IF YOU WANT to go cycling while you’re on a motorhome trip how do you take the bicycle with you? Here we pick out the best motorhome bike racks.
So what are the options? You can store the bike in the aisle in the motorhome. But if you do that, it needs to be carefully tied down to avoid any damage en route. And that becomes a less feasible option if you need to take more than one bike.
Bikes can also go tied down in a garage – if you are lucky enough to own a coachbuilt motorhome that includes one. Folded up they could possibly go in the rear boot area of a van conversion with a fixed bed at the back. But in both cases you are using up valuable storage space that could be used for other things.
So sooner or later you are likely to have to think about whether you need a bike rack – and what kind you need. For the most part the rack will be on the rear of the vehicle (although we do include a few below that are designed to go inside a garage, if you can spare the space).
If you drive a campervan, this is a fairly easy option. There are plenty of bike racks out there that are designed to fit the likes of a VW T6. Even with slightly larger van conversions such as ones based on the Fiat Ducato, you should be able to find a good range of options.
Things become a little trickier with coachbuilts. If you have a newer model, if it hasn’t come with a bike rack fitted as standard on the back panel, chances are it at least it already has fixings on the rear panel for a bike rack, so you should be able to fit one. Do make sure, however, that the new bike rack you install does not interfere too much with the vision in any rear view camera your motorhome may have.
If you have a slightly older model and it doesn’t have fixings, that may not be an option. Because of the largely timber-free way today’s motorhomes have been constructed, you can’t just nail a rack in any old how. You may have to end up having a towbar fitted to your motorhome, and then go for one of the many bike racks that attach to a towbar just as if it was on a car.
Here follows our selection of some bike racks that fit some of those options. In all cases, do check how much adding bikes on will affect your remaining payload.
And also remember, if you are also buying a new motorhome, that bike racks are the kind of thing dealers might just throw in to tempt you to part with your money. So haggle well.
Bike racks for coachbuilts
Thule Excellent Standard
With a load capacity of 60kg (so good enough for e-bikes) this rack locks automatically to prevent the bikes from moving while you are on the road. You can mount the bikes on here easily thanks to removable biked arms. But the racks themselves are still easy to adjust, even when the bikes are already installed. And because the wheel holders are adjustable you can fit almost any size of bike on here. They also include buckles to hold the bike pump. Extensions for three or four bikes are available as a cost option.
RRP: £440.15 Web www.thule.com
Thule Lift V16
Shockingly pricey at first sight, perhaps, but convenient nonetheless. This bike rack can be lowered and raised using either a crank (in the manual version) or electronically (in the 12V version). It fits two bikes, including e-bikes, with a load capacity of 50kg, and as a cost option you can get an extension to fit a third. The bikes can be secured with adjustable arms that click when tightened fully, and the bikes themselves are locked into position. Adjustable handles also mean you should be able to fit any size of bike.
RRP £724.56 Web www.thule.com
Fiamma Carry-Bike LIFT 77
A rack that can move up and down by as much as 77cm to make loading and unloading the two bikes it carries more easy. While support tubes are made of anodised aluminium (and so save on weight), the racks are solid stainless steel. The rack as a whole now had a load capacity of 60kg. A version that has been further strengthened to carry e-bikes is also available.
RRP from £548. Web www.fiamma.it
Fiamma CL A bike rack
Designed for coachbuilt motorhomes with a large rear window, this telescopic model made of anodised aluminium can adjust by up to 50cm but is still compact enough not to get in the way of your rear window view. Different versions are available for two or three bikes.
RRP £162 Web www.fiamma.it
Bike racks for garages
Thule Sport G2 Garage
A bike rack that is designed to fit inside your motorhome’s garage, this can take two bikes, with extensions for three and four bikes as a cost option. The rack itself is only 73cm high and 30cm wide, and can be tilted away when not in use, so it shouldn’t take up too much room, although you would still need to make sure that your garage is high enough to take the bikes. The rails slide from left to right and should be easy to adjust even with the bikes already on board.
RRP £209.87 Web www.thule.com
Fiamma Garage Slide Pro Bike
With a patented slide system designed to help you slide up to two bikes into the garage easily, this rack is fixed to the floor of your garage and can be adjusted in height. The rails slide over each other thanks to self-lubricating ball bearings.
RRP £366.95. Web www.fiamma.it
Bike racks for Fiat Ducato’/Peugeot Boxer barn door van conversions
Fiamma 200 DJ
Designed for Sevel base vehicle van conversions, this rack should attach to pre-existing points that are standard in the vehicle. It can be installed in three different positions, although with the lower two you would also have to position your licence plate in front of it. It comes in two different finishes – anodised aluminum and black. You probably won’t be able to install it yourself, as you need to cut out a small part of the bumper to do so.
RRP £382.32 Web www.fiamma.it
Bike racks for Mercedes Sprinter barn door van conversions
Fiamma 200 DJ Crafter/Sprinter
Similar to the 200 DJ for the Fiat Ducato, but specifically designed for Mercedes Sprinter base vehicles – and for VW Crafters built between 2006 and 2016.
RRP £456.56 Web www.fiamma.it
Bike racks for Ford Transit tailgate van conversions
Fiamma Carry-Bike Ford Transit
Designed to fit all versions of the Ford Transit produced after 2000, this can be installed without needing to drill into the vehicle at all.
RRP £285.43 Web www.fiamma.it
Bike racks for VW Transporters
Fiamma T6 PRO
This is designed for the last three generations of the popular camper van base vehicle. It fits two bikes as standard, with an option to fit up to two more, up to a maximum weight or 60kg. The rails slide from side to side to make fixing easier. The rack has been designed so that you do not have to relocate the van’s licence plat when you fit it.
RRP £392 Web www.fiamma.it
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If you drive a campervan, finding a bike rack is a fairly easy option. There are plenty out there that are designed to fit the likes of a VW T6.