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Cycles On Mpv Roofs


olderbutnotwiser

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I am currently looking at the best way to carry 4 bikes with me when caravanning. Favourite at the minute seems to be one bike either in the car or the 'van, the rest on the roof. However, I'm a bit worried as my car is quite high (Hyundai Trajet MPV) and although I'm fairly tall, how easy is it getting the bikes on and off?

 

I wondered if anyone else with a car of similar height has experience of this, and if so, what comments they might have?

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I am currently looking at the best way to carry 4 bikes with me when caravanning.   Favourite at the minute seems to be one bike either in the car or the 'van, the rest on the roof.   However, I'm a bit worried as my car is quite high (Hyundai Trajet MPV) and although I'm fairly tall, how easy is it getting the bikes on and off?

 

I wondered if anyone else with a car of similar height has experience of this, and if so, what comments they might have?

2090[/snapback]

 

 

I would not imagine it to be easy. I carry all the bikes on the roof (see avatar). the two outside ones are no problem, but it can be a bit tricky loading up the two inner bikes. Worth the effort thought because towing feels a lot more stable without all that weight over the back wheels.

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We put three bikes on top of our Nissan X-Trail which is a pretty tall 4x4 - one adult and two kids bikes. Neither my husband or me are tall (5'10 and 5'4 respectively), but we manage OK with the help of the caravan step !

 

Worth having a "dry run" before setting off with the caravan, we have a Thule rack, which is very good, but getting some of the adjustments right the first time can be a bit tricky . .. and may involve taking the bikes on and off a few times until you get it just right ! Even with the best arrangement you can still get some wobble on the bike wheels when travelling at speed - so invest in a few extra straps to keep them steady . .. and do a few trips round the block with the bikes on top on your trial run !

 

We also have "light bikes" - with Alu frames - which helps with the lifting !

 

I find looking up at the bikes through the sunroof a bit odd - but you soon get used to them there, and it's useful to check occassionally when you are travelling that all is still well ! Don't open the sun roof though - it's very noisy !

 

Only change we are making this year is to find a better, higher caravan step, maybe 2, his'n'hers ! Can anyone recommend a good step, which can also double as an occasional table for use in the awning ?

 

Enjoy,

 

Sarah

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We put three bikes on top of our Nissan X-Trail which is a pretty tall 4x4 - one adult and two kids bikes. Neither my husband or me are tall (5'10 and 5'4 respectively), but we manage OK with the help of the caravan step ! 

 

Worth having a "dry run" before setting off with the caravan, we have a Thule rack, which is very good, but getting some of the adjustments right the first time can be a bit tricky . .. and may involve taking the bikes on and off a few times until you get it just right ! Even with the best arrangement you can still get some wobble on the bike wheels when travelling at speed - so invest in a few extra straps to keep them steady . .. and do a few trips round the block with the bikes on top on your trial run !

 

We also have "light bikes" - with Alu frames - which helps with the lifting !

 

I find looking up at the bikes through the sunroof a bit odd - but you soon get used to them there, and it's useful to check occassionally when you are travelling that all is still well ! Don't open the sun roof though - it's very noisy !

 

Sarah

2434[/snapback]

 

Thanks for that. ..I don't have a sunroof so that's not an issue. I'll bear the "dry run" advice in mind though. The caravan step is with the caravan, which is in storage about a half hour drive from home, so I might have to invest in another step too!!

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Hi Jim

 

We put ours on the roof but to be honest one of the bikes is very heavy (mountain bike with full suspension and steel frame) and that one is a pain to get on the roof so i am replacing it with an aluminium frame bike.

 

I am not very tall and use a small folding aluminium step ladder (2 steps) cost about £15 but also comes in v handy for putting the awning up.

 

I have thought about making a rack for use in the caravan using cycle park brackets from Towsure and fixing 3 to a plank of wood and making sure the weight is over the van axle and the bikes secure so they cant move.

 

http://www. towsure. com/default. asp?d=31&t=286&p=0&op=

 

Regards

 

David, Callum and Connor (NRF)

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David,

 

We tried the bikes inside the 'van solution - gave up . ... :(

 

Three reasons -

 

- the Adult bike was very difficult to get into the caravan (small door, tight angles, lots of metalwork sticking out on the bike to scrape things with !

 

- having the bikes inside was a real pain for long journeys when you either want to overnight in the 'van, or just park up for a bite to eat.

 

- couldn't find a solid enough surface inside the van to fix the bikes onto, without getting into major DIY (worried that this might affect the resale value of the 'van).

 

My Alu frame bike is a Giant - I can recommend, light but solid, not too expensive.

 

Would be interested in your folding step - where did you get it ?

 

Cheers

Sarah

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Sarah

Thanks for your feedback. I got my steps from Focus DIY but a quick check on B & Q's website shows they sell something similar. Light enough and small enough to stick in the boot of the car (or the van) also helps when cleaning the roof of the car and threading the awning through the rail .

 

http://www. diy. com/diy/jsp/bq/product/prod. ..se&PRODID=19098

 

Regards

 

David, Callum and Connor (NRF)

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We put three bikes on top of our Nissan X-Trail which is a pretty tall 4x4 - one adult and two kids bikes. Neither my husband or me are tall (5'10 and 5'4 respectively), but we manage OK with the help of the caravan step ! 

 

Worth having a "dry run" before setting off with the caravan, we have a Thule rack, which is very good, but getting some of the adjustments right the first time can be a bit tricky . .. and may involve taking the bikes on and off a few times until you get it just right ! Even with the best arrangement you can still get some wobble on the bike wheels when travelling at speed - so invest in a few extra straps to keep them steady . .. and do a few trips round the block with the bikes on top on your trial run !

 

We also have "light bikes" - with Alu frames - which helps with the lifting !

 

I find looking up at the bikes through the sunroof a bit odd - but you soon get used to them there, and it's useful to check occassionally when you are travelling that all is still well ! Don't open the sun roof though - it's very noisy !

 

Only change we are making this year is to find a better, higher caravan step, maybe 2, his'n'hers ! Can anyone recommend a good step, which can also double as an occasional table for use in the awning ?

 

Enjoy,

 

Sarah

2434[/snapback]

 

For a double caravan step you will find it hard to beat the aluminium Milenco step. It's very light and very stable as the base is larger than the step. Do shop around though, the price can vary tremendously between dealers. We paid about £27 from Waudby's some time ago but I've seen them as low as £20 and as high as £40. (£36 at Towsure)

 

I like the folding step ladder idea.

 

Mike

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  • 4 years later...

I Use a folding aluminium platform like this when I'm loading our 4 bikes on our Zafira.

 

It makes it easier especially with a heavier bike as you can lift the bike onto the platform, climb up and then lift the bike onto the roof.

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Why not use your caravan step. we have a two step one and its great for getting the bikes on my Ford S Max. more stable than a step ladder.

Coachman Pastiche tugged by Mazda CX-7, Wine supplied by Sainsburys & sunday Times wine Club.

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Forgot to add with the caravan step you can get close to the car so dont ahve as far to lean over for the centre bikes. The thing is to remeber to take with you when you go off site to cycle

Coachman Pastiche tugged by Mazda CX-7, Wine supplied by Sainsburys & sunday Times wine Club.

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Hi Jim

 

As you know we used to have a Maverick which is a very high 4x4 and Jason used to use a folding step from B&Q which we kept in the car (£20). However he is a little heavy and after prolonged use, they tend to bend. In this car (Hyundai Tucson) he uses the caravan step. He much prefers the bikes on top of the car, rather than behind, although it is more restrictive when away if needing to carry them to a cycle route/forest etc as you've to put them on and off all the time.

 

We have Thule bike racks/roof bars too bought from Here - Ski Drive and there service is great. Usually include locks f. o. c. and next day delivery. Can't fault them.

 

Sure Jason would be happy to answer anymore technical questions as I'm not that good at these type of things.

 

Janet

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Discovery + 2 bikes on roof. I have to use the double caravan step. Much higher than my previous X-Trail!!

 

Cheers

 

TONY

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Don't have any bikes but I am sure I have seen a rack system which slides out and folds down the side of the car to allow the bikes to be loaded and then slid back into place.

 

Somebody may have more info.

 

Ian

2018 Range Rover Sport AB,  2015 Buccaneer Cruiser.

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We carry two bikes on the roof of a Sedona, it's no real trouble to lift them on or off though, the electric sliding door and a caravan step allow for a stable lifting base.

Travelling we use a Pro -nav sat nav which warns of low bridges etc.

 

Tom

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Don't have any bikes but I am sure I have seen a rack system which slides out and folds down the side of the car to allow the bikes to be loaded and then slid back into place.

 

 

I've seen one of these in action. Exceptionally good for the outside bikes but not sure if they'll do all four. Bikes were on hydraulic type arms.

 

The owner told me it was a Volvo or BMW extra, but he'd managed to get it to fit his Supertrooper. I think he said it was manufactured in Germany so probably BMW.

 

Might be worth a google

 

Scales

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Hi Jim I have been looking through the new threads, carrying cycles on mpv roofs.

I am surprised no one have thought about the maxmium weight you can carry on your roofrack?

this you will find in your car workshop manaul,

you say you want to carry 4 cycles? should be now proplem if lightweight.

I think the average weight for most modern car are betreen 75,100kgs?

I don,t now as yours is a mpv if you can carry more weight.

the other thing you should be taking in consideration,

the cycles are extra weight, to be included in the maxium weight of the car,caravan?

please don't think I am being rude, or trying to teach you something.

I am sure you wil find a solution, good luck in your travels Tony

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I think carrying bikes on the roof is one of the securest ways to do so. I'd personally never consider carrying a bike in a caravan, the bike is a weighty object and I just wouldn't consider it secure enough to prevent damage to the caravan interior - plus a bike's drivetrain is oily in nature. Where to store is a problem as well, I once saw a Bailey Pageant with that off side rear door, and the owners unloaded two adult bikes and three kids bike from this, dread to think what this did to stability.

 

Rear mounted racks, sometimes less than secure, plus interfere with hitching and unhitching, if tow bracket mounted need to be taken into consideration with the max towball load, which in turn reduces the available noseweight capacity for the caravan - might contribute to instability.

 

Roof carrying means you have the bikes up & out of the way. Less easy to steal, plus the required roof bars are handy for those trips to Ikea. Agree that getting them there is a pain, so if you have a £79. 00 Asda special weighing probably 30lbs or more, I'd think twice. But a step is the way to go, when we had the Terrano I always used to have a sturdy toolbox in the back that came in handy as a step when away from the caravan or using bikes on days out. The Xtrail now isn't that tall and I can get a bike or two on the roof with no problems, but we are talking quite good quality bikes that probably weigh in the region of 20lbs each.

 

 

For roof carriers look in Halfords, they have a twin pack for £80, these are identical to an older Thule design that retailed for £70 each. Needless to say I got the Thule ones before Halfords started doing them :angry: but they do very well in reviews and I've towed acrodd france with them many times with zero problems.

 

 

Sunroofs, IMHO the only reason to have them is to check that the bikes are OK on thye bike racks.

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Don't have any bikes but I am sure I have seen a rack system which slides out and folds down the side of the car to allow the bikes to be loaded and then slid back into place.

 

Somebody may have more info.

 

Ian

 

Yes, very, very expensive. Seen this for tandems a few times, less so for standard bikes.

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we carry 4 bikes on the roof of a Kia Sorento without any problems. We've got side steps on the car which help but I tend to end up standing on the top of the rear wheel to fit the middle two bikes. Very secure and out of the way and saves knocks and bangs trying to get them all into caravan.

 

with regards to weights I actually weighed all 4 of mine on the bathroom scales and even with the bike rack there was plenty of spare weight against the max for the Sorento roof. We even managed 3 bikes and a two man canoe one year - although getting the canoe on the roof wasn't easy!

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