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  1. #1
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    Carry 4 bikes on a Travel Trailer?

    Gettin' ready to make some irresponsible purchases!

    I need some help with carrying 4 bikes on a travel trailer. The trailer is a Lance 1685 (if that matters). It's constructed in a way to add a hitch without just hanging it on the flimsy bumper. It's not cheap to add. But it can be properly done. Anyhow, I've searched a bit and it appears the rack makers are not on board with 4 bikes on the back of a travel trailer.

    Anyone have any good suggestions on how to best carry 4 bikes on a travel trailer?

    My original thought was to go all in for the HD 1-Up knowing I could use it on the tow vehicle at other times. But it looks like maybe I will have to buy 2 racks. One for the front of the trailer and one for the rear. Such a bummer. Suggestion box is wide open!

  2. #2
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    Found something - putting it on here in case it's useful for others.

    Buy one of these:
    https://www.amazon.com/UP-Front-UPNF.../dp/B00NI1TYJG

    Attach your existing hitch rack to it. Between the tow vehicle and the trailer (assuming there is room). Not very aero...but oh well.

    Then buy another rack for the back of the trailer.

    Alternatively - This looks promising
    https://www.rvkayakracks.com/collect...nt=45688126925

    FYI - North Shore doesn't warranty for RV use. :-/

    Now I just need to get some locking pins/bolts for the whole setup so nobody can steal the racks.

    Maybe use an anti hitch rattle device on both? They say removing vibration is key.
    https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Anti-...CABEgKB7PD_BwE

    And about that HD chain with a sheath for the padlock....

  3. #3
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    I'm located in Germany for a bit, and I see 4 bike racks on the back of campers all the time...

    For example this one that's expandable from 2 to 4 bikes:

    https://www.thule.com/en-gb/gb/motor...ndard-_-309821
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    That looks decent but it's not available in the USA.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    That looks decent but it's not available in the USA.
    True... maybe importable from a UK webshop or something, but

    From what I've read, the limits for hitch racks on the back of campers is because they move/bounce quite a bit since they're far from the axle/wheels, but since your Lance has a legit hitch, I think your 1up plan is reasonable.

    I'd add aux lights for sure.

    If you go for the two-front and two-back idea, you can get this and put two add-ons on it, then when you mount the rack to the tow vehicle, you can can mount 4 bikes together.
    https://www.1up-usa.com/product/add-on-hitch-adapter/
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Westy View Post
    From what I've read, the limits for hitch racks on the back of campers is because they move/bounce quite a bit since they're far from the axle/wheels, but since your Lance has a legit hitch, I think your 1up plan is reasonable.

    0718180753 by Nate, on Flickr

    And even though this example shows one of those crappy clamp-on receivers on the flimsy bumper, it's the RACK that is the problem, not the receiver or bumper. All that bouncy-bouncy is a real and serious problem.

    I'd definitely go with the 1up (2 bikes) on the back, since that is one good hitch rack I KNOW that's rated for such use, and 2 bikes up front.

    For my small camper, I use roof trays (with the subie that tows it) when I go on trips anymore. I tried other methods, and this is best for my uses. Eventually, I'll be replacing my car (which can't tow) with a pickup truck, and once I go that route, I'll either be putting the bikes on roof trays over the bed, or under a camper shell, depending on which truck I wind up with.

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    @Harold - Outdoor RV makes an integrated hitch in the rear of their units. With supporting welds to the frame. I'll end up paying a metal fabricator a few bucks to add some supports and integrate the hitch receiver. Bolting it onto the bumper is roulette. The rear ladder is more stable. But going that route, you can't use that same rack for anything else.

    @J_westy - that 1Up attachment looks like the ticket! I plan to use the 1Up as a 4-bike setup on my SUV for regular use. That piece opens up possibilities to turn a 4-bike into 2 separate carriers. Thanks!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    @Harold - Outdoor RV makes an integrated hitch in the rear of their units. With supporting welds to the frame. I'll end up paying a metal fabricator a few bucks to add some supports and integrate the hitch receiver. Bolting it onto the bumper is roulette. The rear ladder is more stable. But going that route, you can't use that same rack for anything else.
    With bikes, I don't feel like the hitch itself is the weak point in most setups. Lots of morons buying cheap bike racks and overloading them with dept store porkers (like the example I posted above - this was my boss, and his family all had cheap, heavy bikes) and the rack itself bends like my pic shows. When I saw this, I had a few words for him about how dangerous that was.

  9. #9
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    Why don't you put the bikes inside? No one will ride in the trailer when you are in motion. There should be room in the "isle".
    How can anyone who's been riding as long as I have, be so slow???

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    @Harold - Outdoor RV makes an integrated hitch in the rear of their units. With supporting welds to the frame. I'll end up paying a metal fabricator a few bucks to add some supports and integrate the hitch receiver.
    What does it come with? Some kind of bolt-on hitch ball?

    I'm not following why you need to have something fabricated...
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  11. #11
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    Can you put two IN the camper? That's what I ended up doing and it works fine. Two bikes are smaller hardtails though so it makes it a bit easier. I made a hitch for the tongue of the teardrop camper which takes a 1up double. The two add-ons get folded up and go in the camper with two bikes. Once I'm at the campsite, the teardrop comes off, the 1up goes on the truck, then I add the add-ons and we are good to go for 4. If that makes sense.

    Carry 4 bikes on a Travel Trailer?-img_5104.jpgCarry 4 bikes on a Travel Trailer?-img_5111.jpg

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    This is close to the setup I will end up with. A rig for the rack on the frt of the trailer and perhaps a custom hitch receiver for the back. Swap it to the car when I get there. Putting them inside may be possible. Depending upon what trailer I end up with. But I'm concerned with them rattling around in there. I may flirt with some sort of tie down situation. Most of the trailers I'm looking at have a pop-out which severely impacts interior storage space. Curious what camper you have there? I'm likely to buy a Lance 1685.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J_Westy View Post
    What does it come with? Some kind of bolt-on hitch ball?

    I'm not following why you need to have something fabricated...
    Sorry I neglected to mention I'm not buying an Outdoor RV. They appear to be the only ones who have an option available for an integrated hitch receiver that's reinforced. For anything else, you have to have a fabricator add reinforcements while they do the install of the hitch.

  14. #14
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    https://www.etrailer.com/RV-and-Camp...rt/C13704.html

    I added this Curt 2" receiver to the back of my expandable. The thing I didn't realize is how low it carries my Thule 4 bike rack. It is super sturdy though. I am looking at the North Shore 6 bike vertical rack to carry my family of 5's rides. It seems like they'd be plenty high from the receiver on that rack. Hoping to put hands on one before spending more money though, could anyone advise to how high the bike sits in relation to the height of the reciever?

  15. #15
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    Carry 4 bikes on a Travel Trailer?-thule.jpg
    This is what we use. Thule Xsporter and big Mouth Trays
    Vincit qui patitur
    2014 KONA Process 153
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    I don't get it... if the trailer has a proper 2" receiver, what would be the problem with putting 4 bikes on the back? I can see a problem with a light-weight trailer, where the bikes would throw off the balance, but that's not the case here - that Lance is probably 2000lbs or more?

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    It's not really about the balance. Well, a little. 2 things. The bike rack makers will not guarantee anything that holds 4 bikes. All of the receiver hitch racks rated for a travel trailer are 2-bike jobbers. Even The HD 1-UP is only guaranteed with 2 bikes (I called). They claim the degree of bounce at the rear of a trailer is too stressful. Some would say throwing 200lbs total weight on the back is a balance issue. Also, and this is the real biggie. Mounting a receiver to the frame in the rear can be a pain. I discovered Lance offers a bolt on accessory mount that attaches to the frame (160lb max weight allowed) There are other solutions out there. But getting any reliable stats about weight is tough. The Lance 1685 I'm shopping is 3800lbs. You should see what an ordeal it can be to mount one to an Airstream....

  18. #18
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    Yup. it's the bounce.

    If the receiver holds up under the extra stress from the bouncing, then there's a good chance that the bike rack won't, like the one in my pic.

    My camper is very small. 1400lbs fully loaded, with bikes on my tow vehicle. If I were to put 150-ish lbs of bike+rack hanging off the back of my trailer a few extra feet, it'd definitely change the towing dynamics.

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    I'm just not sure I buy that, assuming the receiver is properly designed. A heavy trailer should have shock absorbers and it shouldn't be bouncing any worse than the back of a bus-sized RV with a lot of rear overhang.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crack Monkey View Post
    I'm just not sure I buy that, assuming the receiver is properly designed. A heavy trailer should have shock absorbers and it shouldn't be bouncing any worse than the back of a bus-sized RV with a lot of rear overhang.
    Bus-sized rv's are also on the no-no list for most bike racks.

    The problem is the overhang past the rear axle being much longer than for the vehicles bike racks were designed for. The same amount of suspension travel translates to more vertical movement with more overhang. The longer the overhang, the more vertical movement.

    My trailer, being small and light, does not have shock absorbers, and that creates its own problems. The manufacturer of my trailer makes it pretty clear that there are serious limits to weight on anything you attach to a rear receiver (if you choose that option - i did not).

    I remember when I was a kid riding the bus to school. If you sat way in the back, the bounce you'd get back there was enough to jump up and hit the ceiling if ypu timed it right. You never could get the same effect even a couple rows closer to the rear axle.

    I've lost count of the number of bent bike racks and cargo platforms on the back of rv's and travel trailers. It truly is a thing.

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  21. #21
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    It should be noted that approximately 0% of travel trailers have shocks. Average ones have leaf springs. Fancy ones have torsion axles. The only ones I've seen with shocks are the Australian outback trailers. A few "overlanding" trailers have them. This is another one of those face-palm things I've discovered while shopping for a travel trailer.

  22. #22
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    Can you have somebody fabricate a bracket on the rear of the trailer to accept the 1up add ons. Then an adapter on the tongue to mount a 1up double similar to what BXCc did on the teardrop trailer above.

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    I guess you could do that. But why would you? When you can add a bolt-to-the-frame hitch receiver for the rear. The receiver will sit below the bumper. The frt is another issue. There are a couple rack holder assemblies out there that attach to the frt A-Frame and have a reciever. Choices are thin. The challenge is, many of them hold the bike sort of close to the tow vehicle and in tight turns, you can hit the tow vehicle with the bike/tray. It's a trial and error, measure 10x & cut once sort of thing.

    In a perfect world, there would be some sort of dual hitch receiver setup for the rear. One at the bumper level (holding a 2 bike tray rack) and one halfway up the rear wall of the trailer holding the other 2 bike tray rack. Many engineering challenges with this location though.

    Or someone would create a frt A-Frame rack/mount that holds the 2inch reciever really close to the frt of the trailer. So there is enough clearance for the rack/trays to be tucked between the vehicles.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    Or someone would create a frt A-Frame rack/mount that holds the 2inch reciever really close to the frt of the trailer. So there is enough clearance for the rack/trays to be tucked between the vehicles.
    Thatís exactly what I did. Pretty simple to do, if you have access to a welder. Itís actually easier to put the hitch closer to the tow vehicle rather than the camper. Just put the rack in between the hitch and camper rather than hitch and tow vehicle.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    I guess you could do that. But why would you? When you can add a bolt-to-the-frame hitch receiver for the rear. The receiver will sit below the bumper. The frt is another issue. There are a couple rack holder assemblies out there that attach to the frt A-Frame and have a reciever. Choices are thin. The challenge is, many of them hold the bike sort of close to the tow vehicle and in tight turns, you can hit the tow vehicle with the bike/tray. It's a trial and error, measure 10x & cut once sort of thing.

    In a perfect world, there would be some sort of dual hitch receiver setup for the rear. One at the bumper level (holding a 2 bike tray rack) and one halfway up the rear wall of the trailer holding the other 2 bike tray rack. Many engineering challenges with this location though.

    Or someone would create a frt A-Frame rack/mount that holds the 2inch reciever really close to the frt of the trailer. So there is enough clearance for the rack/trays to be tucked between the vehicles.
    The OP needs to carry 4 bikes. If you can get a 4 bike rack on the tongue to easily fit between the trailer and the truck, Iíd certainly do it this way, but Iím doubtful it can easily be done. And from what others have posted, it is not recommended to put 4 bikes on the back of a trailer. So, that is why I suggested fabricating a mount to addapt the 1up add ons to the rear and mount the receiver end of the rack to a mount on the tongue, which would allow 2 bikes on the rear and two bikes on the front, and you could easily pull them off the trailer to mount them to the truck when the trailer is left behind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldHouseMan View Post
    The OP needs to carry 4 bikes.
    Uhh..I am the OP. I was just saying why fabricate an adapter for 1-Up Add-On when I could just do a frame mounted hitch receiver for the back (would save labor with transfers and the cost of fabrication). Your suggestion for the frt with 1-2 bikes is what I'll wind up with.

    It's a shame the Travel Trailer industry hasn't gotten on board with those of us who have a sense of Adventure. Vs a sense of "Leisure". The sprinter van crowd has it figured out. But there is SO MUCH MORE market for guys like us. The Travel Trailer side just needs to scoop it up!

    OT - But I caught this article and they are spot on.

    https://www.thefitrv.com/rv-tips/sel...xTIlsrUMiTLdcE

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post

    It's a shame the Travel Trailer industry hasn't gotten on board with those of us who have a sense of Adventure. Vs a sense of "Leisure". The sprinter van crowd has it figured out. But there is SO MUCH MORE market for guys like us. The Travel Trailer side just needs to scoop it up!
    Check out toy haulers if you haven't already purchased the Lance. We purchased a 2016 Outback 324CG which sounds like it would solve a lot of your problems, but might require a 2500 level truck to pull. Might be able to do it with an F150 but my Tundra didn't have the grunt (and I was getting about 7-8mpg) so I ended up getting a 2500 Ram Diesel. We can easily get 8 bikes in with pedals removed, bars straight, and moving blankets. But we typically have paddle boards and other toys that go in the "garage" so bikes go on top of our truck. See Pic. They do make smaller versions, but 2 kids, 2 dogs, lots of stuff so we got the big one.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqsegHir7KQ

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH6-RkIcCKU

    https://www.google.com/search?q=outb...w=1242&bih=711
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Carry 4 bikes on a Travel Trailer?-20170820_142511.jpg  

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  28. #28
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    Carry 4 bikes on a Travel Trailer?

    My Jayco has a heavier than standard gauge bumper. Jayco mounts the spare to it, and it may be uprated from the standard option beyond that.

    I have the 4Ē bumper mount Curt receiver and I welded reinforcement plates from the frame rails to the top of the bumper and 45 degree angle plates underneath the bumper from the frame rails to bumper.

    We carry 4 bikes on the rack (XL Ripmo, XL Niner and 2 older Specialized bikes), and have been all over the West half of the US with this setup. Itís very stable and the rack has an anti-rattle hitch with a locking bolt that clamps it to the receiver. None of the bikes touch each other.

    Itís a lighter rack than the Kuat, Yakima and Thule options, which is what I wanted for the travel trailer, and itís been impressive in its durability and solid feel. The wheels sit in trays with ratcheting wheel straps and upright support posts and rubber pads strap the down tubes. I have helicopter tape on the down tubes to prevent any scratching, but the straps have soft rubber contact points, and Iíve not seen any rubbing.

    [URL][Road-Max RMBR4 4 Bike Carrier https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010SX2UNI/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_jJsjCbJSW2A50/URL]












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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65 View Post
    My Jayco has a heavier than standard gauge bumper. Jayco mounts the spare to it, and it may be uprated from the standard option beyond that.

    I have the 4Ē bumper mount Curt receiver and I welded reinforcement plates from the frame rails to the top of the bumper and 45 degree angle plates underneath the bumper from the frame rails to bumper.

    We carry 4 bikes on the rack (XL Ripmo, XL Niner and 2 older Specialized bikes), and have been all over the West half of the US with this setup. Itís very stable and the rack has an anti-rattle hitch with a locking bolt that clamps it to the receiver. None of the bikes touch each other.

    Itís a lighter rack than the Kuat, Yakima and Thule options, which is what I wanted for the travel trailer, and itís been impressive in its durability and solid feel. The wheels sit in trays with ratcheting wheel straps and upright support posts and rubber pads strap the down tubes. I have helicopter tape on the down tubes to prevent any scratching, but the straps have soft rubber contact points, and Iíve not seen any rubbing.

    http://[Road-Max RMBR4 4 Bike Carrie..._jJsjCbJSW2A50
    I wouldn't touch that rack with a 10ft pole.

    I tried to do a little research on it. Can't find a damn thing. Roadmax appears to be a "marketing company" for auto parts based in the Philippines. There's no detailed product catalogs, warranty information, or anything. There's probably more information in the box the product came in than there is online.

    Looks like what they mostly sell on Amazon are serpentine and timing belts. They probably buy their bike rack design from someone else, but it's an odd setup. Belts and bike racks.

    Basically, I can't find whether this rack is intended to be used on the back of an RV.

    For that, nope. Wouldn't touch it.

  30. #30
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    Carry 4 bikes on a Travel Trailer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I wouldn't touch that rack with a 10ft pole.

    I tried to do a little research on it. Can't find a damn thing. Roadmax appears to be a "marketing company" for auto parts based in the Philippines. There's no detailed product catalogs, warranty information, or anything. There's probably more information in the box the product came in than there is online.

    Looks like what they mostly sell on Amazon are serpentine and timing belts. They probably buy their bike rack design from someone else, but it's an odd setup. Belts and bike racks.

    Basically, I can't find whether this rack is intended to be used on the back of an RV.

    For that, nope. Wouldn't touch it.
    I figured Iíd return it if it was crap, but the Amazon reviews were great, and it does its job well. I inspect the rack and travel trailer bumper mount at every gas stop while driving, and there havenít been any problems. I wouldnít trust a pice of junk with my new $5500 Ripmo or other bikes, and I went over everything carefully.

    The main use for the rack has been on the back of my F150 for daily local trail trips, and I use it 3 to 4 days per week. No issues.




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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by isleblue65 View Post
    I figured Iíd return it if it was crap, but the Amazon reviews were great, and it does its job well. I inspect the rack and travel trailer bumper mount at every gas stop while driving, and there havenít been any problems. I wouldnít trust a pice of junk with my new $5500 Ripmo or other bikes, and I went over everything carefully.

    The main use for the rack has been on the back of my F150 for daily local trail trips, and I use it 3 to 4 days per week. No issues.




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    Back of the truck is very different from back of an rv. I also wouldn't use any rack with frame contact for a carbon fiber bike, either.

  32. #32
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    Made in Utah ALTA RACKS

    We build ALTA RACKS in Utah, and they fit perfectly on a travel trailer. it does require a class three hitch receiver. We have many customers that use our racks on the rear or front of the travel trailer. The rack can also be installed on the front tongue of the trailer. Our racks make no contact with the bike frame, very secure, you can off-road with them. Life time warranty.
    Fit any tire size or width, from road bikes to six inch fat bikes.
    Feel free to give us a call with any questions.
    www.altaracks.com
    https://youtu.be/z-JDYdy3XzECarry 4 bikes on a Travel Trailer?-20180531_134006.jpg
    Carry 4 bikes on a Travel Trailer?-fat_bikes.jpg
    Carry 4 bikes on a Travel Trailer?-img_20180622_231228_077.jpg
    Military grade products at great prices.
    www.altaracks.com
    Not just a bike rack, but a Life rack.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alta Racks View Post
    We build ALTA RACKS in Utah, and they fit perfectly on a travel trailer. it does require a class three hitch receiver. We have many customers that use our racks on the rear or front of the travel trailer. The rack can also be installed on the front tongue of the trailer. Our racks make no contact with the bike frame, very secure, you can off-road with them. Life time warranty.
    Fit any tire size or width, from road bikes to six inch fat bikes.
    Feel free to give us a call with any questions.
    www.altaracks.com
    https://youtu.be/z-JDYdy3XzEClick image for larger version. 

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    Good to hear there is a rack company building with rv's in mind. Do you have any restrictions for back-of-rv use like some other companies do?

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  34. #34
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    No restrictions, we also have tie down points to secure the rack to the RV. One of the safest racks on the market. Stick it on what ever you want, as long as you have a class three or higher hitch.Carry 4 bikes on a Travel Trailer?-airstream.jpg
    Carry 4 bikes on a Travel Trailer?-camsix.jpg
    Carry 4 bikes on a Travel Trailer?-received_1787036261316482.jpg
    Military grade products at great prices.
    www.altaracks.com
    Not just a bike rack, but a Life rack.

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