RV / Tuck Camper Bike Rack options- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    437

    RV / Tuck Camper Bike Rack options

    Well, I pulled the trigger and placed an order for a slide in style pop-up truck camper. For those of you that aren't sure what I am talking about...it kind of turns a truck into a shorter version of a class C RV.

    This is what I am picking up in a couple of weeks:

    http://www.outfittermfg.com/Campers/...x_8/apex_8.htm

    I have read posts from some truck camper enthusiasts on RV forums about bike racks...but most of those folks aren't avid mtbr's with multiple expensive bikes to transport.

    Since I have a fair amount of Yakima stuff from fitting racks to various vehicles over the years, I am thinking of having them install the tracks on top of the roof to accept the sliding yak q-towers I already have. But, I am not a fan of putting bikes on top for fuel mileage....it is going to be bad enough with that camper on top of my truck...don't need to make it any worse...plus I don't want to have to worry about making it under bridges and such.

    I could do a hitch rack..but for all but the swing away rack, I'd have to remove the bikes and possibly rack just to get into the camper. And, I'd need to get a hitch extension (which I will need eventually anyway) to clear the back of the camper anyway.

    I have seen some shaky looking racks to attach a bike or two to the ladder...but those racks didn't seem to be suitable for anything other than a wal-mart bike.

    So,for the RV'ers / Truck Camper owners out there...what is your solution?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,612

    hitch mount

    I have camper on a truck as well. I started off with a 2x6 with fork ups at an angle on it U bolted to the ladder, that held 2 5 Spots or road bikes just fine for thousands of miles. Then I put a 18" hitch extension on the rear reciever with a T2-4 Thule rack. That thing will haul DHR's and Highlines, no problem. I think the extension was rated for 600lbs or ? WAY more than bikes. the extension sticks out about 8" past the camper step, and combined with the position of the bike trays I can swing the door open a full 90* and just get in the camper between the bikes and bumper. I also put a hitch on the front of the truck for more bike capacity. It bolted to the frame horns so is plenty strong, ETrailer.com is where I got the front hitch and extension. the problem with my front reciever hitch is that it is pretty high and I had to make a deeper "Z" to drop the bikes out of my line of sight. I don't recomend nice road bikes on the front in bug season either!

    have fun!

    DT

  3. #3
    Muskoka
    Reputation: BlackCanoeDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,433
    Was admiring your camper. My main concern with that style is....don't you feel like your in a coffin when in bed in those. Doesnt look like you can even sit up. That would give me the creeps!
    OK I get it. I'm an idiot! The roof pops up for camping. That looks pretty cool 8^)
    As to the your question. My experience has been that extended, multi- week road trips are very hard on the bikes when they are outside 24 hrs a day in all kinds of weather. I was actually surprised how abusive that is! So I think I would get a small closed in lockable box trailer that could be towed behind. Shouldn't affect mileage much as it's tucked in out of the wind. Bikes are secure, out of the weather and away from prying eyes. Also should have a bit of room left over for other odds & ends.
    Last edited by BlackCanoeDog; 12-01-2007 at 03:30 PM.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    437

    Trailer is a no go...

    Thanks DT. I almost ended up with a spot The style of rack that you have is about the only style I think I can live with hanging from the hitch. Though I would like to have the option to swing it away. I guess I can't really win. If you just have an exension...how do you keep the rack from swaying? I was thinking with a setup like yours, I'd have to have a way to put the edges of the rack under tension back towards the truck in order to keep it from swaying (the extension giving the rack that much longer of a lever arm for forces to play through).

    BlackCanoeDog...I hear you. I hate carrying bikes outside. However, I think I hate towing trailers even more. And, here in CA, the speed limit for towing a trailer is 55...regardless of vehicle/trailer. Also, one of the things that really appeals to me with the particular camper that I am getting is that it is comparatively light weight for the features it has (wetbath, A/C 4.2Cu ft fridge...queen size bed...etc). It also has a lower center of gravity than most. Meaning I should be able to drive into more remote places than I could if I had a larger camper or trailer.

    I halfway suspect that at least this winter's 3 week break for me...starting just before I am due to pick up the camper...I'll be flying solo the whole time. So, I am thinking I'll find a way to keep my main ride inside the camper while driving. I'll probably drag the single speed along with me...and that one will stay outside most likely. I have also thought that when I probably end up with a rack like DT mentioned....I'll find some way to cover the bikes up with some sort of nylon cover to try and minimize water intrusion. And, I don't think I ever want to mount a bike on the front of the truck for a long drive. My bikes have gotten buggered up enough just being on the roof rack....

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    542
    I know some folks that added fork mounts to one of those add-on luggage carriers the go in a hitch receiver look like it works good to me

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,612

    2"

    With a 2" reciever there is no sway to speak of, other than the typical slop that is between hitch and exension, but the Thule has a bolt on rack that you tighten against the extension or hitch so it does not rattle. We step on the bit of extension that is between the rack system and camper bumper going in and out, and it is solid, in fact the extension is solid steel where it inserts to the hitch. If there was a way to 'bolt' tight the extension into the hitch that would stop the last bit of slop, but I can't hear it moving when I am driving and there is no way a rack of bikes will flex my hitch extension etc as much as pulling a small boat or ? The pin that holds it together will hold my trailer which weights close to 8,000 lbs when loaded so there may be a little slop, but it is not going to break that pin.

    The Thule does fold away for more room between the back of the camper and handle bars if you want, just pull the safety pin and hit the lever, it drops down quite a bit. Yuba Expeditions puts these racks on the front and rear and top of their shuttle vans. fast and secure.

    Happy trails

  7. #7
    Muskoka
    Reputation: BlackCanoeDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,433
    Quote Originally Posted by sam-eye-am
    I halfway suspect that at least this winter's 3 week break for me...starting just before I am due to pick up the camper...I'll be flying solo the whole time. So, I am thinking I'll find a way to keep my main ride inside the camper while driving.
    That was a thought I had too. Was wondering if they would fit up on the bed, if you put some sort of cover down to protect the bed obviously? Since you only use the bed at night, bikes could be in the aisle when you are sleeping? And I did see a post here this past summer about bike covers that protect them from the elements when mounted outside. It had some pics.
    Please keep us posted about your 3 week trip when you get back. Would love to hear how that camper worked for you. Looks like a pretty good setup if you already have or use a truck in your daily life. If not, I'm not so sure. Van camper similar to Roadtrek might be better for someone who doesn't need/want a truck - as it could also be a daily driver.
    Last edited by BlackCanoeDog; 12-02-2007 at 05:47 PM.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    437
    Quote Originally Posted by BlackCanoeDog
    That was a thought I had too. Was wondering if they would fit up on the bed, if you put some sort of cover down to protect the bed obviously? Since you only use the bed at night, bikes could be in the aisle when you are sleeping? And I did see a post here this past summer about bike covers that protect them from the elements when mounted outside. It had some pics.
    Please keep us posted about your 3 week trip when you get back. Would love to hear how that camper worked for you. Looks like a pretty good setup if you already have or use a truck in your daily life. If not, I'm not so sure. Van camper similar to Roadtrek might be better for someone who doesn't need/want a truck - as it could also be a daily driver.

    The bed is a no go. When the top is down....it comes right down on top of the bed...no vertical room between the bed and roof left. I actually don't mind having the bikes outside at night if weather is okay. I'll have two awnings anyway, so even then, they could probably be left outside at night. And, if I am staying somewhere for a while, I may take the camper off the truck...then bikes can go underneath the cab over section.

    I'll have to look for that thread on the covers.

    And, yes, I do have a good sized truck already. A 4x4 dodge 1 ton, single rear wheel. I really did think about getting a class B, but the truck and camper option is more versatile. If I wanted to cruise up to Tahoe for a weekend ski outing...I'll like the 4x4 truck a lot better than a 2wd van. I looked at sportsmobile...but those things are EXPENSIVE for the Diesel 4x4 option (what I have in the truck). And, since I only drive to work if it is raining, the truck is much easier (the camper will only be on when I am taking a trip) to drive around town for errands, as well as day trips to riding spots.

  9. #9
    Muskoka
    Reputation: BlackCanoeDog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    3,433
    Quote Originally Posted by sam-eye-am
    The bed is a no go. When the top is down....it comes right down on top of the bed
    Yes, I realized that later while I was exploring their site. The more I look at this the more interested I become. Starting from scratch I would probably do this... Buy a used 4x4 full size quad cab diesel 1/2 ton, about 2-3 years old. This would become my only vehicle. The hard part for me on that would be I'm not really a truck kinda guy. I have a Subaru WRX wagon, and driving a truck would bore me to tears LOL. I've had some SUV's, so I know that from experience. But both my wife & I work minutes from home and walk to work most days. Our car sits in the driveway a lot. So day to day gas mileage would not be a huge issue. At age 55, I am semi-retired and only work 160 days per year now anyway. SO I have been sorta looking at RV's, but don't want a lot of money going into that. Then I would by the "Outfitter" (used if possible). The back seats on the quad cab would have to flip out of the way and/or be removable. The bikes would go there, perfect! Thanks for bringing this to my attention
    Having said that, RV's only make sense imo, if you do mostly boondocking. If you are going to pay to stay in a campground most nights you might as well just pitch a tent and use all their facilities( showers/cooking shelters etc). Also you need to get out on the road and use it quite a bit. I don't understand people that spend $100K on a new Roadtrek or similar, just to use it a few weeks in a year. Keep the money in the bank and rent an RV when needed with your earned interest!
    Last edited by BlackCanoeDog; 12-02-2007 at 08:35 PM.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    437

    There are other options.....

    http://www.hallmarkrv.com/controller/home?_load=default

    This is the first company I considered. Their base price is higher, but each model comes with more options when compared with the outfitter base model for base model. Lower profile when driving down the road as it isn't a basement type like the outfitter. Both use welded aluminum framing as opposed to stapled pine.

    Another one is a cheaper option....

    http://www.northstarcampers.com/850SC.asp

    They don't used the welded aluminum frame...otherwise I would probably have gone with them and gotten the optional pop out dinette bed that they offer.

    Not sure where you are from, but since Outfitter and Hallmark are both based around Denver and are factory direct (you buy direct from them...no dealer network), occasionally you will see them listed in the Denver craigslist. I think someone told me Outfitter typically produces 150 per year...so there wouldn't be a whole lot of them floating around used....but I have seen a few on CL-Denver.

    I think a lot of Outfitter and Hallmark owners do more boondocking than not. Part of the appeal. You can get to places with nearly the comforts of home that most others could only pitch a tent at. I too considered an RV...after using a 27ft class C RV for a couple of trips to Moab...I was ruined I managed to get it into the trail head at Sovereign Single track on a hot day late in May. Myself and the GF of the time rode until about noon...and were absolutely wiped from the heat (it was well into the upper 90s during the ride). Got back to the RV, fired up the generator, cranked up the A/C , took a shower, had lunch (and some other things as well)...then drove on out and went about the rest of our day. I can now do the same thing, but am not as limited as where I can get into......

    JC whitney carries a nylon cover for bikes on a hitch mounted cover...I may look into that. But, I heard form another guy that owns one that he was able to mount a tandem and two road bikes inside his camper. So, at least short term, I should be able to fit my trail bike and my SS in there with no problems and maybe even still get to the fridge when I stop at a rest stop!

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    258
    Sorry to take this sortof off track Sam, but can you tell me what RV forums you've looked at? I searched, but couldn't find anything that was active.

    I've got an old RV that I'll soon start gutting and re-outfitting on my own so I'll have some technical questions I'll need answered.

    Thanks

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    437

    RV.net

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave In Florida
    Sorry to take this sortof off track Sam, but can you tell me what RV forums you've looked at? I searched, but couldn't find anything that was active.

    I've got an old RV that I'll soon start gutting and re-outfitting on my own so I'll have some technical questions I'll need answered.

    Thanks
    I tend to search quite a bit on the open roads forum at RV.net. You can find it here:

    http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    5
    This guy came up with an interesting custom bike rack for a slide in camper.

    http://www.wanderthewest.com/forum/s...ighlight=bikes

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    437

    Thanks

    Thanks for the link....may ultimately do something along those lines. However, since I am not going home for at least 10 days after I pick up the camper next week...I'll probably have to go the hitch mounted rack option in the interim.....

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    54
    Quote Originally Posted by what_the
    This guy came up with an interesting custom bike rack for a slide in camper.

    http://www.wanderthewest.com/forum/s...ighlight=bikes
    I made a set of vertical mounts ( one on each side of the door) on the rear of my Pop-Up P/u camper. I bolted the fork mount, wheel tray, and wheel fork on the lower, stationary section of the camper so I can open it without removing the bikes. I also bolted a short piece of plastic coated cable as a theft deterrent and a safety so the bike couldn't completely fall off the vehicle if a mount failed. I used stock Yakima components.

    Barry

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,721










    If Mahomet will not go to mountain, bring the Mountain to Mahomet.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    437

    Sweeet!

    Quote Originally Posted by patineto


    If Mahomet will not go to mountain, bring the Mountain to Mahomet.
    Now that is what I really need!

    Does it come with its own supertanker of diesel fuel?

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.