bike rack

LMH

Mar 14, 2005
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hi

Can anyone help please. I tow with a Mondeo hatch, we have a fleetwood garland 1989 model. We want to take our bikes on hols with us. We have three bikes. If I fit a bike rack (suitable for use with caravans, how does it affect the noseweight? and are there any other issues I should consider? A roof mounted rack is not an option.

Thanks.

Many thanks
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If you mean a rack that fits to the tow hitch or 'A' frame of the caravan, I suggest you don't do this as it will add directly to the loading on the hitch - approx 45 kg. If you mean that you want to fit a rack on the tailgate of the vehicle then this should be OK although you will need to watch the loading on the rear springs of the vehicle and maybe consider spring assisters. I use a rack on my tow hitch but only carry one bike and have a maximum allowance of 100 kg so I get away with it. Three bikes is altogether another matter!
 
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If the rack is fixed to the tow hitch then the nose weight of your van added to the total weight of your bikes must not exceed the weight permitted for the tow hitch. You'll discover as I did that the figures do not all you to tow with bikes mounted in this way. Would suggest you carry them in the van or use a boot mounted rack if the (best) roof mounted option is not available
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Lh. If the bike rack fixes to the tow hitch, you must add the weight of the bikes and rack to the caravans nose weight. Under no circumstances must the combined weight exceed the car manufactures maximum permitted load (nose weight)on the tow hitch.
 
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Hi

Fitting a bike rack to the tow ball will reduce the noseweight for safe towing by the weight of the bikes. as per NCC recomendations, you could try puting them inside the van over the Axel, I have seen this done.
 
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An average bike weighs 12-14kg, so three bikes plus the carrier will swallow about 40kg of your noseweight allowance. If your limit is (typically) 75kg, then just 35kg noseweight might make your outfit unstable. Bikes on the roof might be poor for aerodynamics, but at least the weight is more sensibly distributed.
 
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The problem with hitch mounted bike racks is that the weight of the rack plus the bikes must be taken away from the car's noeweight limit. For example if the N/W limit is typically 75kg, and the bikes & their rack weigh say 35kg, then you only have 40kg of noseweight for your van to exert, which will be very difficult to achieve and may cause instability. Why can't you use a roof system?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
Of course, if you have a bike rack that fits on the towbar, then the weight of the bikes and that of the rack is obviously going to reduce the available noseload of the caravan by the same amount. The result could be a potentially less stable outfit. Otherwise, you would be in danger of exceeding the maximum permissible noseweight. The best solution is a roof mounted bike rack but if this is not an option, as you say, then it would be better to go for a bike rack that fits on the A-frame of the caravan or alternatively, secure the bikes inside the caravan.
 

LMH

Mar 14, 2005
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Thanks to everyone who replied, your comments were appreciated. I didn't think a roof mounted rack would be an option because I am female and didn't think I would be able to put the bikes on the roof of the car. But after careful consideration, I think I will either put the bikes in the caravan or get a roof mounted rack for the car and see how it goes and if the worst comes to the worst, I suppose I could always ask someone on site to help me.

Thanks again.
 
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In response to Lutz, most UK caravans will not take an A-frame mounted bike carrier. I have seen them on German and Dutch caravans, but these tend to have a much longer A-frame and reduced or no cowling on it. In response to lh's latest posting, I am sure that you will always find some willing people on site to help unload your bikes from the roof.
 
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Hello again Lh, I have seen advertised somwhere (and I can't remember where) a roof mounted bike rack that uses a hinged bracket to help load and unload the bikes. Perhaps one of the biking magazines or web sites may have an advert.
 
May 21, 2008
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The weight of any item attatched to the tow bar of the car plus it's load(bikes)is deducted from the nose weight limit of the tow bar. You could fit a body mounted bike rack (held on by straps to the boot and bumper) but three bikes might be a bit much. I've recently bought a Laguna estate which I thought had a sculptured indent above the number plate. Later i realised this was in fact a dent from a bike rack which the previous owner had put very accurately in the centre of the boot and the shear weight of the bikes had caused the dent as the paint has not cracked, indicating that it was done slowly over a period of time. So you would nee to watch for that. As much of a pain that it is, probably the best way to go would be to secure the bikes inside the van.
 

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