I saw some people interested so thought I would write this short post. For those that follow us and have read previous posts. You will know by now that one of the main reasons for converting a van into a purpose built camper was to ride the bikes. We wanted to travel with the van and securely store the bike inside. There are many other ways to transport bikes, with systems such as roof racks and tow hook racks. Whilst these are very good at transporting the bikes, they are less secure than being stored inside.
We spent some time working out solutions that would work for us, and we kept coming to the same conclusion. When the bikes are stored outside, even if they are locked up, they are at risk of being stolen. Whichever method you choose to use, there is always an element of risk, but it is how you minimise the risk which plays a big part. For us we decided that our purpose built van would have to accommodate at least two people, and two bikes at the same time.
Together we had built a few solutions in the early days, but one that worked was having the bikes hooked underneath a bed. The disadvantage of this was that the sleeping area was cramped, and there was not a kitchen area. After one trip we soon found we needed to design something different. That brings us to our latest idea and solution.
What we decided to do
We chose to have a living space with kitchen. This consisted of a kitchen area and then a sofa bed which pulls into a sleeping area for two. We left enough room at the back of the van to store two bikes. Limited with space, we do have to take the front wheels off of the bikes. These do store neatly and safely enough between the bikes and the rear doors.
Having the bikes stored in this way meant there was also enough room left over above the bikes to add some hooks. We now use these hooks to hang items, but more importantly it gives us a space to store helmets including our full face’s. Designing the van this way worked for us, and was tried and tested a week ago when we went away for our first test. We had no issues and the bikes hardly moved around in transit.
Adding an extra security measure was a must! We did still want to make sure that they were locked up, this would make it as difficult to steal as possible. In today’s world we live in, it is sad to think that people want to thieve other peoples belongings. For now, we will not divulge into the solution we have for this, but it is a lot more secure than a tow rack that is for sure. We highly recommend doing this and is worth doing if you are storing some expensive bikes.
We hope this is of some help for people thinking what solution to implement.
Old storage solution
Here are just a few photos from our first design. We chose to have the bikes hanging underneath a sleeping format. We found out soon that there was not enough room to sleep, nor prep any food or cook. At least now with our new design we can cook comfortably even when it is raining. With this design, it would have been almost impossible.