AnswerID: 484720 Submitted: Tuesday, May 01, 2012 at 16:52
Despite all the dire warnings poured on you, you need to apply a bit of chutzpa and if you ride bikes you already are aware of risks and rewards. It is quite possible to carry a bike on the rear of a caravan- see Hitchmate web site-
Collyn Rivers' wonderful book about caravan dynamics warns against extreme weights on the front and rear of tow trailers and caravans but also explains how to balance the weights so it is relatively safe-
In other words drive relative to weights and conditions. Bike riders know how to read the road, and wet and gravel and wind are our constant companions and we accept the risk else we would be in Winnibagos dragging our fridge ,freezer and washing machine with us.
My caravan has a hitchmate rack on the rear but I rearranged all the components in the rebuild of my caravan to allow me to feel comfortable about the risks. My caravan is under 5m in length and 1100kg in weight, unlike the 9m monsters weighing 2500kg that blast down the highway.
What is the difference between a rear bathroom with vanity and ceramic basin, washing machine, shower. ceramic flushing toilet and the rest sitting within the back wall, plus a rear bar with two spare wheels and even sometimes I see two jerry cans- compared to a bike securely strapped down on the other side of the wall.
Both place weight on the extremes of the van and are just as prone to breakaways if not balanced.
Collyn Rivers' article talks about those sort of badly planned vans where the mass is not centralised over the axle, ie. bathroom or kitchen at the rear, bedroom and two gas bottles and generator and batteries at the front in a boot over the a-frame.
I moved my water tanks ahead of the axle, placed my batteries over the axle and the kitchen and hws is centrally located, only a fold down bed and the bike carrier is rear of the axle. The frame was reinforced and extended on all four steel beams and the hitchmate kit comes with tyre channels and out-rigger arms to brace and strap the load securely.
So I feel I can take to the road with confidence and still have my cake and eat it
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