|Rack and roll|
|Matthew and Gillian Morris from Carmarthen asked this question: |
Q:Having bought our first caravan, we want to fit a cycle rack on the back to carry a couple of bikes. What product would you recommend and how is it fitted to the caravan itself?
Sorry to disappoint you both, but please do not mount any type of rack on the back of your caravan. Whilst this works on a motorhome - which cannot start snaking on the road - putting a heavy weight at the back of a caravan can lead to dreadful instability. The condition is often referred to as the dumb bell effect and if lateral side-to-side deflections are initiated by a passing tall-sided vehicle or gusting winds, it takes far longer for the caravan to return to straight line towing.
A better arrangement is to purchase a rack that is clamped firmly to the chassis’ A-frame at the front. Since the weight is now carried close to the towing vehicle’s coupling, lateral deflections are suppressed by the towcar itself. In addition, a hitch stabiliser further reduces unwanted instability.
Several specialists include A-frame racks in their product line-up although it’s likely that a caravan’s fairing might need minor modifications before the assembly can be clamped securely in position. If this were to pose a problem, then turn attention to racks designed to fit on the car.
Got any other experiences of bike racks and caravans you can share?