DIY - Bike Rack for Pop-Up Camper

Discussion in 'The Workshop' started by jhardeman, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. jhardeman

    jhardeman New Member

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    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. greo

    greo New Member

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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. YakityYak

    YakityYak Is

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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.
     
  4. UCLAallDay

    UCLAallDay New Member

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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. jhardeman

    jhardeman New Member

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    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.

    We are headed to Lake Cuyamaca near Julian. We did Hurkey Creek 2 weeks ago. Thanks for the ideas!
     
  6. verumlike

    verumlike Mr. XSV

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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 ?
     
  7. unclepudding

    unclepudding Fueled by Frosted Flakes

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    +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 :lol:.

    Good luck, stay safe, and happy travels! :wave:
     
  8. jhardeman

    jhardeman New Member

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    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. chupacabra

    chupacabra New Member

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    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. Brewtal

    Brewtal Squirrel Whisperer

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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. jhardeman

    jhardeman New Member

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    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.

    Thanks. I used your idea on my test run today. The bikes did not move off of my marks with the painters tape.
     
  12. verumlike

    verumlike Mr. XSV

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    Thats what it looked like, well kudos man... looking good.
     
  13. Rumpled

    Rumpled Longtime Newb

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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. shannonclements

    shannonclements Guest

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    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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