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Thread: DIY - Bike Rack for Pop-Up Camper

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Joined
    Nov 2007
    From
    Carmel Valley

    Default DIY - Bike Rack for Pop-Up Camper

    We recently bought a Pop-Up Camper. My original plan was to have a hitch reciever welded under the rear bumper and then use my 4 bike rack that we use on our SUV to haul the bikes on the camper. Well after reading some message boards for Pop-Up Campers (yes they exists...) I found out all kinds of horror stories about people trying it. Sounds like too much weight on the back of one of these things is really dangerous when towing as they will fish tail.

    So we started searching for roof top bike racks for pop-ups but they range from $300-$400 dollars and some don't look all that different than the one I built myself today.

    So a trip to Performance for 4 fork mounts and a trip to the hardware store for a 2x4, an anti-slip rubber mat that I cut up and heavy duty ratcheting straps all for $67 dollars and now I have this.

    It is completely solid. The front straps down easily. We off set the fork mounts so the bars can overlap. Since the bikes have different wheel bases and tire sizes they require 2 straps.

    Maiden voyage next weekend. Hopefully I won't be adding any new horror stories of my own to those other boards...
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  2. #2
    Member greo's Avatar
    Joined
    Dec 2008
    From
    Aliso Viejo

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    Drill holes through the wood and camper roof, use big old bolts and washers to fasten the 2x4 to the roof and for added back up keep the straps. Wind turbulence at driving speed can wiggle that stuff loose.

  3. #3
    Is YakityYak's Avatar
    Joined
    Jan 2008
    From
    Sespe, Ventura Co.

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    Thanks. keep an eye on the rear view and hopefully nothing will be slipping. We have a pop-up, too. I haven't had the time to finish it, but I came up with something, too. I'll try to post a picture or two.
    Just because you can
    doesn't mean you should

  4. #4

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    I have a 20 ft travel trailer, so I just lay the bikes on the floor. Where are you headed for your maiden voyage? We just came back from lake casitas, some mellow fire roads to ride following the frisbee golf course, but great little waterpark if u have small children! Big sycamore has great trails and camp sites! Next trip will probably be really close, an RV resort next to bonelli park (never rode there so should be fun).

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Joined
    Nov 2007
    From
    Carmel Valley

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    Quote Originally Posted by greo View Post
    Drill holes through the wood and camper roof, use big old bolts and washers to fasten the 2x4 to the roof and for added back up keep the straps. Wind turbulence at driving speed can wiggle that stuff loose.
    Thanks. I read many many posts on a pop-up forum saying that drilling holes in the roof was a bad idea because of water leaks. I will take it out for a trial run tomorrow and see how it does.

    Quote Originally Posted by UCLAallDay View Post
    I have a 20 ft travel trailer, so I just lay the bikes on the floor. Where are you headed for your maiden voyage? We just came back from lake casitas, some mellow fire roads to ride following the frisbee golf course, but great little waterpark if u have small children! Big sycamore has great trails and camp sites! Next trip will probably be really close, an RV resort next to bonelli park (never rode there so should be fun).
    We are headed to Lake Cuyamaca near Julian. We did Hurkey Creek 2 weeks ago. Thanks for the ideas!

  6. #6
    Mr. XSV verumlike's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 2010
    From
    Newbury Park, CA

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    absolutely love the rack idea, i have never seen anything like that. Very clever.


    is the wood mounted too the roof itself? If so, how did you attach them ?
    I <3 BEER

  7. #7
    Fueled by Frosted Flakes unclepudding's Avatar
    Joined
    Jun 2010
    From
    Chicago, Il.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greo View Post
    Wind turbulence at driving speed can wiggle that stuff loose.
    +1
    I'd recommend on your first trip or two to stop every 50 miles or so, just to check on the straps. Lord knows you can never be TOO safe with DIY stuff .

    Good luck, stay safe, and happy travels!
    Jeff

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Joined
    Nov 2007
    From
    Carmel Valley

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    Quote Originally Posted by verumlike View Post
    absolutely love the rack idea, i have never seen anything like that. Very clever.


    is the wood mounted too the roof itself? If so, how did you attach them ?
    Just using heavy duty ratcheting ATV straps that have "S" hooks on each end. One end connected to the fork mount and the other to the trailer frame. I bought the most "heavy duty" ones they had .

  9. #9

    Default An added precaution

    How about adding one more strap that ran from the front bottom of your trailer up over the down tube of the three bikes and back down to the front bottom of the trailer. If you got the angle right it would pull them down and forward enough to counter the wind pushing them back. That being said you'd need to make sure the strap didn't pull the bike forward. Or you could move the strap on the back wheels back at an angle, countering any tendency for the bikes to move forward.

    Good luck

  10. #10
    Squirrel Whisperer Brewtal's Avatar
    Joined
    May 2009
    From
    Ventura

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    Nicely done!
    Anything I would say has been said. +1 on test run and inspection stops along the way on actual road trip.
    Prior to the test run, maybe some strips of painters tape (easily removed after) on camper roof to compare before and after locations of mounting bar and tires?
    Good luck and happy trails!

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Joined
    Nov 2007
    From
    Carmel Valley

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    Quote Originally Posted by chupacabra View Post
    How about adding one more strap that ran from the front bottom of your trailer up over the down tube of the three bikes and back down to the front bottom of the trailer. If you got the angle right it would pull them down and forward enough to counter the wind pushing them back. That being said you'd need to make sure the strap didn't pull the bike forward. Or you could move the strap on the back wheels back at an angle, countering any tendency for the bikes to move forward.

    Good luck
    Thanks. I added 2 more straps to the front today and then redid the rear straps to be at an angle behind the wheels. Now I have 2 front, 2 rear and 2 side straps.

    Took it out for a trial run on some quiet roads. Got it up to 70 and no problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtal View Post
    Nicely done!
    Anything I would say has been said. +1 on test run and inspection stops along the way on actual road trip.
    Prior to the test run, maybe some strips of painters tape (easily removed after) on camper roof to compare before and after locations of mounting bar and tires?
    Good luck and happy trails!
    Thanks. I used your idea on my test run today. The bikes did not move off of my marks with the painters tape.

  12. #12
    Mr. XSV verumlike's Avatar
    Joined
    Apr 2010
    From
    Newbury Park, CA

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    Quote Originally Posted by jhardeman View Post
    Just using heavy duty ratcheting ATV straps that have "S" hooks on each end. One end connected to the fork mount and the other to the trailer frame. I bought the most "heavy duty" ones they had .
    Thats what it looked like, well kudos man... looking good.
    I <3 BEER

  13. #13
    Longtime Newb
    Joined
    Jun 2009
    From
    Lake Forest

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    If your design ends up not working, there is a commercially made rack that mounts to the A frame of the trailer. It's a fork mount like yours and the rear wheels sit on the trailer roof.
    If necessary, you might be able to fab up something like that.
    My PUP came with Yakima bars bolted thru the roof. Should you choose to pole holes in the roof, this allows you to use Yakima parts that you might use on your vehicle.
    The bars are Yakima, but not available from them. You can only get them from Fleetwood dealers, I think. They are extra wide at 84 inches.
    Enjoy your adventures, I love camping and biking.

  14. #14

    Default

    Any pics of the "improved" rack after adding the additional straps? I'm looking to add a bike rack to our pop up......we have a hitch that has an additional receiver, but can only put 2 bikes on it or it hits the pop up when we make turns. Really need to carry 4 bikes! Thanks in advance for more info!!

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