Arvika Bike Rack Review
I searched for about a year for a way to easily bring our bikes along while camping. I finally settled on the Arvika 7000 series bike rack. After using the Arvika bike rack on a 1,600 mile round trip to Fort Wilderness, here is a review. After reading this review, be sure to check out my long-term bike rack review update with updates from several years of use.
We camp as a family of four. For now, we have two adult and two child bicycles. But, with the kids growing, they won’t have kid bikes for long.
Before buying this rack, my method for carrying the bikes along was to lay two bikes on the couch in the camper and two in the bed of the truck. This worked. But, trying to ensure the bikes didn’t bounce, scratch, or cause damage was always a concern. And, with two bikes in the truck, there wasn’t much room left for any other cargo. I really wanted another solution.
I thought about getting a bike rack on the back of the camper. However, I heard too many horror stories about bike racks, and even whole bumpers, coming off as camper bumpers really aren’t designed to carry a load, especially on a bumpy road.
Another option was to get a rack for the top of the truck bed. This was my favored solution. But, no one makes an adjustable height rack that works with a tonneau cover. We have an Access Roll-up Cover made by Agricover in North Dakota. It is a great cover. They also make a rack. But, last year they switched to only making a tall rack – which would be great for kayaks but I didn’t think that it would be easy to load bikes that high. Thule makes an adjustable height rack – but it won’t work with a tonneau cover. So, while I wanted to be able to bring the bikes with or without the camper, that solution didn’t quite work.
After hearing good reviews of the Arvika camper mounted bike racks on the Trailer Life forums, this seemed like the best option. Arvika is based in Quebec Canada. They have a range of bike racks many of which are designed for use on travel trailers. They sell a camper bike rack that mounts over the gas tanks on the front of the camper. Different models can hold from two to four bikes and are available in black, white, or anodized. I selected the white four bike model.
Once installed, the rack seems very secure. Bicycles are held in place at the top by a clamp and at the bottom by two straps. I do need a ladder to get the bikes on or off from the rack. At least I now have the room in the truck to bring a ladder along.
Once concern I had would be that my turning radius might be reduced by the bikes. After trying it out, this doesn’t seem to be a problem. I was able to do some fairly tight turns while backing without any interference from the bikes.
Can hold up to four bikes – perfect for a family of campers.
Feels secure – held in place even on bouncy roads.
The white rack matches well with our camper.
There are three standard racks and one adjustable height – good for a smaller bike.
This was very challenging to assemble. The instructions were very unclear. The parts inventory was not labeled with the name of each part, only the part number – making pre-assembly organization difficult. What should have taken 30 minutes to assemble ended up taking several hours.
It holds four bikes. However, it does not hold small bikes. Our smallest one still rides in the camper as it will not fit on the rack.
There is a lock provided for the outermost bike. It doesn’t work well. While the other clamps are easy and secure, this one feels like it is stripped after only one use. I am not confident it will hold up and will likely try to find a replacement clamp to match the others.
All of the racks have two bolted secure points between the bike tray and the mounting rack except one. For some unknown reason, not enough clamps were provided to secure all of the trays in two places. Since the instructions don’t mention one tray having only one secure point, I kind of had to guess and ended up securing the front tray to the middle of the front of the support. All of the other trays are secured in two places along the sides. I was concerned about this and contacted the company. They indicated that all of the trays should have two secure points and are going to send the missing parts.
To access the gas tanks, you must remove the bikes and then tip the rack up.
It is very expensive.
While it may seem like the cons outweigh the pros, I really do like this rack. Once I got through the challenging assembly, it seems well built and I look forward to using it on many more trips.
Do you bring your bikes along when you go camping? What was your solution? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
Note: please be sure to check out my long-term bike rack review update with updates from several years of use.
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