How Do You Attach a Bike Rack to an RV Ladder?

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An RV next to bikes that were brought along using an RV ladder bike rack

Bringing bikes along on your RVing adventures may sound like a great idea, but it’s not always easy.

While a hitch-mounted bike rack typically works best in these instances, you may not have one, or you may be using it to tow your RV. In these situations, an RV ladder bike rack may be just what you need to take your bikes with you.

Today, we’ll show you what it takes to attach a bike rack to your RV ladder. You’ll be hitting trails or bike paths before you know it! Strap on your helmet, and let’s dive in!

What Is an RV Ladder Bike Rack?

This type of bike rack mounts to an RV’s ladder. Many RVs come with ladders mounted on the back (or on the side for toy haulers). 

These ladders allow RVers to access the roof of their RV for maintenance, repairs, and inspections. However, it can also serve other purposes.

You can also mount a bike rack mounts to your RV ladder. It allows users to carry bikes with them during their travels.

This can be especially helpful if a tow vehicle has limited storage space or no available hitch for a standard rack. 

How Do You Attach a Bike Rack to an RV Ladder?

An RV ladder bike rack attaches to a rung on an RV ladder; which rung you choose depends on the height. However, you want it to be easily accessible without hiding your license plate when you mount them.

Slide the bike rack onto the designated ladder rung and secure it.

Many bike racks come with velcro straps that allow you to quickly and easily secure the bike rack to the ladder. Do all you can to minimize bouncing or movement for your bikes.

After securing the bike rack, start mounting your bikes. The number of bicycles your mount can hold depends on which one you purchase. However, most ladder-mounted bike racks can only support two or three. 

Use velcro straps to hold the bikes tightly to the rack and each other. It’s also a good idea to use velcro to keep the tires in place to prevent them from spinning while you travel.

RV Ladder Bike Rack Buying Guide

You need to consider several things before buying an RV ladder bike rack.

If not, you could be wasting your money or going through the hassle of returning a useless item. Let’s look at a few things to keep in mind while shopping.

Determine How It Secures to the Ladder

One of the most important things to consider is how the bike rack secures to your RV’s ladder.

Ensure that it’s compatible and fits your ladder. If your RV has a retractable ladder, it may not support a bike rack.

Measure the Ladder and Back of Your RV

To ensure compatibility with your RV, measure your ladder and the back of your RV. Ensure the dimensions work and that your bikes won’t extend past the edges of your RV.

Additionally, consider if your bikes will block important items like brake lights or your license plate. You could find yourself on the side of the road with law enforcement if you obscured these items.

Consider the Weight of the Bike Rack

You must factor in the weight of the bike rack and the bikes you’ll hang on it.

RV ladders typically have a weight rating of around 250 pounds. However, this weight rating is typically for when your RV sits stationary and not in movement.

The back of an RV can experience a ton of bounce as you drive. Carrying excessive weight on the back of your rig can dramatically increase the chances of trailer sway and damage to your RV. 

When in doubt, check with your RV manufacturer to ensure your RV ladder can handle the weight of the bike rack and any bikes you add to it.

A woman sitting next to her RV and bikes that she brought along using an RV ladder bike rack

Pros of RV Ladder Bike Rack

There are many reasons you should consider using an RV ladder bike rack. Let’s take a look at what people love about these racks.

Eliminates a Hitch or Bumper Rack

In many instances, your ladder sits unused. Using an RV ladder bike rack eliminates the need to use a hitch or your bumper. 

Depending on your tow vehicle and trailer, you might not have access to either of these. These racks make fantastic options if you want to maximize the usable storage space while RVing.

Doesn’t Add Too Much Length to Your RV

If the length of your RV concerns you, you don’t have to worry when using a ladder-mounted rack. They typically don’t add too much length to your RV. 

Even better, they fold up compactly when not in use, so you don’t have to worry about them taking up more space on your ladder or in storage.

Easy to Install

Installing an RV ladder bike rack typically only takes a minute or two. Once you get the hang of it, you can install it in minutes. Simply slip the rack over one of the ladder rungs and then secure it.

With it being so easy, you can spend more time on other things. Even though it won’t take a lot of time, do a thorough job. You don’t want to see your bikes on the highway when you look in your mirrors.

Cons of RV Ladder Bike Rack

While there are many things to love about RV ladder bike racks, you also need to consider some cons.

Here are a few things users don’t love about using these to haul bikes with their RVs.

An RV pulled over to install a ladder bike rack

Reaching Up to Load and Unload Bikes

A bike rack on your ladder will require you to reach up when loading and unloading your bikes.

This can be difficult, especially if you struggle to lift your bike. Lifting the bikes several feet off the ground can take some muscles.

Additionally, some campsites may have a hill or drop-off at the rear of the site, which could make it nearly impossible for some people to reach them. This can make it especially challenging for individuals who aren’t as tall as others.

Keep in Mind: Have you considered an electronic bike? These bikes may be the The Best E-Bikes for RVers!

Takes More Effort to Secure

Finally, you can easily install and remove these racks, but they tend to be less secure. You’ll likely need to put forth a bit more effort to secure it and your bikes. 

Additionally, you may need to figure out a system that works for your specific setup to ensure that it’s secure, which can take time to do.

The Best RV Ladder Bike Rack

Since you don’t want to trust your bikes to just any bike rack, we’ve found some of the best. Here are some of the best options to help ensure your bikes make it from point A to point B on your RV ladder.

Lightweight Option: Surco 2 Ladder Mounted Bike Rack

The Surco 2 Ladder Mounted Bike Rack is one of the strongest and lightest racks. Its aluminum construction allows it to tip the scales at only three pounds. However, it’s still incredibly capable. 

One reviewer took it on a 900-mile road trip through the mountains, and it held up fine carrying their two mountain bikes. The arms pivot out of the way when not in use and allow you to access the ladder.

Surco 501BR Ladder Mounted Bike Rack
  • Fits on the ladder of any van or RV
  • Pivoting arms allow easy access to use of the ladder

Highest Rated: Stromberg Carlson Bike Rack for Universal Ladder

The Stromberg Carlson Bike Rack works on a wide range of RV ladders and only adds 13 inches to the overall length of your RV. It holds two bikes and has a maximum weight capacity of 50 pounds. 

The rack uses a unique mounting method for the ladder, ensuring a quiet ride without the rack rattling as you drive. The aluminum frame allows it to be strong and durable and weigh only 5 pounds.

Stromberg Carlson LA-102 1-Inch Bike Rack for Universal Ladder, black
  • Length from bend to tip of extended bike arms is 13″
  • Max distance between bike cradles is 9″

Budget Friendly: Camco RV Ladder Mount Bike Rack

Camco is a familiar name for RV accessories and gear. They have a positive reputation and stand behind their products, including their RV ladder mount bike rack. 

The rack fits most RV ladders and includes bonus straps to secure the rack and your bikes. Furthermore, it can hold two bicycles and a maximum of 60 pounds. And it folds compactly to make it easy to store when not in use. 

Keep in Mind: Move your toys with ease with The Best Kayak Trailers!

Camco RV Ladder Mount Bike Rack - Easily Holds 2 Bikes & Folds for Convenient RV Storage - Max Weight Capacity of 60 lbs - Designed w/Heavy Duty Steel (51492)
  • EFFORTLESS RV BIKE TRANSPORTATION: Discover an easy and secure way to transport bikes on your RV with Camco's RV Bike...
  • COMPATIBILITY: A camping gear must-have for avid bikers, Camco's trailer ladder rack is compatible with most standard RV...

Bring the Toys with an RV Ladder Bike Rack 

By taking advantage of the unused space on your RV ladder, you can bring more toys with you during your adventures. Being able to explore the campground or hit the trails by bike can help you to create memories that you’ll never forget. 

Stop stressing about storing your bikes and make it easy to take them along for the ride.

Last update on 2024-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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