View Full Version : Hauling Bicycles with Heartland Trailers - what are you doing?

05-09-2005, 10:02 PM
How are you Heartland trailer owners hauling your bicycles? I am toying with several ideas but am not really happy with any of them. What works well for you?



09-20-2005, 07:06 AM
Jim , what did you end up doing for hauling your bikes?

09-20-2005, 09:05 AM

I did not end up doing anthing yet. We have successfully not used the bikes even once this year! We are bad.

I am curious on the rack that mounts to the king-pin hitch but I am not wild about drilling any holes in my TrailAir hitch.

Pretty sure I could put one bike on its wheels across the bed of the truck up against the tool box. Then lay another bike on a tarp on the bed. Not ideal, but I may end up doing that in October for a trip to Marseilles State Park with friends, a bit south of Chicago.

How about you - any solutions you like?


09-20-2005, 12:43 PM

I currently have a Cardinal trailer that has a rear bumper and I have a bike carrier mounted to the bumper. When I looked at the Landmarks, I noticed that there was no factory option for a hitch and no rear bumper to mount a bike rack. The dealer mentioned they can weld a hitch to the Landmark frame. One other option I heave thought about was carrying the bikes on the front of the tow vehicle (a front hitch would have to be added to the truck). I saw one person who did what you noted where they welded a hitch to the kingpin. So far, I don't have a solution that I really like yet.


09-20-2005, 02:58 PM

I've considered the front hitch option and I think I favor that over putting a hitch on the back of the trailer. What I need to do is sit a couple bikes up on milk crates next to the grill of the truck and see what it looks like from the cab. I read that it takes some getting used to. I also wonder about home much they cover the beam of the headlights and turn signals.

Let's keep in touch on this as we effect our own solutions.


Tom of Ypsi
09-20-2005, 07:38 PM
Jim, I am carrying my bikes on the rear ladder. Although I do not like this idea, can't see them in my mirrors, there has been no problems. The rear tail- brake lights are covered very little and I can remedy that by hanging bikes higher if I wanted to. I had the same set up on my last 5ver (Titanium) and had no problems there either.

09-20-2005, 10:32 PM
Hi Jim

I too have the ladder mount bike rack. I am not really thrilled with the idea of the wieght on the ladder, but after about ten thousand miles I have had no problems. When I was at the factory, Scott stated that they had engineered a rear hitch for the Landmarks, and that it could be welded to the frame, as long as it was not used to carry more than the wieght of a couple of bikes.
By the way he said the hitch was going to be an option.


09-21-2005, 08:45 PM

I'm with you on the comfort level using the rear ladder. It works, but is it weakening the ladder, the screws that hold it on the trailer etc. For me, at 250#, it is scary going up that ladder. I realize 2 bikes might weight 50# - but lots of vertical loading when it is bouncing on the roads I have traveled.

I'll see if we can get more information on this bike rack option and also see if it is an service orderable item for retrofitting to an existing Heartland.

I was in the area on business today so I stopped by the factory this afternoon. I'll post a bit on that later tonight.

09-22-2005, 10:41 AM
I just returned from a trip to Virginia Beach and than South Carolina. I stored our 2 bikes on top of each other in the truck bed between the cab and hitch. I had to take the front tires off. I put some boards underneath the bottom bike to protect the truck bed and placed a large thick cardboard box between the bikes. I used bungee cords to "tie" them down going from the bottom corners of the bed across the bikes to the hitch rail. They did not ride above the top of the bed side and did not move during the 2200 mile trip. There were no problems turning with the 5th wheel. They did not interfere with the
movement of the hitch plate either.

I don't like the ladder hitch. The ladder just doesn's seem that strong to support bikes bouncing around on a long trip. I've read in other forums where ladders have been damaged.

I also don't like the front bumper setup in that it likely interferes with air flow to the radiator and restricts head light beam at night. I asked my bike shop about this and they did not know of any front truck carriers offered by the normal bike carrier companies (Yakima, etc.)

Earlier this week I asked my dealer about a rear hitch and he is checking with the factory. I'm glad to hear Heartland may have a rear hitch option.


09-23-2005, 07:55 AM

Thanks for your input on this.

In your truck bed, do you have room to stand a bike upright on its wheels, up against the cab or tool box?

If so, you may want to take a look at this. (http://www.orsracksdirect.com/rocky-mounts-truckbed-bike-racks.html)

I may get a pair of these and try them. Not too keen on drilling holes on the bed to mount them but maybe mounting one of these fork holders to a treated 2x6 that I can wedge across the bed. I know I could put one bike up on my tool box and still have the cap of the trailer clear the bike on a 90 degree turn. Oh well - still kicking around ideas. Guess I have all winter to ponder it now.

Take care,



10-09-2005, 10:16 PM
Take a look at the attached images to see how I tried storing bikes for our trip to Illini State Park in Marseilles, IL this weekend.

When I headed out Friday, I put my bike on the bed inside the trailer and Nancy's bike in the dinette slide strapped to the sofa.

For the trip home today (Sunday), I put my bike on top of the tool box in my truck bed. It rode really well there. When making the tightest of turns in the campground, I had plenty of clearance between the bike and the trailer.

I may invest in some bike tire holders and bolt them to the lid of the tool box. The kick stand down on the block of wood was okay for my test but is not ideal. I also like the idea of not taking the front tire off (as you would using a fork mount).

Still want a bumper hitch for my Landmark!


10-11-2005, 08:32 PM
Jim, I like your idea of mounting it on the toolbox. My truck has a short bed with the Pullrite Superglide hitch and that should work out well. I don't have a permanently mounted toolbox, but rather a couple of tote bins that could ride better in the 5er and I can then put the bikes right behind the cab. Thanks for the idea.

10-31-2005, 07:23 PM
While I was dropping my Landmark off at an RV repair shop around the corner from the Heartland factory, inside this shop, I saw a Bighorn with a VeloRack 5th wheel kingpin bike rack (2 bikes) on it.

The owners are from Canada and I got a chance to chat with them a bit. They bought the rack in Canada and had it installed there too. Later, they noticed that the inside bike's handle bar end was rubbing on the trailer front cap.

They planned to return the rack for a refund but their dealer told them he could make it right. He proceeded to create a bit of a custom mount that extended the rack's mount outward, kicking the bike holder trays out in the process. He also added triangle gussets and additional beads of weld to certain parts.

Painted the new pieces black to match and it looks and works well.

If anyone plans to add a VeloRack to their kingpin, be aware that you may have to fabricate an extended mount or use only one bike position or use a youth bike with narrow handle bars on the inside tray.

I may try to get a picture of it tomorrow.


11-01-2005, 01:35 PM
We have our order in for a Bighorn as of 9-14-05, there is a similar model at Thompsons where we ordered our new 3400RL so I've been measuring and studing for all the changes I seem to always make. One is the trailer hitch, I like the bikes in the back, cover stays on better out of the wind, a lot easier to load, and they are out of the way when your not going to use them. I did have a couple of ladder mounted bikes come a sliding down the road at me in Texas last year, not a pretty sight. Not much good after they stopped either, lucky everyone missed. It looks to me like the rear landing legs could be moved ahead about six to eight inches and the 2" square tube they are attached to lenghtened to extend all the way to the rear of the frame, the extra length tubing would actually strengthen the frame amd there would be ample room to mount a 2" reciever hitch for bikes only. I have the hitch all fabricated ready to install. The 3400 that I'm looking at has the spare tire right in front of the landing leggs but I understand the new ones are further foward, It looks like it would be easy to move anyway. I'll take some picture when I get my Bighorn and get the hitch mounted, hopefully I can figure out how, I'm a fair fabricator and designer, 40 years of it plus, but not much of a computorer, didn't even have calculaters when I went to high school

Tom of Ypsi
11-01-2005, 08:01 PM
Hi DPOWER and welcome to this site. I have a Landmark with the electric rear stabilizer jacks and I am wondering if there would be any other way to put a rear hitch on without trying to move the jacks. I have not really crawled under my coach to see but I am assuming moving the jacks would be a major project. I sure wish we would get some feedback from the factory to see if they have researched this any further.

11-02-2005, 08:24 AM
Moving the rear legs looks to be fairly simple, it looks like there are four welds about an inch long on the tubing to the frame that the legs are bolted to. The wiring is plenty long to move 6 to 8 inches. Just crib up the landing gear, cut the welds loose with a cut off wheel on a grinder, slid the landing gear forward and reweld it. You shouldn't even have to unbolt it from the tubing. I'm going to replace the tubing with a little heavier wall and run it full length from the end of the frame to the front side of the landing gear for strength. On the hitch one member has pictures of it looks like they just welded flat stock material to the inside of the 2 inch tubing so they are trusting the weld on the tubing to the frame that is not there to put weight on but to hold the gear on. With the extra space behind the legs there will be plenty of room to get a hitch to the frame and make it good and solid. Still not heavy enough to tow with but good for bikes or scooters.

I made slight mistake in my last post my new Bighorn was order 10-16 not 9-16, whats a month when your retired. This forum is great, I had no idea how much I had to do before I started reading.

Thanks to all for all the info and reading it really is a big help.


11-02-2005, 08:48 PM
i Met a guy at Bar Harbor KOA last summer,who owned a Landmark, that hauled his bikes by just taking off the front wheel and putting bike into storage compartment(front wheel also). Worked well for him..

11-12-2005, 07:42 AM
I have a bike rack that I bought from Camping World. It hangs over a rear ladder rung and felcros in place. The bikes hang from their center post and felcro in place. This makes it easier to remove the bikes to access the ladder.

11-12-2005, 08:55 AM
Thanks mcgeefixit. I'm pretty set on not putting my bikes on the ladder. I am more inclined to use a kingpin mount or even something on my truck.

BTW, I saw your post on the Ask The Factory forum about issues you're having with your Bighorn. You will get a factory response. But know also that you always have the option of calling the factory directly to work things out. May be a faster way to get a response as well. Best of luck to you and I hope everything gets resolved so you can again be a happy camper.

Take care,


Brent Hughes
04-14-2008, 02:25 PM
Does Heartland have a rear hitch option yet?
my 08 augusta does not have one

04-14-2008, 03:05 PM
Hi Brent,
I too have an Augusta. I had my dealer install a hitch for me. We tried to use the one from My Bighorn that I traded in but found that the frame work on the Augusta was a bit different so they fabricated a new 2" hitch. They had to add (2) 2" x 2" tubular steel from I-beam to I-beam than add the hitch to those (2) bars. Worked out very nice and the system if very firm.

Good luck,


Delaine and Lindy
04-14-2008, 04:38 PM
mrcomer, looks great and very professional. I have our bikes stored in our basement. Takes up some space so we can't take stuff we don't need. And it keeps the bikes dry and out of the weather. Our basement on the Landmark is a little smaller than our Cambridge. In the Cambridge we used the fork locks than Jim show above. But I like your idea. GBY.......

04-14-2008, 05:24 PM
The main feature that had us looking at the Bighorn was the huge basement storage with the large doors to match. We always travel with our bikes and found that having them stored out of the weather was the best. Our mountain bikes are not K-Mart quality with tractor seats and keeping them in operating condition is my job. So the extra time it may take getting the bikes or other stored items in or out does not come close to the time of servicing and cleaning a bike that has been hanging out in the elements.
The front wheels come off with a quick release axle and the seat post lowers with a similiar device. Last time I seperated the bikes with a large piece of cardboard, but I tinkering with an improvement.

Good Luck and take you bikes, it's a great way to see the most things on your trip.


04-26-2008, 09:17 PM
Does Heartland have a rear hitch option yet?
my 08 augusta does not have one

Not that I know of. It is possible to add a hitch to the rear where you can attach a bike rack to, although it is pricy. We use the 6 speed foldup bikes and put them in the basement. They ride great and take up little space. I like that option better as we had some friends get their bikes stolen from their RV while they were eating at a restaurant.

04-27-2008, 03:57 PM
We bought fold ups and they fit in the basement no problem.

04-27-2008, 07:21 PM
I have hauled my bikes in a bike rack in the square receiver on the back of the pickup. I did have to have the vertical portion of the carrier shorten to clear the 5th wheel over hang. I do have a Super Glide hitch, so the 5er moves back automatically when I turn so the bikes do not hit the 5er. I do have to put the bikes on after hooking up the 5er and remove the bikes before unhooking. I really only take the bikes when we go to Texas for three months. WFM(works for me).

04-27-2008, 07:37 PM
hello ,i have a 09 2900mk sundance and i just put a receiver on my bumper for my bike rack.it cost 56.00 from jc whitney.made by curt.rated at 350 tongue wt,and 3500 tow weight.fits over bumper and has 2 BIG bolts on top .installed wed nite and left thursday for maiden voyage in new 5er.it fit a little tight cuz of the alum.diamond skin on hitch.i had to dremel grind top hole a bit for bolt to line up,but its really a strong setup.2 inch receiver and safety chain holes.very substantial set up!!!! its 78 bucks in another catalog .i also bought a chair rack for ladder on rv.this was shipped free total was under 90 bucks for both items.any other questions let me know. bob