The 8 Best RV Bike Racks: Bumper, Ladder & Hitch Options Reviewed


HTMLFont size

This post contains affiliate links. As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchase (at no extra cost to you) Learn more

Not all RVs are super easy to maneuver. Take it from someone who has unfortunately spent more time than I’d care to admit using an RV as a commuter vehicle after moving to a new city: there’s a much more economical way to get around then driving your RV to run errands. 

While some RVers strategically plan their routes so that they only have to drive from RV park to RV park, some of us like to make stops in between.

And others simply like the freedom to not have a plan that comes with owning an RV. 

Whether you need bikes as a necessary means of transportation or you just like to have them for the occasional recreational ride, having a proper RV bike rack is essential.

It’s the only surefire way to safely transport bikes on your RV with minimal effort. 

The problem is that the market is over-saturated with bike rack options right now. Many of them look the same, but there are considerable differences that can impact the safety of your bikes. 

Fortunately for you, we’ve looked over a multitude of RV bike rack options to bring you our reviews of eight of the best options on the market right now to carry bicycles on your camper, travel trailer, 5th wheel, or motorhome.

In our Buying Guide, we’ll also cover all of the essential features and specifications you should consider when comparing your bike racks for camper. Keep reading for a full explanation of bumper, ladder, and hitch bicycle rack for rvs, with reviews of those that scored highest.

The 8 Best RV bike rack Reviews in 2020

In choosing these eight bike racks, we wanted to find a variety of options that will fit RVs of different sizes and with different hitch arrangements.

For each of these racks, pay close attention to the things we liked (and didn’t like) so you have a better idea of which rack most closely fits your specific needs.

If you are a camper then saving your storage area in your motorhome is must be needed, here is our top 8 picks for the best RV bike racks on our list:

Best Overall

1: Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount RV Approved Bike Rack

The Swagman Traveler XC2 is our top choice for the best overall RV bike rack because it’s adaptable to work well with multiple sizes of campers and trailers.

It fits a standard two-inch hitch receiver and can hold up to two bikes that weigh a maximum of 35 pounds each. 

While it’s advertised as a hitch-mounted RV bike rack, it can also be secured to a 4.5-inch steel-welded RV bumper adapter.

This makes it somewhat of a hybrid rack and further increases its versatility and ability to work with a wide variety of RV designs. 

You’ll be able to transport bikes with tire sizes ranging from 20 to 29 inches with this rack.

You will, however, need to purchase Swagman’s Bar Adapter if you wish to transport step-through or cruiser-style bikes with this rack. 

The Swagman Traveler rack itself weighs just over 36 pounds and it folds up for easy portability when you remove it from your RV.

Things We Like
  • Fits Standard Hitch: This rack fits a two-inch, Class 3 hitch receiver.
  • Versatile Installation: Works as a hitch-mounted or bumper-mounted rack.
  • Bike Sizes: Works with bike tires from 20 to 29 inches in size.
  • Foldable: Makes it easy to store and transport when not in use.
Things We Don't Like
  • Bike Capacity: This rack is only able to fit two bikes.

Best Ladder-Mounted Rack

2: Ladder Mounted Surco 501BR bike rack

If you prefer a bike racks for rv ladder because you don’t have (or want to use) a hitch or bumper on your RV, you can’t beat the Surco 501BR ladder-mounted rack.

This model is compatible with the ladder on any style van or RV and it includes pivoting arms that make it easier to access the ladder without completely remove the rack. 

Of course, the bikes will still have to be taken off, but this is a super-convenient feature that many ladder-mounted racks don’t offer.

You’ll be able to carry two bikes on this rack and it can be installed without the need for any extra straps or the need to remove the ladder from your RV. 

The Surco rack is also super lightweight and weighs less than four pounds. So it’s easy to move around when you do take it off your RV.

It’s made of heavy-gauge aluminum with a polished finish for added corrosion resistance. 

Surco racks are also made in the USA and arrive at your door fully assembled, which further reduces the amount of effort and time needed to install it.

This particular model can handle up to 75 pounds (or two bikes weighing roughly 37.5 pounds each).

Things We Like
  • Pivoting Arms: Allows you to access your RV ladder without removing the rack.
  • Compatibility: Fits ladders on any style of van or RV.
  • Easy Installation: Doesn’t require straps or any additional hardware.
  • Ladder Mounted: Allows you to retain access to your bumper and hitch for other towing/hauling needs.
Things We Don't Like
  • Bike Capacity: This rack is able to hold only two bikes.
  • Ladder Access: This rack will still somewhat restrict access to your RV ladder.

Best Budget-Friendly

3: Quick QPRBM2R Bumper Mounted RV bike rack

If you’re searching for a budget-friendly bike rack, you’ll be hard-pressed to beat the price tag on the Quick Products QPRBM2R bumper-mounted rack.

This rack can be mounted on a four-inch or 4.5-inch steel-welded RV bumper and it can carry up to two bikes. 

In terms of weight capacity, this rack is designed to hold a total of 60 pounds (or 30 pounds per bike).

It does, however, allow you to customize the space between the slots where your tires will sit so that it can accommodate bikes of many different lengths. 

The entire rack is made of stainless steel and it’s finished with a powder coating for added corrosion resistance.

It can fit bikes with tires up to 29 inches but is not capable of transporting “Fat Tire” bikes. 

The slotted wheel wells on this rack make it super easy to set your bike tires in place when loading up.

And the stabilizer post gives you a convenient place to both support your bikes and then fasten them down once they’re loaded on.

Things We Like
  • Price: This is the most budget-friendly rack on our list.
  • Adjustability: Accommodates bikes of many different lengths.
  • Powder Coated Finish: Provides resistance against rust and corrosion.
  • Slotted Wheel Wells: This design makes it really easy to load bikes without having to lift them too high.
Things We Don't Like
  • Mounting: It will only work with RVs that have a 4-inch or 4.5-inch steel-welded bumper.
  • Bike Capacity: This rack holds only two bikes.

Best Bumper Rack

4: Swagman 2 Bike Bumper Rack RV Approved

For those of you that have an RV with a solid, steel-welded bumper to which you want to attach a bike rack, the Swagman  Bumper Rack is arguably your best choice for such an installation.

It’s super lightweight at less than one pound and it features heavy-duty steel construction. 

The steel used in this rack is also finished with black paint and powder coating for added corrosion resistance.

It’s designed to be installed on four-inch or 4.5-inch steel-welded bumpers and secures in place using 6.5-inch and 8-inch long bolts around the bumper. 

You’ll be able to transport two bikes on this rack and it can carry a total of 60 pounds (or 30 pounds per bike).

The rack has two sets of slots where the bike wheels can be inserted and then a central post gives you a place to secure the bikes. 

Because the racks are actually two separate pieces, they can be positioned as far apart from each other as necessary for your specific bike sizes.

And this rack also supports a wide variety of bike tire sizes.

Things We Like
  • Lightweight: This rack weighs less than one pound.
  • Price: This is also a super budget-friendly RV bike rack!
  • Heavy-Duty Construction: Includes a powder-coated finish for corrosion resistance.
  • Versatility: Can be adjusted to fit bikes of many different lengths and tire sizes.
Things We Don't Like
  • Bike Capacity: This rack (again!) fits only two bikes.
  • Installation: May require a little more installation time than other racks.

Largest Capacity

5: CURT 18065 5 Bicycles Trailer Hitch Bike Rack

Those of you that have more than two bikes you want to strap on the back of your RV should consider the large capacity of the Curt 18065 rack.

It can hold up to five bikes and boasts a maximum total weight capacity of 225 pounds, which comes out to roughly 45 pounds per bike. 

This is a hitch-mounted rv bike carrier that fits a standard two-inch hitch receiver. It features tapered arms that make it easier to fit bikes of multiple different sizes on the rack without handlebars getting in the way of each other.

This makes it a great option for families transporting both kid and adult-sized bikes. 

The rack secures to your trailer hitch with an anti-rattle pin and the two-inch shank is threaded to reduce rack sway while traveling.

The rack is also equipped with built-in reflectors so that other drivers can clearly see you’re carrying something behind your RV when visibility gets low. 

When you need to remove this rack, take out the pin and simply slide the shank out of the receiver hitch.

The tapered arms actually fold down for more compact storage and the entire rack (when empty) weighs 43 pounds. 

The vertical arm of the rack can also tilt down if you need to access anything on your RV behind the rack, which also makes it useful for cab-over campers with entry doors on the back.

And finally, this rack is finished with a carbide black powder coating to increase durability and provide extra corrosion resistance over its lifetime.

Things We Like
  • Large Capacity: This rack holds up to five bikes and a total of 225 pounds.
  • Hitch-Mount Installation: Makes it easy to install and remove in seconds.
  • Tapered Arms: Makes it easier to fit bikes of different sizes on the rack together.
  • Powder Coat Finish: Reduces build-up of rust or corrosion over time.
Things We Don't Like
  • Not For Trailer Use: This rack is designed for use on RVs, vans, trucks, SUVS, or other vehicles with a tow package. But it shouldn’t be used behind a trailer or other accessory that’s already being towed.

Runner Up For Best Ladder-Mount Rack

6: Camco 51492 Ladder Mount RV bike rack

While we couldn’t quite give the Camco Ladder Rack 51492 our top pick for the best ladder rack, this model comes in a close second to the Surco rack we highlighted above.

This rack can easily be hooked onto the ladder of your RV or trailer and can hold up to two bikes and a maximum of 60 pounds. 

There are two sets of soft grips on the horizontal rungs of this rack where your bikes will sit once loaded on.

These grips help protect your bike from any damage while you’re bumping along down the road and straps secure them down so you can be sure they aren’t going anywhere. 

The bonus of opting for a ladder-mounted rv bike carrier like this one is that you can use your ladder itself as a hard point to which you can lock your bikes overnight or if you decide to go for a walk into town.

And because your bikes will be stored relatively close to the ladder, you won’t need a super-long bike lock to make this work. 

When you do remove this rack and need to store it away, the entire rack folds in on itself and weighs just eight pounds.

So it’s easy to move and doesn’t require a lot of space to store. The only downside of this rack is that it stores your bikes horizontally, which means they might stick out past the side of your RV, depending on the exact location of your RV ladder.

Things We Like
  • Easy Installation: This rack simply hooks over the rungs of your RV ladder and straps in place.
  • Lightweight and Compact: This rack weighs just over 8 pounds and folds up for easy storage when not in use.
  • Soft Grips: Hold your bikes in place and protect them from damage.
  • Bonus Straps: Secure your bikes in place and keep them from moving around while driving.
Things We Don't Like
  • Holds Bikes Horizontally: This means that bikes may stick out past the side of your RV, depending on where exactly your RV ladder is located.

Best For Add-Ons

7: Hollywood Sportrider Se hitch bike rack

If you’re interested in a two-bike rack that gives you the flexibility to add accessories for more hauling capacity in the future, the Hollywood Racks Sportrider SE is one of the best options out there.

It’s compatible with Hollywood’s two-bike add on kit or their cargo basket if you eventually need extra storage. 

This is a hitch-mounted rv bicycle rack that can hold up to two bikes and a maximum of 100 pounds.

It features heavy-duty construction and fits a standard two-inch hitch receiver.

It also boasts a unique hitch tightening system that reduces rack wobble while you’re driving and provides a more secure installation.

The wheel holders on this rack are adjustable to fit bikes with a variety of wheelbase sizes.

It can fit wheelbases up to 60 inches and it includes locking frame hooks that secure the bikes to the rack with ease.

This rack also includes a locking hitch pin and security cable for added theft protection. 

While it is one of the more expensive racks on our list, it offers more versatility and security than almost any other option.

And if you want to keep this rack installed even when you’re not hauling bikes, it can fold flat against the back of your RV so you don’t have to worry about it extending off the back if you need to park in a tight space.

Things We Like
  • Compatible With Add-Ons: You can add more bike storage or a cargo basket down the line.
  • Heavy-Duty Construction: Makes this a durable rack that’s designed to last for years.
  • Weight Capacity: This rack is rated to hold a maximum of 100 pounds (or 50 pounds per bike).
  • Hitch Tightening System: Reduces rack wobble and provides a secure fit on two-inch hitch receivers.
Things We Don't Like
  • Price: This is one of the more expensive racks on our list, in part because of its versatility and heavy-duty construction.

Best For Travel Trailers

8: Lippert Let's Go Aero Jack 2 bike Carrier System

If you own a travel trailer that doesn’t have a steel-welded bumper, you’ve probably been wondering when we would get to an option suited for your situation.

Well, here we are at the Let’s Go Aero Jack-It Double Bike Carrier System. This rack doesn’t require a ladder, hitch, or bumper for secure installation. 

Instead, it secures to the tongue of your travel trailer in between the trailer and the vehicle you’re towing it with.

It’s designed to fit most A-frame travel and cargo trailers and is compatible with all bike frames.

And by installing it on the tongue of your trailer, this rack will experience much less bounce than a rack installed on the back of an RV or trailer. 

This carrier system can hold up to two bikes and offers a maximum weight capacity of 80 pounds (or 40 pounds per bike.

The camper bicycle rack itself weighs just 25 pounds and it mounts directly over the tongue jack on your A-frame trailer.

The good news about this rack is that it won’t void any existing chassis warranty when installed properly.

And speaking of proper installation, this rack comes with two Sway Control cradles and two lockable ‘No-Motion’ pins to prevent it from moving around while you’re driving.

This reduces the likelihood of pins or components loosening while you’re on the road, which can be a problem with some other racks. 

Things We Like
  • Unique Design: Helps you maximize towing and hauling capacity with a travel trailer.
  • Versatility: This rack fits all bike frames.
  • Less Bounce: Because it’s installed on the tongue of your trailer, this rack bounces less than others mounted on the back of an RV or trailer.
  • Sway Control: The rack includes cradles to help prevent sway that can loosen components on other racks over time.
Things We Don't Like
  • Loading Process: This rack is unique in the way it carries your bikes, so loading it might take some time to get used to.
  • Price: Because of the unique design and high-quality components, this rack is a more costly option than some others.

Choosing The Best RV Bike Rack

Okay, so those are the best RV bike rack models we could find on the market today.

But to help you make the best decision possible, we need to cover the most important factors to consider when comparing any bike rack model against another. 

What Type Of RV Bike Rack Do I Need?

The most appropriate place to start is to define the three main types of RV bike racks.

These racks are defined by the method in which they attach to your RV and, as you might suspect, there are pros and cons to each method. 

Bike Rack For RV Ladder

This type of rack hooks onto the rungs of the ladder on the back of your RV. It will also work with the ladders on the back of most travel trailers.

These racks are designed so that your bikes hook onto them vertically, with the front tire closest to the ground. 

The benefit of this rack is that you can still use your hitch to tow a vehicle or trailer behind your RV.

But these racks also tend to have a lower weight capacity and few can hold more than two bikes at a time. 

The other downside of a ladder-mounted rack is that you’ll need to remove it every time you need to go up your RV ladder.

In some emergency cases, you might need quick access to your roof and a ladder-mounted rack can hinder your ability to get up there quickly to patch a leak or perform any sort of emergency repair. 

While they can offer a more cost-effective alternative to the other two rack types on our list, they tend to be looked at as a final option for those that don’t have a hitch or bumper to install another rack on. 

Bike Rack For RV Bumper

Bumper-mounted racks are nice because your bikes will sit lower and they can eliminate any visibility issues that can come with your bikes being in the way of your RV’s back window or back-up camera. 

This type of rack, of course, requires that you have a solid, steel-welded bumper on the back of your RV.

That bumper is what will support both the weight of the rack and the weight of the bikes you eventually load onto it.

So that’s one of the reasons why most of these racks carry a maximum of two bikes. 

Depending on the design of your RV, you may be able to install a bumper-mounted rack and still have access to your hitch for towing purposes.

But these racks should generally only be purchased for RVs with a solid steel bumper that’s strong enough to support the weight of the rack and your bikes. 

Hitch-Mounted Bike Racks

Hitch-mounted racks are the most common choice for RV travelers. But they’re only a good selection if you don’t plan to use your trailer hitch for any other purpose.

You should also make sure that your RV already has a hitch receiver or you’ll have a much harder time installing one of these racks. 

This type of rack also requires compatibility with the size of your hitch receiver. Most standard hitches are two inches in diameter, but there are a variety of other sizes out there.

So just be sure that the hitch on the rack will fit inside the existing hitch receiver on your RV before making a purchase. 

Hitch-mounted racks tend to give you the ability to carry more bikes than the other two types of racks.

They come with capacities varying from just two bikes up to five (or more!) bikes and they tend to have a higher weight capacity than the other two racks. 

Because they install easily into a standard two-inch hitch, this type of rack can also be installed on your other vehicles.

So if you have a truck or SUV with a tow package, you’ll also be able to use your hitch-mounted rack on your other vehicles. 

These racks are super easy to install and remove from your RV. They come in two different styles: hanging and platform racks.

The style you choose will really be up to your personal preference and how many bikes you like to bring along on your RV adventures. 

Number of Bikes Bikes Do You Want To Carry With You?

The number of bikes you need to carry is an obvious factor that will help you narrow down your choices. The racks we’ve included above hold anywhere from two to five bicycles. 

But the important point here is that the rack you choose must be able to fit all of the bikes you’d want to bring on your RV adventures. 

When considering the number of bikes you want to carry, you should also consider if you ever invite friends or another couple to travel in your RV with you.

If that’s ever the case for you, you might want a rack that can hold more bikes so that you always have the option instead of coming up short when it matters most. 

Some of these racks give you the capability to add an additional accessory so that you can carry more bikes.

If you’re a young couple with only two bikes right now but you expect to add to that total in the coming years, one of these expandable racks could be a great choice for you in both the short and long term. 

Bike Size

The size of your bikes will dictate whether or not you’ll be able to strap them onto a given rack securely.

And strapping multiple bikes onto one rack can present other challenges depending on the size and design of your bikes. 

One example is trying to fit a large mountain bike with straight handles next to a smaller bike with the type of curved handles that are more common to road bikes.

This handlebar incompatibility can present issues if there’s not sufficient space between the bikes. 

But the size of your bikes can also impact whether or not they simply fit on your chosen rack.

Even though many of these racks are adjustable so that they can fit a wide range of bikes, you should be careful to measure the length of your bike to make sure it will fit on your chosen rack, which is especially true if you choose a bumper-mounted rack. 

For ladder-mounted racks, you must also be sure that your bikes won’t stick out on the side of your RV.

This will create a risk of clipping signs or running into other objects if you don’t swing wide enough.

In turn, this can make a ladder-mounted rack unsafe for other drivers on the road as well. 

Rack Weight Capacity

Many of these racks have a maximum weight capacity for safe hauling.

This capacity should clearly be advertised when you’re looking at the rack’s specifications online.

Your job will simply be to make sure the weight of the bikes you plan to load onto the rack doesn’t exceed that rack’s maximum weight capacity. 

Durability

The type of materials used in the construction of a rack is responsible for how well it can hold up against the elements.

Because of their primary use, RV bike racks spend most of their time outside and subject to the whims of Mother Nature. 

The strongest racks on the market today typically feature stainless steel construction, but there are also aluminum options out there.

Ideally, if you can find a rack that’s finished with an exterior powder coating, that’s going to go a long way to reduce the build-up of corrosion on the rack, which is especially important if you live in (or frequently travel to) a wet or humid climate. 

One of the best ways to really assess the quality and durability of a rack is to dive deep into the consumer reviews that people have posted on eCommerce sites where the rack is being sold.

These reviews will give you real-life accounts of how a certain rack performed and held up to multiple years of regular use. 

How Much Dose RV Bike Racks Cost?

When it comes to your bottom line, even the best RV bike rack shouldn’t put a huge dent in your RV budget.

These RV bike racks are affordable and essential to safely transport bikes on your RV.

From our research, it’s clear that you should be able to find a quality RV bike rack if you’re willing to spend between $60 and $200.

Considering that some of us have bikes that came with four-digit price tags, this is a pretty minimal investment to make sure your bikes are safe and secure wherever you decide to point your RV next!

So, Which Is The Best Bike Rack For Your RV?

We chose the Swagman Traveler XC2 bike rack as the best overall selection because it’s a useful choice for many different types of RVs. It’s one of the more versatile choices on our list because it can be hitch-mounted or bumper-mounted depending on your preference and the design of your RV.

It can also accommodate bikes of many sizes, with tires ranging from 20 to 29 inches. 

But if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, the Quick Products QPRBM2R bumper-mounted rack is a solid choice for a rack that won’t break the bank.

It can hold up to two bikes at a maximum of 30 pounds per bike and fits on 4-inch or 4.5-inch square RV bumpers.

This rack also allows you to customize its width to fit bikes of many different sizes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Even if you have a great idea for how to choose an RV bike rack and which model is the best for you, there are still a few things here that will help you once you have your new bike rack in hand.

These are some of the most frequently asked questions about RV bike racks. 

What are some tips for installing a bike rack?

The correct process for installing a bike rack will obviously depend on the type of rack you choose.

So the most straightforward answer we can give you here is to consult the manufacturer’s installation requirements to make sure you’re installing your chosen rack correctly. 

That being said, bumper-mounted racks tend to require the most installation time and energy of the three types.

They require more hardware and, therefore, must be more carefully installed to be sure that the rack will be able to support the weight of your bikes once you load them on. 

You’ll often need to screw on an adapter that wraps around the top and bottom of your RV’s steel-welded bumper.

Then can install screws and nuts to secure the bracket on top of the bumper and make sure it’s locked into place. 

Lastly, the rest of the rack will slide into place and fasten with some type of bolt or pin. 

For hitch-mounted racks, the installation is as simple as sliding the rack into the hitch receiver and secure the pin in place.

Ladder racks simply hook over the rungs of your RV ladder and strap securely into place. 

If you do have trouble following the instructions in the manual that comes with the rack you purchase, you can always call the manufacturer’s customer service line for guidance.

If that doesn’t work, YouTube is also a great resource for videos that will clearly explain how to properly install the most common RV bike racks. 

How to properly load bikes on an RV bike rack?

This will depend, of course, on the type of rack you choose and whether you’ll need to load bikes onto a platform or hang them from horizontal bars.

But for both of these rack types, it’s typically best to load bikes with handlebars facing in opposite directions. 

For example, if you load the first bike on with the handlebars towards the passenger side of your RV or trailer, the next bike should be loaded with handlebars facing the driver’s side.

This will help you fit bikes together more easily and you should always make sure that pedals aren’t sticking through spokes or any important mechanical components aren’t going to bang together while you’re transporting your bikes. 

What are the best brands for RV bike racks?

For our money, Swagman, Lippert, and Hollywood Racks are three of the top brands currently producing RV-specific bike racks.

Swagman offers a number of different designs for RV of different classes and Lippert is well-known for having arguably the best customer service in the industry.

Hollywood Racks also produces high-quality designs made for a variety of different installations but, true to their name, their racks tend to be a bit more expensive than others. 

Can I attach other things to my bike rack?

We don’t recommend it! While we’re not going to tell you that it’s absolutely impossible to attach items other than bikes to your bike rack, that’s simply not what it was designed for.

And clumsily strapping items that aren’t meant to be transported on a bike rack can cause damage to either the rack of any of the vehicles following you on the highway.

These racks are specifically designed for transporting bikes and they should be used for this specific purpose. 

Conclusion

Biking is one of our favorite past times when we get to a new location in our RV.

It’s a great way to get to know your campground or new neighborhood without having to drive your RV down tight one-way streets and it allows you to see more in a short period of time than you would be able to on foot. 

With a quality RV bike rack on the back of our rig, we can be confident our bikes will go with us wherever we decide to explore.

And it also gives us a safe place to lock our bikes up when we have to spend a quick night in a Wal-Mart parking lot on the way to a new (and more scenic) destination! 

We hope you’ve found these reviews and our bike rack buying guide useful and we wish you only the best of luck choosing the right rack for your particular RV or trailer setup!