Introduction: Interior Bike Rack for Rav4

Picture of Interior Bike Rack for Rav4

I made this for my 2010 Rav4, but I assume it will work for all 2006-2012 Rav4s since they have the same body style.

I wanted to be able to stand up the bike inside (with the front wheel removed) so that I didn't have to worry about the possible damage or security problems of an exterior rack, but still have enough room left inside for something besides the bike. The Rav4 is a pretty small vehicle - what allows this to work is that the spare tire is mounted on the outside of the tailgate, which provides a cargo area under the rear floor, giving some extra interior height. It won't work in a 2013 Rav4, or a Forester.

The parts are:
Visible wood piece that rests on the fender wells.
Wooden stiffener that screws on underneath the visible piece.
2 front fork truck bed mounts.
     I used a "Delta Fork Block Pickup Bed Mount":
2 small barrel bolt latches
Screws and glue.

Step 1: What It Will Look Like

Picture of What It Will Look Like

The rack attaches by sliding the barrel bolts into 2 holes drilled into the plastic interior panels (one on each side);  the holes are underneath the carpeted cargo deck lid, so they don't show. In fact, when you're not transporting a bike, the rack doesn't even have to be removed before putting the deck lid back in place.

If you're much taller than 5'8" the saddle will hit the ceiling, so you'll need a more complicated stepped structure that will allow the fork mounts to be positioned a few inches lower; but you can only go down a short way before the chain wheel will start to rest on the floor.

Step 2: The Beam

Picture of The Beam

The visible wood piece is 7/16" x 2-1/4 x 38-7/8.
The stiffener is 3/4 x 1-1/4 x 36.
The only critical dimensions are on the visible piece: the 38-7/8" fits the car, and the thickness should not be more than 1/2" if you want to leave it in place when you put  the carpeted lid back in place.

I put a layer of wood glue on before I screwed them together.
Let's call this the beam.

Step 3: Positioning the Fork Mounts

Picture of Positioning the Fork Mounts

Put the beam in place, resting on the fender wells.
Position it roughly front to back so that the handlebars will be in the tailgate door opening.
Take off the front wheel and clamp the fork mount to the forks.
Lift the bike into the car and rest the fork mount on the beam.
Slide it side to side until the handlebars are about an inch away from the plastic trim inside the tailgate door.
Mark the fork mount position. Repeat for the other side if you're setting it up for 2 bikes.
Take everything out and screw the fork mount(s) to the beam.
I used #12 x 1.5" flat head wood screws with finishing washers to attach the fork mounts.

Step 4: Positioning the Rack

Picture of Positioning the Rack

Put the rack back in, resting on the fender wells.
Move the front seat all the way forward.
Lift the bike in and clamp it into the fork mount.
Slide it all the way toward the front, then close the tailgate.
Climb in and slide the whole thing towards the rear until the shift levers are about an inch from the inside of the tailgate.
Mark the position where the barrel bolts will contact the vertical plastic walls.
Take everything out and drill the holes for the barrel bolts.
>> I don't know what's behind that plastic panel, so I made sure the drill didn't go farther than the thickness of the plastic - especially on the left side with the gas tank filler tube.

Step 5: Positioning the Bike

Picture of Positioning the Bike

If you angle the bike slightly, your passenger will still be able to recline his seat.

Step 6: Stowing the Deck Lid

Picture of Stowing the Deck Lid

When the deck lid is folded, it will fit nicely between the forks and the tailgate.


NonaD2 made it! (author)2017-09-16

So thank you so much for this! I got this expensive hitch mount bike rack and it has been great at keeping my bike attached, but given the 5th wheel tire, it made using my trunk very frustrating. I'm Cycling 4 days a week now, so I would have to keep the rack on pretty much all the time.
Recently I realized I could fit the bike inside the back with the seats down, without even taking off the wheel. That worked ok for about a week, but I'm a fast driver so my sudden sharp turns would send everything in the back shuffling around. I was really worried I'd damage something on the bike so I started looking for ways to mount it inside....low and behold this article. Awesome!
The only concern I had about the design in this article was the open truck area underneath the mount. I do have a lot of stuff in mine so I didn't want all that visible to anyone that walked by. So I cut my board to 1/2 x 11 x 38 7/8 . I also purchased the locks to mount the board down, but the fit is so snug given the additional width, I'll probably return them.
$15 bucks for the wood
$20 bucks for the fork mount.
2 hours paint and installation
This is amazing considering those mounts go for so much online...
Now I'll try and find a few options for mounting down my wheel (I don't like the popular wheel winch I've been seeing online), and my airpump and probably gym bag.

acevh3 (author)NonaD22017-09-20

Hi Nona,

I just now got your message. Glad you liked it!

I have a super easy way to tie down the front tire, and I modified the cargo floor panel so it fits around the forks and provides a floor surface for the rest of your stuff.. Let me know if some details on those would be helpful.

Also, if you move the back wheel as close as you can to the rear passenger door (or until the seat starts to hit the ceiling) it will give the front passenger seat some space to move backwards. Or you could try moving it towards the driver's seat.


NonaD2 (author)acevh32017-09-27

Hey Ace, Thanks for replying. I think I have a system now... Looks like the tire fits nice and snug right between the back seat and the start of the trunk space. So far so good. I'm in high gear training now, 4x a week, so I don't even take it out my car much. LOL

didexo (author)2014-07-30

I love the bike! I also have a Cannondale, but it's not as good as that one. How many gears does that have?

acevh3 (author)didexo2014-07-30

20 - it's a 10 speed compact double. It doesn't have as big a range as my old Bianchi 9 speed triple so there are some hills that I used to go up that I can't anymore.

didexo (author)acevh32014-07-30

Nevertheless, thanks for the info.

didexo (author)acevh32014-07-30

Oh, that's quite unfortunate.

schwieb (author)2014-04-15

Great design! I built one very similar to fit my mountainbike inside my Ford Explorer. Its tight, but it fits! Keeps the bike secure and out of the weather!

rockabillygirl (author)2013-05-13

Pretty sweet bike!

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