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Normally when I travel around town with the bikes they just get thrown in the bed of my truck with a crash pad. On longer trips I'll put luggage in the Ridgeline's trunk and the bikes can go in the bed on top with locking fork holders instead. Next week we're going to the beach and the wife wants to take her dog (which means the dog crate), the inflatable paddle board, inflatable kayak, sunbrella, and some other random assorted beach stuff which means I would like to put the tonneau cover on which mean no bikes unless I buy a hitch rack. But the son really wants to take the bikes so I start looking for hitch options.

I didn't like any of the sub $200 options but was leaning towards a Swagman XC of all the sub $200 options. The ones I really wanted were in the $400-500+ range but I wasn't set to commit that much on a bike rack I didn't really need. I sent a text off to a friend to see if I could borrow his hitch rack. I had 3 hours before the drop dead time when I could order the rack and get it to my house in time for the trip. I knew my buddy was busy at work and might not be able to get back to me in time before the drop dead time so I made a contingency plan while I waited.

I had two extra fork holders I mounted on a 2x4 when I hauled 4 bikes a couple of weeks ago and I have a old hitch haul that's been sitting in my garage for the past 10 years. I mounted some 5/4 board to the rack screwing through the board through the metal grate into a 2x2 under the platform. This clamped everything tight to the platform. I plan on putting some screws into the side also through some 1/4" holes that are already located in the frame of the hitch haul.

Even before adding the side screws everything feels nice and tight. If I do use this setup a couple of ratchet straps should make it 100% secure. I might add some blocks on each side of the tires to act as "trays" to keep the wheels in place. It's good enough right now I let the drop dead order window pass for the Swagman.



 

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Excellent. Yes. I've seen and done this kind of stuff for years.

I know you had those spare fork mounts lying around. But. If you want to not have to remove the front wheel, you can lay down two 2x4s along the length of the rack with 1 or 2 perpendicular pieces to act as wheel (tire) stops. And then use tie downs to pull the bike down and anchor down to the rack. Otherwise, great idea. Simple. Effective. Economical.
 
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