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Bikes on A frame

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I was looking at a great 2 bike frame on the A frame of a Dutch caravan the other day. The A frame had a tow ball mounted on a small platform bolted to the caravan A frame. Clamped onto the ball was a 2 bike frame which could travel on the caravan or on the car tow bar. Quite good as we watched the bikes go on and off both. I was impressed. The bikes were perched a bit higher than usual in front of the caravan front window.

Incredible that the caravan looked quite heavy and was being towed by a VW Golf estate. Ah well they were Dutch!

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On 05/07/2018 at 22:25, baddon said:

I have assumed its a historical reason that UK vans kept in short drives on residential estates had to have a short a van as possible, to get as big a van in as short a length as possible the A frame was made as short as possible.

 

I have a Adria (European van) and they typically have a much longer A frame so there is room for a twin bike rack. IT DOES however add massively to your noise weight. I will tell you that to get my front storage hatch to open the rack is so far forward that I do NOT have full lock available.

 

Putting bikes on the rear is very dodgy from a stability point of view so its rare to have them fitted to rear. Also the rear panel on most vans is not reinforced to cope with this weight so far from the axle.

On a motor-home the rear panel is much stronger and often specially strengthened to take a bike rack.

 

Where did you get the idea thst 'it's rare to put bikes on the rear' of caravans? And that it's' very dodgy from a stability point of view '. From what I have seen most of the caravans towed behind Dutch registered cars have bikes on the back as do I and have done so for years.

Alan

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On 05/07/2018 at 21:25, baddon said:

Putting bikes on the rear is very dodgy from a stability point of view so its rare to have them fitted to rear. Also the rear panel on most vans is not reinforced to cope with this weight so far from the axle.

I have specified several new caravans to have the rear wall strengthened by the manufacturer precisely to carry bikes on the rear wall. The first one actually had the bike rack fitted at the factory; the later ones I fitted myself using information supplied by the caravan manufacturer regarding the strong points.

16 hours ago, AlanandNancy said:

Where did you get the idea thst 'it's rare to put bikes on the rear' of caravans? And that it's' very dodgy from a stability point of view '. From what I have seen most of the caravans towed behind Dutch registered cars have bikes on the back as do I and have done so for years.

Alan

The picture showing some of our caravans says it all.

Bike Rack 10.jpg

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How do you folks with bike racks keep your outfit within permitted weights ?

 

I have enough problems with that with just the usual clobber.  

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On 12/07/2018 at 09:16, Cheltenham Caravanner said:

How do you folks with bike racks keep your outfit within permitted weights ?

 

I have enough problems with that with just the usual clobber.  

Primarily by taking less "clobber" and distributing what we have between the car and caravan, but of course also choosing an outfit that gives an acceptable payload both for car and caravan :rolleyes:

Gordon.

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We use a bike rack that is mounted between the towbar and the towball similar to attached picture.

I can take two bikes without any chance of fouling the van on a tight turn.

The rack can be lowered to allow access to the boot but I am long past being superman - we just pack the boot accordingly.

rack.jpg

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l am looking to putting the bikes on the A frame, the only one l have come across is the Thule Superb short V14  that will take two E Bikes maximum weight 60kg. The problem l have is that l don't know if l have enough clearance between the locker and the jockey wheel, according to the manuel l down loaded it says the minimum distance is 49 mm is needed. l have Coachman 460 VIP when l measure the distance between the locker and the jockey wheel is way less than 49mm, plus the fairing comes in two halves, l would have to remove the the back half, or am l missing something. Any one out their fitted one.  

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On 13/07/2018 at 14:52, The road toad said:

We use a bike rack that is mounted between the towbar and the towball similar to attached picture.

I can take two bikes without any chance of fouling the van on a tight turn.

The rack can be lowered to allow access to the boot but I am long past being superman - we just pack the boot accordingly.

rack.jpg

Nice looking piece of kit, how does it fasten to the van, do you have to remove the plastic trim on the towing hitch ? .

1 minute ago, stevew1 said:

Nice looking piece of kit, how does it fasten to the van, do you have to remove the plastic trim on the towing hitch ? .

 

Just looked at it again, does it bolt behind the towball bracket ?.  Cheers.

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This is probably an obvious no. .. but would it be possible to just fit a tow ball onto one of the A frame struts and then mount a raised tow ball bike mount onto that maybe even once you are hooked up etc?  So it fits over all the jockey wheel and handbrake.  Would the Aframe not be strong enough? Or the one sided load not be good etc?

 

I have a bailey with a short A frame, towed by a discovery 4 I like Omega’s solution but all the “modding” looks a bit beyond me. . 

 

I also like the idea of maxxrack.  

 

 

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I don't think the chassis manufacturer would take kindly to holes drilled in the A-frame.

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Just put my bikes on, took seconds.

off to Holland tomorrow 

23C8BFA5-02F7-4C16-BD3C-23D37426B8CC.jpeg

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You aiming for the King of the Mountains?

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34 minutes ago, WispMan said:

You aiming for the King of the Mountains?

In Holland? 😂😂😂

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UK manufacturers that provide a fixed carrier on the A Frame or indeed a carrier at the rear must include it in the overall body length. It cannot be exempted as a special appliance as it is capable of repeated use. Where the prime aim is to provide the maximum amount of habitation space fitting such a device can reduce this space by over a metre. IE a 7m van can then become a 6m van.  

Of course it doesn't really affect shorter vans in this way but it does cause other issues.  

The declared body length of each version of van is only allowed to deviate by 3% so this means a manufacturer has to approve a cycle carrier version and a non carrier  version at the different lengths doubling up the costs of the application.

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We have the mountings to put them on the back of the van which I wouldn't have issues with - just have to find 40kg payload.

 

However, it occurred to me on our recent trip that this wouldn't have worked as we often drive first and then cycle - so for us, best place is on the roof of the car. Even easier now we have a real car and not a tonka toy.

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8 hours ago, svimes said:

However, it occurred to me on our recent trip that this wouldn't have worked as we often drive first and then cycle - so for us, best place is on the roof of the car. Even easier now we have a real car and not a tonka toy.

I sometimes do that too, the Shogun is about 1. 9m high + roof bars + bike racks it's over 2m high. I put the caravan step in the boot so I can reach the bikes, job jobbed! :)

Much easier just lifting them off the bike rack on the 'A' Frame though and as the 7m body length rule doesn't apply outside the UK I don't have the problem that Towtug mentioned.

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12 minutes ago, Borussia 1900 said:

I sometimes do that too, the Shogun is about 1. 9m high + roof bars + bike racks it's over 2m high. I put the caravan step in the boot so I can reach the bikes, job jobbed! :)

Much easier just lifting them off the bike rack on the 'A' Frame though and as the 7m body length rule doesn't apply outside the UK I don't have the problem that Towtug mentioned.

 

Our last car was a similar height and I used the step for loading them (though didn't take it with me for unloading). On the BMW, I just put one foot on the rear door sill and step up holding the bike above my head.   Given the sill can only be about 8 inches off the floor, an even taller chap or lady might not even need to do that. I don't think I could be faffed with taking two bike racks though (suppose you leave your van attached all the time).

 

I read towtugs post as been something for the manufacturer to consider, not the end user. I think if it was my preferred method of fitting I don't think I'd let it bother me, but then I am a rebel looking for a cause.   The total length of our van is about a cm under 7. 5m so I don't think I'd even have to get lairy with any coppers.  

Edited by svimes

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9 hours ago, svimes said:

 

However, it occurred to me on our recent trip that this wouldn't have worked as we often drive first and then cycle - so for us, best place is on the roof of the car. Even easier now we have a real car and not a tonka toy.

 

For those still with "tonka" tow cars and van racks.

Carry this neat, light, 4kg folding Thule 970 rack? 

https://www. hargrovescycles. co. uk/thule-970-xpress-2-bike-towball-carrier-th9700. html?awc=2828_1535693882_55f913a4d24f123b11cbadc2b6469dd3

 

They use to come with a neat tote bag, though that seems to have been dropped from the spec, but could be improvised.

Might overall be a lighter solution, but does require a trailer board as well.  

 

For some years we did this; carried the bikes broken down a bit in the vehicle whilst towing, then use the ball rack for running solo to reduce the hassle when off drive cycling from site.

Even having the ball rack at home was a real asset.

These days we can carry our two full size bikes in a Disco no trouble, and friends similar bikes on our rack, for convivial days out with company using a single vehicle.

Edited by JTQ

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19 minutes ago, JTQ said:

 

For those still with "tonka" tow cars and van racks.

Carry this neat, light, 4kg folding Thule 970 rack? 

https://www. hargrovescycles. co. uk/thule-970-xpress-2-bike-towball-carrier-th9700. html?awc=2828_1535693882_55f913a4d24f123b11cbadc2b6469dd3

 

They use to come with a neat tote bag, though that seems to have been dropped from the spec, but could be improvised.

Might overall be a lighter solution, but does require a trailer board as well.  

 

For some years we did this; carried the bikes broken down a bit in the vehicle whilst towing, then use the ball rack for running solo to reduce the hassle when off drive cycling from site.

Even having the ball rack at home was a real asset.

These days we can carry our two full size bikes in a Disco no trouble, and friends similar bikes on our rack, for convivial days out with company using a single vehicle.

 

A great idea (even the price) right up to the bit where you need a light board. I suppose the board is fairly lightweight though and would fit under a caravan bench etc.  

 

We used to fit one bike in the boot (the girl's) but now the boy has a balance bike it's three on the roof and will be four. The boy's bike seat (a bulky thing as the metal stays don't fold) normally goes in the van. By next year I think we'll need some form of rigid trailed bike for him as he's getting quite hefty. More storage conundrums. ..

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15 hours ago, Jamesh7 said:

This is probably an obvious no. .. but would it be possible to just fit a tow ball onto one of the A frame struts and then mount a raised tow ball bike mount onto that maybe even once you are hooked up etc?  So it fits over all the jockey wheel and handbrake.  Would the Aframe not be strong enough? Or the one sided load not be good etc?

 

I have a bailey with a short A frame, towed by a discovery 4 I like Omega’s solution but all the “modding” looks a bit beyond me. . 

 

I also like the idea of maxxrack.  

 

 

Not only possible but is available and it works well. Our next door neighbour on a campsite in France was a Dutchman. he had a small car and small caravan with typically long A frame. He had a raised frame (bolted to the A frame with clamps) on the A frame, and a tow ball mounted on it. Then a bike carrier frame mounted on the tow ball, and two bikes on that. When they went out with the car and bikes on the frame on the back I realised that this was a very good idea. I have some pics somewhere and will try to find them. The design may sound a bit complex but it looked excellent, was very simple and had the advantage that the bikes were a bit higher up away from the jockey wheel winder etc. He bought it in Holland from a caravan accessory shop. On a UK caravan with a short A frame it would be even more beneficial because as the bikes are higher up, there is more clearance between the bikes and rear of car.

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2 hours ago, Ern said:

Not only possible but is available and it works well. Our next door neighbour on a campsite in France was a Dutchman. he had a small car and small caravan with typically long A frame. He had a raised frame (bolted to the A frame with clamps) on the A frame, and a tow ball mounted on it. Then a bike carrier frame mounted on the tow ball, and two bikes on that. When they went out with the car and bikes on the frame on the back I realised that this was a very good idea. I have some pics somewhere and will try to find them. The design may sound a bit complex but it looked excellent, was very simple and had the advantage that the bikes were a bit higher up away from the jockey wheel winder etc. He bought it in Holland from a caravan accessory shop. On a UK caravan with a short A frame it would be even more beneficial because as the bikes are higher up, there is more clearance between the bikes and rear of car.

Do you mean one of these Ern?

 

https://www. fritz-berger. de/artikel/deichseladapter-fahrradtraeger-ahk-1522

https://www. amazon. de/LAS-11405-Aufnahme-Fahrradträger-Deichsel/dp/B0023RQING

Deichseladapter+P21-1.jpg

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Caravelair owner here - Fiamma carry bike XL a works very well on my a frame and thanks to me being a bike geek (road bike is about 8kg) we're just about okay on the nose weight if we load carefully. Upgrading the tug shortly though so we can be a bit less careful!

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38 minutes ago, mrchiggles said:

Caravelair owner here - Fiamma carry bike XL a works very well on my a frame and thanks to me being a bike geek (road bike is about 8kg) we're just about okay on the nose weight if we load carefully. Upgrading the tug shortly though so we can be a bit less careful!

That's not a bike, it's a paperweight!

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27 minutes ago, svimes said:

That's not a bike, it's a paperweight!

That’s normal for a modern road bike 

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21 minutes ago, Borussia 1900 said:

That’s normal for a modern road bike 

Lol

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