How to Mount a Bicycle Rack to a Travel Trailer

How to Mount a Bicycle Rack to a Travel Trailer
Travel trailers are self-contained units typically featuring a bed, living quarters, kitchen and a forward area for driving and navigating. Travel trailers are used for short and long-distance trips and are capable of also carrying a road or mountain bike. Transporting a bike with a travel trailer typically involves using one of two types of bike racks. Hitch-mounted bike racks and ladder-mounted racks are secure and convenient ways of mounting and carrying a bike on a trip.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Ladder Rack

Things You’ll Need:
  • Travel trailer
  • Hitch bike rack
  • Hitch pin and retaining clip
  • Ladder bike rack
  • Bike
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screw driver
 
Step 1
Examine the rack to make sure all connections and adjustment points are securely tightened. Use an adjustable wrench and screw driver if you need to make adjustments. Also make sure all straps used for securing the rack and bike are with the rack and are in good condition.
Step 2
Position the rack in front of the ladder with the support arms facing away from the ladder. Select a mounting height for the rack by moving the rack up or down. With a height selected, locate the ladder step closest to the round connection points at the top of the rack.
Step 3
Tilt the bottom of the rack outward and slide the opening of the circle connectors over the step. Lower the bottom of the rack, which will rotate the connector downward and attach the rack to the ladder.
Step 4
Secure the rack to the ladder by wrapping a nylon strap around a step of the ladder and the lower cross support of the rack. Feed the strap through the nylon buckle and pull tight. Check the rack to determine if you have any excessive play or movement.

Hitch Rack

Step 1
Position the hitch rack at the rear of the travel trailer near the receiver hitch. Check all connections and adjustment points to ensure they are tightened. Use an adjustable wrench and/or screw driver to tighten them, if necessary.
Step 2
Lift the hitch and insert the lower horizontal tube into the receiver tube of the hitch. Slide the hitch tube as far into the receiver tube as it will go.
Step 3
Locate the hole on either side of the receiver tube. Looking through the hole, slide the hitch tube back or forth. Line up the holes of the hitch tube with those of the receiver tube.
Step 4
Insert a metal hitch pin through the hitch and receiver holes through to the other side. Secure the pin by using a metal clip through the small hole in the end of the hitch pin.
Step 5
Connect any wiring harness from the bike hitch to the plug located on the receiver hitch. The plug should be fully inserted into the receptacle on the vehicle.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Follow the manufacturer's directions completely and secure all adjustment points, hitch pins and straps.
 
If connecting wiring for a third brake light, have an assistant tap the brakes while you watch for the light to go on and off.
 
Failure to properly secure either hitch may result in damage to the bikes or potential injury to yourself or others.

Article Written By Keith Dooley

Keith Dooley has a degree in outdoor education and sports management. He has worked as an assistant athletic director, head coach and assistant coach in various sports including football, softball and golf. Dooley has worked for various websites in the past, contributing instructional articles on a wide variety of topics.

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