Rear mount bike rack

Discussion in 'Cargo Carriers / Bike Racks / Other Storage Option' started by Jamiee74, Dec 30, 2021.

  1. Jamiee74

    Jamiee74 New Member

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    I apologize if this has been asked, but would there be an issue with using a rear mounted bike rack while towing? I have a Check Traverse and a rockwood pup.

    I was thinking the following...

    https://www.sportrack.com/product/pursuit-3/
     
  2. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    I would not recommend that you do that.
     
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  3. myride

    myride Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Nope...not a good idea
     
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  4. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    Read through the older posts in this section on this subject. Most popup bumpers are not built for the weight and on-the-road stresses of a bike rack, at least without being reinforced into the frame. Plus, weight there can shift the balance of the camper, leading to sway, which is not a good thing.
     
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  5. Jamiee74

    Jamiee74 New Member

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    Sorry guys. I need to clarify. This would be a rack that straps on to the back of the Traverse.
     
  6. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    We did use a rack on the back gate of our 4Runner. It worked, we had enough space that it didn’t limit our turning radius, with our smaller popup, there wasn’t a lot on the A-frame to stick out on either side. It did make getting into the back of the vehicle on the road interesting, trying to open it with the weight of the bike(s).while in camp, the bikes were cabled in the site, unless we needed to take them someplace else to ride. [now that we have a small travel trailer, if we take the bike (i no longer ride), it travels on the bed. We can take the hitch carrier if my husband wants to tote it to trailheads, but so far, he rides from camp.]
     
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  7. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I used one on my 4 runner. First with my old popup I could only fit one adult and one kid bike as the tongue Jack got in the way of the wheels. With my new to me camper the tongue Jack folds down for traveling so can fit a larger bike in front now so long as I can angle the wheels above my sway bar I have. With either setup I could not make very tight turns but normal turns when driving I was fine. So i often took the bikes off at camp just before backing the camper into the site. You could always try it out at home just before a trip. Have someone ride in the back watching the bikes and the other driving around the block. It’s the turns that are the more prone to cause problems where the wheels hit the tongue Jack, propane or other things that are on the tongue. I’ve never had to try and bring more than two bikes so can’t comment on how three or more can do. If your tongue on the camper has a number of things on it. You may have more interference. Your traverse does ride a little lower than my 4 runner so it may depend on your bikes too. Accessing things in the trunk with the bikes in place may be very difficult so I often kept a small cooler and coats etc to ride with the passengers.
     
  8. Jamiee74

    Jamiee74 New Member

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    Thanks everyone. For whatever reason I was only focused on weight distribution. There would be three bikes, so the turn radius would be the limiting factor. Guess I'll have to pony up the cash for a roof mount. Already got the crossbars....
     
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  9. myride

    myride Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    ...or look into a ProRac system, I used it on all my pups until I upgraded to a hybrid. Costly but is definitely the "cats a** "
     
  10. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    There is also the idea of placing them on the A-frame, like the Jack-it carrier, but again there are the issues of weight and turning radius. The friend who goes with me on some trips now has a mountain bike and would like to take it along. She's not too crazy about having to remove a pedal to stash it on the bed, nor just locking it in the campsite. (I'm not convinced it'd be that much more secure if we had it in the carrier, but it's her bike.) We looked into getting the Jack-it for our travel trailer, since it could be used for my husband's bike too. However, it was higher than we'd like, at 65+ we didn't want to lift her heavy bike that high, and it seemed like would interfere with the rock shield on the front window. (I've yet to see her new bike, since it lives at her bother's house, I don't really know how heavy it is, but she says it's too heavy for lifting high for our cranky old bodies.)
    We never tried the roof rack for the bike(s), because we always had a cargo box until we got a pickup truck as tow vehicle. With the bed cover we have, we can't use one of the carriers designed for over the truck bed either. There are always trade-offs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2021
  11. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    I love my roof rack. Super secure and safe. Plus the bikes are out of the way for setting up. With any camper mounted solution you have to remove the bikes before you can even start to set up.

    Watch Facebook Marketplace and other online sales ads for used mounts to save some money. Or the Swagman mount is actually pretty nice for the price. It isn’t quite as solid as Yakima or Thule, but gets the job done at 1/4 of the price. I got mine from Warehouse Deals to save even more.

    Swagman UPRIGHT Roof Mount Bike Rack https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000SL1...abc_R5WCQ0ZR4E0QXB3NE4FM?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
     
  12. jeepster04

    jeepster04 Active Member

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    I have a bike rack that mounts to my spare tire and the camper will come into contact with the bikes during sharp turns. I have to take the front tire off of the bike so I dont forget and take a turn too sharp.
     
  13. davido

    davido Well-Known Member

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    Even on the back of the Traverse itself, I wouldn't, for the following reasons:

    • Three bikes plus the rack adds 80 pounds to your vehicle cargo aft of the rear axle, reducing your available hitch tongue capacity by that 80 pounds.
    • You probably WILL have cargo in the back of the traverse that you can't get to until you remove the rack.
    • The bikes may interfere with your hitch and turn radius.
    • The rack will mar the finish of the vehicle.
    What you want is this: https://www.sportrack.com/product/camp-trailer-rack-system/

    I installed that on my popup. It has a 200 pound capacity. I've carried four bikes and an EZ-up canopy on it, or a kayak and a couple of bikes and the canopy. It works great. You will need to add some bike racks to it. Inexpensive ones on Amazon are all you really need. I had one roof-top bike rack already, so I bought three cheap ones on Amazon at about $39 each. So for a total of $200 + ($39 x 3) = $317 I have really sturdy crossbars on the popup, and racks to carry four bikes (keeping in mind I had one rack already).

    The advantages to this approach:

    • The bikes are very secure, and totally out of the way until I'm ready to unload them at the campsite.
    • There is no damage to the tow vehicle, and if the crossbars are installed correctly, no damage to the trailer.
    • Only a portion of the weight of the bikes plus rack translates into added tongue weight. Three bikes and the rack split their weight between the tongue and the trailer's axle, so I'm only adding 40 or so pounds to the tongue weight.
    • I can carry other things; kayak, 10x10 canopy, bikes, I could even get a cargo basket and put my cooler there, or a cartop enclosed carrier for luggage and food. It just opens up so many more options.
    • When I cover the trailer in the winter, the crossbars and bike racks keep the cover suspended over the roof for better air circulation.
    • There is very little additional stress to the tow vehicle or trailer (again, if installed properly).
    Here are the disadvantages:

    • You're going to have to drill eight holes; two per side per crossbar. And you'll need them to be properly supported and sealed. Fortunately, many trailers nowadays have vertical sides butting up against the roof. So you're drilling into a really strong base, sealing it with good calking, and then tightening down the bolts. Much better than drilling into the top of the roof.
    • It does require installation. This took me a couple of hours because I was methodical about measuring, drilling, sealing, etc.
    Here are the alternatives:

    • A set of roof-top racks on the crossbars of your Traverse. There's nothing wrong with this approach. It's my #2 suggestion. Just don't forget they're up there. Do keep in mind that this does add weight, about 60% of which is supported by the rear axle. But overall, it's a fine approach.
    • A hitch installed on the back of the trailer. This is usually terrible placement because it adds weight right where you don't want it; you'll get more trailer sway. Also, most popups just don't have strong enough frames for a rear-mounted hitch with bikes on it. I've seen some bad damage.
    • An extension on your trailer hitch that allows for both a ball-mount and a bike rack accessory to be attached to the receiver. This is usually not a good idea because it lengthens the lever action between the coupler and the rear axle, making the apparent tongue weight worse than it actually weighs. It also puts the bikes right on the tongue too. So you're going to run into capacity problems right away, your headlights will point upward, and your steering will suck.
    • A rack that is built into the A-frame area of the popup's trailer frame. This is a reasonable approach except that you do need to pay attention to tongue weight. With a trailer roof rack the bikes' weight is distributed about 60% on the trailer axle, 40% on the tongue. With an A-frame attached bike rack you're putting about 70% on the tongue, 30% on the rear axle, or maybe even 75%/25%. So tongue weight is a consideration.
    When I owned a Traverse I remember, with tow package, the capacity was about 5500/600. So 600 tongue weight. This is actually pretty good for Class-III applications, but still pretty easy to exceed.

    My trailer has a heavy enough tongue that even with good balance (bikes on the roof, gear appropriately distributed, etc) I find I'm happier with a weight distribution hitch.

    Anyway, my recommendation: (1) Trailer roof rack, (2) Vehicle roof rack, (3) Trailer A-frame mounted rack. Any of these three are fine if done right and tongue weight isn't exceeded.
    What I would NOT recommend: (1) Rear trailer hitch/rack. (2) Rear-tailgate rack [as you're contemplating]. (3) Hitch extension rack. All three of these are bad for various reasons.
     

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