the karavan is not really a bike-friendly machine. for us that is a real issue, with nat now being almost as bike-mad as i am. the bikes can’t be mounted on top of the kk, that’s far too high. they can’t be mounted on the back either, given how the rear opens up.
i also hate carrying bikes on top of the car, that’s also a bit high on the disco and they get dirty (i don’t mind dirty mountain bikes, i just prefer to make my bike dirty the old fashioned way: riding the trails of course). and with the hitch receiver occupied i can’t mount the carrier i built a few years ago either, at least not the usual way.
so there is really only one option left: the carrier needs to be mounted between the car and the van, above the multibox, out of harms way to avoid bumping into the bikes with the back of the car while turning.
there is such an option available – for more than $1000 and not before we leave on our epic alpine biking trip. so … i had to build one myself. coming up with a suitable design cost me a few sleepless nights. literally.
ok, it won’t win any beauty contest, but it should work. and it has a few cool features:
– it uses existing bolts and therefore does not require any changes to the van;
– it can be removed easily and quickly;
– it holds my old carrier just above the multibox,
– the carrier can be removed so it can be used to carry the bikes behind the car;
– the carrier can be tilted forward to access the multibox.
it’s made out of aluminium and 304 stainless bolts. i had to play with it a bit to ensure the carrier can be installed easily without moving around too much. there is also a little safety latch to ensure the carrier can’t tilt forward; it can also be used as a stop when tilting the rack forward.
i think it will work well enough. and that’s another challenge solved.