Choosing the Right Campervan Bike Racks

Find the perfect bicycle rack to accompany your campervan

If exploring the unknown and less-trodden paths is something you are passionate about, there is nothing better than going on the road with your bike. To transport it, you will need a bicycle rack for your car or campervan. Motorhome bike racks come in a wide range of styles, sizes, and features that are designed to fit certain car models. To help you find the perfect bicycle rack for your vehicle, here is a guide that will get you started.

Once you have decided that you want to take your e bike and various sports gear on your road trip, you will need to figure out how to transport them. If the top of your campervan is already packed with cargo, your option is to get a bike rack that mounts to the rear of your vehicle. Here are some tips on the different used ebike transport systems available and what you should look for.

A lot of people who choose to go on a roadtrip use this opportunity to explore the outdoors. They challenge themselves on mountain terrains or enjoy a relaxing ride through picturesque nature areas. However, except for the most spacious campervans that are furnished with beds and other fittings, most vehicles cannot conveniently accommodate bikes, scooters, or other modes of transportation with two wheels.

See just why you should bring your bike on your next campervan trip.

What To Consider In Your Campervan Bike Rack Selection

Racks that mount at the rear of the camper and car are a simple solution for transporting bikes and gear. They are available in various designs and load-bearing capacities. They are solid and sturdy. Their versatile design can accommodate other large items like boxes. Special brackets can be added to secure other equipment. The type of rack you purchase greatly depends on how much weight you plan to transport on the rack. Here are three types that are good for campervans:

- Bike racks that are attached to the rear doors by screwing them onto the door hinges or other methods. These can hold bicycles up to 80 kg. They are appropriate for transporting bikes or e-bikes.

- Racks that are mounted to carry the tow bar: These have a bit more load capacity. They can transport up to 150 kg. This is sturdy enough to transport a scooter.

- Racks that serve as extensions to the vehicle frame. These can accommodate the largest load, at up to 200 kg. You can safely transport something like a mid-range motorcycle on the platform if it does not exceed the rear axle load capacity or the maximum capacity allowed.

campervan bike rack

Another thing to consider is how the different bike carrier solutions affect the rear doors of your vehicle. If you mount a bicycle rack that is designed for a motorhome or car, you will probably be unable to open your rear window or rear doors. This can cause great inconvenience because the rear doors of most campervans give you convenient access to the storage area and gas containers. Blocking access is not recommended. Because of this, manufacturers of campervans and accessories offer electric bicycle carriers and rack with a special design for box vans. These are mounted on just one rear door so both doors can still be opened when the rack is loaded with bikes.

A Versatile Design Provides Greatest Flexibility in Loads

Typically, racks that are designed specifically for campervan allow the rear wing doors to open even when the rack is loaded. Depending on the model, they can be lowered, tilted, or swung to one side and out of the way. If you only intend to transport bikes, then you would just need a bike rack. If you want to transport other gear, a bike carriers system with a loading platform or base bike carrier would be more versatile. You can mount brackets for large boxes or two-wheelers onto these bike carrier systems.

Should You Get a Campervan Bike Rack for the Tailgate or Tow Bar?

For smaller campervans that have a tailgate that opens upward, there are many racks that can be mounted directly onto the tailgate and secured with tension straps. If you need to lift up the tailgate, you will need to use a lot of muscle to lift and hold up the weight of all the bikes. Some racks for the tailgate, like the Crosscamp tailgate bike rack, let you open the tailgate when the mounted rack is loaded with bikes. If you are suddenly caught in the rain, or if the sun becomes too hot to bear and you need a bit of shade, you can lift up the tailgate and use it like a canopy. The tailgate bike rack is also easy to mount and remove from the tailgate without any screws or glue, so you can attach and detach it any time you want to. One small disadvantage to this system is that the transport rails that hold the bikes are mounted at a high position on the bike rack. This requires you to have strong arms in order to lift the bikes onto the rails. Just make sure that the model of the tailgate bike rack is compatible with the model and make of your vehicle. If you are concerned about how much weight is allowed for the rear axle, this tailgate rack system is good because it does not weigh as much as racks mounted on the tow bar.

Racks mounted on the rear wall or tow bar have the advantage that the loading height is lower. You don't have to lift your heavy bike up and down a great distance. Another benefit is that a rack for the tow bar can usually fit most tow bars, so you can use it on various car models or lend it to a friend. Just keep in mind that this style of rack often will block the tailgate. The exception is something like the Crosscamp bike rack for the tow bar that has a system of rollers that allows you to fold down the rack so you can open the tailgate. If you don't want to exert a lot of strength in loading the rack, just remember to fold it down to decrease the loading height.

tow bar bike rack

Reasons For Choosing a Bike Rack for the Tow Bar

These are the most common type of racks and they fit a wide range of frame styles. They are a good choice if your car already has a tow bar. The tow bar rack can transport up to four bikes. It has a low loading height so you do not have to do a lot of heavy lifting. This makes loading and unloading your bikes simple and fast. Mounting one is easy. Some models can tilt so you can access the trunk even if the rack is loaded with two bikes each.

This is great if your travel group wants to explore nature trails or do some downhill racing, and you need storage space to transport a number of e-bikes. If you are driving an e-vehicle that cannot accommodate heavy cargo on the roof, or if you want to economise fuel usage and do not want a lot of wind resistance, using a bike rack for the tow bar would be a good solution.

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Reasons for Choosing a Bike Rack for the Roof

If you plan to do some off-road bike touring, a roof bike rack is ideal for transporting a cross-country bike or road bike. These racks are appropriate for smaller vehicles that do not have a tow bar and that have a lower loading height. They do need a roof rack on the car. If you're concerned about scratching the nice carbon fibre frame of your bike, a fork-mounted or wheel-mounted bike rack for the roof will keep the rack away from the frame.

A rack for the roof can fit most bike sizes. They are sporty and stylish. They are available in three types of bike mounting designs:

Fork-mounted: This has a classic, sporty design. When you detach the front wheel, the bike rack connects to the thru-axle or dropout of the fork. This mounting method makes sure that there is no contact with the bike's carbon fibre frame, while ensuring that spare wheel of the bike is firmly secured for transport.

Frame-mounted: These have an upright design. They attach to the frame so it is not necessary for you to take off the front bike wheel.

Wheel-mounted: This rack attaches to the bike wheel. It does not come into contact with your bike's carbon fibre frame.

We offer campervans for hire in Ireland. Learn a little more about Rambling Rover here.