So I was carrying this monstrosity of a rack on our long trips. Talk about dragging A**!!!
It slides out enough to open the rear doors, but not easily. As you may guess, it's very heavy and gets heavier when the telescoping tubes get all covered in road grime. Plus, we usually just hike when we travel. We rode our bikes once on our last two week trip.
Also, I built this dinette in the back of my van
I really love it, but it always stays in 'bed' mode. We have used it as a table exactly once.
Wanting to get the rack off the rear some of the time, I decided to trim down my 'extras' that I always drag around and see what would fit under the rear if I reconfigured the bed. Basically, I just raised it about 6 inches
Above is everything I need, with room to spare. Next, I built a 1" angle iron frame with 3/4 ply. It's plenty strong, not too heavy and takes up much less space than the previous wooden dinette frame
Everything fits great! Just tested it on a local trip this weekend. Simple access to the back door is really sweet and I've missed it
I didn't, however, want to go without my table. The old table made of laminate countertop was HEAVY, and not an ideal shape for my other table floor flange, so I made it narrower and longer, and added some cup holders also
It's made of leftover 3/4 ply for now, but if it works out I will probably recut it out of something better looking, or at least finish the edges, stain it, etc. For now, good old gray.
Where should I store it? Things this big are a pain to store in a van, so I built a sliding holder under the bed
Also, I put it towards the right where you can remove it by just opening the right rear door without opening the left.
Tested it all this weekend and it worked great. Now I think I will find a simpler swing away bike rack, or just try putting them on the front receiver.
As always...........to be continued...............