MTB Hitch Racks. Tilt down or Swing out?

Finally buying a bike rack so I can move the bikes out of the camper. Curious what everyone’s preferences are for how the rack gets out of the way during camper deployment. Tilt seems easy but eliminates the tailgate as a kitchen surface. Swing out is more expensive but gives you the open tailgate. I’d like to hear some experiences from other GFC owners before I decide. Thanks.

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I have the kuat swing out and the kuat one bike rack can’t think of the name right now and I love it holds the bike solid on rough roads ands swings out 90 degrees or a little past 90. Definitely a bit spendy but worth it I think. Wish it was strong enough to work with the dirt bike also because that’s a real big pain if it’s on the hitch mount!


I have a few photos in one of my post of it with a bike on it

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The swing outs I’ve seen are HEAVY - causing way too much sag because they are 60lbs and mounted about as far back as you can get. Also, they kill departure angle (the RIGd may be an exception, but I have no experience) I just needed one tray, so I got the 1up super duty. When I need to access the tailgate and the bike is on there, I either swing it down or take the bike off. The tacoma tailgate doesn’t hit the rack when there is no bike.

This solution has worked great for me. Is it as convenient as a swing out? No! Is it better for driving around? 100%

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That’s my worry is the added length of the rack, as well as the departure angle. My truck already isn’t great in either of those categories. I suppose having the bikes off and folding the arms down would still leave enough clearance for me to use the tailgate as a kitchen space.

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I highly recommend the 1up, you can find the drawings on their site if you want to check if it would fit with the tailgate down. I think you have a good chance with a bigger truck of it fitting, on the taco I’m 1/2" away from the tailgate crashing into it when open - which is plenty

The Kuat rack didn’t ever work with the tailgate open, btw. The wheel cradles hit


This is great information. Thank you. I’ve had a lot of recommendations for the Thule as well. Definitely need to see the 1Up in person.

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The 1up is all-aluminum and built like a tank. I didn’t even consider Thule because it seems like it might not hold up. Only problem is you’ll have to find someone with a 1up since they mostly only sell direct.

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Hey @Wild_Mitten - Thule might not be everyone’s aesthetic, but I’ve beat up my T2 over the last 3 years on some pretty rough roads to trailheads. It also clears the tailgate and GFC, and next to Kuat, it’s very easy to load/unload your steed. While great, 1Up and Rigd are a bit more involved for loading, but that’s because they’re both over-engineered to take a beating off-road, whereas I have to take it a bit slower. Still minimal wobble.

(For context, I’m 6’1" 170lbs soaking wet, and my bike is a size large w/ 800mm bars.)

I’m on the fence about adding the weight/length of a swing-out myself, not to mention my budget… :firecracker: :money_with_wings:

If you’re into tray racks and shuttle days, this company called Jambo Racks out of Big Sky, MT is getting a little bit of commotion these days.



I used to tilt down when I slept in a softopper. I switched to in-bed fork mount so I keep the bike more protected when offroading. This also made the tailgate a super useable surface so that you can do camp things as you mentioned.

Fork mounts are much much cheaper too :man_shrugging: idk food for thought. I bought a Rocky Mounts fork mount and track so I can easily remove the mount and keep the functionality of a truck bed. The mount itself too is super small and I just keep it in the truck 24/7.


How did you mount the track to the bed? Just drill holes in the bed or something?

Yep. Just drilled 3 holes in the bed and bolted the track down but the fork mount can slide in and out nice and easy. I sorta just did this install super quick. I wanna put in rivnuts in the bed before the winter so it’s easier to tighten down.

Also speaking of departure angle @Wild_Mitten

I am no longer a fan of tray racks when offroading. Great for short drives to local trailheads but keeping the bike in the bed leaves so much more peace of mind. Especially since the bike can be locked to the fork mount.


I added a hitch to my swing out bumper.



I went with the rigd ultra swing + ramble rack combo. It’s absolutely bombproof. I also added the camp table and cutting board, along with water mount. It just allows my kitchen to deploy within seconds, while moving the bikes out of the way. It’s not the simplest or cheapest, but for long term & maintaining OffRoad ability, I could find no better combo. My deckd system contains my kitchen hardware, so I just swing away & pull out my drawer… unclip table, expand cutting board.



This is why I avoided any of the standard hitches. Ramble rack w channel mount = way high up. Normally for two bike capacity I will skip my second tray and just place a bike inside the shell on its side… keeps everything tucked in.

OneUp is the next best option on the list IMHO.

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I have the Kuat w/ the swing out. It’s fine, but to mirror other comments:

  • On an F150, you need the swing out if you want to lower the tailgate.
  • Yes, it can make your truck bed sag due to weight. I have aftermarket leaf springs, so I’m ok, but before that I imagine it definitely would have been sagging.

I saw a guy with the Rigd at my local MTB trailhead and it looked like a FAR better solution. If I didn’t already have the Kuat, I’d definitely go that route.

I mountain bike ~6x a week and my local trail is only ~6 miles away, so the idea of taking my wheel on and off to put in the bed is not appealing, but I may end up going that route because I really like backup cameras and sensors. Plus, my truck is already a chonk, add the kuat rack + pivot and parking in town is a serious PITA.

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Had my RockyMounts rack for about 10 years now, battered and bruised and still kickin. Had to get a Yakima swingout because the Ranger tailgate hits the rack when it’s lowered. Only cons are the extra weight and the extra protrusion length. Other than that, the Yakima swingout is stout. I ride an XL Orbea Rallon, and most racks don’t fit the wheel base, including my Kuat Sherpa. 800 mil handlebars also make having the swingout a bit less sketchy by avoiding back panel impact.

Accidentally deleted my previous message so resubmitting.

I guess I may be in a unique situation after reading through this thread. I’m running a Victory 4x4 rear bumper with tire swing-out on my Tacoma. My Rocky Mounts Backstage rack (also a swing-out) isn’t compatible leaving me with the option of either running my tire carrier or the bike rack. Ideally, I’d like the option to run the bike rack on a hitch welded on to the tire swing out. Has anybody done this or can point me in the right direction? Any recommendations would be awesome.

Pics attached for reference.

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