Bicycle rack for a caravan

So this is related to the refurbishment of VK4MSL/BM… figuring out a way to get this:


and this:

@vk4mdl's van

to co-exist together.

In the past, the two have been mutually exclusive, but next month we’ll need both. To my way of thinking, we have a few options for the Yarraman to Wulkuraka ride:

  1. @vk4mdl takes his van to Yarraman, and I ride from Brisbane to Yarraman myself. (Not ideal, but doable.)
  2. @vk4mdl takes the van up to Yarraman, parks it, then comes back for me and the bike. (Again, a lot of buggerising around)
  3. One of the other WICEN people transports my bike… again a possibility as there’s another WICEN member (also HSBNE member, not sure if he’s on the forum though) will be going there too with a bike and will be riding the run, but it’d be nice to have my bike on other trips too, so it’s worth trying to solve the problem now.
  4. We look at roof-top bike carriers (not keen on lifting my bike above my head though)
  5. We mount some sort of rack to the front of the caravan
  6. We mount some sort of rack to the rear of the caravan

The bike is 25kg when the top-box and front basket are removed. The left pannier bag is empty right now but normally carries my battery, and the right-hand one has wet weather gear, spare tubes and a first aid kit. I’m not sure how much weight this contributes.

For option (4), there are some off-the-shelf solutions, and potentially these could be adapted to achieve (5) or (6) with some metal work bolted to the van. The photo above was taken in 2010 when the van was brand new, and being shown off at the Brisbane Camping and Caravan Show.

8 years later, this is what it looks like now. The spare tyres which were originally under the front, have now been moved to the rear, and on the wishbone there’s a 9kg gas bottle.

I’m not sure what 20-30kg will do to the dynamics of the rig at this point. A question in my mind is whether it’d be practical to fabricate a bracket that could permit the mounting of a bike rack. The photos are lousy right now, particularly the ones at the rear, I might get a chance to take some better photos tomorrow.

One possible design that could go on the front, is this (Credit: Morning.Star):

One off-the-shelf option is this:

It’s going to be a matter of whether it will fit. I might try to get some measurements tomorrow.

In the end, we bit the bullet and bought a roof-mounted rack. The rack had a limit of 20kg which my bike just meets when I take the pannier bags, basket and top-box off.

It is nerve wracking to lift a 20kg bike up above one’s head, but other than that it goes on fine and survived the trip.