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I'm trying to figure out the best method to transport 2 bikes with my RAV. I have read all of the related forums on this site and still haven't found a very clear solution.

I have the factory rack with no mounts whatsoever. I've been considering spare tire racks (such as the Thule Spare Me), but have been scared off after reading several reviews on various shopping sites warning not to use that rack with the RAV due to bad experiences.

I also don't have a trailer hitch, otherwise I would get a rack that fit in the hitch.

I'm looking for the cheapest, most stable, and fuel efficient solution. (Even if that means buying a cheap trailer hitch somewhere and a hitch bike rack on top of that.) Any input is appreciated. Thanks.
 

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scriabin said:
I'm trying to figure out the best method to transport 2 bikes with my RAV. I have read all of the related forums on this site and still haven't found a very clear solution.

I have the factory rack with no mounts whatsoever. I've been considering spare tire racks (such as the Thule Spare Me), but have been scared off after reading several reviews on various shopping sites warning not to use that rack with the RAV due to bad experiences.

I also don't have a trailer hitch, otherwise I would get a rack that fit in the hitch.

I'm looking for the cheapest, most stable, and fuel efficient solution. (Even if that means buying a cheap trailer hitch somewhere and a hitch bike rack on top of that.) Any input is appreciated. Thanks.
I have a Spare Me on my 1999, I don't have any problems with it.
 
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Is it the new redesigned Spare Me, or the older model? I heard the new model is much more durable than the older one but I don't think I have enough dough for it. I'd probably buy a used one.
 

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scriabin said:
Is it the new redesigned Spare Me, or the older model? I heard the new model is much more durable than the older one but I don't think I have enough dough for it. I'd probably buy a used one.
Mine is about 5 years old, I've painted it a few times, but then agian I leave it on all winter.
 

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I wouldn't use a spare tire mounted rack for any more then two bikes ( especially "boat anchor" Big Box bikes ) .
If you think about it , you have the weight of your 2 bikes plus the rack PLUS the weight of your spare tire .

All of this is supported by 4 bolts into the sheet metal of your rear door .
All of that weight is moving up and down , flexing the sheet metal .

I put a trailer hitch on my Rav , a 4 bike rack into it and to keep the amount of weight past the rear wheels (not good) to a minimum , the spare gets put on the roof in a cargo basket mounted to the factory roof rack .

I use this set up in the summer months and in the winter I take off the hitch/rack and put the spare back on the rear door .
 
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