2018 Bourton Bike Rack

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Post by harrysp on Thu Feb 22, 2018 8:19 am

As far as I can see looking at 2018 models on dealer’s websites, the lower placed fittings are on all the Peugeot and MB coachbuilt vans. LDPD’s frustration is understandable , although I accept he should have worded if differently. As an owner who always uses bikes, and electric ones at that, I do have some empathy with the position in which he finds himself.

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Post by Gromit on Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:46 am

harrysp wrote:As far as I can see looking at 2018 models on dealer’s websites, the lower placed fittings are on all the Peugeot and MB coachbuilt vans. LDPD’s frustration is understandable , although I accept he should have worded if differently. As an owner who always uses bikes, and electric ones at that, I do have some empathy with the position in which he finds himself.
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So do I Harry, but it's patently obvious that there's no option but to use a lighting board if the bike rack is mounted at a conveniently lower level. I fail to understand why the OP is throwing a minor strop!  scratch head

The van rear lights can't be moved because there are strict legal requirements for their positioning.

Bikes are a standard length (more or less) and are long enough so they will obscure the lights, and probably the number plate.

eBikes are quite heavy and many motorhomers are well past their "use by" date, so lifting them up onto the more usual high level rack becomes virtually impossible.

I'd say that A/S and other van builders who are now mounting the racks lower down are to be applauded. For once they have recognised and taken account of our needs, and done something to alleviate a very common problem. (It's a pity they didn't think to fit an electrical socket at the rear for plugging in a lighting board . . . but give them time!!  Whistle1)

We had to buy a tow ball mounted bike rack because it had got to the stage where it was not worth taking the bikes. It was such a struggle to get them on and off the high rack that we found we rarely used them. Since getting the low rack we use them whenever we feel like it, and can even get the cover over them without needing a set of steps.
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Post by harrysp on Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:37 pm

You're right about the towbar type bike rack Gromit. We too use this and it is much easier, especially now when both bikes are ebike. An electrical socket for a board is the answer as you say.  This will probably have to be supplied as standard though.

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Post by Liam on Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:34 pm

Gromit wrote:
So do I Harry, but it's patently obvious that there's no option but to use a lighting board if the bike rack is mounted at a conveniently lower level. I fail to understand why the OP is throwing a minor strop!  scratch head
I think I would be throwing a "major strop" - spent £70K and the setup is plainly not road legal! 
Maybe we are missing something here, but unless LDPD was clearly advised by AS (or their dealer) when he bought the van that the fitting of a bike rack to the fixed anchor points he might need an additional lighting board if it was ever used to carry bikes - then I would agree. But I suspect not, in which case the OP has my full sympathy. 
I am all for convenience and the easing of back ache when lifting bikes onto high racks (we now do it double handed these days!) - but as presented by the OP it is a bad design and not really fit for purpose as it stands IMHO - particularly if there is no provision of an external electrical socket.

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Post by Gromit on Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:01 pm

Liam wrote:. . . but as presented by the OP it is a bad design and not really fit for purpose as it stands IMHO - particularly if there is no provision of an external electrical socket.
I don't think it's a bad design Liam, I think it's an incomplete one - which is a bit different.

In fact it's a very good design which makes using the bikes so much easier and more convenient. As we both agree however, the lack of an external electric socket lets it down badly, and that's where the strop should be targeted. 

The ideal would be a bike rack with integral lighting already fitted (as you get with a tow ball mounted rack) but using a separate lighting board would be no big or expensive problem . . . if there was a socket!! 
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Post by LDPD on Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:09 pm

Update. We are the second owners of our van within 6 weeks (and 250 miles but that's another story) and it came with the bike rack fitted, so we were keen to utilise it rather than incur the expense of having a towbar fitted and then the cost of a bike carrier. I was assured that it was legal in AS's eyes. However, after being presented with the image at the start of this thread and much interesting discussion with my dealer the relevant socket for plugging in a lighting board will be fitted under warranty so all I have to do is get hold of a lighting board. It's an agreeable result which recognises the issue and resolves it fairly. 

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Post by Gromit on Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:32 pm

LDPD wrote:Update. We are the second owners of our van within 6 weeks (and 250 miles but that's another story) and it came with the bike rack fitted, so we were keen to utilise it rather than incur the expense of having a towbar fitted and then the cost of a bike carrier. I was assured that it was legal in AS's eyes. However, after being presented with the image at the start of this thread and much interesting discussion with my dealer the relevant socket for plugging in a lighting board will be fitted under warranty so all I have to do is get hold of a lighting board. It's an agreeable result which recognises the issue and resolves it fairly. 
Thanks for posting the feedback. I wish everyone would do the same.  up!

I agree entirely. The lack of the socket is what made it unworkable in the practical sense, and fitting one would not have been cheap if you had to pay for it.

Good result, and you now have a very usable bike rack and no need for a season ticket to the chiropractor!!  Whistle1
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Post by Liam on Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:35 pm

As you say Dave - It's nice to get confirmation that a problem has been resolved - a good result! 
Unfortunately not many do post a comment as to the end result which is a great shame.
I still can't believe that AS, from a Design Certification and Conformity (this permits AS to self certify that the vehicle built by them is roadworthy in all aspects of its use on the road) viewpoint, would sanction the setup as it was shown in the original photo. But who knows what changes/mods were made in the 6 weeks before LDPD took ownership of it.
All is well that ends well!!

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Post by harrysp on Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:09 pm

Yes,  thanks LDPD for the update and pleased you had a satisfactory outcome. Enjoy your van now, and your ebikes. 

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Post by steve@rydale on Thu Feb 22, 2018 9:15 pm

two E bikes hanging on a back panel is to much weight anyway.
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Post by Gromit on Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:53 pm

steve@rydale wrote:two E bikes hanging on a back panel is to much weight anyway.
Really?  scratch head

Without the batteries most ebikes are very little, if any heavier than a normal bike. (Around 18kg each). A pair are certainly well within the 60kg limit for the Fiamma bike rack. The Bourton has the same rear overhang as the Nuevo, so there's no rear axle problem there as ours has been to the weighbridge.
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Post by steve@rydale on Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:17 am

i think you will find any e bike, of which I have owned several are far heavier than any normal bike with or without batteries. you forget the weight of the motors. I agree the fiamma rack is up to the job, it's the stress on the back panel even with reinforcing which is only ply wood and 2x2 timber after all, that I have a problem with,don't forget when you are driving there  is quite a bit of bumping up and down.
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Post by Gromit on Fri Feb 23, 2018 9:29 am

Still can't accept the logic Steve.

The Fiamma bike rack is rated at 60kg, and there will be some margin built in to account for those who over load it. Messrs Fiamma will be covering their tracks to a degree, so it will be a bit under specified.
One assumes (hopes most sincerely!!  rolleyes) that Autosleepers will do the same, and provide reinforcing to the rear panel which is (at the very least) able to accept a pair of 30kg bikes. After all, Fiamma make four bike racks, and the combined weight of four "ordinary" bikes is going to be considerably more than two ebikes.

They should also be aware of the inevitable bumpy ride, so one has to assume that all these factors have been accounted for and that a pair of ebikes weighing less than 40kg should be well within the safety limits.

Or am I being too trusting in assuming that both Fiamma and A/S know what they are doing? (Sarcasm not intended!  smile!)
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Post by steve@rydale on Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:06 am

I can see your point but fiamma make the rack and give its max carry weigh for the product. I still don't believe auto sleeper build that back panel to carry 60 kg. its a lot of weight. mine are on a towball mounted rack which is carried by the alko chassis. just my opinion you understand. so if anyone from AS tech dept  can assure me , I will stick by it. cheers
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Post by Gromit on Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:09 am

steve@rydale wrote:mine are on a towball mounted rack which is carried by the alko chassis. 
So are mine now, but it's an interesting and potentially quite important discussion for others who don't have a tow bar.  up!
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Post by Jaytee on Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:52 pm

When we had our bike rack fitted we were advised we would need a lighting board so never an issue.
Just been looking at the structural diagram I managed to get for our Winchcombe and it shows two vertical 70x24mm PSE whatever that is? And two galvanised steel fixing strips 50x0.5mm (not a lot of strength in those?).
So hopefully our bike rack will stay put Whistle1

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Post by kaspian on Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:27 pm

Pse stands for planed square edge in relation to timber  so your bikes and bike  rack are effectively bouncing along the  road dangling from 2 bits of softwood under 3 by 1 inch and some 2 inch by half a mm brackets! Make note to oneself ....dont follow a motorhome carrying bikes on the rear too closely as I might need to avoid the debris and shrapnel when they fall off complete with mountings! hugegrins
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Post by harrysp on Fri Feb 23, 2018 4:25 pm

When we bought our Broadway we I had a chat with Mark at AS about carrying ebikes on a Fiamma Pro C. He was happy that it was perfectly capable of doing the job. Subsequently however we did go down the towbar route due to the difficulty of lifting. It does feel more stable too. If the electrics are sorted on the new lower rack then it should do the job of carrying and solve the lifting issue.This is a topic widely discussed on other forums and it seems we all have different opinions.

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Post by Gromit on Fri Feb 23, 2018 10:04 pm

When was the last time anyone heard of a bike rack plus bikes falling off a van?

I never have, though I concede that it could happen - it just doesn't seem to though!
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Post by Jaytee on Fri Feb 23, 2018 11:42 pm

kaspian wrote:Pse stands for planed square edge in relation to timber  so your bikes and bike  rack are effectively bouncing along the  road dangling from 2 bits of softwood under 3 by 1 inch and some 2 inch by half a mm brackets! Make note to oneself ....dont follow a motorhome carrying bikes on the rear too closely as I might need to avoid the debris and shrapnel when they fall off complete with mountings! hugegrins
Blimey Kaspian that 'is' scary stuff. Will certainly make me consider how much weight I put on the back from now on  confused0 .
The steel straps do go all the way up the back, presumably to pull some of the roof off at the same time snigger

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Post by Paramedic on Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:44 am

steve@rydale wrote:I can see your point but fiamma make the rack and give its max carry weigh for the product. I still don't believe auto sleeper build that back panel to carry 60 kg. its a lot of weight. mine are on a towball mounted rack which is carried by the alko chassis. just my opinion you understand. so if anyone from AS tech dept  can assure me , I will stick by it. cheers
As the Autosleepers owners manual states, can affix cycle carrier to the bonding in the rear panel quantified by Fiamma for that very purpose for loading up to 60kg, so why should there be any doubt regarding these specifications? Our two compact e bikes minus batteries weigh 40kg, and ok add 7.9kg for the carrier, that total being 48kg, still leaves a comfortable 12kg under max weight to mitigate any 'road bounce'. Therefore for us, no undue stress to motorhome or peace of mind. smile!


Last edited by Paramedic on Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:46 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Add smiley face)

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Post by Gromit on Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:09 am

harrysp wrote:When we bought our Broadway we I had a chat with Mark at AS about carrying ebikes on a Fiamma Pro C. He was happy that it was perfectly capable of doing the job. Subsequently however we did go down the towbar route due to the difficulty of lifting. It does feel more stable too. If the electrics are sorted on the new lower rack then it should do the job of carrying and solve the lifting issue.This is a topic widely discussed on other forums and it seems we all have different opinions.
Hi Harry

Most of those opinions are based on very little, or no detailed understanding of precisely what (and how) support structures are built into the rear panel, and are propounded by members with no engineering qualifications or experience.  shrugg

Surely there comes a point at which we lesser mortals simply have to trust those who design, build and test our vans. Health and safety regulations become ever more stringent, and neither Messrs Fiamma (and others) nor Autosleepers are going to risk a hugely expensive law suit if their products suffer a catastrophic failure which could easily cause multiple deaths on the road!

My concern is for members new to motorhoming, or those of a somewhat nervous disposition, who could easily be frightened off using their bike racks at all. Posts which paint mental images of several bikes and a detached rack cascading along the motorway are not exactly reassuring to someone already worrying about the plethora of new skills they need to learn about their newly acquired van.  rolleyes
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Post by Liam on Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:54 am

Gromit wrote:
Hi Harry

Most of those opinions are based on very little, or no detailed understanding of precisely what (and how) support structures are built into the rear panel, and are propounded by members with no engineering qualifications or experience.  shrugg

Surely there comes a point at which we lesser mortals simply have to trust those who design, test and build our vans. Health and safety regulations become ever more stringent, and neither Messrs Fiamma (and others) nor Autosleepers are going to risk a hugely expensive law suit if their products suffer a catastrophic failure which could easily cause multiple deaths on the road!

My concern is for members new to motorhoming, or those of a somewhat nervous disposition, who could easily be frightened off using their bike racks at all. Posts which paint mental images of several bikes and a detached rack cascading along the motorway are not exactly reassuring to someone already worrying about the plethora of new skills they need to learn about their newly acquired van.  rolleyes
Dave,
I totally agree with your sentiments - no company is going to risk their reputation or a costly case of litigation for the want of applying good engineering practice.

If its of any interest to anyone who might have concerns the critical element in any design is called the Safety Factor (SF) or sometimes called Factor of Safety (SoF) - the is the point at which the component or assembly would fail. 
So a structure with an SF of 1 will only support the design load and no more! Any additional load would cause the assembly to fail. While a structure with an SF of 2 will fail at twice the designed load.
The following industries generally apply the SF design factor as follows;-
Buildings  - SF 2
Auto Engineering - SF 3
Aircraft - 1.2 to 3.0 depending on the application, with the Pressurised Fuselage at SF 2 and Landing Gear at 1.25.
Consequently taking the case of the afore mentioned bike rack rated at 60kgs - if we apply the auto industry figure it would mean that failure would occur at 180kgs (i.e. 60kgs X SF3). So you would have to have a lot of bikes on the rack before it or the surrounding structure failed.
In other words do not worry about your bike rack or indeed aircraft they are all very safe - I hope this helps.


Last edited by Liam on Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:08 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : add words)

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Post by Gromit on Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:05 am

Thanks Liam.  up!
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Post by Jaytee on Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:24 am

Interested where you have obtained a list of my engineering qualifications Dave? Just asking up!

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