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LifelessTrel

Bike Rack Help

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HI All,

 

We are a family of 4 with 4 bikes 

 

Ideally when we go away in the van I want to bring them with us  - am currently trying to work out what is most suitable option in terms of a bike rack

 

I was thinking something on the roof but have no idea what I should be on the look out for?  Does anyone on the forum have any thoughts or ideas as well as cost wise what I'd be looking at 

 

Cheers as always 

 

Trel 

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I have a 3 and a 4 bike rack to mount on the towball. 

Are you sure you can safely lift off and back up the bikes? I couldn't but I'm probably older than you!! 

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2 minutes ago, WispMan said:

I have a 3 and a 4 bike rack to mount on the towball. 

Are you sure you can safely lift off and back up the bikes? I couldn't but I'm probably older than you!! 

Thats a fair point...Not getting any younger 

In terms of a rack for the towball what would be worth looking at?  

 

Cheers Trel 

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I carry one on the roof (lightweight racing bike) and two on a high rise rack on the tailgate. Be careful if using a tow bar mounted rack as it counts towards the nose weight. 

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My racks being towball mounted means NO CARAVAN. 

Sorry! 

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1 minute ago, GaryB1969 said:

I carry one on the roof (lightweight racing bike) and two on a high rise rack on the tailgate. Be careful if using a tow bar mounted rack as it counts towards the nose weight. 

Good point Gary

 

Was thinking about that in terms of the nose weight  - you got any links on what might be worth a look 

 

Trel 

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Posted (edited)

Swift Group fully endorse the fitting of a bike rack on the back of most, if not all, of their recent vans, and I can easily put my full size folding ATB in the back of my SUV (I could fit two if need be).

Edited by Stevan

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Posted (edited)

The one I have for the roof sits on the drivers side with a long roof box on the other side. My bike carbon fibre and weighs very little so is easy to lift up there.  The one I use on the back is ten years old now and is a Halfords own brand and sits high on the tailgate. It’s been good but the straps need replacing as they’re starting to fray.

 

This is like mine:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/293591197170

Edited by GaryB1969
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Hi Lifeless, I have both roof and tow bar mounted racks but looking at alternatives for when towing as new ebike is heavy and don’t want to risk damaging the car.

So far as suggestions, both mine are Thule and very happy with them. Often available secondhand on ebay etc.

I looked at the MaxxRaxx which allows towing whilst carrying the bike but nose weight is an issue.

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I bought a Volvo Branded ( Thule made ) cantilever rack, no effort whatsoever, you an use your little finger to raise one at a time onto the roof

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Bikes for 2 adults and 2 kids likely to add up to around 45Kg plus the weight of any racks. If the intention is to travel with a loaded car and caravan then Its going to be a very heavily loaded outfit. Not an easy thing to do, legally. It would be easier to discuss if this was made clear. Solo or towing?

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There are multiple options available but you need to provide more information in order to get advice that will be relevant. What is the weight of your bikes? What vehicle and caravan do you have? What spare payload if any do you have in the van? If your van will take a rear mounted or A frame rack (rare that British vans have sufficient A frame length) you need the payload capacity. What is the nose weight limit of your car? An A frame rack will add to nose weight as would a tow ball mounted rack. You also need to consider turning clearance with a tow ball mounted rack. It may be that you have to use a combination of solutions to carry 4 bikes and stay legal.

I carry 2 bikes and previously used a Thule roof rack but my new tow car is much higher and loading is much more difficult so I'm considering changing to a MaxxRaxx tow bar rack. Fortunately I have a 140kg nose weight capacity and decent length A frame so a tow bar rack will work ok.

 

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If you want to carry four full, or nearly full, sized bikes, plus luggage and maybe an awning then you really should consider carefully what you use as a towcar. Four bikes plus racks, plus necessary accessories, make up quite a weight as well as bulk. There are many options, but a typical saloon or hatchback isn't really one of them. You may well be better with the likes of a pickup such as a Ford Ranger

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13 hours ago, Stevan said:

Swift Group fully endorse the fitting of a bike rack on the back of most, if not all, of their recent vans, and I can easily put my full size folding ATB in the back of my SUV (I could fit two if need be).

 

From memory, the weight limit on the Thule Bike rack, which Swift approve, is quite low. 50 kg I believe. Might be a challenge getting 4 bikes within that.

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12 minutes ago, hawkaye said:

 

From memory, the weight limit on the Thule Bike rack, which Swift approve, is quite low. 50 kg I believe. Might be a challenge getting 4 bikes within that.

Which was exactly why I was pointing in the direction of the option of some bikes on the back of the van and some in the back of the car.

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Thinking slightly differently if nose weight is a problem for a tow bar rack. If you do not go far when away you could get the bikes after the caravan is set up on site and take them in the car separately.

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I’d go with your original suggestion of putting them on the car roof. Thule 591 carriers are difficult to beat. And 4 bikes will fit on the roof of most decent sized cars. Just check your roof loading capacity, some aren’t up to it. 

 

Avoids any any issues with rear racks/caravans trying to occupy the same space, and of overloading the tailgate/towbar. Putting them in or on the caravan also has payload issues, and means you need a different carrier system if you want to take the bikes on the car for a day without the caravan, whether from home or a site. 

 

Caveat.  Check your gross vehicle and train weights, 4 people, luggage, bike rack and 4 bikes is probably maxing out on many cars GVW and adding a fully loaded caravan on the back may be pushing GTW too. If you’ve still got the RAV4 on your profile they aren’t the most capacious things on the road. 

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1 hour ago, Fireman Iain said:

I’d go with your original suggestion of putting them on the car roof. Thule 591 carriers are difficult to beat

And so would I and, up till now,  did.
First issue, for me and maybe OP, is that I changed to an Audi Q5, so a lot higher when loading but still OK except that now I have the ebike I also have the weight to contend with plus my Thule Freeride won’t accommodate the down tube of the bike.

 

Now considering Thule fork mount type hoping that removing the battery and front wheel will make it manageable but the thought of the bike falling into the roof/sunroof is not appealing though!

 

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Posted (edited)

Get a Maxxraxx 4 bike carrier, they fit to the towball but in a way that leaves it free to tow a caravan at the same time. Once fitted, just check for clearance between the bikes and caravan when on full steering lock.

 

Or maybe distribute between the bike rack and inside the caravan?

Edited by LeadFarmer

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22 hours ago, LifelessTrel said:

Ideally when we go away in the van I want to bring them with us  - am currently trying to work out what is most suitable option in terms of a bike rack

I've pinned some ideas at the top of this section that may help.

Gordon.

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56 minutes ago, LeadFarmer said:

Get a Maxxraxx 4 bike carrier, they fit to the towball but in a way that leaves it free to tow a caravan at the same time. Once fitted, just check for clearance between the bikes and caravan when on full steering lock.

 

Or maybe distribute between the bike rack and inside the caravan?

 

Do they not have an impact on the towbar weight limit. 4 bikes on a rack are going to be c50kg, which on many cars leaves around 50kg caravan noseweight. Unless you’ve got a Discovery/Land Cruiser/Grand Cherokee or similar it’s probably a bad plan. 

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I've got a fiamma 2 bike a frame carrier for the kids bikes and ours go on two Thule 591s I think.

We have a pickup so plenty of payload hence nothing except basics in the van and everything else gets chucked in the car.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Fireman Iain said:

 

Do they not have an impact on the towbar weight limit. 4 bikes on a rack are going to be c50kg, which on many cars leaves around 50kg caravan noseweight. Unless you’ve got a Discovery/Land Cruiser/Grand Cherokee or similar it’s probably a bad plan. 

 

Mine fits behind my flange towbar so not an issue for me

 

 

35683276436_3edaa7eb74_o.jpg

Edited by LeadFarmer

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35 minutes ago, LeadFarmer said:

 

Mine fits behind my flange towbar so not an issue for me

 

 

35683276436_3edaa7eb74_o.jpg

You, like me, have towball loading to spare. The OP with a RAV4, will not have the same luxury. 

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3 minutes ago, Fireman Iain said:

You, like me, have towball loading to spare. The OP with a RAV4, will not have the same luxury. 

 Depends if he's got a flange towball

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