Our Mountain Yacht has been ready for some time now but we were still waiting for our bike – and roof rack. As our builder could not deliver on time, we decided to design and build it ourselves.
We wanted a simple construction and it should lower down to the ground so we can get our E-Mountain Bikes without too much hassle. The rack should also hold the stairs that we use when we park-up for longer periods of time.
Bike rack made by Erik, Timo and Rohan
At the same time we decided to have the cradle for the outside airconditioning unit made and combine this with the winch cradle to add to the strength of the construction. Amy made the drawings and we found Erik (who has a welding school: lerenlassen.nl) willing to build our project with his son Timo and friend Rohan.
We drove our Mountain Yacht up to Amsterdam (just over half an hour) and the guys started building. We have opted for a rather simple construction of two long arms bolted to the bed (chassis) of the MAN HX60 that pivot down until the bike rack sits on the ground. So no straight up and down lift but a construction that folds backwards. Easier to make, especially while the bottom of the rack is 2,10 meters high of the ground.
The bike rack and winch – airco holder were finished a couple of weeks later and we delivered the pieces to the powder coater. One week later everything was ready and we cloud start mounting it. We used thick bolts and screws in combination with Sikaflex adhesive to make sure it will hold.
WARN winch from Alltracks.eu
We were still looking for a winch, as we have good experiences with WARN winches (from RP’s off road racing days), we contacted Alltracks.eu. This is a Dutch company specialised in WARN winches. The bike rack with the electrical Mountain bikes and ladder will weigh less than 100 kg’s so there is not much lifting capacity needed. We are looking at the WARN Quad winches as they should be more than strong enough.
Alltracks does not recommend that as our bike rack is a pure hoisting setup and that calls for a dedicated hoisting winch, which is specifically made for purposes like this. The brake is stronger as are some other vital components. It is basically a safer option for hoisting purposes.
So we have chosen the WARN DC800 Industrial hoist. A new type of this well known hoisting winch with a capacity of around 400 kgs. (hoisting that is) so more than enough reserve for our purpose.
What we really like is that we have two ways of operating the winch, first: by a fixed controller installed behind the service hatch and second by the WARN winch app on our phones. This connects via bluetooth to the solenoid of the winch and functions really well.
We had a specialist over for installation of our airconditioning and were thinking what to do about the landing platform of the bike rack. First we thought of tires but that would not work good in sand, snow or dirt.
So RP came up with the idea to use a pair of powder ski’s. Perfect landing on any surface and it just says who we are: Freeriders!
It might seem that the stairs are wider than the truck, this is not the case, we have 9 cm. on each side to spare.
We were so happy working with Erik, Timo and Rohan that we decided to have them weld the roof rack that we designed as well.
Again a simple and straightforward design with lots of cross beams to add to the overall rigidity and to hold the spare tyre. We had it powder coated and once placed on the roof we added the tire. Without a rim so the weight will be less and we can still use the hatch of the cab of the HX. Very useful for extra ventilation and when we have low passages we can check the height standing on the middle chair with the upper body in the tire.
We added two large Zarges boxes for extra storage and we also use this as a platform for our Cobb BBQ when we have a rooftop terrace dinner. There is walking – standing space behind the tire and the two Zarges boxes.
We have been using and testing everything during our 11 week (8.250 km) summer trip in 2023 and it all functions really good. Easy to use and reliable. After our trip we had some extra bars welded to strengthen the bike rack as the very poor roads – and off road – of the Balkan countries has taken its toll. Overall we are very happy with the looks and functionality of both the bike – and roof rack. The WARN winch and the app has been flawless.