DIY Trailer hitch mounted rack for etrike and ebike

My wife and I recently bought an etrike and an ebike. We were looking for a way to transport them to distant locations (i.e. a rack), and were shocked by the pricing of a decent rack. My wife purchased her etrike at Beach and Ride in Bradenton, FL, and they had a really nice hitch mounted carrier for the trike, but the price was around $600. From that model, it was clear that the trike needed to have the front wheel turned 90° so it’s not as long. With this in mind, I went looking for a DYI version.

After a thorough search of different hitch mounted cargo carriers (see my results here), I settled on a Curt aluminum model 18100 (for it’s 60″ length and light aluminum design). I couldn’t find any wide enough for the trike, and realized I could mount aluminum cross-bars on it. I’ve used 8020 extruded aluminum bars for conversions to our van, so that’s what I went with. It’s on the expensive side, but it’s really easy to work with.

One of the dangers of extended cargo carriers is that they can drag on the ground if you are coming out of a driveway or other locations where you go from “dowhill” to “uphill” in a few yards. In order to prevent this, I purchased a Trailer Hitch Mount Shank Foldable Adapter. Turns out this was also important in providing room for the rack to fold up (the folding portion of the Curt did not get it far enough away from the van doors to allow the added rods and bike rack to fit in when folded upright).

  • Photo of rack open and empty
  • Photo showing rack tilted up against back of van
  • Photo showing Curt frame on left and foldable adapter on right.

Loading the bikes

At the Beach and Ride shop, they explained how to load the trike on the rack. Even though this trike weighs about 100 pounds, it’s easy to load it by lifting the front wheel on first, then lifting the rear of the trike.

  • Photo showing the bike loaded on the rack.
  • Photo showing the front wheel of the trike loaded on the rack.
  • photo showing bicycle and trike loaded on rack
  • Photo showing trike and bike strapped in.
  • Photo showing the rack folded up, side view.

Basic equipment

All totaled, the rack cost me about $350. Here are the materials I used.

  • Curt Aluminum Folding Cargo Carrier #18100
    • Capacity 500 pounds; weighs about 27 lbs.
    • List price $264, retails around $150 at Amazon, eTrailer, etc.
  • Swagman UPRIGHT Roof Mount Bike Rack
    • Holds one bike; designed for roof racks, but you only need to buy the one track.
    • List price $75, retails around $55
  • Folding 2″ Trailer Hitch Mount Shank Foldable Adapter Cargo Wheelchair Carrier Weight Capacity: 500lbs
    • I got this to raise up the rack to avoid “bottoming out” when going through a low area like getting out of some driveways.
    • I got it for $80 on Amazon.
  • Extruded aluminum
    • I purchased three four-foot long pieces (1″ across). I usually buy 8020 brand, but there are other brands out there.

I think I covered most of the details, but leave a comment below if you have questions.