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Old 08-11-2018, 12:35 AM   #1
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Indoor Bike Storage Ideas

I have been lurking this forum for a while now and seeing what the best option is for my family to purchase a nice size motorhome. With 2 very young kids and 2 very active parents, we are constantly traveling places to go bike riding. kayaking, etc.

We have been shopping for a Thor Ace 27 footer and we are ecstatic on how comfortable and roomy these motorhomes actually are.

We were debating for the longest time to purchase a sprinter conversion but unfortunately, with 2 small kids, it's just not roomy enough for us.

I would really like to be able to store 3-4 bikes in an internal compartment as well as our kids bike trailer. These bikes are pretty expensive and I just don't feel comfortable storing them overnight outside.

The only alternative I have found is an enclosed metal box that can be hooked up to a hitch in the rear that stores 2 bikes. That is going to be my last resort.

I'm not sure if there any service tech companies that can convert a motorhome to accommodate our needs, is this even possible? We travel now with our truck and can fit 2-3 bikes and the trailer in the bed. I don't think we would need a ton of room, but definitely enough to store.

We even thought about storing them just inside the R, but with the mud and dirt and grime that comes with riding, I don't want to deal with that on the inside of the new rv.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:09 AM   #2
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You could look at toyhaulers (The "Outlaw" brands from Thor: Class A, Class C).
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Old 08-11-2018, 02:08 AM   #3
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we have looked at those as well. We would like to have a bedroom. Is it hard to create a larger outdoor lower storage?
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Old 08-11-2018, 02:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by raffit78 View Post
we have looked at those as well. We would like to have a bedroom. Is it hard to create a larger outdoor lower storage?
OOh wait til Chance reads this! LOL

Those large rear storage areas are common on European RV's; unfortunately not on US RV's.

The Outlaw Class A 37RB has two bedrooms (one is a loft) and can sleep 8 without utilizing the garage area at all...of course it is a bit pricey and long (39' or so).

A small cargo trailer would also work--and be less expensive than the Outlaw. Of course if you're thinking of bringing along a toad (car) as well the cargo trailer wouldn't work (of course if your toad is a pickup then the bikes can go there).
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:27 AM   #5
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OOh wait til Chance reads this! LOL

.....cut....
Yes, a subject close to my love of cycling; and apart from that, one I can’t understand why RV manufacturers don’t try harder to come up with new and innovative ideas (I’d settle for recycled designs).

I’m aware of a few attempts in North America to provide large bike garages under motorhome rear bedrooms, but apparently they didn’t go over well enough to keep the motorhome in production for too long. In a couple of designs, the garage was large enough to haul motorcycles or golf carts.

One such motorhome with large bike garage was the Thor Serrano 31V. Personally, I believe that if it didn’t sell well it was because of FRED (front engine diesel) which are loud and rough for their price point, and also the wrong market for cyclist with expensive bikes. I think people into cycling are not normally those buying huge and expensive diesel motorhomes.

Below is picture of Thor Serrano 31V. For me it was too big, too loud, too luxurious/expensive for camping, and rear overhang too long. However, the concept and general design, if applied to an Axis or mid-size Class C, would be awesome.
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:38 AM   #6
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In the Serrano pictured above, the bedroom is elevated a little, not unlike steps leading up to a 5er bedroom (just not quite as much). Younger and or fit buyers who cycle enough to want this design can probably handle the two steps.

European designs are very similar, but typically have rear twin beds like an Axis 24.1, but with a couple of small steps between beds. Space between mattress and ceiling is reduced a bit.
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:22 AM   #7
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I though a lot about converting a bunkhouse area to store bikes. Didnít end up with a RV with a bunk house, but maybe a possiblity.
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Old 08-11-2018, 05:26 AM   #8
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On the ace modifications pages on irv2 I found this pic
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:00 AM   #9
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On the ace modifications pages on irv2 I found this pic
That's a nice find. I'll try to find a link on irv2. I wonder which model that is.

I agree with Chance, I think the larger storage capacity below can do well in an Axis, Ace class.
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:27 PM   #10
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There was an ACE with a similar bike garage back around 2012 ~ 2014 if I recall correctly, but after that they moved the generator to very rear corner and ruined the pass-though for taller bikes, and especially for tandems.

Damon had a few large motorhomes with nice-size bike garage but most donít have a flat floor which would make loading tandems or taller bikes more difficult.

One exception was the Avanti 3106 which has a great garage pictured below. They seem to have made the effort to drop the rear frame extension to provide a taller Euro-style garage compartment with a flat floor. Like the larger Serrano, these Avanti were also front engine diesels which were very loud. For us these motorhomes at just over 30 feet were a bit too large.
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:33 PM   #11
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Hereís a picture of the Avanti. I canít see why this design couldnít be incorporated into a smaller gasoline motorhome like Axis.
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:38 PM   #12
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I bet it wouldn't be too difficult to modify a 24.1: just raise the beds a little and make the doors larger. Granted you'd still have to get the bikes up that high as the frame wouldn't be lowered and there is a generator in the way but you could enlarge the pass-through enough to store them. The hardest thing would be matching the colors on the new doors installed.

Even if the beds went up a whole foot or two even (would have to install a staircase or use a step stool) you'd still have plenty of room above the beds.
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Old 08-11-2018, 03:24 PM   #13
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In case reads forum .....

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieGeek View Post
I bet it wouldn't be too difficult to modify a 24.1: just raise the beds a little and make the doors larger. Granted you'd still have to get the bikes up that high as the frame wouldn't be lowered and there is a generator in the way but you could enlarge the pass-through enough to store them. The hardest thing would be matching the colors on the new doors installed.

Even if the beds went up a whole foot or two even (would have to install a staircase or use a step stool) you'd still have plenty of room above the beds.
For me the doors are the biggest issue by far. I could relocate the generator if I had to, and also drop the frame (which I donít think would be that difficult). However, I expect rear compartment doors probably have aluminum framing around the perimeter of the opening, and making those larger would be too difficult because of the way the walls are laminated (bonded to wall framing). With existing doors bikes could be loaded on their side and then stood up, but it would be a pain if carrying a tandem plus a couple of single bikes.

If I had an older 24.1 (would be tough for me to cut and modify a new one), Iíd definetely eliminate the drawers between the twin beds to make the rear compartment much larger and useable. Drawers are nice but come at too high a cost (space wise).

Iím still hoping Thor builds a touring Axis 24.1 option. It only takes a few simple and low-cost steps.

1) install 25.2 type jackknife couch (or dinette) without slide

2) relocate generator under couch/dinette as in other Axis models

3) drop frame rail extensions and install low-profile hitch receiver

4) raise beds one step (7 ~ 8 inches)

5) relocate drawers to side of bed in new vertical space


While these kinds of changes are inexpensive and easy to make on new motorhomes, they would be expensive and wasteful as a retrofit. To your point, I agree it can be done as a modification, but Iím not sure itís practical or economical. Resale would suffer a lot in my opinion.
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:16 PM   #14
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So from what Iíve been seeing the 2013-2015 29.2 had that rear opening pass through. Definitely wouldnít fit a tandem, but installing a small rolling slide and mounting the bikes to it without a front wheel can be attainable. So simply reaching in and pulling the bike, it can be pretty simple access.

The newer aces with that opening are now 30.4 model. I wish they would turn that logic into getting that into the smaller axis/ace.

Iím very surprised that besides bikes, people arenít interested in more space for other outdoor equipment.

Those larger pass throughs in those pictures are just massive! That would be a dream. Although like you, thatís just a different type of a coach.

Although the 29.2 is a a few feet larger from what I would really need, I think thatís so far the best option for me, until something else comes out. That was a great find. I went back to see if I can get more info on the setup but I couldnít find the thread.
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Old 08-11-2018, 04:17 PM   #15
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For me the doors are the biggest issue by far. I could relocate the generator if I had to, and also drop the frame (which I donít think would be that difficult). However, I expect rear compartment doors probably have aluminum framing around the perimeter of the opening, and making those larger would be too difficult because of the way the walls are laminated (bonded to wall framing). With existing doors bikes could be loaded on their side and then stood up, but it would be a pain if carrying a tandem plus a couple of single bikes.

If I had an older 24.1 (would be tough for me to cut and modify a new one), Iíd definetely eliminate the drawers between the twin beds to make the rear compartment much larger and useable. Drawers are nice but come at too high a cost (space wise).

Iím still hoping Thor builds a touring Axis 24.1 option. It only takes a few simple and low-cost steps.

1) install 25.2 type jackknife couch (or dinette) without slide

2) relocate generator under couch/dinette as in other Axis models

3) drop frame rail extensions and install low-profile hitch receiver

4) raise beds one step (7 ~ 8 inches)

5) relocate drawers to side of bed in new vertical space


While these kinds of changes are inexpensive and easy to make on new motorhomes, they would be expensive and wasteful as a retrofit. To your point, I agree it can be done as a modification, but Iím not sure itís practical or economical. Resale would suffer a lot in my opinion.
Most mods aren't made with resale in mind; many people mod for usage (thinking that they will own the coach for a while and thus resale doesn't come into play); of course many people mod for the sake of modding

Just look at GMTech's mods--I highly doubt he'd get back out of that RV what he put into it.

To be sure about the framing: someone who got the framing diagrams from Thor could answer that as it is one of the diagrams they will send you (of course I didn't ask long ago when I got the diagrams for my coach--didn't think of it).
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Old 08-11-2018, 06:38 PM   #16
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Here is another option from Thor in 31-foot range: 31Z Class A (donít see floorplan listed for 2019)

ďIn addition to the impressive interior living space, the exterior of the 31Z offers a*MEGA-Storage compartment in the rear of the RV that is large enough to hold full-size bicycles and plenty of camping gear.Ē

https://www.thormotorcoach.com/news/...s-a-motorhome/


The Devil is in the details ó with raised center chassis section that makes large compartment not as useable as if designed with flat floor. New motorhomes are still available at good prices.
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Old 10-18-2018, 05:26 AM   #17
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Just a quick update,

We ended up buying a 29.2 and as that image above shows. We are able to put almost 6 bikes if necessary. (Which I doubt we would do).

I was able to fit 3 bikes side by side and can do the same on the other side which would take over the whole storage. So with our two kids, weíve got 2 mountain bikes and a road bike on one end. The other end we have the kids Thule bike trailer. Works fantastic and still plenty of room to store chairs and tools etc. it will not let me upload pics from tapatalk. Or I would show some images.
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Old 10-18-2018, 07:17 AM   #18
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Congratulations on finding what you were looking for. I look forward to seeing pictures of multiple bikes in garage.

Iím curious what year 29.2 you purchased that allows bikes being loaded from either side. Newer ones with relocated generator to rear corner screwed that up. Iím pretty sure Thor places very little importance on being able to haul bikes in an enclosed locked garage where they are out of sight.
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Old 10-18-2018, 07:27 AM   #19
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Ours is a 2012. Not sure why posting a photo doesnít work on tapatalk. I just tried again. ;(

This was one of our big priorities since we ride a ton. Traveling constantly, we hope this addition adds a bit more fun to our family.

Iíll check in the morning to see if pictures will work....
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:33 PM   #20
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You also have the option of placing the bikes inside the camper and the kids in the storage area. Make sure they know that!!
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