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What bike rack

Halsall-

New Member
We have bought nearly all our accessories from Mercedes in Germany, very helpful and they stocked nearly everything we needed. Very quick deliver and very friendly staff. I have an email link to the person we worked with. You can change languages on the site, from german to english
 

GeorgeG

Active Member
Likewise, I bought all my Westfalia and Brandrup accessories and a towbar bike carrier from Mercedes, Germany. Fantastic service and, unbelievably, the postage cost is €7.00 however much you buy and returns are free. Also, prices can be lower than the UK.
 
So I see that there are many votes here for the towbar mounted bike carriers, which look like great pieces of kit......

BUT. I'm particularly keen to hear from anyone with experience of a tailgate mounted system, especially as regards any issues with boot motor wear. I don't really want the extra length on the vehicle and won't need a towbar for anything else. It looks like the MB carrier is a good bit of kit, it's really just the weight on the boot issue which is making me hold back.
 

GeorgeG

Active Member
So I see that there are many votes here for the towbar mounted bike carriers, which look like great pieces of kit......

BUT. I'm particularly keen to hear from anyone with experience of a tailgate mounted system, especially as regards any issues with boot motor wear. I don't really want the extra length on the vehicle and won't need a towbar for anything else. It looks like the MB carrier is a good bit of kit, it's really just the weight on the boot issue which is making me hold back.
I had a California with a VW OEM tailgate bike carrier. Disadvantages are poor visibility through rear widow at all times (worse when no bikes on and folded), bikes vulnerable under low bridges (have been within a couple of inches of wrecking bikes in France a while back), more expensive than towbar rack (in fact grossly over priced), if you upgrade to electric bikes - particularly full suspension, as I have, you’ll struggle to get them on a tailgate rack.
 
I had a California with a VW OEM tailgate bike carrier. Disadvantages are poor visibility through rear widow at all times (worse when no bikes on and folded), bikes vulnerable under low bridges (have been within a couple of inches of wrecking bikes in France a while back), more expensive than towbar rack (in fact grossly over priced), if you upgrade to electric bikes - particularly full suspension, as I have, you’ll struggle to get them on a tailgate rack.
Thanks for the reply George.

I've experienced the poor visibility and agree this is a downside, as is the increased overall height. Price wise, although grossly overpriced at around £750, a tailgate setup is still much cheaper than a towbar solution given that I would need towbar + carrier though. This is part of my considering the tailgate option.

So to be clear, was the VW an electric tailgate? It's really any effects on the longevity of such a system that I'm concerned about.
 

thespoddy

Member
Thanks for the reply George.

I've experienced the poor visibility and agree this is a downside, as is the increased overall height. Price wise, although grossly overpriced at around £750, a tailgate setup is still much cheaper than a towbar solution given that I would need towbar + carrier though. This is part of my considering the tailgate option.

So to be clear, was the VW an electric tailgate? It's really any effects on the longevity of such a system that I'm concerned about.
I have the tailgate mounted rack and I really don’t know why everyone doesn’t use one. It’s brilliant! The weight of the rack and the bike is actually taken on the vehicle body so there shouldn’t be any problem with wear on the motor. The other good thing is that it’s easy to mount/dismount (as the mounting lugs stay affixed to the vehicle) and you really don’t know it’s there. I guess you could argue the down side is that you shouldn’t open the tailgate if you have bikes attached. As for poor visibility??? Surely you spend most of the time looking out the front of the van and you have a camera for reversing. The height that has been mentioned is usually an advantage as it’s out of the way when reversing/parking.
 
I have the tailgate mounted rack and I really don’t know why everyone doesn’t use one. It’s brilliant! The weight of the rack and the bike is actually taken on the vehicle body so there shouldn’t be any problem with wear on the motor. The other good thing is that it’s easy to mount/dismount (as the mounting lugs stay affixed to the vehicle) and you really don’t know it’s there. I guess you could argue the down side is that you shouldn’t open the tailgate if you have bikes attached. As for poor visibility??? Surely you spend most of the time looking out the front of the van and you have a camera for reversing. The height that has been mentioned is usually an advantage as it’s out of the way when reversing/parking.
Okaaaay.... Just as I was about to concede defeat and accept I would have to get a tow bar!

Anyone else got positive/negative experience with the tailgate mounted one?!
 

thespoddy

Member
Okaaaay.... Just as I was about to concede defeat and accept I would have to get a tow bar!

Anyone else got positive/negative experience with the tailgate mounted one?!
As it happens, I also have a tailgate mounted bike rack that I used on my previous camper and my car.

If I'm completely honest, here are the pros and cons...

Towbar rack
Pros: you can/might/awkwardly be open to drop/tip it so you can open the tailgate with it fully loaded. On my last camper there was no chance of opening the tailgate with it mounted.
Cons: you have to keep taking it off which is awkward and storing it somewhere, it can also make parking awkward.

Tailgate rack
Pros: you can just leave it on all the time and opening the tailgate is fine as long as its empty or maybe just one bike.
Cons: Some people complain about the rear visibility but I don't have a problem with that. The tailgate mounted rack would probably be too heavy to open the tailgate if you have more than one bike attached.

Since I don't own a bike rack company I'm not going to get emotional about this! I prefer the tailgate version though :)
 
Gazthediver

Gazthediver

Member
VIP Member
I went for the towbar mounted carrier as I use electric bikes and it’s a lot easier to load bikes and I personally don’t have a issue on reversing it And simply to remove

And I decided not to go for the rear mounted boot rack because it wouldn’t take the weight and someone on this forum had one and it broke the rear glass and if my memory is correct he had a nightmare and a long wait to get it replaced
 

Kiwi Ange

Member
Bike rack question (again!). Does anyone have the Atera DL3 bike-rack and a detachable Westfalia towbar (fitted after market) combo...? And does your tailgate clear the bike rack upon opening? We currently have a temporary fixed towbar fitted and the tailgate clears fine. We're about the get the towbar upgraded to the detachable Westfalia but met someone at the weekend with a detachable and apparently their tailgate doesn't clear the bike rack on opening. Is the case for anyone else. Many thanks!
 

GeorgeG

Active Member
Bike rack question (again!). Does anyone have the Atera DL3 bike-rack and a detachable Westfalia towbar (fitted after market) combo...? And does your tailgate clear the bike rack upon opening? We currently have a temporary fixed towbar fitted and the tailgate clears fine. We're about the get the towbar upgraded to the detachable Westfalia but met someone at the weekend with a detachable and apparently their tailgate doesn't clear the bike rack on opening. Is the case for anyone else. Many thanks!
The Atera Evo3 definitely clears the tailgate - just. Also, from earlier comments in this thread, the Atera DL3 works as well. As I’ve previously reported (according to my local Thule agent) no Thule towbar bike carriers will clear the MP tailgate when they’re lowered.
 

Lamb875

New Member
The Thule Velospace XT3 definitely works when paired with a retrofitted Westfalia detachable tow bar. It clears by a couple of inches, even with 4 bikes on the rack.

 

GeorgeG

Active Member
Westfalia
Apologies for my incorrect advice re Thule towbar mounted bike carriers - I was only going on what I was told by the company who fitted my Westfalia removable towbar who are agents for Thule. It possibly works because it is large enough to take 4 bikes.
 

Jts49

New Member
If anyone is interested the Thule EuroRide 2 does not tilt forward enough to allow the tailgate to open. However it does allow the window in the top half of the tail gate to open when the Thule EuroRide 2 is tilted forward.
 
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