In this review, we will be recommending the best bike racks for RVs.
After testing the vast majority of available options, we decided on the 8 best bike racks for RVs. We considered features like the build quality, load capacity, and how secure the bike mount of each option is for real-world use.
With all that in mind, Thule’s Helium Pro hitch bike rack for RVs gets our highest recommendation. This hanging style hitch mounted bike rack is lightweight and sturdy, but also has a higher load capacity than other bike racks. The cradles are also quite firm and secure.
We have been testing and reviewing vehicle accessories such as bike racks for over 10 years, so if you’re trying to figure out which bike rack to buy for your RV, check out our reviews below and you just might find the right one!
Keep reading for more information on the best bike racks for RVs.
Thule Helium Pro Hitch Bike Rack
Thule’s Helium Pro is well built, but lightweight. It has a high load capacity and tons of useful features.
Much like its namesake, the Thule ‘Helium’ Pro is surprisingly lightweight. It uses an all aluminium construction that is less than half the weight of other bike racks with similar load capacities. Not to mention, aluminium is more rust and corrosion resistant.
That sleek design isn’t just for show. This bike rack for RVs has a surprisingly high load capacity, rated at just under 115 lbs. Feel free to mount heavier mountain bikes, e-bikes and the heaviest of road bikes out there. We like how stable and rigid the aluminium build of this bike rack is. It does not bend or flex under the load of heavy bicycles.
As for securing your bikes, this rack uses heavy duty ratcheting straps. The straps themselves are adjustable so that you can fit various different bike frame sizes. Moreover, it makes for a more secure and firm fit for any bike you are carrying.
This hitch mounted bike rack for RVs comes in both 1 ¼” and 2” configurations. We tested both of these configurations and found them to be quite firm and stable. Out on the highway, we were surprised by how firm and stable this bike rack is. We drove over bumps, potholes, and on some dirt paths, but the rack stayed perfectly stable.
It is also outfitted with anti sway cradles. These prevent the bikes from interacting with one another when you’re out on the road and moving at speed. It also allows you to mount the individual bikes further apart. There is almost 7” of space between each bike which means they won’t damage each other or the back of your RV.
You can fold the carrying arms when they aren’t being used, so that the whole rack sits flush against the rear of your RV. Furthermore, the whole rack can be tilted forward to allow for easier liftgate access.
A lot of bike racks have this feature, but few integrate a convenient hand lever for operating the mechanism. This is especially useful if your RV has a rear door or cargo space that you need to access.
- Aluminium construction
- Less dense than alloy steel
- Better structural rigidity
- Less prone to rust and corrosion
- Designed to hold 75 lbs
- Can hold e-bikes, mountain bikes, etc
- Adjustable ratcheting straps offer secure fitment
- Compatible with 1 ¼” and 2” hitch receivers
- Anti sway cradles reduce bike interaction
- 7” of space between each bike
- Convenient lever for folding and tilting the rack
- One of the most expensive options on this list
Thule Apex XT Bike Hitch Rack
Thule’s Apex XT is another RV bike rack that brings tons of utility to the table. It can hold four large road bikes, has a convenient tilting mechanism for easier cargo access, and the bike mount is quite secure for highway travel.
The build quality of this bike rack is among the best we’ve seen. The whole rack is designed with a minimalist approach, and uses high-quality metal alloy for the build. It is not as bulky as some other options, while still retaining high performance.
Load capacity is rated for just over 150 lbs. That means you can carry 4 large adult sized road bikes, or you can opt for two road bikes and one larger mountain bike or e-bike. The higher load capacity allows you to mess around with different combinations.
The hitch fitment is really secure. We were confident carrying our bikes on this rack for longer journeys. The rack itself does not wobble or shake, even when you have it fully loaded up with bikes. It uses a special stabiliser to remove any free space between the rack and receiver.
As with other Thule bike racks, there is plenty of space in between the individual bikes so that they don’t bang into one another or even the back of your RV. This prevents them from damaging the paint and bodywork.
Here again, we see anti sway cradles which prevent the bikes from shifting in transit. Thule has also integrated a cable lock into the design that you can use to secure the bikes to the rack.
We are fans of Thule’s HitchSwitch feature, which allows the fully loaded rack to tilt down and allow for easier lift gate access. If your RV has a lift gate or similar rear opening door, this is a surprisingly handy feature to have.
Installing this rack is a breeze. It uses Thule’s SnugTite Stinger, so you don’t need any tools to get the rack installed on your RV. Furthermore, it locks the hitch to your RV, so industrious passersby don’t start getting any ideas.
- All metal build
- Minimalist design
- 150 lbs load capacity
- Holds up to four bikes (5 bike version also available)
- 2 inch hitch receiver is nice and secure
- Does not shift or creak in transit
- 7 inches of space between each bike
- Does not bang against the vehicle
- Anti sway cradle eliminates swinging
- Cable locks make for a secure fit
- Cable locks sold separately
Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack
Here we have another hitch mounted bike rack that combines an all metal build with high load capacity, and a stable fit that inspires a lot of confidence on the highway.
Swagman uses an alloy steel construction for their hitch mounted bike rack. It is treated with a special powder coat to prevent it from rusting or corroding. Not to mention, the black finish looks a little bit nicer than plain old steel, in our opinion.
Load capacity isn’t the highest we’ve seen, especially for a platform style rack, but it gets the job done. The rack is rated to hold 70 lbs, but we found that we could load around 80 lbs before the rack started showing signs of straining under the weight. We don’t recommend overloading the rack for longer journeys.
Still, 70 lbs is plenty for two large adult sized road bikes. Just don’t expect to carry heavy mountain bikes or e-bikes on the back of your RV with this rack.
The wheel trays are nice and wide, allowing them to accommodate most any size tire you can find. It won’t hold fat tire bikes, but that’s to be expected.
Moving onto the actual bike mount, we have ratcheting straps for both wheels that are adjustable and really tight. Then, there are two adjustable, push button ratcheting hooks on the main mast which hold the bikes at their frames. These hooks are padded in soft material to avoid scratching or damaging the bikes.
This RV rack is compatible with both 1 ¼” and 2” hitch receivers. We found both of these to be extremely firm and rigid at high speed. We opted to buy the ½” locking hitch pin, which just added to the stability and security of this rack.
As for additional features, this rack is pretty sparse. It can fold up into a smaller footprint and the main mast can drop down for easier liftgate access when you don’t have any bikes loaded on the rack.
This may be a tiny detail that doesn’t really matter for RVs, but we were disappointed to learn that the rack cannot tilt forward with the bikes loaded up. This is an all but essential feature that every other rack in this category comes with.
- Alloy steel design
- Powder coated to prevent rusting
- 70 lbs load capacity
- Holds 2 large sized bikes
- Wheel trays have ratcheting straps to secure both wheels
- Push button ratcheting hooks hold the bike frames
- Hooks are padded to avoid scratching the bikes
- Compatible with both 1 ¼” and 2” hitches
- Perfectly stable at speed
- Whole rack cannot tilt down with the bikes loaded up
Surco 501BR Ladder Mounted Bike Rack
Surco’s Ladder mounted bike rack is a unique take on bike racks for RVs. It bolts right on to your RV’s ladder and is a lightweight yet sturdy build that can carry two large sized bikes easily!
This bike rack is made entirely of aluminium. Moreover, it is exceptionally lightweight and compact. All it really is, is two carrying arms that fit securely on your RV’s ladder. They use a tight bolt system that prevents the rack from moving around or wobbling at all.
Aluminium is also more resistant to corrosion and rust. This is important for a rack like this that will spend most of its life mounted on the back of your RV in the rain and snow.
It doesn’t have a specific load capacity rating, but the manufacturer says it will hold two large, adult sized bikes. Our testing confirms this as the rackheld our bikes securely in a vertical position.
The carrying arms have sturdy ratcheting straps on them. These straps are also designed for outdoor use. The all weather rubber is very durable and does not crack or loosen over time. They are UV resistant so leaving them in the sun for longer periods won’t damage them at all.
These straps are fully adjustable with a number of different sizes. We did not have any issues mounting a number of different bike frame shapes on this rack. It held them quite securely.
Furthermore, the inner side of these straps is lined in softer material. This has two benefits: firstly, it allows the straps to hold the bike frames with a tighter grip. Secondly, it prevents the paint work of your bike from getting scratched or damaged.
One thing to note is that this rack will not fit a 1 ½” RV ladder. In fact, it will only fit a 1” ladder.
We weren’t super confident in this rack at first. However, testing it with our RV on some rough terrain and highway speeds, we found that it stays perfectly stable and keeps the bikes secure. The lack of a hitch completely removes any possibility of the rack wobbling or jumping around.
As for special features, what you see is pretty much what you get. The carrying arms can fold in so that they sit flush against the back of your RV, but other than that, they’re isn’t much this ladder mounted rack can offer. Besides the firm bike mount of course.
- All aluminium design
- Resists corrosion and rust
- Holds two large road bicycles
- Positions bikes in vertical orientation
- Ratcheting straps are fully adjustable
- Fits a number of frame shapes and sizes
- UV resistant ratcheting straps do not degrade over time
- Straps lined in soft material to avoid scratching the paint
- Very firm mount on ladder
- Does not wobble or shake at speed
- Only fits 1” RV tube ladder
Camco RV Ladder Mount Bike Rack
Camco’s ladder mounted RV bike rack is a heavy duty bike rack. It has a higher load capacity than most other ladder mounted racks. The bike securing system is top notch and keeps your bikes firmly in place on the road.
This rack opts for a tough alloy steel construction and a more secure mounting system. The alloy steel is finished in a special abrasion resistant coating that will also prevent premature rust and corrosion.
As for stability on the road, it ‘hangs’ off your RV’s ladder with two hook-like arms. Then, it uses locking pins to keep it in place.
It is rated to hold just over 60 lbs of bikes. That is plenty for two large, adult sized bikes and we did not find any road bikes that we couldn’t carry on this rack.
Moving on to the bike mount, we have thick ratcheting straps that hold each bike at its frame. The adjustable ratcheting straps hold the bikes firmly and securely. We tested a laundry list of bike frame shapes and sizes, and all of them fit like a glove.
On the road, this rack is as solid as a rock. We did not have to put up with any shaking or wobbling. Furthermore, we did not get any concerning rattling noises in the RV’s interior either.
When it isn’t carrying bikes, it can fold completely flat against the rear of your recreational vehicle. This is great for when you need to manoeuvre your RV in a small parking lot and every inch of space is a luxury.
The lower frame of the rack is covered in a soft touch material. This makes it a perfect grab handle for when you need to mount the rack. It also prevents the innermost bike from banging into the steel and getting damaged.
Speaking of installation, this rack can be mounted quicker than you can say Winnebago! All of the necessary hardware is included in the box and the accompanying instructions are pretty easy to follow.
You get an extra safety strap in the box for securing the bikes. It is pretty useful for tying down the handlebars or front wheels so they don’t move around in transit.
- Durable alloy steel build
- Coated in abrasion resistant material
- Better rust and corrosion resistance
- 60 lbs load capacity
- Can hold 2 large sized road bikes
- Uses ‘hook’ style arms to hang onto the RV’s ladder
- Does not rattle or shake in transit
- Ratcheting straps hold bikes firmly
- Not the best for carrying multiple heavy bikes
What are the different types of RV bike racks?
When it comes to mounting bikes on your RV, the options aren’t as plentiful as with cars, SUVs or other vehicles. Trunk mounted racks are out, since RVs don’t have a traditional trunk.
That leaves hitch mounted racks like platform style bike racks and hanging style bike racks. Here again, some of the options just aren’t compatible with RVs. Ladder mounted bike racks for RVs are specifically designed to be used with vans and RVs. But they have a couple drawbacks of their own.
So which type of bike rack should you look into for your RV? Well, it depends. Below, we have outlined the most prominent bike rack types for RVs. We breakdown the upsides and the drawbacks of all the different types of RV bike racks, so you can pick the one that fits your particular needs.
1. Hitch mounted bike racks
Hitch mounted bike racks are some of the most secure bike racks for RVs. They attach firmly to your RV’s hitch and offer a stable place to mount your bikes.
Hitch mounted racks usually come in one of two styles: hanging and platform. Each has its own pros and cons.
Hanging style bike racks for RVs
Hanging style bike racks usually feature high quality ratcheting straps to hold your bikes at their frames. These ratcheting straps are adjustable and will hold most any size or shape of bike frame.
That said, hanging style bike racks aren’t the most stable option out there. Don’t get me wrong, these racks are plenty sturdy and the ones we tested all perform really well. But the hanging style leaves your bike’s wheels and handlebars free to move around and shake in transit.
As for load capacity, modern hanging style bike racks have pretty high load capacities. They are also more compact than platform style racks so there’s more space for loading bikes. You can find hanging style racks for RVs with enough space for 4 bikes and a maximum load capacity of 140 lbs or more.
These racks are also easier to live with. The carrying arms in nice hanging style bike racks can fold out of the way so you aren’t driving your RV with the rack fully deployed.
Platform style bike racks
Platform style bike racks are by far the most stable bike racks out there. They have dedicated cradles for each bike that keep it firmly and securely mounted. These racks are less prone to wobbling or shaking, and they are more confident at speed.
If you want to go cross country without worrying about your bikes falling off or shaking at highway speeds, platform style bike racks for RVs are your best bet.
Moreover, platform style racks will usually have a higher ‘per bike’ load capacity. It is not uncommon to see platform style bike racks for RVs that can hold bikes up to 60 lbs each! This makes them the perfect choice for heavier mountain bikes and e-bikes.
But it’s not all upside with these racks. They do tend to be the largest and heaviest racks of the bunch. This makes them a bit trickier to mount and store. The larger size might also prevent you from parking your RV in some tight spaces.
Another common issue with platform style bike racks is their carrying capacity. 1 or 2-bike platform style bike racks are a dime a dozen. But if you want to carry 4 or more bikes on a platform rack, you will have to pay a pretty penny. Not to mention, there are only a couple options worth looking into currently available.
2. Ladder mounted bike racks
Ladder mounted bike racks are a special type of bike rack made specifically for vans and RVs with ladders. They have a couple advantages over the other types of bike racks we’ve talked about.
Firstly, these are the most compact bike racks for RVs that you can find. Often, the entire rack is just a couple carrying arms that bolt on to the ladder of your RV. And when you aren’t carrying any bikes, the racks can fold out of the way and into an even smaller footprint than hanging style bike racks.
The obvious disadvantage is load capacity. While ladder mounted bike racks obviously hold less weight than others, there is less of a difference than what you might expect. It is not unheard of for a ladder mounted rack to be able to carry up to 60 lbs of weight. And that’s actually enough for two large sized bikes.
The bike mount is similar to that of hanging style racks, so it’s pretty secure, though nowhere near the rigidity and firmness offered by platforms.
You won’t be able to carry any mountain bikes or e-bikes either. Really, the biggest advantage of these racks is the space saving design.
Which type of bike rack is best for my RV?
Like we said at the beginning, it depends. It depends on how many bikes you want to carry, how heavy the bikes are, and just how stable you want the rack to be on the road. After that, it’s a simple matter of figuring out what your priorities are for carrying bikes.
In a nutshell, if you want the most stable and secure bike rack, get a platform style bike rack. They are also the absolute best for heavier mountain bikes and electric bikes. However, you will sacrifice a bit of space with these behemoths. And if you want to carry more than 2 bikes, platform racks only get bigger and more expensive.
If you value a compact design above all else, ladder mounted bike racks offer tons of utility and a decent load capacity. But you won’t be able to carry any heavier bikes. And with most ladder mounted racks, you are limited to carrying just 2 bikes.
For our money, hanging style bikes offer a nice balance of features. They are plenty stable and secure, but also compact enough for everyday use. They also give you ample space and load capacity to work with. Not to mention, they can usually hold 4,5, or even 6 bicycles! They are priced right in between the other two as well.
Sure, they aren’t as miniscule as ladder mounted racks, and the bike mount isn’t as firm as the platform options out there, but such are the compromises you need to make to get the best of all worlds.
Keep in mind, your use case and requirements for RV bike racks will differ from ours. That is why we have given you a number of different options to choose from. All of the above mentioned bike racks perform really well in their own right. Some are just better at one thing and not as great at another.