Wanderer Motorhome Page 21

Driving in France?
Then this web site is a must:

email Brian,

Environmentally Safe Toilet Treatment for motorhomes, caravans and boats:

For a Holiday with a difference in a Motorhome, see this link:

Great Ormond Street Hospital
Children's Charity 
Great Ormond Street Hospital, Children's Charity, 40 Bernard Street, London.  WC1N 1LE
Tel: 020 7239 3000 
Click on the link to donate

As author and maintainer of this web site. I do not save, retain, or sell  any email addresses of those who email me. Should you not get a reply from me, please send again, I might have missed it in my spam catcher!

Additions to Motorhome pages:-
1.Fitting New Automatic Water System Pump
2.Winterising the water pump.
3.Water Tank Level Meter-modification to electronic circuit

4.Basin Mixer Taps - tip & how to repair a dripping tap.
5.Extending Fresh Water Drain Tap to Outside

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Our MH has now been sold so this web site will not be updated again

[click above for pictures]

Due to my age, 80 years old, and health reasons we are forced to give up the pleasures of a motorhome,  and has now been sold.

Description of the motorhome can be seen through out the pages of my web site here.

The MH has MOT until MAR 2017 and its mileage is 109224

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Contents:    1. Bike rack installation.


Bike Rack Installation.

Those contemplating the installation of a Bike Rack on the back of their Motorhome should consider the implications.  Any holes drilled in the panels of the Motorhome are a source of damp unless the work is done correctly.  The other points to keep in mind,  the positioning of the rack and, is the back wall panel capable of taking the weight.  I don't think I would install a rack with a capacity greater than two bicycles. 

This deliberation is due to the construction methods of the Motorhome wall panels, while very light, some say strong, it's very flimsy when it comes to placing loads on it's surface.

On my Motorhome the back window could be obstructed if the rack was not fitted correctly.

Recent articles by John Wickersham of "The Motorcaravan" Book fame,  suggested in the "Motor Caravan Magazine"  that you should research with the Motorhome manufacturers for the correct location and fitting for bike racks. 

Some back panels are not strong enough to consider rack installation.  See the drawing below. I read in one magazine where the bike rack and it's load flexed the back panel out, causing the interior fixtures to break away from back panel.  I have have also noted that most furniture fixtures support the wall panels.   Having said that it did refer to a four bike rack!

With those words of warning I installed the back panel with the view that the coach builder would anticipate there should be support for two cycles.  Having written to the manufacturer and receiving no reply I decided to fit the rack.

It would have been better to have had a drawing and know where the timber supports are located inside the panels.  When I drilled there was no panel interior timber support at that point!  I had to continue the installation as it was, and produce a strengthening piece to the interior of the panel wall.  Drawing of Bike Rack Fittings to the back wallThis can be seen in the drawings and photographs. 

I did try tapping the panel to locate the timber supports, i.e. change in sound, but this was not conclusive.

With hind sight I should have drilled as close as possible to the back window base fitting, where there must be an interior panel timber support. My other concern also, was to ensure the back window was not obscured by the bikes. As a reversing camera addition was anticipated.

When installing,  if help is available, then the rack can be offered up to the drilling position and markings made for suitable drilling holes.  Ensure the drilling holes are equidistance and parallel from the window bottom.  There's nothing worse than a lop sided bike rack when viewed as traveller behind.  

Having done the markings, go away and come back later to look at it with a fresh mind.  If all is OK start drilling.

On my rack two holes were required for each hook bracket at the top of the rack and two holes for the cross bottom bracket.

Having drilled the holes, prepare some sealant, which comes in a ribbon coil, and place on the support plates.  This will ensure no leaks at this point and also stop the aluminium wall having stress marks.   The instructions also mentioned filling the drill holes with flexible sealant. 

 It is not recommended to just use screws for securing the brackets.  Use the bolts supplied. Fit the complete bracket assembly through to the interior, then tighten up inside the vehicle. do not tighten up too tight, just enough to see the interior wall panel starting to stress, remember you only have Polystyrene underneath, holding your wall together. The nuts used should be the type with nylon inserts, which ensure they clamp and do not unscrew by creeping. Also don't forget the washers, a lot of prople don't think they are important, they are!
Rather than see the back wall stress while tightening up the bolt I have introduced a tube the thickness of the wall. So when tightening up it never goes tighter than the tube around the bolt.

As I had not found the support timber beams enclosed in the wall panels, I felt it was necessary to construct a strengthening plate from timber and fit it across the inside panel, to embrace the two main support plates, at the top. This gives a larger area of support and eliminates the stress squeeze when bolting tight.  I was able to obtain a set sized piece from my local DIY store.

Later on I clear varnished the timber piece to match the van interior<interior>

Bike rack in Place
Bike rack in Place

Bike rack and "Driveaway" awning
Bike rack and "Driveaway" awning

Interior strengthening Support timber piece for bike rack.
Interior strengthening Support timber piece for bike rack.

Bike rack fittings
Bike rack fittings

The bikes were purchased cheaply from the "Yellow Pages" locally as it was felt if cycling after 40 years did not suit us we would not have had too much expense.  One bike cost £15 and the second £20.   With the Omnistor rack costing £96 the total came to £131.  I had been quoted £260 to do this job, labour only.

My wife and I have had great fun in the sun learning to cycle again, at 65 years of age. [Still doing it at 70!]
After a year and three trips to the continent the rack and back panel show no sign of stress.

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