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Old 06-26-07, 06:36 PM   #1
curt_pelischek
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Roof Mount or Hitch Mount Rack for Rav4

I'm just looking for some guidance on either a roof rack or hitch rack for our 07 Rav4 Limited. I'm a casual biker so a hitch-mount would probably make most sense. But I'm not sure if any hitch-mounts extend far enough past the spare-tire. Anyone have any ideas? Let me know what you can.

Thanks!
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Old 06-26-07, 09:41 PM   #2
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I got a Yakima Spare Joe for my '06 Rav4. Mainly because the picture showed it mounted OVER the spare tire cover. It also allows for the offset of the spare. But when it arrived and I started installing it, instruction #3 was "remove spare tire cover." Duh! But I have been using it - with the cover removed. It's kind of squirrely but really works just fine. I don't have a hitch and a roof rack intimidated me.
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Old 06-27-07, 05:11 AM   #3
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I don't know how far you'll be driving with your bike, but a hitch mount will give you better gas mileage than a roof mount.
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Old 06-27-07, 07:29 AM   #4
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I had a hitch mount on my Grand Cherokee. It was one of those foldong ones so it would move out of the way of the door without having to remove it...
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Old 06-27-07, 09:08 AM   #5
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i have the sportrack hitch mount, it's the kind that folds out so you can open your trunk, it also holds the bikes by pressing the top tube down and holding the tires in hoops, instead of dangling them by the top tubes. it also holds them stable enough so that if you want to leave the bikes there you just undo the one bolt holding the rack to the car and you can lift it away and put the bikes and the rack somewhere, then when you come back you just slide it back in, replace the bolt, and off you go (i find creative ways to be lazy)

however the standard top tube hanging racks can hold up to 4 bikes (mine only holds 2) and are cheaper and a little quicker to put the bikes on. though they can swing and hit your car and each other, some people bungee cord the wheels together so they don't swing
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Old 06-27-07, 12:04 PM   #6
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I love my Thule Trailblazer. Not sure if the spare tire would be a problem or not though...I'd check on Thule website.
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Old 06-27-07, 12:09 PM   #7
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I have a hitch mount bike carrier on my SUV only because the roof would be too high for me to mount/dismount the bikes. I have a roof mount bike carrier on my car. The hitch mount is not as secure, as far as bike-theft is concerned, compared to a roof mount.
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Old 06-27-07, 12:49 PM   #8
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How tall are you? I think a hitch or spare tire mount is the way to go.
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Old 06-27-07, 01:02 PM   #9
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I use a pickup truck rack INSIDE my Rav4.

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4413
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Old 06-27-07, 01:09 PM   #10
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The bike will get a little dirty on the hitch mount, but I'd rather wipe it off than mess with a roof mount. I have a Jeeb Liberty and finding a rack long enough to clear the spare tire was no problem. I think it was ~$100, but check for sales (this was on sale) maybe you can beat that. The folding ones are nice so you don't have to remove it to open the tailgate if you think that will be a problem.

Good Luck
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Old 06-27-07, 02:33 PM   #11
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Perhaps obvious: Another advantage of a spare tire mount like is that you can open the back without taking the bike off.

Pedal: how does that work? Is it a tension rod and you fold down your back seat? and there's enough head room for the bike?
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Old 06-27-07, 02:33 PM   #12
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Nearly everyone I've known with roof mount racks has managed to destroy and/or damage at least one bike on them.

Typically this happens at the end of a long drive when you raise the garage door and drive in, just like you've done 1000 times before...but, without the bikes on top.

I can assure you there are few sounds more sickening than hearing your garage, your car, and your bike, all get f*cked up at once.
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Old 06-27-07, 10:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phazer08
Perhaps obvious: Another advantage of a spare tire mount like is that you can open the back without taking the bike off.

Pedal: how does that work? Is it a tension rod and you fold down your back seat? and there's enough head room for the bike?
It is a tension rod, and the wheelwell also helps keep it from sliding around in an accident. My BF's 56cm fits in perfectly, and his seatpost is pretty high. I have the optional wheel holder too, but didn't have it installed in this pic.

re: roof racks -- I just saw a van with the bikes from the Adaptive Cycling folks attempt to go under an awning in front of the hotel we were at. It made a sickening crunch as the bikes were destroyed. They had to let the air out of the tires in the van to get it out without further damaging the bikes. These were probably all custom hand cycles and recumbents. I will never use a roof rack.
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Old 06-28-07, 10:08 AM   #14
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I'm considered tall, but I think you'd have to be Yao to use a roof mount easily on a RAV 4....
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Old 07-01-07, 11:35 AM   #15
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Thanks everyone...it seems that the hitch mount is the way to go. I'll check around and figure something out. Enjoy the ride!
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