Carrying bicycles?

Discussion in 'Cargo Carriers / Bike Racks / Other Storage Option' started by gypsysooners, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. gypsysooners

    gypsysooners Both retired and loving it! Free Thinkers

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    OK, first of all, I have a 1 1/4 inch receiver. So the adaptor to use our receiver hitch carrier and tow is out.

    We ordered a carrier that said it would fit SUV's, Vans, and hatchbacks only to get it and read in the manual that it's not reccommended for our vehicle, a 2012 Equinox. And, btw, we ordered it through Amazon.com and they were great about the return!

    I really don't want to put the bikes on the roof of either the car or the pop up.

    The simplest solution would be to put a receiver on the back bumper of the camper and use our current carrier there but everything I read says not to do that. The total weight of the carrier and bikes is just under 100 pounds.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks
     
  2. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    You do not post your tow vehicle ... is it possible to mount on the front ...?
     
  3. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    How many bikes and what is your tow vehicle? There are numerous options. (I was the bike rack specialist while working my way through college) ;)
     
  4. gypsysooners

    gypsysooners Both retired and loving it! Free Thinkers

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    The tow vehicle is a 2012 Chevy Equinox. And, we have two Trek Lime bikes.
     
  5. fix_it

    fix_it Member

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    Many people will go the safe route and say don't put them on the back of the camper. I don't know what camper you have, or what the tongue weight is. Sometimes you can put them on the back, and sometimes you can't. Two concerns: strength of the bumper, and counter balancing the tongue weight. I personally have a receiver on mine and have towed a small boat behind it. I certainly would not have a problem with a couple of bikes. You need to tie into the main frame with the hitch. Also make sure you don't make the tongue too light. You might have to move weight forward to compensate.

    Just be careful and watch out for sway. Some have reported that they did this and the trailer became unstable. This is why you need to watch out for the tongue weight.
     
  6. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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  7. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We bought a Thule carrier that will go onto a trunk lid, or in our case, the cargo area door. It will make it interesting to open the hatch on the road, but we not only did not want to put the bikes on the pup roof, but we use a roof top cargo box, so the TV roof is out too. In addition, we wanted a way to transport the bikes while we're camped, as we've been known to go somewhere other than the campground to ride.
    Here is a link similar to the model we bought, we got ours before the 2011 season so I don't know if they make the exact one now:
    http://www.rei.com/product/799928/thule-raceway-2-bike-rack

    We bought it when we had the previous pup, but with either one we'd not attempt to mount it on the pup bumper. We have 2 Thule receiver carriers (one for each vehicle, since they have different receiver sizes), and they have worked well for us. DH did buy foam blocks to stabilize and separate the bikes (all Treks except for his road bike) en route.
     
  8. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    I looked at the pic of the Lime, I could not remember if it came in a step-through model. My bike is the step through, so we use an adapter on it so we can use it on both the hitch and hatch carriers. Here's one, though it is not the exact one we have:
    http://www.rei.com/product/670346/yakima-top-tube-adapter
     
  9. ripopuptwins

    ripopuptwins It's All Good

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    Questions,Questions:
    What are the tow ratings (gross/tongue) of the tow vehicle?
    What is the tongue weight of the PU?
    Do your research.

    I'm out

    PEACE
     
  10. bondebond

    bondebond New Member

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    I do believe that's what the OP is doing: research.
     
  11. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    Just get a standard trunk-mount bike rack and put it on the back of your TV.

    [​IMG]

    I do this with my bikes (3 full-size MTBs)

    It keeps the bikes out of the wind/rain/etc., and if you mount the rack high enough, they don't interfere with the tongue of the trailer.

    Yakima and Thule are nice, but I use a plain-jane rack, not a fancy one like in the picture.

    I'd rather have the $$ in my pocket than a fancy bike rack. (been there, done that-I used to race bicycles)

    You can get them at any decent bike shop. Be sure you get one with six (6) straps!

    If you want to spend a TON of money, I can tell you which Thule or Yakima parts to get for your car.

    I can also tell you how to mount a giant sail on your roof, too! [LOL] [LOL] [LOL]

    Hope this helps. If I can find a picture of my bikes on the TV I'll post it here...
     
  12. RhinoDave

    RhinoDave Active Member

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    I would like to know why you don't want to mount the bikes on the roof if you don't mind sharing. Over the years I've mounted bikes just about everywhere possible and I've always ended up back with the bikes on the TV. I know it's a little bit of a stretch to get them up there but once mounted, they are out of the way and can be left there until needed. I agree that the price of a Yakima or Thule system can be expensive if purchased new but there are rack systems always for sale on Craigslist or Ebay. A good Yakima bike rack holds the bikes solidly and takes about 15 seconds to mount the bike without a bunch of straps or bungie cords and is out of the way for accessing the TV or setting up the PUP.
     
  13. gypsysooners

    gypsysooners Both retired and loving it! Free Thinkers

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    Thanks everyone. Well, I guess I've just been trying to be tight with money. I've decided to go the best way and get the crossrails and two Yakima High Rollers. And, if I can't find them on Craigslist cheaper, it looks like a little over $100 for the rails and $135 each for the two racks. Oh well, all in the cost of having fun! LOL!
     
  14. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    As a former racer I never put them on the roof because of gas mileage, and they stay cleaner behind the car. Also I don't have to worry about forgetting that they are up there and driving into the garage! [;)] (this cost my friend $1,500 to fix his frame)

    The Yakima is my favorite because you can rotate the ski brackets to reduce wind resistance when not using them.

    Don't bother with the spoiler that goes in front unless you like the way it looks. It helps a little with the mileage when there are no bikes, but doesn't do anything when the bikes are up there.

    Also, If you have to drive in-between two big rigs or a big rig going the other way on a two-lane road be careful. The vortices can rip the bikes right off your roof! (I had several customers have this happen to them) [:(]

    Be sure to post pics when you get it installed!!!! :)
     
  15. gypsysooners

    gypsysooners Both retired and loving it! Free Thinkers

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  16. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    Your trailer "bumper" isn't strong enough to take the torsion, unless it's unusually strong.
    Just spend about $60 and throw them on the back of your TV. It works well (I've been doing it since 1988 with really expensive bikes) and keeps the bikes from being really soaked if it rains.
    You'll also be able to remove the rack when not hauling bikes!
    Remember that old Life cereal commercial, "Try it, you'll like it!" ;)
     
  17. RhinoDave

    RhinoDave Active Member

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    Every system for carrying bikes is going to have it's good points and bad points. Many here have mounted racks on the back of their PUPs with good success but only after spending time and money to reinforce the bumper and make sure the tongue weight and PUP towing balance is not compromised. I personally, had lousey towing experiences with the rear mount on my Niagara. I basically wasted the effort to reinforce the bumper and mount a receiver hitch. It lasted part of one trip. Any rear cargo door mounted rack like BB suggests you use, runs a good chance of rubbing the paint off your hatch unless it is mounted exactly right. Turning clearances and the time and effort to make sure the bikes are secure is a couple more issues with the rear mounted rack. It also interferes with the rear access to the hatch and tongue of the PUP with bikes mounted. I agree with BB that the roof mounted racks will cost you a little in mileage but with you hauling a PUP, it's pretty minor. The bug factor also has to be included with a roof mount but as far as road dirt, I've always found the rear mounted racks to get dirtier because of the wind vortec created around the back of your vehicle. The only time I ever had any issue with large trucks was when I mounted a pair of kayak paddles to the crossbars outside the roof mounts with a couple of ball bungies. I passed a tandem truck going the opposite way on a two lane road with a combined speed of about 120 mph. The wind blew the paddles off the rack and onto the shoulder. I felt pretty stupid and mounted them to the crossbars on the INSIDE of the roof mounts which solved the issue. I disagree with BB on using a rear hatch or trunk mounted rack but then I also backed into a set of concrete parking lot rails that cost me a set of very expensive wheels years ago so I'm probably a little biased. Like BB, my bikes are probably worth more than the PUP and protecting them and still making camp setup easier is my goal.
     
  18. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    As RhinoDave says, there are pluses and minuses to each system, not even counting the problems associated with attempting a back bumper mount on the pup.
    Some questions to consider:
    Are you just taking the bikes to the campground, or will you want to transport them to somewhere else to ride? That's one reason we did not even consider any pup-mounted units, we have taken the bikes to ride some of the back roads in an area we're visiting.
    Will using a rear cargo door or trunk mount limit needed access or turning radius? We checked both out for our set-up, as long as we plan well for needing to get into the cargo area on the road we'll be fine. Once in camp the bikes are secured in the campsite, so will not be in the way while we're there.
    Do you want to heft the bikes up to your TV roof? We could just barely fit the add-on carrier for one bike with the Thule cargo box, but it would be interesting to say the least. DH would be able to manage lifting the bike up there, but it would make the TV taller yet. We already have to remember the total height of the vehicle and box, we've scraped it a few times on branches and parking lot limiters, but the bike would be taller and more susceptible to damage.
    We briefly considered the double hitch, since we already had hitch carriers. It would have made the turning radius an issue, and would still (more than likely) block access to the cargo area en route, since we would not be able to swing the bikes away with the pup in place.
     
  19. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    It is possible to have a rear mounted bike carrier ... on SOME popup campers, but there are limitations. AND it will probably be the most expensive for the least number of bikes. For sure the rear bumper will not be able to handle the stress of just two bikes and 100 lbs. The connection needs to be to the main frame rails.

    Here's a pic of my '99 Starcraft Venture with a rear bike rack (just two adult bikes) that is connected to the main frame. Total weight for the bikes and the rack was something like 92 or 94 lbs. Ran this rig down many, many a road for eight years and not the first problem.

    At the time I installed this rack I could have went with the front tow vehicle bike rack for close to half the cost.


    [​IMG]
     
  20. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    That is a really nice set up! Do you have any up-close shots?

    My new trailer's rear bumper is strong enough (I think by design) to do this, as it has a big box connection in the middle welded to the main frame.
     

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