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Old 03-27-2014, 10:52 AM   #1
anglerdad
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Ladder Bike Carrier

Does anyone use a ladder bike carrier, and if so what are the pros and cons? On our old camper, we had a receiver hitch for a bike rack, and I had to reinforce the bumper-- but it did the job. On our new rig, I'm trying to decide to do the same to the bumper, or buy a ladder carrier since the new High Countries come with ladders on back. Thoughts?
 
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:39 PM   #2
bigred715
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I would not using the ladder mount. Too many horror stories about bikes being drug behind because of bikes coming loose. Get a bike rack that mounts on your receiver on back of trailer. Have made 2 trips across U.S. and no problems.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:09 PM   #3
vangoes
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I carried one bike on the ladder rack on my previous 5ver for years without incidence. It is kind of a PITA mounting it on the rack and it requires a step stool or step ladder to do so.
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Old 03-27-2014, 01:10 PM   #4
dieselguy
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All one has to do to answer your question is follow an RV with bicycles attached to the ladder ... it's just down right scary. Once upon a time I had one of those ladder mount bike racks ... no matter how well I lashed them down, it eventually started wearing a groove into the ladder tubes ... then I got a rear camera mounted on the rear cap ... Jumpin Jiminy Crickets, sold that mess on the local swap shop. I went with a bicycle rack mounted on my rear hitch.
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Old 03-27-2014, 02:35 PM   #5
Hooker
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The ladder is way to weak and flimsy.
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Old 03-27-2014, 03:30 PM   #6
anglerdad
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Thanks everyone. You confirmed my suspicions about the ladder carrier. I'm curious now if those of you who have mounted a receiver hitch to the back bumper, did you reinforce the bumper at all? Or, are the Montana bumpers strong enough to hold a couple of bikes? I had some plates welded on my previous camper's bumper to strengthen it. Just wondering if anyone has had issues with this?
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:23 PM   #7
dieselguy
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As seen in my earlier reply I removed the stock hitch and fabbed one that would be useful to my needs. Some have gone with dual receiver mounts one near the frame on each side. They were tied together with a tray like structure. Much more dependable.
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Old 03-27-2014, 04:54 PM   #8
DQDick
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We actually use the factory hitch since we only carry bikes back there. We use the ladder to carry a ladder.
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Old 03-27-2014, 08:47 PM   #9
2Wanderers
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I tried the ladder type bicycle rack and determined it was a fiasco waiting to happen. Bought the Curt 2" receiver hitch to put on my rear bumper and used a Swagman bike carrier. Only additional thing I had to do was bolt some reinforcing angle iron from the frame under the bumper. I had a neighbor in Mission, Texas who had brought his bike down from Ohio and the first bump he hit in Kentucky caused the bumper to break the welds from the frame and bend away from the trailer. After seeing that I decided to reinforce with the two 15" angle irons under the rear bumper to the frame. Hauled two bikes all over Texas and Colorado without any incident so far.
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Old 03-28-2014, 12:53 AM   #10
anglerdad
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2wanderers, I have also seen first hand bumper welds break with the weight of bikes on them. Which is why I had a welder weld new reinforcement plates under and on top of the the bumper connection. He even pointed out to me the original welds from the factory were only spot welds, and said it was an accident waiting to happen. It was an easy fix, and is not even noticeable with some black paint. He told me after he was finished that the bumper now would never fail no matter what was on it. I think he only charged me $40. I gave him $60 and still felt like I walked away the winner.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:03 AM   #11
1retired06
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Also recommend staying away from a ladder solution.
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:13 AM   #12
richfaa
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If you properly secure the bikes on the ladder mount you should not have any problems. We used them for years with no issues. We stopped using them because the racks were in the way and interfered with using the ladder. One needs to also properly secure the bikes on a bumper hitch.
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