Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Transporting our transportation

My first attempt at attaching bikes to the back of the Prius didn't pan out (as I briefly described here) but as any good engineer would do I procrastinated a lot, tinkered a bit and eventually ended up with a solution.  I really wanted to be able to carry a couple of bikes along with our storage box but couldn't get it all to fit and was concerned about it being a bit too much weight so I decided to go with an either/or scenario.

In keeping with the spirit of using junk I had laying around, I harvested a couple of Thule bike trays off an old roof rack I had sitting in the garage and went about trying to figure out how to secure them to the hitch mounted cargo carrier. Step 1 was attaching the front end to the rail on the carrier by using a section of old 5/8" heater hose to act as a shim and add to the tubing diameter as it was less than that of the roof racks the trays were designed to fit.

Next up was creating a cross brace for the back end of the trays since they didn't quite span the width of the carrier.  A couple u-bolts and some hacking on the camera mount I built for my Escort Wagon and we were in business with the added bonus of the cross brace being made of out lightweight, high performance a-lu-min-ium (said in my best British accent) like a Corvette Z06 chassis.
Only thing left to do is make a couple of mounts for the front wheels (the most annoying part about bike carriers that use fork mounts) and she'll be all gravy.

Total time investment: ~45mins (2 weeks counting procrastination time)
Total cost: $0 (for a hoarder like me at least, YMMV)

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