Tow bar on 2005 Executive

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Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Yorkie+1 on Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:08 pm

Hi, has anyone put a tow bar on an Executive. I'm hoping it can be done and will take 50kgs of e-bikes ? If not I've made another expensive mistake.
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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Onlysme on Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:06 pm

I don't know about a tow bar on the Executive, but on our old Clubman we took the batteries off the e-bikes and then used the standard rear bike rack. The bikes without batteries (at least our ones) weigh pretty much the same as a normal bike when the batteries are removed. Also felt more secure to leave the bikes on the back with the expensive batteries safely in the habitation area.
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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Yorkie+1 on Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:13 pm

We tried them on the bike rack today, unsafe. Ours weight 23kgs each without the battery. Although the bike carrier is rated at 60 kgs, we feel the mounting will not take them. We don't want to rip the back of the motor home off. A Witter tow bar specialist agreed. He wouldn't fit a tow bar for us either. Said it needed extensions to go right back to the chassis.
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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by roli on Fri Sep 09, 2016 3:36 pm

I had a tow bar on an Executive (Towtal) and made an arrangement for a platform to clamp to it on which we could put 2 ordinary bikes - no problem
However
If you are taking the van abroad beware the normal load allowance on these vans is not great and the tow bar with bikes may take you over the limit

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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Redwink on Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:54 pm

I have been looking at adding a towbar on my 2002 Nuevo to carry 2 e bikes to save lifting them high up on the existing rack. I did do a Weighbridge check to see what my Axle loading were. I then used the formula to check what I could load on the back. I allowed 100kg as my loading, although this is 50 per cent more than I need and I have more than enough before going over the axle load. I did weigh the van unloaded and I have over 640kg of payload. I think I will be going for a chassis mounted e bike rack which can be removed or folded when not in use rather than a tow bar with bike rack. Looks like I may need deep pockets for this
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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Yorkie+1 on Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:11 am

Found a place that do towbars on Autosleepers. Watling Engineering in St.Albans. They attach them in 3 places, 2 on the chassis extenders and 1 on the original chassis. Told weight of our bikes on towbar not a problem. Pricey, but it's the only way we can transport our bikes with this Autosleeper.

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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Redwink on Sat Sep 10, 2016 8:54 am

Try Armitage trailers. They might be closer to you
www.armitagetrailers.com
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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by paul long on Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:05 am

This is the man you need to see , m parkinson tow bars Preston. I had a scooter rack fitted on to the chassis,  goole the name and you will find his website.
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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Yorkie+1 on Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:56 am

Thank you, we will give these local guys a ring on Monday.

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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by meanchris on Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:10 pm

Just spotted this thread, sorry.

Our 2005 Exec has a towbar, the previous owners used it to tow a Smart car and it's still intact, so must be sturdy.

I could take some photos if you like?
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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Yorkie+1 on Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:25 pm

Thank you everyone, we've booked it in with Armitage Trailers, their tow bars are galvanised.

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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Redwink on Wed Sep 14, 2016 12:55 pm

Let me know how you got on, they were very helpful with information when I asked them, but it's quite a long trek for me
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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Yorkie+1 on Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:57 am

I phoned Autosleeper, they say the rear mounted bike rack will take 60 kgs as specified on the Fiamma bike rack. We tried our bikes 50 kgs between them. We wouldn't want to risk it. So we looked at tow bar, it would need extensions, then optional move corner steadiness. It came to approx £600 at Armitages. So we've had second thoughts, and cancelled the tow bar. We'll just have to take one e bike and one standard bike. That should be 35kg max. Eventually we may sell e bikes and buy lighter models.

Thanks for your interest guys.
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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Gromit on Thu Sep 22, 2016 11:19 am

Hi Sue

You said earlier that your bikes weighed 23kg each. Have they put on weight while you weren't looking? snigger

Ours weigh the same and we've had no problems carrying them on the Fiamma rack - apart from lifting them up above head height!! 46kg is well within the stated maximum, and there's sure to be a decent margin as well. (You can get 4 bike racks which mount on the same fixing points!)

We now have a Thule towbar mounted carrier (mostly because of old age and the lifting) and I have to say it was well worth the money for us. We did have a towbar already which helped, but it's so much easier to put the bikes on and off the carrier now - and getting the cover on with a Fiamma carrier always needed steps!!

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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Redwink on Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:34 pm

Hello Dave
I have decided to go the same way as you, taken off the fiamma rack, now having a towbar fitted to take the e bike carrier, can I ask what Thule carrier you have.
I know this is an expensive way to go, but the thought of trying to lift bikes onto the fiamma rack just does nor appeal anymore. As I have not spent much on the van since new I thought I would treat it
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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Gromit on Thu Sep 22, 2016 2:20 pm

Hi Red

There are models designed specially for electric bikes with a higher maximum load capacity, but they are also a lot more money. The one we have has a load capacity of 46kg and our e-bikes weigh (together) about 43kg - but having looked carefully at the construction it's built like a brick outhouse, and is bound to be under-rated for safety, specially in these litigious times!!!

When we needed it in a hurry, the higher load capacity models were temporarily unavailable anyway, and Halfords had this one on offer. (Still on offer at £40 off.)
http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bike-racks/towbar-mounted-bike-racks/thule-velocompact-925

I think the key advantage of this model is how you put the bikes on. It's very similar to a Fiamma rack, with nothing to lift the inner bike over. Just drop the wheels in the channels and screw on the shorter lockable clamp. (I find the saddle stem most convenient here.) Repeat with the outer bike facing the other way, and lock on with the longer clamp.

If you use a cover, you can now put this on without getting the step ladder out, and the helmets and panniers can be left on the bikes to save finding somewhere to store them inside the van.

You are right in saying it's not cheap, specially if you need a towbar fitted as well, but it could quite literally save ruining a holiday with a badly sprained back. (Don't bother to ask how I know!!  shrugg )

Possibly the biggest advantage is the fact that you will use the bikes a lot more. When they are up in the stratosphere on the Fiamma rack you tend to think, "I won't bother - it's too much trouble to get them off, and back on again."  With the Thule rack it's so easy that you do it in moments and with no heaving, puffing and use of foul language! Plus I can now do it on my own without having to listen to Mrs Gromit grumbling about getting oil on her hands! snigger

Hope this helps

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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Redwink on Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:37 pm

Bit like you Dave, it was a case of shall we take the bikes or not, racking them high up and not using them, but having to take them off to open the rear window made us not take the bikes more often when we could have done with them. Now we have a couple of e bikes we have got back into cycling, so anything which makes it easy for us to take them will be well worth it. I think I will go for the Thule, as you say they are well built but expensive,
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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Yorkie+1 on Sun Jun 11, 2017 3:54 pm

Hi, We've bit the bullet and had a tow bar fitted at Parkinson's at Preston. Attached to the main Chassis in 2 places. Half the price of Armitages and looks a good job. 

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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by paul long on Sun Jun 11, 2017 4:22 pm

Hi Sue, glad you took my advice, he's a top man. I've had more comments about my scooter rack that he as fitted.
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Re: Tow bar on 2005 Executive

Post by Yorkie+1 on Sun Jun 11, 2017 5:28 pm

Yes, thank you Paul, you saved us £300.

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