We have a small Toyota pickup with a camper shell and want to know what is the best kind of bike rack to use with a tandem. We really don't want to have to put it on the roof. We do have a hitch mount on the truck. Any suggestions where to look them up. I did see one web site for Badger Bike rack that looked interesting.
I know you said you didnt really want a roof top but, dont count out the Sportworks U2. We've been using ours since March of '03 and love it. Due to the design that does not require front wheel removal it only takes literally a few seconds to load our tandem. We have a Ford Explorer that we use when hauling our longbike. My wife is 5 ft 9ish, she can load our tandem by herself in seconds.
There is a wheel hoop that tilts sideways for the front wheel. You lift the front of the bike and "wheelie" it into the hoop, lift the back end of the bike and place the back wheel in the tray, walk the bike to the upright possition, and lock the ratchiting arm on the back wheel, go to the front of the bike and put a pin in the wheel hoop to lock it upright, drop the ratchiting arm on the front and you are done. The only contact between rack and bike is the arms touching the rubber of the tires. It took me three times longer to type this as it would have to load the bike.
Check it out at the link above, you'll be glad you did.
B/4 I purchased the SportWorks I was looking at the Draftmaster line. They are receiver racks like you are looking for. They were more than I wanted to spend so I went with the roof rack we have instead, glad I did. I do know folks who have draftmaster racks and love them. http://www.draftmaster.com/t.html
We were thinking of looking into the vertical tandem rack made by Badger--do you have one? It looks like the rear wheel is really close to the ground. Since there are no bike shops in San Diego that carry them we can't look at the rack first. I would hate to get one, find out the rear wheel is so close to the ground that we can't back up our driveway. Can you tell me how close the backwheel actually comes to the ground and anything else about it would be helpful.
Drive a saturn and the only problem I have had is the bottom of the hitch hitting some speed bumbs, have to learn to slown down over them. Have had no problem with the tire being any way close to hitting ground.
I haul my tandems on a Graber hitch rack that was really designed for singles, but handles a tandem fine. We've driven across the country and never had a problem. I just support the tandem with the captain's top tube on one support and the stokers on the other. I bungee the handlebars to the frame to give more side clearance, but I do take the wheels off if I'm driving on a trip.
Here's a pic of the tandem next to the rack. (sorry that I don't have one on the rack)