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Old 05-07-2008, 11:51 AM   #1
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I am having a dilemma with carrying my bicycles, last trip i had them strapped to my latter with a rv bike carrier, and under that a hitch carrier with various cargo and firewood. This made it difficult to unpack and repack the bikes without repacking the cargo carrier, or vice versa - took a careful harmony of bungies and ratchet straps. I am thinking the front of the van would be a good place to stick the bikes (will need to stock up on bug and tar remover). Back in the day I had a Hollywood rack that would just about strap onto anywhere and stay put, unfortunately I gave it to my brother in law and it is long gone, has anyone had any success strapping bikes to the front?

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Old 05-07-2008, 12:47 PM   #2
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Roof Rack.

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Old 05-07-2008, 04:04 PM   #3
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worried about clearance & surfboard space
2000 Ford RB30 PH 2WD -- Eagle Rock California
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:11 PM   #4
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You can buy some pretty lighweight trailers these days. I mounted yakima racks on a trailer with a DIY gear box. Very handy. It can be a little bit of a hassle parking it, but most places have enough space.
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Old 06-16-2008, 01:46 PM   #5
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I don't want to hijack this thread, but I will add my two cents and the similar dilemma we have....

We are looking at how best to carry 2, 3, or 4 bikes.

We have room on top of McBeast, but that is WAY up there, and will definitely be a tree clearance issue.

We have opted NOT to add the bike rack on top of the generator box so as not to add any more weight to that swing arm.

We decided that a hitch mounted rack would be the way to go, AND that we would not worry about carrying the tandem.

Oh, and we also decided not to use a fork attachment carrying system because we do not want to put the stresses on the drops as we bounce around. This meant that we were looking for a tray carrying system.

We also wanted the ability to carry just 2 bikes (and we are hoping whatever we find will also work on or the 2 inch receiver on our 2006 Prius).

We found a Yakima rack we really liked, but...

When we started exploring hitch mounted racks and digging into the details we found:

Do not use on RV.
Do not use with hitch extensions.
Do not use off road.

Well, not only will any one of those be a problem, but they will be in combination of all three. We need the hitch extension to clear the box and tire, and he other two are obvious!

I called and talked to the Yakima tech support guys.

They suggested a couple of places to look (Hollywood and Swagman), and I decided I would go back and include Draftmaster as well (they make the tandem hitch mount we had looked at).

Draftmaster was quickly eliminated because of the fork attachment method.

SwagMan looked ok, but it was set up for 4 bikes all the time. It did look rugged enough.

BUT, Hollywood seems to be the real deal. It is made for an SUV and offroad. The 4 bike setup looks pretty heavy duty, and it will do 3 or 4 bikes. The tray carrying system looks very similar to Yakima and looks like it will support the bikes well without having them singing around.

It also looks like we could fabricate a system to cover the bikes as well.

I think we are going to go with the Hollywood 4 bike hitch mount.

I know this will be a potential issue in your circumstances, because it sounds like you have a cargo box on your hitch, but it may be easier to find another spot to store some of the cargo. (cargo carrier or bag on top?)

I suspect that eventually we will get a small trailer, and there are a number that look like they would do the trick... as long as you stay on the road.

Good luck.

Greg in Austin
2008 Ford 6.0PSD EB/E-PH SMB 4X4 Aluminess f/r bumpers (13.5mpg avg, 15mpg hwy) 52k miles [Texas McBeast]
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Old 06-16-2008, 02:53 PM   #6
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I bought a used Hollywood Rack (4 bike) hitch mount-not the tray style but the kind like Thule that Aluminess used to recommend. I carried 2 bikes for 8,000 miles including offroad and washboard and no problem at all. Only thing is that it folds down to open the back doors. And since I use extra straps and bungees to secure it to the Aluminess I had to spend a few minutes to get to the back doors each time. All in all I like it and it just fits snugly with my 285 spare tire there.

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Does anyone really read this stuff other than surfgeek?
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Old 06-16-2008, 02:57 PM   #7
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I ended up buying the Swagman Cross country and really like it, took my mt. for a ride up a trail on it, and it did not move at all. I still have the problem of not being able to use my cargo carrier and bike rack, but I think I can remedy that by installing a front hitch for the bikes.
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Old 06-16-2008, 06:33 PM   #8
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We had the same issues. Can't go on roof because of trees, etc. Can't use fork mount because if bike is perpendicular to vehicle it will put non normal stress on drop outs. Not a fan of hitch racks because of frame scratching. We ended up with the Saris Cylce on Pro. Expensive, yes. Well built, yes. It is hitch mounted but nothing touches the frames. No bungies or tying, just load the bikes and you are done. Very easy to put bikes on and off. It carries two bikes, and just clears our 285/75/17 spare without an extension. It has a hitch tightening knob to minimize the slop between the rack and the receiver. My wife and I can take off without removing the bikes to get in and out of the rear doors. We just pull the pin and set the whole rack on the ground. If we remove the bikes the spare tire and passenger door will swing open over the rack. We put 3,000 miles on in May, half of it dirt roads and the bikes did fine. The only downsides that I can see are that it doesn't swing away and if you are on muddy back roads the bikes will get coated with mud. I am looking into covers to cover two bikes on a hitch type rack and I have found a few. Will try them and let you know. oclv
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Old 03-07-2010, 06:56 PM   #9
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Re: Bicycles

Old topic I know, but we just found this cover and bought one at Camping World this week. Seems pretty good so far. You can also get one at and they have a video that shows how to use the thing. It takes a little adjusting to get the fit just right, but the price is right at about $65. Drove through some heavy rain today in AZ and the bikes seemed dry and clean afterwards.


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RB50, PH Top, Dual AGM Group 27 Deka, 2000 Tripplite Inv., No Propane or Water Systems
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