Best RV Bike Racks To Secure Your Toys On The Open Road

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Stop traveling with your bikes crammed inside your rig: The best RV bikes racks keep your bikes safe, secure, and out of the way out on the road.
Best RV Bike Racks - Introduction
The Thule Range RV 4: Our pick for the best RV bike rack overall

RVs do a lot of things well. They take us to far away places, let us experience the thrill of the open road, and (most importantly) give us a place to shower after a long day of exploration. What RVs don’t do so well, however, is store all our bulkier gear. For this reason, many RV owners resort to cramming their bikes inside their campers or (even worse) strapping them down to their roofs. The best RV bike racks are here to solve that issue, and keep your bikes safe and secure in the process. 

For this roundup, we tested and analyzed a dozen of the most popular RV-approved bike racks on the market, and found the Thule Range RV4 to be the best in the business. We love the Thule Range because it combines Thule’s years of experience and attention to detail when building racks with an RV-friendly package that’s built to handle a life on the road. The Thule’s clever design, ease of use, and excellent four bike capacity make it a standout product for 99% of RV owners out there, but it won’t be the perfect product for everyone. 

Some of you won’t need to haul four bikes. Many of you are no doubt traveling with much heavier e-bikes that require more heavy duty construction. And, of course, some of you will prefer a much simpler solution that’s much easier on the wallet. Whatever the case may be, we’ve got an RV bike rack in the list below that’s perfect for your next trip. 

If you’re new to RV bike racks entirely and aren’t sure where to start your search, make sure you check out our buyer’s guide down at the bottom to learn what makes these particular racks fit for RV travel. There we’ll cover all of the metrics that make these racks stand apart from their traditional truck/SUV counterparts, and believe us, there are some important distinctions to make there. 

Alright, enough of that! Let’s dive in!

ProductSummary
Thule Range RV 4: Best OverallA high quality 4-bike carrier from a brand we know and trust. Includes integrated locks for both the bikes and the rack itself. See Review
Hollywood Racks RV Rider: Highest Overall QualityA tough as nails hitch mount that accommodates bikes of all shapes, sizes, and weights. Ample weight capacity for ebike use. See Review
Swagman Traveler XC2 RV: Best On A BudgetA well made and versatile carrier that does it all for a fraction of the price. Works as a bumber or hitch mounted carrier. See Review
Surco 501 Ladder Rack: Best Ladder Mount OptionConvenient ladder mounted option with above average capacity and stability. Allows access to the ladder when not in use. See Review
Swagman Dispatch RVSturdy and feature rich, with integrated locks and extra capacity. Raised design adds ground clearance and folds up when not in use. See Review
Swagman 2-Bike Bumper RackSimple, effective, and affordable. A no-frills bumper rack that gets the job done on a shoestring budget. See Review

Best RV Bike Racks

Thule Range RV 4 Bike Hitch Rack: Best RV Bike Rack Overall

Best RV Bike Racks - Thule Range RV 4 Bike Hitch Rack

Specs:
– Number of bikes: 4
– Max weight capacity: 150 lbs (68 kg)
– Rack mounting system: Hitch
– Bike mounting: Hanging
– Bike attachment point: Frame
– Rack total weight: 36 lbs (16.3 kg)
– Integrated lock system: Yes
– Price: $$

Our top honors for the best RV bike rack overall goes to the Thule Range RV 4. Thule has a well deserved reputation for making quality racks and cargo carriers, and the Range RV 4 is just what you’d expect in an RV-friendly package from the brand. 

One of the biggest selling points for us here is that this is a four-bike rack that’s unquestionably able to deliver on its claims. Thule specs the Range RV 4 with a 150 lbs capacity, which means it will hold four bikes up to 37.5 pounds a piece. That’s more than enough for just about any traditional bike on the market, and even works for most carbon-frame e-bikes as well. 

We love the simple folding design of the Range RV, which expands to provide seven inches of space between bikes when needed, but also collapses down into the smallest and most compact package on our list when you don’t need it. This hitch-mount system is also considerably lighter than most of the competition, making it one of the easiest on the market to install, remove, and store. Stability is another high point for this rack as well, because despite it’s light and compact design, Thule includes additional folding stabilizers for each bike, which add a third point of contact to each bike’s frame to prevent any wiggling around during transport. 

The Range RV is a standout product, but no rack is perfect, and this one has a few downsides of its own. The most common complaint you’ll hear is that the top-tube mounting points don’t work with most swept-frame bikes (modern mountain bikes, step-through bikes, etc), which means you may need to factor in frame adaptors to the overall cost depending on what you ride. The second sticking point here is the Range’s seven inch spacing between bikes, which means you might have to get creative with your pedals and handlebars if you want all four of your bikes to fit comfortably. Still, it’s a great overall product, and the fact that Thule includes integrated locks for both your bikes and the carrier itself in the price makes for a very attractive package. 

Pros:Cons:
– Premium quality design and durability
– Four bike capacity
– Integrated locks for your bikes and the rack itself
– Top tube adaptor needed for some bikes
– Seven inch spacing between bikes makes toting four bikes a bit tricky 



Hollywood Racks RV Rider: Best Overall Quality

Best RV Bike Rack - Hollywood Racks RV Rider

Specs:
– Number of bikes: 2
– Max weight capacity: 160 lbs (72.6 kg)
– Rack mounting system: Hitch
– Bike mounting: Platform
– Bike attachment point: Frame & wheels
– Rack total weight: 73.2 lbs (33.2 kg)
– Integrated lock system: Yes
– Price: $$$

Taking the prize for the highest overall quality RV bike rack is the Hollywood Racks RV Rider. The RV Rider is Hollywood’s burliest bike carrier, utilizing a double-walled steel carrier hitch and a threaded hitch tightener to keep up to 160 pounds worth of bikes safe and secure. 

In addition to it’s impressive capacity and impressively strong build, the Hollywood RV Rider is also littered with premium features. The wheel holders, for instance, are equally heavy-duty, and are designed to handle the heaviest ebikes and the widest fat tire bikes on the market. The RV Rider uses padded ratchet straps to secure each wheel, and an additional set of padded frame grabbers up top that swivel to hold either the top tube or the seat tube. This all works together to allow bikes of any shape, size, or weight to work perfectly with the rack, no questions asked. 

Two other features also set the Hollywood RV Rider apart from the competition. The first is that the entire assembly folds up against the back of your RV when not in use, saving space and allowing for easier maneuverability. The second is that every RV Rider comes complete with locks for both your bikes and for the rack itself at no extra charge. 

Of course at this price, those are all things you’d be right to expect, and make no mistake about it: The RV Rider is a serious investment. For this much money, we’re a little disappointed that the system only accommodates two bikes, but in the case of the RV Rider, it’s about quality over quantity. There’s just no better way to secure and protect an expensive piece of machinery, which is well worth the money considering the cost of modern ebikes. 

Pros:Cons:
– Tough enough to tote even the largest ebikes
– Wide enough mounts for fat tire bikes
– Included locks for bikes and hitch
– Expensive
– Two bike limit



Swagman Traveler XC2 RV: Best RV Bike Rack On A Budget

Best RV Bike Rack - Swagman Traveler XC2 RV

Specs:
– Number of bikes: 2
– Max weight capacity: 70 lbs (31kg)
– Rack mounting system: Hitch & bumper
– Bike mounting: Platform
– Bike attachment point: Frame
– Rack total weight: 41 lbs (18.6 kg)
– Integrated lock system: No
– Price: $

If you’re looking for a balance of features and affordability, we recommend checking out the Swagman Traveler XC2 RV. This is a beefed-up version of Swagman’s popular Traveler bike carrier for trucks and SUVs, and carries all the same great features with the added bonus of their “RV approved” certification. 

The name of the game here is versatility: The Swagman Traveler is the only rack in our roundup that ships with hardware for both bumper and hitch-mounted applications. The extra hardware comes at no extra change, which makes for an outstanding value overall.

In addition to its versatile mounting options, the Traveler also sports several features that punch well above its price point. The ratcheting frame hook mounting system, for instance, works on both traditional and swept frames, and is one of the easiest systems to use on our list. Simply drop your bike’s tires into the hoop platforms, ratchet the hooks down onto the top tube, and you’re good to go. The platform arms of the Traveler also fold up and lock into place when not in use, so while it’s not quite as compact as a few others on the list, it’s easy to get up and out of your way when accessing your ladder, spare tire, or other camping gear. 

In terms of drawbacks, two main factors limit the Swagman Traveler. The first is capacity, both in terms of bikes and weight. The traveler tops out at 35 pounds max per bike, which is plenty for most standard bikes, but a few pounds shy of others on our list. The second is the variety of bikes themselves. The hoop platforms on the Traveler are a bit narrow for fatter tires, which means you’ll have to add fat bike trays for certain applications. The Traveler also sits fairly close to the hitch/bumper itself, so you may need to add a hitch extender like this one from Curt to make it work with your rig. Neither of these two upgrades are particularly expensive though, so combined with the Traveler’s wallet-friendly price tag, it brings a great degree of versatility and value to the table. 

Pros:Cons:
– Great price
– Works as a hitch or bumper mount
– Works with pretty much any bicycle frame type
– Limited capacity
– Receiver extension needed for some applications



Surco 501 Ladder Rack: Best Ladder Mount RV Bike Rack

Best RV Bike Rack - Surco 501 Ladder Rack

Specs:
– Number of bikes: 2
– Max weight capacity: 75 lbs (34 kg)
– Rack mounting system: Ladder
– Bike mounting: hanging
– Bike attachment point: Frame
– Rack total weight: 3 lbs (1.4 kg)
– Integrated lock system: No
– Price: $

If your RV includes a roof-access ladder, why not put it to work? The Surco 501 Ladder Rack allows you to securely mount two bikes to the back of your rig, freeing up your hitch or bumper for other applications. 

We’re fans of the Surco Ladder Rack because it’s by far the most secure and well-built in the business. Where other brands typically rely on simple open-face hooks on the rungs on your ladder, Surco opts for bolt-on metal clamps that secure to the rails of the ladder itself. The result is increased stability and an impressive 75-pound carrying capacity other brands simply can’t match. 

Another big perk of the Surco is that although the rack itself is hard-mounted to your ladder, it doesn’t affect your ability to use the ladder as needed. Surco designed the arms of the Ladder Rack to swing out of the way when not in use, so once you’ve unloaded your bikes, it folds down to the sides of your RV, granting access to the rungs of the ladder. 

There really aren’t any major downsides to this system, so long as you keep its limitations in mind. Like any ladder rack, the Surco’s effectiveness is limited to the strength of your ladder, so you’ll want to pay extra close attention to the capacity of both the rack and your ladder itself. It’s also worth mentioning that the Ladder Rack’s metal clamps are only designed to fit standard 1” rails. This won’t be an issue for 99% percent of users as 1” rails are the most common in the industry, but you’ll want to double check your ladder before buying to be safe. 

Pros:Cons:
– Bolt-on attachment sturdier than most
– Pivoting arms allow easy roof access
– Above average capacity for a ladder rack
– Takes longer to install than “hook and strap” style racks
– Fits 1” ladder rails only 



Swagman Dispatch RV

Best RV Bike Rack - Swagman Dispatch RV

Specs:
– Number of bikes: 2
– Max weight capacity: 90 lbs (40.8 kg)
– Rack mounting system: Hitch
– Bike mounting: Platform
– Bike attachment point: Frame & wheels
– Rack total weight: 53.2 lbs (42.1 kg)
– Integrated lock system: Yes
– Price: $$

The Swagman Dispatch RV is essentially the bigger, stronger brother of the popular Swagman Traveler mentioned above. The dispatch incorporates many of the same convenience features we love about the Traveler, but adds in a slew of upgrades for a few dollars more. 

Capacity is increased to 90 pounds, for instance, which means this two-bike carrier will work with many of the current e-bikes on the market as well as traditional bikes. You’ll also notice that the wheel mounts are upgraded to wide cups rather than simple hoops (these work with tires up to 3” wide), and add in an additional ratcheting wheel attachment system for added security. 

Another highlight of the design here is that Swagman designed the Dispatch to ride seven inches higher than their standard designs, which increases rear ground clearance when toting bikes. The system also folks up against the rear of your rig when not in use,  which increases maneuverability without having to remove the rack entirely. 

The Swagman Dispatch is a bit more expensive than their popular Traveler models, but keep in mind you’re also getting integrated locks for both the bikes and the hitch included in the price. The only other drawback here apart from price is the added weight of the Dispatch, which, at a hefty 53 pounds, makes it a bit more burdensome to install and remove. We think it’s a fair price to pay for all the added features and capacity though, and considering most RV owners more or less leave their racks on 24/7, it’s a minor complaint at best. 

Pros:Cons:
– Tough carrier with solid capacity
– Folding design saves space when not in use
– Elevated hitch mount improves rear ground clearance
– On the expensive side for a standard two bike carrier
– Heavy



Swagman 2-Bike RV Bumper Rack

Best RV Bike Rack - Swagman 2-Bike RV Bumper Rack

Specs:
– Number of bikes: 2
– Max weight capacity: 60 lbs (27.2 kg)
– Rack mounting system: Bumper
– Bike mounting: Platform
– Bike attachment point: N/A
– Rack total weight: 22 lbs (10 kg)
– Integrated lock system: No
– Price:

Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the most effective and they’re almost always the most affordable as well. If simple, affordable, and effective all sound good to you, check out the Swagman RV Bumper Rack

As the name suggests, this is a classic bumper mounted RV bike rack, which is designed to fit all standard square RV bumpers between 4-4.5” thick. The design is as simple and straightforward as it gets: Each of the two platforms clamps directly to your bumper with a set of U-bolts and two nuts apiece. Simply space the two platforms as wide as needed for your bike’s wheelbase, bolt them up, and you’re good to go. 

This design offers a few advantages over the more complex systems above: For one, it’s by far the most affordable at well under $100 a set. It’s also among the most stable options because the weight of the bikes is spread between four separate mounting points. The Swagman RV Bumper Rack also happens to be one of the most secure, because although there are no locks to keep would-be thieves at bay, taking off each of the eight fasteners one at a time takes some serious time and commitment. 

As far as downsides go, the main issue with this bumper mounted system is that it offers no straps, mounts, or locks of it’s own for your bikes, which means it’s entirely upto you  to secure your bikes in place. A healthy combination of rachet straps, bungee-cords, and cable locks will certainly do the trick, but the convenience factor is notably lacking here. The other main issue with this simple rack is that its load capacity is surprisingly low at just 60 pounds. Granted, this is plenty for about 99% of bikes out there, but we expected a little better from this Swagman’s rough-and-tumble all-steel construction. 

Pros:Cons:
– Dirt cheap
– Four mounting points give excellent stability
– Simple and effective
– Securing bikes properly is on you
– Inconvenient to remove
– Limited weight capacity



Buyer’s Guide For The Best RV Bike Racks

So you’re getting ready for your next road trip, but don’t know how to choose your RV bike rack? RVs are built for hauling heavy loads and tons of gear, but finding a home for all your bulkier toys can be a challenge. RV bike racks are a smart solution that eliminate the need to cram your bikes inside your camper when not in use, and take full advantage of all that extra hauling capacity you’re not putting to work. 

There are lots of options out there, but the best RV bike racks combine utility, convenience, and security all in one package. Many of them may look similar at first glance, but here are the factors we consider when evaluating which models are worth your money.

Types Of Bike Racks

Best RV Bike Rack - Types of Bike racks
The Swagman Traveler XC2 functions as either a hitch or bumper mount rack.

Compared to a typical car, truck, or SUV, RVs have limited options for mounting bike racks. They’re too tall for proper roof mounts and truck/hatch mounts are out of the question as well for obvious reasons. Still, there are a few different options out there, and the main three to consider are hitch mounts, bumper mounts, and ladder mounts. 

Hitch mounts are essentially just like those you see on cars and trucks: They plug into the rear receiver of your RV, the same way you’d install a typical trailer hitch. RV hitch mounts are different from traditional automotive carriers though, and there’s a reason you can’t just use any old bike rack on your camper. 

Because RVs are so long and heavy, they transmit considerably higher forces to the rear of the chassis when going over bumps, rough roads, and uneven surfaces. For this reason, RV hitch mounts should be built to withstand much higher stresses than typical bike racks, so make sure any hitch mount you’re considering is approved for RV use. 

Best RV Bike Rack - Hitch-mounted RV Rack
Hitch-mounted RV racks like this one from Hollywood Racks are much tougher than the typical ​​bike rack you’d find on the back of a car.

The second type of mount is the bumper mount, which works much the same way as a hitch mount, albeit without the hitch. Bumper mounts work on any camper with a solid mounted rear bumper, and simply clamp into place with reinforced steel plates. These mounts are just as strong and reliable as hitch mounts, but because they use a broader surface area and more uniform contact, they tend to have less rattle/noise than hitch mounted carriers.

Best RV Bike Rack - Bumper Mounted Rack
Bumper-mounted racks use multiple points of attachment, which makes them impressively stable and less prone to rattling around than their hitch-mounted counterparts.

Lastly, there are ladder mounts. These mounts are a great option for RV’ers with roof access ladders on the back of their rigs, but they typically come with a few tradeoffs. For one, these mounts are limited by the strength of the ladder itself, which means they’re typically limited to no more than two bikes maximum. Ladder mounts are a smart choice for anyone looking to save their hitch/bumper areas for other applications though, so don’t rule them out if you often travel with bulky items like kayaks, motorcycles, or grills on the back of your rig. 

Best RV Bike Rack - Ladder Rack
Ladder racks allow you to carry bikes while saving your hitch/bumper for other applications.

Bike Capacity

Best RV Bike Rack - Capacity
A two bike carrier is enough for many RVer’s, but some carry much more than others.

Bike capacity is another important factor to consider, and in this context, we’re referring to two specific metrics: The total number of bikes a given rack can carry, and the total amount of weight they can safely support. 

As far as the total number of bikes is concerned, this metric is pretty straightforward: If you’ve got a family of four and everyone has their own bike, you’re going to want an RV bike rack that can hold at least four bikes. You’ll also want to keep in mind that although there are several racks out there that hold four or more bikes, each rack will ultimately be limited by the amount of distance available between each bike. Trying to get bikes with different frame sizes, handlebar widths, and pedal heights to nestle together cleanly can feel like a particularly tough puzzle, so we recommend finding a bike rack with as much space as possible between mounting points. 

Weight is the other capacity consideration here, and is a major pain point for many RV owners. Your typical pedal-powered bike weighs somewhere between 20-30 pounds, which means your typical two-bike rack should be able to handle at least 60 pounds. We say at “least” because it’s always better to have more weight capacity than you need for peace of mind when you go over particularly nasty pot holes or unexpected speed bumps. 

If you’re considering bringing ebikes along on your adventures, you’ll need to pay extra close attention to this metric. Your average ebike weighs two to three times as much as a traditional bicycle, with the heaviest weighing in over 80 pounds a piece. The good news here is that RV bike rack manufacturers are well aware of this trend, and have started building beefed-up models designed specifically to handle the extra stress of an ebike.

Ease Of Use

Best RV Bike Rack - Ease of Use
A lightweight frame and simple top-hook design makes options like the Swagman XC2 easy to live with

While adding a bike rack to the back of your RV is always an upgrade in convenience, some racks are much easier to live with than others. We recommend paying attention to three particular factors here: Size, weight, and security. 

In terms of size, the best RV bike racks may be bulky when in use, but they should also fold up neatly near the back of your rig when you aren’t towing bikes around. RVs and campers are long enough on their own, so it’s nice to be able to shave a few feet off the rear end when needed for better maneuverability. 

As far as weight goes, your rig should have no issues handling the weight of your bike rack, but at some point, you’re going to have to handle it yourself. For many owners, this may only refer to the initial install (many racks live their entire lives on the back of RVs without ever being removed), but it’s something you’ll want to consider regardless. If you’re looking to get double use from your rack with both your RV and your car/truck/SUV, we recommend looking for a lighter and more compact rack that you can easily install and remove by yourself. 

Finally, let’s talk security. Security refers to two things here: Securing your bikes for travel, and securing your bikes (and rack) from theft. The easiest RV racks to use incorporate wiggle-free attachments for your bikes that require no additional straps/bungees to confidently keep your bikes in place as your drive. As far as theft is concerned, you can always add an aftermarket cable lock to your bikes and an aftermarket locking pin for your hitch, but bike racks that integrate both systems in their design are much more convenient to use and keep up with. 

Conclusion

Well there you have it: All our favorite bike racks for RVs, campers, and, and vans currently on the market. If you want the best in the business, we think the Thule Range RV 4 is the clear winner for its combination of capacity, convenience, ease of use, and added security. 

Best RV Bike Rack - Conclusion
The Hollywood Racks RV Rider: Our pick for highest overall quality

If you want something burly enough to carry the heaviest e-bikes and the fattest tires around, the Hollywood Racks RV Rider is an absolute tank. It’s expensive, but it also lacks nothing in terms of strength, security, and stability. 

And lastly, if you’re looking for a solid RV bike rack but aren’t looking to break the bank in the process, check out either Traveler XC2 RV from Swagman. The Traveler’s combination of quality, convenience, and affordability is simply unmatched in terms of value. 

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