RV gadget review: Lippert Jack-It® Double Bike Carrier

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By Tony Barthel
A lot of us want to bring bicycles with us on our RV travels but the trouble is … where do you put them? I’ve seen a lot of folks mount them to the back bumper of a trailer but almost every trailer I’ve seen also has a warning label from the manufacturer that says not to mount anything to the bumper.

Lippert Jack-It® bike rack
A close up of the mounting “hooks” on the Lippert Jack-It® bike rack

My wife and I enjoy bicycling when traveling and wanted to bring our two “beach cruiser” style bicycles with us. Our previous pickup truck was a mid-size truck with a very, very short bed so there was no putting the bicycles back there.

I was thrilled when I found Lippert’s Jack-It® Double Bike Carrier System.

Installing the Jack-It bike rack was pretty easy – it essentially screws into where the tongue jack goes on the trailer. I simply had to hook the trailer to the pickup, unscrew the tongue jack and then screw it back into place with the Jack-It. Here’s where I ran into the first issue. 

The power tongue jack I had installed previously was at a height that the bubble level at the top made it too tall to fit under the Jack-It. My solution was to remove that cap and just tape over it with Gorilla tape – though this was not ideal, I’ll admit. However, this brings up another issue – if ever the electric tongue jack fails and I have to manually crank the jack, I may be out of luck. It seems that I can remove the Jack-It easily enough and get the manual jack crank through there – let’s hope I don’t ever have to prove this theory. 

Lippert Jack-It® too close to jackWell, but what about the bike rack itself? It’s pretty flexible in how you can put it together with an arm that can go in two different ways that allow the bike rack to either be extended back away from the tow vehicle or toward the tow vehicle – depending on your trailer, your bicycles and your tow vehicle. It’s actually pretty flexible. You can forego this extension altogether as well – again, depending on the circumstances. 

The actual rack itself is well thought out with hooks that can be mounted toward the front or toward the back or, as we’ve done, put one set facing forward and the other facing toward the trailer. It seems you can accommodate a lot of different bicycle configurations as well as some other outdoor gear. Surfboards? 

Getting the bikes onto the rack simply involves lifting them up, which is easy enough for me, but my wife isn’t as tall and is more challenged by this. Once the bikes are on the rack there are rubber “straps” that hold the bikes on the hooks. These work very, very well and are easy enough to pop off when you want to get the bike down but do a good job of holding it on as you’re going down the road. 

With how flexible the holders are on the bike rack “V” itself you can pretty much accommodate any size bicycle, it seems. While the rack is a bit wiggly that also doesn’t seem to affect how well this works. 

What I like about this is that it sits on the tongue, instead of the trailer’s back bumper, and uses space that might otherwise not be used. I also use the Jack-It to hold my portable solar panels when I’m camping, and the fact that I can rotate the rack means that I can have those panels chase the sun around. Not sure anyone at Lippert had this in mind when they designed it but it has worked for me. 

The number of various configurations you can utilize with this makes it work for almost any bicycle I can think of. The manufacturer specifies that the Jack-It is limited to 80 pounds of load-carrying capacity and I’ve exceeded this by probably 20 pounds myself – though that’s not a recommendation, just an observation. 

I also like that it carries the bikes by the wheels, though you can also do as we’ve done and use it to carry the bicycles by the frame. Lastly, there is zero drilling or modification of the frame of the trailer whatsoever. 

I recommend this rack. It was really easy to install and also does the job. Plus I’ve used it for solar panels (not while moving, while camping) and also holding flags while camping as well. Who knew that this one bike rack could do so many things so well? 

Check it out here.

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Jeff Arthur
7 days ago

There a Canadian manufacture out there making I very nice version of this style of front mount rack . Can do up to 4 bikes. Much easier bike loading . Extremely well thought out & can be converted to receiver mount so you can put it on the TV once you’re at camp. Don’t recall the name but began with an A . Probably expensive as it looks it .

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
7 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Arthur

Hi, Jeff. Was it maybe ARVIKA? I just found that one via Google. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Jeff Arthur
7 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Arthur

Arvika is the manufacturer.

Jeff Arthur
7 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Arthur

It is expensive & sort of hard to come by here in the states. The plus is the exchange rates for US to Canadian is good deal for US currently

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
7 days ago
Reply to  Jeff Arthur

So my guess last night was right. Yay! Have a great day, Jeff! 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

H Goff
7 days ago

i have this rack and can attest it is very hard to mount bikes (once you have it adjusted for your particular bike which takes about an hour). if it’s the only option you have and you will ride the bikes when you get somewhere – then it’s the answer. it will take you at least 1/2 hour to get the bikes on the rack and about that to get them off.

Jim
7 days ago

I just had a receiver hitch added to the front of my pickup and slide the bike rack into that. It’s low enough that the bikes don’t obscure my view.

Drew
8 days ago

I’d be challenged to get the bike(s) up there 🙁

Marty
8 days ago

I was told by a representative of Hollywood Racks as well as my local bike store to use no kind of rack, rear or front on a TT. The subtle sway of the TT going down the road leads to stress on the joints of the rack leading to metal fatigue and then catastrophic failure of the rack. We don’t want to have that happen possibly endangering a vehicle behind us. I’ve read many posts on Facebook attesting to this.
Aside from that we have heavier ebikes which would be hard to load on the tongue type jack. Our solution was a custom made steel utility rack inserted into 2 hitch receivers welded to the frame on the rear of the TT.