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Allshookup 03-23-08 07:34 PM

Hitch Bike Rack - Xport or Swagman???
I have been searching for a 2" hitch bike rack system for (4) or more bikes to use on my 2000 Ford Windstar. I really prefer the flat/bed style racks.
I have narrowed it down to either the Xport Flatbed 4-Bike Hitch Rack LINK
Swagman XC 4-Bike Cross Country Rack LINK

Does anyone have any experience with either of these? From the pictures it looks like the Xport is maybe heavier duty but I like the way the Swagman angles up to keep it farther from the ground (but how is the quality?)

sunflowerflyer 04-17-08 12:23 AM

good question
Glad you asked, I'm curious as well. My wife's townie won't fit on our hanging rack, so looking at one of these. We usually travel with 3 bikes.

twahl 04-17-08 07:32 AM

I have had the XPort 4 bike rack for about 2 years and like it a lot. It's quick to load, holds the bikes securely, and is easy to adjust. I've never used the Swagman so I can't offer a comparison.

Keep in mind that loaded, either of them makes for a lot of weight to hang that far off the rear of a vehicle, I don't think either would be appropriate for a small car. It's going to bounce a bit and might be a strain on a 1.5" receiver with an adapter, does your Windstar have a 2" receiver?

Allshookup 04-21-08 06:43 PM

Yes, I have a 2" heavy duty hitch...
The reason I am looking for the flat/bed style is I wasn't sure how to secure the front tire/handle bars if I were to use an upright hitch mount.
Is there a highly rated 4 or 5 bike hitch mount that is not a flat/bed style that would work instead.

masiman 04-22-08 09:28 AM

I like the bed style carriers because they are much better at keeping the bikes in place and not bouncing against each other. I don't have one, but if I needed a rear hitch bike carrier, that is what I would prefer to have.

bab2000 04-22-08 09:59 AM


Originally Posted by Allshookup (Post 6391619)
I have been searching for a 2" hitch bike rack system for (4) or more bikes to use on my 2000 Ford Windstar.

Are you certain the receiver is a 2" on your Windstar, and if it is, what the tongue weight is recommended for your setup.

The unit you provided link to extends a good distance from your hitch and each inch increases the load weight significantly.

I have GMC Sierra (1500) Crew Cab and would like it handle, but I would double check the load ratings before purchasing, as one of the reviews this unit was already heavy suggesting a full size SUV at the least.

I just received a Thule hitch rack for my needs, 914 I believe is the model number and it is rated for 140#s of bike weight. Knowing my hitch is higher than your Windstar also check ground clearance, hate to see you cause damage to rack/van just backing up a slight incline or over a curb.

I overheard LBS suggesting only a two position rack of this flavor for owners of a SUV, I understood to be of the smaller version, Saturn Vue, RAV, or Explorer type.

I would hate to see you having trouble after purchase.

masiman 04-22-08 10:21 AM

There are mini lift kits that you can install to help with the sag caused by the weight of the rear hitches. There is likely a Ford Windstar forum around, hopefully someone in there will have posted about their experiences. I found that to be true about our minivan.

Mera'Din 04-22-08 03:05 PM

For those of you with the xport, do the back two spots come off making it a 2 bike carrier?

gcottay 04-22-08 03:35 PM

We like the Thule swing away hitch. It's happy on our Toyota Highlander, gets out of the way with minimum fuss, and adapts well to various configurations of multiple bikes. We use simple little hooks with elastic cord to keep front wheels in line. A few bikes -- most female specific -- are happier when a bar adapter is added.

Our hitch not new. The current version seems to be the Revolver. Unless memory has faded, we did not pay anything close to the current MSRP.

sunflowerflyer 06-02-08 11:45 AM

Were getting close to purchasing one of these two racks, and as I can't find any real difference (why reading here) it may come down to price. While researching the two models, discovered Swagman sells direct from their website ( with very good prices; the XC4 sells for $215, with only $15 shipping!

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