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Old 03-03-2016, 11:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slolane View Post
We haul our bikes on a Thule platform rack that is on our toad. I believe the platform rack (bikes are carried on their wheels as opposed to hanging them from the frame) is more secure and is less prone to damaging the bikes....
The "problem" with platforms are that they have a chance to bottom out. Our CRV has had that happen a couple times with our Saris 2 bike platform.

I agree that platform carriers are more secure. We carry two carbon frame bikes and that is the only way we will carry them. I know of a couple owners who's carbon bike frames were broken because of the frame clamps.

Aluminum and steel frames will do fine on well built, non-platform carriers. From my casual observations, many of them have a higher ground to wheel height when compared to ground to platform height. That can be an advantage in clearing the front of a toad if used on the back of the RV.

The other advantage is that many of those non-platform carriers will fold down/away from the bumper to allow access to hatchbacks and easier access to car trunks. On the back of an RV they might also make access to the engine hatch easier too do without removing it.

BTW...I have a canvas bike cover for our 2 bikes and it work just fine on the back of the RV when we are driving down the road. It doesn't block any tail lights. I also don't see it flap around in the wind much at all either. HOWEVER...depending on your tow bar it makes stowing it away a little more complicated. I can't do the typical Blue Ox folding of the tow bar. If you aren't using a platform based bike carrier it might not be a problem at all.
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Old 03-03-2016, 11:24 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by SpaceNorman View Post
...
I'm going to invest in a dual hitch receiver so that I can attached the bike rack AND the tow bar to the coach - and not have to move everything around constantly. ...
We did the same thing but it didn't work at first. With our platform bike rack attached to the upper receiver the corners of the platform would make contact with our Honda CRV toad in a full lock turn. That was after I drilled a new bike/receiver lock hole to move the platform about 6" closer to the RV. That was using the Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar.

The final answer was to replace the the Aventa with the Avail tow bar that was 2" longer and also the longer shank with also added 4". With that combination I can put the coach into a full lock turn and clear the toad by about 6".

With the new configuration I would have to use a little bit of caution on full lock turns in an up-hill direction in case the car is on higher ground than the end of the coach. My thought is that in such cases, I'm in the wrong place and need to disconnect the toad anyway.

That being said, there are some vehicles where the tow pins are further in front of the hood. I think some/many Jeep models are like that thus giving reducing the need to take the steps I had too.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:59 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
We did the same thing but it didn't work at first. With our platform bike rack attached to the upper receiver the corners of the platform would make contact with our Honda CRV toad in a full lock turn. That was after I drilled a new bike/receiver lock hole to move the platform about 6" closer to the RV. That was using the Blue Ox Aventa LX tow bar.
Thanks for sharing that experience. I'll be honest and say I haven't ever really looked at how close our Liberty gets to the coach during tight turns.

My receiver hitch bike rack isn't a "platform" style rack. It would be better described as a "top tube hanging" rack. It's older - and made from heavy steel (a pain in the arse to wrangle ... but nice, sturdy rack with it's time to secure the bikes with cables and locks!) The bikes "sit high" on the rack - perhaps high enough to actually hang above the hood of the Liberty during tight turns.

I hang what I consider a "mid level" mountain-esque bike (Trek DS 6.2 - hardtail aluminum frame, decent components, but with 700 x 38C wheels as opposed to the typical 2.25 mountain bike tires). I protect the top tube from the rack by slipping a length of split foam pipe insulation over the top tube whenever I put it on the rack. My carbon frame road bike rarely travels with us when we're out in the coach ... and if it does - it goes IN the toad.

Again thanks for your thoughts on that! If you hadn't mentioned it and it turns out to be an issue for me - I wouldn't have thought to check those clearances until it was too late!
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:08 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
The "problem" with platforms are that they have a chance to bottom out. Our CRV has had that happen a couple times with our Saris 2 bike platform.
We had the "bottom out" problem with a hitch mount "top tube" carrier on our VW, so it's not really caused by a platform carrier, more an issue of hitch height. I'm carrying on the back of my Wrangler, so dragging is not an issue even though I've extended the carrier to clear the rear mounted spare tire.

I thought about the dual hitch mount like Norm mentioned but I'm concerned about turning clearance. When I don't want to carry the bikes on the Jeep I secure them to the ladder on the coach. If someone is going to steal them they'll find a way no matter how they're secured.
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Old 03-04-2016, 11:48 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slolane View Post
We had the "bottom out" problem with a hitch mount "top tube" carrier on our VW, so it's not really caused by a platform carrier, more an issue of hitch height. I'm carrying on the back of my Wrangler, so dragging is not an issue even though I've extended the carrier to clear the rear mounted spare tire....
Are you saying that with your VW the bikes bottomed out or the hitch receiver (and maybe the carrier bar just after the receiver) bottomed? I'm a little surprised that the bikes themselves would make contact with the ground except under some more extreme situations. OTOH, I wouldn't be totally surprised that the receiver (with our without the bike carrier) might bottom out in some cars.

When my platform carrier is mounted on the CRV, the end of the platform farthest from the car shows it has scrapped the ground but I haven't seen the same evidence on the receiver.
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