Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Swing-away Bike Rack for behind the Camper

Well, for the last few trips where I’ve brought along bikes with me, I’ve used my trusty old el-cheapo Harbor Freight swing down bike rack.

It’s served well, held up decently through some abuse, but it was a pain in the butt to tip down and lift back up (trying to hold two heavy bikes up and push a pin thorough a hole at the same time is in no way what I’d call “Fun”) and required running a long length of chain through the bikes and then through the hitch extension to lock them in place. 

So, I finally decided to invest some money into a new swing-away style bike rack that also locks the bikes in place.

I started up a few threads on various RV forums to get a feel for what was commonly used and the price range for most of them. 

I just about had a heart attack after looking up the Thule and Yakima racks at nearly $500 apiece, ouch!

Then, google came to my rescue, along with, and I located a Surco OSI DBR-300 three bike swing-away style bike rack on for $225 + free shipping!

The few complaints were minor, mostly dealing with bolt threads binding from the bike rack being left constantly out in the weather by the owner.  A simple fix for a handy many such as me is to lather the threads with a little anti-seize and no rust up problems to be had Smile.

Bike rack ordered, I waited patiently for it to ship in.

Finally, the happy day came and my box arrived, sadly mid-work week, so I had to wait till the weekend before I could get a day with daylight in it (it’s dark by the time I get home from work). 


Assembly was very easy, the only tool I needed was a crescent wrench to tighten down the big bolt that secures the swing arm to the section that slides into the receiver. 


And then putting the carriage bolts in place on the top pivot arm along with their springs and handles. 



It’s just simply that easy. 

I gave everything that was going to be loosened and tightened frequently a coating of anti-seize to protect it from the Oregon weather and I was done.


The bikes secure in place via a beefy top metal plate that is tightened down via two screws.  The one with the big handle on it has a key that can lock it so that the handle cannot be backed back off. 


Something else I really liked Smile



Bike Rack in action



Now, as you saw, on the truck, the swing away rack bumped the rear tire a little into the truck’s bumper. 

With the hitch extension in place, the bike rack will actually be roughly 12” behind the camper, giving the rack more than plenty of room to fully pivot the bike 90 degrees without getting caught up on the camper itself, giving me a straight path in and out of my door. 


  1. Nice post Matt! I'm looking at a solution for our rig as well. Haven't decided what to do yet but we're hoping to get something that can work with our without the tow dolly.


    1. Simply get a receiver adapter that has a raised second 2" receiver welded above the original one.

      Adapter goes into your regular receiver like the tongue normally would, pin it in place, then the tongue goes into the bottom tube and you slide the bike rack into the raised one.

      Then you can do both at the same time.