Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by Fairford on Sat May 06, 2017 11:16 am

Hi folks!
My first post so please bear with me!

I'm taking delivery of my new Fairford next week and have been researching bike racks.

I'm mainly thinking of a bike rack for two cycles but also thinking about the possibility of a scooter carrier.

I saw there was a post here a couple of years ago about AL-KO racks that take cycles and a scooter.
It was mentioned that Fairford owners have uprated the GVW - Gross Vehicle Weight from 3500kg to 4500 kg and hence increased the payload allowance.

So, I have a few questions:
1. Any recommendations for cycle racks? Preferably ones that can be easily removed or ones that allow the rear doors to be opened with cycles attached.
2. Any experience of Al-Ko racks?
3. How would I go about getting my Fairford uprated?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
Cheers!
Brian
avatar
Fairford
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 5
Joined : 2017-04-13
Member Age : 64
Location : Devon
Auto-Sleeper : Fairford
Vehicle Year : 2017

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by -mojo- on Sat May 06, 2017 12:26 pm

I would strongly recommend that, with a brand new van, you speak to Autosleepers themselves and get their advice first. Specifications change, and they will know exactly what will suit your van - others here with the same model may know what is Ok for their van, but there is no way to know for sure that theirs is constructed in ~exactly~the same way as yours.

It would also be worth doing a bit of research about axle loads for bike/scooter racks that are a significant way behind the rear axle. The cantilever effect that this creates is not entirely intuitive, and it's possible to overload the rear axle with a load that does not appear to be too heavy without accounting for the leverage effect.

Advice on payload upgrades can be obtained from a company such as SvTech, but again I would ask A/S first. If you're not already, you should be aware of the implications in terms of driving licence (age) restrictions, vehicle recovery premiums and possibly insurance costs.
avatar
-mojo-
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 3679
Joined : 2012-08-04
Member Age : 18
Location : Southeast
Auto-Sleeper : Trooper
Vehicle Year : 2006

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by StewPotch on Sat May 06, 2017 2:11 pm

Hello and welcome to the forum Brian,

I have a Fairford with an Alko Kawa II scooter rack and a Fiamma bike rack.

It is best to do the maths & research yourself, so the following is not advice in any way, shape or form – it’s just what I have done:

I had both the axle weights measured before I put the Alko on (can’t remember what the weights were).  think_smiley_46

The Fiamma allows us to take only the cycles if required.

If taking both the scooter and the cycles, the Fiamma needs modified. The pivot point needs to be raised a few inches (I haven’t done that yet as I’m awaiting new bushes from Fiamma. The position will depend on the height of your scooter).

The Alko takes the van from 6.3m to 7.1m in length – we only have the Alko on for trips lasting a few days or more.

I have a Honda 110 Vision scooter (101kg) – easy pushed on or powered on. Does 55mph with two of us.

The van has been uprated from 3500kg to 4500kg by SVTech. Go to their website.

The rear axle weight was uprated by SVTech to around 2600kg (can’t remember exactly). tap_fingers

I got the van weighed (front axle, rear axle & total weight) with the scooter on and full ‘touring weight’ – all the weights were well within limits (again, off the top of my head I can’t remember exactly), but the front axle reduced by about 50kg (I think) and the rear axle increased by this, the weight of the rack & weight of the scooter. Whistle1

There was no noticeable difference to the steering or the handling.

The ‘reversing’ camera was rewired to be a rear view camera allowing us to keep an eye on the scooter.

If you can wait for about 3 weeks I’ll let you know the exact figures when I get home. look here

It can be done but don’t take my word for it – check out the weights & limits yourself.
avatar
StewPotch
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 119
Joined : 2016-07-31
Member Age : 55
Location : Ayrshire
Auto-Sleeper : Fairford
Vehicle Year : 2016

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by Wargenwolf on Sun May 07, 2017 11:42 pm

Hi Brian,

You have the same base vehicle as me and I'm actually in the process of uprating mine via John Ruffles Consultancy. I was intending using SVTech but their very poor responses to my emails has put me off using them.

My van came with tyre load ratings of 118 and rear Al-Ko Air Toppers, which without further modification allow the maximum weight to be increased from 3500kg to 4500kg, rear axle from 2400kg to 2600kg. The front remains unchanged at 2100kg.

All I had to do was send a copy of page 2 of my V5 and a photo of my VIN plate, along with paying £150 to JRC. Once the documentation and weight plate come through, it's a simple matter to send the proof to DVLA and the deed is done.

_________________
2005-Bailey Senator Wyoming   2009-Bessacarr E769    2012-Swift Bolero 712FB    2017-Auto-Sleeper Kingham
avatar
Wargenwolf
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 695
Joined : 2015-08-28
Member Age : 55
Location : County Durham
Auto-Sleeper : Kingham
Vehicle Year : 2017

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by Mindhyg on Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:18 pm

Just a thought on this topic which may be helpful and not thought of if you are younger and are thinking of doing this to your van ( in fact any van under 3500 kg MTPLM) and you are reading these posts. I can see that all the forum members on this post who have done this are age wise able drive over 3500 kg vehicles on their driving licences. If you are younger and do not hold the correct driving licence think twice before uprating your MTPLM to over 3500 kg because you will need the appropriate driving licence category. You will fall foul of the law if your licence is checked by the police should a situation arise unless you have passed a test for that category. You could also fall foul with your insurance company if you have a claim.  As I said " just a thought ". Happy A/S touring ;-)

Mindhyg
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 45
Joined : 2017-07-02
Member Age : 71
Location : Surrey
Auto-Sleeper : Fairford
Vehicle Year : 2017

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by chrisk on Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:28 pm

With these type of modifications are the braking system taken in to account.
avatar
chrisk
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 225
Joined : 2017-06-03
Member Age : 67
Location : kent
Auto-Sleeper : Berkshire
Vehicle Year : 2009

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by Mindhyg on Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:49 pm

Well lets hope so or I wont be stepping out onto any zebra crossings near campsites! I am sure someone out there knows. It's hard enough stopping 3 and a bit tonnes quickly on a non up-rated van let alone 4.5 tonnes on an up-rated van. Raises all sorts of questions, so good point that one.

Mindhyg
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 45
Joined : 2017-07-02
Member Age : 71
Location : Surrey
Auto-Sleeper : Fairford
Vehicle Year : 2017

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by Wargenwolf on Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:00 am

chrisk wrote:With these type of modifications are the braking system taken in to account.
Just to put your mind at rest Chris, the vans above, with XL chassis are built to run at 4500kg and the braking system designed to cope with that. There are NO physical modifications being made.

Although they are being first registered at 3500kg, it is just a paper exercise to have them uprated.

_________________
2005-Bailey Senator Wyoming   2009-Bessacarr E769    2012-Swift Bolero 712FB    2017-Auto-Sleeper Kingham
avatar
Wargenwolf
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 695
Joined : 2015-08-28
Member Age : 55
Location : County Durham
Auto-Sleeper : Kingham
Vehicle Year : 2017

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by Wargenwolf on Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:24 am

Mindhyg wrote:Well lets hope so or I wont be stepping out onto any zebra crossings near campsites! I am sure someone out there knows. It's hard enough stopping 3 and a bit tonnes quickly on a non up-rated van let alone 4.5 tonnes on an up-rated van. Raises all sorts of questions, so good point that one.
If you are finding it hard to stop your van weighing 3500kg, when it so recently left the factory with brakes designed to stop 4500kg, there may be an underlying issue with your brakes.

_________________
2005-Bailey Senator Wyoming   2009-Bessacarr E769    2012-Swift Bolero 712FB    2017-Auto-Sleeper Kingham
avatar
Wargenwolf
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 695
Joined : 2015-08-28
Member Age : 55
Location : County Durham
Auto-Sleeper : Kingham
Vehicle Year : 2017

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by StewPotch on Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:10 am

W/Wolf is 100% correct.

I had my van uprated to 4500kg as the whole unit (brakes, suspension, tyres, chassis, etc) are designed for 4500kg.

With a scooter rack & scooter on the back, and fully loaded for two weeks touring, the total weight of the van doesn't exceed 3850kg.

That's more than 650kg below design weight allthumbz
avatar
StewPotch
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 119
Joined : 2016-07-31
Member Age : 55
Location : Ayrshire
Auto-Sleeper : Fairford
Vehicle Year : 2016

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by busby65 on Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:19 pm

Mindhyg wrote:Just a thought on this topic which may be helpful and not thought of if you are younger and are thinking of doing this to your van ( in fact any van under 3500 kg MTPLM) and you are reading these posts. I can see that all the forum members on this post who have done this are age wise able drive over 3500 kg vehicles on their driving licences. If you are younger and do not hold the correct driving licence think twice before uprating your MTPLM to over 3500 kg because you will need the appropriate driving licence category. You will fall foul of the law if your licence is checked by the police should a situation arise unless you have passed a test for that category. You could also fall foul with your insurance company if you have a claim.  As I said " just a thought ". Happy A/S touring ;-)
And don't forget if you are over 70 you need a medical every 3 years to still drive over 3500 kg,,,Many driving illegally but unknown to themselves,,BUSBY.
avatar
busby65
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 162
Joined : 2012-08-26
Member Age : 72
Location : riddings derbys
Auto-Sleeper : Symbol
Vehicle Year : 2002

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by ymfb1 on Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:19 pm

@StewPotch, did you consider the Traigo 500 ?  It looks to me as if it's not that much more expensive than the Kawa II platform and gives considerably more carrying capacity.

I'm sure we will follow suit and upgrade our "plate"weight so we can carry/tow a scooter.  I really fancy the Vespa 300.
avatar
ymfb1
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 176
Joined : 2017-06-12
Member Age : 53
Location : Salisbury
Auto-Sleeper : Kingham
Vehicle Year : 2017

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by StewPotch on Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:34 am

ymfb1 wrote:@StewPotch, did you consider the Traigo 500 ?  .............
Yes, briefly
avatar
StewPotch
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 119
Joined : 2016-07-31
Member Age : 55
Location : Ayrshire
Auto-Sleeper : Fairford
Vehicle Year : 2016

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by ymfb1 on Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:48 am

StewPotch wrote:
ymfb1 wrote:@StewPotch, did you consider the Traigo 500 ?  .............
Yes, briefly
If you don't mind, did you choose the Kawa on spec or other reasons ?

I see the disadvantage of the Traigo being storage when not in use.

Thanks
avatar
ymfb1
Member
Member

Male

Posts : 176
Joined : 2017-06-12
Member Age : 53
Location : Salisbury
Auto-Sleeper : Kingham
Vehicle Year : 2017

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Fairford - cycle racks and uprating GVW

Post by StewPotch on Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:37 am

ymfb1 wrote:
StewPotch wrote:
ymfb1 wrote:@StewPotch, did you consider the Traigo 500 ?  .............
Yes, briefly
If you don't mind, did you choose the Kawa on spec or other reasons ?

I see the disadvantage of the Traigo being storage when not in use.

Thanks


It’s a matter of personal choice and what suits you, or in my case………what suited me.

I looked at dozens of trailer and rack options from dozens of sources – not just Alko.

Price wasn’t an issue – it was far more important to get what we wanted.

I didn’t want to tow anything – 90% of our usage is smaller roads in Scotland, ferries to the islands, wild camping, etc.

Trailers lengthen the unit (more than the rack system) and make handling/reversing more difficult. I drove through Paris two weeks ago with the scooter on the back – no real hassle other than what you’d expect in Paris. I also drove along motorways at max speed – again no hassle.

We have done (and still do) the motorbike thing. I own 4 motorbikes including a Honda Blackbird that has done 40,000 miles, the majority in Europe. All I need with the motorhome is something to buzz between campsite & town without having to take full face helmets, full bike gear, etc x2.

The size (weight) of bike (scooter) didn’t matter to us. We wanted a scooter that we could run into town with, pack away the crash helmets then walk about like tourists. We decided on a new Honda Vision – why? Because it’s a Honda and it starts every time and is reliable.

Storage - I take the rack off and stand it against the wall inside the garage or shed, but invariably leave it on the van for weeks.

If we open the back doors, we have decking!

But as I said – it’s a matter of personal choice.
avatar
StewPotch
Donator
Donator

Male

Posts : 119
Joined : 2016-07-31
Member Age : 55
Location : Ayrshire
Auto-Sleeper : Fairford
Vehicle Year : 2016

View user profile

Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum