Last Updated on 05/11/2024 by Glynn Willard

Bike Racks For Travel Trailers

Can a bike rack be placed on travel trailers or fifth wheels?

Yes, but there are some safety factors to keep in mind.

We had a 1 Up USA bike rack on the hitch receiver of our Outdoors RV travel trailer for over 15,000 miles.

We carried two mountain bikes and one road bike on the rack and a fourth bike in the trailer.

Read on to see how that worked out for us as well as some suggestions regarding safety and the best type of rack to use on an RV.

We are not affiliated with 1 Up USA. We simply put one of their racks through the paces on a travel trailer and it kicked butt!

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I’m using affiliate links and photos to make it easier for you to a) know what I’m talking about and b) help you make an informed decision. We also appreciate the small commission that does not cost you any extra.

This is one of our older videos, but it’s a solid review.

How Many Bikes Can I Put On The Back Of A Travel Trailer?

1 Up Bike Rack Review

You can safely put 1-2 bikes on the back of most travel trailers or 5th wheel on a horizontal rack, such as 1 Up 2 Bike Rack.

There are vertical bike racks that can hold more, but your trailer’s bumper hitch will dictate the total weight allowed.

We pushed the limits with three bikes on the back of our travel trailer on a 1 Up 4 Bike Rack.

It worked, but the bikes were damaged from being jarred so much.

And I genuinely believe that 1 Up Bike Racks are as “rock solid” as they come.

The damage to our bikes had nothing to do with 1 Up USA, but rather the insane amount of jarring.

We spent a lot of time on “off the beaten path” dirt roads that bounced our trailer around a lot.

As a tip, we learned to strap the bikes down, keeping them from rubbing on one another and padding the bike handle making contact with the back of the trailer.

If we had used an inferior bike rack, our bikes (and the rack) would not have survived the circumstances.

But if you only want to take your bikes camping at an RV park a short distance away, any of the racks listed will be more than enough on regular paved roads.

Are Bike Racks Safe On Travel Trailers?

Bike rack on travel trailer.
The last thing you want to do is create a dangerous situation for yourself and those around you on the road.

I would not use hitch-mount racks that are hanging on the back of any type of trailer.

You know the kind… the bike frame hangs on an outreaching arm. No bueno!

Even though Yakima lists their LongHaul rack as one of their RV-approved racks, I still don’t think it’s a good idea.

In my opinion, hanging bike racks allow too much play for the bikes and the back of a travel trailer is a “violent place.”

Consider either 1 Up’s Super Duty Double rack or their Recon Bike Rack. Some of the others listed below are also viable options.

Bikes in a horizontal tray system or mounted vertically are much safer, but will still be subjected to violent shaking.

Above all else, your trailer bumper’s hitch weight is the most important factor when deciding to place a bike rack on the back of the trailer.
Make sure the total weight of the rack and bikes does not exceed the maximum bumper hitch weight.

We’ve heard campers in the RV community talking about their bumpers hitch breaking off because of too much weight and jarring from a bike rack.

Bumper Hitch Weight Max

1 Up on travel trailer
The receiver hitch under the rear bumper of our ORV travel trailer has a max weight of 250 lbs.

Since the 1 Up USA bike rack with two add-on racks weighed close to 100 lbs, we were limited.

The good news is my Trek and the other two bikes are light.

So with good reason, we decided to put the smallest Trek in the trailer for transport, leaving three on the rack.

Most travel trailers have even less capacity on their bumper hitches, so make sure you know your weight limit before shopping for a rack.

Having it break off at the weld during transport would not make for a good situation for anyone.

1 Up Bike Rack Review


1 Up USA

We had to strap the bikes in place to prevent damage.

I have first-hand experience with Thule, Kuat, Yakima, and 1 Up USA based on prior use.

Before deciding on 1 Up, I thoroughly reviewed each of the other companies to find the rack that met my specific needs.

Each brand listed builds solid racks with a steep price tag. But you do get what you pay for with each one, especially 1 Up.

The construction of each is solid and the functionality is similar with all the racks.

When it comes to the jarring from the back of a travel trailer, I would not choose an off-brand.

We put our 1 Up through the paces (15,000 miles) and it never gave us a problem.

It was easy to use, easy to mount, and was crafted with top-notch materials.

If I had to do it again, I would buy another 1 Up. In fact, it did so well, that it’s now used on the back of our campervan.

So, our unbiased review of 1 Up USA bike racks is a solid A-plus making it a great option for the back of a travel trailer.

Bike Racks That Will Work On A Travel Trailer

There are a few criteria that make a bike rack usable on the back of a travel trailer or fifth wheel.

  • Most importantly it needs to be constructed out of heavy-duty materials. I know, I’m stating the obvious.

  • The bike rack needs to be as lightweight as possible since your hitch weight is limited.

  • It should be easy to relocate to the back of your vehicle you’re towing with. The whole point is to use your tow vehicle to find great riding locations, right?

  • A “bar over the tire” mechanism on a horizontal rack is essential to prevent the bikes from side motion and moving fore and aft violently.

  • The rack obviously needs to accommodate the type of bike you’re carrying whether it’s for fat bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, or a mix.

  • Finally, it absolutely requires a mechanism that tightens it inside the receiver hitch.

On a side note, many high-quality manufacturers rate their racks as automotive or both automotive and travel trailers.

Ours is not rated for travel trailers and their rep made note of this when speaking to him.

But it is so well built that even after 15,000 miles on a trailer, it still functions like new. The only issue you may run into is warranty work.

One of the 1 Up USA bike racks I suggest in this article is rated for a travel trailer (2″ Xtreme Duty Single).

I suggest considering vertical hitch bike racks if you have more than two bikes to transport on the back of a travel trailer. It will be the best way to transport four bikes.

Hopefully, the options I’m presenting help you find a rack with good value and a reasonable price for your needs.

  • Yakima StageTwo Or Yakima HangTight 4

    Both are well-built and sturdy. If you need to carry more than two bikes, examine the HangTight 4.

    If you only have 1-2 bikes, the StageTwo is easier to load and unload your bikes.



  • Kuat Piston Pro X

    There are several well-built Kuat racks on the market. Most of them will work fine, but I would avoid the Kuat Sherpa since it’s less likely to handle the “earthquake-like” situation.

    The Piston Pro X will hold up fine with two bikes and is my first choice for Kuat’s line of racks.



  • 1 Up USA 2″ Xtreme Duty Or Recon Rack

    I’ve already expressed my two cents on the build quality of 1 Up USA.

    If you have more than two bikes to carry, consider the Recon Rack with no more than four bikes.

    If you only have one or two bikes the Xtreme Duty will hold up better than anything else on the market.

I can’t recommend any Thule racks for a travel trailer, but if your recreational vehicle happens to be a campervan, the Thule Elite Van XT will work fine.

And it’s a lot easier to open the rear doors based on how the rack is mounted to the van.

Hay, I have to mention this since I have a campervan instead of a travel trailer now.


Tips For Bike Rack Use On An RV

I suggest never carrying more than three bikes on a horizontal rack on a travel trailer if the bikes are lightweight.

A maximum of two bikes makes me more comfortable.

Each manufacturer lists the stats for on-road and off-road weight allowance.

If you plan on camping on BLM land or USFS land, please pay close attention to the weight restrictions.
A few tips:

  • You may have to relocate your spare tire or cargo boxes to accommodate your bike rack. Prepare accordingly.

  • Tighten every bolt on the hitch-mounted racks every few moving days. Seriously!

  • Strap them down with ratchet-based tie-downs if you have a long journey over rough terrain.

  • Pad the handle of the one closest to the back of the trailer. We used a towel wrapped around the bike handle. We’ve even seen people use oven mitts!

  • If the number of bikes you have exceeds the weight limit on the hitch mount, find another spot for one of the bikes. In the trailer or truck bed is the best place.

  • Order the optional long cable lock to keep your bikes secure wherever you are and during travel.


Takeaways For 1 Up Bike Rack


1 Up Bike Rack on a truck

1 Up USA is amazing as a truck bike rack!

If you plan on putting one of 1 Up’s racks on your vehicle, you can’t do any better.

But if you plan on placing a rack on a travel trailer and want total peace of mind, 1 Up is the only option and best bike rack in my opinion.

Yes, they’re quick and easy to use, but so are many other bike rack brands.

But the high-quality construction of 1 Up USA withstood full-time RV living and many thousands of miles.

1 Up Bikes Racks are well suited for an RV owners use on a travel trailer, but it’s best not to exceed two bikes.
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