Arvika Camper Bike Rack Review Update
We have had our Arvika 7000 series bike rack since 2011. Here’s an update of how this camper bike rack has performed after over eight years.
When we first purchased the Arvika bike rack, there weren’t many options available for bringing along all of our bikes camping. With the Arvika, we could bring along four bicycles, perfect for our family at the time. It fit well on our Jayco 26BH and held three adult and one youth bicycle. You can read my initial review of the Arvika bike rack.
Using The Arvika Camper Bike Rack
Since we purchased this camper bike rack, we have taken many camping trips. Bicycling is a fun camping activity and a great way to stay fit. Riding bikes at Fort Wilderness is one of our favorite activities when visiting there. We enjoyed riding bikes on the beach at Huntington Beach State Park. There are so many destinations that are perfect to see on a bike.
We have a new camper now, a Grand Design Transcend 28MKS. I liked the Arvika bike rack and it was in pretty good shape so I had it moved to the new camper. The shape of the front of the Transcend is different from the Jayco. To ensure a good fit, we removed the fourth bike tray from the back of the rack.
With the bike rack mounted on the a-frame, the bike rack now fits nicely over the propane tanks with enough room for three bikes. When considering a bike rack over propane tanks, you’ll want to be sure that there is an easy way to inspect and shut off the propane. One nice feature of many newer campers is the inspection hatch on the top of the propane tank covers. When traveling through some tunnels, you have to be inspected and demonstrate that the propane is off before you can enter the tunnel. With our old camper, we would need to remove the bikes to access the propane tanks. With the new inspection hatch, it is easy to access the tanks even with the camper bike rack in place.
When we travel, I use the wheel straps provided by Arvika to help secure the bikes to the rack. I also use two cable bike locks to ensure the bikes are securely attached to the rack and also to help prevent theft. However, despite my best efforts, the bikes do move when we are on the road. The bike on the longest arm tends to have the most sway. Rubbing from the sway will likely damage the paint on your bike. Bikes on the camper bike rack are also exposed to the elements. I found that chains, spokes, and other components have rusted faster than if they were kept out of the rain. Painted spokes and rust resistant chains are options you might consider on your bikes.
When I am traveling without the bikes, I fold the rack up to minimize the chances for it hitting our pickup during a sharp turn. Yes, that did happen once and it was kind of expensive to repair. There is nothing built in to the rack to help it stay up, so to help keep the rack secured in an upright position, I use two small bungie cords.
Arvika Camper Bike Rack Longevity
How has the rack held up? After over eight years, it is still in good shape. Our camper is stored outside. The sun has faded the black plastic parts on the rack. Some of the bolts are becoming a bit rusty. One of my projects for this year is to replace the bolts. However, as this rack is from Canada, the bolts are metric. So far, I have not been able to find replacements at hardware stores like Home Depot or Ace. You can find the specialty components, like the support arms, in the Arvika replacement part catalog. However, you can’t order the parts directly on the site. The dealer search feature for US-based dealers wasn’t working when I last checked. So, to get parts, you will have to contact them directly.
Alternative Camper Bike Racks
If I was shopping for a travel trailer bike rack today, I would definitely consider an Arvika. Ours has held up well and served our needs. However, since they appear to have a pretty limited distribution network in the US, they still don’t seem to be available through Camping World, Amazon, or other retailers, you may want to consider a few other options.
Lippert now makes a two bike rack model, the Jack-It 2 Bike Rack, that mounts on a camper a-frame over the propane tanks. It looks promising. It holds the bikes by the tires which should minimize damage to the bikes from the constant motion they will experience on the road. At some point, I may switch to this if we only need to transport two bikes. The Jack-It is available on etrailer.com. Since we still frequently travel with more than two bikes, this wouldn’t be a better solution than our current Arvika bike rack.
Another option is to get an travel trailer a-frame carrier mount such as the ones from Swagman or Stromberg Carlson. These are mounted this to the front of the travel trailer and have a 2 inch receiver where a hitch mounted bike rack can be installed. One advantage here is that the bike rack can be moved to your truck and used when you are not towing your camper. Tongue mount bike rack supports like these can be found on etrailer.com. Just be careful in selecting a bike rack to go with the mount to ensure that what you select fits your travel trailer.
For now, I’m going to continue to enjoy bringing our bicycles along when we go camping. The Arvika bike rack has served us well and continues to be a great camper bike rack. What bike rack are you using? I’d love to learn what works for you. Leave a comment to share your thoughts.
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Arvika Camper Bike Rack Review Update
We have had our Arvika 7000 series bike rack since 2011. Here's an update of how this camper bike rack has performed after over eight years.