By Stefan Abram
Using a bike rack is worth the extra effort than just storing your bikes in your campervan or motorhome. It can be difficult to secure bikes properly inside so that they don’t move about and we can't ignore the fact they can also be quite mucky especially if it's rained.
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Caravan and motorhome bike racks: what to be aware of
Knowing the nose-weight limit of your vehicle is very important when mounting bikes on caravans. If too much weight is placed near the front of the caravan, there will be a considerable amount of force pressing down on the tow-ball of your car, which will have detrimental effect on its handling.
Ensuring proper weight distribution within the caravan can help keep the nose-weight within limits. If it is too high, placing heavier items behind the rear axle can help reduce the nose-weight.
When travelling abroad, make sure not to fall foul of any local rules regarding caravans/motorhomes and bike racks. In Italy and Spain, for example, any overhanging loads must be indicated by a square panel with reflective red and white diagonal stripes. Whilst in Portugal, the bikes must not extend past the width of the vehicle.
Best caravan and motorhome bike racks
We will guide you through some of the best bike racks for your caravan and motorhome.
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This is a good option for both single-axle and twin-axle campervans, providing you don’t exceed the nose-weight limit for your vehicle. It is a more aero dynamic option than mounting the bikes on the roof of the tow-car and are relatively easy to access.
Fiamma Carry Bike XL
Fiamma was founded 75 years ago and is well respected for its technical accessories for recreational vehicles. This rack can carry two bikes with a maximum load of 35kg - sufficient for two normal bikes, but not the best option for e-bikes.
No drilling is required and it fits all caravans with a standard A frame (minimum size 402mm). Bear in mind that the bikes would have to be removed to get into the gas bottle locker.
Enduro BC260 A-frame Bike Rack
On the other end of the spectrum, this rack has a maximum carrying weight of 60kg, which should be enough for even the heaviest of e-bikes. But with the rack weighing 10kg itself, it is very important to make sure you won’t be exceeding your nose-weight limit.
The sliding system allows you to move the bikes forward from the caravan, making it easy to reach the drawbar storage space of your caravan. There are lockable frame clamps for built-in security and the warranty lasts for three years.
Rear wall mounting
This is an easily accessible location and can be made all the more so with racks that lower, negating the need to lift the bikes as high.
However, if you have water ingress warranty, it’s probably best not to go about drilling holes into the body of your caravan or motorhome as in most cases this will invalidate it.
You should also consider what the effect on weight distribution will be - especially if you are bringing e-bikes. On a motorhome, you shouldn’t have a problem, but rear mounted racks can have a large effect on the nose-weight of your caravan so make sure you are within its limits.
For single-axle caravans, mounting a rack on the rear wall is not ideal, as it can have a dramatic effect on the vehicle’s balance. The Caravan and Motorhome Club advise against this set-up.
Thule Elite G2 Bicycle Carrier
This Swedish brand has a reputation for well thought-out and solidly built products. This one is no different. The rack attaches to the rear of your motorhome or caravan and can take two bikes up to a combined weight of 60kg.
Additional parts can be purchased to increase the capacity up to four bikes. The arms that secure the bikes come with built-in locks.
Fiamma Carry Bike UL [rear wall]
This lightweight, but robust, rear wall mounted bike rack takes two bikes as standard but can be converted to carry three. The maximum carry weight is 55kg, which should be enough for most e-bikes, especially if the batteries are taken out and stored inside.
Thule Lift V16
A great option for people with e-bikes who don’t want to lift them so high to mount them. The rack lowers using a crank, although if you really want to splash out, there is also a motorised version. The rack can take up to 50kg and there is the option of an extension so that it can fit a third bike.
As you would expect for a rack of this level, it comes with built in locks. The weight of the rack for the motorised version is 18kg, so this is definitely a rack best suited for twin axle campervans or motorhomes.
Tow car mounting
This is a good option if an A frame mount would cause you to exceed your nose-weight limit. Mounting to the tow car also enables you to easily transport the bikes to a cycling location away from the campsite as well.
For a more comprehensive catalogue of rack options for cars, you can read our best bike racks buying guide here.
Saris Bones EX 3-Bike Rack
This rack is designed to be easy to live with. It should fit most cars - even those with rear spoilers - and the injection moulded plastic body isn’t subject to rust. The bikes are widely spaced on the rack to prevent them from interfering with each other, so it is best to check that this leaves enough room for your caravan.
Each bike should weigh less than 16kg, giving a total max carry weight of 48kg. This won’t, however, be enough for some e-bikes. Although bikes are mounted using the top tube, a false cross-bar can be purchased for step-though bikes.
Fabbri BICI OK 3 Bike Rack [Tow car]
Another versatile option, this has been designed not to obscure the rear number plate, meaning you can go for an excursion from the campsite without the need to mount a lighting board. The arms have built in locks and attach to the top tube.
The maximum load is only 45kg and the wheelbase of the bikes must be less than 1100mm, so particularly large bikes and e-bikes are not so well suited. If the tyres are wider than 50mm, a specific MTB channel can be purchased to keep the bike fitted securely.
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