taking your bike on holidays
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How To Take Your Bicycle With You On A Camping Holiday

If you are a real bike fan and your daily physical activity is cycling, or you have kids you want to keep entertained, then you will probably want to take your bicycle on a camping holiday. However, a bike is not a small thing that you can just pack in your bag, meaning you have to have some way of traveling with your bike safely and without damage. So, what are the best options to take your bicycle on a camping holiday with you?

If you want to take your bicycle with you on a camping holiday you can consider a few options. The most usual way to take your bike with you is by using a bike rack that is attached to your vehicle or caravan. However, you can also make space for it inside your camper, or you can consider a bike trailer.

Here we are focused on the ways that will enable you to take your bike with you on a camping holiday. It is important to bear in mind that you have several options to choose from and just find the one that suits you best. I have explained each of the possible way, so you can see what works for you and the setup that you will use for your camping holiday.

Attaching Bikes To A Car

Use A Bike Rack

If you are traveling by car, the most common way of transporting a bike is to use a bike rack. This is the most usual method for transporting a bike as it is quite convenient. Most bike racks allow you to easily take your bike on and off with a simple configuration. They also have the ability to lock your bike to the bike rack, so people can’t just wander off with them.

Another great advantage is that bike racks have the ability to transport more than one bike, so if the whole family wants to bring their bikes it can be done. A lot of bike racks can also be moved from vehicle to vehicle so you can change cars and still bring your bike.

However, there are some disadvantages that you need to consider before you decide to use a bike rack. Firstly, you should be aware of the fact that your bike will always be visible, so even if you lock it, someone can still find a way to break the lock. This is an important point that needs attention if you own a really expensive bike.

The other thing to remember is that on a bike rack your bike will be constantly be exposed to the weather changes and the elements. This can cause damages to parts of your bicycle, especially when driving on the highway. This can be reduced by using a bike cover.

There are a number of different kind of bike racks and ways of attaching them to your car. The ones you’ll find most often are:

Tow bar bike rack

This is a bike holder that fits into the tow bar of your car. This is a great option if you aren’t towing anything as it takes the place of your tow ball. You can get this option up to a 4 bike configuration but 2 is the most common due to its size. If you need access to your boot while the bikes are still on, there are also models that can angle downwards to get them out of the way while you open the car.

This option isn’t as great if you are towing a caravan or camper trailer. There are attachments that make you tow bar able to hold both a tow hitch and the bike rack, however you need to be careful with weight limits as it will add significant weight to your tow ball.

Car roof bike rack

You can also get bike racks that attach onto your cars roof rack. These are great if you are towing something and can’t use your tow bar, or if you are constantly in an out of your boot and don’t want to keep fiddling with the bike rack to open it. The downside is they can be tricky to get up there if you are on the shorter side and having your bikes on top of your car makes it very tall – important to remember they’re on top if you are coming up to a low bridge or undercover car park.

Spare tyre bike rack

If you have a 4WD with a spare tyre on the back, you can get bike racks that fits over the spare tyre. This is a good option if you don’t want to have you bikes on the roof, however can be a pain if you need to get to the spare tyre as you would need to take the holder off first.

Ute tray bike rack

If you have a Ute without a canopy, you can install a tray rack to hold bikes. This is similar to a rooftop bike rack but fits over the top of the Ute tray. This is not a common option (as if you have a Ute, people just put the bikes into the tray) however if you want to be able to utilize the space in your regular tray for gear, this might be one worth looking at. Generally, you will need to buy the tray rack and then the bike racks for whatever number of bikes you need.

Fit Your Bike In Your Car

Packing your bike inside the boot is the safest way because it will not be exposed to the elements, damage or theft. This option is great if you’ve got small kids with small bikes (or a very big car). However, if you have larger kids or adults bikes it is a little bit of a trickier method since you will probably need to take the wheels off.

This might take more time, and you will be required to use suitable tools. You will also find that you can only fit one or two bikes into your boot and may not leave you room for much other stuff, but it is possible.

Use A Bike Trailer

If you are looking for the simplest way to transport your bike, then you can haul a bike trailer. This is not a very common method that people use, but it is quite convenient, and it does not require a lot of time and complicated procedures. Some bike trailers are even covered so your bike will be protected from elements, and also not visible to the public, so thefts can be avoided.

Attaching Bikes To A Camper Trailer or Caravan

If you are towing a caravan or camper trailer, you have a few more options to transport your bicycles. The most common way is attaching bikes to the front or back using dedicated bike racks depending on the mounting point. Again, do this your bike will be exposed to elements and weather since it will be on the outer side of the caravan.

Use An A-Frame Bike Rack

This sort of bike rack attaches to your trailers A-frame. This is a convenient method because you have the chance to see your bikes through the rear mirrors while driving. However, not all A-frames can accommodate a bike rack and it will depend on its size and the positioning of things like gas bottles, jerry can holders, jockey wheels etc as to whether you can fit a bike rack on.

You also need to consider that it is putting extra weight onto your tow ball weight by having the bikes on the A-frame. However, if you have the room and weight allowance it is a practical method for transporting your bike.

Box Mounted Bike Rack

If your caravan has a front box with a flat top (that opens from the sides), you can get bike holders that bolt onto the top of the box. This is a great space saver as you are using up space that would otherwise just sit there (and not using up space on you’re a-frame or the back of the van).

Attach Bike Racks To The Front Or Back

You can have a permanent bike rack attached to either the front or back of your caravan. This is most common if you order a bike rack to be included in your caravan build but can also be bought later.

This sort of bike rack gets bolted onto the front, or most commonly the back of the caravan and then pulled down when you want to attach a bike. This is a very convenient way of having bike rack and a popular option for caravan owners. Again, your bike with be exposed the whole time, but you can get covers to go over them for a bit of protection.

Use A Bumper Mounting Bike Rack

If your camper trailer or caravan has a bumper bar at the back then a common method of transporting bicycles is by using bumper mounting bike racks. This is a convenient option, keeps the bikes out of the way, and doesn’t have to be permanent.  One option is to get a hitch that bolts on using ubolts. This can then be used with any tow bar bike rack.

Be aware that this option can add significant weight onto your bumper bar that it may not be designed for and so ensure it will be able to handle the weight from the bike rack itself as well as the bikes you plan to put on it.

Put Your Bike Inside

The last option is of course to put your bikes inside your camper trailer or caravan if they fit. Using this option, you don’t need to install anything onto your camper and they are safe from the elements and theft. The downside is they can make the inside dirty from the wheels and unless secured could get damaged. They also have the potential of rubbing against furniture and fixings, causing wear marks on the van or bike.

If you have read the whole article, you are now aware of the multitude of options if you want to take your bicycle with you while camping. Depending on your setup, you can always find a suitable place for your bike and what works for you.

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