Hey folks...wife and I are going to get a bike rack for our two bikes and sure could use your input as to the best route to go. We have a Chaparral fiver with a continuous welded bumper but would like to avoid using it for the rack if there is a better alternative. What do you say? Any good ideas?
I fabbed a receiver hitch for my last trailer. When I sold it I took the hitch off and remade it to fit my new fiver. While I was at it I also added pads for the rear stabilizers. As they were held in place by some cheezy fabricated boxes that were collapsing after my first trip. Not hard to do, just took some time and welding. I did have a problem with it a couple of years ago on a really rough road. Fact is it broke and I nearly lost three bikes. Got home, took it off and fixed the problem and added a couple of gussets and put it back on. My bikes have been on there since with no problems. I purposely bolted it to the frame so I would not have to weld on the frame. It is nearly perfect for my setup. To help eliminate bouncing of the bike rack in the tube I also added a 3/-16 cap screw to the receiver tube. Install the bike rack and jack the screw tight. No more movement there.
I had my bikes on a Thule Rack in back receiver. Welded and strong, but there is a lot of bouncing and stress in back.
I now have the same rack in a receiver bolted to the pinbox. No stress, works great and inexpensive to build.
I've used a "bolt to the bumper" 2" receiver with a Thule hitching post bike rack for over a decade. It will wobble, so I have always mounted it near the ladder and connect it to the ladder up high with a tie down strap. That takes the wobble out and makes it stable. The ladder will hold the weight of a man, so it will hold a little weight from the bike rack. I have used this system to haul my bikes for thousands of miles coast to coast without one single problem for over a decade. And just to add a little confidence, I haul Cannondale mountain bikes with a total value of over $6,000.
Here's the one I have. It mounted to the tongue frame on my tt and mounts to the pin box of my 5er. Toppoprails alias Arvika. If you have a short box tv, they have an extension (I got it) that lifts the bikes over the top of your cab so it doesn't hinder your turning radius.
This is one that I made for my pin box. The bikes stay up and out of the way. I added another level to it for the low riding platform rack that I have. The lower hole is the hanging rack that only my son's bike will fit on. It is made form a cut I-beam and 2 receivers from Harbor Freight ($14 each). Not that expensive at all. If you have a long bed something like this is easy to do. If you have a short bed, just use a hanging rack and you are good to go.