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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all

So we're off to Europe this summer and will be taking 3 adult bikes. I'm going to need a rack which has the following features:

> Secure - the bikes and rack need to lock to the van
> Able to carry 3 bikes
> Decent quality
> Won't attract the gendarme for number plate or lights being obscured
> Able to open tailgate when bikes are in place

I'd also like to be able to cover at least one of the bikes (my expensive pride and joy!) so it doesn't get caked in road muck, especially in the rain

I'm thinking a tow ball mounted one is the way to go. Something like this which the guy on the phone at this place recommended:

http://www.roofbox.co.uk/scripts/rbvehsel4_tab.php/all-products/atera_strada_dl_3_to_4_bike_carrier_uk_lights_no_ar2603/[email protected],6M4PHS,ZGenkQvENtdosM

I'd also need a tow ball which looks to be another £150. Also, I assume it'll need some kind of electrical hook up if the rack features working lights and indicators etc?

Any guidance gratefully received.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks all! Looks like the bikes hang vertically on that van. Looks like a good bit of kit

Seems like the Atera is the one to go for
 

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Having spent hours reading contradicting reviews on all manner of bike carriers, I've just bought this one:

http://www.roofbox.co.uk/scripts/rbvehsel4_tab.php/car-specific-accessories/buzz_rack_bc3_tilting_3_bike_carrier_no_brp203/[email protected],[email protected]{~cC4ure5HWI_

It only arrived yesterday, so I haven't unpacked it yet, so will report back after the weekend. I will say that Roofbox are superb when it comes to delivery - I ordered at 12.30 on Monday, and it arrived mid morning on Tuesday!
 

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+1 for roofbox but the bike rack thing; do you really need one?
Like massive wheels and no suspension, they seem to often be bought for the look; I see loads that are barely used on vans big enough to carry loads of bikes inside; far more securely.

Consider mpg too; it drops massively with bikes on the back. And you can't see out of the back. And the bikes aren't secure. And they get dirty.

I stick mine IN the van.
 

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+1 for roofbox but the bike rack thing; do you really need one?
Like massive wheels and no suspension, they seem to often be bought for the look; I see loads that are barely used on vans big enough to carry loads of bikes inside; far more securely.

Consider mpg too; it drops massively with bikes on the back. And you can't see out of the back. And the bikes aren't secure. And they get dirty.

I stick mine IN the van.
But what if you don't want filthy mountain bikes ruining your upholstery, or scratching your furniture? :confused:
 

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But what if you don't want filthy mountain bikes ruining your upholstery, or scratching your furniture? :confused:
I used to slide my bench seat forwards (California), line with a tarp, secure with a roof rack strap. No damage, two bikes carried easily, more of partially taken apart. Zero damage or dirt.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Not an option sadly. During normal UK use I completely agree and always put the bike in the living area of the van but we've got 4 weeks away in France with 2 adults, a 3 year old and a spaniel. Plus all the luggage
 

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Not an option sadly. During normal UK use I completely agree and always put the bike in the living area of the van but we've got 4 weeks away in France with 2 adults, a 3 year old and a spaniel. Plus all the luggage
Fair enough. We weighed it all up (did two 5 week Euro trips in ours with a now 5 and 7 year old) and decided to leave the bikes at home but took surfboards on the roof. We have roof carriers we use on the car roof bars (and could use on van bars too) but bikes on a van roof would take out low flying aircraft.

When I did look, Atera definitely looked the best choice.
 

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Towbar mounted rack makes absolutely no difference to MPG, I've been all over Europe with and without bikes on and it always returns 600 miles to a tank.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm not really fussed with MPG to be honest. It's a diesel van and will always do at least 35mpg which is good enough for me!
 

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Another vote for the Atera if your wallet will take the strain. We had the Thule easybase system on another vehicle before and it was ok, but the Atera is better.
 

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Roof mounted stuff is out the question for us as we've got a pop-top (and we're going on a ferry)
Good point. Luckily boards on on the roof are still within the allowed height limit.
Bikes on roof would make a van HGV high!

A Cali roof lifts (electrically) up to 50kgs which is handy.
 
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