Our Rig Setup


  We used a Toyota minivan for our tour. We used both a rear hitch mounted bike rack and a top mounted bike rack. It worked very weel because the backup bikes could be mounted on the top while we could do quick bike exchanges using the rear mounted bikes. We had some issue with the need to access the rear of the van, but this could be avoided for the most part (see below).

We were fortunate enough to borrow a rig from Willy that proved very useful last year. You see the picture below with two plastic bins, one for each rider's cloths, a cooler above that, and a water jug that can be rotated to access from inside.

Since we chose to use a hitch mounted rack, accessing the clothing bins was difficult. It would have been better if we could have accessed ever;ything from inside.


This view is from the side of the van, looking to the back. You can see that accessing the two clothing bins was not possible. A second cooler was on top of some plastic drawers. The rest of the flow space was taken up with bags.

In the future we would use a similar shelf system in the back, but for the space under the water cooler and the ice chest we would have some larger pastic drawers that point inside the van so you can get to the clothing items from inside. We would keep the drawers and ice chest on the right side of the photo. The space in the back left of the van would be dead space and only accessible from the rear, but you could store items there you don' t need to get to often.

  This is the same view but with some of the items removed.
  Willy is attaching the top rig he let us borrow to Paul's van. It has a cargo bin, with fork mounted racks for 3 bikes and 5 wheels. We put two bikes up on the top, plus used the cargo bin for storing jugs of water. This type of rack worked well. This was much better than simple top mounted bike racks.