ProRac Proformance Bike Rack? Will it damage roof over time?

AndreD

Active Member
Jul 24, 2020
109
Great White North
After reading here of roof leakages, I decided I wanted to get a bike rack that did not require making holes in the roof. I found the ProRac Proformance rack, and it is the bike rack that both flagstaff and rockwood have in their brochure and I’ve seen mentioned on other sites.

https://www.prorac.com/tenttrailerpro.php

When I asked my local dealer about it, they said they could get it but didn’t suggest it. They thought the rear bike tire would damage the roof over time, and they also fear adding that many bikes to the front of the trailer would quickly exceed the tongue weight capacity of minivans (my tv) - easily adding up to an additional 100lbs tongue weight.

I know that there is a tire pad kit that is claimed to reduce the exertion a tire puts on the roof from 13.5 PSI to approximately 0.37 PSI - so this may reduce one of their two fears (rear tire damaging the roof over time)

https://www.prorac.com/tenttrailerapps.php

For people who have used this product, or ones similar, what have been your experiences? Especially in relation to this two concerns?

Thank you kindly in advance
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,443
Nj
Yea, adding 4 bikes and a mounting system to the front of the camper will up the toung weight. As will adding them elsewhere. What are you towing weight wise vs what your capacity is for the TV. Dont forget to add the extras in. Not sure what pup you bought or have. Really only sure way to know would be to weigh it when its loaded up for a trip.
 
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billbillbillbill

Active Member
Sep 4, 2012
135
SLC, UT
We built a DIY version with 4 bikes for our 1st popup. I debated how it would handle the back tires but other than black smudges, we had no issues. We were towing with a Sienna van and the bikes, battery, & propane sure didn't help the tongue weight. We upgraded to a highwall and a truck which made things much better.
First picture is our rack newly installed on our first popup.
Second is our "redneck toyhauler" ready to head out for some fun!

f8VYTPd



 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,377
Northern Virginia
That's the tough thing about adding bikes on a camper it will add to your tongue weight. Adding bikes to the back of the camper only causes sway as you reduce tongue weight too much. Tongue weight is your friend but also your enemy. It's a balancing act.
You may have better luck putting bikes on the tow vehicle roof. It may help spread the weight so it doesn't put it all on the back. You will still have to watch your payload weights. As mentioned best thing to do is weigh your setup with the camper and see how much you have to play with.
 

AndreD

Active Member
Jul 24, 2020
109
Great White North
That’s the issue. I seem to have a bit of room in both the pup and my tv.

My tv is a dodge caravan with tow package - so with 3-5 passengers I can tow 3450 lbs, max tongue weight 345lbs, but can not exceed 1150lbs total for van (cargo, occupants, and tongue weight combined).

I weighed my gear o brought last year (which was heavier than it needed to be and could be cut back) and it was 377lbs. Mind you that was including the food, propane and battery... some of which can go in the tv, and the battery/propane obviously go on pup but affect the hitch weight.

My pup is a 1940ltd. So it is 195 hitch weight (plus 53 battery and 37 propane) so around 280ish. 1608 dry weight and 683 cargo carrying capacity.


It looks like I only have about

1) 60lbs for additional tongue weight

2) 300 plus for ccc and the van can handle the extra lbs there to tow

3) 400 lbs additional payload for the van

it would seem that the best idea is to put the bikes on my tv but the roof can only hold 2 bikes and I got 3 kids. I thought about a trunk rack but I’ve read nightmares about the trunk bike racks scratching up your trunk. So I thought a rear hitch on the pup but everyone says it’ll cause sway issues. So I’m not sure what the best scenario is anymore. That’s why the dealer was saying to put roof racks over the axle on the pup so the trailer carries the extra weight, as I have ccc room and room to tow, and it won’t affect the tongue weight as drastically... but alas that has issues too with possible leaks down the road.
 

myride

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 14, 2015
1,263
Edmonton, AB
As an owner of said ProRac system I can assure you after being used on two different trailers this system will NOT damage your roof. I don't even use the plates for the wheels they try to sell. No marks.....no damage at all. The weight of the system is negligible on your tongue, weight is dependent on weights of bikes but remember....the design of the system shares the weight on tongue AND cargo weight as the tongue only supports part of the bikes weight. Don't over think it....the system works flawlessly.
 

SDK

Active Member
Jul 3, 2020
109
Massachusetts
I have my Pro Rac set so the front fork mounting bar is back almost up against the front of the box. The bikes are 99% over the camper roof. This setup is not adding anywhere near the tongue or rear TV suspension weight you would be dealing with using a dual hitch mount or a rack on the car.

It is also much less less intrusive than drilling the camper roof, and more secure for that many bikes. Besides potential for leaks, I did not like the mounting systems of any of the trailer roof rack systems. They all look too flimsy for my taste. For four or five bikes, I would personally trust nothing less than carriage bolts that went completely through the roof, backed by steel plates, which would look horrible inside the trailer.

With the Pro-Rac, you have steel or aluminum bike forks, bolted directly to a steel bar, that is U-bolted directly to the steel trailer frame.

As I mentioned in a reply earlier in the week. I spent a good amount of time looking into every possibility. We are a family with four full sized mountain bikes that are must haves for us. Unless you have a full sized pickup that can take a front hitch mount or stow bikes in the truck bed, the ProRac is the only practical solution for that many bikes and a PUP.
 

myride

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 14, 2015
1,263
Edmonton, AB
I have my Pro Rac set so the front fork mounting bar is back almost up against the front of the box. The bikes are 99% over the camper roof. This setup is not adding anywhere near the tongue or rear TV suspension weight you would be dealing with using a dual hitch mount or a rack on the car.

It is also much less less intrusive than drilling the camper roof, and more secure for that many bikes. Besides potential for leaks, I did not like the mounting systems of any of the trailer roof rack systems. They all look too flimsy for my taste. For four or five bikes, I would personally trust nothing less than carriage bolts that went completely through the roof, backed by steel plates, which would look horrible inside the trailer.

With the Pro-Rac, you have steel or aluminum bike forks, bolted directly to a steel bar, that is U-bolted directly to the steel trailer frame.

As I mentioned in a reply earlier in the week. I spent a good amount of time looking into every possibility. We are a family with four full sized mountain bikes that are must haves for us. Unless you have a full sized pickup that can take a front hitch mount or stow bikes in the truck bed, the ProRac is the only practical solution for that many bikes and a PUP.
Hear Hear!!
 
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AndreD

Active Member
Jul 24, 2020
109
Great White North
Do the bikes rear tires bounce at all while on this carrier?

My dealer is strongly recommending against this and thinks the pup racks are a better option (which are cheaper, so they aren’t trying to upsell me).
 

myride

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
May 14, 2015
1,263
Edmonton, AB
Do the bikes rear tires bounce at all while on this carrier?

My dealer is strongly recommending against this and thinks the pup racks are a better option (which are cheaper, so they aren’t trying to upsell me).
No movement at all. Use the cinch straps as shown on seat posts and there is NO movement.
 
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SDK

Active Member
Jul 3, 2020
109
Massachusetts
Do the bikes rear tires bounce at all while on this carrier?

My dealer is strongly recommending against this and thinks the pup racks are a better option (which are cheaper, so they aren’t trying to upsell me).

I use a $5 ratchet strap through the back wheels as an extra safety measure.

Don't forget to add the price of crossbars and the five sets of bike carrier mounts that you need to mount to the rack in order to hold the bikes (did I mention I recently went through the same gyrations lol). You are going to spend $50 to $150 "per bike" (or more depending on what you buy) in order to mount the bikes to the rack. At that point I totaled up the ProRac to be a few bucks cheaper

I would also ask your dealer if they will give you a written guarantee that the rack will support that many bikes without separating from the roof. Bikes are tall compared to something like a kayak or cargo box. They catch a lot of wind, and you get more lateral torque on the mounts when turning or going around curves due to the higher center of gravity. No way on earth I would trust screws or lag bolts into Styrofoam and plywood to be up to the task...
 
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