The RV Rider platform rack transports two fat-tire or electric bikes securely on the back of fifth-wheels and motorhomes
Carrying bicycles securely on the back of an RV has never been easy. Sure, there are bike racks, but combine mounting position issues on a 4-inch bumper and the fulcrum effect experienced on the back of a trailer, and it’s easy to see why people go to great lengths to secure their bikes for travel.
Now, add to that the electric-bike craze, and a whole new set of concerns comes into play. E-bikes weigh roughly 70 pounds, some have 5-inch-wide tires, and they cost thousands of dollars. So any rack that will carry e-bikes, especially on the back of an RV, needs to be very strong and have a good system to keep the bikes securely attached. Enter Hollywood Racks’ RV Rider hitch-mounted e-bike rack, a product that offers a solution to fifth-wheel and motorhome owners.
We recently had the opportunity to install and test one of these racks at Gander RV & Outdoors in West Hatfield, Massachusetts, with the assistance of e-bike manufacturer Quadrini, whose U.S. distribution center is in neighboring Florence. The RV Rider is a heavy-duty steel rack that is designed to carry up to two e-bikes, mountain bikes or road bikes on the back of a passenger vehicle, motorhome or fifth-wheel trailer. The rack is not designed to be attached to travel trailers whose tail fulcrum movement is more extreme. The company’s warning is clear: “Not warranted for use with toy haulers, single-axle trailers, travel trailers [and] camping or pop-up trailers.”
The rack mounts in a 2-inch hitch receiver, which will need to be installed if the trailer is not equipped with one. The receiver must have a minimum tongue weight rating of 350 pounds (Class III) to work with this rack, according to the company. If using the rack for nonelectric bikes, a standard trailer receiver may work, but you’ll be rolling the dice. Remember, it’s the motion that adds G’s to the assembly. It’s unlikely you’ll exceed the 350-pound rating, but the rack weighs 80 pounds, which needs to be subtracted from the published capability.
The RV Rider’s wheel holders are tire-width specific, so it’s important to know the width of the bike tires when ordering the rack. Choices include wheel holders to fit two bikes with up to 3-inch-wide tires, two bikes with up to 5-inch-wide wheels or one of each.
Assembling the rack is pretty straightforward. It comes with two hitch tubes — one allows the rack to fold down, and the other is rigid, which is used for fifth-wheels. Before mounting the rack on a 2020 Keystone Montana fifth-wheel, which has a molded rear cap, a heavy-duty 2-inch receiver extension was needed for clearance. In this case, the receiver did not extend far enough beyond the cap, which positioned the rack too close and interfered with the ladder.
Operationally, the rack’s wheel holders and padded, locking bike-frame clamps provided ample adjustability to secure any bike. A locking, threaded hitch pin added to the security, and a set of hitch clamps locked the assembly down to the point where there was no movement in the rack. Some tools and a locking security cable are also included, and all are keyed alike for simplicity.
With an MSRP of $549.99, the RV Rider is no minor investment. However, if you’re carrying expensive bicycles on the back of a fifth-wheel or motorhome — say, $5,000 to $10,000 worth of e-bikes — you can rest assured that they will be safe on the road.
Chris Dougherty is technical editor of Trailer Life and MotorHome. Chris is an RVDA/RVIA certified technician and a lifelong RVer, including 10 years living full time in an RV. He and his wife make their home in Massachusetts and hit the road in their heavy-duty truck towing their travel trailer every chance they get.