Bike rack for a VW T5

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Blackhound
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Bike rack for a VW T5

Post by Blackhound » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:30 pm

In the market for a bike rack for my T5 based camper-van. The towbar option looking quite pricey and it appears that I also require new struts for the tailgate with the modern racks. I have looked at a Fiamma one and VW's own.

The Fiamma is the 'pro' version & is for 2 bikes but could be extended to 4 - I only require space for 2 bikes and been quoted £450 fitted (incl struts)

The VW is £675 (incl struts) and is for 4 bikes.

Someone else has told me the VW one is good, well made, easy to take off and on if required and bikes fit quickly but suggests he requires a step - and he is taller than me.

I don't know anything about the Fiamma pro other than a couple of comments on other forums. I don't mind paying more if better build and more convenience.

I have noticed quite a few T5's in the car park at various BB events and wondered what people were using or any experiences. Unlikely I suppose that anyone has used both. It is likely the rack will be left on the 'van most of the time and usually just one bike.

An expensive accessory that might suit us for longer trips is to add a large (Brandrup)polyester bag to the 4 mount VW option to allow us to put light and bulky stuff on the spare rails so the extra spend may not be wasted.
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johnnystorm
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Re: Bike rack for a VW T5

Post by johnnystorm » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:33 pm

Boxelder was pleased with his rack. I don't remember the details but I'm sure it was "better" than his last one.
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Jurassic
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Re: Bike rack for a VW T5

Post by Jurassic » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:43 pm

Can't help with the tailgate mounting options but if you did decide to go down the towbar mounted rack then the Atera Strada DL is the one to go for. It's the only towbar mounted rack that allows the tailgate to open on a T5 while the rack is on. I have one on my shopping list for our T5 camper to replace the ancient Thule Ride On that I currently use (which is well battered). Our gas locker is just inside the tailgate so being able to open the tailgate fully without unloading the bikes would save be great (currently I have to tilt the Thule rack which allows the tailgate to open slightly and then I can just reach in and turn the gas on, it's a total PITA).

Blackhound
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Re: Bike rack for a VW T5

Post by Blackhound » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:54 am

Jurassic, I understood some of the Thule racks swing down to allow access? These were what I was looking at. Maybe more research needed.
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Jurassic
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Re: Bike rack for a VW T5

Post by Jurassic » Sat Jan 04, 2020 12:15 pm

Blackhound wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:54 am
Jurassic, I understood some of the Thule racks swing down to allow access? These were what I was looking at. Maybe more research needed.
Yeah, you're right but they don't swing down far enough to clear the tailgate (my Thule rack does this). The design of the Atera Strada is really clever in that it slides away from the back of the vehicle as well as tilting downwards to give enough clearance for the tailgate to open. I intended buying one a couple of years ago but just haven't got round to it yet as I can get by with my Thule rack. There's info on the California owners forum about it and I actually chatted to a guy with a Cali who had one on his van and was kind enough to give me a demo of his in action. They're really nice racks, German company so good quality (not that Thule racks are crap, just not as good for this particular application).
https://www.atera.de/en/atera-strada-dl.html

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Jurassic
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Re: Bike rack for a VW T5

Post by Jurassic » Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:33 pm

I just found this video of the Atera rack on a T5. It does seem that it's necessary to either turn the bars on the inner bike if it's got wide bars or use the outer slots if carrying less than three bikes or put your road bike on the inner slot if you're taking different types of bike.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... e=emb_logo
There are a few discussion threads on the California forum (this being one of them).
https://vwcaliforniaclub.com/threads/at ... rack.4572/

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Dodgypenguin
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Re: Bike rack for a VW T5

Post by Dodgypenguin » Sat Jan 04, 2020 8:25 pm

Just stay away from the Fiamma "Carry-Bike" versions which rubs the paint off your rear door where it touches (just above the bumper).

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99percentchimp
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Re: Bike rack for a VW T5

Post by 99percentchimp » Sat Jan 04, 2020 9:41 pm

VW 4 bike version on mine. Left on permanently and no issues. Helps being 6’3” to get the inner bikes on and needs a bit organising for 4 bikes but I guess no difference to any 4 bike rear rack. Mate who is shorter can’t get his bike on without a small step/box.
I turn the handlebars on the inner bike to stop the inner bar fouling the roof when opening the tail gate (not barn door on mine) but don’t find this an issue. Got some higher pressure struts to support the gate when up but only trust them with a couple of bikes. Propped with a kayak paddle at other time ;-).
Really happy with it. Holds up to fat bike tyres 4.0” with toe straps. Secure with cable locks.
Have thought about the luggage rack bag too but never needed it on my LWB.
High enough not to obscure lights and plate so no faff with extra wiring/light boards.
So no negatives other than a bit high for getting bikes on and off... no worse than an ordinary roof rack on a car.
Hope that helps.
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slarge
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Re: Bike rack for a VW T5

Post by slarge » Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:56 pm

Different rack, as mine is for a barn door not a tailgate, but the Fiamma ones are good. Just make sure you helitape the tailgate where the rack brackets touch the paintwork or they will wear through the paint.

You got a new T5? (I thought you had a rack on your existing van)

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