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Hello all,
I just bought a brand new 2006 Toyota Sienna. $26,000. By far the biggest purchase of my life so far. Here's my problem. My wife says no bikes inside the van for fear of ruining the interior. I've been looking at some roof racks, but I have a phobia of driving under a low under-pass (drive through, parking garage, etc.). Does anyone have any ingenious ideas that will prevent or remind me that I have an expensive bike(s) on the roof. I just bought a brand new bike, upgraded some parts, and currently have about $3,500 invested in it. Not to mention my mountain bikes which will occasionally be strapped to the roof. If I forget and damage the bike or the car, I don't have the cash to replace or repair anything right now. I don't want to use a hitch mount because of convenience to storage, and also because I would have to buy a hitch. If anyone has been faced with this fear in the past, please respond.
Thanks.
 

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I have seen

I have seen bikes mounted fully upright (no wheels off) on top of Toyota 4-runners. I probably would not recommend that approach, but it is possible. True, you must be very aware of where you are driving (bridges, etc.).

I have a hitch mount rack that easily swings away from the tailgate on our Suburban. That way I can still access gear in the back. Something to think about. Of course you will have to get a hitch. Shop around for an installer or DIY.
 

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with all due respect

waynesan76 said:
Hello all,
I just bought a brand new 2006 Toyota Sienna. $26,000. By far the biggest purchase of my life so far. Here's my problem. My wife says no bikes inside the van for fear of ruining the interior. I've been looking at some roof racks, but I have a phobia of driving under a low under-pass (drive through, parking garage, etc.). Does anyone have any ingenious ideas that will prevent or remind me that I have an expensive bike(s) on the roof. I just bought a brand new bike, upgraded some parts, and currently have about $3,500 invested in it. Not to mention my mountain bikes which will occasionally be strapped to the roof. If I forget and damage the bike or the car, I don't have the cash to replace or repair anything right now. I don't want to use a hitch mount because of convenience to storage, and also because I would have to buy a hitch. If anyone has been faced with this fear in the past, please respond.
Thanks.
put the bikes in the van. Think about it this way. You have $3500 invested just in one bike. Do you want that riding on top of the van or inside? Plus, with a roof rack your mileage goes down at least 2-3 mpg. I bought a used van just so I could transport my $5000+ tandem. There was no way it was going on top like I did with my old tandem.

I've since sold the van because it made no sense to drive it all year when I only transported the bike a few times a year. No, I don't have any kids. I bought a Prius, am getting 46+ mpg and will rent a van for the very few times I might need it. I also have an available pickup truck at my disposal when needed.

Put something in the van to protect the interior, a old blanket or something, and sell the wife on the gas savings of not having a roof rack.

You could also get a strap on rack for the rear of the van. I'll be willing to bet that someone makes one that will fit the Toyota. With that at least you won't have to worry about driving into the garage and hearing the *crunch*.
 

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I agree with gregario. I am VERY particular with my vehicles and I put mountain bikes and road bikes inside my small SUV. I just put down a vinyl backed table cloth and have a 2x6 with fork mounts. The bike never comes in contact with the car in any way.
 

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Though I have a hitch mounted rack (I also dread the idea of bikes on top), we also have a couple of rubber-backed blankets we got from Griot's Garage. They fill the whole cargo area and protect the original carpeting/seatbacks not only from abrasions but also any drips or other nastiness, thanks to the backing on the blankets. We use them when we make a trip to the garden center--they really protect from wet plants and soggy potting soil.

http://www.griotsgarage.com/catalog.jsp?&SKU=77504

This might be a good solution for you, and they're also handy as a camping dropcloth (if your tent is small) or a picnic/beach blanket, and they're not expensive. An all-around good thing to have in your vehicle.
 

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swinging key

I have Yakima's with locking mounts on the top of my car. When I have bikes on top I hang the key for the locks on the rear view mirror. It's annoying but It always reminds me the bike is on top of the car.
 

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Like the swinging key...

I had a friend who hung an orange triangle (think hazard reflective thing) from his mirror...don't know where he got one in the 'small' size...but, when the bikes we on top, he hung the warning from the rearview mirror.
 

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You could always explain to your wife that the two of you bought a van..

Vans carry things. That's why they're vans. If your wife wanted the kind of van that doesn't get things put inside of it, you should have bought a Camry.
 

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waynesan76 said:
My wife says no bikes inside the van for fear of ruining the interior.
Put a couple of fork mounts on a 2x4, lay a couple towels down and move on. That van will be worth nothing in a few years. Tell your wife to get over it. :rolleyes:

Be sure to point out that any rack (other than a hitch-rack) is going to scuff the paint wherever it touches the vehicle.
 

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I just lay an old blanket down in the back of my Mazda 6( rear seats folded down of course ) The blanket takes all hits from any chain lube,etc.I'm fairly fussy about my car and the blanket works just fine My daughter has a Sienna and it's like a gymnasium in back compared to the 6. It would be a shame to buy any sort of rack with the space available in that van. Just throw a blanket or two down. No way any grease/lube should touch any part of the interior with the space available in the Sienna.
 

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pretty much what I was thinking

Val_Garou said:
You could always explain to your wife that the two of you bought a van..

Vans carry things. That's why they're vans. If your wife wanted the kind of van that doesn't get things put inside of it, you should have bought a Camry.
only you said it more succinctly. I never understood why someone would have a minivan yet put a rack on top, unless you regularly transported a soccer team.
 

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I was just going through the same thing but ended up getting a hitchrack. I got the Hollywood Rack Prorider. It hich rack that mounts your bike by the fork so you have to take the front wheel off. I thnk fork mounts hold the bike secure and not have to worry about them.
 

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waynesan76 said:
Hello all,
I just bought a brand new 2006 Toyota Sienna. $26,000. By far the biggest purchase of my life so far. Here's my problem. My wife says no bikes inside the van for fear of ruining the interior. I've been looking at some roof racks, but I have a phobia of driving under a low under-pass (drive through, parking garage, etc.). Does anyone have any ingenious ideas that will prevent or remind me that I have an expensive bike(s) on the roof. I just bought a brand new bike, upgraded some parts, and currently have about $3,500 invested in it. Not to mention my mountain bikes which will occasionally be strapped to the roof. If I forget and damage the bike or the car, I don't have the cash to replace or repair anything right now. I don't want to use a hitch mount because of convenience to storage, and also because I would have to buy a hitch. If anyone has been faced with this fear in the past, please respond.
Thanks.
You supposely "bought", but yet she won't allow you to carry your $3,500 invenstment inside? Dude, no offence, but who is the one wearing the pants on this relationship?:D
 

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bignose said:
how about you get your balls back out of your wife's purse and tell her where you're putting your bike.

and before you say "you obviously aren't married" .. yeah I am.
ditto... i dont demand much with my wife... but i need to i put my foot down. putting your bike in the back is not unreasonable.

what, does she want a mint condition interior sent to the wrecking yard in 10-15 years???
 
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