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What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ?
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In the market for a new vehicle and I want two main things. The ability to have a rooftop tent and the ability to put my bike inside.

What do you all have? What would you recommend?
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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I have toyota tundra with the crew cab. However the short second row. One can easily fit a bike with front wheel off in the back seat foot sections. Easy in and out. I am sure a roof top tent could be rigged up.

All sorts of companies doing that.

I have the truck for a few reasons. My kids are grown so the I don't need minivan anymore. If I am involved in accident I like the idea of having the mass around me. My uncle and aunt were killed in a head on with a truck three years ago. They were in a sedan. The truck driver walked away. I also own rural property and like the cargo capacity for wood and need high clearance to get on the land. With no bike in second row I can still transport five people

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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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F150 crew cab. My 56 felt IA fit in the back seat (seats folded up)without taking any wheels off.

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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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GMC Yukon XL Denali.

You can sleep inside it.
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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Ignore the haters and go for a Dodge Grand Caravan with the “Stow and Go” seats.

They’re pretty cheap and like a barn inside. I can throw a couple bikes and all my gear in the back and still lay down and grab a nap while waiting for the race to start.

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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [Sean H] [ In reply to ]
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Same here - I have an F150 crew cab, and I can fit any road or tri bike in the back seat without removing any wheels. Just have to put the seats up. I can also fit a 29er mountain bike back there but have to remove the front wheel.

With a bed cover, I can also fit another bike in the bed and keep it out of sight. I realize why folks use exterior bike racks, but I really like having my bikes inside and/or out of sight, particularly if I’m traveling with bikes.

I’ve seen truck tents that go on a platform above the bed at the cabin level. In other words, you still get the use of the full height of your truck bed up to the roof of the main cabin. If I was truck camping, that’s what I would do.
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [hillier99] [ In reply to ]
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A couple of years ago I had a race that was 4 hr away by car and my bike transport vehicle was in the shop. Rented the smallest SUV that would work, but they were out of that model when I showed up. Offered me what they had, including the Grand Carvan with Stow and Go seating. Phenomenal! So...much...space. Bike inside, wheels on plus all my gear and still tons of unused room. Could do two bikes / racers / gear pretty easily and very convenient. Of course, my DD is a Mazda MX-5 that I installed a trailer hitch on so I could use a hitch mount bike carrier. WAY less convenient than the Grand Caravan. But WAY more fun to drive during non-race days...
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [Sean H] [ In reply to ]
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thumbs up this answer extra points for the bike
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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Subaru Outback. I can fit my bike with either one of the split back seat folded down and front wheel removed. Also installing a hitch was super easy. I use this with Kuat mostly for my MTB or when carrying multiple bikes.

Car comes with roof rack so not a problem with tent. I'm tempted to get one.
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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I have a 2016 Nissan Murano. 60-40 split rear seats with the ability to put a bike in with wheel removed. I just recently installed a trailer hitch and bought a Kuat rack, but before this, I had no problems putting the bike in the back with one seat folded down. You can also purchase a tent that fits nicely on the hatch or you could just as easily use a rooftop tent.
Last edited by: scooter23: Nov 28, 20 19:08
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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This is where I wish I still had my Honda Element. They had all kinds of gear you could mount on that thing and my gear easily fit inside. Alas, not many people wanted the box on wheels.

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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [TheRef65] [ In reply to ]
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I wish they still made the box on wheels
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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Honda Odyssey here. I took the middle section of the middle seat out. The outboard seats then slide inward. I rigged a Yakima base bar behind the middle seats with a tray on it so the bike (front wheel off) is facing the back, and I believe I could put a tray on each side, though that would make getting in the middle seat difficult. I never take the bike out unless I need to haul more than 4 people—and obviously to ride it. Like others have said, tons of room in today’s minivans with third rows that fold into the floor. I also keep a crate with my swim bag, tool kit, and pump, then all my sandbags are lined up across the back now that my gym is back on lockdown.

As for the tent on top, I’ve never seen one in person, though there’s at least one online. Odyssey is FWD only, so it’s not nearly the camping vehicle my 4Runner was, but the useable space for normal daily driving is much better.
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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Mercedes E wagon. Rear seat down and you can have two fully assembled bike. Tent, no problem. For bonus points and real off road capabilities, G class. Just avoid the G65.


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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [jimatbeyond] [ In reply to ]
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I have a Yukon XL also. Great for family road trips. I love the space for dogs and gear and kids and skiing and snow and off road travel. But for bike transport I think these large SUVs are not nearly as good as other options despite their interior size. I’ve tried several options.

1. Hitch mounted rack - not ideal. The main downside here is that a hitch mounted rack interferes with the rear camera. Yukons, like all large SUVs, have parking assist and proximity sensors which, along with the camera, all get negated by the rack. These features are necessary on a vehicle this size for safe operation and maneuvering in tight spaces. As stated by others bikes on external racks are also subject to theft and damage.
2. Inside - third row down. This vehicle has a nice sized third row. If I put it down I still have the full bench second row for passengers and decent room for gear. I had my bike mechanic rig a front fork clamp onto a 2x4 sized for the space. So I clamp the front wheel down and It keeps it nice and steady back there and I retain full lift gate access and rear camera/parking functions. I still have to store the wheel somewhere.
3. Inside - laying flat with wheels on. This is the easiest but it eats into the second row space. So family travel is impacted. This is what I do if I travel solo.
4. Roof mount. My least favorite option. It is uncomfortably high and too awkward to get a bike up there without a ladder. Even then I feel like I’m about to bite it or tear up my shoulders.

I have traveled to races with friends in a minivan and I think it is the best way to go hands down for convenience and bike hauling. Roll in / roll out; safe and super convenient.

Cheers,
-Doug

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-Joseph Pilates
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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It really depends on what else you want to do with it and where you are in the world.

For me the Mitsibishi Pajero is the perfect vehicle as the height means I can roll my road and TT bike in upright, and with front wheels on. I can also very easily leave the single seat up in the back, and so carry 3 bikes and 3 adults and all the clobber with space spare. I even managed once, to carry 3 people, 3 MTB, 3 Road bike and a spare set of wheels for an adventure race, all in the car. That was a little less comfy.
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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Toyota Funcargo

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Well, I have a PhD :-)
Last edited by: PhilipShambrook: Nov 28, 20 22:16
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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Subaru Outback is compelling. My XL fat bike or full suspension 29er with 800 mm bars fit inside with both wheels on (with the dropper post down). Road, gravel or tri bike is no problem.

Super easy to add a hitch receiver. If you swap out the roof rails, it will hold any rooftop tent. The factory rails and crossbars will manage one person just fine though. Fantastic mileage compared to anything else with comparable capacity, similar ground clearance to a Forerunner or Cherokee, and amazing in winter weather with the right tires.
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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swim_corey_run wrote:
I wish they still made the box on wheels

No kidding! I’m at that stage in life when I can pretty much buy whatever car I want ... and I want a Honda Element.
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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I think budget is a deciding factor. Hell, you could go full sprinter van and have 80k+ into one of those and be very comfortable. I have always hated laying my bike down, I don't have any reason just don't like it. I went to a race years ago and on the way to the race a couple had their bikes on their rear mount and somebody ran into them and smashed their bikes. They did not race that day and then had to deal with the joy of insurance and what not.

My wife and I have a older transit connect long wheel base. Not the most aesthetically appealing car but very functional. We can put both bikes in standing up and ratched strap them in place. Gear/dog goes in the middle. We can position them differently and carry 2 people if need be, but that means tires come off.

We love it, but not for everybody.
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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GMC Sierra Trucks fit a bike in the back seat area, without having to even take the front wheel off...and then you could just use the truck bed for your camper area...
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [swim_corey_run] [ In reply to ]
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You could get something like a Model X. Camp mode makes for some comfortable sleeping in hot climates and the fold down seats make carrying a bike pretty easy.

I am personally not a fan of the big ass SUV. Just remember that every gallon of gas you are burning releases about 20 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere (~600 lbs/tank of gas). Most of the western US suffered from some truly horrible air quality. Canceling races for COVID was bad enough. There were tons of days from August through October where doing anything outside wasn’t feasible. At some point we collectively need to change our behavior.
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [TheRef65] [ In reply to ]
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TheRef65 wrote:
This is where I wish I still had my Honda Element. They had all kinds of gear you could mount on that thing and my gear easily fit inside. Alas, not many people wanted the box on wheels.

I'm still rolling around in my 2006 Honda Element with about 150k miles on it. I absolutely love that car. I bought it used in 2008 with about 20k miles on it. All three of my kids have driven it as their first cars (I reserved weekend rights for MTB and gravel rides) and it was great for them. It's pretty indestructible and just the right amount of power (i.e. not much) for them to stay out of trouble. My youngest graduates and leaves for college this summer and I'm so excited because I'll get it back full-time.

Btw, there are persistent rumors that Honda will be bringing it back sometime soon. I'll be first in line at the dealership.
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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [hubcaps] [ In reply to ]
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hubcaps wrote:
Subaru Outback. I can fit my bike with either one of the split back seat folded down and front wheel removed. Also installing a hitch was super easy. I use this with Kuat mostly for my MTB or when carrying multiple bikes.

Car comes with roof rack so not a problem with tent. I'm tempted to get one.
Yup. We have a 2013 Outback that has been perfect for bike transport. I think we've fit up to 3 bikes in the back, but generally transport on a hitch rack. Other options might be a bit roomier but the Outback is super versatile and most likely gets better mileage than the trucks. Plus general ease of driving.

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Re: What SUV/Pickup/Car/Van is best to carry my bike IN ? [realbdeal] [ In reply to ]
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I have a Mercedes Sprinter, and it's incredible. Not a fancy van conversion or anything, I just have a big family and we outgrew normal van/SUV size. Even with all of the seats in, there is room behind the last row for a couple of bikes. I love it.
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