Saturday, April 1, 2023


Nifty do-it-yourself bike rack saves money

By Jim Twamley
No need to spend wads of cash for a commercial bike rack for your rig. My friend Ed Grabman used a little imagination and made this do-it-yourself bike rack out of some 2 x 4s, bolts and screw-in hooks.

Here’s how to build a do-it-yourself bike rack

Simply cut two pieces of 2 x 4 that will span your roof-access ladder. Temporarily screw them together and drill two holes that will match the diameter of your ladder sides. Also, make sure you drill the holes so they match the width of the ladder sides.

Lay the boards down and drill two holes for the retaining bolts and two holes for the retaining hooks. Make sure the holes for the retaining hooks are smaller than the diameter of the retaining hook screws so they will fit snugly. Remove the temporary retaining screws and paint or treat the wood so it will resist weathering.

Next, assemble the pieces on the ladder. I would mount the rack on top of a ladder rung to prevent it from sliding down. Screw in the hooks and hang up the bike. Secure the bike with bungee cords, straps, ropes or a combination of these. Be sure to tie off the front wheel to prevent the handlebars from flopping around and gouging or scratching your RV. As an alternative, you could make two of these ladder mounts and hang your bike vertically.

RV gadget review: Lippert Jack-It® Double Bike Carrier
Bike racks for RVs on Amazon



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2 years ago

I don’t believe something that goes down the road should be trusted to be built by the DIYer. If it goes down the road it needs to be approved by the appropriate agency. 2X4s can split, screws & hooks can snap and bend, added weight to the ladder can have a hammering effect during travel. This is just not a good idea IMHO.

Last edited 2 years ago by Brian
2 years ago

To much weight on the ladder IMHO. True they are rated for 300 #’s, but the vibration from that much weight as you go down the road scares me.

Last edited 2 years ago by Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Bob

you are so right, static load vs live load are two totally different ratings.

2 years ago

Is the bike heavier then the person that climbs the ladder? If built correctly, it should hold normal bike. Also it’s cheaper then the factory built units.

2 years ago

We solved the issue of carrying our tandem bike by simple putting it inside the trailer and strapping it to the table legs. Works great and the bike it always clean since it is out of the weather.

2 years ago

Scary!! This type of device is blatantly unsafe and most probably would not meet ANY state or federal DOT regulations. It is reckless to post and/or promote such a deficient device that could readily result in a vehicle accident, injury or subsequent fatality. I personally always consider the ‘life-safety’ aspect of anything I attach to, or tow behind, my vehicles as the most important decision factor. The extra cost of a well-engineered device is cheap compared to a possible cost of a single ‘defective equipment citation’ but especially compared to being held liable for any consequences – civil or criminal. A professionally designed systems take a lot more into consideration than simply initial material costs – professional engineering also includes life-safety and product liability.

2 years ago

I agree, bad idea. What’s next, making a 2×4 tow bar?! Happy New Year everyone! Stay Home Stay Safe! Here’s to a better year ahead! Thanks Chuck and all the staff at RVT! Keep up the good work!

Brian Holmes
2 years ago

this is why I don’t follow any camper with anything hanging off the back. Home owner ideas are destined to fail. The story should be removed. I don’t think Chuck found this one.

2 years ago

I wouldn’t trust the metal strength of the screw in hooks to hold the weight of the bike with the bouncing action typical on the rear of a trailer or 5th wheel. Also, the 2x4s will impede, to some degree, the climbing up & down on the ladder. For very occasional use it might be ok, but not for fulltiming. Also, the picture shows the rack mounted exactly where he says not to mount it, where it can slide down.

Last edited 2 years ago by Fred
2 years ago

What a terrible idea? It’s just asking for trouble when it fails!

2 years ago

Too much weight on the ladder for my taste. The ladders are usually just aluminum and held in by a few screws into the roof and rear panel. Just seems like an invitation for weakening the holes and sealant on the roof and an improved opportunity for water invasion. I would think most people would notice a weakening before a catastrophic failure of losing a bike into the windshield of a vehicle behind you, but that scenario also comes to mind when I see this. Stay safe out there!

2 years ago

heavy bikes like ebikes are too heavy to be mounted on the ladder rack. Ask any reputable bike rack seller and you’ll be told that bike racks mounted on the rear of a travel trailer are a bad idea. The subtle sway causes the rack joints to fatigue leading to catastrophic failure of the rack. I wouldn’t want to be responsible for my rack and bikes flying off the trailer into a following vehicle. We had a custom utility rack built and installed in to 2 hitch receivers to carry our ebikes.

Alan J
2 years ago
Reply to  RV Staff

Sorry RV Staff – with all due respect, I wholeheartedly disagree with the characterization with the above thoughts that somehow this home-made bike rack was ‘designed/built for a regular……..’ There isn’t a single favorable comment from any responders. Quite the contrary, each and every single comment states clearly what a bad idea this is. This article is a complete and total contradiction to today’s RVTravel’s article about the hazards of overloading ‘stuff’ on the bumper and on hitches of RVs and trailers. How does the staff reconcile such blatantly contradictory and controversial articles?

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