Cycle Carriers

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Mar 14, 2005
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The reality is all of these items have mass, and where they are fitted will affect the dynamics of the trailer. What is unknown is how any of these will affect a particular outfit, but another major unknown is the drivers sensitivity to detecting any changes and their ability to provide effective control to manage the outfit.

My gut feeling is the lack of reports claiming cycle racks or microwaves etc were the main contributory cause of any incident suggests that caravans have generally have a much wider tolerance of these additional load than has been suggested.

I still advocate the principle of avoiding end loading and keeping a trailer as light and small as possible as good practice, if for no other reason than efficiency.
 
Mar 19, 2019
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Well, just read the discussion with interest, thank you for all the comments.

Calor Lite bottles are being replaced with steel? I was going to go to the local caravan & camping store tomorrow and get some stuff, including the bottles, will search the forum for more about this.

My microwave is in an overhead locker, but there's nothing I can do about that, that's the design of the van so I'm not going to worry about it.

Can I just say how nice it is to see people having a discussion on the internet with respect and civility! :) It's rare nowadays.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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colinbal4 said:
Well, just read the discussion with interest, thank you for all the comments.

Calor Lite bottles are being replaced with steel? I was going to go to the local caravan & camping store tomorrow and get some stuff, including the bottles, will search the forum for more about this.

My microwave is in an overhead locker, but there's nothing I can do about that, that's the design of the van so I'm not going to worry about it.

Can I just say how nice it is to see people having a discussion on the internet with respect and civility! :) It's rare nowadays.[/quote

Calor had said that the replacement for Calorlite would be released Spring 2019 but so far a deathly silence since it was announced that calorlite were being discontinued back in 2017.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I can still get my calor lites from the main calor dealer in Bedford, When I get my replacements they have maybe twenty to thirty full ones there, and say there is no problems getting them.
 
May 24, 2014
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Cant get them for love nor money up here in sunny Derbyshire and rainy Notts. Now have one of each in the front locker.
 
Dec 6, 2013
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Can we get back to bike transport for a second please?

Perhaps this isn't what should be recommended and I've been being naive, but I've often towed with my bike on a rack attached to a back plate in front of the tow bar, with no stability issues whatsoever. Photos at the links below.

The problem now is that due to a change of car, and the replacement having a retractable tow bar to which the back plate can't be mounted, I now have a bike rack that's surplus to requirements. Admin, am I allowed to say that I'm happy to give it free to a good home if anyone wants it for the price of the postage? :unsure:

https://samandrosecarryoncaravanning.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/picture-235.jpg?resize=160,160
https://samandrosecarryoncaravanning.files.wordpress.com/2019/03/img_0622.jpg?resize=160,160
 
Mar 14, 2005
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SamandRose said:
Can we get back to bike transport for a second please?

Perhaps this isn't what should be recommended and I've been being naive, but I've often towed with my bike on a rack attached to a back plate in front of the tow bar, with no stability issues whatsoever. ..

Just for clarity,
A tow bar is the frame work that is attached to the tow vehicle. The ball hitch attaches to the towbar, so in your case the bike rack fits between the ball hitch and the tow bar. The weight of the bike rack is deemed to be sitting on the towbar and that load plus the caravans nose load should have been adjusted to stay within the tow vehicle's tow bar load limit.

Provided the loads were within teh manufacturers stated limits you should not have experienced any significant changes to the handling of your outfit.

Its not absolutely clear that overloading a towbar would adversely affect handling to any great extent, but it might precipitate early failure of components.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Raywood said:
I think this is going a bit off course.

Thank you Ray and Sam&Rose which is what I was thinking the same thing ; as soon as someone mentions a gas bottle that's it everyone is off on a tangent and talks about that ; there's a whole subject and topic on gas bottles that am sick of reading about .
 
May 24, 2014
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Just playing devils advocate here, Im not a cyclist. But my caravan comes with the rails prefitted for a Thule G2 cycle rack. The rack weighs 8.2kg. It will carry two cycles up to a combined max of 50kg. Given the indicidual factory fitted fittings weigh a couple of kg, we are looking at putting around 60kg on the back end of a caravan, as far back as its posible to get.

My Isabella Magnum weighs 26kg all in. The Ambassador probably around 35 to 40kg. It seems an awfull lot in comparison. Im not making any widely swinging statements about it causing instability but in comparison, I personally wouldnt put my awning and poles in the rear bathroom. Im sure greater minds than mine, and there will certainly be more than one :cheer: will have worked this out but it just seems to go against everything I have been taught.

As for the gas bottles, I apologise to those mortally offended by their mention ;) but i deem it a valid point in connection specifically with an A-Frame mounted cycle rack. Adding 60kg to the A-frame seems like a barking mad idea considering most vehicles take about 75kg on the towball.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Thingy said:
Just playing devils advocate here, Im not a cyclist. But my caravan comes with the rails prefitted for a Thule G2 cycle rack. The rack weighs 8.2kg. It will carry two cycles up to a combined max of 50kg. Given the indicidual factory fitted fittings weigh a couple of kg, we are looking at putting around 60kg on the back end of a caravan, as far back as its posible to get.

My Isabella Magnum weighs 26kg all in. The Ambassador probably around 35 to 40kg. It seems an awfull lot in comparison. Im not making any widely swinging statements about it causing instability but in comparison, I personally wouldnt put my awning and poles in the rear bathroom. Im sure greater minds than mine, and there will certainly be more than one :cheer: will have worked this out but it just seems to go against everything I have been taught.....

Hello Thingy,

To avoid annoyance, I won't elaborate on gas bottles either. Whilst I have been quite vocal about the idea of "end loading" for good mechanical reasons I do agree it is usually better if you can avoid it, but that does not mean some end loading may be perfectly satisfactory. As always there is no hard and fast rule about how much end loading your outfit might accept, as there are so many factors that ultimately will affect the outcome If there is any serious doubt about it, then discounting it outright is the safest and reasonable option. It would be wrong to suggest a personal choice is going to be universally correct for everyone.

However you might be missing a trick, after all, if the caravan manufacturers are fitting the mounting points, then they clearly believe the option is not going to be a disaster, and of course the practice is even more prevalent on the continent, so there must some scope for end loading. As always there is no black and white answer it has to be suck it and see, with the advice of starting small and only increasing when smaller values have proven to be OK.

As you suggest we've been taught by the traditional advice that end loading 'should' be avoided This has been handed down over time, but at the same time the advice has become modified and accompanied with predictions of doom, which has led to the perception that end loading will always be bad news.

It is my view that when presented with a piece of traditional advice, you should always ask if the tradition is still actually fit for purpose. Review what its trying to do, look at the logic and evidence behind it and see if its fits today's needs. If it does, fine! but there have been some bits of "traditional wisdom" that for many reasons are no longer entirely valid. Caravanning has had plenty of traditions, but for different reasons are no longer applicable.
 
May 24, 2014
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I agree with all you say. But going back to traditional wisdom, Im personally still in that mind set with end loading. Im moreso against the A-Frame carriers from a noseweight scenario. Personal choice, but my mind keeps relating to the G-forces you mentioned. Bearing in mind that most caravans in this country are thrown together with a bit of glue added here and there, I cant see those stresses doing much good.

As far as cycling itself goes, I dont think i have ever seen anyone on a bike wearing a smile. If I ever do see someone, I might try it myself. :lol:
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Thingy said:
...As far as cycling itself goes, I dont think i have ever seen anyone on a bike wearing a smile. If I ever do see someone, I might try it myself. :lol: ....

1o mile a day commute on bike for me
:lol:
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Craigyoung said:
Thingy said:
...As far as cycling itself goes, I dont think i have ever seen anyone on a bike wearing a smile. If I ever do see someone, I might try it myself. :lol: ....

1o mile a day commute on bike for me
:lol:

Gosh I didn’t realise Craig was the pseudonym for Alan Shearer that secret caravanner and cyclist :)
 
May 24, 2014
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Has that man really leant a bike on the thin skin of his caravan? Tut tut.

Not Shearer. Im seeing a bit of orange beard there. Possibly the love child of Jihadi John. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Thingy said:
Has that man really leant a bike on the thin skin of his caravan? Tut tut.

Not Shearer. Im seeing a bit of orange beard there. Possibly the love child of Jihadi John. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Look closer that's Craig's garage door. :whistle:
 
Mar 19, 2019
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Well I dont have rear mounts for a cycle carrier on the caravan, and I have a removable swan neck towbar, so no mounting plate, so that's that! On the roof they go.

Sorry for asking about gas bottles :whistle: :huh: :lol:

So if we really want to get back on topic, my original post was, what do I really need in terms of roof mounted carriers? What is the difference between a £20 carrier and a £170 quid carrier? And where is the recommended happy medium, given that I already have one of these

https://www.thule.com/en-gb/gb/bike-rack/towbar-bike-racks/thule-rideon-3-_-9503
so it's only when towing the van I need to stick them on the roof.
 
Mar 19, 2019
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PS: I too smile when cycling, but only do it for fun anyway through the countryside, forests, coastal paths, disused railways, etc, if I had to commute in the traffic and the rain, I doubt I'd be smiling so much.

I have commuted by motorbike for years, and even with a engine doing the work and a gore tex suit keeping me warm and dry, I dont smile much when it's raining, though I would still rather that than being stuck in traffic in a car.
 
Apr 10, 2014
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Hi Colinbal4,
The main difference between £20 carriers and £170 ones is build quality. The more expensive ones will be stronger and therefore more sturdy. They will also be lockable to the roof bars and the carriers will have individual locking mechanism for the bikes.

I paid around £300 for four Thule Pro Carriers and a set of Thule Aero bars, with the relevant feet attachments to fit to the car's roof rails. This was around 8 years ago, but as I replaced my UK caravan for an Adria, I no longer use them.

I fit my Bikes onto an 'A' Frame Bike carrier, but only take two bikes these days. I did at one time also put the bikes inside the caravan, packed within a DHB padded bike bag.

Any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Regards,
 
Mar 19, 2019
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OK thanks, so if there's no difference in the weight they are rated to carry, or speed you can drive at, or how well they'd hold the bikes in a crash, or perhaps some kind of safety certification.

I was hoping somebody would have experience to share, such as "I bought the cheap ones off Amazon and they work just fine" or "I bought the cheap ones off Amazon and regretted it.

Since I dont know what to buy, and dont need to use them often, I think I'll stick with a trusted brand, but go entry level. I can get three Thule Freeride 532 on Ebay for £45 each.

I dont want to buy cheap and have to buy twice, and also dont want to sign up to a cycling forum just to ask one question.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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colinbal4 said:
OK thanks, so if there's no difference in the weight they are rated to carry, or speed you can drive at, or how well they'd hold the bikes in a crash, or perhaps some kind of safety certification.

I was hoping somebody would have experience to share, such as "I bought the cheap ones off Amazon and they work just fine" or "I bought the cheap ones off Amazon and regretted it.

Since I dont know what to buy, and dont need to use them often, I think I'll stick with a trusted brand, but go entry level. I can get three Thule Freeride 532 on Ebay for £45 each.

I dont want to buy cheap and have to buy twice, and also dont want to sign up to a cycling forum just to ask one question.

I would do what you propose that is buy good brand but pre owned.
 

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