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TonyA
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Hi we are attempting to buy a new 2012 Lunar van, Lunar says you cannot fit a bike rack on rear panel to the new models as there is no support for rack fixings . They think ? there may be a chassis mounted rack available has anyone had and fixed one on a van, I have looked at putting one on the short A frame but that would put too much load on the tow hitch I think

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I think you can on a Swift but I would not even if I could, too much weight on the rear and not good for towing.

 

We have them on the car roof rack and that works well for us.

Coachman Amara 380/2

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Just gone through this problem myself, ended up buying a rear mounted one the fits on the back of our mondeo. Not had chance to try it with the caravan on tow yet but we are off to Skegness this friday and planning on taking the bikes with us

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I think you can on a Swift but I would not even if I could, too much weight on the rear and not good for towing.

 

We have them on the car roof rack and that works well for us.

 

 

 

Same here the roof rack seems too work best as anything on the a frame is not good for access with a caravan.

 

peter.

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Hi,

I've used a Witter bike rack that mounts from the tow bar for some time, it is the single sturdy tube type and is very good for they say up to four bikes. In reality, I find it excellent for two adult bikes and a small bike, for one of our grandsons. Much more than this and they are too close to each other IMO.

 

Works fine when towing, just watch how close the bikes get to the 'van on full lock turns, especially when reversing.

A rack fitted to the 'A' frame may be ok, subject to complying with the appropriate nose weight for your outfit. However I would be very cautious on fitting any rack on the rear panel of the 'van, too much weight, too far back is not a good combination! That is apart from the other obvious considerations involved with this.

 

Regards,

Peter

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. However I would be very cautious on fitting any rack on the rear panel of the 'van, too much weight, too far back is not a good combination! That is apart from the other obvious considerations involved with this.

 

Regards,

Peter

 

I've never really understood this!

 

I've been carrying my bikes on a rear mounted rack for five years now and never had a problem. OK, it;s a Hobby - if you go to Europe more vans have bikes on the back than not!

 

Are continental vans constructed or balanced differently or what?

 

A very puzzled Brian

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I think you can on a Swift but I would not even if I could, too much weight on the rear and not good for towing.

 

We have them on the car roof rack and that works well for us.

 

On the back is perfectly ok . The continentals have been doing it for years and they have been vanning a lot longer than us Brits. Much more fuel efficient than anywhere else and Fiamma make specific brackets for just about any van available today. If loaded correctly it will be safe as houses . If loaded incorrectly it wont but that applies to all vans especially some new Brit vans with dodgy unmanagable nose weights. It might even help them to achieve a realistic level.

 

Jt

Coachman Pastiche

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If the caravan is designed with this sort of load being applied then maybe fair enough. .............However remember the old saying

"Tail wagging the dog".

 

Having experienced a serious snake on the M4, due mainly to a large suitcase of clothes being dropped in through the door, onto the floor at the rear of my van, just before leaving home, I know only too well the effect of too much weight in the wrong place. Be warned.

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I think you can on a Swift but I would not even if I could, too much weight on the rear and not good for towing.
Have you ever tried it? I have, and despite the theory saying that weight at the rear is not good, frankly for the three 'vans that we've had rear cycle racks on, you wouldn't know they were there. In each case the rear wall was strengthened during manufacture to take the rack, and on the first one the rack was actually fitted at the Avondale factory.

 

Are continental vans constructed or balanced differently or what?
Actually for some, the answer is yes, because the draw bar (A-frame) can be around 50% longer than UK 'vans.

 

Now I'm not advocating it as "best practice" for all caravans, or caravanners, but with appropriate loading and correct tyre pressures, the additional weight of a couple of bikes on the rear can be accommodated safely.

 

Gordon.

 

CaravanBikeracks.jpg

Left - A Caravelair a couple of weeks ago in Brittany.

Centre & Right - Two of our outfits with cycle racks.

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan and Motorhome Talk.

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Have you ever tried it? I have, and despite the theory saying that weight at the rear is not good, frankly for the three 'vans that we've had rear cycle racks on, you wouldn't know they were there. In each case the rear wall was strengthened during manufacture to take the rack, and on the first one the rack was actually fitted at the Avondale factory.

 

Actually for some, the answer is yes, because the draw bar (A-frame) can be around 50% longer than UK 'vans.

 

Now I'm not advocating it as "best practice" for all caravans, or caravanners, but with appropriate loading and correct tyre pressures, the additional weight of a couple of bikes on the rear can be accommodated safely.

 

Gordon.

 

post-6-0-31817600-1316554573_thumb.jpg

Left - A Caravelair a couple of weeks ago in Brittany.

Centre & Right - Two of our outfits with cycle racks.

No and for the reasons you allude to, A frames on English vans aren't long enough to help, most rear walls aren't strong enough either and imo it's safer on the roof-rack of the tow car. I'm not saying it can never be done but that with most English vans it's not best practice.

Coachman Amara 380/2

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No and for the reasons you allude to, A frames on English vans aren't long enough to help, most rear walls aren't strong enough either and imo it's safer on the roof-rack of the tow car. I'm not saying it can never be done but that with most English vans it's not best practice.
I'm not going to disagree with you, and I do believe that some continental 'vans are better suited to carrying additional weight either on the rear wall, or on the drawbar. Many UK 'vans have shorter A-Frames, because the manufacturers maximise the body length for a given chassis, and position the axle to allow for this.

BikeTransport.jpg

I have carried cycles in the car, on the car roof, on the car rear, in the caravan and on the caravan rear wall. The only place I have not tried is on the caravan drawbar. The worst place in my opinion, for fuel economy, wind noise, and inconvenience of lifting the bikes, is the car roof, though granted it is safe. The best places (again in my opinion) are either the car rear, the caravan front (allowing for noseweight) or the caravan rear. But when all said and done, every location has its benefits and draw backs, and ultimately each caravan owner must find the best solution to suite them.

Gordon.

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan and Motorhome Talk.

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If the caravan is designed with this sort of load being applied then maybe fair enough. .............However remember the old saying

"Tail wagging the dog".

 

Having experienced a serious snake on the M4, due mainly to a large suitcase of clothes being dropped in through the door, onto the floor at the rear of my van, just before leaving home, I know only too well the effect of too much weight in the wrong place. Be warned.

As I said a CORRECTLY loaded van wont cause any problems. This is one of the few advantages of a shorter A frame when bikes are on the rear. Levers/fulcrums etc. There will be more instability issues with bikes on the the drawbar, each bike will weigh a minimum of 12kg.

If your van rear wall is robust enough its the best place. If you have a rear window fitted there will be structural material at the top going across the van. This is the the top fixing point. If you prefer Fiamma make a frame that fits here and on the underside of the floor so no further fixings are required in the rear wall. I have used this type of carrier on a Bailey Pageant - Burstner and now a Coachman. Its clear from some of the above posts a little knowledge or no experience at all of these carriers can lead to duff advice.

 

Jt

Coachman Pastiche

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It is an inescapable physical fact that putting mass further away from the bodies centre of rotation increases its polar moment of mass inertia and this directly effects the energy stored in a sway, the so called "flywheel or dumbbell effect". Its unfortunately a double edge sword in that mass needs counter balancing to return the noseweight to allowable levels and that counter weight adds to the polar moment of inertia and hence even more stored energy.

That stored energy can disturb the van's ability to recovery from a sway, the greater it is the poorer the inherent stability.

 

So whilst fitting bikes on the back of a caravan can be done it must make the unit more prone to instability; its just a matter of degree but its always worse that if it is not there. I take the view that towed units are unstable enough anyway when provoked that I don't want to make it worse. And in real life, circumstances can force things to be provoked eg, avoiding things like Elk and idiot road users.

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Surely the weight ratio between the car and the caravan also has a lot to do with overall stability.

Take a small car trailer with a Smart car for example. The engine of a Smart car is at the rear, and as most are placed on the trailer facing forwards, by definition most of the weight will be at the rear of the trailer making it inherently unstable. However how often do you hear of such a trailer being a problem behind a motorhome? The reason you don't is that the motorhome is very heavy compared with the trailed load, and is therefore able to anchor it well on the road. Is it not the same for a caravan behind a car?

I believe that it is primarily because of instability that novice caravanners are advised not to exceed 85% as a weight ratio. But there is no upper legal ratio limit because the more experienced at towing can safely exceed this figure.

Obviously I would not condone anyone deliberately loading a trailer or caravan to make it unstable, and there are some wise words above regarding unnecessary weight at the extremities of the caravan, however a little less stable may be acceptable.

If after considering all of the options, you believe that a rear wall mounted bike rack is safe for your particular outfit, and your ability as a driver, then go for it. If you do not consider your outfit makes a good platform for a rear mounted rack, or you are uncomfortable with the concept, then don't do it.

We all have to make choices in this life, and this is one where you have to carefully consider the pros and cons and make an informed decision.

Whatever you do - drive safely, and enjoy our great hobby.

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Don't forget that if you are using a towbar mounted bike carrier that the weight of the bikes must be taken off the noseweight of your caravan while towing or you may exceed the towbar weight limit for your vehicle.

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I just open the door and put the bikes inside resting on an old sheet over the seats. This is far quicker and more secure than tying them on the outside.

 

I had years of lashing them on the roof of the car and on the front of our trailer tent so it is really good to now have a van where we have the room to just pop them inside.

 

The weight is then perfectly in the middle of the van.

 

I can understand it with motor homes or vans that are used for stops on route but even then our kitchen is not blocked by bikes if we want a tea stop along the way.

 

 

I don't know what the back of the Lunar van looks like but lots of vans now have quite high-set lights so be careful that the bikes are not covering the lights. (as you get all the time with cars!)

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the 2011 elddis caravan range from the xplore to the crusader range whether it be single or twin axle has reinforced bike rack fixing points mounted in the rear panel as per the 2011 brochure, dont know if the 2012 models have them as my brochure is in the van !, jim

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I take th point about the A-frame - the one on my Hobby is more than twice the length of those on most Bailey's \9which always look very stubby to me!)

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Hi,

I've used a Witter bike rack that mounts from the tow bar for some time, it is the single sturdy tube type and is very good for they say up to four bikes. In reality, I find it excellent for two adult bikes and a small bike, for one of our grandsons. Much more than this and they are too close to each other IMO.

 

Works fine when towing, just watch how close the bikes get to the 'van on full lock turns, especially when reversing.

A rack fitted to the 'A' frame may be ok, subject to complying with the appropriate nose weight for your outfit. However I would be very cautious on fitting any rack on the rear panel of the 'van, too much weight, too far back is not a good combination! That is apart from the other obvious considerations involved with this.

 

Regards,

Peter

 

Peter are you aware that with this setup you have to include the weight of the Carrier / Bikes and noseweight of the Caravan on the stated tow bar limit of the Manufacture

 

Unless you have a big 4x4 you could well be exceding the towing limit of the vehicle

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Hi my thanks to all who replied to my post, I have a Swift Bessacarr Cameo 525 2010 supplied by Couplands of Louth this is basically an up graded Challenger i'm told done to Couplands spec, and I have a 2 bike rack on the back with no trouble we just want to change it for a different bed spec. ,

Jt can you remember the floor bike mounted model please .

 

Regards Tony

Edited by TonyA
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  • 1 year later...

Hi, just found this thread. I have a 2012 model Lunar Stellar and was wondering about a rear caravan mounted bike rack.

I have emailed Lunar to ask but I am pretty sure they will say no. However I have a rear window so I am thinking there will be a wooden rail above it which will extend across the width of the caravan. Can anyone confirm that? Or give any advice from their own experience of the Lunar? hanks

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Hi, just found this thread. I have a 2012 model Lunar Stellar and was wondering about a rear caravan mounted bike rack.

I have emailed Lunar to ask but I am pretty sure they will say no. However I have a rear window so I am thinking there will be a wooden rail above it which will extend across the width of the caravan. Can anyone confirm that? Or give any advice from their own experience of the Lunar? hanks

I think you need to check with Lunar. There is very likely to be timber above the window, but whether it is strong enough is another question. Also, is there any support where at the bottom of the cycle rack would bear on the rear wall?

When I fitted a cycle rack to the rear of an Avondale, I had to request additional cross timbers to be fitted within the rear wall during production.

Gordon.

 

BikeRackPentland.jpg

This was fitted by Avondale during production

 

BikeRackRialto640-6.jpg

This one I fitted myself, after the rear wall was strengthened during manufacture

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan and Motorhome Talk.

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Followed a Sprite back from Inverness for a bit with a Bike rack on. Looked like the one you had on the Rialto. Thought that's funny a Sprite with a bike rack on, then looked at number plate, it was dutch. When I passed it also noticed that door was on the other side.

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Lunar advise against! No surprise but then send me a link to Fiamma?

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For all advocates of mounting bkies on the rear of a caravan, I saw the sad consequence in a a French supermarket carpark last year. I was following a van towards the exit when the carrier + bikes pulled away from the van wall and landed on the road - leaving sizeable holes in the van bodywork, a driver scratching his head and a multitude of sniggering bystanders.

 

For me the only safe options for carrying bikes are either on the A frame (if you have a long enough frame as on many cotinental vans), on a tailgate mounted towcar carrier or roof rack.

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