Which bike rack (hitch) for a Eurovan?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    72

    Which bike rack (hitch) for a Eurovan?

    I have 99 VW Eurovan camper which is awesome for mountain bike trips/events etc. However, roof racks are too much of a pain and I have a thru-axle front fork so.....

    I have a sportworks now (like you see on city buses) that holds 2 bikes. it's on my old subie that I bum around town in.

    My question is -- can I get a 2 bike extension from Thule that'll work with the sportworks rack? I know Sportworks sold teh design (business) to thule so I'm not sure how much they've changed.

    I'd really like to get a 2 banger for the van and then if I need extra capacity for either vehicle -- I just yank the one rack off and have a 4 banger for the other vehicle.

    I only have a 1 1/4" hitch though so....do you think I'd be dumb to try and put 4 bikes on a 1 1/4 hitch mount.

    I know I could get the Thule hitch rack that holds 4 bikes (top tube tie downs -- where the top tube basically rests on the support arms) -- but my bike has a funky downtube angle and it's carbon so I don't want it smashing up agains other bikes, etc.

    What would you guys do?
    thanks

    ps -- looking for an epic mtb pilgramage out west next spring -- planning on hitting up Moab, Sedona, Flag, and maybe some CO if I can make it up there...driving the van out....rock climbing and skydiving too...anyone from the EC want to join in...holla! Schedule and itinerary are open at this point

  2. #2
    Old man on a bike
    Reputation: Bikinfoolferlife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    12,383
    You seem to answer your own question about the 1-1/4 hitch vs the two inch; the 4 bike version from Sportworks was only available for the 2 inch. I have an older Sportworks where there's the two bike unit plus two one bike additions that make up the 4 bike version, and only available for the two inch hitch version. I recently popped in to see how much replacement might be (the original is getting beat up and I've already switched out the fourth's extending unit out for the initial position) and the Thule's addition is a two bike unit instead of two single bike units and I think they said they're not interchangeable as well, but not sure as I was looking for a complete replacement.
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    857
    I think that is 100% lame they put a 1" 1/4 hitch on there.

    Honestly, what is that?

    Is the eurovan a uni-body or does is it a fully framed auto?
    If those eurovan are uni-body you got owned by VW and I can see why they put a 1" 1/4 hitch on there.
    Nothing solid to bolt onto.

    You'd be better off with an astrovan/safari if you looking for a smaller van.
    It's a fully framed auto with a solid rear axle and a powerful V6 that gets good gas mileage for its size and has a 6000lb towing ability with (drumroll please) a 2" tow package.

    Bring a tent if you need to camp out.

    Those 2" hitch, 4 bike, fold down Yakima bike racks that use the rubber straps to hold it in are the best thing for transporting a large amount of bikes other then just throwing a bunch of bikes into a trailer and towing the trailer. My friend went and bought one the same day he saw/played with mine.
    Last edited by MillerSHO; 10-10-2006 at 06:01 PM.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,104
    The hitch size probably limits you to two bikes. All the racks I know of require 2 inch for 2 or more bikes.

    Maybe higher fuel prices and slow SUV sales will initiate VW vans in US again.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    3,104
    Many uni-body vehicles have 2 inch receivers. The towing capacity is often a case of transmission. Honda and Toyota minivans can have 2" hitches, and I recall that Chrys/Dodge minivans can if they have the factory towing package that is tied to the transmission and engine choice and includes tranny cooler.

    A new problem for minifans is the way the seats fold into floor so the hitches protrude more.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    857
    Quote Originally Posted by bitflogger
    Many uni-body vehicles have 2 inch receivers. The towing capacity is often a case of transmission. Honda and Toyota minivans can have 2" hitches, and I recall that Chrys/Dodge minivans can if they have the factory towing package that is tied to the transmission and engine choice and includes tranny cooler.

    A new problem for minifans is the way the seats fold into floor so the hitches protrude more.
    Interesting, pretty cool they're taking towing into consideration. Since being a homeowner 3 years ago, I pretty much always have the need to tow something and now I can tow up to 4 friends and 4 bikes in one bike trip.

    I bet you wouldn't see more then 3500-4000 lbs towing on the minivans that how towing packages. You need an axle on the back to support large amounts of tounge weight.

    The towing package on my Tahoe introduces stall into the converter when starting out and between shifts along with all the other items that come with the towing package.

    I can tow up to 7,600lbs with this thing.
    I just towed 3000lbs of sod with it this weekend in a 1000lb trailer. It was hardly even faded.
    I wouldn't even trust that load to a Unibody auto with no axle.
    We used to tow weight like that all the time in my father in laws old astro van all the time and it never had as issue.

    The eurovan is a really cool minivan I admit, but an astrovan is a truck with a minivan shell. They are the best for moving I tell you.

    The question is, if other minivans come with 2" hitches, why doesn't his?
    Last edited by MillerSHO; 10-10-2006 at 08:01 PM.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    72
    The manuals say I can tow up to 4400 lbs. I would imagine that 4 bikes wouldn't be an issue with the 1 1/4 hitch but I guess it's the moment (tongue weight). Extending out that far creates a large moment arm.

    The Eurovan is excellent though -- fridge, stove, sink, rear sprayer, and gas furnace all tucked into that thing -- and still loads of space on the inside. I really like it. yeah, it cost a small fortune and I'll be paying for it for 10 years (yeah, dumb but...)

    anyway, going to look at the rubber strap thule -- we'll see. That sucks about the sportworks not being interchangeable with the thule add on..I was hoping to get Thule's 2 bike add on and pop it in....

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: The Weasel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    497
    whizzif-
    Contact Saris directly and give them your info (tongue weight, etc). I also have a 1 1/4" hitch for my Subaru (you can't get a 2") and had the same questions. Their response is that I could use the 3rd and 4th bike extension safely. I haven't done it yet because I haven't had the need and will probably get just the 3rd bike extension if I do. Also, my rack hangs pretty low, so that is a concern to me. But again, since your specs are likely different, I would give them a call or better (email) and see what they say. They were pretty quick to get back to me. Here is a little more background and Saris' email on the topic.


    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...962#post962962

    and rack limit info
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...light=Cycle-ON

    good luck
    People don't think it be like it is, but it do - Oscar Gamble

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    857
    Quote Originally Posted by whizzif
    The manuals say I can tow up to 4400 lbs. I would imagine that 4 bikes wouldn't be an issue with the 1 1/4 hitch but I guess it's the moment (tongue weight). Extending out that far creates a large moment arm.

    The Eurovan is excellent though -- fridge, stove, sink, rear sprayer, and gas furnace all tucked into that thing -- and still loads of space on the inside. I really like it. yeah, it cost a small fortune and I'll be paying for it for 10 years (yeah, dumb but...)

    anyway, going to look at the rubber strap thule -- we'll see. That sucks about the sportworks not being interchangeable with the thule add on..I was hoping to get Thule's 2 bike add on and pop it in....
    That's alot of weight to tow for an auto that is a uni-body, FWD so no actual rear axle with a small V6. That's just insane esp if it's got a fridge,stove, etc. I must admit the idea of one of these vans is pretty cool though.

    As long as your rack doesn't have alot of up and down play when in the receiver I think you'd be OK with 4 aluminum bikes. If there's alot of slop then it would change things a bit for me personally.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    72
    Thinking about getting the FIAMMA rack

    goto
    http://secure.mycart.net/catalogs/ca...showprevnext=1

    This is the link to the FIAMMA racks -- looks like a decent setup -- and it would probably be less in the way once the bikes are off the back --

    and I've heard that the gas struts in the door are strong enough to lift one bike with it on the rack....

    thoughts?

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    857
    I just can't get over the price. That is insane.

    My 2" four-bike yakima rack was $125 and it's solid steel with a nice durable finish.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    72
    yeah, I hear ya -- everything on these Eurovans is insane. The things are 60K new. I got a 99. They are actually appreciating because they stopped making them in 03 and they are hard to find (esp on the East Coast).

    anyway, I have a sportworks 2 bike rack that will work -- but I have that on the subaru now.

    I only use the van on big trips where I'll need the space/camping stuff.....but for local rides or after work type deals, I'm in the subie so...it's a hassle to have an hour to ride after work and have to mess with transitioning racks....

    But the FIAMMA would stay out of the way. I had an older VW van a few years ago and got a $30 rack (trunk type) from walmart and almost lost 4K worth of bikes....those things suckplus they are a hassle....convenience is worth a little extra. I hate spending that much money on trivial things like racks though...I agree.

    We'll see. I have a feeling I will crumble and get the FIAMMA just because of ground clearance issues (the van is pretty low and I like to take it off road a little to get to some camping spots (remote) -- so...) plus it would be out of the way for when I'm parked and using the back of the van (which has a kitchen sprayer to spray bikes off/shower, etc.)

    Thanks for the feedback though....

    If anyone on the EC wants to link up -- I got the van -- just help with gas and we'll motor somewhere...and for those West people who haven't ridden GW nat'l forest...you're missing some really epic single track.....

    Come on over!!

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    857
    Sounds really cool.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: itsdoable's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,902
    I have had 2 hitch mount racks on my '94 eurovan camper, this was the first:


    Mine is an older version, but similar, works with 1-1/4" receivers, very quick to load and unload, and cheap.

    I bought a swing away version recently, so I could open the back without unloading the bike (although the sportrack above unloaded very quickly).



    The swing away feature is great, but if I were to do it again, I'd get the Thule or Yakima version, which is easier to load bikes onto. The swingaway solution was also alot more expensive, and requires a 2" hitch.

  15. #15
    MKIV Pilot
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    45


    How did you like this rack? I just picked one up from Performance for $120. Looks like a very well thought out design... I'll let u guys know how it works out.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    72
    Does that rack fold out to the side so you can access the rear hatch with the bikes still on the rack?

    If so I may jsut get a 1.25 to 2" adapter which I think I already got for my subaru (it's been a while) -- so....

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: The Weasel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    497
    Quote Originally Posted by SupraTuRD


    How did you like this rack? I just picked one up from Performance for $120. Looks like a very well thought out design... I'll let u guys know how it works out.
    Buddy of mine had one of those. It crapped out about about a year and a half, you're better off spending the extra for something quality. This i sjust opne of those cases.
    People don't think it be like it is, but it do - Oscar Gamble

  18. #18
    MKIV Pilot
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    45
    Quote Originally Posted by The Weasel
    Buddy of mine had one of those. It crapped out about about a year and a half, you're better off spending the extra for something quality. This i sjust opne of those cases.
    What 'crapped out' on it?

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,011
    Quote Originally Posted by whizzif
    I have 99 VW Eurovan camper which is awesome for mountain bike trips/events etc. However, roof racks are too much of a pain and I have a thru-axle front fork so.....

    I have a sportworks now (like you see on city buses) that holds 2 bikes. it's on my old subie that I bum around town in.
    How about getting a shop to weld a hitch mount to the front. That way you'll have 2 in the front and 2 in the back. Would look cool too.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: The Weasel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    497
    Quote Originally Posted by SupraTuRD
    What 'crapped out' on it?
    It rusted quickly, breaking off at the wheel holder. And the racheting mechanism.<-looks like they changed this a bit, but I know it was from Performance.
    People don't think it be like it is, but it do - Oscar Gamble

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation: itsdoable's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,902
    Quote Originally Posted by whizzif
    Does that rack fold out to the side so you can access the rear hatch with the bikes still on the rack?

    If so I may jsut get a 1.25 to 2" adapter which I think I already got for my subaru (it's been a while) -- so....
    Sorry, I don't frequent this forum - the swingaway rack (bottom) clears the rear hatch so you can open it with bikes attached. I would not use a 1.25 to 2" adapter, the load on the reciever is pretty large when the rack is opened up.


    re: non-swingaway rack
    Quote Originally Posted by Weasel
    Buddy of mine had one of those. It crapped out about about a year and a half, you're better off spending the extra for something quality. This i sjust opne of those cases.
    Keep in mind, mine is the older version, but it's still in use, and it's been dragged across the continent and more. 4 people here are using them, no problems yet, not bad for the price.

  22. #22
    MKIV Pilot
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    45
    Quote Originally Posted by The Weasel
    It rusted quickly, breaking off at the wheel holder. And the racheting mechanism.<-looks like they changed this a bit, but I know it was from Performance.
    So far, mine's been flawless. I have the 2nd generation version... Xport Flatbed LR. At the Performance store, they had the 1st generation rack on display, but they only had the 2nd gen units for sale. From a design standpoint, seems many revisions were made on the 2nd gen... better overall design to secure the bikes, nicer welds, and superb wrinkle black powdercoat finish. The adjustments to fit different bikes is very easy as well. The bikes didn't budge behind a stiffly sprung diesel Excursion flying over rough terrain.

    Seems Sportrack is making them for Performance: http://www.sportrack.com/a30901

    The rack functions very nicely at a very attractive price (I paid $119+tax).

  23. #23
    Let's ride
    Reputation: rensho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    7,126
    Quote Originally Posted by whizzif
    I have 99 VW Eurovan camper which is awesome for mountain bike trips/events etc.
    My question is -- can I get a 2 bike extension from Thule that'll work with the sportworks rack? I know Sportworks sold teh design (business) to thule so I'm not sure how much they've changed.

    I only have a 1 1/4" hitch though so....do you think I'd be dumb to try and put 4 bikes on a 1 1/4 hitch mount.


    What would you guys do?
    thanks
    Yes, the Thule extension will fit the sportworks just fine.
    why don't you just upgrade the hitch to a 2" model? the hitch is only $200. i'm sure you could sell your 1 1/4" hitch for some money.

Members who have read this thread: 1

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.