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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
As we don't seem to have an active RAV4 forum in Australia I've joined this one. I currently have two RAV4s, a 2004 and have just bought a 2009 V6.
I go mountain biking twice a week with a friend and in the old car I wasn't too worried about getting the interior grubby, I put the two bikes in the rear with the rear seats removed, and held them in place with straps. The new car is much nicer so I want to keep it looking good. So, I need a better way to carry the bikes that won't make the interior scratched up. I saw some ideas online and decided to make something myself.

I got some MDF (particle) board and a plank of cedar and have a bike mount for a pickup on order. I had to make a mount for my friend's bike as he has a through axle and the mounts are expensive for those.

I cut some MDF to fit into the holes behind the rear wheel arches next to the storage box that have plastic covers on them. I covered this with some black cloth and screwed the cedar to this.

I'm waiting for the bike mount and when that arrives I will be able to mount both bikes. I'm still deciding whether to paint the cedar.

I hope the photos show what I've done so four. I will post more once it's all finished.
 

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Those are good innovations for carrying your bikes in your RAV. I got a large and heavily textured household carpet remnant to line the rear of my RAV to prevent scratching, tearing and other damage.
 

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Hey, would you mind clarifying for me exactly how you're loading the bikes in? You just load them with the mounts screwed into the cross-piece of wood and the bike's long axis parallel to the long axis of the Rav? I assume they won't fit sideways (mine won't anyway). I'm currently trying to do something very similar. I have a cannondale with the lefty fork so unfortunately it's a bit more complicated to take the wheel off but I'd much prefer mounting the bikes inside to on the roof or on the spare tire.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi Rebel_Rav,
The idea is to remove the front wheel, drop the saddle and wheel the bike in backwards so the rear wheel is close to the front seat. Then drop the fork into the mount on the cross beam and secure it. Both bikes will be upright and along the length of the car. I have both mounts now so will position them and bolt them in place and then post photos.
The photo here shows how they should look. Taken before I started work on the mount, just to see if they would fit.

When I was looking for the mounts, I think I saw some designed for the Lefty.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Right, so this morning I went out and finished the job (almost). Bolted/screwed the mounts onto the wood and test fitted the bikes. I'm pretty happy with the results. The ends of the handlebars are a little close to the car and some care will need to be taken getting them in and out, but that will get easier with practice. I just need to lift the mount for the through-axle home made mount as the axle lever doesn't go all the way round, it hits the wood and so it's not screwed in to the axle fully. Easy to fix.
 

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Gotcha. That's what I assumed you were planning. Looks like a solid solution for little money. I do believe there are some adapters or specific mounts for the lefty. This might be a viable option for me.

I'd love to make a tray that I could put on some heavy duty slides (I guess you would call them) so that the whole thing could slide out like a drawer for loading and unloading. Yet to figure a decent way to do that though. Not sure where would anchor it to keep the whole contraption from flipping when I slide the bike out.

Thanks for sharing!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ooh, I like that idea! Maybe some kitchen drawer runners and a plank? Possibly those used for slide-out pantry shelves?
FYI my crossmember is a cedar decking plank that I had spare.

Edit: I used to carry my bike on a roof rack when I had a much smaller car. The bike carrier fitted on to and was a piece of extruded aluminium with a bike hitch on the front. The rear wheel was held in place with a Velcro strap. I'll see if I can get a link to it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've just seen an aluminium thru-axle adapter for roof rack bike carriers. I may get one of those to replace the plastic pipe I'm currently using.
 

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We are leaving on a 5000-6000 km road trip from western Quebec to tour Newfoundland and wanted to bring our mountain bikes. We didn't want to leave our bikes exposed to the elements and outside the Rav on the two long ferry rides. The other issue was that we still needed room for our luggage and a medium cooler. We came up with much the same set up except that I took the rear floor panel out to expose the area where the third row seating would go. I had to do this because one of the bikes has the handle bars set high so the forks sit down inside the lower section of the cargo area. I built a wooden frame to hold the forks in place. I couldn't go too low as the front chain rings on the bikes would start digging into the back of the folded down seats and I didn't want the chainrings supporting some of the weight of the bike. I incorporated a spot for the cooler in the back and with the bikes on an angle towards the drivers seat, the luggage should squeeze in behind the passenger seat which, I guess is the opposite side here! I plan to put a piece of plywood to protect the upholstery and hang something off the back of the driver's seat because rear tire of one of the bikes will for sure hit the seat when loading and unloading. We're not too tall so the front seats are only adjusted half way back giving us the clearance we need. We have 'aero bars' installed on both bikes as we use them more for light touring less for mountain biking. The bars have to be loosened and swung down so they don't go through back window. I'll post some pictures when we load up.
 

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Yeah I've seen a blog post (if you google slide out bike rack you can find it) with a slide out type design. Only it's in a very large van with a completely flat plywood floor to screw the rack into.

I don't want to have to take the seats out (in an apartment with little space to store anything, and I want the car to still be practical for passengers). And I'd like whatever I do to be fairly easily removable.

Not sure yet, if I come up with anything I think is ingenious I may make a little post about it.

What you've got seems very sufficient though. Especially if you have a buddy to help from the side door while you slide in the fork mounts.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
An idea (which may or may not work!)
A set up like mine which fixes to the rear of the luggage area. Then a wider plank fixed to this going back into the car, onto which you fit a narrower plank on runners.
Possibly find a way to strap this to the baby seat mount at the bottom of the folded rear seat?
 

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So this is the setup. I friction fitted the wood frame into the space below the floor using pieces of foam. I ratchet strapped the forks down to the wood. Made a lip by overlapping the wood to hold the forks in place and against the back of the space, put some foam between the forks and the carpet so it doesn't get punctured. If the ratchet straps are too tight, to the point that the forks springs are being compressed, the back wheels start to come up. I could have used the fork clamps also but too cheap to go buy them, my Scottish heritage! I bungeed the back of the bikes down, hooking to the rail under the seat, only place I could find to tie down in that area. Not much side to side movement. The square space in the back is for the cooler. So I think we have enough space left for our luggage...helmets etc. In all of this, one thing I didn't think of right away is the heat generated inside when the car is parked in the sun and the effects on the bikes, tire pressure, seats, handle grips, grease in the bearings etc. Probably not going to be an issue in Newfoundland as sunny hot days are not abundant but something to keep in mind.
 

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Seems to be a fairly nice fit with lots of extra space if needed.

I hadn't really thought about the heat either. In southern US, it gets hot (real feel of 105F with the humidity yesterday, air temp was like 92F). However, I doubt it would be an issue for me. I don't really go on long trips. I'd mostly only have them in the car when traveling. Unload once at the destination. But that is the good thing about having them in the car, you could leave them unattended should the need arise. Something to consider if they'll be left for very long, I suppose.
 

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Nice setups. I used to haul my bike in the cargo area and then when my daughter was born, couldn't do it anymore. Ended up getting a hitch and a tray rack. I actually stopped way before then as I managed to hit my front chain ring on the rear bumper. I got a Thule Spare me 2 rack then switched to a tray style after.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, time to resurrect this post!
After almost a year of using my home made bike carrier, I’ve decided to buy a bike carrier. Taking wheels off, lowering seats and getting the bikes in the car without damaging the interior was getting to be a chore. I bought a Yakima Holdup which fits in the tow hitch, and it seems to work well so far. No need to change anything on the bikes or remove wheels and the carrier is very solid.
The only real problem is that it is (for security) screwed into the tow hitch, so removal takes a little longer. It has a lock, so leaving it on the car shouldn’t be a problem.
 

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Yes, getting the bikes in and out was a chore, and to buy a new carrier I would definitely go with a tray type to best protect the bikes, especially if I had the investment you have in your bikes. As this was an extended trip, (6600 km) plus the long ferry rides, some heavy rain on occasion I was happy to have them inside. I have an old 'Stealth' hanger type rack which suffices for our older low end bikes for shorter trips. I welded it to its own ball mount and it locks into the receiver. The Rav ran flawlessly, well loaded returned 8.4 L/100 km.
 
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