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How is the best  way to carry 3 bicycles whilst towing a caravan? Anyone use a towbar fitted carrier, anyone throw them in the 'van or on a roof rack?

 

Paul.

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In my opinion the best place is on the roof. There's enough going on at the back of the car when towing without having bikes there as well. The only problems being on the roof are: the need to watch for any height restrictions (but with a caravan on the back you'd be doing that anyway) and the physical effort of lifting them up and taking them down (a small pair of aluminium steps can be very useful!)

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What sort of car are you talking about? With an ordinary car i would prefer to sling them up on the roof. If you haven't much tow ball weight to play with its probably the easiest solution. ....and you don't have to worry about getting extra lighting boards for when you are not pulling the van. Just remember when not pulling the van to avoid multi storey car parks. My wife did and stopped just in time. I had to let down the bike tyre pressures to allow her to reverse out from a sloping roof. ..was that close?

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I've got a 03 Laguna 1. 9dci. I was looking at a towbar fitted carrier in Halfords but am concerned about any clearance issues when reversing or turning. Also concerned about the weight issue. My van is a '97 ABI dalesman 450ct.

 

Paul.

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Dont forget that if you use a towbar mounted cycle carrier, youu need to deduct the weight of the bikes and the carrier from your cars permitted towbar weight. With three bikes, this would use up most of your towbar weight allowance, leaving little for the caravan. Also with three bikes you would have difficulty turning on full lock without the bikes contacting the front of the caravan. Seems the best option for you would be on the roof of the car.

 

Brian

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Guest john1215

I used a towbar mounted carrier when I had a discovery, I carried three bikes and there wasn't much space but I had no difficulty with the turning circle. I did have difficulty though getting in and out of the rear door. On my next towcar I intend to carry them on the roof but only because the car will have purpose built roof rails.

 

john1215

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I used a towbar mounted carrier when I had a discovery, I carried three bikes and there wasn't much space but I had no difficulty with the turning circle. I did have difficulty though getting in and out of the rear door. On my next towcar I intend to carry them on the roof but only because the car will have purpose built roof rails.

 

john1215

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What's your next car going to be ??

 

Mike

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Guest Hobbybod
Dont forget that if you use a towbar mounted cycle carrier, youu need to deduct the weight of the bikes and the carrier from your cars permitted towbar weight. With three bikes, this would use up most of your towbar weight allowance, leaving little for the caravan.   . . . . . . .

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I agree with Brian.

Given the pretty high noseweights of a lot of UK 'vans, this would preclude the use of the towbar mounted ones, and the ones, favoured on the continent, that fit to the A-frame.

 

I have carried 3 bikes on a roof rack system, but fitting the centrally located bike was a bit of a pain. With a high roofline like a Disco etc. it would be very tricky if not impossible.

 

I now use a bike rack mounted on the back wall of the 'van, but you need a 'van that will take them. I have found no difference in towing, whether bike(s) are there or not! But this could be rather outfit-dependant.

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I would have thought an A frame mounted would be feasible, if the A frame allowed as it would add to the nose weight of the van and therefore aid stability. You would then have to counterbalance inside the van so as not to exceed weight for car. Trouble with towball mounted is that weight bearing down on towball from van would have to be very light therefore van not stable.

Unless of course you drive a Discovery. ..in which case you could practically hang a small car on the back of the car and it wouldn't make any difference.

Is my logic correct on this or am I talking out of my rear end? :lol:

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I swapped over from a rear carrier to a roof carrier when I bought the van,(the roof carrier came with it). I can say that for me the roof carrier is a lot better than the rear carrier which with bykes on meant I couldnt open the rear door and if the bykes werent put on exactly right interefered with the hitch. I'd have a roof one any day.

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I swapped over from a rear carrier to a roof carrier when I bought the van,(the roof carrier came with it).  I can say that for me the roof carrier is a lot better than the rear carrier which with bykes on meant I couldnt open the rear door and if the bykes werent put on exactly right interefered with the hitch.   I'd have a roof one any day.

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I like the idea of the A-frame mounted carrier. However, the foreign 'vans tend to have longer A-frames without fairings which allow easier fitment. Although Discos and Range Rovers et al have a maximum noseweight of 150kg, very few 'vans have, the maximum being around 100kg. We have used roof monted bike racke but they are a long way up.

 

Mike

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The latest Which? magazine ran a good article on cycle carriers including low mount & high mount rear carriers and roof mounted carriers. They concluded that, unsually, there is no correlation between price and quality with some of the cheaper carriers scoring well.

 

Your local library should (I think) have a copy of Which? in the referance section.

 

The general view was that rear mounted carriers tend to result in more drag and fuel consumption (though not as much as a house on wheels being towed behind!!!). Roof mounted generally came out very well.

 

By the way, noticed in my local Halfords that they are doing a twin pack Thule roof cycle carrier for £50, reduced from £80.

 

http://www. halfords. com/opd_product_detail. ..&type=0&cat=131

 

Regards

 

David, Callum and Connor (NRF)

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Make sure you can get the three bikes on the roof. With my old car I could only fit two mountain bikes, with the wide handlebars on the roof, mounted upside down. I used to stick the third on a tow ball carrier( I wasn't towing then). Driving solo I never liked having bikes on the back. They stuck out and it was difficult to estimate how much if I was tearing down a narrow lane.

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Volvo V70 D5 SE

 

john1215

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You'll have no problems carrying bikes on the roof with your V70. I do it regularly. Volvo even sell a gas assisted lifting arm to get the bikes up there, but at a price. Each to there own etc but as you will have roof rails already fitted, the roof cross bars and cycle carriers from Halfords do the job equally as well as the Volvo badged ones at a fraction of the Volvo price. Great car but the Volvo "add ons" are a bit pricey.

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I have carried bike on the back and on the roof while towing, and I think the best place is on the roof. The car is more stable this way, and when towing you dont have to worry about wind noise because of the lower speeds.

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Why not just put them in the van like I do? Plenty of padding around them, lie them on the floor or use bungies cord to hold them up inside. It's a lot cheaper! And more secure too. If they are heavy put a sheet of plywood under the wheels - the constant vertical motion could cause early delamination of the floor as there's quite a lot of weight on the small area of the tyres.

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Why not just put them in the van like I do?  Plenty of padding around them, lie them on the floor or use bungies cord to hold them up inside.   It's a lot cheaper!  And more secure too. If they are heavy put a sheet of plywood under the wheels - the constant vertical motion could cause early delamination of the floor as there's quite a lot of weight on the small area of the tyres.

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Put 4 bikes in the van and you are probably going to exceed the MTPLM of the van. Not that safe really!!!

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Is it really that critical? I didn't know that. Always seems fine & stable when I'm towing, but we don't take much stuff anyway which is probably why. I can just about get up to 85-90mph before it starts wobbling around at the back, but that's only on minor B roads where the surface isn't so good. Maybe it's the lack of roadfeel through the special motability-adapted steering device which is causing this, do you think?

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I now use a  bike rack mounted on the back wall of the 'van, but you need a 'van that will take them.   I have found no difference in towing, whether bike(s) are there or not!  But this could be rather outfit-dependant.

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How do you know if your 'van is up to it?

 

 

 

I use a towbar mounted carrier for two adult bikes and put 2 child ones in the caravan.

 

Turning can be a hassle and having to unload the bikes to let the dogs stretch their legs is a bit of a pain.

 

I tried a roof mounted thule carrier (where the bike stands the right way up) and the straps twisted the tyres on the rims. I think I'd try an upside down one sometime.

 

 

 

Mark

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I can just about get up to 85-90mph before it starts wobbling around at the back, but that's only on minor B roads where the surface isn't so good.   Maybe it's the lack of roadfeel through the special motability-adapted steering device which is causing this, do you think?

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At that speed on a B road with a poor surface. No, I think it is more likely because of the altitude you are flying at. :D:D

Putting bikes in the van could be very expensive. You know how a well maintained bike will have WD40 all over the gears, and its been through the wet and mud. ....and you make one teeny weeny mistake when carrying them in. ..would you ever hear the end of it? Stick em where the rain can wash them down. :rolleyes:

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Is it really that critical?  I didn't know that.   Always seems fine & stable when I'm towing, but we don't take much stuff anyway which is probably why.   I can just about get up to 85-90mph before it starts wobbling around at the back, but that's only on minor B roads where the surface isn't so good.   Maybe it's the lack of roadfeel through the special motability-adapted steering device which is causing this, do you think?

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careful you guys or someone may think you are serious! It may even be the moderator - me!!!

 

Martin W (Wonky)

Discovery D3 HSE + Coachman VIP 575/4 2016

www.pennplanning.co.uk

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Sorry to be a pain but let's not get silly. Can we keep reasonably to the subject? :mellow:

 

Wonky - moderator

Discovery D3 HSE + Coachman VIP 575/4 2016

www.pennplanning.co.uk

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I have Thule aero bars and 591 cycle carriers on my roof, very easy to use, stable and secure. I find that as all the locks and controls are roof height rather than being down tube height they are great and could be used on a 4x4 without any real trouble (low bridges excepted :lol: )

 

PICTURE

 

Darren

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