Ah, vacations. Travel. Sight-seeing. The chance to “get away from it all”. Living minimalistically. Taking only what you need - just the clothes on your back and a spring in your step. Buying food on the way. Borrowing or renting what you don’t have.
Sounds…sentimental. Poetic. Environmentally responsible. Counter-culture.
And, as it happens, hard to do. At least for us.
Set aside the fact that we traveled with a fully self-contained home on our backs. Heat, AC, fresh water, refrigerator, bathroom, shower, kitchen, beds and chairs - all following us around the country, just needing to be parked and setup in each new location.
This is the appeal of RV-based travel, letting those of us who can’t be inconvenienced to the point of being able to travel long-term on foot or on bike still be mobile easily.
While we already weren’t “roughing it” - there was still more “stuff” we wanted to bring on our trip.
How Do We Carry Bikes?
We wanted to give the kids something to do once in a location, and had hoped to offset gas cost with biking more. While we had mixed success in that area we still had the puzzle of how to carry them.
Rear Bumper = No Good
We left with the 4 bikes all on a bike rack installed on the rear of the trailer, taking advantage of a 2” receiver hitch that a previous owner had installed. This lasted only a few weeks.
We realized that the constant teeter-tottering of the trailer going down the road meant the bikes were getting thrown around too much. If we didn’t move them, we’d break something and not only lose the bikes but possibly cause an accident in the process.
Roof Rack = Good
So we opted for a truck roof-rack which, once we got over the initial cost, performed well the rest of the year. We rarely even noticed the bikes up there going down the road.
Once we solved our own “taking it with you” puzzle we got interested in how others figured out how to take along the stuff they wanted to while traveling. Whether these solutions are ingenious or dangerous we’ll leave up to you to decide - but here is our collection of “taking it with you” photos:
Note: I took these photos while traveling. I have no further details on any of the racks or systems shown.