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Old 08-16-2013, 04:46 PM   #1
I Bought it I Broke it...
clicknathan's Avatar
1976 31' Sovereign
Migratory , North America
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 110
Bike Racks, ideal placement

I know there are a bunch of threads about bike racks & this may not be the right forum...but I'm looking for info on placement vs. specific bike racks.

We've got an extended van. Nice and long with a high roof. I'm 5'8".

We've also got a 1976 31' Sovereign. I suppose their are four spots I could pave a bike rack. I'll have 2 adult bikes and one kids BMX, maybe another toddler bike here soon. So a 4 bike rack would be ideal, though we concave space inside the Airstream for the kids' bikes. That's where we currently store the BMX I mentioned.

Looking for experiences, perhaps unthought of issues I may not be thinking of.

1. Back of Airstream. This seems like the easiest setup, but on the downside, we wouldn't be able to transport the bikes via just our van. Sometimes that could be key, when a good bike route is far away from where we're camping.

2. Back of van. I'm thinking there might be a hitch extender setup we could get between where the weight distributing hitch meets the tow package on the van. Downside here would be monkeying with the hitch with bikes in the way / no access to the back of the van while traveling (not the worst but we've done bikes on the back door of the van before and that was rough. Also I guess we'd be extending the length of the hitch which might?? cause towing issues or at least lead to scraping on steep angles.

3. Roof rack. Probably an awesome solution but is it crazy hard to get bikes up there?

4. Front of the van. If this exists, it could be ideal too.

Any thoughts?

My family and I have been full-timing via various modes of travel since 2008. Going on two years in our '76 Sovereign.
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Old 08-16-2013, 08:43 PM   #2
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 776
Dont hang anything off the back of the airstream. The longer trailers already have issues with rear end frame separation and adding weight off the bumper will just make it worse faster.

You might want to look into the possibility of a front mounted hitch on the van. Then you could mount a hitch mount carrier there and carry them in the front. You would also be able to hook the trailer up there as well if you need to spot it into a tight space. You havent lived till you put the trailer in a tight spot in one try. Downside is that most front hitches dont have super high tongue weight limits so if you trailer tongue weight is over 500, it may be a bit much.



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Old 08-16-2013, 08:49 PM   #3
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
Battle Lake , Minnesota
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 7,716
Maybe two on the front of the van and two inside. I'd keep them off the Airstream, or between.

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Old 08-17-2013, 06:16 PM   #4
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2004 28' Safari
Danville , Virginia
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 50
Front hitch and receiver rack. Out of the way and will carry 4. Should run app. $500 for both.
Bruce Robillard
Danville, Va.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:36 AM   #5
1 Rivet Member
1972 27' Overlander
Roswell , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 9
Definitely agree. I have a front hitch mount on suburban and a 4-bike rack. Actually, it's a 2 bike rack by Thule and they sell an add-on for 2 more. It's the most versatile setup because when you are not pulling the Airstream, you can attach the bike rack to the back of your van. You can also carry just 2 if the kids are not coming along.
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Old 08-28-2013, 06:49 AM   #6
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Ottawa , Ontario
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 42
We have an SOB but our approach might work for you - racks on the A-frame - check it out at Mods - Arvika Bike Rack

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