Been some time since my last post - we've been enjoying the heck out of our van. However, one item that has been on my custom-to-do-list for a while now was to design and build a new bike rack solution. When I first designed the rear rack setup, I always assumed that I would put the bikes up on the roof rack... which we've done several times now and it works, but it's far from convenient. And because I planned on putting the bikes on the roof rack I didn't made concessions for the rear rack swing arm to be easily modified to accept a bike rack solution.
I didn't feel the rear box was strong enough to accommodate the bikes and with so much weight in there already I figured the tire swing-arm was the best solution. I came up with several different designs, but in the end this was the most achievable with the tools that I have.
There were a handful of criteria that drove the design:
- I wanted to be able to load the bikes by myself, quickly without much hassle. I was able to load the bikes on the roof by myself, but it was not quick and there was much hassle.
- Bikes need to be above the box/tire so that I could tow a trailer without interference. A couple times a year we take the boat and bikes camping.
- Swing arms should be operable with bikes attached.
- I wanted to work with the bike rack system that I had which forces the two arms of the design to be a specified distance apart. Retrospectively, I should have just bought a couple bike rack trays which would put the two arms closer together.
Material wise, this should have costed me three, 10ft long 1" EMT @ $7/ea. In the end I screwed up three pieces so it cost me twice as much.
Still needs paint, non-orange straps, cut the arms to length (much shorter), caps the arms, etc.
Here's the process: