Receiver mounted 2-bike rack - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-03-2008, 05:13 PM   #1
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While this topic is probably more suited to one of the other threads, I put it here on the theory that more people look here than the other threads. I've never seen anything like this before and I think a lot of people will be interested. Mods, of course please move it if you prefer.

Saturday I was wandering through the cargo-carrier department of my local GI Joes and found the bike rack shown at the link below for $69.99. If you live near a Joe's, it's on sale this week for $59.99, BTW.

RackBiz - Advantage V-Rack 2 Bike Carrier

Joe's (where I found it) http://www.joessports.com/home/index.jsp
Unfortunately, they don't seem to carry the bike rack online, only in stores.

The bike rack mounts on your 2" hitch stinger between the drop (or rise) and the actual hitch receiver. They say it is "great for trailering". I was skeptical, but I bought one (for $59.99) the next day. An impulse buyer I'm not. )

It works as easily as they display it to work. You compress the arms to spread the jaws wide enough to slide over the stinger, then lock the arms out with a very easy but seemingly secure latch. There are holes drilled so that you can slide a long-shanked lock onto the latching arm for safety and anti-theft purposes. It comes with a attached anti-theft cable to keep the bikes safe (you have to buy both locks separately)

An attachment of some sort is available to make the system work with a 1 1/4" stinger.

My initial impression is pretty favorable. The smallest FibreglassRV female I've met could mount it and lock it down, it's that easy. It seems to attach to the stinger very securely. When driving, there is a some bouncing around but that seems to be because the stinger has play inside the receiver, not because the rack is loose. The bikes mounted very securely into the brackets. The front of the bike flops around, of course, but I'd probably run a bungee to keep it still. When I backed up to the trailer tongue with bikes mounted as if to hitch up, it looked like there would be plenty of room for turns, although I might take the bikes off if I had to do a 90-degree back-in.. And I'll likely have to either remove the rearmost pedal or bungee the cranks up in order to be sure the pedal doesn't bounce on the tongue jack.

So far, so good. I doubt I'll put it through any serious testing in the next couple of weeks, but I'll have it in Bandon if anyone is interested in stopping by to have a look at it. And I'll report back here after the trip. 6 hours each way should give a hint how the system will hold up.
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:36 AM   #2
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Quote:
. . .
Saturday I was wandering through the cargo-carrier department of my local GI Joes and found the bike rack shown at the link below for $69.99. If you live near a Joe's, it's on sale this week for $59.99, BTW.

RackBiz - Advantage V-Rack 2 Bike Carrier

Joe's (where I found it) http://www.joessports.com/home/index.jsp
Unfortunately, they don't seem to carry the bike rack online, only in stores . . .
We have one of these, and it works very well. My only complaint about it is the rubber straps that hold the bikes in place sometimes come loose when the bikes aren't strapped in. I haven't lost one -- yet -- but bought an extra pair should one or two go bye-bye without my noticing. The only problem now is I'm not sure where I put the extras . . .

Afterthought:
I thought I should add something: the rack comes with a built-in cable that can be used to padlock the bikes to the carrier and a second locking point that allows you to padlock the carrier to the hitch. We added a matched set of long-hasp key-lock master locks and a locking hitch pin to (hopefully) keep our bikes in our possession.
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Old 07-04-2008, 07:34 AM   #3
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Get some Velcro One Wrap to secure the bicycles. Works great! Available at Lowes' etc:
Velcro One Wrap. You can find it sold in roll form, or packs. The referenced website has stuff that's pretty spendy. It really isn't all that costly. I bought a package of six, 18" long and bright red for about $6 at TrueValue.
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:56 AM   #4
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Weve been using a Swagman for several years now and very happy with it. The bikes are secure and it has a lock that locks all bicycles at the same time. It has a formed plate that fits on top of the mount that has large knobs that screw down to secure the bikes. It seems to be very sturdy and has never loosened on any of our trips.
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Old 07-06-2008, 10:48 PM   #5
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We've been looking at getting something like this for a while. We had pretty much settled on the Swagman, but it does run about twice as much as this one. Also, you may need to get another hitch insert if the shank is not long enough on your existing one. We'll be waiting to hear you review Dave.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:14 PM   #6
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I promised an update after the road trip and here it is, a bit belated.

Peter's comments are right on. I already had a locking hitch pin, so with the addition of a set of long hasp Master locks, I was in business. BTW, why do the locks come 3 in a package with only 2 keys?

My first test drive had the bikes bouncing around a little, presumable due to the inevitable bit of play in the hitch receiver. Not problematically so, but there was movement. When I hooked up the trailer, the bikes were absolutely rock solid for the entire trip, both ways. I assume the weight of the trailer kept the stinger firmly in place. Sometimes gravity does turn out to be your friend.

I was worried about turning and backing up with the bikes back there, but never had even a close call where the bikes came close to the trailer. Might have been a problem if I'd gotten to 90 degrees (because of the little doghouse on the front of the Littlefoot) but I try to avoid that.

The comment about the rubber straps disappearing is well-founded. They're very secure when holding a bike, but when they aren't holding a bike they are loose on the bike mount. I think Donna's idea about Velcro strips is the best solution. I've always got a bunch of those scattered around the house anyway, so I'll throw a couple into the bike rack's storage bag.

Taking the rack off the stinger takes a little practice. If the arms aren't in the right position they can bop one in the head. Found that out the hard way.

Also when taking the rack off, if you have soft hands, it would pay to wear gloves. There's a pretty firm bounce when the spring latch is unlocked that some people would find uncomfortable.

Overall, I'm still pretty pleased. There might be better racks out there, but for the price, it's good value for money.
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Old 08-16-2008, 02:37 AM   #7
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Hey Dave, thanks for the update. In the meantime, I did take a trip to Joe's during their annual tent sale and did take a look at it. It seemed very sturdy, but like you say, care should be taken when taking it on and off or it could bust you one. I guess I'll be heading back out to pick one up.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:20 PM   #8
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I've been using a roof mounted Thule rack for about a decade. It has been great. Yakima also makes a wide assortment of racks. They are both excellent products. Besides, I never get tired of people telling me I have a "nice rack"! Both sites allow you to enter your vehicle make and model and will give you the options available specific to you. Thule and Yakima: Racks, Bike Racks, Roof Racks for Skis, Cargo & Kayaks

This site is also very comprehensive with loads and loads of options... Rack Attack - Thule Rack, Yakima Rack : bike, ski, kayak, snowboard, cargo
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