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Talk about the different aspects of your tow car and tow advice.

Caravan Towbar and bicycle racks and towing behind a caravan

replies: 42
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08 Sep 2015 @ 10:41:03 am
Joggie_en_Nicci
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Hi all,

 

I have read through most of the posts relating to the topic above, and could not get to a definitive answer.  So here is what I have and also want.

My problem: I need to take 4 bicycles with on holiday, sometimes to Brits, other times Oesterbaai
1.  My tow-vehicle is a Mercedes Viano
2.  My caravan is a Sprite Splash

Because my tow vehicle is a minivan with an upright rearwindow, I can not fit a carrier between the bus and van, just not enough space.  I tried this once and lost both the rear-light columns on the Merc, at a replacement cost of R10k, not something I want to do again, and that was with only 2 bikes. 

My options as I see it is the following:
A:) Buy a Thule to hang behind the caravan
Pros:  You get the Thule BackPack carrier for 4 bikes, 
Cons:  It might rip the aluminum strips out of the caravan and costs between R8500 & R10000

B:) Fit a towbar behind the caravan, and fit a Holdfast carrier to it
Pros: I have a holdfast carrier
Cons:  The weight of the bikes, the road conditionts etc might cause the caravan chassis or the towbar extension to bend and get dameged

C:) Fit a towbar and buy a small trailer for the bicycles (750kg)
Pros:  I can use the trailer fot other things also
Cons: It is a long "train" to tow, might have legal issues, and stability will decline at speeds higher that 80km/h
I also know there are a lot of opinions on safety when towing a "train" etc. 

There is no clear answer, I hope somebody on this forum, has experience with this kind of issue. In my opinion towing a trailer behind might be the answer...  Maybe with stabilizers or run-in brakes...



Hier gaan ons
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08 Sep 2015 @ 10:51:47 am
Veldskoen
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Hi Joggie, My brother inlaw had the same problem. The only difference is that his towing vehicle is a Colt Double cab. He has fitted two roof racks on the bakkie with two bicycle carriers that fits on the roof racks. Problem solved. The only cons is the wind draft from the front that pushes up fuel consumption.. Hope you come right.
Hou jou voete plat op die aarde
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08 Sep 2015 @ 10:55:58 am
WilSur
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Joggie

Ek het ook 'n fiets rak op die Ford en teen die sleep spoed maak dit nie regtig so groot verskil in brandstof verbruik nie.

Kyk op my handtekening foto, jy sal die fietse sien teen die boom se Silhouette.

 

Oppad na die volgende kamp.
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08 Sep 2015 @ 11:01:21 am
JohanJ
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Somewhere a test was concluded... and the results confirms a R30 per 100km increase when bicycle carriers is fitted on the roof

For my own application...can we fit a carrier at the back of a double cab and still tow the caravan???. Who has done something like it and which product
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08 Sep 2015 @ 11:05:48 am
Nico
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I have a towbar fitted to my Sprite SC Off Road and fitted a HoldFast carrier to that.

(I must admit that this was done irrespective of advice to the contrary I received from other Caravanners: "Do not fit a towbar for a bicycle rack to your 'Van") Apparently this may cause swaying of the caravan and/or towing problems.

I was stuck because of the same reasons as you, and Joan would not allow "dirty" bikes in the "Pophuis", especially after our MTB excursions.

Thus, I did this and can report no problems at all. (I do use a Tando Anti-sway bar and do not tow faster than 100 km/h) Admittedly my HoldFast is only capable of carrying 2 bikes, but, ..... I have mounted a third bike inbetween on one occasion with not problems. Two bikes weigh about 24 kgs. in total, although I normally only take one as my wife prefers to "Walk and See More!"

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08 Sep 2015 @ 11:07:28 am
Joggie_en_Nicci
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Bo-op is defnitief 'n opsie, ek het net 'n ander probleem, ek het net een arm, en weet nie of ek die fietse bo-op sal kan vasmaak nie. 
 
Dan moet mens ook verder onthou van die ekstra hoogte, as jy by tol-hekke kom en so aan.

Ek gaan die opsie defnitief verder ondersoek

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08 Sep 2015 @ 11:12:49 am
Joggie_en_Nicci
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@Nico,

Ek het op jou post van die pophuis en vuil MTB afgekom toe ek gesoek het, ek is bly jy het reg gekom.  

Ek is skrikkerig vir dit, vir jou werk dit op 'n off-roader, maar ek is nie so seker my van se on-road chassis is so sterk soos 'n off-roader chassis nie

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08 Sep 2015 @ 11:18:17 am
Relaxed Camper
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Ek haal fietse uitmekaar en sit dit in wa in komberse. Ek het net 2x...4x kan bietjie baie word
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08 Sep 2015 @ 11:23:59 am
Joggie_en_Nicci
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Binne bêre is defnitief ook 'n moontlikheid, nooit gedink om hulle uitmekaar te haal nie. 

 

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08 Sep 2015 @ 11:24:11 am
Nico
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Joggi, Nicci ..... die enigste ander opsie is - RY die fietse tot daar (dis waarvoor hulle gemaak is en dit behoort heel prettig te wees!)

Hahahahaha!!

Die fietsryers van Louis Trichardt wat deelneem aan die jaarlikse Argus fietswedren in Kaapstad RY van Louis Trichardt af Kaap toe - neem hulle 10 dae met een rus dag tussen-in. Het hulle hierdie jaar oppad gekry (ek natuurlik, in my motor) en hulle was heel gelukkig!! Wys jou, dit kan gedoen word!

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08 Sep 2015 @ 11:26:29 am
Joggie_en_Nicci
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Maar hoe kry ek my karavaan daar??? surprised


Hier gaan ons
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08 Sep 2015 @ 11:29:13 am
W J
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Ek vat ook twee saam ,ek sit hulle in die bus en gooi 2 komberse oor hulle dat hulle nie iets krap nielaughing

How great is our GOD
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08 Sep 2015 @ 11:53:40 am
Somer Kamper
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Daar is heelwat mense met fietsrakke agter hul woonwaens. Gaan kyk bietjie hoe hulle dit gedoen het. Dalk kan twee agterop kom en so twee in die woonwa self?

Ek verbeel my Jurgens Ci het al te kenne gegee dat 'n sleepstang agterop hul waens die waarborg ongeldig maak, want die onderstel is nie daarvoor ontwerp nie. As die wa uit waarborg is, behoort dit nie 'n probleem te wees nie. Maak net seker dat dit nie 'n modifikasie is wat versekeringsimplikasies ook kan hê nie.

Die Viano is swaar vergeleke met daardie wa, so daar behoort nie stabiliteitsprobleme te wees nie.

Hier dag ek in my onskuld "baiesukkels" gee net probleme as jy hulle teen opdraandes moet trap............ yell

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08 Sep 2015 @ 12:03:48 pm
Butts
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Hans is korrek.   Jurgens het dit 'n paar jaar terug duidelik gestel in 'n kommentaar in Caravan & Outdoor Life dat 'n karavaan se onderstel nie sterk genoeg is om 'n sleephak te monteer nie.   Daarby moet iemand wat dit wel doen om 'n sleepwa te hak, die regulasies oor die remstelsel wat vereis word gaan naslaan.  Beide sleepwa en karavaan moet met diensremme - nie inloopremme nie - toegerus word. 

As jy wel die fietse agter die karavaan plaas, maak net seker dat al die ligte en nommerplaat sigbaar is.

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08 Sep 2015 @ 12:17:10 pm
It'l dodat
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Considered tandem towing?

IE put a small trailer behind the van. There's rules & regulations regards GVM / TARE/ CBM & overall length, all been discussed on the forum, (search tandem towing) but totally do-able, upside:- less down-force on the ball behind the caravan,  no need for lifting bikes high up can also keep dirty biking clothing in the trailer and so on. 

Consider the trailer to be your "holiday toy's box"... 

Costs for trailer / bike  rack about the same?  You are paying for the hitch on the van either-way.

Trailer can be deployed for other uses at home or for dump-it-in-the-trailer-storage when at your camp-site, bike rack?.... Well I suppose it's just a bike rack....

Try for flatbed type trailer, look at secondhand

There are those that screech NO, and there are those that do it all the time. I say become educated first, understand the implications en dan "doen met kennis"

Just an option....

Regards

Warren

 

Slightly quicker downhill....
These days a teeny-tiny bit more slightly quicker....
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08 Sep 2015 @ 12:34:34 pm
Hein
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Joggie, Word die agterste ry sitplekke gebruik in die bus? Ek haal myne uit in sit fietse dan daar, elke 2'e een wys in dieselfde rigting met net voorwiele afgehaal

Groetnis
Hein
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08 Sep 2015 @ 13:24:28 pm
Leon
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Ek het baie lank my Boot agter my Penta gesleep.  Daar is heelwat mense wat 'n klein sleepwa agter die karavaan sleep. Ek het gebruik gemaak van twee Yellowblade stabiliserders. Dit het puik gewerk.

Draai sirkel is bietjie grooter en Natuurlik stop afstande. Was nooit 'n probleem vir my on teen 85-90Km/h te sleep nie want ek is al op vakansie wanneer ek agter die stuur in klim.

Daai bus van jou het baie plek ek sal twee fietse sonder voorwiele op Thule rak op die dak sit soos Willem en twee ander agter in die bus.

Sonder Jesus is ek niks! ! ! !
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08 Sep 2015 @ 13:35:05 pm
chameleon
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Het bo op my waentjie plek vir my twee fietse anders het ek  ń kontrapsie wat op my hak pas maar hulle waarsku jou die hak kan net ń maksimin van drie fietse vat

Camping is a collection of memories .... make each one count
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08 Sep 2015 @ 13:36:45 pm
Grumpy/Hannes
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Joggie

Ek het laasmaand agt n persoon gery wat n Sprite Swing sleep met towbar en 2 fietse op. Hy sleep met VW Kombi.

Dit het my geweldig gepla want ek kon sien wat agter gebeur met die fietse op n rak. Dit is wat jy nie sal sien terwyl jy sleep nie.......dit lyk kompleet of die fietse vorentoe en agter toe beweeg.

Nou my wiskunde se vir my (ek het 100 jr terug wiskunde gedoen toe 1 +1 nog 2 was) as staal so heen en weer getrek word.....dan gaan iets breek.

Nou ek wil nie graag teen 100km/h agter jou ry as daai fietse afkom nie...glo my, en jy gaan heel waarskynlik eers agterkom dat jou fietse weg is teen die tyd dat jy by jou bestemming aan kom.

Ek het voor op n bakkie n vlag "pyp" gehad van 10mm angle iron gemaak. Dit is nou vir n vlag as jy op n oopgroef myn ry. Meeste vd tyd het ek sonder n vlag gery. Net die beweging van die voertuig onder normale werks omstandighede het die staal laat kraak!

Net my 2c

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08 Sep 2015 @ 13:48:51 pm
WilSur
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Somewhere a test was concluded... and the results confirms a R30 per 100km increase when bicycle carriers is fitted on the roof

For my own application...can we fit a carrier at the back of a double cab and still tow the caravan???. Who has done something like it and which product

Johan

Ek ry al vir baie jare af Kaap toe en het al paarkeer die fietse op die Ford gehad.  Soos laas Desember het ek hulle weer op gehad Eiland Spa toe en 'n vriend het met sy TX Territory saam gesleep, hy sleep 'n Sprite Scenic (ook 'n vaste dak) en ek het by elke pomp net so 2 tot 3 liters meer as hy in gegooi.

Oppad na die volgende kamp.
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08 Sep 2015 @ 14:10:07 pm
Joggie_en_Nicci
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Hi Hannes,

Ek het dit ook al gesien, en dis eintlik vreesaanjaend hou die fietse die dra-rak laat wieg. Ek trek myne deesdae vas met tie-downs net om die beweging te verminder


Hier gaan ons
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08 Sep 2015 @ 14:31:22 pm
Jan Meyer
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Het op my Sprite Scout 'n hak aan die karavaan gehad en 'n Thule fietsrak vir 3 fietse - die een waar die fietse op staan en nie hang nie - en oorhals selfs stadig op grondpad gery.

Met my kamara agteraan die woonwa kon ek presies sien wat die fietse doen.Glo dat drie fietse op 'n rak aan die towbar minder stress op wa se onderstel plaas as die sleep van 'n ventertjie. Gaan vir my hak aan Swing installeer.

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08 Sep 2015 @ 20:14:39 pm
Jannievdw
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Ek het dieselfde probleem met die fietse. Ek moet plek he vir 5 fietse. Alhoewel ek seker is my Echo se onderstel is sterk genoeg. Ek het ook al n ekstra waentjie ,maar hy het nie remme op nie.
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09 Sep 2015 @ 06:23:14 am
It'l dodat
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Ek het dieselfde probleem met die fietse. Ek moet plek he vir 5 fietse. Alhoewel ek seker is my Echo se onderstel is sterk genoeg. Ek het ook al n ekstra waentjie ,maar hy het nie remme op nie.

Hi Jannie, depending on the GVM of the trailer, overide brakes on the rearmost trailer is not a requirement.

For all intense and purposes, and not to cloud the issue, let's stick to what's under discussion (a 5/6Ft Venter or a lightweight fiberglass / small flatbed trailer). And we are not talking about loading it wit 10 tons of camping gear... we are talking about a couple of bycycles that are properly positioned or the trailer is correctly weighted with a sandbag or similar to give a correct nose weight on the ball on the back of the van..

Simply explained thus: - 

Once you couple a trailer to a caravan, then the regulations "see" both the caravan & rearmost trailer as "one trailer" that just happens to be articulated in the middle.

So you combine the GVM of the trailer with the GVM of your van and together they must not exceed the TARE of your tow vehicle. 

If the combined GVM of the trailer and the caravan exceeds 750 KG (which it does) then you require over-ride brakes, (which your van has, and, as the regulations "see" both the trailer and caravan as one unit you are operating with in the regulations. 

Despite what the nay sayer's say,  a lightweight trailer of this type would be the best solution, with the least weight & fuel impact and most importantly the safest method of carrying bycycles.

I too have seen how those bycycles shake around behind vans and it's not good, not something I would do.. Something's bound to break through fatigue eventually.

Bear in mind, like the principal of a railway train it is much better to tow weight than to carry it. Once the "momentum" is achieved the weight helps to keep the train moving forward, so you use less fuel...

And yes to lend creedance to my point, I've added these photos.

Note

1) WHERE this rig went...

2) That it was 100 % legal, Including overall length and all weights

3) That at no stage did it ever become unstable, inspite of dragging it over Joubert's pass, Naudes neck, Moodenaars neck and on the way back Langs neck.

My only comment was that I took the time and trouble to set it up properly. ENSURING correct nose weights and correct towing attitude and balanced, and did towing trials before setting out.

I set the rig by loading first the boat, then packing the van to get a level towing additude. My concession was to put the motor onto the bull-bar to eliminate a chunk of weight right at the back (worst place for fishtailing / sway). 

Slightly quicker downhill....
These days a teeny-tiny bit more slightly quicker....
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09 Sep 2015 @ 09:01:58 am
Joggie_en_Nicci
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@Warren,
What are the correct nose weights of a van and the trailer?


Hier gaan ons
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09 Sep 2015 @ 09:43:57 am
It'l dodat
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@Warren,
What are the correct nose weights of a van and the trailer?

Joggie just a bit busy now, I'll get back to you

Ta

Warren

 

 

 

Slightly quicker downhill....
These days a teeny-tiny bit more slightly quicker....
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09 Sep 2015 @ 12:37:32 pm
It'l dodat
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Hi Joggie back with you... Nose weights....

The theory behind nose-weight is to keep positive weight on the coupling, even when the vehicles & trailer is "pitching", (bouncing up & down) and has much to do with the stability.

Step 1 (Start with the trailer as this will affect your final weight on the vehicle). I assume you know to pack 60 / 40 % with 60 % of the weight in-front of the axle & 40 % behind the axel, with the real heavy stuff over the axel... Goes for both van & trailer..

Trailer behind the caravan: - I found that a nose-weight of around 18Kg  to be sufficient, I’m not keen to go much higher due to the construction of the towbar behind the caravan.

If your’s is well constructed and attached to the van right at the back then a little higher nose weight would be OK. 

But what's more important: -  

Test the stability of the trailer behind the car first. Increasing in speed to 120. At lower speeds, try to induce fishtailing, (tip: - use a sandbag, Start by placing it where the nose weight is 18Kg  and move forwards if fish-tail)

if the trailer is stable, then deterimine (measure) what your nose weight is and keep to this.

Then. Couple to van. (Towing attitude) Trailer should be horizontal or better still, slightly nose down.

Then….

Pack the van with loaded trailer attached to achieve the correct nose weight on the coupling on the vehicle.

Conventional wisdom: - Should be between 80 – 95 Kg but it’s not that fussy, rather err on the high side… IE less than 80’s not good but a bit more than 95’s not a train-smash

Again van should have a level or slightly nose down towing attitude when loaded.

Sounds complicated but not really, you’ll only have to do this the first time then you’ve got it.

Tip: - See horisontal PVC pipe across the back of my boat. Make it long enough so that it can be seen in both rear-view mirrors, it will indicate behaviour of the trailer behind the van, and also if not horisontal then the trailer has a puncture. (I added some reflective tape at the ends after the photo)

Hope this helps...

Slightly quicker downhill....
These days a teeny-tiny bit more slightly quicker....
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09 Sep 2015 @ 17:02:13 pm
Joggie_en_Nicci
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Dankie julle vir al die info, sal julle laat weet hoe ek besluit het


Hier gaan ons
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09 Sep 2015 @ 22:18:29 pm
Jannievdw
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Baie dankie vir die verduideliking Warren. Dit help baie.
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10 Sep 2015 @ 09:51:24 am
Chuck Norris
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Kan n lang trein op die pad wees, geduld moet maar aan die dag gele word.
Gewig agter op n wa met twee fietse sal nie groot verskil maak nie, die Explorer voel ek nie met die jerry kanne as hulle fol is nie.
By gese die jerry kanne is stewig aan die wa vas en kan nie soos fietse rits nie.
As jy wil he jou drome moet waar word, moet jy eers wakker word.

Die jonge Fransmannetjie. (Parys - Frankryk)
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12 Oct 2015 @ 10:38:57 am
Joggie_en_Nicci
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'n Vinnige update:
Ons laai nou 2 fietste in die karavaan, 1 in die Viano en 1 op die karavaan se neus.  Ons het dit getoets toe ons Bass Lake toe was en dit het heel goed gewerk. wink

Ons het pool noodles kleiner gesny en oor die skerp dele van die fietse soos die trappe gesit, om so die kaavaan te beskerm.

Dankie vir al die terug voer en info.

 

Groete


Hier gaan ons
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12 Oct 2015 @ 10:45:51 am
Relaxed Camper
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Daai een op die neus...is dit daai fietsrack wat oor trekstang kom? Hoeveel kos hulle?
WAARSKUWING:

Kampeer is aansteeklik en verslawend 😁
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12 Oct 2015 @ 11:08:10 am
Joggie_en_Nicci
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Dit was 'n ou een wat ek gehad het op my bakkie, hy het sommer aan die dropplate vasgeskroef.  Ek dink ek het hom daai tyd by Makro of Game gekoop.  Dit is 'n Holdfast maak.

Ek het 'n tuisgemaakte "bracket" aan die nosecone vasgebout met 'n dropplate om hom mee vas te maak.

Ek kan glad nie onthou wat die ding gekos het nie.



Hier gaan ons
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14 Apr 2017 @ 14:41:21 pm
Clinton
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Hi guys.

I know that I'm digging up rather old discussions here, but I'm currently battling with this very problem. I've read a lot of warnings about racks on the back of vans, so I'm thinking that the best option might be between the vehicle and the van. I like the idea in the above pics (posted by Joggie). However, if you already have the "mounting bracket" on your towing vehicle, why would you want to add this to the van's drawbar. Would it not be a better idea to just use the extended up-rights on the bracket that is already on your tow vehicle?
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14 Apr 2017 @ 19:56:38 pm
Joggie_en_Nicci
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In my case, I have a gooseneck towbar, so no mounting points like the ones on the pics and because I tow with a Viano the rear window is very upright, so no space to put the bikes.


Hier gaan ons
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14 Apr 2017 @ 20:49:59 pm
Clinton
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Got you. Thanks.

Can anyone think of a reason why my idea might not work?
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19 Apr 2017 @ 11:43:02 am
CycleNut
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I've tried most options ..

1. Bikes Behind the caravan:
- My nett result/advice is that bikes behind the caravan is a No-No.
@90km/h you start to sway so you run the risk of never getting to your destination because @110km/h you will lose control and/or @80km/h you will die of boredom.

- many of you will have seen these already ...
http://www.carbuzz.com/news/2016/10/6/A-Toy-Mustang-And-A-Treadmill-Is-All-You-Need-To-Learn-About-Tow-Safety-7735817/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEWtBV9I0U4 (How to load a caravan)

- If you are travelling on roads where speed limit is restricted to 60km/h then practically, or you can afford the time to take it easy - then, yes - put the bikes behind your caravan.

- I have actually stopped mid-journey to remove bikes from behind my caravan and put them inside, in spite of having car-roof capacity for 3-bikes.

2. Bikes on the Roof:
- Whilst towing a caravan, this cost me 2.2 l/100 on consumption over a 500km journey @ 110km/h average.
- I'd rather spend the money on fuel than have the stress of irrecoverable sway.

3. Bikes in between the car and caravan
- sounds simple enough - but add more than one bike and see how this impedes your turning circle - especially in reverse
- not to mention accessibility to caravan brake, nose cone and jockey adjustment.

4. Bikes in the caravan
- Practical pro's and con's (for both caravan and bikes) that don't need explanation
- There is however the option to invest in bar strips that run on the width of your caravan with front fork mounts so that they travel upright. You will have seen these in bakkie load bins. With a little MacGyvering you can get this bar to snap-into-place/click-to-remove and have the mounts out of the way so as to not interfere with the galley or over-sized toes.

5. Stop cycling and leave the bikes behind
- I don't understand this option
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01 May 2017 @ 16:39:23 pm
Clinton
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Thanks for the detailed response. Looks like it's going to be roof racks then.
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01 May 2017 @ 20:33:21 pm
CycleNut
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Thanks for the detailed response. Looks like it's going to be roof racks then.

Clinton - your profile says you have a Ranger .. without a Canopy you have the advantage of keeping the load-bin for everything the missus you need to pack, and rack the bikes above your armadillo/cover.  They will be 80% out of the wind and you will still have sight of them in your rear-view.

 

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02 May 2017 @ 07:55:13 am
Clinton
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Ranger with canopy.
I took the canopy off for the last trip. Was great for transporting bikes, but robbed us of all that loading space. I need the canopy during the week and it's a pain to put on and remove whenever you go camping. So roof racks it seems. Any recommendations there?
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02 May 2017 @ 09:30:58 am
CycleNut
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Ranger with canopy.
I took the canopy off for the last trip. Was great for transporting bikes, but robbed us of all that loading space. I need the canopy during the week and it's a pain to put on and remove whenever you go camping. So roof racks it seems. Any recommendations there?

Just one: Stay clear of under-ground parking

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02 May 2017 @ 09:43:33 am
Joggie_en_Nicci
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And low toll-gate gantries...


Hier gaan ons
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19 Nov 2017 @ 13:56:57 pm
nigelgeast
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I fitted a tow bar to my Sprite Swing and use a 4 bike rack, normally with 4 x mountain bikes on, 2 things to bear in mind here, the additional weight on the back of the van means you need to check the nose weight with the bikes loaded, the second thing is the wind coming over the van hits the bikes and acts as a wind block pushing the back of the van down and lightening the load on the nose even more, this all creates instability and sway the faster you go. So what I do is load the van with the bikes on and get my nose weight on the hitch at about 80 - 90 kg and still add another 25L bottles of water on either side of the double bed right up against the cupboard. this seems to eliminate the sway issues.
Nigel
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