Sprinter, and all double door Vans. What setup do I need for my double door van?
That depends on the number of bikes that you would like to carry, and also if full rear door swing is required. Starting with our Lefty or three pack, the rack is designed to clear the right door when leaned back, but the left door may contact the bottom bar. With the four, five and six pack the doors will not clear the rack even when leaned back. To clear the doors, the setup requires the rack, ALTA SIX extender, and our retractable straps. For how to set this up, please see our video on the ALTA SIX extender shop page. Dodge Promaster may not achieve full door opening, We have had two reports of such issue out of many that worked. The factory Promaster receivers also seem to be not well built, and tie to the bumper creating a lot of flex. The class 3rating is required for all receivers.
The tie down system is to sync the rack to the frame of the vehicle rather than single point connection via receiver, it takes out any jerk movement or unwanted vertical acceleration created by rough roads, potholes, and other rough surfaces. The longer vans have very stiff rear suspensions, the straps will help with reduce the bounce due to stiff rear suspensions.
Are your racks RV rated?
Our racks are RV rated but the Class three two inch receiver is still required. We do not recommend our racks if you need to extend your receiver with an extender, or other plugin devices. The leverage is too much to control and we recommend moving the receiver rather than extending it. XL hitch is also RV approved so you can get an additional 3 inches of horizontal extension.The rack needs to be tied down low and wide, you basically want to create a right side triangle on each side from the top bar to the body of the RV, trailer, or bus. Engage the brakes on the bikes, see assembly video for more details. Pay close attention your receiver construction, some RVs extend the receiver tube without any support at the bumper, this allows for major flex in the receiver with bikes loaded. This is something you want to test out prior to going on a long trip. It is always a good idea to go thru a dry run with rack and bikes prior to your trip. It is your responsibility to identify that your receiver is a class 3 receiver with minimum tongue weight of 500 pounds. Our warranty does not cover platform inefficiencies, insufficient rating of your receiver, and assemblies that did not follow our directions.
What is the difference between the regular hitch, the XL hitch and the ALTA SIX extender?
In order to not restrict access to some vehicles, we created a few parts to allow our operators to configure their system based on their vehicles.
- Regular hitch, good for most SUVs, Honda minivans, and small and mid size wagons.
- XL hitch, horizontally extended regular hitch by 3 inches, allows for truck tailgate clearance with the rack up right, also good for long rear hatch doors such as Mercedes wagons, Chevy Tahoe, Ford Expedition, Toyota Sienna. Volkswagen Euro van will not clear the rack.
- ALTA SIX extender, add this to the regular hitch only for the rear double door vans to get full access to the back of the van when the rack is leaned back. It is also good for truck with campers that do not go past the tailgate.This setup requires strapping of the rack low and wide to the vehicle. See video on the ALTA SIX extender page.
What is the right basket size for my bike?
The baskets except the Grom basket are designed for different tire width and not wheel sizes, all current baskets will fit the same wheel sizes. Current general baskets are compatible with 20 inch BMX size bikes (Grom baskets fit 20 inch bikes best) to 29ers plus.
- Four options available for baskets.
- General basket fits from road bikes to 2.8 inches wide tires
- Midfat basket fits from 2.9 inches wide to 3.8 inches wide tires
- Fat basket fits from 3.9 inches wide to 5.8 inches wide tires
- Grom basket will fit bikes up to 2.8 inches wide. The Grom is for 18- and 20-inch wheel kid bikes only, but bikes may not reach the bottom bar depending on length. 34-inch axle to axle to reach bottom bar, or strap lower wheel to center post. Max tire width is 2.8 inches, can run wider with tire deflated. Perfect for BMX bikes.
- Tire width- Three width available for tires, up to 2.8 inches wide (General basket), 2.9 to 3.8 inches wide (Mid Fat basket), and up to 3.9 to 5.8 inches wide (Fat baskets). Select your combination. You can always purchase other basket sizes at a later time. If you tire width is on the upper end of the measurement, order the next size up. For example, 2.9- and 3.0-inch-wide tires will fit better in the Mid fat baskets.
Can I put your rack on a swing out?
The short answer is NO. This is because we have not found a swing that does not have flex or have significant movement when closed. If you find one let us know and we will check it out. We build rack on the assumption that the interface will not allow any movement, that is why we obsess over the stabilization. The swings lack of stiff interface and flex creates an acceleration that build moment forces due to the rack design. Simply it creates a whip with a hammer head. We understand the necessity of such product though, and want one that works for ourselves as well. We will have a solution shortly.
Can I hang your rack off of the wall for storage and store bikes on it?
We don’t recommend hanging our bike racks from the wall, we find that solution border line dangerous. If not properly secure, or if the studs are not strong enough the weight of the rack and bikes can cause the rack to come loose and damage bikes and racks, worst case scenario they can hurt someone. We don’t want to have to live with something like that. We believe in engineering solutions that are tested and approved, anything else is a hack. if you need to store the rack flush against the wall with some hooks, remove the baskets and use the hooks that are secured in to a 2×4 studs to secure the rack. The rack should be resting on the ground.
Are the retractable straps or tying down required for the rack?
Under normal driving condition, there is no need to tie down the rack. The tie down syncs the rack to the vehicle frame rather than single point with the receiver, this will allow the rack to move with vehicle rather than being something that is extended from the vehicle. You will know if you need to tie down, if your receiver is flexing and moving, if the weight of the rack and bikes has an adverse effect on your suspension and make the vehicle rear heavy. It is generally a good idea to tie down the rack. The rack come with tie down end caps for the top bar, and any ratcheting strap can be used to tie down the rack to the vehicle. Our retractable straps are a very nice feature because they stay on the rack and are self-contained. We do recommend tying down the rack for a peace of mind as well. Wide and low is the ideal tie down, but tying to roof racks for SUVs are also a good option.
What is the difference between the four, five and six pack racks?
The ALTA SIX GPR (General Purpose Rack) has the same body structure for all three rack setups. The rack can be easily upgraded to higher capacity as needed by adding baskets. To add baskets to your existing rack, send email to email@example.com and request additional baskets. We only sell baskets to existing rack owners that are in our system. You will need to provide proof of purchase if the rack was purchased not directly from us.
How do I upgrade my rack to increase capacity?
You want to make that four pack a five pack or just go for the full six or seven pack.The rack price differences do not reflect the cost of the upgrades between racks, depending on the basket request price increase will be greater than the difference between rack prices. It is more economical to purchase the higher quantity rack, than order a basket in the future.
Can I modify your rack, or can you build me something just a little different?
Any modification to the rack will void your warranty. We have spent significant amount of time and money to design, test, and support our current products. We do not recommend modifications to the rack. Changing a part may seem harmless, but the system affect can be detrimental. We model our racks in software to better understand behavior and performance, therefore a window of operations is created to create a design that meets most of our customer’s needs.
Will I be able to open my side-swing rear door with the rack leaned back? (Lexus GX470, Older CRVs)
The side swing doors, are a challenge with the rack. You will get some access to the rear door but will not open fully. With the rack leaned back you will get access to reach in, let pets in and out, but the door will not open more than 25 percent. XL hitch option may help a little more.
How do I upgrade the Three pack Lefty to the full-size rack and what is the cost?
The ALTA Lefty uses the common hitch and vertical bar, you can purchase the full-size horizontal bars and more baskets to convert and create a second rack. Please send email to firstname.lastname@example.org for pricing.
Why is your rack more expensive than other racks?
In passing things may look the same but with further inspection you will find major differences. We have the furthest extended rack in the market which allows you to access the area between the rack and vehicle, this feature creates a better operational use for strapping and managing bikes, access rear flip up windows, dropping tailgates without lowering the rack. This is a feature unmatched by any other company out there. We offer removable and adjustable baskets; this feature allows for creating the perfect distance between the bikes to avoid damage from neighboring bikes. This is also unmatched. The rack rises out of the receiver to create instant height for clearing dips in roads, steep driveways, and perfect clearance for vehicle such as minivans and low receiver locations. Our Life Time warranty, covers any manufacturing defects for the original owner of the rack, unmatched by others. The capability to convert the rack to winter carry, the features and accessories are also something that is not offered by the industry. We build our product in the USA, pay living wages, and utilize local resources to reduce our foot print. We use recycled material and up-cycle used tire tubes for our brake engagers that you get with every rack. We offer value beyond any other product out there, and if you look at overall features, warranty, and capability you are getting a killer deal. Our rack weight is one the lightest on the market, just like your bike lighter you go, more expensive it gets. But lighter gets you longer life and better performance. When you purchase US made products you are supporting local economies and our way of life. This is not a gimmick, as a nation it is important that we stay self-sufficient.
How do I select the colors for the rack?
The rack in majority is black, the baskets are currently gloss black, low horizontal bar are gloss black as well, everything else is flat black. The main vertical beam is where we offer colors. There is a video on our videos page that shows the custom colors we offer. You can place your desired color in the notes. For coloring the baskets there is usually a per basket charge. Contact us for further detail. It is advised to order custom color racks in the slow season, to avoid major delays. We can custom color your rack to any level, within our color options.
How do I carry road bikes with your rack and how many drop bars can I get on the rack?
Road bikes being lighter and more fragile may need additional care. Our general basket is the right basket for the road bikes; however, the rim can contact the metal on the basket, which in our opinion is unacceptable. We use a long piece of hollow middle pool noodle, slice it long way on one side, and stuff it in to the basket. Place the front wheel of the bike in to the pool noodle and strap over it. This will absorb vibration and create a much better fit for the road bike. You can cut the noodle to the size of her basket and zip tie the end to the top of the basket on front and back. Max drop bar bikes on an ALTA SIX GPR is five bikes. the first and last position are also work great when using a mixture of bikes.
I have a cruiser or bike with long fenders, will it work with your rack?
Fenders will most likely contact the basket, you are not going to hurt or damage the basket but can ding your fender, most remove fender to make it work. Some place a soft padding between the fender and the basket.
What is your return policy?
We want you be completely satisfied with your rack, we do ask that you research our rack to ensure as much as possible that it is the correct setup for you. Unboxed, you pay return shipping, and any CC fees that are non-refundable (usually 3 percent). If you assemble the rack, we will have to re-powder coat the rack, a full powder coat cost is 150 dollars for us, and we will deduct that once we inspect the returned rack. If you used the rack and want to return it, you will be responsible for return shipping, CC fees, powder coat charge and any replacements that is needed to make the rack new again. That said, we have an extremely low return rate, you may be able to sell the rack and get your money back locally. If you do decide to sell the rack, please send us an email with the new owner’s name and email so we can transfer ownership to them. This will help the new owner purchase parts and upgrades. Our general policy is to treat you the way we would like to be treated. Fairly, respectfully, and with empathy. We are a family-owned business, not some corporate giant. If you have a special circumstance, give us a call.
I am not mechanically inclined is your rack the correct rack for me?
Our personal belief is no one is born with any capability, and as humans we learn trades to help us better deal with life. That said, we encourage you to watch the assembly videos and gauge for yourself if this is above your comfort level. Like any other mechanical product, our racks will require maintenance from time to time. They are built to last a life time, but that only happens if you take care of the product and do your pre-season check list.
I want to get a two-inch hitch installed on my vehicle, any recommendations?
There a usually few options for every vehicle. Two ways to do this.
Do it yourself: order a receiver that is a class 3 rated 2 inch receiver for your specific vehicle. We found etrailer to have the best selection, but shop around. Don’t buy anything that is recessed or hidden, you will have issues for clearance on a lot of products and will be limited to what you can plug in. The receiver face should be inline with your bumper or further out. Round tube receivers have much better torsional tolerances than square tube, they will also have a much better tongue weight rating as well. Lastly use Loctite when installing it, and check the bolts every year.
Have it installed: Do an online search for hitch installation in my area and request the product above. If you have a truck or a solid frame vehicle, we do recommend getting the receiver welded on to the frame.
Will you ever stop updating the products?
No, we are in pursuit of perfection and are obsessed with details. We maintain base line system that is backwards and forwards compatible with most of our products and accessories, so as new features come up you can upgrade your rack. Most of our efforts are in improving the manufacturing process and maintaining the quality that is expected of ALTA. Maintaining the quality is at the highest of importance to us, we know you put your faith in us to safely transport your toys. We take that very seriously.
Can I pick up locally to save on shipping cost?
Absolutely, We are in Murray Utah and there is a local pickup option once you add the product to the Cart. Note that all local pickups are subject to Utah sales tax. In most cases with racks, shipping and taxes are about the same. We do also offer local pickup with assembly for $50. We don’t advertise our address because we schedule our days by appointment only. This way we can offer a no rush, personalized visits.