How to Fabricate a Hitch Mounted 4 Bike Carrier

How to Fabricate a Hitch Mounted 4 Bike Carrier
If you have a need to transport up to four bicycles and your vehicle has a tow receiver, consider making your own four bike hitch mount carrier. Use the metal tubing available at home improvement stores to fashion a rack mount to fill your bike and car needs. Work in a well-ventilated workshop, as you will use a welding and cutting torch, so you need to keep your workshop ventilated during construction to prevent asphyxiation.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Measuring tape
  • Welding and cutting torch
  • Square metal tubing sized to vehicle tow mount.
  • Welding gloves, goggles and apron
  • Power drill with metal bits
  • 4 bike cradles with attachment screws and mounts
  • Cotter pin with clevis hook
  • Nuts, screws and washers
  • PVC foam insulation tube
  • Utility knife
  • Bench vise
Step 1
Place the metal tubing into the bench vise and secure the metal tube. Open all the windows and turn on any fans in the workshop. Measure out a distance of 48 inches down the tube and scratch the mark with a utility knife. Put on your welding safety goggles, apron and gloves.
Step 2
Cut the metal tube at the etched mark with a cutting torch. This will be the support bar that goes into the vehicle's receiving hitch. Measure out four sections of metal tube 36 inches each and cut the sections with the torch.
Step 3
Place the support bar into the bench vise so it is parallel to the ground. Starting from one end of the tube, measure out four separate 12-inch sections and mark them with the utility knife. This is where you will weld all four of the 36-inch tubes to the support bar. Weld the tubes perpendicular to the support bar.
Step 4
Measure a distance of 8 inches from the other end of the metal tube to 8 inches and mark it. Find the center of the tube and drill a 1/2-inch hole through the tube at the 8-inch mark.

Make sure the holes are on the parallel side of the tube and not on the top or bottom where the upright tubes are located. This is where the cotter pin will slide through the rack and hitch receiver to lock it to the vehicle.
Step 5
Attach the four bike cradles to the uprights. Assign one cradle to each upright tube. Follow the bike cradle maker's instructions, as different saddles have different installation requirements.
Step 6
Slice the PVC foam tube on one side, lengthwise, using the utility knife. You should have a circle-shaped tube with a slit running down the entire length. Cut off pieces of this to slide over the metal tubing. This prevents abrasion to the bicycle frames during transport.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Cedric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.

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