Cycling is a great way to whip your body into shape while also ensuring that you're doing your part for the environment. Most families enjoy riding bikes as a way to bond, enhance fitness levels or simply put, enjoy the great outdoors! If you enjoy hiking, exploration or wish to achieve more with your bike, motorhomes are the perfect cost-effective methods of living and transportation.
There are a few people that don't necessarily believe that motorhomes and bikes mix well, but that couldn't be further from the truth! They are great to bring if you have kids with you too - see our guide for travelling with kids here.
Travelling with a motorhome offers unsurpassed freedom and the ability to explore or plan your adventure off-the-beaten-path. From enjoying scenic cityscapes to untamed lands, the excitement of seeing someplace new is unmistakable! However there are plenty of ways that you can heighten the excitement on your trip and even make it doubly more enjoyable.
Taking bikes for you and your entire family is a great way to complement your travels. Regardless of whether you're going to stay at a campsite or explore the wilderness, bikes are fantastic transportation and fitness tools. Of course, as you'll be travelling with your bikes for some time, you need to consider safe and proper storage of your equipment during the trip.
Travelling with your bicycles may seem daunting due to the sheer size of the equipment, but it doesn't have to be! Some smart and savvy storage advice described below can help you get a handle on your storage needs, ensuring your bikes arrive safely at their intended destinations.
*Note: Always double check that your campervan insurance policy provides adequate coverage in case your bikes are damaged or stolen. This is irrespective of whether you choose to store them inside or on a bike rack.
-Inside Storage: If you're only travelling with your bikes for a short distance or you use them infrequently, there's no need to purchase a designated bike rack. You can safely store your bikes inside of your motorhome, but you need to caution against the potential movement of the bike(s) while your campervan is in transit. The real problem that many drivers find with this solution is having more than one bike will often require a great deal of space, and campervans vary greatly in size, so not all of them have the required amount of space for storage. Rambling Rover have campervans that come with a garage in the rear, making them perfect for bike storage.
Bear in mind that riding your bikes in the wilderness may also mean tracking mud, dirt or debris into your campervan. This may not prove ideal and often requires you to spend extra time cleaning the interior of your vehicle. Lastly, check if your campervan insurance policy can extend to other fitness equipment besides your bikes themselves, so it's definitely worth looking into the details of your policy.
-Roof Storage: Though not entirely practical or appealing, a bike rack helps create more space inside of your motorhome. These racks are installed fairly easily to the top of your vehicle and allows you to store your bikes on the roof. The reality is, however, that getting the bikes onto the roof is often easier said than done! Even those drivers with high levels of fitness often have trouble lifting their bikes above their heads to install them on the roof rack.
It's also well worth taking into consideration that your motorhome is fairly tall to begin with. That means installing a bike rack and placing your bikes on top will make your vehicle even taller! This can make the motorhome top-heavy while also making it harder to drive in certain conditions i.e. low lying bridges.
-Chassis Bike Racks: The best out of all options, these bike racks mount to the chassis of your campervan and they allow you to easily access your bikes by grabbing them off the back. In fact, even with the bikes still on the rack, you can swing them to the side! There are racks with left or right side swinging functions to help you select the ideal convenience.
For those parking on the right side of the road, a right swinging hinged rack is the safest and most reliable option. However, a left swinging hinge allows you to avoid having to make a trip around your vehicle's perimeter and allows easy access to your bikes.
It's important that your brake lights are completely visible and everything is easily viewed from a distance. Your bikes should never simply stick out, and avoid overloading your vehicle by checking its actual weight capacity. If leaving the UK, check local laws for other countries!
In order to ensure the safety of your motorhome and bikes, here are some tips to get you started:
-Keep your bikes covered with bike protectors to prevent dirt and grime buildup. Though plastic bags may do in a pinch, investing in actual covers is a good idea!
-Make sure that the bike rack you install is wholly compatible with the make and model of your vehicle.
-Always keep your bikes locked as laybys and stations are popular hotspots for criminal activity.
-A sliding safety strap can help offer additional security when transporting your bikes. It's important to regularly stop and check your bikes are adequately secured. Plus, it's wise to keep some spare common parts with you should your bikes need fixing or maintenance.
-Bikes are heavy for a person to lift, so make sure you lift them using proper posture and bend at the knees. This prevents not only damage to the bikes themselves, but helps you avoid a trip to the physician's office.
Read our guide on keeping your campervan safe here.
Travelling with a motorhome and your bikes do mix well as long as you take the necessary precautions for safety. By employing the common sense rules highlighted above, you can take your bikes with you anywhere in the world! Thinking of road tripping with your campervan and bikes? Then our campervan rental is perfect for you
The Internet is a great resource on how to travel safely with bikes. After reading up on local laws and regulations, you can be well on your way on your next trip!