Author Topic: How to carry 5 bikes on a minivan  (Read 10254 times)

KBecks2

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How to carry 5 bikes on a minivan
« on: August 14, 2014, 09:47:34 PM »
We have 5 people in the family and would like to take bikes when we go camping.  Do we need a hitch or trailer to carry them on our minivan?  We pack the van full plus a roof bag already.  Thanks for any advice!

Primm

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Re: How to carry 5 bikes on a minivan
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2014, 10:43:58 PM »
Something like this. Much more manoeuvrable than a trailer.

http://www.thule.com.au/details.php?p_id=470

mark_s

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Re: How to carry 5 bikes on a minivan
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2014, 05:32:24 AM »
I bike in Moab a couple years ago with a friend who had one of these on the back of his Toyota Minivan.  It rocked.

http://www.northshoreracks.com/index.htm

daverobev

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Re: How to carry 5 bikes on a minivan
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2014, 08:28:46 AM »
I'd say a small trailer, versatile in so many ways. The hitch mounted carriers won't carry 5 I think. Unless you bought a couple of folding bikes and a hitch carrier.

innkeeper77

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Re: How to carry 5 bikes on a minivan
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2014, 08:50:39 AM »
Hitch carriers will carry 5- but it may be a very tight fit and not all bike combinations will work. They are quite decent for carrying 3 or 4 light bikes though. Could you put one bike on top or in the van, and get the rest on a hitch mounted carrier?

I have a hitch on my subaru, and absolutely prefer hitch mounted racks over ones that strap to the vehicle- they are much more stable, safer, and easier. I only have a 1.25" hitch, so you would have a lot more options with a 2". (A minivan should be able to tow the loads used with 2" hitches, my car cannot)

Thegoblinchief

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Re: How to carry 5 bikes on a minivan
« Reply #5 on: August 15, 2014, 10:14:25 AM »
I have a hand me down strap on bike rack that my Dad modified to hold 4 bikes, and even that's pushing things. We will eventually get a hitch and bigger rack, but I'm not sure how long I'm keeping our cars, so I've been putting off buying a hitch in case we end up getting a newer car in just a couple years.

The newer racks have some really nice features avoid the bungee cord hell most older racks entail.

scottydog

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Re: How to carry 5 bikes on a minivan
« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2014, 10:16:47 AM »
Has anyone tried the DIY roof racks?  The following links are from a previous thread (reply #1 in http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/seeking-advice-bike-rack-for-car/msg355965/#msg355965):

http://snapguide.com/guides/make-a-22-bicycle-roof-rack-attachment/
http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/car-bike-rack-zmaz84jazloeck.aspx#axzz38nBTWtLC

I've also been pondering how to carry 5 bikes, and wondering if it's possible to get all 5 on the roof if I make a custom rack with some lumber and cleverly spaced fork mounts.  We have a RAV4, so the rails are already there, but the stated load limit isn't much over 100 lbs.  I like the idea of the hitch-mounted rack because it seems more aerodynamic to carry the bikes behind the car, but I'm not keen on the price.

As a kid, I remember my dad using a custom rack (2"x2" lumber + some pieces of foam) to carry 2 canoes, a kayak, and paddles on top of an old Hyundai Pony.  When we were going up the hills, it was reminiscent of The Little Engine That Could, but it worked.


Jack

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Re: How to carry 5 bikes on a minivan
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2014, 11:02:08 AM »
I've also been pondering how to carry 5 bikes, and wondering if it's possible to get all 5 on the roof if I make a custom rack with some lumber and cleverly spaced fork mounts.  We have a RAV4, so the rails are already there, but the stated load limit isn't much over 100 lbs.

You should have no problem fitting 5 bikes on the roof with fork-mount racks if you can mount the alternating ones facing backward.

As for weight, I wouldn't go over the stated load limit. Some of the aftermarket (Yakima, Thule, etc.) cross bars might have higher capacity, though.

MayDay

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Re: How to carry 5 bikes on a minivan
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2014, 01:49:57 PM »
We only have four people in our family, but we just opted to take our minivan (rather than civic) on our recent road trip, as we could fit all our bikes in the rear of the van with the third row folded down.  It was awesome to have our bikes with us, we used them daily. I think we will start doing it every year. 

Whenever our van dies, we can't really justify replacing it with another van as we are only a family of four.  So we will likely do a hitch rack.  On the other hand, if we get another rocking deal on a van (free, lol, from a family friend) being able to shove the bikes in the rear might make the hit in fuel economy well worth it. 

bikerack

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Re: How to carry 5 bikes on a minivan
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2015, 08:46:34 PM »
My family and I also are going to go camping. And minivan is a must have, I just buy Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch on Amazon, its really handy

greaper007

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Re: How to carry 5 bikes on a minivan
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2015, 11:01:29 PM »
It's going to be tough with the roof already full.    How far are you driving?   I have a utility trailer for my van and it's really useful.   I use it mostly to get free mulch from the city recycling center though.   I think it would work well for camping too.    You're limited to 55mph with most of the smaller trailers though, so if you're going a long distance it might really suck.

acroy

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Re: How to carry 5 bikes on a minivan
« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2015, 09:44:17 AM »
Time for a small trailer. You could probably get the roof bag off the top too; easier access for everything, and little or no MPG hit. Best of luck! share pics when done!!