How do you haul mountain bikes on a trailer with a RTT?

JHRIII

New member
Hi everyone, new guy here from Atlanta. I'm looking to get a trailer (trying to stay away from DYI trailer, but not ruling it out) with a RTT to pull behind my JKU... And the whole family mountain bikes. I currently have 4-bike and single bike 1Up tray racks and I know stuffing the rack on the trailer's receiver hitch is an option, but a trailer... plus 4 bikes is looong and even with the rack's slight rise, I'm afraid it might justget destroyed dragging on things if the terrain gets just slightly hairy.

Two thoughts I've had so far is to do a modular roof style rack over a low mounted RTT that can easily be removed (pivoted?) to deploy the RTT. My second thought was a roof bar type rack under the RTT with bars long enough to put a bike on each side over the fender, and maybe a two bike rack on the trailer's receiver.

A pipe dream option would be an enclosed trailer big enough to fit 4 bikes into (w/o front wheels) and an RTT on top... Like a mini toy hauler.

Any creative thoughts or suggestions?
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
This is something only parents with growing kids seem to discover that’s oddly not an easy one to fix.
I don’t run an RTT but in affect I have the same challenge. I have a trailer/tent like a Jumping Jack but its not a Jumping Jack 4x6. The best setup has been two on the roof of the tow vehicle Subaru Outback and two mounted as far outside on fork clamps on the trailer. I then lashed a two bike tray to the trailer so we can haul / shuttle 4 bikes after camp is setup.
I sold the Subaru and now have a 2019 Expedition which I run a LoLo vertical Hitch rack up to 6 bikes and sticks out slightly less than my two bike tray style rack regardless of # of bikes.

However!! It heavy as hell!! Ideally I think I’m going to try to get a custom ball/hitch bar welded up where my hitch rack mounts to a receiver welded to the top of the hitch bar. I think the bikes will sit up high enough and close enough to the truck to avoid trailer contact yet let me set up camp without having to rejigger the bikes to pop the tent. Plus we are in shuttle mode the second the trailer gets dropped. The down side? For a smaller tongue weight rig the trailer and bikes would likely be way too much weight on the hitch.

For RTT I have seen two bikes fork mounted opposite side of the flip RTT side and two bikes fork mounted across the front of the trailer which case bikes were able to stay put with RTT deployed. But unless your packing a rack somewhere for the tow car your not really shutting to trails from camp

My trailer is too small to do bikes on trailer/rear hitch. Not just weight but wind drag back there would turn my little happy trailer Into a wagging disaster. Right now it hauls across NV and MT at 75mph with absolutely zero complaints. But bikes and huge wind drag on the back of it would be a disaster. This has been our family rig for 9 yrs.
If I upgrade it will likely be a cheap used 19ft ish toy hauler I can put folding bunks on one wall, fold up stow bikes inside and go. We also sail and often have a small boat or two or three with us which is why my multi functional 4x6 that can configure in to a tall sided utility trailer works well. I can pack along a sailboat and the Zodiac too.
 
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JHRIII

New member
Thanks for all of the replies! The riser adapter might be an option... But that is a ton of weight out back unweighting the hitch (doubt I'd have enough gear to counter it properly).

I want to like the shuttle racks as I've used them at various events but they hang too low for my purposes and yes... heavy. (I sold my year old Thule to get the 1up because it was lighter and more modular)

Boy @calicamper you hit the nail on the head. Both girls, (11 & 13) are now capable of hitting ¾ of the stuff I do so like you, we have to haul a ton of gear... hence why we're looking at trailers hoping to find one we can setup to meet our needs without breaking the bank. I think I just need to settle on and get the trailer in my hands so I can sort out the best configuration.
 

CampStewart

Observer
Since you don't yet have a trailer if buying custom you could get the axle pushed back about a foot which would compensate for the weight hanging off the rear of the trailer if you go that way. I built a hitch that incorporates a bike rack on the back of my vehicle that works very well and slides in the factory receiver. Even with raising the bikes up for clearance I did have to lengthen the tongue of my trailer.
 

Paddler Ed

Adventurer
I think you have three options:
  1. Raised height RTT with bikes travelling underneath, and then drop the height down to access it when you're at camp, an inverse of the set up on this Drifta DOT, which raised the RTT frame at camp:
  2. Longer drawer bar with a H based rack on it like the ISI Carrier I linked to earlier - this Drifta DOT has that sort of set up on it:
  3. Custom trailer with the rear axle set back to allow for the bikes to at the back on a receiver hitch, like some of the others have mentioned.

What you don't say is the size trailer base you're looking at working from - 6x4 or ....
 

Airmapper

High-Tech Redneck
Receiver hitch on your FRONT bumper and mount a bike rack off that
OP, do not do that. It's a hazard to yourself and others. Some states actually specifically prohibit carrying cargo on the front of a vehicle. It can block your vision, your headlights and turn signals, and will cause a lot more damage in an accident, damage an insurance company is going to be scrutinizing as negligence not an accident. The only way I'd even consider it is perhaps a commercial size vehicle where your front end is easily much larger than a bike and above a passenger car with you still able to see over it.

Put a receiver on the back of the trailer. Get a riser hitch insert if needed to get them up higher.
I've done this and it's worked out perfect, full use of the tent with the bike attached. But my setup is a 1UP single like you mention. Unless it's a heavy trailer 4 bikes would be too much.

I'm having issues keeping the trailer balanced (M416, stock length tongue) with the single rack and one 32lb MTB. As it sits now I'm carrying ballast water in 5 gallon tanks at the front of the tub. This is not a problem for now as I usually carry 5gal of drinking water anyway, plus can easily justify another 5 gallons of tap for washing hands and such. That is water I'll usually not replenish and dump the remainder of for my trip home, but with the bike it looks like I may need to refill or keep some or else I'll have problems. I've re-arranged my gear as well, heavy stuff to the front and it's helped but it's still a bit close for comfort.

It works great but I must keep trailer balance in mind and actively check tongue weight as opposed to it being front heavy biased without much concern as it usually is without the bike. The smaller the trailer the worse it will be.
 

JHRIII

New member
Those DOTs are sweet! I'm going to do some thinking on this. Iz won't always have 4 bikes so something that allows some flexibility may be in order.

Trailer wise, it's up in the air but I want small (maneuverable off road) and able to fit 35" tires so I only need to cart one spare. I like the Smaller Shutt & Morris Mule. I really want to like the FSR but no rear hitch. Also, I forgot to mention, while not extremely important, it would be nice to be able to use it for hardware store runs.

Oh, and front rack is a big nope since I do plan on driving the Jeep through a bit of gnar on occasion.
 

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