Should I rent a mini van or an SUV to carry bikes?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Should I rent a mini van or an SUV to carry bikes?

    My wife and I are considering flying out to Oregon from our home here in the northeast with our bikes and then spending a week or so touring in a rented vehicle and doing some rides here and there. I'll have my bike in a soft bag that stows relatively well, but hers will be in a hard case. The bikes are a full rigid 29er and a hard tail with 26 in wheels. I want to keep the bikes in the car to cut down the risk of theft. I'm told a rental agency will not let me pull the seats out of a minivan and leave them with them while we're on the trip, so they would need to fold flat to work. We're considering just shipping her bike to a shop so we don't have to deal with the hard case, but this is a less attractive option. Any thoughts about what kind of vehicle will be best suited to haul two bikes, their carrying cases, and a couple of suitcases?

  2. #2
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    Expedition

    The Ford Expedition may be overkill, but does have rear seats that completely fold down (both 2nd and 3rd rows). Those are also very common rental vehicles that you can get your luggage and bikes in right @ the airport (assuming you're renting from a place in the airport).

    tk

  3. #3
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    I would get a minivan.

    I rented an SUV with the idea of carrying my bike after it was shipped to AZ, but the SUV had some kind of cargo cover that consisted of a bar with a tarp like thing that pulled out. The bar was right across the cargo area, and I ended up having to put the bike in the back seat, which kinda sucked. This was an Isuzu Rodeo.

    I thought I saw recently that one of the companies would rent bike racks for their cars along with the car. Maybe look into that? I know Budget will rent you a ski rack.

  4. #4
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    I'd go with the mini-van....

    usually better fuel economy than an SUV and fold flat seats are common in mini-vans. Also floor to ceiling height is usually greater in a mini-van so you actually have more cargo space height wise. Of the mini's I've owned over the years the Nissan Quest and Chryseler (Dodge, Plymouth, etc.) offerings have the best fold away seating. The third seat and second row seats fold flat without having to actually remove any seats and store them. Those are the two models I would focus on as they both have "stow and go" seating for all passenger positions that actually fold level with the rest of the floor. The Chryseler offerings are going to be the most common offered by car rental companies.

    The best thing to do is contact various rental agencies at your arrival destination and see what they offer. Make your needs known and see what they have that will accomdate you. Just make sure that you are looking for something with seats that fold flat and level with the floor for cargo purposes.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  5. #5
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    Beware...If you rent a mini van you mite just want to buy one.

  6. #6
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    We used a minivan in Moab. Seats stayed in place, we just loaded the bikes around them. No problem for two.

  7. #7
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    Good point....

    Quote Originally Posted by ffwlwhite
    Beware...If you rent a mini van you mite just want to buy one.
    That's how we ended up with our first one. But they are handy!

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  8. #8
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    Yeah, a Chrysler minivan's the hot ticket. We folded the seats down and put our bikes in upright, both wheels on, leaning against either side and bungeed in place. Rode fine, and lots of room in the middle for gear.

  9. #9
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    mini van

    rent a grand caravan the seats fold into the floor so you will have plenty of room. ditch the hard case and use a cardboard bike box from your LBS, when you get to the airport build your bikes up toll the box and go riding, when you get back to the city you are flying out of stop at another bike shop and get a card board bike box pack up the bike and go home. Don't worry about damage from the airplane you and your girl will do more damage riding the bikes. We fly like this al the time from Alaska.

  10. #10
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    Thanks

    Hey all, very useful info. Exactly what I was hoping for. Many thanks.

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