There are a lot of bike racks on the market these days, — many of them with similar features. At such a high buy-in you want to make sure you find a rack that is built to last, built to protect your expensive bikes, and above all else something that suits your needs. The Backstage Swing Away Platform Hitch Rack by RockyMounts is literally the only hitch-rack that swings out a full 180 degrees from the back of our campervan even with two bikes loaded. This allows us to have complete access to the back doors and all of the gear behind those doors. We’ve been traveling full-time in our van for three years now. For a piece of gear to make the cut in our van it has to be exactly what we need.
Founded in Boulder, CO., the first RockyMounts racks were sold out of the back of Bobby Noyes’ pickup. Today, RockyMounts offers a full lineup of bike, ski, and cargo racks along with a complete bike security collection.
You don’t have to be driving around in a campervan for this to be a great rack option. The Backstage would be a nice addition for anyone driving an SUV, truck, motorhome, or hatchback. If you’ve been there, then you know how annoying it is not to have access to the back of your vehicle when you’re out on an adventure. Especially if you have a camper set up where gear is accessible from the back. This rack is built with all-steel construction and is a beast of a hitch-rack. The anti-wobble bolt works well and I never worry about the security of my rack while driving. The rack locks in the outward position so you don’t have to worry about getting knocked in the back by your bikes if you park on a hill.
Pros: This is a very versatile rack. The Backstage will carry bikes with road tires up to 5″ fat bike tires with diameters of 20″ – 29″. It’s easy to set up and install. The instructions are clear and the rack comes with all tools needed for assembly and installation. It’s easy to use. You don’t need to be strong to fold out, swing away, or fold down the rack even with two bikes attached. I like the integrated lock and included hitch lock. I also like that they use the same key. The rack never comes in contact with the frame which I love. I’ve had issues with racks damaging bikes in the past.
Cons: This is a sturdy rack. It has to be sturdy to function as well as it does. All of this sturdiness comes at a price. The Backstage weighs 59 pounds empty – a little heavy to be moving around all of the time. The locks for both the bike lock and hitch lock have a plastic outer casing. They feel like they could be broken with a little determination. Depending on how you load your bikes, handlebar length, and make of your vehicle, the handlebars may hit the back window. RockyMounts sells an extender to alleviate this issue if it occurs.
Where We Took It: It’s been on our van since April 2019. We’ve traveled over 15,000 miles and covered 18 states.