The one accessory we added to our Tow Vehicle that we shouldn’t have installed was the addition of a roof top bike rack!
We had camped several times in the past and wished we had a way to bring the bicycles. We use a Suburban to tow because we prefer having the inside space, so putting it into the back of a truck is not an option. After much research on good, stable, bike racks we ended up purchasing from Amazon this bike rack. We purchased three of the Swagman Upright Roof Racks because we had 4 bicycles. We put the largest bikes up top and my youngest daughter’s bike in the camper.
After getting to our campsite, we simply put all the bikes in the front and lock them in place with the front of the hitch on the travel trailer when not in use.
We were very happy to have the bicycles with us! The kids loved riding their bikes to the beach and around the campground. We were at Jekyll Island on our first trip (and last trip) with the bicycles. The beach is close by and there’s a lot of space to ride the bikes there too.
So the problem is that there was consistent wind noise that is very obvious while riding down the road. In the cab, you can clearly hear the wind noise that the bikes were making while going anything over 40 MPH, in our experience. So that was a lot of the trip! In addition, I kept looking to make sure they were still in place and everything was fine. The noise was sooo loud that I constantly thought something was wrong, I will tell you it wasn’t noise from straps flying in the wind either, because we strapped them down with bungees and tow straps so not to have that extra flapping in the wind.
Hubby immediately could tell there was a definite drag while towing down the highway. He really didn’t like it and we almost decided to stop and remove the bikes it was that bad! He kept saying, It’s going to take forever to get there now!
So, we will certainly be looking for better options that suit our towing package. We have the SUV and Mini Pearl so it could be just our set up isn’t right for what we purchased. We have removed the entire bike roof rack system because we know being on the roof isn’t the right option for us.
The actual bike rack accessory we purchased was not a problem and we would recommend it if your set up is different or you are looking for one to use without towing. We had three on top and hubby did add another strap because we going quite a distance. Maybe it wouldn’t have the same issues, or maybe your tow vehicle has better noise insulation. In addition, if you aren’t going that far, it may not be a problem feeling the drag.
One negative side is that you have to lift the bikes into place. Putting them on top of the vehicle was nothing I could assist with, so hubby had to do it by himself. He said that was certainly something he didn’t think about and wouldn’t care to do again in the future. It’s hard and the bikes are heavy and you have to hold them in place until you can get them secured onto the bike rack. The installation of the actual bike rack was not hard and since it secured to the actual roof rack we already had, no holes in the roof were created. That’s a plus!