Is there any better option for a hitchless minivan?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Is there any better option for a hitchless minivan?

    I'd like to have something this weekend and my LBS sells this. It's well reviewed on Amazon. Amazon.com: Hollywood Racks F4 Heavy Duty 4-Bike Trunk Mount Rack: Sports & Outdoors

    (Hope I can post links)

    It's the 4 bike Hollywood rack. We have a Toyota Sienna, no hitch. At the moment we have a kid's mountain bike and an adult hybrid. Also two little kids glide bikes but those can just go in the van. Will have one more adult bike soon. Some reviews say this won't really hold 4, that's OK, by the time we have more bikes we might have a hitch installed (can you just install a hitch???) or a new car altogether.

    Anyway - I am not finding anything that looks like a better option for our situation. Input?

    (And can you open the back gate with one of these installed? Just the rack, not loaded up... in other words will I have to put it on and take it off every trip? I am assuming the gate will still open. My oldest son gets in and out the back of the van...)

    eta - I have 4 kids so we have to have at least one seat of the 3rd row in use - I have the 8 passenger '08 toyota Sienna. Which I kind of love, but we have had water issues with, hence why we might get rid of it. That's kind of a novel in itself.
    Last edited by PghYinzer; 10-07-2011 at 10:54 AM.
    Just a mom out for family biking with a bunch of kids

  2. #2
    jrm
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    At one time i had a sienna

    and i could fit 2-3 bikes in the back with the rear seat removed. My rack consisted of two pieces of plywood with QRs bolted to them. Id lay one piece of plywood on each side of the rear compartment. Romove the front wheels from the bikes and then secure the bike forks in the QRs. Id stagger the bikes with two facing left and two facing right.

  3. #3
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    i have 4 kids so we need to use the last row. even with just the single seat up i don't think i can get both bikes in - the hybrid is tall. plus will ne space for son to get in and out, bike trailer when we get one, etc. in the car isn't really an option.
    Just a mom out for family biking with a bunch of kids

  4. #4
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    Can't help you on the rack question (I have all roof or hitch mount), but maybe I can with the question of adding a hitch. Answer: yes ;-)

    Just checked etrailer.com, and they have at least 3 self-install receiver hitches for a 2004 Sienna. (picked year out of nowhere!).

    Prices are in range of $150-200, no drilling is required, and all have install times of 40 min. Nice DIY project.

    I have no interest in etrailer other than as a happy customer. When I was looking for a 2" receiver hitch for our Highlander earlier this summer, they had the best prices and selection I could find, and their free shipping got one to my door in 4 days (I'd guess at least an 80 lb chunk of steel).

    Good luck And have fun biking with the family!
    Paul

  5. #5
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    It's an '08. Will have to ask my husband what his opinion is. Obviously the cost is greater to do a hitch but over the long haul it may be the better option. Meanwhile it occurred to me if we don't go too far we can always use both cars so we can put seats down in the van and carry bikes in the back. Will work in the short term. Thanks for the help!
    Just a mom out for family biking with a bunch of kids

  6. #6
    empty beer member
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    I installed a hitch on my G35 sedan in about an hour. Got the Curt hitch from ebay and the rack from orsracksdirect. We had a trunk mount yakima king joe 3 and was difficult to get our bikes on and dinged up the car and bikes. The platform rack we got is a saris thelma 3 and works great. I cant recommend a platform rack enough. They are easy to use and more secure. We were lucky and able to return the old trunk mount rack for a full refund. The scratches/nicks on the trunk and spoiler are just reminders of a bad decision and not listening to the guy when we bought the trunk mount rack.

  7. #7
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    If you do go with a trunk rack that needs to hold at least 3 bikes, I've read excellent reviews of the Saris Bones 3.

    If you can get a hitch, I'd spend the money and go that route. I would then get a good tray rack. My car doesn't have a hitch available (91 Honda Civic), so I bought a Thule Raceway Platform trunk rack. It's a trunk mounted tray rack but it'll only carry 2 bikes, so it doesn't sound like it'd work for your needs.

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