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Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers

 > Bike rack for front of TT

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flguppie

Treasure Coast-FL

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Posted: 11/06/09 08:32pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Our TT has a rear kitchen so adding a bike rack to the rear isn't an option. I like the idea of one in the front of the RV and found info on here about the bike racks at toprail.com. They are designed just for this install. It looks good, however, I'm having a real hard time with their price. $500 to $600 for a bike rack is silly.

Has anyone come up with a solution for caring the bikes on the front of their TT? I don't want to do the front of the TV, and the back of the RV is out. I just want ideas on what other bike racks are good (brands and types) and how would you fabricate a structure to support it on the front tongue above the propane tanks.

Has anyone made their own??? Or has anyone bought the one from toprail and is it worth that kind of money?

* This post was edited 11/06/09 08:46pm by flguppie *


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DHDW&2dogs

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Posted: 11/06/09 08:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The toporail is a great bike rack, I bought a used one for $300.oo, gave it a coat of paint, changed 2 bolts and it looks just like new.


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JBarca

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Posted: 11/06/09 09:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I did make my own. I had a Swagment 2 bike rack and made the stand for it to go on the A Frame. I can then take the rack part off and put it in the truck reciever for day trips. Or to use at home when I want to haul bikes. So I have multi use.

Here I'll let the pics do the talking. Heads up, this adds 109# of tongue weight. Rack and bikes. Need a WD hitch that can handle and a truck. Also make sure it is up high enough so the truck fender misses it. I can still get to my propane bottles too.

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Over different TV's and TT's, I have had them on the back of the TT, (bad idea) on the front of the Suburban, sort of OK, and now on the A frame. If your truck and hitch can take the weight, this for me has been the best way to haul these things.

Hope this helps.

Joh


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H & E

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Posted: 11/07/09 04:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I just have one bike to haul so I built one for the front.

TankerDude

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Posted: 11/07/09 04:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My brother had the same sort of storage problem for his bikes when camping. Even a little more so, as he's camping in a truck camper.
Bought two of these and that solved the storage problem.

swebber

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Posted: 11/07/09 06:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good job there JBarca !!!


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Lantley

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Posted: 11/07/09 07:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a 3 bike Toppoprails rack. Yes it was expensive and yes it has held up well and does a great job. My rack has been in use for 3 seasons now. I leave bikes on the rack 24/7 during camping season. Bikes are always in view and there is no bounce or shake to deal with.

$500.00 is a lot of money but not compared to a conventional rack, some sort of hitch receiver and welding.
Jbarca's rack looks great but again he has at least $500.00 invested in materials and labor.
Unless you are capable of making your own I highly recommend the Topopprails rack. You won't be disappointed.

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flguppie

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Posted: 11/07/09 10:21am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow, great job JBarca (John). I think it may be more fabricating than I can pull off. I wish I had your skills.

I may have to go the toprail route since they do look good and several of you have them and think they are well made. Thanks Lantley for the pics too. If someone has another solution, I'm still all ears. :-)

FLGuppie (Gary)

taborekle

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Posted: 11/07/09 10:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It's been a few years, but I tried to work with the top-o-rails guy and found him to be frustrating to work with. First off, he's a one man outfit, secondly he has a source of income from the local bike stores that he caters to and seems to feel that other customers are a bother. I tried ordering from him and after emailing him many times, (often with months of no answer because he was to busy doing bike shows) and answering his measurements he at the end of all that came back with a price about 30% higher then originally quoted.

Now I will say that my RV posed some special challenges, as I have a Spree LX which has a front faring that covers the propane tanks and uses up much of the A frame space, so precious little was left for the bike rack to go on, and I think both he and I were thinking that only turns of about 20 degrees were possible with the bike rack in place, which is of course ridiculous.

So rather then just being straight with me (after months where he understood the challenges involved) and saying "you're RV is not suitable", instead he hikes a additional $200 fee onto it.

Needless to say, I was not amused.

Instead, I approached my local RV dealer and had him weld a 2 inch receiver onto the rear frame (not bumper) of the RV and then I bought a Swagman RV rated bike rack. It's worked very well since then. To keep an eye on my bikes, I moved my wireless Swift Hitch backup camera to the rear window of the RV and point it down at the bikes and I can then keep an eye on them while I'm driving.

So while I see that some have had very favorable workings with the top-o-rails gentleman, it was not so with me.

You're milage may vary.

camperforlife

Midwest

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Posted: 11/07/09 01:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought the top pop rails after failing to come up with a better solution. The one I bought also can transfer to the truck as a hitch mount rack. It is a wonderfull rack and I found the company very informative and easy to work with.

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