Riding bikes while camping is a fun and healthy way to explore the campground and surrounding area. Although when towing a popup camper to and from your destination, figuring out how to bring your bikes with you can present a real challenge.
Without a popup camper bike rack, you are forced to sacrifice car space or most of the truck bed where everything else needs to go or be forced to leave your bikes behind. A pop-up bike rack solves the problem.
So what is the best popup camper bike rack?
Popup Camper Bumper Bike Racks
Finding the best bike rack solution depends on your needs and the build quality and design of your camper.
The most popular option has to be the CURT 19100 Camper Bumper Hitch. It semi-permanently bolts to the bumper. Just be aware that not all popup camper bumpers are of equal quality!
While most camper bumpers are heavy-duty welded steel, many others are thin and flimsy and almost seem ornamental. You don’t want your bike rack falling off while driving down the highway. The mount, the bike rack, and a few bikes could weigh in at 75 lbs or more. Now imagine driving down a washboard road or going over bumpy highway construction with that 75 lbs of weight bouncing on the bumper. Would your popup camper bumper withstand you jumping up and down on it? The best advice is to check your bumper’s rating in the camper’s user manual.
If you have a spare tire that is center rear mounted on the camper, you can go with an around the spare bumper bike rack.
Another thing to consider is that some popup bumpers have L-shaped diamond plating covering the steel bumper’s front and top. If that’s the case, you may find your 4″ bumper is larger technically larger than 4″ with the plating. That can pose issues attaching the 4″ mount or bicycle rack to it. In that case, you have the option of grinding down the diamond plating (a good hour’s work) or go with a forward or roof mount bike rack solution instead.
Popup Camper Bumper Mounted Bike Racks
This option is a little pricey but offers an advantage. You can buy a mount that adds a hitch to the back of the popup’s bumper and then connects a regular hitch-mounted bike rack as you would connect to the rear of your car.
The advantage is that you can easily use your bike rack on a car with a hitch when you are not pulling the popup. Another advantage is that you could also get a cargo carrier rack, hitch-mounted grill, or use any other hitch-mounted accessories when the bike rack is not needed.
I would steer clear of them for popups.
There is a reason it is pictured on a rigid wall camper. It is bolted to the frame of the trailer itself. On a popup camper, the mounting bracket could block your forward slide-out from pulling out.
Clamp-on Bike RacksAlthough it does not technically mount the popup, with this, you can still haul bikes along with your popup. These clamp on the ball mount. Unlike an A-Frame trailer mount, when you disconnect from your popup at the campsite, the rack and bikes remain with the vehicle.
The biggest benefit to a Clamp-On Bike Rack is that you can haul your bikes with or without your camper and can even haul other types of trailers along with your bikes.