board in the back of your setup just sit on the floor of the trunk or do you have it secured? Do the rear wheels of the bikes attach to anything or do they just sit on the floor of the trunk?

Pretty cool rjetre! I am interested in doing something like this. Thinking about traveling with my and my wife's bikes at the trailer hitch with a 1UP and maybe the kid bikes in the dinette like this. Where do you store your table? So the rear tire mounts are on a board that is secured with those slide latches? Are there any holes drilled in the trailer floor or just the slide latches do the trick for the rear tire? The board with those fork mounts/clamps how is it secured in place?

Thanks!!

Blake
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Old 04-25-2021, 06:04 PM   #10
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Hi Blake,
The board with the tire attachment is held in place by the sliding door locks (4). The fork attachment board is a filler used to extend the rear seat depth. I flipped it and attached the fork attachments. So far just gravity to hold in place. I may clamp it to the Lagun post to hold it down on bumpy roads. Has worked well thus far.....
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Old 04-25-2021, 10:12 PM   #11
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The product I use for bikes inside the car is no longer made. However this is a very close replacement from Saris. It is free standing, I do not use forks to hold wheels due to space constraints, rather I bungee the wheels to the bike frame. Sometimes I use thin foam padding.

https://www.saris.com/product/traps-single-47

Saris makes a larger model that will hold four bikes with the handlebars turned to save space.
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Old 04-26-2021, 11:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjetre@charter.net View Post
This is how we added a bike rack to the inside of the trailer....
Gotta say, I like the configuration. Like you, we recently added the Lagun to our rig which obviously adds much more opportunity to customize further still.
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Old 04-26-2021, 12:37 PM   #13
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Bikes inside the trailer keeps the bikes out of the elements and is fine if you are just riding around or from camp, but if you are wanting to drive from camp to a trail head or other location for riding you still need to get the bikes in or on your vehicle. Bikes on the roof is good for this and a bike rack on the back of the trailer can be moved to the tow vehicle after camp is set up.

Also note that bikes on the roof stay cleaner than on a rear rack.
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Old 04-26-2021, 01:22 PM   #14
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For years I carried bikes exclusively on the roof, I still do sometimes but when it comes to 40 pound or more e-bike it's just to much, for me anyway.
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Old 04-26-2021, 02:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Effie View Post
For years I carried bikes exclusively on the roof, I still do sometimes but when it comes to 40 pound or more e-bike it's just to much, for me anyway.
The most I have put up onto our Jeep Grand Cherokee roof is a 30ish pound mountain bike. Tall vehicle bud I am pretty tall too. I don't think I would want to be hefting a 40+ lb e-bike either.
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Old 04-29-2021, 05:55 PM   #16
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Have you given any thought to a front mounted receiver hitch for the two vehicle?
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