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Old 04-02-09, 10:29 AM   #1
arej00dazed
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Bike rack for a minvan

Just bought an '06 T&C and a year or two down the road I want to put a hitch on it and get a hitch mounted rack. But I need something a bit cheaper for now. Im at work so I cant quite look into it all that much, but will any wallymart, etc bike racks work? without shattering the glass, etc? Also the van does have a roof rack, but I think it would be a PITA to get it up/down from the roof.
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Old 04-02-09, 10:58 AM   #2
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Use the typical strap on trunk mount ones and adjust the straps so its up high, you can get the top to sit just above the window and the bottom to just below it.
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Old 04-02-09, 11:03 AM   #3
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The top of a strap rack can contact the glass, but the bottom can't, as the weight of the bikes will shatter the rear glass.

Tip: once you load the a strap rack, retighten the lower straps. The weight of the bikes will pull the rack down and loosen the bottom straps.
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Old 04-02-09, 08:36 PM   #4
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We have a roof rack on our Caravan and because the side doors open like they do, it's really not that bad getting the bikes up and down from the roof. I think it would be harder with an SUV to access the roof rack. I've done it myself w/no help from the hubby, but having a second person to grab the bike is helpful when taking them down. We use the raptor for the kids' bikes and a fork mount for ours. We picked up our used yakima rack and fork mounts off craigslist and some new clips off ebay, totaling about $200.
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Old 04-02-09, 10:13 PM   #5
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Put on a reese hitch and use a hitch mount Thule.
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Old 04-03-09, 04:51 AM   #6
arej00dazed
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
Put on a reese hitch and use a hitch mount Thule.

Quote:
a year or two down the road I want to put a hitch on it and get a hitch mounted rack. But I need something a bit cheaper for now
I hate it when ppl dont read my posts........
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Old 04-03-09, 07:20 PM   #7
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I used a Bell trunk mount rack on the back of my Caravan for a couple of years without incident. Bought the rack cheap at Wal-Mart. I still use it on my Escort wagon. Husband did break out the glass on the rear window last year -- he backed into a tree with the rack on the car (no bikes).
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Old 04-05-09, 05:39 AM   #8
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Be very careful. On some vans / models the hinges for the hatch are not set up to handle anything but the weight of the hatch. Th hinges can and do stretch or come out of shape over time causing the hatch not to seal properly and allowing wind and water to enter even after removal of the rack. I have witnessed this on Ford products. If there is some way for you to transfer most of the weight to the bottom part of the rack and use the upper straps to only secure the rack firmly to the vehicle it might work without warping the hatch hinges. Check the models chart that that Thule has if you're using Thule.
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Old 04-05-09, 04:32 PM   #9
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Pull the middle seat out and load the bikes in?
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Old 04-05-09, 08:57 PM   #10
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Saris 3 Bones. Works great on my Saab wagon and my wife's Honda Odyssey minivan. It is bumper supported which means the weight is on the bumper while the 6 straps hold it to the rear hatch. Worth every penny. I do think hitch mounts are the best solution but I found my 3 Bone rack for under $75 last fall.

Here's a picture of it in action, sporting 2 recumbents and a Rans Fusion semi-recumbent:


Last edited by cod.peace; 04-06-09 at 06:54 AM.
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