Racking up the benefits
Drive your motorhome to the chosen destination, find your pitch, unwind… and enjoy. It really is as simple as that for many. But for thousands more, just getting there is only half the story. Then it’s all about unpacking the bikes and exploring on two wheels.
Cycling is cheap, healthy, fascinating and eco-friendly, so it’s little wonder that ‘bringing the bikes’ is second nature to so many motorhome enthusiasts. That’s why it makes perfect sense to give some thought to the best means of transport for your cycles.
You may be tempted to ‘make do’ and keep bikes on-board during transit or – if it’s big enough – use the internal garage to transport them. However, for many seasoned travellers, that has proved to be an unsatisfactory option: taking up precious spare room, not to mention the difficulty of securing them properly.
Find your perfect match
A better all-round solution is to invest in a custom-designed bike rack. And the good news is that you can discover the perfect match here at Travelworld, in our extensive and competitively-priced accessories selection.
To get you started, here are some great tips on choosing a bike-rack, gathered from the experiences of others who have already been there and done it:
- First off, unless you already own your motorhome, consider if you should take the plunge and get the bike rack now, or hang on until you actually need it. We would strongly advise to get it all done at once. Not only are you buying from a single source – meaning you can be sure it’s all compatible – but you can generally negotiate a much better deal for purchase and fitting before you drive away.
- Next, work out how many bikes you want to take – and check how heavy they are. There is only so much weight you can legally and safely add into a caravan/motorhome - we call it the “user payload”.
You’ll need to weigh each bike before deciding how to transport them and the type of rack needed. Electric-assisted pedal bikes are great for sightseeing, especially for those who don’t enjoy tough climes, but are typically double the weight of a standard pedal bike.
If you have one or more battery-assisted pedal bikes, you may want to consider removing the battery packs and storing them somewhere else during transit – for better weight distribution. And as all experienced motorhomers know, weight distribution is very important: just loading four bikes onto one rack, especially if they are heavy, can be asking for trouble.
- With so many brands of motorhome on the market and even more types of bikes, the good news is that you will have lots of racks to choose from. But this also creates a potential problem – as not all racks fit all vehicles. So make sure that the accessory that you choose will fit your motorhome correctly.
By this we don’t only mean it can be firmly attached but, equally importantly, it does not obscure any windows or doors.
Similarly, check that your bike rack (or the bikes themselves) do not cover your vehicle’s registration plate. If they do – even by a small amount – then you may be committing a criminal offence and could face a fine of up to £1,000. (If you cannot find a suitable rack, an alternative could be to buy a lighting board and an additional number plate.)
- Different countries have different laws governing vehicle dimensions and weight. So if you plan to travel outside the UK, do make sure you check the rules on travelling with bike racks for all the countries you visit.
- Aside from the legal considerations, a bike rack – especially when laden – may not only affect your vehicle’s dimensions and weight, but its handling too. So take extra care when driving your motorhome while the rack and bikes are attached. Extra weight beyond the back axle can affect your vehicle’s ability to grip the road, especially on front-wheel drives.
- Don’t let your love of bikes attract thieves. While your other belongings are secure in the motorhome, a bike rack can look more vulnerable and bring unwanted attention. Consider not only the security of your bikes while on the rack, but the rack itself. Some have integral locking devices, while others will require separate locks.
Speak to the experts
At Erwin Hymer Centre Travelworld, we stock an extensive variety of bike racks and our knowledgeable accessories sales team can tell you all about them. To find out more about our motorhome bike racks, please call us on 01785 878787 or contact us