The idea of parking the van and riding our new bikes into the local towns for a meal or just to sightsee really appealed to us, so the Avanti ‘step-thru’ bikes we had bought some time ago had to be carried both on the caravan and on the back of the car ideally also. From reading horror stories of people with bike carriers mounted on the rear of their vans arriving at their destination after hours of driving to find racks and bikes gone, we decided to try to find an A frame mounted solution.
GripSport (Google them, they have a website) came to the rescue and after a couple of phone calls to work out exactly what we needed to buy and also have made up by our local ‘welder chappie’ we paid the money and a well packed parcel arrived within a week from Victoria.
By now, we had a new welder expert, namely the great Steve Mitchell from South Nowra who had been recommended to us by Chapmans, the local caravan outfit. Steve had previously helped us refit our water tanks in the van after we discovered there was bugger-all holding them up. They were held in place just by self-tapping screws around the edges of the galvanised tank shields – no brackets in sight – but that’s another story. Suffice to say that Steve came to the rescue and did a very professional job at a good price.
Steve had to mount one of the supplied GripSport ‘quick release’ holders onto a custom-made arrangement to ensure the mount was secure with no movement to ensure the bikes stay put. As you can see in the pics, he came through for us again and engineered a good solution that still allowed us to use the front van boot and operate the jockey wheel without fouling the metalwork. He also figured out how we could solve the Pajero rear door access problem too, by cutting off the top of the hitch handle and also removing the adaptor plate for the ‘marriage-saver’ (Couplemate) holder and trimming the bracket so it sits flat on our Hayman Reece hitch. He then mounted the other mount onto a spare towbar we will carry in the Pajero so we can fit the whole bike carrier straight onto the back of the car when we don’t have the van attached. A clever solution to a tricky problem.
Great job Steve. If anyone wants his contact number let us know and I’ll put you in touch. He’s one of life’s great story-tellers too and I could happily spend hours listening to his stories from the outback and four wheel adventures!