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How to Take Bikes when towing your Caravan

Posted by Gav Grayston.
First Published Apr 2018; updated Jun 2023.

Do you have a caravan and want to take the kids bikes away with you? Then read this...

Why you might want to bring bikes with your Caravan

There have been plenty of times when we've gone away, either with the tent or the caravan, when we've wished we had brought our bikes.

If nothing else, there are some great campsites where the kids can safely cycle around, especially getting to and from the play park on the big sites.

Options for Bringing Bikes

With our camping trailer, we have taken a bike rack that fits behind the towbar, so we could carry the kids' bikes while towing the trailer.

Trailer Bike Carrier

The bike carrier we used with our camping trailer fitted behind the tow ball.

Unfortunately, we can't fit that on our current car, and I wouldn't want to put the extra load on the towbar when pulling a caravan.

A bike rack that fits on the rear window of our car might be an option, but we need to get in and out of the boot quickly. And our car is far too high for a bike rack on the roof.

Motorhomes have Bike Racks

'Can I fit a bike carrier to the back of our caravan?'

So, it's with a little bit of jealousy I looked on at motorhomes, which typically have a bike rack fitted to the back. That got me thinking 'Can I fit a bike carrier to the back of our caravan?'

Can you fit a bike rack to a caravan?

Well, fortunately, the answer is 'Yes!', at least for the caravan we bought, the Compass Casita 586.

Not all caravans can have a bike rack fitted, and it's something you need to speak to your dealer, especially if you have warranty still on your van.

speak to your dealer

Our ideal option was to have a four bike carrier, but this wasn't a recommended option for our van. Two bikes are OK, but more than that could put too much strain on the back wall.

So, instead, we had a two bike carrier fitted from the popular brand Fiamma.

The Fiamma Bike Carrier

The Fiamma Bike Carrier is lightweight aluminium and looks very smart on the back of our caravan.

When not in use, it folds up and latches securely in place.

Caravan Bike Carrier

The bike carrier fitted to our caravan

Putting the bikes on the cycle carrier is very easy using the additional attachments that come with it.

Each bike's wheels sit in a trough, which takes weight of the bike. Each bike wheel straps onto the cycle carrier.

You then fit a support brace to hold the bike's frame in place.

Securing the wheels to the cycle carrier

The bikes are secured at their wheels and their frame.

Changes after the first fitting

It wasn't long before I got the bikes fitted, but I then noticed that handlebars of the bike closest to the caravan could knock the wall of the van if we went over a bump.

The solution was simple: loosen the handlebars and turn them sideways. I could do this with an Allen key on my bike.

The bikes on the caravan

The bikes, ready for exploring.

Towing the Caravan with the Bike Carrier

would it tow differently?

With the additional weight on the back of the caravan, would it tow differently?

Well, no. Not with our set-up at least. There was no noticeable difference with the bikes on the back of the caravan.

Using the Bike Carrier

Taking the bikes off the caravan's cycle carrier

Taking the bikes off the caravan's cycle carrier.

We used the bike carrier immediately after it was fitted, as we went off to spend the weekend at a campsite. It was great to bring the bikes with us, and we got completely muddy cycling the trails!

Fortunately, the campsite had a bike wash 😉

Cleaning the bikes

Cleaning off our bikes after a good ride from the campsite