Caravanning and cycling go together well and if you are interested in checking out the local countryside of the places you visit while touring, you may be looking to invest in a caravan bike rack of some kind.
Although there are plenty of products available on the market, of which we will highlight some of the best bike racks for caravans, there are some things you need to keep in mind when deciding what is right for you.
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Best Caravan Bike Racks UK
Fiamma is a highly respected and market leading manufacturer of technical accessories for recreational vehicles. Based Italy and currently lead by the MDs John-David Pozzi and Charles Pozzi, the name Fiamma is taken from the Italian word for flame – incidentally, this was also the name of the first ever aluminium-based camping stove.
The Fiamma Carry Bike XL is a very inexpensive and compact model that has been designed to fit most caravan, including even Al-Ko and Hobby. The 5.3 Kg rack is built to be installed onto the A-frame to the front of the caravan and can carry a total of 2 bikes at any one time.
Fabbri is another vehicle and recreational vehicle manufacturer that has had a long and successful time in the industry, having been established in 1962. According to Fabbri, their caravan bike racks are among the most technologically advanced available at the moment
The BICI OK 3 does nothing really to disprove that fact and has been constructed using arc-welded aluminium for improved robustness and durability even in extreme driving or weather conditions. It can hold a total of 3 bikes and has an adjustable height to prevent your number plate from being obstructed.
Thule is a brand and manufacturer we have featured a number of times on this site. This is mainly thanks to the fact they are one of the biggest and most popular manufacturers of all things related to the outdoors, travelling and caravan accessories. First established in 1942 in Sweden, they have always tried to help their customers get more out of their time in the great outdoors.
The Thule Elite G2 bike rack is a good all-rounder of a solution to touring and taking your bikes. It has a solid and very stable attachment that fits the rear of your caravan or motorhome and is fully adjustable to ensure that you can fit whatever size of bikes you own and are taking with you; as well as ensuring they stay put while you are on the road.
This particular rack can be upgraded to carry more than 2 bikes.
The next on our list is this Beaut Drawbar bike rack with space for 2 bikes. It is made from sturdy and durable aluminium, weighs just 4.6 Kg and has a maximum weight capacity of 50 kg.
The second Fiamma product on our list is this Fiamma Carry Bike UL. This is a very affordable and classic designed carrier from the Italian company that is built with the transportation of 2 bikes in mind.
With an anodised aluminium structure and the reputation of Fiamma, you know that this particular rack is a wise investment. It is telescopic and can be easily adjusted and if you need to take 3 bikes, it can be used for this by incorporating the quick railing that is supplied alongside it.
Although our final item is not a caravan bike rack, it is still something you might want to invest in. This product works in a similar way to a caravan cover, in that you fit it onto the rack and over your bikes to provide waterproofing and weatherproofing from the elements while you are on the road.
While it is possible to use this with other bike racks, it has been designed specifically to fit Thule tow ball mounted bike racks. As well as being incredibly weatherproof, it also consists of very breathable polyester fabric.
Hopefully, this page has helped to provide you with the information you need to make wise decisions when it comes to purchasing caravan bike racks. It may feel overwhelming when you first contemplate the decision and have to sift through hundreds of different products. We hope this article, therefore, takes the hassle and headaches out of the choice. Even if you decide against choosing one of the items we’ve highlighted above, you at least have the facts regarding some of the legal requirements for touring vehicles and bike racks.
This will help you to plan for and enjoy your next caravan trip, with all the benefits that come with having a set of two wheels with you!
Finding A Suitable Caravan Bike Rack Or Carrier
There are a few different options open to you including roof rack mounts, carriers that are installed on the back of your car or those that can be installed onto a towing bracket. If you have a motorhome, you can even have bike racks fitted to the back panel.
Installing a caravan bike rack or carrier to the back panel of a touring caravan, however, is not recommended as it can upset the balance of the vehicle being towed. Likewise, bike carriers on the A-frame are not recommended as they can add a significant amount of nose-weight that is higher than what is recommended by the towing car manufacturer. Unless, of course, you are driving a 4×4.
If you opt for a tailgate-mounted or tow-bar rack for your car, you are required by the law to have your rear lights and number plate visible (number plate tape available here). A lighting board is normally required, which can be connected to the 13-pin combined socket or 12N road light socket.
As noted it may be technically possible for you to attach a cycle carrier or bike rack to the caravan’s rear. However, this should be avoided as the additional weight can have a detrimental effect on the stability of your caravan.
There is a wide range of bike racks and carriers available for motorhomes. If you want to install the rack or carrier to your coach built body, you should always ensure that the bolts are inserted tightly into a solid framework, and not just the sandwich panel. Alternatively, you should ensure that an appropriate load spreading plate is used on the inside of the motorhome’s body.
When Touring Abroad With Bike Racks and Cycle Carriers
Generally speaking, when touring through most EU countries with bikes, it is important to ensure your cycle rack is fit for its purpose, securely installed, in good working order and that your indicators, lights and number plate are clearly visible.
In Italy and Spain, it is also required that you have a red and white marker board to show you have a motorcycle rack, cycle rack or some other kind of overhanging load. You can find marker boards from Fiamma in both aluminium and plastic and you should be able to purchase them from most caravan accessory shops and caravan dealerships.
While you are allowed to use either an aluminium or plastic marker board when touring in Spain, you need to use aluminium in Italy.
In Portugal, they have a law that stipulates any overhanging load must not be protruding over the vehicle’s width. This means if you are planning on touring Portugal with your caravan and bikes, you cannot carry your bike on the back of your car, and can only mount them to the back of your motorhome or caravan. The only option for carrying bikes on your car is if you mount them on the roof and the combined height of the vehicle and bikes does not exceed 4 metres.
Are you considering purchasing an electric bike? We have written an article on the best electric bikes for caravanning.