Going to some charming place? Take the bikes - not only for yourself, but for the whole family. With the appropriate rack it shouldn’t be a problem.
Choosing the right solution may not be simple, but that's because there’s a very high competition on the market and consequently, quite a lot of solutions.
An inside rack
The owners of large motorhomes are in the best position, because they can put bikes into the car without scarifying the space. It’s possible, for example, when the vehicle has a mini-garage.
But even if there’s a lot of space in the camping vehicle, it’s best to opt for a proper rack (in this case – an inside-rack), which holds the bicycles in a stable position. Among the most important advantages are that the rack doesn’t increase the external dimensions of the car and doesn’t increase fuel consumption. Unfortunately, it decreases the space.
A holder for bikes can be attached permanently or temporarily using straps.
Others must deal with the issue differently: by installing the rack on the roof, on the drawbar of the caravan or on the rear wall of the caravan or motorhome.
Bike on the roof
Traveling by car with a caravan, you can take into account a roof bike rack.
Such a solution, however, has two major drawbacks. First – we won’t mount the bikes on the roof of a very high car, second - if you decide on a roof bike rack, it will take place for a possible luggage rack. Some people try to combine both solutions, but few are satisfied with such compromise.
A roof rack is the cheapest solution, but earlier you have to install a base, to which you will attach the bike carrier.
Use the drawbar
On the roof you can usually transport one or two, maximum three bikes. Racks mounted on the drawbar of the caravan have a much bigger capacity (they can carry up to four bicycles).
This solution, though more expensive, has many advantages. Fixing such rack is usually easy, and wheelers placed between the car and the caravan don’t deteriorate the aerodynamics.
However, you have to check whether a particular rack can be installed on the drawbar – the difficulty may appear, for example, when the drawbar is too short, or built-up. When you purchase the rack, it’s worth to check if the rack moves along with bikes, in case you want to get into the trunk of the caravan.
A ladder or platform
There’s also possibility of putting the rack on the back of a caravan, motorhome or van. This may be a platform rack (with its own lights, connected to the hook of the car) or ladder rack (attached to the tailgate of the car or the rear wall of the caravan). In case of ladder racks, there’re also options with bike lifts.
However, it’s worth taking into account that the trunk mounted on the rear deteriorates the aerodynamics of the unit and draws the attention of nosy people. The worst thing is that it could have a negative effect on the stability of the car and caravan, loading the rear too much.
If you intend to take an electric bike, look for holders, which were designed for it. E-bikes are heavier and therefore require stronger racks than bikes driven solely by the muscular energy.
For bicycles that are carried outside it’s worth to use covers that protect wheelers against dirt and dust.