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If you’ve followed our blog from the beginning, you know that we originally started RVing as a way to make participating in cycling events easier. We’ve been all about getting our bikes in our RVs from the start. In fact, the first RV review we ever filmed was driven mainly by our desire to see if we could cram some bikes into it.
A lot has changed since 2013 (and man, that makes me feel old), but one thing hasn’t – we’re still on the lookout for the perfect cycling-friendly rig for us. It’s always in the back of our minds. So in this video from the Florida RV SuperShow in Tampa, we decided to bring it to the front of our minds and deliberately set out to find cycling-friendly rigs. We found 5.
So the first thing we should do is define what we consider a cycling-friendly rig to be.
- It should be a motorhome. We’re not really into towing. We tow a very small trailer sometimes now, and we don’t love it. We don’t like having to think about our turns. We don’t like having to check out overhead views of gas stations to plan an exit. And Stef certainly doesn’t like the idea of having to stop and exit the vehicle to use the restroom. And speaking of towing – while we don’t want to tow a trailer, we also don’t want to tow another vehicle, which brings us to…
- It should be compact. Our cutoff is at 25 feet in length. Anything longer becomes too much of a chore to drive, and we’re not into that. But most importantly, if you’ve ever been to a cycling event, the parking is often times… challenging. Trying to cram a Class A diesel pusher into a crowded cycling event parking lot is comical (in a bad way) to think about.
- It should have indoor bike storage. When you’ve spent more on your bike than you did on your first car, you don’t want to be schlepping it around outside on a bouncy hitch. Think of these bikes like children. If you wouldn’t carry your kids there, you wouldn’t store a nice bike there.
- The indoor bike storage will *not* interfere with your ability to sleep or use any other feature of the motorhome. There are a LOT of motorhomes where you could carry bikes inside. But many of those floor plans would require you to put the bikes outside to sleep. If you wind up spending the night in a Wal-Mart parking lot (it happens), you’re not going to leave a bike outside overnight.
But beyond those few things, we didn’t have any other requirements. We scoured the show at Tampa, and we came up with 5 rigs. Three of them we knew about, and two of them we didn’t. Three of them were small Class C motorhomes, and two were Class B camper vans. All 5 of these rigs would work as a cycling support vehicle. But if you’re not into cycling, they would work as a gear-hauler for any other sport or pursuit really. Inflatable kayaks. Dog show kennels. Climbing gear. Whatever you’ve got that’s dear to you, these rigs will haul it, and keep it inside and safe. The five we found were:
The Leisure Travel Vans Wonder RTB
After years of pestering RV manufacturers, Leisure Travel Vans were the first to address the needs of cyclists with their Wonder model. In fact, Dean from Leisure Travel Vans even called us out in the reveal! We’ve done a full review of the Wonder RTB before, so if you have detailed questions, you can get them answered there. But for those new to the rig, it’s a Ford Transit based Class C motorhome with a large bike (or gear) garage in the back. They’re well-appointed and well built by our friends at Leisure Travel Vans. The Wonder is on the longer and wider end of this list, but the space that gives you inside is put to good use. We think you could use a Wonder without a tow vehicle (and many do), but some parking lots you’d probably find a bit tight.
Midwest Automotive Passage
This one took us by surprise! Midwest Automotive kind of straddles the line between being a “regular” RV manufacturer, and being a “custom” shop. We see them at RV shows now, and they have a few standard models, but they also offer lots and lots of options. One option we didn’t know about was a motorized loft bed! This makes this class B a cycling friendly rig because you could put the bed down just far enough to store your bikes (or other gear), but you could then sleep on top. Everyone – including bikes – sleeps inside. The loft bed runs lengthwise, which is also pretty cool. It’s even more astonishing that they got all this to fit inside a 19 foot Mercedes Sprinter chassis – with a 4×4 option – so parking it literally anywhere would be a snap.
Coachmen Cross Trek
We knew about this rig coming into the show, but we hadn’t seen one in person yet. We were blown away! In addition to having the largest bike garage in North America, this was also, hands down, the most affordable Cycling friendly rig at the show. By a factor of about 2! We’ll be doing a full review of this coach in the coming weeks, so be on the lookout for it. Briefly, the Cross Trek is an extremely affordable, Class C motorhome built on the Ford Transit chassis. It has an enormous garage in the back, and over eighteen hundred pounds of carrying capacity – so you can actually fill that garage. If you’re a cyclist who RVs, put this one on your short list.
Tiffin Wayfarer 25 LW
Tiffin is more well known for their larger coaches. Since we like to RV small, we haven’t paid them much attention. Until now. While it was the largest RV on our list, the Wayfarer made the cut because of its large, pass-through gear garage in the back. Their brochures show bikes in that garage, so they’re clearly looking at the cycling and RVing market. AND… I don’t know if I’m remembering this right or not, and I think I see it in the video, but I’d almost swear that there was an air compressor chuck in the garage. Check out the video and tell me if I’m seeing that right. And this rig may have been the largest, but it was also certainly the most posh of the bunch – clearly a carry-over from Tiffin’s work on the larger coaches. After checking the source video, the cargo carrying capacity on this one is around 900 pounds.
The Winnebago Revel
We feel a special affinity for the Revel, since we were the default discussion board for Revel wannabes when the whole thing was jut a concept vehicle. Winnebago has been making the Revel for a couple years now, and people have hauled everything you can imagine in that large cargo area. This includes bikes, of course, and hence you see it on our list. The Revel is also built on the 19 foot Sprinter chassis, and they’re all 4×4, so it’s got the maneuverability down. The loft bed in this one runs cross-coach. That makes the sleeping with the elevated bed a bit more challenging (bring extra pillows), but it also means you get more room in the rest of the coach when you’re not sleeping. We’ve done a full review of the Revel before, so if you want more information head over there, or check out the updates for the 2020 model year in our other video.
So there you have it. Those are the 5 compact gear-haulers we found at the Tampa RV show. We know there are others in North America, like the Safari Condo Flex (which we’ve also reviewed), but they weren’t at the show so we couldn’t include them.
Was there something at the show we missed? Do you own one of these rigs and use it for bike hauling? Sound off in the comments below!