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danamrak 04-26-2007 07:48 PM

Bike rack
Anyone have a good bike rack that fits on the trailor hitch. Looking for one that either swings away to open door or folds down. Any name of brands that are good would be appreciated.

geoffff 05-02-2007 02:31 PM

I added a Softride trailer hitch bike rack (with a trailer hitch extension to get it out past the rear-mounted spare tire). The Softride will scissor out of the way when I want to open the rear van doors:

I'm pretty happy with the Softride. It seems to be a better design than the trailer hitch racks that fold out on the vertical axis, and is much cheaper. Perhaps because of quality control issues, our Softride wasn't perfect. It was a bit stiff to move until I used my Dremel tool to grind down the lock pin a tiny bit so it wouldn't drag. I also applied oil to all the bendy parts.

More photos here:

-- Geoff

oclv 02-07-2008 09:23 PM

I'm searching for a bike rack also. I would prefer a tray on the bottom, with a fastening system that holds the bike by the front fork (front tire removed) and a strap over the rear tire. Has anyone seen anything like this? thanks. oclv

EMrider 02-08-2008 06:21 AM

I've been using this Thule rack for the past year and a half. Works great and the bikes easily clear the spare tire. Also folds down easily for back door access and/or storage and can be easily removed.

alta825 02-08-2008 07:31 AM

we've been using the Sportworks/Thule T2 bike rack. Bikes are held upright and both wheels are left on. A nice thing is that nothing touches the frames, a plus if you have a non-std full suspension type of frame. I can easily lower the rack w/ 2 bikes to open the rear doors too, not all the way but enough to get gear in/out


Sam 02-11-2008 12:27 AM

Bike Racks/Spare Tire Carrier
Speaking of bike racks, this is slightly off that subject. As I looked at the pictures that Geoff displayed about his bike rack, it reminded me of what Roadtrek does with its spare tire carrier. They mounted a new receiver to the left of the hitch to hold the spare. It also swings down to about a foot off the ground thus freeing up the center hitch for other things like a bike rack.

oclv 02-11-2008 11:24 AM

I talked to my local bike shope guy over the weekend. He said that I should stay away from a fork mount bike rack on the back of an off road rig. He said that he has sent in frames to have the drop outs replaced due to the stress that it puts on the fork when the bike is mounted sideways behind the van. Roof rack fork mounts are fine, because the stop and go with with the normal direction that the bike was designed to go. He suggested the Saris Cycle-On pro, and the Thule T2. He has sold several of each, and has had happy customers. The draw back is that he says they won't fold down enough to open the doors. I am wondering if I put a hitch extension on to clear the rear tire, maybe we can open the doors a little. oclv

pjpvi 02-11-2008 12:01 PM

I had Aluminess weld up a custom swing arm for my bikes. They are fork mount trays and no problems yet, but I can understand that it does put some stresses on the fork that are "unnatural".

This bike rack configuration has it's flaws and if I had the time and wanted to throw away the money I already spent, I would re-design it and have a new one made. It works well enough for me though. I like that the bikes are up out of the way (but not on top of the van) and swing out of the way to get into the back of the van.

I really miss my old Sportworks hitch mount. That was the most convenient bike rack I have ever used, but just too much in the way behind the SMB.


kzemach 02-12-2008 09:14 AM


I'm really liking that rack concept. I'd probably want the bikes a bit lower... if the front fork support when behind (or in front of) the rear tire and curved around for the forks, one could conceivably have the bike lower than the roof level without sticking way out the back of the van. Hmmm, you've got me thinking.

Then again, I've been having dreams about one of these anyway... charge by solar panel, use as the most excellent around town or off road recon vehicle. Really light, electric, and sweet:

They even have a trailer hitch rack!

PeasBugs 02-12-2008 09:17 PM

It's funny you should mention those bikes. A good friend of mine does the frame building on those bikes. He likes to ride one that he has in a big field next to my house. They are very sweet bikes.

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