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Swagman Original 4 Bike Rack Review

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Review of the Swagman Original 4 Bike Rack


What's up everybody It's AJ with etrailer.com. Today we are checking out the Swagman original four bike carrier. What's gonna be good about this one is it pretty much fits any two inch hitch you might have. So it's gonna work with your vehicle or would work with you on vacation too. So you got your fifth wheel, motor home, travel trailer and even your flat tow vehicle, it's gonna fit on the back and that hitch and be able to carry four bikes. Let's check it out.

We're starting to see more bike racks these days that actually do fit on the fifth wheels motorhomes and your home vehicle. But usually those are a platform style bike rack that holds like two and they're made for the heavier ones, like the e-bike or a fat tire bike. So this is kind of different to see a four bike carrier and a hang style version on the back of a fifth wheel motor home that also works with your home. The reason why is because they have to pass a lot more tests to make these. They have to be really sturdy because there's a lot more shake and vibration back here at the back of a longer motor home or fifth wheel, than there's a normal bike rack.

So those normal ones just won't work back here. This one's really sturdy. It doesn't tilt or fold, but that means it just more sturdy. It's just one piece, it's gonna hold all together. I can shake it back and forth to show you.

There's not a whole lot of movement and that's four bikes. So that's pretty impressive that they're not all moving around. One of the reasons it works so well is you have this plate that goes on top, normally in the hanging style that just kind of sit in the cradles and you might have a strap that goes over the top of it. This one has this full plate that pushes down. You have three different hand knobs that you tighten down that brings the plate together on the frames or the bars of the adapter bars of the bikes that are on here.

And that really holds it in place. If I come around front here, I'll show you. I'm shaking that pretty good and you see no movement whatsoever there at the frame on any of these bikes. So it doesn't travel down or anything. There's not a lot of movement. That's good because you know, like I said, there's gonna be a lot more vibration back here at the back. The other thing about the plate I like is the hole here that you can add a padlock. Now it doesn't come with the padlock, but you can edit it in there and lock it in place. And you've locked all four bikes with just one padlock. So that beats kind of running a cable through the tires and the frames and trying to attach it down by the hitch or find a place to route it all the way through and lock it up. Just you got this hole right here, add a padlock, you probably already have, just right there. And now you've locked all four bikes. Looking at the hole where you add the padlock, it's gonna be a diameter of five eighths of an inch. That way you can just go ahead and make sure you pick out the right padlock that's gonna fit in there and lock it up. The other thing that sets it apart is usually with the hanging style bikes, there's gonna be two arms that come out and that can be helpful to bounce it out, but it can also be a pain because when you're going with like a smaller frame, the kid's bike might not fit because the arms are maybe more spread out. So you're gonna have issues. You're gonna have to use an adapter bar like we have this one back here on your kid's bike and that one. This is only a single one. So it just goes on there and clamps on there really well. I mean, you can see I've shown you shaking before and it does not move in, but this worked out with all the bikes. There was not a whole lot of trouble. Like he didn't have to adjust anything. Like sometimes even the platform racks have trays. And when you get to four bikes can be kind of a thing where you have to slide the trays back and forth, make sure the handlebars don't hit the tires or the seats get in the way. This one, we we're able to load really easily. The first time we didn't have to pull them all off and try and figure out what order they go in. With the bike rack on the back of my car, we're gonna drive around in the parking lot and see how it holds up. It's going not too fast in the parking lot, but it's moving just a little bit, but that's okay. That's common for bike racks. The important part is that the bikes aren't moving themselves. They're staying in place. So let's go over some bumps here. We've got some speed bumps set up. All right. So it bounds back and forth a little bit. But again, the bikes aren't going anywhere, the bikes aren't moving. It's the rack that is going side to side, probably from all the weight of the bikes on it. But yeah, I'm really impressed so far with all the bumps. So the bikes are hold held straight up and down. So they're not swinging into each other or causing any issues that way. I like that. Because again, that's gonna be really important when you put it on your rig, you know, and when you're not on your regular vehicle, there's gonna be a lot more vibration back there. And it's just one of those things that makes this bike rack a little special because it's built to be on the back of those. Not all of them can say that. It looks pretty good on your normal driver. We're going on the other side, speed up a little bit and do some quick turns and see what happens. They look pretty good back there. There wasn't a lot of movement. I'm pretty impressed that held them nice and steady. Now we're gonna remove the bikes. We can take a closer look at the bike rack itself. All I have to do is loosen these hand knobs on the top. There's gonna be three of them. With the plate removed, I can start removing the bikes. With the top plate removed, I want to point out the cradles themselves. You have a rubber coating here that protects the frame of the bike and the cables. Cause it's got good rooms in it for when you put the top part on which has the same ones and that's what's gonna be pushing down and making frame contact. Now those are also replaceable. So if one pops out or gets damaged for some reason, you can order new ones. So you're not just stuck with just straighten metal. Before put the top plate back on, just wanted to show you the vinyl cradles here. That's gonna be on the bottom and the top. So this is what's gonna be making the frame contact and pushing down on it. So you're gonna put it on there like this. So both pieces of vinyl are gonna be making contact with the frame. That way it doesn't get damaged. You have grooves in there to protect the brake cables. That way you don't get smashed when you go to set this down on top and then tighten it down. Another thing I want to point out is that if you we're to damage or one of these we're to come off, you can buy replacement cradles. So that's an option down the road if there is something that happens. The rest of the bike rack may not have a black powder coat steel. So you don't have to worry about. If you leave it on the back of your vehicle or your motor home, on the elements, the rain is not gonna bother. It's not gonna rust or corrode. And overall the whole thing's built really sturdy. I can shake it back and forth. You don't hear any rattling or see any movement. I like that it's all one piece. So it might not tilt away, but that's okay. That just makes it stronger on the back here. It also can hold up to 35 pounds per bike. So that'd be 35 pounds for each one of the four bikes you put on there. That way capacity is great and all but there are some factors to look into to make sure that it still will work right. So if you have a bumper mounted hitch, make sure you check the reading on the bumper and the hitch itself. You don't wanna exceed that when you add four bikes on here and cause problems when you're going down the road. The other thing to look out for it would be ground clearance. And that really applies to travel trailers and fifth wheels. You wanna make sure you got your bike rack in there and you have 15 inches from the ground to the bottom of the bike rack. That way there's no scraping or anything on the ground. Now let's get some quick measurements see how it's gonna fit on the back of your vehicle. Let's go from the center of the hitch pin to the closest point of the bike rack. It's gonna be 14 and a half inches. Now let's do that same measurement from the center of the hitch pin all the way to the furthest out point of the bike rack. It's gonna be 42 inches. Another thing to think about is how far these cradles are from each other. So we're gonna go from center to center and those are gonna be six inches apart. So that measurement is just gonna help you when you're setting up your bikes to make sure you don't have handlebar and seat contact when you're going to load them all up. We didn't, they we're close, but we managed to fit four different types of bikes on there pretty easily. When it comes to ground clearance, just wanna point out that there is not gonna be any rise in our shank. So wherever your hitch is, is where the bike rack is gonna sit. So, you know, every inch is a little bit different. They're gonna sit a little more under your vehicle, maybe a little more out, but you're not gonna get any more extra clearance out of this. So that's why it was so important to bring up the measurement with the travel trailers and the fifth wheels being 15 inches from the ground to the bottom, because you can't do anything about it. It's gotta be wherever the hitch is. Now. Some add ons I would like to recommend is you got the anti-rattle hitch pin in here already and I can shake the bike rack back and forth, pretty much shake the whole motor home, but there's no rattling of the bike rack. So, it's in there nice and secure, but I would recommend getting a locking anti-rattle hitch pin that Swagman offers. That way you can lock it here and lock your box bikes up top, that way nobody can mess with it when you're not around. Another thing to recommend would be the etrailer hitch aligner collar. It'll sit right here. You can tighten it down. And that way, when you go to lift the bike rack up and put it in, it's gonna hit that collar and have the hitch pin hole align the first try every time. It really takes up a lot of the time spent kind of trying to make sure you line up that hole properly to get the answer right bolt in there. Overall, I think it's a really good bike rack. We started being like, Oh, it's pretty simple. You know, there's not a whole lot to it but what it does, it does really well. I was really impressed with the plate that comes down and puts pressure on the frames to hold it in place. I really liked that. It really worked good. You saw when I was shaking it back and forth, those bikes we're moving. I thought there's gonna be way more movement from side to side without any kind of tie-down but this really adds that pressure on there and keeps them in place. The other thing that I can use this on my rig or on my vehicle really helps out too. I don't have to have two different bike racks in my garage. I'm gonna have one for when I'm at home and one for vacation. It's the same one, I don't need two. Well, I think that does it. Thanks for hanging out. And I hope this helps..


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Info for this part was:

Employee Andrew K
Test Fit:
Andrew K
Employee Robert O
Test Fit:
Robert O
Employee Rick A
Installed by:
Rick A
Employee Patrick B
Video Edited:
Patrick B
Employee Chris R
Video Edited:
Chris R
Employee Zach D
Video by:
Zach D
Employee Aidan B
Video by:
Aidan B

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