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Swagman RV Bike Cover Review

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Review of the Swagman RV Bike Cover

Evangeline: Hi it's Evangeline from and today we are looking at our Swagman Bike Cover for RVs here at eTrailer. Now this is a great cover for your bikes, especially on long road trips, cross-country trips. Something that you use to protect your bikes and your bike rack from the dirt, the grim of the road, as well as the elements.The cover works on hanging-style and platform-style bike racks. Right now we have it on our platform-style bike rack and it's large enough to fit your large bikes. We have an electric bike in here. It will fit your large cruisers as well, because there is so much space in there for your bikes.

It's made of 420-denier nylon, which is nice and strong, and weather-resistant, so you won't have to worry about the rain and the snow damaging your bikes.So on each side, we have here in the front and in the back, there's this pocket here. So what this does is when you open it this is meant for your hanging-style bike racks because the arms go through. But with it here on our platform-style rack I like it as to how it has that open space for ventilation, as well as an easy way to access your bikes while they're inside the bag.At the bottom, near our shank, is the small holes. And these are meant to be there so that if there's water that does get inside your cover, some way, some how, this is a great way for them to drain out the bottom.So remember you're not supposed to use this cover to keep your bikes in place, that's the job of your bike rack, it's there to cover your bikes and protect them from the outside.So if you want to look inside you can see the inside of our cover, this is the outside material and this is inside, and it's thing but very durable and very sturdy. I like how it feels here and I actually like how it's lightweight, it was easier to wrap around.

And that's what it looks like on the inside.Since it is a universal fit, and it's meant to fit around your large cruisers and you're large electric bikes, you might have a different fit on yours. Like what we have here is there's a bit of extra material hanging out. So my tip for you, because that is going to happen, is just to find a way to bunch up the material and put it towards the back of the cover against the RV wall, and that will be your best fit as you drive down the highway. So let's take a look at how we installed it.For platform-style racks, like this one, you need to insert the shank through the hole in your cover first. So you can find it by this hook and loop strap, which is strapped over it.

Take that down, insert your shank through it, and then you can install your bike rack into your hitch receiver.Before installing it over our bike rack I like to just spread it out and make sure that it's in the right position, that it's not inside out, which I have done and had to correct myself. So this is correct. We have the inside facing outside. And you have to make sure that the Swagman logo is right over there on the upper right side. So if it's in this position you're ready to put it over your bike and your bike rack.When you're installing it by yourself or just one person the easiest way to do it is to drap it over the handlebars.

So starting from the back I just leave it up there, and see I can just drape it over and kind of get it into place with my bike before I go on the other side. Here it can just grip onto the handlebars and this deep. Okay with that in place we can now do the front. So I put it up, and then I get the zipper, and I zip up towards the top. So they have zippers on each side, so if you don't reach over you can just start to zip up from here. What I did, since I'm a little bit vertically challenged, is I pulled the cover closer to me so I didn't have to reach over the top, so that's just an option for you if you need to do that. There we go.I found that the best fit is to have the zipper run through the middle of your bikes and bike rack, so we'll just rearrange our cover to fit better around our bike rack. It's also a cool thing to note to have the Swagman up here in the upper right and that will just keep things aligned. That looks good.With the zipper running down the middle you can then strap it together and this cover has five straps, so one on each side and three in the middle. So I'll just strap this and strap the other side. With both sides strapped down what I like to do is I like to throw one of the back middle ones over the handle bars and it's really just up to you what you find is the best fit for your bikes, and your bike racks, because we all have different shape and size bike racks. So I found this works really well for me. Just clip them together and tighten them down. So I tied this down by using two straps in the front and one in the back. I found that works best with having my excess towards the back. And you would like to do that because it's easier, and there's a windbreak between your RV and your bike rack to keep that material in. So with that being strapped down I also recommend that you tie up, or just wrap, your excess straps so that they're not flying around.Final thoughts about this bike cover is that it fits and that's what you would get it for, which is to cover your bike rack, and your bikes, and protect them. It does not look the best but that could also just be a matter of finding the best fit around your bikes. Since it's so large there will always probably be that extra material that you have to find a place to tuck in. And if you're worried about how it looks behind your RV that might be something, but if you really want something to protect your bikes and your bike rack this is a great option. So let's take a look at the discussion I and my coworkers had about this bike cover.It was very interesting to put on. Well right here it's on our platform rack but it also works on hanging-style bike racks. So underneath here is the E-SPEC bike rack and our two bikes. And this is the large size so it went all over it and we just strapped it into place.So putting it on was interesting because you actually have to take the rack out and then there is a square hole in the back of the . I'm not sure if you can see it but if you look in the back there is this square hole over here, which the hitch fits into and you have to put that in before you attach the bike rack to the receiver. And from there you're supposed to just wrap the whole cover over your bikes and your bike rack. And from there you just strap in the excess material with the straps. Nick: crosstalk 00:07:46 And just for the record, are you using a platform-style or a hanging-style rack right now Evangeline: Okay, so we're using the Swagman E-SPEC, which is a two bike platform-style rack. Nick: Okay. The reason I ask is because the bag can work with both types of racks. Evangeline: Yes it can. Yes. So it can also work with a hanging-style rack. For the hanging-style rack you don't need to attach . You don't have to put it through the hole first, you can just put it over. But for the platform-style rack this is the way that instructions . Or Swagman recommend to do it. Speaker 3: So I have to remove the rack with the bikes attached just to be able to get at my bikes now Robert Gisi: Yes. Evangeline: Yes. So we took off the bikes, we took off the rack, we put the cover on, then we reinstalled the rack, then we put the bikes on, then we put the cover over the bikes and the rack. Robert Gisi: Yeah we thought probably an easier way to do it just with having to put it through the actual . I mean I bet it's more safe. Evangeline: Yes. Robert Gisi: And I bet it's fully covering it. It's just probably not the easiest right off the bat to throw on like- Evangeline: We did try throwing it on without putting it through the hitch and it did not work that way at all- Robert Gisi: It didn't. Evangeline: So then we did it with the hitch and it fits a lot better that way. Speaker 3: So can I store it on the rack itself then Like will it fold up really tight so I could just leave it on there all the time Evangeline: If you would you might have to fold it up someway. It's really large because the large sides, so you'd have to figure out a way to really fold it up tight and you cannot use these straps, these would not pull it tight enough. You might have to use zip ties or something else if you wanted to store it on the rack. Nick: Okay. Evangeline: So I do not think it's easy to put it on the rack but I suppose it's possible if you get it small enough. Robert Gisi: You're definitely going to have to do a lot of trial and error- Evangeline: Yes. Robert Gisi: . because we had a lot of that and it's just one of those things where it's not very simple to figure out right off the bat. As you can see it's a little bit of a crude setup. It's definitely protecting and it's on there very sturdy but it's still . It's definitely something that you have to get used to and try a couple times before you can make it look really nice. Evangeline: So the fit will be different if you have different bikes or if you use a different rack, because it does say there will most likely be excess material and you have to find a way to use the straps with the cover to put it in against your bike rack. So like right now we definitely are going to readjust the straps here, just to find a better fit for our bikes. So that's just something that might be difficult at first, is on the first get-go to find the best fit for it, but I'm sure once you figure out what works out best for you it will be easy to repeat it.But yeah, as for how this feels here it feels strong, it feels sturdy. It does have these Velcro things, which are to help with the straps and with fitting things inside. But other than that, with the hook and loop, it does feel very weather-resistant, I would say, so it would keep your bike safe. The straps themselves feel sturdy as well. It's just fitting it- Nick: crosstalk 00:11:43 Can you kind of show us how the straps . How tight they'll make the bag, in case the customer's concerned about billowing Evangeline: About it billowing Yes. Nick: Yeah. Evangeline: So like right here we do not have it in the perfect strap position because . So these can definitely be tightened further to get it tighter onto . We can also just move the different straps around. We have it side to side, and up and down, but there's a lot of length on the straps for bringing it close. So yes. And some of these can be folded up against the other straps. Like that can be folded up there and then brought tight. It's just a matter of figuring out what works best with your exact bike rack. So I get that they say that there will be excessive material that needs to be strapped down. So like that looks a bit better, it's . Yeah. Speaker 3: I guess that's what I'm curious about it, it kind of . I mean, like you said, it looks a little bit messy. It's all trial and error. When you we're putting it on and figuring it out did it feel impossible Because it looks like you would just have to, what, move the straps around every which way and start tightening here, and then move them around and start tightening there Evangeline: Yeah. So it's a large piece. It's a really cover. So when you first spread it out it was kind of . It does kind of look overwhelming to just fit it over. So yes, I think it is easy to get overwhelmed with this design until you figured out which straps go where. Robert Gisi: This definitely isn't a- Evangeline: So yeah. Robert Gisi: This definitely isn't a just throw it on and zip it up kind of covering, which depending on what you're wanting to use it for . If it's a massive rain's about to come down and you're just trying to protect your stuff this is definitely not the product for that specific thing, but it's definitely good for long road trips I would feel. Like if you're thinking you may go through something it would be good for that. Nick: It strikes me as a bag that customers are going to have higher end bikes, because it seems like for all the hassle to put this on they're not going to be using it to cover a cheaper bike. Robert Gisi: Yeah. Evangeline: Definitely, that does sound right. Yeah, since it was a little bit difficult to put it on and off I'm sure if you had a really long road trip, and wanted to protect your bike, this is what you'd use. If you're not going to take breaks in between your road trip for a nice bike ride, I wouldn't use it for that. Robert Gisi: So for conventions or stuff like that, if people are really putting a lot of money into their stuff, this would definitely be a good one. If they don't want to get a full on trailer for their setup it'd probably be good for that. Nick: We say that it'll work with e-bikes and cruisers, do you think the bag is big enough to carry most sizes of bikes Evangeline: Absolutely. So that's, I think, one of the reason we have so much extra here, a little bit, like what you said seemed a bit billowing, because there is so much space in there, especially for your larger bikes. So we have here a larger size bike and like a medium sized bike, I guess, but we can definitely fit larger bikes on there. Speaker 3: crosstalk 00:15:43 Could you use it with a hitch mounted motorcycle carrier, you think Evangeline: That's a good question. Robert Gisi: It's a possibility. Evangeline: I feel like it would fit. Robert Gisi: Yeah, I feel like with how big it is and how much room, like even right now, we have with two bikes in it I wouldn't see there being a problem. Evangeline: Yeah. Robert Gisi: You may want to watch out for some of the more metallic pieces of the- Evangeline: Motorcycle. Robert Gisi: . motorcycle, but other than that yeah. Evangeline: Because it does have a square opening there for the hitch, so it fits 2" hitch receivers, so if that's what it has I don't see that there would be a problem with that. Speaker 3: Yeah, cool. Or, I guess, I'm also thinking of like a . I don't know, maybe like even a wheelchair carrier. Do you think it would come out far enough to fit over a cargo carrier that had a wheelchair, like a powered wheelchair, on it Or is that inaudible 00:16:41 maybe Robert Gisi: Possibly. I would see the only problem maybe is because it's definitely shaped for bikes. Evangeline: Yeah. Speaker 3: Yeah. Robert Gisi: Because the way that they have specific things right there and there for . You can definitely tell that it's shaped, with how it's seamed in, for bikes but I mean it's a possibility, I wouldn't put it against it. Speaker 3: It might not be deep enough for an actual wide cargo carrier but maybe Robert Gisi: You would maybe have to MacGyver some of it and strap down where it may be a little bit more flappy, and where you can't even strap it down with what it comes with, but definitely size-wise I think it could fit most things that you're wanting to put on your hitch. Evangeline: Yeah. Robert Gisi: Also another thing, definitely have either a second or, to be honest, a third pair of hands when you put this on because me, Zack, and her we're so . It was tough for just the three of us to get it on there because of how high you have to throw it over. Evangeline: Yes. It also zips up, so the zipper . When you do throw it over the zipper does go upwards, so you would need someone holding it together while you zip it- Robert Gisi: crosstalk 00:17:56 Or somebody that's very tall. Evangeline: Yeah. It was . And someone tall. Or like a stepstool I could probably do it. It also helps to strap it a little bit or try to find some straps together before you zip, so that they're already kind of together and then just redo the straps as you see fit. We'll definitely be trying to find the ways to strap it in with our other bikes and to try to make it look more uniform. But it definitely fits around it. Nick: Yeah. So I know it's just a bag but do you think the bag is thick enough that it would offer any kind of rock protection, if rocks got kicked up Like if they we're driving down a gravel road or anything like that, do you think that it might offer some protection from dings and scuffs, and that kind of thing Evangeline: Well you can feel the bikes here because it does go against the bike. So if it's something hard it's not going to be a cushion, it's not that thick enough. Let's see, I'll unzip it here so you can see how thin it is. Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Okay. Evangeline: So there isn't really a cushioning aspect to it. If anything it would hold up the tension against it, that might help against rock if they don't directly hit the bike. So if they hit between the bike it might help with that, but if it hit the bike directly it would not cushion that impact. Speaker 3: So maybe some scratch protection but not actually dent protection- Evangeline: crosstalk 00:19:36 Yeah, like if it was . Yeah, if it got impacted it would dent it. So it might not scratch it but- Robert Gisi: It would handle pebbles for sure, protecting from smaller rocks, but if it's a bigger accidental kickup and all that I'm not sure that it would be able to protect it. Unless it was, like she said, in that area where it was really taught. Evangeline: Yeah. But it would hold up against rain and the sun, if you want to protect your bikes from that, like your weather. Yeah it's a good cover for that. Speaker 3: Yeah. I guess my thought is a cross-country trip. If I don't plan on getting the bikes off until the Grand Canyon great, let's go ahead and cover them up, and not even think about it, not worry about it. Evangeline: For sure, yeah. And because that is something you would have . Like you wouldn't want your bikes baking out in the sun through your whole trip, and all the dust that your RV kicks up as well, this would definitely protect it from that. So when you get there, and you're finally ready to start your actual biking adventure, then you're good to go. You don't have to wipe your bike off or- Robert Gisi: Don't have to worry about pollen, that's another big thing. If you're going through tons of states you don't have to worry about getting covered in pollen, the bag will protect that at least. Evangeline: That's true. Speaker 3: Yeah. Evangeline: Yeah. So it's definitely something for long road trips or bringing your bike, if you have a really nice bike, somewhere a long distance and you wanted to keep it safe. I would highly recommend it for that. But if you we're taking a lot of breaks between to take your bike off and go on a ride it might not be the best. Speaker 3: Yeah, that would make sense. Do we have other bike covers or bike rack covers like this I don't know if Matt knows either. Robert Gisi: Yeah, we're not fully sure. Evangeline: I don't know. Speaker 3: Maybe look- Evangeline: crosstalk 00:21:46 Yeah. Robert Gisi: I feel like Swagman would have to have at least a couple other variants of this, if they already have built one and this is definitely a high . Like it's very heavy duty, comparative to some other ones that I've seen. So I would feel that they have a lower, like not as heavy duty, one. But I'm not 100% sure on that. Evangeline: It's a good question though. Speaker 3: Yeah. I was just curious. If we don't know we don't know but- Evangeline: crosstalk 00:22:16 Yeah. Yep. Nick: Yeah, I put in bike cover on our site and that's the only one that pulls up. Evangeline: Okay. Then that answers that, yeah. Well, I mean, this is meant to be versatile for different sizes. So, I mean, if you have smaller bikes, larger bikes, this would fit around it. Smaller bike racks as well, larger bike racks, this would fit too. It's just the matter of strapping them down to fit. Speaker 3: Are there any strap keepers on there Like little bands or anything to keep the excess strap or are you just going to have to tie it all up Robert Gisi: You probably have to- Evangeline: Yeah, you can tie it all up. You can put them back as well, because there's some hoops right here too, so that helps a bit. So you'd . Like I strapped it up to the back, then I can just bring it back down through here. Speaker 3: Okay. Evangeline: So there's some hoops there. Robert Gisi: With how much you have I would definitely probably try to get a couple . Like something to keep it together. Evangeline: Mm-hmm (affirmative). There's also some hook and loop points inside, so if you had too much excess straps you can put them through there too. Speaker 3: Oh okay. Evangeline: They're on different parts of the cover, so you can find them in the back as well. There's some small holes that you can put your straps in if you have excess. Nick: Are there any storage pockets or is it just strictly a cover Evangeline: It's just strictly a cover, there is no storage pockets. Like I thought this one was at first but it's just a hole into the cover for access, but you cannot store anything inside, like in a pocket. Nick: Okay. Evangeline: That would have been useful though. Speaker 3: Yeah. Evangeline: But yeah. Speaker 3: Nick- Evangeline: Well- Speaker 3: . you got anything else Nick: I don't have anymore questions for you. Speaker 3: Cool. Evangeline: All right. Well anyone else No more questions Other than that .So that was my discussion with my coworkers about this cover and I hope that answered any questions you might have about it. But that was a look at the Swagman Bike Cover for RVs here at

Questions and Comments about this Video

Mike R.

Once you get the straps figured out (and that will take a few tries) Color code the strap ends so the next time you use it you can quickly join the color coded ends. For storing the bag when it is not in use, pour the cover into a stuff sack and bungee it to the rack for easy access next time. Still have to design a licence plate pocket.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Great ideas! I'm not sure if the straps are long enough but you might be able to get the Yakima PlateMate # Y02713 to work at the back of the cover.

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