travelling with 4 bicycles

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 18, 2012 2:52 PM GMT
    I need to rent a vehicle to travel to an upcoming cycling event, however I need advice.

    I will be travelling up from New Jersey to Montréal with 3 other gays. We will have 4 bicycles and suitcases as well. We would like to secure everything inside the vehicle if at all possible and travel in comfort.

    Does anyone know if a minivan (most likely a Dodge Grand Caravan) can accomplish this? The rental agencies don't seem to know the answer o_O

    Any other suggestions re: vehicle rental?

    thank you
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    Apr 18, 2012 3:35 PM GMT
    No. You would need a full-sized van or use a roof-rack.
    Renting an RV might be an option, if you could offset the cost by saving on hotel rooms.
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Apr 18, 2012 3:37 PM GMT
    Bikes are bigger than you think. Inside a van would be a pain. You might see about an SUV and then see if any of the sporting goods stores in your area, or bike stores rent Racks for trips like you are going on.
    Good luck and have fun.
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    Apr 18, 2012 3:43 PM GMT
    The way to carry 4 bikes is with a roof rack on a large SUV, or with a bumper hitch rack on an equally large vehicle. Personally, I'd go with the bumper hitch.

    But rentals may not give you this option, of either having the hitch installed, or renting you the rack. A good 4-bike rack will cost you $100+ USD. You can buy strap-on rear racks, I use one myself, but 4 bikes is pushing things, unless the car/SUV is large, and most racks max-out at 3 bikes. And then security can be an issue, try to have everything cabled down.

    Here's the rack brand I currently use, I take bikes 200 miles down to Key West & back fairly regularly:

    http://www.saris.com/
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    Apr 18, 2012 5:26 PM GMT
    You need to rent a 15-passenger van. You can remove the 2 back seats for the bikes. And there will still be plenty of seating for your passengers.

    I rent these vans all the time to do Ragnar events.

    sideView.jpg
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    Apr 23, 2012 7:55 AM GMT
    If you take both wheels of the bikes, you might be able to get them in a minivan with the luggage if everything is carefully loaded. I could get my road bike in the trunk of my old Saab 9-3 without dropping the seats when i removed the wheels and placed them on top of the frame, so I see no reason you couldn't do that in all the space a minivan has.

    But here's the real way to find out...take the bikes down to the rental place and try it out before you rent. I'm sure they'll have no problem letting you try (probably because they'll think it won't work and they can upsell you into a full-sized van).
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    May 01, 2012 10:47 AM GMT
    Thank you everybody.

    A minivan is just too small for our bikes and gear. I have been unsuccessful securing a loaner bike rack (from a rental agency, moving company, sports store...)... and most rental agencies have policies against installing a bike rack on their vehicles.

    It looks like a large van similar to the picture above is my only recourse. My problem now is that these vans can get pricy and my friends can get cheap :-)
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    Jun 07, 2012 2:07 AM GMT
    i actually think your solution of the van is the best. Thing is it's safer to keep all your bike and gear inside the van than on a roof rack if you have to park it somewhere out of sight. ( restaurants, motels etc. ) .
    A friend of mine about 10 years ago was attending the MTbike Canada Cup race in MT Tremblant. His bike was on a roof rack, chained and everything but when he got back to his car it was gone, stolen.
    the bikes are also protected from rain and grit as you drive the long miles.
    Plus , bikes on roof racks increase your gas consumption noticeably ... a factor in these days and age.
    Mind you a van isn't cheap on gas either ..;)

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    Jun 10, 2012 1:33 AM GMT
    Probably too late to this party but for future reference, cheaper than renting a van might be fitting your existing car with a receiver hitch which can be useful anyway--mines practically hidden directly under the bumper--and then simply getting a bike rack for four. I've never had more than 2 on mine and I'd hate to drive with four but I suppose it can be done safely enough. Just don't take any sharp turns.

    You can either chain the bikes to the car frame or bring them inside at night.
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    Jun 11, 2012 5:04 PM GMT
    We balked at renting the large van purely on price alone (at least $1,000USD to rent).

    We ended up buying a rear bike rack and using my friend's SUV, which had roof rack + attachments for two bikes. It worked out well.

    Here is a link with a picture of the SUV...

    http://flic.kr/p/bUyGz8
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    Jun 11, 2012 5:12 PM GMT
    yo_mamali saidWe balked at renting the large van purely on price alone (at least $1,000USD to rent).

    We ended up buying a rear bike rack and using my friend's SUV, which had roof rack + attachments for two bikes. It worked out well.

    Here is a link with a picture of the SUV...

    http://flic.kr/p/bUyGz8


    "Betty Beavers". bwahahahahahahahaha!!!!
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    Jun 13, 2012 6:02 PM GMT
    hahhaa... that rest stop was laughably disturbing...