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Old 05-17-2018, 10:50 AM   #21
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Go to "Fiamma" bike rack for the sprinter van. I have had one on a CS Adventurous 2017. Great rack. Complicated instructions but no drilling, goes on your rear door. Rear door still opens and the rack when not used folds up against the door. Not cheap, try Panther RV, about $650 but a beautiful work of art (for a bike rack).


Yup. These were what we were told you really need on the full size sprinter van. I didn’t know that they weren’t permanently attached. Racks are expensive anyway. Our hitch on was maybe $500-$600 and this looks really nice IMO.

Do see this........................

Fiamma 02093-93 Mercedes Sprinter after 06 Aluminum Bike Rack
This is a high quality aluminum bike rack designed to fit the mercedes Sprinter made after 2006. It attaches to the rear door and allows the door to be opened without removing the bicycles. Designed for van conversions with double rear doors. For installation, drilling is necessary but only for the 4-security screws.


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Old 05-17-2018, 01:36 PM   #22
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OP, I too had the same concern with the back doors. Not so much because of an emergency exit fear, but because we use those doors as pedestrian doors. This is even more true now that we've put in the Lagun table receiver at the front of our van, so that I can swivel around the passenger seat and use my computer on that table. When I push it aside to get up, it blocks the slider. I don't want to have to pull the table up every time I need to stand and move around. Stopping at a gas station, restaurant, etc. now means 100% exiting out the back door (unless I want to haul my butt across the driver's seat, which I certainly could do, but I'd prefer to just walk straight out).

When we were designing our hitch carrier, I initially wanted a swing-away carrier, but my husband (a mechanical engineer) did the math and just wasn't comfortable with what it would take to make it safe.

My compromise was a hitch carrier that blocked only ONE door. Here you see it with our cooler on it, but we also carry other things on that one side, because different structures can bolt into the "floor" of it on the street side. We could bolt a bike carrier there if we wanted, and still have it be a hitch assembly, and still have the door access.

I researched putting a door ladder on our van, but there were reports of sheet metal warping and also hinge problems (that research was a while back and I can no longer cite sources). I don't know how the current market offerings would be in this regard. Personally I'd rather put the weight on the hitch. That is what it was built to do.

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Old 05-17-2018, 01:41 PM   #23
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OP, I too had the same concern with the back doors. Not so much because of an emergency exit fear, but because we use those doors as pedestrian doors. This is even more true now that we've put in the Lagun table receiver at the front of our van, so that I can swivel around the passenger seat and use my computer on that table. When I push it aside to get up, it blocks the slider. I don't want to have to pull the table up every time I need to stand and move around. Stopping at a gas station, restaurant, etc. now means 100% exiting out the back door (unless I want to haul my butt across the driver's seat, which I certainly could do, but I'd prefer to just walk straight out).

When we were designing our hitch carrier, I initially wanted a swing-away carrier, but my husband (a mechanical engineer) did the math and just wasn't comfortable with what it would take to make it safe.

My compromise was a hitch carrier that blocked only ONE door. Here you see it with our cooler on it, but we also carry other things on that one side, because different structures can bolt into the "floor" of it on the street side. We could bolt a bike carrier there if we wanted, and still have it be a hitch assembly, and still have the door access.

I researched putting a door ladder on our van, but there were reports of sheet metal warping and also hinge problems (that research was a while back and I can no longer cite sources). I don't know how the current market offerings would be in this regard. Personally I'd rather put the weight on the hitch. That is what it was built to do.

I was actually told by the bike carrier manufactures that the hitch weight isn't the issue and is more the extra "bob" the back end takes due to the long distance from the rear wheel to the hitch. The fear is their bike rack will "break" as a result. I am not saying I don't see any 170 with bike hitch racks but the manufacturers of the racks say "no".

They said the 144 WB isn't an issue as less "bob".
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:18 PM   #24
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Go to "Fiamma" bike rack for the sprinter van. I have had one on a CS Adventurous 2017. Great rack. Complicated instructions but no drilling, goes on your rear door. Rear door still opens and the rack when not used folds up against the door. Not cheap, try Panther RV, about $650 but a beautiful work of art (for a bike rack).
According to their representative...the rack has to be DRILLED into the rear doors....I'm not going to this and create another penetration issue......

I'll take another look .. but, I'm pretty sure that's how it's attached...

IF you think it attaches to the door some other way... tell me how you think it's attached...

Do see this........................

Fiamma 02093-93 Mercedes Sprinter after 06 Aluminum Bike Rack
This is a high quality aluminum bike rack designed to fit the mercedes Sprinter made after 2006. It attaches to the rear door and allows the door to be opened without removing the bicycles. Designed for van conversions with double rear doors. For installation, drilling is necessary but only for the 4-security screws.
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:25 PM   #25
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I was actually told by the bike carrier manufactures that the hitch weight isn't the issue and is more the extra "bob" the back end takes due to the long distance from the rear wheel to the hitch. The fear is their bike rack will "break" as a result. I am not saying I don't see any 170 with bike hitch racks but the manufacturers of the racks say "no".

They said the 144 WB isn't an issue as less "bob".
I'm in the middle at 158. For reasons we don't understand, our road handling actually improved when we added our carrier. We built it intending to only use it when necessary, but it now stays on continuously.
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:37 PM   #26
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It's not just the bouncing... it's the 170 inch wheelbase...

Think 170, 170 , 170....

That's it...

There's no 4 by 4 with a 170 inch wheelbase....
Mercedes Benz manufactures 170Ē extended body (24í-1Ē) vans in 4 x 4.
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:43 PM   #27
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It's not really the Wheel Base that is the issue. It's the overhang behind the rear axle.

Remember how much bouncing there was at the back of the school bus? That's the issue! It's the "leverage" of having something overhanging very far from the pivot point (axle) that makes things move up and down way more and faster.

My parents had a small travel trailer and we put a bike rack on the back bumper of the trailer and eventually it broke off on the freeway. The bikes were dragged hanging from the bumper until a good Samaritan pointed it out. The welds had let go (of course you can blame the weld quality but the principle is still true).

The strap holding to the top of the door would help. But I'm not sure it's enough. It's really hard to tell.

Other options are (and this is just FYI as most are expensive and/or complicated):

1 - Mount the bikes to the back doors:

(I know it's not a sprinter, it's just an example.)

2 - Mount the bikes on a heavy-duty bike rack/bumper combination like Aluminess ($$$$).


3 - Install a bike rack on the front bumper.

4 - Carry your bikes inside (maybe on a drawer).
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:47 PM   #28
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It's not really the Wheel Base that is the issue. It's the overhang behind the rear axle.

Remember how much bouncing there was at the back of the school bus? That's the issue! It's the "leverage" of having something overhanging very far from the pivot point (axle) that makes things move up and down way more and faster.

My parents had a small travel trailer and we put a bike rack on the back bumper of the trailer and eventually it broke off on the freeway. The bikes were dragged hanging from the bumper until a good Samaritan pointed it out. The welds had let go (of course you can blame the weld quality but the principle is still true).

The strap holding to the top of the door would help. But I'm not sure it's enough. It's really hard to tell.

Other options are (and this is just FYI as most are expensive and/or complicated):

1 - Mount the bikes to the back doors:

(I know it's not a sprinter, it's just an example.)

2 - Mount the bikes on a heavy-duty bike rack/bumper combination like Aluminess ($$$$).


3 - Install a bike rack on the front bumper.

4 - Carry your bikes inside (maybe on a drawer).
exactly.....rear tire to hitch.........
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Old 05-17-2018, 03:37 PM   #29
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It's not just the bouncing... it's the 170 inch wheelbase...

There's no 4 by 4 with a 170 inch wheelbase....
Although short (144) wheelbase Sprinters are most common around Moab there are a number of 170 and ext versions with 1UP rack systems. As Davydd points out Mercedes provides 4x4 Sprinters for all the longer units.

RakAttach / 1upUSA systems are often combined with Aluminess extended bumpers and carriers because they'll handle the extended leverage. In fact RakAttach makes custom sized units to accommodate the Alumniness dimensions. As others have noted earlier the Aluminess systems are very heavy duty, and not cheap.

BTW, the bike rack mounts on that Aluminess factory van photo earlier in this thread are 1upUSA.
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:23 PM   #30
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It's not just the bouncing... it's the 170 inch wheelbase...

Think 170, 170 , 170....

That's it...

There's no 4 by 4 with a 170 inch wheelbase....
Think confused, confused, confused....

No 4 x 4s with a 170 inch wheel base? This will come as a devastating shock to a lot of 4 x 4 170" WB owners.
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Old 05-17-2018, 09:06 PM   #31
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I was actually told by the bike carrier manufactures that the hitch weight isn't the issue and is more the extra "bob" the back end takes due to the long distance from the rear wheel to the hitch. The fear is their bike rack will "break" as a result. I am not saying I don't see any 170 with bike hitch racks but the manufacturers of the racks say "no".

They said the 144 WB isn't an issue as less "bob".
I talked with T/S at Kuat and they indicate that the wheel base isn't relevant to their warranty because they (and their competitors) have disclaimers in their warranties for any use on the back of an RV regardless of its wheel base. On the platform models, he said that the problem wasn't fracturing of the tongue, but possible fracturing of the platform hinge. He said that two factors that increase this risk are 1.off road conditions and heavy (60lb) bikes. He said that 1UP and Hollywood were currently building racks that were designed for RVs.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:57 AM   #32
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Be aware, these rack systems are heavy! It's sometimes helpful to have a second person assist with rack mounting. But once installed bike access and removal is simple.
The 1up isn't too bad, about 45 pounds but adding the rak attach pushes the assembly up to around 95 pounds so as you point out it's not practical for one person to wrestle with. But if you can leave it permanently installed I guess that isn't an issue. I wonder how much the weight could be reduced in titanium.
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:48 AM   #33
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Default Bicycle rack conundrum... Continued.

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To the best of my knowledge the 1upUSA Heavy Duty (or Super Duty) tray mount bike rack combined with the RakAttach swing out arm is the only system fully rated for rugged RV and offroad usage.

https://www.1up-usa.com/product/2in-...ble-bike-rack/

http://rakattach.com/

These racks are common in Moab where Sprinter 4x4s bounce around rough mountain bike access roads all the time.

Be aware, these rack systems are heavy! It's sometimes helpful to have a second person assist with rack mounting. But once installed bike access and removal is simple.


Have a look at the rockymounts web site. The reason you buy this one is because you own a sprinter or promaster with rear doors and you want unfettered access. Itís designed for two 60 lbf bikes (ebikes). I know you can buy hitch racks and then also buy a separate swing arm for the same functionality, but the rockymounts design the function is integral. I think thatís better... and itís easy to install
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:51 AM   #34
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Default Sorry, I was wrong... the 3500 4 by 4 cargo van starts at $64,000

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Think confused, confused, confused....

No 4 x 4s with a 170 inch wheel base? This will come as a devastating shock to a lot of 4 x 4 170" WB owners.

Starting at $64,000... that's just the price of the cargo van..


My question is... where are you really intending to take this OFF ROAD..
once it's converted to an RV??


https://www.mercedes-benz-vans.ca/en...4x4/cargo-van/
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:37 AM   #35
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The 1up isn't too bad, about 45 pounds but adding the rak attach pushes the assembly up to around 95 pounds so as you point out it's not practical for one person to wrestle with. But if you can leave it permanently installed I guess that isn't an issue. I wonder how much the weight could be reduced in titanium.
I just weighed my 1upUSA HD Double in the garage at 50 pounds so perhaps they've managed to trim a few pounds from latest units. That's just the HD (not Super Duty) dual tray foundation, each of the two add-ons were just under 20 pounds each additional.

For RakAttach combo users the swing-away arm can be installed separately so at least you're not wrestling 95+ lbs at once. But you definitely want to be wearing hard toed shoes while handling these!
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Old 05-18-2018, 05:46 AM   #36
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Have a look at the rockymounts web site. The reason you buy this one is because you own a sprinter or promaster with rear doors and you want unfettered access. It’s designed for two 60 lbf bikes (ebikes). I know you can buy hitch racks and then also buy a separate swing arm for the same functionality, but the rockymounts design the function is integral. I think that’s better... and it’s easy to install
RockyMounts' BackStage is a nice integrated unit and much lighter (about two-thirds) compared to the 1up/RakAttach combo. But it's also limited to two bikes and 120 lbs max vs. four bikes and 200 lbs max load with the 1up system.

I also find the 1up tray arms much more adjustable to independently resolve handlebar/saddle interference between bike trays. That's an individual matter and you'll just need to try each with your own bikes to determine which works best for multi-bike loads.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:25 PM   #37
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I don't think that this option has been mentioned on this thread, so here goes. The bike-mounting problem can be made to disappear if folding bikes are chosen.

A high-quality folding bike is very expensive (mine is a Brompton) but some of those bike racks are also very expensive, so you pay one way or pay the other way.

Mine fits in our closet. I added shelves in the closet above the bike (one in this photo below, and later I made a second one) to recapture more space. Keeping it in the closet also minimizes theft potential. Other Class B owners keep them behind or under their rear seats.

My Brompton will handle everything except harsh off-road trails (I did have to upgrade its original tires to handle rough terrain - they are high-pressure tires). I've taken it through trails and unpaved areas, but obviously it doesn't have the handle-ability of a full mountain bike (the tire width tends to be a limiting factor). There are stories about people cycling cross-continent on these things. They are not flimsy.

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Old 05-18-2018, 12:36 PM   #38
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I don't think that this option has been mentioned on this thread, so here goes. The bike-mounting problem can be made to disappear if folding bikes are chosen.

A high-quality folding bike is very expensive (mine is a Brompton) but some of those bike racks are also very expensive, so you pay one way or pay the other way.

Mine fits in our closet. I added shelves in the closet above the bike (one in this photo below, and later I made a second one) to recapture more space. Keeping it in the closet also minimizes theft potential. Other Class B owners keep them behind or under their rear seats.

My Brompton will handle everything except harsh off-road trails (I did have to upgrade its original tires to handle rough terrain - they are high-pressure tires). I've taken it through trails and unpaved areas, but obviously it doesn't have the handle-ability of a full mountain bike (the tire width tends to be a limiting factor). There are stories about people cycling cross-continent on these things. They are not flimsy.


I just checked their site.........the weight looks good at under 25 pounds which is fantastic.

Some of the "cheaper" models are beasts from a weight stand-point.......these are less than most mountain bikes.

My wife's Klein Mountain bike pictured on the rack in this thread weighs 24.7 pounds and is about as light as any mountain bike comes so these Brompton's might be a real good choice for many folks.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:40 PM   #39
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Folding bikes are an option, even for those who don't like the small wheel ones like the shown Brompton.



I have a full size folding mountain bike from Montague on 26" wheels. It folds to about 27" square by 14" and fits under the full time bed in our 07 C190P Roadtrek.


Before switching to the Montague, I did have a 16" wheel Dahon that folded a little bit smaller, but I didn't care for how it rode on the dirt and gravel that we seem to always have around us when traveling. The small wheels have a bit of an issue there, especially on deeper sand or soft surfaces. OK and smooth pavement, though. Having a bike that will go on most any surface was much better for me.
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Old 05-18-2018, 12:48 PM   #40
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Consider going with a DIY or custom made solution to get exactly what you want instead of spending a lot of money on an off-the-shelf solution that only meets some of your needs.


I think my DIY setup ended up costing around CDN$700. Most of the parts were purchased while at sale prices. http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8...-van-3382.html


My setup has dual support arms, each would likely be rated for carrying 350lbs (each arm). I put a cargo box and bikes on mine but this type of setup could have only bikes.


cargo box and bikes on van 1.JPG


You could use electric actuators to slide the box away from the van for convenience if wanting to keep the rear doors clear for an emergency exit. Just push a button to slide the whole setup away from the van when at your campsite.
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