I do most of my bike hauling in the van, the ultimate in motorcycle carriers. But on those occasions that I need to haul multiple bikes in the pickup, it can be a pain to get them all arranged properly. Three bikes in the bed of the Nissan Titan is doable, but take lots of contortions to get them all in place.
We just recently got a “new” to us Titan to replace the old 2004 model. As with any new vehicle, regardless of how many wheels, there are always accessories that must be fitted to make it just right. I decided it was time to do something about the tie-down situation while I was at it.
A quick search of the intertube led me to Discount Ramps. The price was reasonable and the outfit looked like a good “one size fits all” pickup system. The basic rack is designed for two bikes with two tire chalks and 3 tie-down loops.
The optional third bike mount is a chalk that mounts in the middle and extends out 12″ to allow the bars to clear each other. This mounts to the rack with two bolts can easily be removed.
The main rack is three pieces, a center and then a sliding adjustable end on each side. The range is 54″ to 73″. The install was very straight forward. On my Nissan there is an additional metal brace on each forward corner of the bed and a convenient unused hole. I only had to drill through the bed liner and one layer of steel to get a very secure mount. I extended the rack into position and installed the corner bolts. There is also a center bolt location to drill and install also.
I wondered about mounting the rack over the stock bed liner, but is seems to work just fine. The only thing I had to do was buy longer bolts. There is not much space between the cab and bed to work. I taped the nylock nut into a box end wrench and that was sufficient to let me do the install by myself. But it is certainly an easier job with an extra set of hands.
With everything installed, we loaded three bikes to see how they fit. The 12″ extension seemed longish to me, but with the bikes loaded, there was plenty of room and none touched, even with 13 litre tanks on all three bikes. The tie-down locations are good. I still use the stock pickup bed tie-down loop for the two outside straps.
To get all three bikes in the Titan bed, place each of the two outside bike tires outside of the wheel chalks. Seems a bit odd, but works fine. The Nissan only has a 5’6″ bed, so the rear tire of the middle bike is sitting on the tail gate. It hangs out the back a few inches, but seems to ride fine. We drove 500 miles on last trip and the three bikes never moved or touched each other.
Overall I think this is going to work out very well. The parts are not super heavy duty, but they probably don’t really need to be. The rack should be plenty rigid to keep from bending the front of the bed. It gets high marks for- value, ease of install and practicality. My only criticism so far would be the edges on the third bike extender. There are lots of sharp corners hanging out just waiting to catch a shin. I will probably store the extender away until I need it again.