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I am going on a long 200 mile tour over 3 days with six other people. We are riding down to Washington DC and then renting a car to drive back. We thought we could rent a Van or SUV and have two people drive that and fit all the bikes in it if the seats fold down. Then Rent another car for the rest of the people to fit in and drive back.

The bikes will mostly be 26 inch tire bikes with medium to large frames. Two of the bikes will be large framed 700cc tired bikes.

Any suggestions if this is possible?

  • You will easily get 7 bikes in a Van. You may even be able to do it without removing wheels. As you won't have dedicated bike carry racks, think about sourcing packing material so they won't get damaged (Rental company may be able to help). – mattnz Jun 14 '17 at 21:51
  • I would be surprised if you can get 7 adult bikes in a standard minivan unless you take off front and rear wheels. And things like racks and fenders will add to the complication. – Daniel R Hicks Jun 15 '17 at 0:33
  • Is there a train ? No need to worship at the altar of the steering wheel if there are other options. Or ride both ways. – Criggie Jun 15 '17 at 3:01
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    You could fit all the bikes, gear, and all the people in a Sprinter with the right amount of cargo space vs seats. Turning stems sideways and removing pedals may be necessary. – Nathan Knutson Jun 15 '17 at 4:17
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    Most americans would default with "Van" meaning Minivan (e.g. Chrysler Town and Country, Toyota Sienna, Honda Oddyssey, or similar), rather than a cargo or commercial van like a Sprinter. – Batman Jun 15 '17 at 13:10
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I fit 5 beefy mtb bikes in the back of my small Nissan frontier without taking anything off. 7 can be done but you will have to remove the pedals, it is the only way. Also, alternate the directions the bikes face. Removing the seats will help as the handlebars will want to hit them.

They will get scratched to heck, no matter how hard you try otherwise. Watch that nothing is near the stanctions. Your shifters will want to rub on the adjacent bikes frame. I wouldn't do it with new bikes ... but if they are already scratched, what's an extra rub mark?

Steve J

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    Might want to expand that "stanchions" are the exposed part of the front fork suspension, where an oil seal slides. Damage to this area will impair the seal's ability to hold oil in the correct side, – Criggie Jun 17 '17 at 8:28
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  • remove the wheels
  • spin the bar
  • turn the fork 180 to pick up a bit
  • remove the seat with post
  • remove the pedals (this is also for damage control)
  • use boxes for padding
  • wheels on top
  • deflate the tires

I think I could get 7 in my 4 Runner but it would be close.

You could even drop the fork and leave the cables attached to put the bar in the triangle.

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You might also want to see if the van has a trailer hitch. You could either pull a small trailer (u-haul or other rental places will rent them) or use a bicycle hitch mount.

With this option, be sure to lock the bikes solidly to the hitch mount or trailer with the sturdiest chain lock (not cable lock) that you can afford. It's very easy for someone to snip a cable lock while you're waiting at a red light or at a fast food drive-thru and steal your bikes without you even noticing.

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Look for a company that will rent you a real van. You can get like 10 bikes and gear in a Chevy Express or GMC Savana with the seats removed. I can get easily get 4 or five bikes in the back of my Savana and still have room for other stuff.

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