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Old 06-20-2018, 12:04 AM   #1
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Default Cargo Boxes

Hi,
I am looking at 2 cargo boxes. The 16cu ft Stowaway with swing away option. https://www.stowaway2.com/max-cargo-carrier-black. Also looking at the Nico. Product – Nicova

Are there any other choices out there?

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Old 06-20-2018, 02:28 AM   #2
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Hi,
I am looking at 2 cargo boxes. The 16cu ft Stowaway with swing away option. https://www.stowaway2.com/max-cargo-carrier-black. Also looking at the Nico. Product Nicova

Are there any other choices out there?

Have you checked the price of the Nicova, as I recall it was several times the price of the Stowaway Max when we bought our Stowaway...
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Old 06-20-2018, 05:39 AM   #3
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Thanks for the information on price. At this point in my process, I am trying to determine if there are other options other than Nicova and Stowaway. What are folks using for cargo boxes? Thanks!
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Old 06-20-2018, 06:26 AM   #4
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Thule and Rola are another hitch cargo containers.
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Old 06-20-2018, 12:06 PM   #5
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Your question is perhaps best answered within the context of what you wish to use a cargo box for.

Do you wish to use it to haul twenty dollar lawn chairs, or a two thousand dollar folding bike? Or something in between?

It matters because there are many different ways to go with a product like that. Class Bs are so small that it is often inefficient to solve problems speculatively, as one would with a stick-and-brick house (because there's so much space that mistakes in storage efficiency hardly matter in a house context). Rather than asking the forward question (which brands), I encourage people to do the inverse (state their objective and then work backwards to isolate the solution).
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Old 06-20-2018, 10:40 PM   #6
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Thank you for your feedback. And thank you, Interblog, for the very good question, "what am I hauling?". I plan to haul two (2) $2,500 folding bikes and potentially other smaller items in a bucket or plastic box containers without overextending the weight limit of the cargo box. Thank you for your time and feedback.
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Old 06-21-2018, 01:01 PM   #7
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... I plan to haul two (2) $2,500 folding bikes and potentially other smaller items in a bucket or plastic box containers without overextending the weight limit of the cargo box. Thank you for your time and feedback.
That ^^, IMO, is a game-changer. If I were you, I'd think very carefully about the solution to your needs. And think outside the box, literally.

Understand that a Stowaway (and similar products) is just that - a flimsy plastic box. It can be defeated in a matter of seconds by a thief with a simple crowbar. Maybe you're not planning to go very far from your rig with the bikes still in the carrier. But if you even stop for lunch at a restaurant, go inside a convenience store to pay for fuel, it can happen that fast. Forums, websites and Instagram are riddled with stories of Class B owners who had their vehicles burgled and their most valuable items stolen in the blink of an eye.

My husband and I needed to carry a Yeti cooler which is also a high theft target, but considerably less money to replace than folding bikes (about $400). But add to that the cost of special dietary requirements and a lot of expensive home-made block-frozen food for the journey (a few hundred $ more) and all of a sudden we're talking about an investment that I don't care to lose.

We couldn't find any hitch carrier that would even come close to providing sufficient security without adding too much weight, and so we designed and made one ourselves. It incorporates thick iron bars that hold down the Yeti and a Pewag chain that lashes the carrier itself to the chassis because hitch locking pins themselves are extremely vulnerable - one smack with a sledgehammer and the entire hitch assembly is free for the thief's taking (carrier's build series of blog posts here).



The materials to build the hitch carrier above were only about $100. The real cost, of course, is in the labor, which in our case was DIY (my husband has a welder), but you could design a carrier and work with a local hobbyist "weekend welder" and probably pay him/her not that much more for labor than what you'd pay for a plastic box such as Stowaway off the shelf. A lot of these hobbyists like to earn a little money on the side because welding is an expensive hobby and their wallets gotta be fed.

On the topic of folding bikes generally, if you feel you must carry them outside the van, I suggest either opting for a metal box with a robust lock, or, a far heavier gauge molded box than what companies like Stowaway offer. If you got one of the larger fishing coolers for instance, you could adapt that to a hitch carrier.

I have a limited edition Brompton folding bike that I do not wish to lose, and I modified our van's small closet to accept it (blog post here):



I also added internal security to the closet that I don't show in the blog post. I've been pretty happy with that arrangement. The bike is more valuable to me than my clothes, literally and figuratively. Clothes can get stuffed into an overhead compartment. The bike needs to be protected.
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Old 06-21-2018, 01:52 PM   #8
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The Nicova is likely still unique as it allows you to carry bikes on top of the cargo box.

I don't think that two folding bikes would fit in many of the known cargo boxes. There are some oversize boxes out there. You'd have to certain of the measurements if ordering online.

Carrying bikes on top of the cargo box is an efficient use of space if trying to limit the overall length of the rig assuming that you need a cargo box for other items anyway.
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Old 06-21-2018, 02:02 PM   #9
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Marcopolo, Thanks for the reply. I don't think I want to carry the bikes on top of the carrier. A few years back, we had a Class C and and hauled our Treks on the back of the rig from Washington, across the northern US, up to the beautiful Atlantic Provinces, and then down the eastern coast following the fall foliage. Even covered, the Treks took a heck of a beating. I will triple check space requirements for the bikes before purchasing or having a box built. Thanks very much! FWIW, we loved NB and especially the St. Andrews area. Beautiful.
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Old 06-21-2018, 02:07 PM   #10
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Interblog, Thank you very much for the detailed description, photos, and the the link to your blog. Much appreciated. You have given us much to think about. Fortunately, 'we know a guy' that could likely help with building our own designed box. I would love to try and fit the bikes 'inside' but I don't think there is enough room. Thank you very much for the detailed description of your set up. Happy Travels.
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Old 06-21-2018, 02:09 PM   #11
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Here's a fairly large covered carrier for bikes: https://blog.letsgoaero.com/enclosed...sy-three-bikes
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Old 06-21-2018, 02:40 PM   #12
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On another forum, we had a case where an owner bought what, IIRC, was an Aero hitch carrier, and bouncing on rough roads caused it to bend at the receiver.

Unfortunately I can't verify which model it was. Forums are not designed for detailed historical searching (don't ever let mods convince you otherwise). With several thousand threads on each forum, unless there is a highly specific keyword, the search function usually returns too many possibilities to dig through.
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:03 PM   #13
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I have a rare 20 cf LetsGoAero cargo carrier that has landing gear so one person can put it on or take it off and it does not swing away but slides out to open the back doors. It is for sale. I've used it without incident and the receiver is strong. If a LetsGoAero's bent it is because it was used on a van with a high bounce that bike rack manufacturers won't warrant. See that other thread on bike carriers. That could happen to any carrier. LetsGoAero has the highest capacity carriers in cubic foot as well but that doesn't preclude common sense and overloading it with weight. If the carrier is designed for two bicycles that means two bicycles and not crammed with other stuff just because the volume is there.

Two vans ago I decided I could do without a hitch cargo carrier and deliberately bought vans that could carry my two inflatable Advanced Elements kayaks inside. That is about 60 lbs. The hitch cargo carrier adds over 3 foot to the vans length which just compounds parking a B. Now I am designing a short 144 WB Sprinter that will hold those two kayaks inside or 2 folding bicycles, or a Yeti Cooler. So, I will never use it again.
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
On another forum, we had a case where an owner bought what, IIRC, was an Aero hitch carrier, and bouncing on rough roads caused it to bend at the receiver.

Unfortunately I can't verify which model it was. Forums are not designed for detailed historical searching (don't ever let mods convince you otherwise). With several thousand threads on each forum, unless there is a highly specific keyword, the search function usually returns too many possibilities to dig through.
Use Google to search forums with the site: parameter in your search.

Example:

site:classbforum.com lets go aero

https://www.google.com/search?&q=sit...m+lets+go+aero
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:11 PM   #15
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Thanks markopolo, I found my original post in 2015 with your link. Since I now have an oversize garage and had family members desiring to use it, I haven't been as anxious to sell it. But it is for sale.

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I have the Gearspace 20 (20 cf) of which I no longer use. I quickly found it almost too big if you try to fill it, so you have to selectively fill it to keep the contents below 150 lbs. or you would get front wheel wandering. The The Gearspace 34 is designed to carry two bicycles protected and locked under cover. The Gearspace 20 was big enough to carry two Advanced Elements inflatable kayaks, pump, paddles, accessories and life vests. I still have it but doubt I would ever use it again. Willing to take offers.

Here is the Gearspace 20 with landing gear dropped so one person can install and remove it. Last I looked it was no longer in their lineup of carriers.

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Old 06-21-2018, 03:30 PM   #16
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....The hitch cargo carrier adds over 3 foot to the vans length which just compounds parking a B. ...
We intentionally designed ours at a svelte 18 inches deep.

Furthermore we vaulted our carrier so as to not interfere with the departure angle. Another poster on another forum asked me about the potential for that thing to contribute to tail-strike, and I created this graphic in response to his questions, as a picture always tells a thousand words:




Here's a pic of my folding bike sitting freely on my hitch carrier (I took this before modifying my closet as I was contemplating a hitch carrier add-on like we did for our chainsaw's gas can). From this, one can get the impression that a mini-mini-carrier could be designed to hold two of these puppies quite elegantly. It could easily be less than 18 inches deep if it needed to be, and it would interfere with nothing whatsoever.

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Old 06-21-2018, 04:16 PM   #17
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Perhaps a different perspective. On my Bigfoot camper I added 2 aluminum, very light weight, truck boxes, I don’t think they were expensive. They were mounted on the camper but were very easy to remove, a couple of minutes.

I often see in EU Sprinter trunks mounted to the rear hinges so hinges must be sufficiently strong. These rear extra trunks are used primarily for luggage.

If I would be looking for a storage for 2 folding bikes I would consider getting 2 aluminum boxes sized at 1 bike in a box and mount them at the rear door hinges and the door so they would open with either door.

I have Stowaway II and like it a lot but am not sure if 2 folding bikes would fit in. In regards to safety of Stowaway content I would say it is very safe. The box has almost a full width dead bolt and its flexibility would make it difficult to break in, it would be tough to bend or break, it will snap back to its shape not like an aluminum or a rigid plastic box. Flexibility of plastic could be very deceiving.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:24 PM   #18
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I've come to desire no hitch receiver carriers whatsoever no matter what the depth. I'm seeking stealth and not the Joad family going to California.
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Old 06-25-2018, 07:38 PM   #19
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I have the large Stowaway. I absolutely love it. It is water tight, easy to install/remove and it holds a ton of stuff. I have a 2007 RT 190 Popular. It fits very well and when installed it is easy to get it out of the way to access the rear storage area under the seats. It comes with all the wiring for lights and license plate holder that is lighted too. Pricey but worth it.
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Old 06-25-2018, 10:50 PM   #20
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Thanks Sally and to all for your replies. I am leaning toward the Stowaway because they seem like they are well built and hold a bunch. Happy Travels!
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