Choosing Bike Rack to be Used While Towing a Camper

Question:

Long story short: Were taking a multi-month, cross-country trip pulling our pop-up camper behind our Ford Expedition class 3 hitch, with lots more towing capacity than our pop-up. We want to bring our four bikes with us. On top of the Expedition is one option, but theyd be over 11 ft off the ground at their peak, noisy in the wind, making worse our already rough gas mileage, and tough to get on/off. On top of the pop-up is another option, though Im afraid of damaging the roof of the camper, and strapping something like the Sixnall rack on and off seems like a pain. Then theres the hitch-mount option. But the dual-hitch receiver two 2 receivers, one over the other makes hitch-racks possibleand that seems like a good option. But if I go that way, which rack? The Swagman folding 4-bike rack seems like a good possibility... Theres also the Yakima Bighorn 4, and a bunch of others. Ultimately, there are too many options, too many unknowns, and it all costs too much. Besides that, this has been a piece of cake to figure out. I want something thatll be safe, last all the way across the country and back, and not a huge pain in the fanny. Anything you can recommend would be appreciated.

Expert Reply:

The Dual Hitch Receivers such as part # RM-077-2 cannot be used for towing a trailer. These receivers are meant for use with a towbar carrying a rolling load and an accessory such as a bike rack or cargo carrier.

We offer a Curt Ball Mount with 2 inch Receiver, part # D210, which should work for your needs. This ball mount has a tongue weight capacity of 750 lbs, so the trailers tongue weight and the weight of the bike carrier plus the weight of the bikes cannot exceed that figure.

Another possible option would be the Swagman 4 Bike Towing Rack, part # S64675. If the tongue weight of your camper plus the weight of the bikes is 350 lbs or less, this would be a great rack for you. Since the ball mount is integrated with the rack, all you will need to do is attach the proper trailer ball.

If the tongue weight of the camper plus the weight of the bikes is greater than 350 lbs, you will need to go with the mount/receiver option. The Swagman Titan, # S63410 would be ideal.

expert reply by:
Michael L

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Questions and Comments about this Question

We have done this. You need to consider the pop up crank mount position against quantity of bikes. We have 4 and its not possible without removing the crank post. Even with 2 bike its a cumbersome arrangement. Suggest mounting on top of pop up instead, plenty of options on the market.

comment by: Done i - 4/13/2013