I have been looking for an elegant solution for carrying my mountain bikes for over a year now and I'm ready to find a permanent solution.
Thus far, I have been using a elevated hitch extension and a cargo tray with bolt-on fork mounts from Rocky Mounts. While this holds the bikes well, I have to remove them every time I need to get into the back of the van. Major pain. Also, when doing light offroading, the extra length is definitely a hindrance.
Bad pic but you get the idea
Ideally, I would get rid of my Road Armour rear bumper and replace it with a Aluminess bumper with Deluxe box so I could mount a rack over the box/spare tire. That could get pricey though. Anyone want to trade bumpers?
The other option is to continue using my cargo tray but also purchase the Stowaway2 Swingaway steel frame. While this wouldn't help with my rear ground clearance issues, it would at least allow me into the back of the van.
Do you think I could make the Aluminess Deluxe box work with the Road Armour rear bumper? The right arm hinge seems quite beefy but still much shorter than the Aluminess hinge.
Pic of the right rear hinge of the Road Armour bumper
While I GREATLY prefer the stability of a fork mounted tray system, I am also reluctantly considering the Yakima SwingDaddy system. At least I could access the back and clearance would be improved.
I've searched the threads but figured I would make one last effort to solicit ideas before I pulled the trigger.