There's no need to take up unnecessary storage space with your bicycles. Even if your RV is equipped with internal storage space for large gear (such as camp furniture or bikes) external Bike Carriers offer multiple benefits that make them a good investment. Perhaps you aren't certain which RV bike carrier is right for you. Choosing the right carrier that fits your needs is not difficult either.
Bike storage with your RV doesn't end with the logistics of storage space. Improperly stored bicycles can cause trouble for you when it comes time to get them out of your rig. Carriers can let you remove or put back one bike at a time and should provide a stable placement for each bike. Keep in mind different bike carriers will hold and secure your bicycles differently. For example, ladder mounted carriers can be a challenge due to the height involved. Ladder mounted models can also make the bikes harder to get at, so you may want to determine how often you'll use them. In terms of how the bikes are secured, carriers that hold the bikes down by the wheels are among the easiest for loading or unloading.
In addition to easier loading, storage is simpler with an external rack when your bikes are not in use. Knowing how many bicycles you'll need to take with you is a big factor in deciding which RV bike carrier you'll need. Most accommodate two or four. Ladder mounts usually hold two bicycles. The good thing with ladder mounted versions is the bike carrier itself can typically be taken off without much effort and stored if you don't need it. Also make sure the carrier you want can accommodate the sizes and types of bikes you are taking. The carriers that hold bikes down by the wheel are not always ideal if you have different sizes. Bike carriers that hold bikes by the frame can present an issue if any bikes you have do not have a top bar built into the frame, including some women's or children's bikes. However this type usually works better with bikes of multiple sizes.
Storing multiple bikes together without a rack can lead to tangling of parts that can damage bikes or even your RV. Racks offer positioning options and inherent features that keep bikes apart. However you should also make sure the bikes are properly secured once they are mounted on the carrier so they don't sway into each other or your rig, particularly with bumper mounted carriers. This can be done with various types of straps or cords to keep them from moving around. Accessories such as bike covers can help avoid scratches to the finish, as well as keep the bicycles from being exposed to the elements. You may even want to consider if you'll need extra padding with the carrier to prevent damage to your bikes.
Besides ladder mount or bumper mount, RV bike carriers also come in hitch mounted or spare tire mounted styles. Frame mount and wheel mount can refer to how the bicycle is secured to the carrier. For example, the
Softride 26247 is a hitch mounted carrier that is actually used solely with cars, as opposed to RVs or 5th wheels. It holds up to four 40 lb. bikes, and is used with Class II or higher 2" or 1.25" hitches. It has rubberized cradles for support, and secures the bikes using cable locks. The Swagman 80605 is a bumper mounted carrier that holds two 30 lb. bikes. It fits on 4-4.5" continuous welded steel bumpers. The Swagman 80630 is a ladder mounted carrier that holds two 35 lb. bikes. It includes two straps, and has foam pads on the body to protect your RV ladder from damage. These are just a few examples of the many styles of RV bike carriers that are available through RVUpgrades.