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WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/20/23 5:39 p.m.

The little ones are finally old enough that we can do some real rides now on the local rails to trails and such.  Unfortunately, all of them are a ~20 minute drive away to get started.   We have 7 people in our family, so right now the strategy is to fill up our spare Town & Country with bikes and take two minivans.

I figured I'd see what good ideas you guys had to strap 7 of these contraptions to our 2020 Pacifica?  A small trailer and bike mounts might be the best solution, but I'm open to any ideas.


Thanks!

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/23 6:37 p.m.

Does it already have a rear receiver hitch?  If so, I suggest fabbing up a front receiver as well and getting two, 4-bike racks.  I just snagged an Allen 2-bike rack for $50 on FBM

The only other way I can think it would work is if you got a strap-on carrier and put it on the hood somehow.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/23 6:42 p.m.

Or... does it have a roof rack of some sort?  If you got a hitch cargo carrier and put 7 channels in it, you could stand the bikes upright and strap the front tires to the roof rack.

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/20/23 6:44 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

It does have a roof rack.  I like the way you're thinking here.  If I got a class 3 hitch, I could make it strong enough to put an actual platform to stand them up on.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/23 6:59 p.m.

Even a class 2 (1-1/4") can take 350 lbs tongue weight, but it also seriously limits the cargo carriers you'll find.

If you want to get fancy, you can make something that you can attach to the roof rack with pieces of channel on it to strap the wheels to.  If you find that you have some wee bikes (not sure how old the younger ones are) that don't reach the roof rack for securing, there are plenty of rack-mount bike racks.  Put the wee bikes up there, and the larger bikes on the back.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/23 7:05 p.m.

Or, how are your fabbing skills? Welder?

What about something like this that you can add to a regular cargo carrier?

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/20/23 7:10 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

Or, how are your fabbing skills? Welder?

What about something like this?

My fab skills are pretty good..  At my disposal I've got a tubing bender, some 1 .75x.090 DOM tubing, a welder, plasma cutter, and CNC milling machine :)

 

You however, seem to have all the good ideas!   Looks like a Curt Class III  is the same price as a II, and supports 400lb tounge weight.
Right now, the wee ones are 5, on 18" wheel bikes.  We've got two 5 year olds, 7, 10, 13, and two adults.

NY Nick
NY Nick GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/20/23 7:23 p.m.

I like the trailer hitch idea, I generally put one on everything I have, but would it be easier to get a small trailer? 4x8's that are light duty seek to fall out of the trees (I.e. they are cheap and show up all the time).

if you build the carrier onto a light duty trailer it will work no matter what you are driving, has limited fabrication, and would probably be easier to load / unload. Of course you have to get around it when you aren't using it and it's something else that can break but it may be easier and more user friendly. YMMV. 
For the record I also like Curtis's thoughts on the carrier, just offering an alternative.  

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/23 7:34 p.m.

In reply to NY Nick :

I agree.  Trailer is the easy button, but it sure does take up space/need bearing maintenance/registration and title and insurance (depending on the state).

I am fabbing a front receiver for the van this week.  The number of things I use with a 2" receiver is staggering.  Whatever you want to carry, it can go in any receiver hitch by just welding on some 2" square tube.  Spare tire carrier?  weld on some 2".  Bed extender on your truck?  Weld on some 2".  Step for getting up in the bed?  Weld on some 2".  Winch to get you out of a tight spot or for loading a trailer?  Weld on some 2".  Kids getting on  your nerves?  Shove some 2" square tube up their butt and stick them in the receiver for a few miles.

And if you've never launched a boat or positioned a trailer with a front hitch, it's an experience like no other.  I'm getting good enough I can "back" an empty trailer with a front hitch at about 30 mph down to the boat ramp.

moxnix
moxnix Dork
6/20/23 7:38 p.m.

You can buy a 7 bike rack.

https://www.velocirax.com/products/velocirax-7

Or you can look at it and steal ideas on how you might build yourself one.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/20/23 7:44 p.m.
WonkoTheSane said:

  At my disposal I've got a tubing bender, some 1 .75x.090 DOM tubing, a welder, plasma cutter, and CNC milling machine :)

Bitch.  laugh  I hate it when someone has better E36 M3 than I do.  I have the welder and plasma, but tubing bender and CNC would make me wet.

Can I move in?  I have my own bike.

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/20/23 7:44 p.m.

Some inspiration from Whistler  

Slippery
Slippery GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/20/23 7:45 p.m.

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/20/23 7:55 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:
WonkoTheSane said:

  At my disposal I've got a tubing bender, some 1 .75x.090 DOM tubing, a welder, plasma cutter, and CNC milling machine :)

Bitch.  laugh  I hate it when someone has better E36 M3 than I do.  I have the welder and plasma, but tubing bender and CNC would make me wet.

Can I move in?  I have my own bike.

Lol, you're welcome whenever you want to stop by and use it :)  I honestly wouldn't even notice another mouth to feed at this point!

 

Stuff like this goes out all the time :)

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/20/23 7:58 p.m.
moxnix said:

You can buy a 7 bike rack.

https://www.velocirax.com/products/velocirax-7

Or you can look at it and steal ideas on how you might build yourself one.

Ooooh, that's perfect!  Your google-fu must be better than mine.   Thanks for the inspiration!

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/20/23 7:59 p.m.

In reply to Slippery :

Excellent.. Between these and the example that moxnix found, I think I can fabricobble something that'll work.


I've been concerned about the trailer idea for all the ideas listed above, storage, insurance, registration, another mechanical mouth to feed, etc...

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/20/23 8:02 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to NY Nick :

I agree.  Trailer is the easy button, but it sure does take up space/need bearing maintenance/registration and title and insurance (depending on the state).

I am fabbing a front receiver for the van this week.  The number of things I use with a 2" receiver is staggering.  Whatever you want to carry, it can go in any receiver hitch by just welding on some 2" square tube.  Spare tire carrier?  weld on some 2".  Bed extender on your truck?  Weld on some 2".  Step for getting up in the bed?  Weld on some 2".  Winch to get you out of a tight spot or for loading a trailer?  Weld on some 2".  Kids getting on  your nerves?  Shove some 2" square tube up their butt and stick them in the receiver for a few miles.

And if you've never launched a boat or positioned a trailer with a front hitch, it's an experience like no other.  I'm getting good enough I can "back" an empty trailer with a front hitch at about 30 mph down to the boat ramp.

And yes, I agree with the 2" square tube.. I have 3 hitch receivers embedded into my workbench.  My bench grinder, vise, tubing notcher, tool holder (for collets and pull studs) are all mounted on mounts that slide in and out.

OHSCrifle
OHSCrifle GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/20/23 8:09 p.m.

Trailer? 
 

Edit: if you already have a trailer, perhaps, fab up some kind of removable modular rack that can be attached. Reverse engineer a Yakima or Thule kit, and fab up some axle brackets and straps. 

Kendall Frederick
Kendall Frederick GRM+ Memberand Reader
6/20/23 8:37 p.m.

I had 4 fork mounts on my little 4x6 trailer for years, and had an extension out the back so I could put the tandem on it.  Easy to use, I have receivers on most vehicles, and you just unhitch it and park it which is easier than taking the more complicated racks off and on.  

Currently I have a 2 bike hitch mount rack, the tray style, which is the fastest to put bikes on and off of, and you can pull it with one bolt in the receiver.  You can get at least a 4 bike version of these.. I kinda like the front/rear rack idea somebody mentioned.  Some of those vertical stand up ones in the pics above look like they'd be a giant pain in the ass to get the bikes up and secured.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
6/20/23 9:05 p.m.

Trailer is the STRONG leader here, for a reason that no one has discussed...

It allows the ENTIRE family (including the wee ones) to help load and unload. It's a young people training moment.

Any other solution means Dad does ALL the loading and unloading, and 14 loads every time you want to take a family bike ride will get old really fast.  Mom can't help, the kids can't help, there is a VERY specific way it has to be loaded every single time, and everyone gets short tempered with each other going through the bike riding trials.

Engage the kids. 

maschinenbau
maschinenbau GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/21/23 8:45 a.m.

When not in use, you can store all 7 bikes on the trailer instead of scattered throughout the garage. When you get home just pull a tarp over the whole thing or back it into the garage. Or find a small covered trailer of some kind.

NY Nick
NY Nick GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/21/23 9:10 a.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

I am with you on the 2" receivers, I have several of them welded to things around the shop. I had a bike carrier for when me and the kids raced BMX, they always seemed to be in the way, maybe more than my trailers. 

That 7 bike carrier is a beast. Whatever you build I am sure it will be cool!

Also I have done the Googles on Opassum Motorsports and come up empty handed, have I missed something?

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
6/21/23 9:46 a.m.

In reply to NY Nick :

No, you didn't miss anything.  It's for a friend doing a big brake kit for his MR2.   Opassum Motorsports is his joke name, as he's in the backwoods of NH, but I told him that if I make it has to have a logo of some sort on it :)

In reply to SV reX :

Even with a small trailer with 7 of them, I don't know that we'll be able to have the kids self-loading.   Normally they're getting their helmets, shoes on, water bottles, etc. while I'm loading up anyway.   With a trailer, my other concern is that there's no chance that my wife would be able to take the kids by herself as she wouldn't dig the trailer out for wherever I have to stash it, get it hooked up properly, back it into whatever space is available at the rails to trails, disconnect it, park the van (there's no trailer-length parking in any of the lots I've been to), etc., which is why I was trying to avoid that solution.   Plus, then I have to store the trailer somewhere, and I really don't have a great spot without it being a beautiful piece of yard-art.

I think the VelociRAX handles most of the concerns.  

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
6/21/23 11:57 a.m.

In reply to WonkoTheSane :

Sounds like a plan. 
 

Can your wife load to the VelociRAX?  Just a thought...

Good luck!

golfduke
golfduke Dork
6/21/23 12:09 p.m.

I'm wondering out loud if you could just convert/modify a luggage platform with a 'tailgate' of sorts, and use an 8-station tailgate pad...  That'd definitely be the cheapest and easiest method... 

 

 

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