Friday, September 22, 2023


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 




  1. Thank you for the thoughtful video review. Four years ago we bought the Kuat NV 2.0 dual bike carrier and have been enjoying it going around the USA and on dozens of shorter trips. Yakima, Thule and Kuat have been making great racks and carriers over the years and it looks like your CURT copied much of the Kuat 2.0 design, perhaps making compromises on the design, assembly and construction to keep the price more affordable (and weighs 7 pounds less).
    BTW, I’ve found that loading/unloading is easiest when your RV (or ground) is on a favorable grade so the bike carrier is nearer the ground level.

    1. The RV is just starting an upslope so the bikes are close to ground level
    2. The RV is just starting to level out from a downslope

    The Kuat has an optional bike ramp but with good technique I haven’t needed one.
    I hope your longer rack doesn’t adversely affect your hitch tongue weight and vibrations – perhaps try bungee cords from your bikes/rack to your RV.
    Happy Trails, Michael

  2. 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

    • Good point. We actually bought two cheap bike covers on Amazon that feel like they are semi metallic. I think they were about $16 each. One bike cover covers both bikes.

      These covers have a strap that can hold them on the bikes so I use that and strap one end of the cover to the wheels of the bike. Then there’s a grommet on the other end so I use a Nite Ize gear tie to tie the cover to the wheels on the other end.

      We have been in the rain and the cover seems to work well. I don’t hold a lot of hope for the longevity of this cover which is why I bought two, but it’s been fine so far.

  3. 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.

    • I don’t know if I’d trust $2,000 worth of bikes to the cheapest rack from WalMart, quite frankly. This rack has been quite solid and I am very happy with the build quality. I also have watched it while on the road through a camera and it seems just fine.

      Nope, it’s not the cheapest option but I also have seen it priced far below MSRP on Amazon.

  4. 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.

    • The trailer I have was specifically designed with a two inch receiver hitch for this sort of thing. This is why I continually advocate that people look under a rig before they see how pretty the cabinets are.

      I’ve watched this bike rack via a remote camera (using my GoPro) and I was surprised how little sway there was, even on the horrible things we call roads.

      I know that continually stressing any piece of material can cause failure but this package seems pretty stable and solidly built. I am not concerned in the least.

  5. 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.

    • As very specifically written in the article, the trailer I have has a two inch receiver hitch that is built into the frame by the frame manufacturer and is rated to hold 300 pounds.

      This bike rack plus the two bikes are about half the rated capacity.

      Also, I cannot stress what a bad idea it would be to mount ANYthing to the square piece of steel on the back of the trailer. It’s simply there to hold the stinky slinky, it isn’t really a structural item. The term “bumper” is being kind – container would be more appropriate.

      I see all sorts of things mounted to “bumpers” and ladders and wonder just how the denial of claim letters look when those items break off in transit.


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