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Old 01-14-2015, 09:00 PM   #1
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Useful Homebuilt Bike Rack

So Bobbie and I recently decided to take up biking once again. We enjoy the ability to sight see that a couple bicycles give us. The only problem is that we also kayak and the roof of our Suburban is given over to carrying two 16' kayaks. Schlepping two good bikes inside the Sub is out of the question.

We decided that there was enough room inside our 27' Airstream to carry the bikes as long as they could be secured so that they wouldn't thrash around.

We just returned from a short camping trip to Monterrey, CA where we used my new creation, It was easy to make, inexpensive, and worked fine. We even drove over a curvy mountain road on the way home. Everything held together just fine. Here are some pics and rough details on construction.

This carrier has no physical connection to the Airstream; no holes, eye bolts, etc.

The 1/2" plywood base is about 1" less in width than the floor between the fridge and galley. Actual dimensions were more a function of the size of the scrap piece I had left over from a furniture project than much forethought. However, it had to be wide enough, front-to-back, to prevent it from tilting in a rapid stop. We did some heavy braking on the way home and it appears to have resisted tilting just fine. The side-to-side 1" gap allows easy set up and removal while being wide enough to hold things steady side-to-side. I bought the fork mounts at a bicycle shop for about $25 each. The raised 2x4 section allows me to bolt the fork mounts without possibly scratching the floor. I counter sunk 10 screws from the bottom and glued it to the plywood. I considered spacing the fork mounts wide enough apart so both bikes could be secured facing the same way. The problem was that the handle bars--ours are configured like mountain bikes--were then too close to the fridge and cabinets for comfort. Road bikes with narrower handle bars probably could be mounted side-by-side. I also attached a pack of non-slip plastic discs to the bottom surface of the plywood to minimize forward-backward movement. Seems to work.

BTW, the cleats are actually for securing a Yamaha 2 kw generator when underway.

Counting everything, I think this cost me about $70 in materials and maybe two hours construction/fitting time. Carrying the bikes inside also has the advantage of protecting the them from weather when under way.
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Old 01-14-2015, 09:17 PM   #2
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We are full-timers and carry 2 mountain bikes inside our trailer. Our trailer configuration is twin beds. Our bikes ride between the beds with moving cloths on each bed. Never been a problem in 2 yrs. Just tilt them over on each bed with the tires touching each other.
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:43 PM   #3
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Sounds good! I just hated the idea of cluttering up the back end of our AS with a bikr rack, let alone spending another $300 to $500 on another doodad ...
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:37 AM   #4
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I've considered options such as these. Quick question, what do you do with the bikes when you arrive at your destination? Leave them outside locked up?
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:29 AM   #5
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That's what we have to do. Have toyed with the idea of a storage tent for longer stops. Someone also mentioned using corrosion x on the bikes. Think I will do both of those this year.
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:30 AM   #6
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How do you keep the wood plate from sliding around? Many times I will lean a bike up against the couch. Good idea to keep them out of the weather and off the back of the trailer.

Perry
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:13 AM   #7
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Ours travel on the Airstream rack in back. I use CorrosionX on the chain and components and a plastic bag over the seats. A greater concern is long-term sun exposure. When in camp we park them on the shaded side of the trailer or under the awnings. We have used a cover for them when parked but that becomes a sail in heavy wind.

The bikes are ten years old, travel this way (outside) 7 months a year and look really good, paint still shiny and chrome is bright. Whether traveling inside or out, a little protection from the elements when parked outside helps.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:24 AM   #8
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That looks great and I already have the fork mounts. Maybe I'm missing something but what are the cleats for?
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:24 AM   #9
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Sorry, generator, just saw it.
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:29 AM   #10
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With a few discreetly installed eye bolts (maybe at the base of cabinets?) one could lash the bikes down with load straps and then it would be totally secure.
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:03 PM   #11
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I mounted the fork mounts to a 2X4. Since we don't need our dinette when we travel, I put my bikes there. In fact, I can fit 4 bikes on the dinette - two going in either direction. I then cut a piece of PVC pipe to ensure that the spacing is maintained between the two 2X4s. Sorry I am unable to get a picture until spring.
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:32 PM   #12
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Can you get to the bath area with the bikes in the way or do you have to remove one or both of them?

Kelvin
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Ours travel on the Airstream rack in back. I use CorrosionX on the chain and components and a plastic bag over the seats. A greater concern is long-term sun exposure. When in camp we park them on the shaded side of the trailer or under the awnings. We have used a cover for them when parked but that becomes a sail in heavy wind.

The bikes are ten years old, travel this way (outside) 7 months a year and look really good, paint still shiny and chrome is bright. Whether traveling inside or out, a little protection from the elements when parked outside helps.
...and, we just lash them to the Airstream D-rings on the floor ... LOL If we didn't have the EB, we would simply install suitable anchor points in unobtrusive spots and secure our bikes in that manner - with soft perlon rope. Motorcycle "soft" ties work very efficiently!
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Old 01-15-2015, 04:23 PM   #14
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I used a setup like that for several years in our 20'. My version uses less lumber so it's easier to stow, but lacks the generator storage. It fits like a jigsaw puzzle and doesn't move at all.
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