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RV Gadget Review: CURT bike rack keeps eBikes in check

A while back my wife and I got Lectric eBikes, which have been a lot of fun. In fact, we’ve been writing stories about doing bicycle tours of various places including Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Shipshewana, Indiana. Both of those are really great bicycling towns. The only thing we needed for our bikes? A new bike rack. Enter the CURT bike rack. 

Which rack to choose?

One of the things we really like about the particular Lectric Step-Thru Mini eBikes that we have is that they fold in half and you can stow them in a large plastic tote. This was how they traveled, but I kept searching for a bike rack that would hold two electric bikes at 64 pounds apiece and also mount to the receiver hitch of our 2022 Rockwood Mini Lite 2205S. 

I have been to several bike shops and looked online at a few options and there was always something about the rack that I didn’t like. Until I saw an ad somewhere on social media from CURT for their Aluminum Tray-Style Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack. I was sold!

Features I liked

This bike rack is mounted to the two-inch receiver hitch of a vehicle, like our travel trailer. From there it has a pin, as you would expect, but there’s also a knob. That knob tightens a pawl against the receiver hitch which accomplishes two things. 

The pawl against the sleeve of the hitch reduces shaking and rattle, and it also locks the hitch to the tow vehicle. There’s a lock in the round handle of the adjuster. Once you have your rack tightened up, you can use the key to disengage the mechanism. It makes it next to impossible to remove the bike rack without the key. 

As the name describes, this is a tray-style rack so the bikes ride on a flat aluminum platform. On one end is a half cup where one wheel of the bike goes. Then there’s an arm that has a ratcheting elbow on it. You adjust the arm and push down on the elbow—and your bike isn’t going anywhere. 

But then there’s more. At the end of this arm is a cable that you can circle around through the bike’s frame and lock it, offering additional security. That uses the same key as the knob mechanism so one key does it all. 

Don’t lose your keys. 

On the other end of the tray is a sliding mechanism that has a ratchet strap in it where you can secure the other wheel. The carrier for this ratchet strap has a good range of motion, so I can see kids’ bikes or our larger eBikes being accommodated easily. 

Assembly

While the features are what made me want this contraption, the quality of the materials and ease of building made me glad I got it. Assembly was really easy—with an instruction manual in real English with color photographs. 

Seriously! 

The hardware all fit really well together and was well-marked. Further, all the bolts used had nylon inserts so they won’t rattle loose down the road. CURT even included all the tools you’ll need to put this together—which is great when you’re doing this on the road. 

Results

After putting this together and putting both bikes on it, I took it for a test spin around the area we’ve been staying in for a month. Using my GoPro and a suction cup mount, I shot a video of the bikes. 

Of course, there was a bit of movement as this isn’t a rigid structure. But at no point was I worried about losing the bikes. In fact, I have subsequently made trips down the freeway through construction zones and the bikes are just fine riding back there. 

Getting the bikes on and off, so long as you have a key, is really easy, as well. This bike rack makes me really happy and is really, really well thought-out. I am completely happy with the CURT Aluminum Tray-Style Hitch-Mounted Bike Rack. 

In summary

The folding eBikes are a good idea and we really like the size and convenience factor of these. But getting them in and out of the truck was a bit fiddly. With the bike rack, I can easily lift a bike off and head out in the morning—and that’s what I have been doing.

The bike rack is rated for 165 pounds. The two bikes, at 64 pounds each, came close enough to that number that I keep them on the rack without the batteries. That saves seven pounds each. This makes me more comfortable as I don’t like to stress systems to their limit, except for my wife. She has to put up with a lot from me. 

There are products I’ve seen that I like, some I don’t, and some about which I’m very enthusiastic. I would say the CURT Aluminum Tray-Style Bike Rack falls into the enthusiastic category. 

I do have a working relationship with Lippert, who owns CURT. So I did request this product and it was sent to me at no cost. However, I was fully prepared to buy it. The price is lower than a lot of bike racks I looked at that I didn’t think were as well thought-through.  

One feature this has that I can’t use is the ability to fold up flat against the vehicle. I can’t use this because of the spare tire on the back of the trailer, but I don’t care. For the way I use the bikes and the carrier, it works great. 

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TIM MCRAE
18 days ago

Great review Tony. Thank you.

What do you do about water? Lectric and many other e-bikes specifically state they cannot handle more than occasional splashing. Rain and road water from your road wheels will drench the bikes.

A large waterproof enclosure that encompasses the entire mount would be ideal. Thinking like a bbq grill cover type thing. I suspect total cost would now be getting up around the value of one of the bikes

Glenn
18 days ago

One expensive rack. $738 list. The one I got from Walmart was only $120. Also it is rated to 200lbs. According to the Curt manual from your link, yours has a 130lb rating and is not to be used on a travel trailer or any towed vehicle. Seems like a lot of false info you are putting out there. Just saying. My 2 cents.

Steve B
19 days ago

I went to a two receiver hitch to eliminate any sway, all welded to the frame.

M D-B
19 days ago

Sorry Tony but putting a rack on the back of a trailer is a bad idea. I’ve frequntly followed such and for too many the bikes are rocking back forth. Reputable Hollywood Racks and a local high end bike store both said don’t put them on a rack no matter how well built on a trailer mounted hitch receiver. Why? The sway, either subtle or severe causes metal fatigue on the joints of the rack eventually leading to a catastrophic failure of the rack. I wouldn’t want to be behind that trailer when the rack fails.

Last edited 19 days ago by M D-B
Kyle Petree
19 days ago
Reply to  M D-B

There are racks out there rated to ride on the back of a trailer. I went with the Lets Go Aero for our 2 Letrics.

https://letsgoaero.com/v-lectric-pro-two-fat-tire-ebike-carrier/

Bbo
19 days ago

Just make the bumper can handle the load, most won’t. Otherwise you will need a hitch welded to the frame. Again, make sure the frame can take the load of the bikes bouncing.

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