Requesting ideas for a hitch mount swing arm bike carrier arm ...


Well-Known Member
There is no way I am paying $400-500 for a top brand unit, so I would like please recommendations on how to make my own.

For visuals, here is one of the most highly rated units - Kuat Pivot v2 ($400):





And here is the other one, from 1up: ($410):



Suggestions on the pivot? I was thinking about a stainless 1/2" bolt and hardware - enough? What type of bushings, spacers? I can custom make anything out of delrin, bronze, brass, etc. on the lathe, so lots of options.

Suggestions on the wall thickness for the 2" square tubing? Most all of these are about 40-50 pounds, and only rated to hold two bikes with less than 100 pounds total/combined.

Any other tips/advice?
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Staff member
The 2 inch slider for the receiver is the easy part. Can be purchased in many lengths and styles for around $30 or so. You can build from there.


Notorious member
Looking at the engineering, fab, small parts, and powder coating alone I'd gladly pay $500 for one of those, but you like doing fab work a lot more than I do.


Notorious member
Half-inch bolt pivot is no good IMO. Make a large, bushed hinge like the first one. Make a draw-bar wedge system to lock it in the receiver without rattling. Have a support cradle for the arm that the arm swings up on and parks against so the hinge isn't stressed when going over bumps. Make an adjustable friction lock mechanism for the hinge so you can control the swing on off-camber parking spots. That's all I got.


Taco Aficionado/Salish Sea Pirate/Part-Time Dragon
I built a simple non hindged version. It has to be removed to open the tailgate/barn door/hatchback.

Here is how I would do it cheap and dirty. I’d buy a 20’ stick of 2” x 2” square tube, a few feet of 1/4” x 4” flat bar, two weld on hinges, and four 1/2” x 6” bolts.

One 1/4” x 4” x 8” plate welded on the hitch post, and one plate welded on the outer “arm”.
Plates would have 4 through holes each.

When folded in for transport the two plates would be bolted together.

Not the fastest or most convenient solution. But, having gone camping with my bike rack, it would still be easier than unloading everything.
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Well-Known Member
Gotcha - thanks much for the ideas/suggestions - exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping to get :)

Petrol & Powder

Well-Known Member
I think Joshua has the right idea. In order to keep the cost down, you will likely need to simplify the design.

While the pivot makes it possible to swing the unit aside to allow access to the tailgate - it also adds considerable cost and complexity.

You could make something very close to the commercially made one you show but I don't think you could copy that design cheap enough to make it worthwhile.


Well-Known Member
when we were kids Dad just threw our bikes in the back of the truck.
then we climbed in and arranged them before he got in and took off.

if it were me I'd just build a simple aluminum TEE affair,,, IE trailer hitch and bike carrier from 1-2 U-channels with a loop or two on the bottom for a locking cable.


Well-Known Member
Yeah, exactly! Way out there price-wise. I guess there is a significant segment out there with money to burn ...


Halcyon member
I have a old Yakima 2 bike carrier that folds down (garage sale find $20), works fine for hatchback access, but while you can open the hatch, the bikes are kind of in the way for a human to manuever items ...ALSO, doesn't work at all with my Rav4 with side swing back hatch/door.