The best bike rack for Toyota RAV4 in 2022

Published by Bike Scientist on

Bike rack for Toyota RAV4

While you can find rare trunk bike racks which fit the newer models of RAV4, in our analysis we found hitch mount bike racks have multiple advantages over hitchless. Hitch bike racks like the Kuat Sherpa and Thule T2 are racks for daily use, in the best turnaround time, safely, and with perfect compatibility. Tow hitches for RAV4 come at an additional cost but they have their benefits apart from transporting bike racks as well.

In case you don’t mind reaching for the roof of your vehicle, Thule UpRide is a universal bike rack for factory-fitted roof rails. But in case you don’t want to invest in a hitch and carry multiple bikes, consider a trunk bike rack such as the Yakima fullback for occasional and less frequent usage for transporting bikes on a RAV4 as well.

This article would take you through the process of selecting the finest rack for the Toyota RAV4 in 2022. First, you would understand the specifications of RAV4 that have a role in the selection of a bike rack. Then you will learn about the different rack types out there and see which one of them is compatible with your vehicle. In the end, you can choose from our shortlisted racks.

If you are in a rush, we have listed our picks for the best Toyota RAV4 bike racks right away.

Bike Rack R ScoreWhy do we recommend it?
Kuat Sherpa 9.0Premium RAV4 bike rack hitch
Yakima FullBack8.8Best 3 bike racks for RAV4 without hitch 3 bikes
Thule Apex 8.74-bike rack for RAV 4
Allen Ultra 7.9Economical Bike Rack Under

Step-by-step guide for selecting the best RAV4 bike rack

Step 1: Understand Toyota RAV4 before shortlisting a bike rack 

Toyota RAV4 is a crossover SUV that is compact in structure but lets you enjoy many advantages of having an SUV. For example, it will ensure higher visibility and of course a 4-wheel drive. Now see this from a bike rack perspective.

Issues and questions of Toyota rav4 bike rack owners

  • Would they be able to open the rear gate with the bike rack installed? That would really depend on the type of bike rack installed. Some hitch racks have the tilt feature to allow that while some don’t. Similarly, some bike racks would have the folding option in them to fold while not in use.
  • Not able to open the rear door too far with the rack installed. You should try a hitch extender to clear more space.
  • Which bike rack would allow the tailgate to open? Thule T2 would allow that
  • What is the drawback of a budget bike rack for a RAV4? Well, they won’t break but features such as vehicle-to-rack lock, bike lock-to-rack, tilt, and anti-sway might be missing in budget racks. Plus there is a difference in quality, comfort of use, and brand warranty as well.
  • Would my brake lights be visible with bike racks? Legit concern. The majority of racks would not interrupt with brake lights and we would suggest before purchasing to see pictures of the rack on a RAV4 so you know exactly how it would fit.
  • Roof rails: The good thing about the vehicle is that it already comes with the side rails which basically saves you on a complete roof rack setup.
  • Hitch receiver: Currently the Toyota RAV4 does not come with a hitch but you can get one externally and get it attached. Getting a hitch installed on RAV4 might cost you somewhere around 150 dollars
  • Spare tire: In some of the older models we have seen RAV4 come with spare tires in the back of vehicle. Only those vehicles can have a spare tire bike rack installed on them. Make sure you check for compatibility with individual models (2010 and older models)

Step 2: Types of bike rack for Toyota RAV4

The bike rack industry is diverse. Many brands have been producing racks that meet the requirements of different customers. These rack types are compatible with specific vehicles so it is better to categorize them on the basis of their mounting styles. The major and most common types are:

Step 3: What are your biking requirements?

Before picking a bike rack for Toyota RAV4, you need to be sure about the number of bikes you might have to carry. If you travel with a group of cycling friends or with your family, you should look for racks made for multiple bikes. 

Then see what bike types you own. For example, there are specific racks for e-bikes or fat tire bikes so you would have to find a compatible rack. Similarly, you will have to search for racks for kids’ and women’s bikes. 

If you own carbon frame or heavier bikes, trunk bike racks would not be appropriate so you can look for a single-hitch bike rack, 4-hitch bike rack, or 5-bike rack according to your requirements. 

Step 4: Check compatibility of rack with RAV4

Once you have decided on the bike capacity and type of bikes to carry, see if the particular type of rack is compatible with RAV4. For example, see if RAV4 has roof rails because they are required for the installation of roof bike racks. We have done some research on RAV4 and we have concluded that

  • Roof bike rack for Toyota RAV4 is available and compatible
  • Trunk bike racks are compatible with Toyota RAV4
  • Hitch mount racks would be compatible but you will have to buy and install a hitch on your vehicle. 
  • Truck bed bike racks are not compatible because RAV4 is an SUV

The table below shows some of the hitch trailers that work for RAV4. You can also read our detailed article on the Best RAV4 Trailer Hitch

HitchSizeClassRAV4 ModelCheck Price
Reese 842012 Inch Class 32019-21Amazon
Curt 131492 Inch Class 32017-18Amazon
Curt 134162 Inch Class 32022Amazon
Draw-Tite 752352 Inch Class 32006-18Amazon
Please note these are recommendations based on ratings and popularity. For exact compatibility please check the official website of the manufacturer

Step 5: Select from the shortlisted best rav4 bike racks

TypeBikesBike Rack
Best Trunk Bike Rack Hanging3Yakima FullbackYakima FullBack
Roof (Premium)Platform1Thule UpRideUpride
Trunk (Economical)Hanging1Allen Ultra Allen Ultra Compact Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
Hitch (Premium)Platform2Thule T2 Pro Thule T2 Bike Rack for Toyota Rav4
TrunkHanging2Allen Sports Allen Sports Premier Trunk Bike Rack Hitchless
Hitch Vertical6Yakima HangoverYAKIMA, Hangover– Premium | Vertical Hitch 6 Bike Rack
Hitch (Premium)Hanging4Thule Apex
Spare TireHanging2Thule Spare Me

Best bike rack for RAV4 (Hitch)

Kuat Sherpa 2.0 | RAV4 hitch mount bike carrier

  • 2 Bike
  • Hitch
Kuat Sherpa 2.0 Best Hitch Bike Rack
Kuat Sherpa 2.0
  • Secure
  • Customers give a positive response
  • Minimalist structure
  • Greatest quality

Please note that a hitch bike rack would require a hitch receiver. Hitch receiver compatibility varies by year and model of RAV4 (2006-18, 2019-21, 2022)

Sherpa 2.0 is a premium quality lightweight rack made to carry two bikes. Your bikes can each be 40 pounds or less in weight but you can use it for most bike types. You can install it on a 1 ¼” hitch or 2” hitch depending on the trailer hitch installed on your RAV4. 

We found Sherpa to score high on most metrics and that is why we believe it is the best hitch bike rack for SUVs like Toyota RAV4. This rack is rated high for its security and other features. It comes with cable locks that are long enough to go through the wheels of bikes, a feature Thule Easyfold lacks. 

Moreover, Sherpa 2.0 is present in three different color looks which makes it more aesthetically pleasing with various cars. Another reason it rates better than Thule Easyfold is the impressive response from customers. With around 95% of customers satisfied with the bike rack, it leaves it scoring the highest among the best bike racks

Our top-rating hitch racks are Kuat Sherpa and Thule EasyFold. In a detailed review, we have compared all the specs and features of Sherp 2.0 versus Easy fold and found that Sherpa performs better on the R score.

**For RAV4 it should work with both 1.25 and 2-inch hitch receivers. You can expect some part of the rear camera to be obstructed but nothing too bad. Apart from that, in case there is a spare tire mounted on the back, you are better off getting a hitch extender to avoid the rack hitting the spare. Specifically, with a curt tow hitch, you should check the clearance from the bottom in case you need a hitch extender while installing this bike rack for Toyota RAV4. Some people have complained of it hitting the bottom on slopes but that should not be the case with the OEM hitch since it sits higher as compared to all other hitch receivers.

Detailed Comparison Review on Kuat Sherpa 2.0

Price Around $700

Bike rack for RAV4 without hitch

Yakima Fullback | Rav4 trunk bike rack

  • 3 Bike
  • Trunk
Yakima FullBack
Yakima Fullback
  • Does not scrape RAV4 paint
  • Locks included
  • Heavy

If you do not plan on buying a hitch or a roof rail, this rack is for you. FullBack by Yakima is a premium trunk bike carrier with a FULL SKS locking package which ensures that the rack locks to the vehicle and the bike to the rack. The rack comes in a ruggedly modern style with a limited lifetime warranty by Yakima. 

Trunk bike racks which are compatible with Toyota RAV4 are difficult to encounter and one with a locking feature is even more occasional. Due to the adjustable arm which uses a center dial Hub, the Yakima FullBack can be tuned to be a perfect fit for multiple SUVs with different types of spoilers. 

It is a premium trunk bike rack for Toyota RAV4 that ensures that the rack locks to the vehicle and the bike to the rack. This is the primary feature that differentiates FullBack from HalfBack making it more premium. Yakima has recently introduced a clip locking system in its cradles, SuperCush ZipStrip, which is added protection for the bike.

Yakima confirms the complete compatibility of the Fullback rack with the Toyota RAV4 (including the 2022 model). We have reviewed a number of happy RAV4 riders who are using Yakima Fullback and find the rack an excellent choice for them. While we feel it’s slightly over-priced compared to other trunk bike racks but given the additional features and compatibility, it seems like a fair ask. Note that you cannot use your rear wipers while the rack is installed. Overall, the rack scores very high on aesthetics, security, quality, brand, and convenience of use.

Overall this car mount for bikes gets an R score of 8.8 with top scores in capacity and compatibility, security, and brand as well. We also recommend this SUV bike rack with no hitch for a number of different SUVs. It’s also our ultimate recommendation for the Toyota Highlander bike rack.

*Consider the Yakima Halfback at Amazon for 3 bikes which are priced lower but lack the same key system for locking, safety leash, and black painted finish as compared to the Yakima FullBack

Best 4 Bike Toyota Rav4 Bike Rack

Thule Apex XT | Premium Hanging rav4 bike rack hitch

Designed to carry up to 4 bikes with the latest model up to 5, this hanging-style hitch rack can manage a weight of up to 150 pounds. Comes with the ability to fold and appear compact when not in use. Premium bike rack by the Swedish brand Thule

  • Pros: premium quality, high bike capacity, swing away for trunk access, bikes do not sway
  • Cons: hanging style rack, frame contact

  • 4 Bikes
  • Hitch
Thule Apex for Toyota Rav4

We believe that the number one factor in considering a bike rack for Toyota RAV4 should be safety, and safety is only possible if the product is high quality and durable. What makes Thule Apex XT premium is its superior quality and features. Thule is definitely the leading brand in bike racks and is known for its quality. Specifically, this rack offers you features such as bike anti-sway, a patented design that allows complete access to your rear door or trunk, a security lock for your bike, and one key system compatibility. Apart from the claim that the rack ensures a distance of 7 inches between each bike and carbon frame compatibility.

Pros Premium quality, high bike capacity, swing away for trunk access, bikes do not sway
Cons Hanging style rack, frame contact
Rating 4.5 out of 5
Price Around $700

Best Ebike Compatible Rack for Toyota Rav4

Thule T2 Pro | Premium Platform Hitch

Designed for zero frame contact, the bike rack can carry 2 e-bikes of up to 60 pounds each with up to 5-inch tires, ensuring compatibility with almost any type of bike out there.

The rack is available in both 114 and 2-inch hitch receiver options

  • Pros: Ebike Compatible, No frame contact, Design,
  • Cons: For 2 bikes only, price
Thule T2 Bike Rack for Toyota Rav4
Toyota rav4 bike hitch

If you own two valuable bikes and do not want to take the risk of frame contact, you should buy Thule T2 Pro to safely carry them on the back of the RAV4. These bikes may include electric bikes, fat bikes, carbon frames, etc. Thule T2 Pro rates higher among the 1 1/4 bike racks. 

TOYOTA RAV4 Compatibility Yes. You might need to purchase a 1 1/4 or a 2-inch hitch unless you already have one installed on yours.

Verdict: The best Thule Hitch Platform Bike rack for Toyota RAV4

Best roof mount bike carrier for Toyota RAV4

UpRide rav4 bike roof rack

Thule UpRide Roof Bike Rack
bike racks for Toyota rav4

Carry your bike in style! Compatible with Toyota Rav4 4-door SUV 2013-18 and 2021 factory-installed cross bar (confirm with Thule – fit my car for other models) Thule Upride is a premium, universal upright bike rack that ensures no frame contact. The rack is one of the best single bike racks that does not require a hitch.

Roof bike racks come in three designs, i.e., fork mount, wheel mount, and frame mount. The frame mount bike racks grip the frame of the bikes and are relatively less safe. They can leave scratches on bikes so you might not want to take the risk of damaging your carbon frame bikes. Also loading the bikes on frame mount and wheel mount bike racks is difficult. The fork mount bike racks are the easiest and safest to load bikes. The only problem is you have to remove the front wheel. 

Roof bike racks do not have to be removed after every use because they do not add much height to the vehicle. Some models of roof bike racks can be a bit expensive but generally, they are more affordable than hitch-mount bike racks. Also, you don’t have to spend extra money on buying a hitch receiver for your car. Unlike hitch racks, roof racks eliminate the risk of accidents during the reverse drive. The trunk of your car also remains free so you have access to the tailgate. 

In terms of convenience, hitch bike racks have an edge over roof bike racks because mounting bikes on the roof is mostly a two-person job. Moreover, bike racks installed on hitch are more suited for cars that are high because roof bike racks can make passing through low clearance areas impossible.

Economical Bike Rack For Toyota Rav4

Allen Ultra Compact Trunk

Does not require a hitch or a roof rail, unlike hitch and roof bike racks.

Designed for minivans, SUVs, hatchbacks,s, and sedans the rack can carry up to 2 bikes in hanging style. The minimalist-designed trunk bike rack offers a decent rack option for occasional travel with bikes.

  • Pros: Price, Minimalist design
  • Cons: Minimal Features
Allen Ultra Compact Trunk Mounted Bike Rack
Toyota rav4 bike rack

If you are on a limited budget, you can get the Allen Ultra Compact trunk mount rack for your RAV4. We have reviewed other racks from Allen as well and found them to be quite economical. These racks provide high value for a very small price. However, we only recommend Ultra Compact for lightweight bikes if you are fine with hanging them. Not recommended for carbon frames or e-bikes.

Best Toyota Rav4 Spare Tire Bike Rack

Thule spare tire bike rack rav4

Does not require a hitch or a roof rail, unlike hitch and roof bike racks.

  • Pros: Quality, Quality, Trademark, Appearance, Locks
  • Cons: Price

  • 2 Bikes
  • Spare Tire
Thule Spare Me Pro

In case you have a spare tire installed on your vehicle, you can consider a spare tire bike rack for Toyota RAV4. This rack looks great installed on vehicles so we love it for the aesthetics. Other than that, it is a durable carrier for bikes that is compact and has many valuable features. It would allow you to carry up to 75 pounds and would fit over most spare tires.

Compatibility: Any Toyota RAV4 with Spare Tire  (2010-2021)

Other Bike Racks For Toyota Rav4

Thule Passage | Best Discount bike rack rav4

  • 3 Bikes
  • Trunk
bike racks for rav4

Thule confirms that Thule passage 2 or 3 will fit the RAV4 4-door SUV models 2013 to 2018. However, from 2018 onwards you will need to confirm with the manufacturer before purchasing (Specifically for RAV4 2021, this might not fit without modifications)

The Thule Passage trunk rack for Toyota RAV4 is simple to install and operate with value-added attributes that make it the ideal option for a cyclist who is just starting. It scored 7.7 in our detailed analysis so if you get separate locks for security, this rack is a great option.

Detailed Review on Thule Passage

Price Around $250

Allen Sports | Budget Toyota rav4 bike rack

Allen Sports 2-Bike Hitch
Allen Sports 2-Bike Hitch for Toyota RAV4

Allen Sports beats other hitch racks in terms of price and adjustability. Like the trunk bike racks manufactured by Allen Sports, this rack is quite economical. There are many add-on options that make it useable by different customers. The rack comes with an adapter that makes it compatible with 2” receivers as well. The quality is good, the capacity is high and installation is super easy. 

TOYOTA RAV 4 Compatibility Yes. You might need to purchase a 1 1/4 or a 2-inch hitch unless you already have one installed on your Toyota Rav4

Maxxhaul Hitch Mount 2 Bike | Amazon’s Choice bike rack for Toyota rav4

rav4 bicycle rack

Worried about the visibility issues of your bike rack? Well not anymore. Maxxhaul keeps you from trouble while also facilitating through other great features. This bike rack for Toyota RAV4 is quite versatile and works with 1-1/4 and 2-inch hitch receivers. It also works for Class 1 to 4 hitches which means it is easily compatible with RAV4. 

The rack allows access to the trunk through the swing-down feature. Apart from that, it has high-quality cradles for holding bikes safely. You can get this rack at a good price for carrying 2 bikes on your RAV4. Not the fanciest rack but it works well and has a sturdy structure. 

Yakima Hangover | Best Vertical bike rack for rav4

Another RAV4 rack but in this case, the bikes hang vertically which provides room to carry way more bikes as compared to the horizontal or hanging styled or even rav4 bike rack roof options.

  • Pros: Capacity, Brand, Quality
  • Pros: Price
Yakima vertical bike rack hitch
RAV4 bicycle rack

If you are looking for a rack with a high brand value, you can go for Hangover. This rack is a very useful carrier for multiple racks. You can get this rack if you own suspension fork mountain bikes and carry them vertically on the back of your RAV4. This rack is simple and although it does not have multiple features, you can easily carry your bikes from one location to another.

Swagman XC2 Hitch Popular, Best Discount rav4 bike rack

Swagman XC2 Hitch Mount Bike Rack
RAV4 bicycle rack

Swagman racks are quite popular and that is because of the high quality they maintain with each product. These racks are used by many people and can be bought at good prices. This rack works with both 1-1/4 inch and 2-inch hitch receivers so you would not have to worry about buying a new hitch. Overall this bike rack for Toyota RAV4 is great. The only problem is that you will have to purchase a hitch pin. 

FAQs for Rav4 bike racks

Do I need a tow package for a bike rack?

You need a tow package for a bike rack only if you are going for a hitch-mounted carrier for a bike. In the case of any other bike rack such as the trunk bike rack, roof bike rack, spare tire bike rack, or truck bed bike rack a tow package is not required.

Which hitch receivers are compatible and recommended for Toyota RAV4

Depends on the type of RAV4 and model year as well but some popular hitch receivers to be considered can. For a detailed recommendation go through The best RAV4 trailer hitch in 2022

HitchSizeClassRAV4 ModelPurchase
Reese 842012 Inch Receiver Class 32019-2021Amazon
Curt 131492 Inch ReceiverClass 32017-2018Amazon
Curt 134162 Inch Reciever Class 32022Amazon
Draw-Tite 752352 Inch RecieverClass 32006-2018Amazon
Please note these are recommendations based on ratings and popularity. For exact compatibility please check the official website of the manufacturer

Can you fit a bicycle in the back of a Rav4?

Yes, you can fit your bike in the RAV 4 – It’s easier if you take both your wheels off but even without them with some adjustment to the seats you can fit a bicycle in the back of a Toyota RAV4. See the video which shows how you can fit a bike in RAV4

Can you put a hitch on a Toyota RAV4?


Can you put a bike rack on a Toyota rav4?

Yes. You can put a bike rack on a Toyota Rav4. Hitch, roof, and trunk are compatible types of bike racks for Toyota rav4. Check each rack’s compatibility with the model in case you are looking for a 2018 or 2019 rav4 bike rack. We have made our recommendation above.

What kind of bike rack should I get for rav4 with a 1 1/4 inch hitch?

For a Toyota rav4 with a 114-inch hitch, you should get either hanging or a platform hitch mount rack. The top 3 bikes recommended are

1. Thule T2 Pro XTR – Recommended for E-bikes

2. Allen Sports Hitch – Economical hanging style rack

3. MaxxhauL 50025 – Amazon’s Choice

We have a complete article dedicated to the best racks for 11/4-inch hitches. The article talks about what are the top best bike racks installed on 1 1 4″ hitch. A guide to determining the best rack for your vehicle and a review of the best racks out there.

How much clearance is needed for the rav4 bike rack?

That really depends on the type of bike rack for the Toyota RAV4 and the presence of a spare tire on your vehicle. One response we found is that for a Yakima full swing you would approximately need 6.5 inches of clearance. So with a spare tire, you can imagine somewhere around that figure with plus-minus 2 inches.

Bike rack for rav4 without hitch/rav4 bike rack no hitch

For a bike rack for RAV4 without a hitch or a rav4 bike rack with no hitch, we would recommend the Allen Ultra Compact.

Bike rack which can be fixed inside Toyota RAV4?

We have reviewed bike racks for inside SUVs and these would also work with RAV4. These racks are the safest way to carry bikes but of course, they have their limitations as well. The biggest of which is compromising on the space inside your vehicle.

Categories: Uncategorized

Bike Scientist

S Chaudhry is the founder and the first writer for BikesRacks. He covers almost all the bike reviews after doing a lot of secondary and primary (hands on) research on the products. Apart from that he is the author of a number of how to do articles as well on the website. He is an avid road bike cyclists who is dealing in a lot of areas related to biking. Currently he has gained experience fixing bikes to retailing accessories related to them as well. His eventual goal is to build an authority site on cycling and also become a profession bike fitter.


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