Jeep Wrangler JL Bike Transport - 5 Best Options

Jeep Wrangler JL bike transport options can be tricky - you definitely have a couple challenges when you want to transport a bike or two.


The main disadvantage compared to older jeeps is the placement of the backup camera - it sits right in the middle of the spare tire! Older jeeps didn't have the camera, so bike racks could screw onto the spare tire bolt pretty easily.

The other challenge with a jeep is the tail gate - because it swings outward, any sort of rack that uses the hitch will make it impossible to open the back, which is super inconvenient. There are only a couple options that can swing away and avoid this problem.

So in our quest for our Wrangler rack, we put together a simple list of requirements:

  • Handle two mountain bikes
  • Allow the gate to be easily used with the bikes on or off
  • The backup camera should be still useable when the bikes aren't mounted
  • Not stick super far beyond the back of the Jeep


What We Chose

For us, it came down to the Hollywood Racks SR1 spare tire rack. This Jeep bike rack ended up being a pretty inexpensive solution and working out really well. We wish it could have been a bolt-on solution, but the straps turned out fine (although a bit messy, we could probably clean that up).

After two months of use, we just leave the rack attached to our Jeep and throw the bikes on the back anytime we want to take them to the beach. If we are going somewhere we can't watch the bikes, we throw on our Vulcan 9 foot chain with Viro lock on the bikes. Ironically, the lock cost even more than the rack itself - but it's a serious lock.

Best Wrangler JL Bike Transport for your tailgate

There is a little bit of rust on the bolts after a couple months, but nothing too serious. Honestly, we can't beat this for the price. If we wanted to move to E-bikes, we will also have to get a new rack, as the Hollywood Rack (like any other tire rack) just isn't strong enough to handle the weight.

Don't Want a Spare Tire Rack - Use a Hitch Rack

Hitch racks are more pricey, because they require more parts and have to be stronger since they stick further out the back of your jeep. It is definitely a downside to have the bikes stick further back - when we are set up to tow the Jeep with our 45 foot motorhome, any added length is not welcome! The . Obviously, you need to have a hitch on your Jeep for these to work. Most are adaptable to either 1.25" or 2" hitches.

The big challenge on the Wrangler is that spare tire. You have 3 options here:

  • Get rid of your spare
  • Use a hitch extender
  • Use a swing-away

Getting Rid of Your Spare

This is certainly an option, and many Wranglers with 37's or bigger don't run with a spare anyway. But you need to have a way to deal with flats - fix a flat or some other option. And you will still need a swing-away or swing-down if you want to be able to

Hitch Extender

A hitch extender lets your bike rack sit further back on the back of your Wrangler. Make sure it has the weight capacity rating to handle both your rack and bikes.


A swing-away also extends your bike rack out from the back of your Wrangler, and has the added benefit of allowing the rack to swing away from the back of the Jeep, allowing you to open the back fully.


The RackAttach from 1up is a solid option for a swing-away. It is pricey - the cost was $400 with tax and shipping to our location.



Hitch Racks

Hitch racks are a better option for heavier bikes. They are typically built far sturdier because they are hanging off the back of your hitch. The downsides pretty big also:

  • Cost - usually much higher, some even approaching $1,000 or more by the time you are fully set up.
  • Length - they put your bikes much further behind your jeep, especially with an extension or swingaway.
  • Weight - Because they need to be more sturdy, the hitch itself weights much more than a spare-mount rack. If you have to remove it often, better hit the gym!


Rockymount Backstage

The Rockymount Backstage has a built-in 180 degree swingaway. Pretty heavy duty, and can handle up to 120lbs. This is enough to handle all but the largest e-bikes. They sell an 8" hitch extension will probably be necessary to clear your spare tire. One cool feature is it can swing down or swing away.



Quadratec 2-bike Platform Rack

The Quadratec 2-bike rack  can be used on a stock Wrangler JL without an extender or a swingaway. It lets the back gate open by swinging down. If you have a bike in the inner position, it will seriously limit the amount you can open your gate.



Thule is pretty much the king of bike racks. They are also some of the most expensive racks made. They have a ton of different, models and the Thule Pro XT2 is a great choice for a Wrangler. It also drops down, but if you want it to move out of the way of your gate (especially loaded), you will need a swingaway.



Kuat makes very nice a very nice swingaway rack in the NV 2.0. It does come in pretty expensive at $789, but it already has the swing-away built in which is really nice.



Wrangler Bumper Tow - Is It Safe?

When we started researching how to pull our Jeep, we immediately realized that a lot of decisions had to be made. It turns out there is plenty of options for tow bars, braking systems, and related components.

A little background on what we have and our goals.  Over a year ago we bought a brand new 2019 Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited (the 4-door model).  While we are not hard-core jeepers, we do have a background in motocross/dirtbikes, and definitely plan to do fun things with the Jeep too! While we don't want to go crazy with 37" tires and a lift kit (yet), we wanted to make sure our upgrades and our ability to tow the jeep with our motorhome didn't get in the way of our goals.

To that end, one thing we were concerned with was the use of a traditional base plate on our Wrangler. They stick out of the bottom of the front bumper, which reduces ground clearance. They also don't look that great!

Pulling from the Wrangler JL Bumper

The solution is to pull from the bumper D-ring mounts. Unfortunately the stock bumpers of our Jeep doesn't even have D-ring mounts, so it was time to go bumper shopping.

The market is now saturated with JL bumpers! But a year ago, that was not the case. At the time, we looked at the following bumpers:

Rockhard Aluminum Patriot Series 

Smittybilt XRC Gen2 Front Bumper

LOD Signature Front Bumper

We liked all three of these - the Rockhard was especially interesting because it was aluminum, which cut the weight substantially. The Smittybilt was the cheapest of the bunch, which we also liked. But in the end, we went with the LOD bumper, both front (Signature) and rear (Destroyer). Why did we go with LOD? Lets go through a little story about the Wrangler JL.

Tale of the Wrangler JL

It turns out that Jeep changed how the bumper is attached to the frame with only two bolts on each side. Many people have questioned the strength of this setup if you tried to pull your 5,000lb jeep around by the bumper. It is actually quite the lively controversy on Jeep forums. Many people do it and don't seem to have a problem, but Jeep doesn't appear to support it. The base plate shown above gets around this by attaching directly to the frame of the JL. So we were worried about this - the last thing we wanted was our bumper ripping off while we were heading down the highway at 65 miles an hour. Nothing would ruin your day like a detached 50K Jeep playing bumper cars!

So how do we pull with our bumper and feel good about it? Turns out that LOD had an answer for this:

Wrangler JL Frame Tie-in Brackets


These brackets slide between your bumper and the frame, and then have a third bolt that then locks onto the frame. We felt that was a great solution for us. And



10 Things We Love For Our Motorhome

Living in our motorhome is very different than our house in many ways. Some things that make no sense in a house are critical (or at least super useful!) in a motorhome. Here are a few of these things.

Surge Suppressor

When we move from camp to camp, the quality of provided utilities can vary widely. Since we have a really nice solar system with upgraded inverters, we want to make sure we do everything we can to protect them from fluctuations in the local quality of electricity. Low-quality wiring to the power post, bad connectors, or many other issues can cause brownouts, spikes, and other transients that could damage our equipment. We have a Southwire surge suppressor to meet this need. It is expensive but we feel it's worth it!

Lippert Waste Master

In our opinion, not all sewer hoses are created equal. The Lippert Waste Master is definitely more expensive than most (like $125 vs. typical hoses). But it has some nice features that we really appreciate. For one thing, it has a cam-lock for an attaching to the tank connector, instead of the traditional bayonet lock. This arrangement is SUPER easy to deal with and seems cleaner to me. On the other end is a gate valve and clear window to see the progress of your black/gray dump. The materials used for the hose seem noticeably better quality than most, and easily expand or contract as needed. They also have an extension kit (which also uses the cam locks, and for some reason is even more expensive) if you need to reach extra far to get to your sewer connection.


Tire Pressure Monitor System - TST 507 Color

Lets clear this up right away - We LOVE our TST 507 TPMS. We have a 50,000lb motorhome, with 8 wheels. And we drag a Jeep Wrangler with 4 more. So we have 12 tires rolling down the road anytime we move. Any one of these blows out and we could have anything between an inconvenience and a complete disaster. Our TPMS doesn't guarantee that we won't have a catastrophic failure of a tire, but it certainly gives us a fighting chance to know a tire has abnormally low/high pressure or a temperature extreme. Even a 30 second warning could make the difference between pulling over smoothly and this:

Our TPMS has worked flawlessly so far - a nice bright color display, sensitive alarms and a good quality case and mount system.



Outdoor Rug

Seems like a simple thing, but having an outdoor rug like this one really makes the outside of our motorhome a bit nicer. Recommended! Our reversible mat is 9x18, it is also available in a smaller size.

We also got stakes to make sure the rug didn't blow away in the wind - these Prest-O-Fit ones worked well for us.

Brita Water Filter

A lot of people love their Berkey water purifiers - but we decided to go a different route. Brita makes a water filter that is pretty cheap, and gets the job done. The water we are getting in Tampa has a noticeably bad smell/taste, and the Brita fixes that.



What To Do in Clearwater Florida

When we get our motorhome in a new area, the first thing we do is figure out the best places to go hiking, hit the beach, and maximize our fun. So of course, when we arrived in Clearwater, we did some research and found some pretty cool hiking and biking trails in the area.


Upper Tampa Bay Trails 


R.E.Olds Park  


Honeymoon Island State Park

Camera Equipment We Use

One of the biggest questions we get is what gear we use to make our videos and other content. The truth is, a lot of equipment! And it is ever changing. We are a bit geeky and like to stay pretty close to the edge of technology. Since we are not pro photographers as a profession, we don't have the absolute best gear money can buy.  We use what we find to be a good balance between quality, function and value.  What we use depends a bunch on where we are going and what we are trying to shoot. But the core gear covers our needs well.

When Quality is Paramount

When we need the best quality, our DSLR is our go to. A lot of people use Canon or Nikon, but we chose to go with Sony. Our Sony A6600 has been a great performer - a good combination of features and quality, without being super large.


Because the best camera you have is the one you actually have with you! This camera is easy to fit into a small backpack, and bringing along a couple lenses gives a lot of flexibility. Our current Sony setup consists of:

For Action, B-roll and Flexibility

Nothing beats action cameras when you need to get an amazing shot - they are stabilized, waterproof, and super compact. And the standardized mounting system allows a lot of flexibility in where you actually put the cameras. We currently have 3 different action cameras - typically we stay pretty close to the latest versions of these since they have been improving so quickly.

When we Don't Have Another Camera

So often we don't have a dedicated camera with us - luckily we are lucky to each have an iPhone 12 Pro Max - these phones produce some of the best video and photos of any phone ever made, and easily work in many situations. The camera world has really changed in the last 5 years!