Bikes & Storing Them
The Bikes: We wanted bikes that folded to facilitate storage in the EKKO garage. We settled on a pair of RadExpand 5 ebikes. Our plan is to use them for exercise and pleasure while on the road and for short distance utility transportation. So far that plan is working well.
Storage in Plastic Tubs: We started out with the idea of storing them in plastic tubs that we’d load into the garage. We found suitable tubs and reinforced them to handle the weight of the bikes. There were some kinks to work out but we found a way to load them and unload them. But the fit in the garage was super tight and loading them and unloading them was a real chore. (The 2023 change in the shape of the garage side doors to fit the new blind spot monitoring system made it impossible to load them from the side as owners of earlier EKKOs could do.)
In-Garage Bike Rack: Scrapping that idea, we settled on folding the handle bars down but not folding the frames so we could load them side by side. We built a rack inside the garage to stabilize the bikes and installed folding pedals. This worked much better than the plastic tubs but, after a few weeks of camping, we found the load/unload process was still cumbersome enough to discourage impromptu use. Besides, we were feeling the need for more storage capacity in the garage for longer term travel.
Platform Hitch Rack: So a commercial bike rack it was to be. Requirements included weight capacity for the bikes, RV rated to endure the rigors of being on the end of a vehicle with a long overhang, tilting for access to the rear garage door and easy to mount and dismount the bikes. We settled on a 1UP brand 2” Heavy Duty Double rack with a 7” hitch extension and kits to allow for the fat tires. The rack is really solid. We accommodate the rear fenders on the bikes by inserting a piece of foam between the tire and fender and a pad on the outside of the fender so the rack doesn’t bend or scratch the fender. We keep the bikes’ handle bars folded while on the rack to give them a lower profile. It also helps accommodate the recycled motor scooter cover we use to cover both the bikes and the rack. Finally, the bikes partially obscured our tail lights so we added extra tail lights to the rack. Sweet!