How to transport your bikes with bike carriers

16. März 2020 um 8:44

license plateThere are a number of things to consider when riding with bike carriers, which is why we have put together the most important information for you so that you can not only transport your bikes comfortably with your vehicle, but also safely and correctly.

The bicycle has become an important part of our society. Many use the two-wheelers for short distances to escape the heavy city traffic and to get faster from A to B. For some, cycling is the most popular sport and furthermore it is often used for longer distances. With the beginning of spring, there is of course the opportunity for a bike tour on vacation or short break. But before you can get started, you should first clarify which type of bike carrier is suitable for your car, because not every model can be mounted on every vehicle.

Roof carrier

With a wheel track for the roof rack, you can transport up to four or, depending on the space, more bicycles on the vehicle roof. You can attach and remove the roof rack at any time by yourself on the vehicle roof – usually it is attached to the roof rack. Note that you have to lift the bikes up and down on the roof of the vehicle. The additional cargo on the roof shifts the center of gravity of your vehicle upwards, offers greater air resistance and is more susceptible to cross winds.

Rear bike carrier

One of the most practical possibilities of transportation are rear bike carriers, which are easy to install on the vehicle without much effort. For a rear bike rack you need a trailer hitch, the carrier is then attached to the head of the trailer hitch. When loading the carrier, you should always observe the permissible guidelines for your vehicle and the rear bicycle carrier. In our shop you will find the right rear bike carriers in various designs for up to four bicycles.

You should consider…

When driving with a rear bike carrier, get off the gas. ADAC recommends a top speed of 120 km / h. If the carrier or the bicycles attached to it hide the vehicle’s lights, you should definitely purchase a rear bike carrier that has taillights itself. Alternatively, you can attach additional brake lights to the rack so that you remain visible. If the vehicle’s lights are covered, you must expect a fine of € 20. In some cases, racks and / or bicycles can also hide the license plate, in this case you will need to get a second license plate and attach it to your bike rack. Anyone who cannot show a visible license plate at a police check must expect a fine of € 60. Movable objects such as bicycle baskets or child seats should be stowed inside the vehicle to minimize the safety risk while driving.

The Easter holidays in Germany will start in a few weeks and if you are planning a bike tour on the way, you should inform yourself beforehand about the country-specific features of the destination. The same applies to transit countries and places. As in Austria, a special license plate on the bike carrier is mandatory in Italy and Spain, for example.

In our shop we offer you various rear cycle carriers, just have a look!

Understanding the assembly instructions correctly

21. Juni 2019 um 11:54

assembly instructions For the attachment of your trailer hitch or also with the electrical kit we are always sending you an assembly instruction. These instructions explain, how your AHK and / or electrical kit must be put into operation. To help you understand we use pictograms to explain steps or comments, which repeatedly appear in the instructions. In the following paragraphs we are explaining the signs und pictures to you.

Signs and pictures in the assembly instructions of MVG

Montageanleitung MVG WarnhinweisAn old familiar, even from other areas, is probably the warning. We use a triangle with an exclamation point in it to alert you to the need for extra care and careful attention.

We give you directions and positions using different arrows. We show specific points on the vehicle or show you attachment points for the AHK. It is important to pay close attention to the position arrows.Montageanleitung MVG Positionspfeil

Montageanleitung MVG PfeileYou will always see two arrows pointing towards each other in our assembly instructions. These are used when you need to connect or disconnect something. This is especially common in electrical kits when your cable needs to be connected.

With the towbars and their instrucion manuals, you are more likely to find a hand with a pin. This will tell you that you have to draw something in pencil, which will be the case especially if you need to make small changes to the bumper, for example.Montageanleitung MVG Stift

Montageanleitung MVG MülleimerBesides, you will also find a trashcan that tells you that you can dispose something. You may also find this sometimes with the electric sets.

 

In connection with cutouts on the bumper, you will also find a deburrer in the installation instructions, with which you must then deburr the cutout as cleanly as possible. Otherwise, the risk of injury from small chips is high. Also, the file is important in this context and often has to be used in cutouts on the bumper.Montageanleitung MVG Entgrater und Feile

Montageanleitung MVG Zu Zweit ArbeitenIn addition to the deburrer and the file, a drawing with two persons carrying something is also important when attaching the trailer hitch in accordance to the instruction manual. This pictogram indicates that you should work in pairs, for example when removing the rear apron. This is much easier for two, with fewer accidents happening at the same time.

The wrench with screw and the drill show you that you have to tighten something or use the drill to drill holes. The spatula is used whenever you need to remove the underbody protection.

Montageanleitung MVG Anschrauben

Montageanleitung MVG Eimer und CleanerIf you have to protect something against corrosion, we noted a small bucket in the assembly instructions for you. If something needs to be cleaned, you will see two hands with a rag and a bottle labeled „Cleaner“. You can then apply both to the appropriate place.

We still have two last pictograms for you: An eye that is displayed with either two question marks or a book. The question marks refer you to a picture and mean something along the lines of „seeMontageanleitung MVG Verweis illustration „, the book represents the workshop manual and refers you to this.

You have further questions about the attachment of towbar and electrical kit or to an assembly instructions? Then please browse through our FAQ, where we will answer you the common questions. If you have another question, feel free to contact us anytime!

Can my car be used as a towing vehicle and tow a trailer?

11. Juni 2019 um 11:07

towing vehicleOf course, before you retrofit a trailer hitch, you first have to determine whether your car has ever been designed to travel with the trailer and is approved as a towing vehicle. You can find all the information you need on the nameplate of the vehicle. The data are both in the service booklet and usually on a sticker that is housed in the spare wheel module. If it can not be found there, you will find information in the owner’s manual of the vehicle on where to findyour nameplate. In addition to the vehicle manufacturer and the approval number, the chassis number can also be found there. The second line also specifies technically permissible weights. Underneath you will also find the permissible trailer weight.

This indicates the permissible trailer weight

As the name implies, the trailer weight indicates how heavy the combination of vehicle and trailer may be. Thus, it is clear that a combination may exist, so theoretically a trailer could be drawn. It then depends on the value. The weight of the vehicle must be deducted from the weight of the trailer in order to clarify whether and, if so, with what weight a trailer can be towed.

In addition, you can also consult the vehicle registration, which is the easier way. The vehicle registration indicates with the values ​​O1 and O2, which braked and unbraked towing load is technically permissible for the vehicle. If you can not find any values ​​there, the vehicle is not allowed to drive with a trailer.

What happens if your vehicle is not allowed as a towing vehicle and still pulls a trailer?

In order for a vehicle to be approved for trailer use, some points have to be met already in the development of the vehicle. Thus, for example, the motorization of the car is adapted to the possible use as towing vehicle, or special attachment points for the trailer hitch are defined by the vehicle manufacturer. Also, the cooling of the engine and other system must be defined separately for the optional trailer drive. If your car is not suitable and approved for the load and service as a towing vehicle, it will cause a variety of damage to the vehicle if it is still used to tow a trailer.

Driving license for driving with a trailer: Different classes and what they mean

15. Mai 2019 um 10:44

driver's licenseIn Germany there are many different license classes, among these are also some that regulate and influence driving with a trailer. We had a look at the different licenses and summarized the key data for you. A distinction is made between the driving license class 3, class B, class B96 and class BE.

The driving license class 3

This certificate is already older and has been replaced by the class B. Thus it is old, it is not invalid and confirmes the permission for its owners to drive a car up to 3.5 tons total weight. In addition, the Class 3 license also allows you to drive trucks of up to 7.5 tonnes overall weight and three-axe trailers of up to 12 tonnes total weight (as long as the towing vehicle is not heavier than 7.5 tonnes). This means that combinations of up to 3.5 tons can be driven. Also included in the Class 3 license are motorcycles, trikes and agricultural tractors up to 40 km/h.

Your options in driving with a trailer when owning a driving license class B

If you have a class B license, you can drive up to 3.5 tonnes. Exceptions are motorcycles, which fall under the driving license classes AM, A1, A2 and A. In addition, the addressed motor vehicles may not have more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat. When driving with a trailer, the category B driving license allows to tow trailers with a total mass of a maximum of 750 kg, or a maximum authorized mass of more than 750 kg, provided the maximum permissible mass of car and trailer does not exceed the value of 3500 kg.

The driving license class B96

This driver’s license is a supplement to the class B and is therefore also noted in the driver’s license. If you have this extension, it is allowed to drive trailers with a total weight of more than 750 kg. In addition, the permissible total weight of the combination of vehicle and trailer, which you may tow, increases. Namely, the permissible total weight of the class B96 billet may then be between 3500 kg and 4250 kg.

Driving with the driving license class BE

If you have a driving license class BE, then you are as flexible as possible when driving with the trailer. This is a combination of the class B and the permission to drive with trailer. The maximum permissible weight of the trailer may be up to 3.5 tonnes. So this is the driver’s license with which you can pull the heaviest trailer.

The vertical load: What do you have to watch out for if your vehicle has a lower vertical load than your AHK?

22. Februar 2019 um 16:11

vertical loadA higher vertical load with  the towbar than with the vehicle will be the case most of the time. The trailer hitch can usually withstand higher loads than the towing vehicle. Towbars made by MVG are tested for fatigue strength according to the European Directives 94/20 / EC, ECE R55 or Carlos TC. In addition, the towing hitches are always tested for maximum D values ​​and towing loads, so it can certainly come about that the hitch is approved for higher values ​​than a vehicle.

The values ​​of the vehicles are dependent on various factors, the entire construction of the vehicle must be aligned with the values ​​specified by the vehicle manufacturer for reference to the vertical load, so that the vehicle „endures“ the acting forces during trailer travel. If you have a vehicle with a vertical load or towed load less than the value of the towbar, then you must comply with this lower value. The lowest value is decisive.

Why is that so important? Assuming the values ​​of the vehicle are the lower values ​​and are not met, this can have different effects on the vehicle. As a rule, for example, the engine and the chassis are adapted to the trailer operation already in the development of the vehicles and included in the calculations. Thus, if the values ​​are not met or exceeded, this can possibly have an effect, for example, on the drive train, the chassis, the cooling system or even the transmission. Therefore, it is important to always follow the instructions of the manufacturer, in the manual for your vehicle you will certainly find information about it.

Three features that the towbar should have for retrofitting

12. Dezember 2018 um 11:19

Retrofitting towbarIf you want to retrofit a towbar, you should pay attention to a few details. Clearly, you want to be able to use the AHK for a few years on your current vehicle and you do not want it to annoy you on a regular basis. Therefore, we have put together the three most important features that you should consider when choosing the towing hitch.

1. The towbar should not be in your way

Nothing is more annoying than constantly bumping your leg on the trailer hitch because you have forgotten that it is now on the back of the vehicle. Surely you will get used to it one day. Yet, if you are a habit and are bothered by something in your way, then you should think about a detachable or swiveling towbar. These are not permanently in your way and only need to be put into operation when you really intend to use them. This way you save not only trouble, but also dirty trouser legs, if, after retrofitting you forgot about the towbar again.

 

2. The trailer hitch should lie to you in the operation

If you are retrofitting a trailer hitch and it is not exactly rigid, then you should make sure when retrofitting that you get along well with the operation of the trailer hitch. With our detachable trailer hitches, you just have to turn one wheel aside and turn it to remove the ball rod. During assembly, you only need to guide the ball rod into the receptacle until it snaps in by itself. Even with the swivel trailer hitch from us only a few steps are necessary. So you have to operate the trailer hitch as described for the removable version, if you want to dismantle the towbar. If you have operated the wheel, the towbar „falls“ down and you only have to bring it up to its resting position. If you would like to put the towbar back in operation, you will move the lever of the rest position to the side so that the ball bar „falls down“ once again. Then you only have to grasp the trailer hitch and guide it to its correct position. Here, too, the towbar locks itself in. So you see, the operation of our towbars is designed as easy as possible for you, we put a lot of value on it in the development and construction.

3. The trailer hitch should not affect the appearance of your vehicle

Nothing is nastier than a large section in the bumper, if you retrofit a trailer hitch. It is by no means absolutely necessary to reckon with a section when retrofitting. Our trailer hitches are designed to come out under the bumper and thus run around it. A section in the visible area of ​​the bumper is therefore not required when retrofitting with MVG trailer couplings. When buying your trailer hitch you should also pay attention to this, certainly you would like to make on your vehicle no major interference with the optics.

When is an activation required for retrofitting?

8. November 2018 um 11:10

Activation of the electrical kit
In order to ensure that the towing vehicle later communicates correctly with the trailer and that the lighting equipment does its job without error, the correct installation of the electrical kit with an activation is important. This should best be done by a specialist, especially with regard to the ever more complex electronics of the vehicles.

Activation is required above all for newer vehicles equipped with a CAN data bus. The activation must be carried out properly to ensure the complete functions of the electrical kit at the next trailer travel. Often notes regarding the retrofitting and activation of the electrical kit are given  in the operating instructions of the vehicle manufacturer, in the specialist workshop, the responsible staff usually knows how to perform the programming and unlocking and are equipped with the necessary funds.

 

What happens if the activation of electrical kits is not done?


If you do not let the electrical kit unlock, it will be difficult with the trailer. After all, all flashing and light functions on the trailer are important for safe driving with the trailer in order to be able to participate safely in traffic. These functions can only work properly by unlocking. For example, this ensures that the rear fog lamp is switched off when the trailer is being used on the vehicle and that it works on the trailer. If the activation does not take place, both rear fog lights shine. Often when driving with the trailer there are acoustic and electronic signals, for example when flashing. These will also be eliminated if your electrical kit is not installed correctly, but this is more likely to involve electrical kits with audible or electronic flashers.

Safe loading for the drive with trailer

11. Oktober 2018 um 10:02

LoadingBefore driving with the trailer, it is important to also deal with the cargo. Finally, this can affect the driving behavior of the trailer. If you’ve gone through the checklist, you’ll also be dealing with the cargo and loading it within the trailer. Maybe you have already loaded the trailer, but maybe you also have to accommodate some parts. It is important to be clear about a few points. The center of gravity of the trailer is usually centered, slightly ahead of the axle. It is important when loading not only to know where the center of gravity is, but also to plan it when distributing the load. Above all, you should pay attention to distribute the load evenly at the center of gravity and around the center of gravity. Better you load the goods a little further forward than too far behind. If you overload the rear part, there will be a negative vertical load, which can cause the team to skid during the ride.

In addition, you should make sure that large, heavy cargo pieces are stored as far down the ground as possible. A lying cabinet is easier to transport than a standing, finally, this cabinet springs from movements and can move its own focus unintentionally, for example, when driving around a curve. On the other hand, if the cabinet is transported horizontally, the center of gravity of the cabinet is also significantly lower, significantly reducing the handling of the trailer and the entire yoke. It is also important that you always secure your cargo well. Lashing straps and nets are a good way to secure loads, and in the worst case, even the smallest of loads can become dangerous missiles. Even cartons with books in a move are heavy and can adversely affect the trailer, so you should load them in the trailer safely so that the range of motion is limited, in case of doubt, it is best to use safety straps.

The license plate for the rear bicycle carrier

26. September 2018 um 9:23

license plate
If you are traveling with a rear bike rack, you must also have a license plate number for your rear bike rack. This is a so-called sequential indicator. It does not differ from your license plate and is basically a duplicate.

That’s why you need a license plate for the rear bike carrier


Such a sequential indicator is always important if the existing is concealed on the vehicle. This can be the case, for example, by loading with a transport box for the trailer hitch or just with the widespread rear bicycle carriers. It does not matter if the rear bike rack covers everything or if it is still partially visible, you must always plan a follow-on license plate when using a rear-wheel carrier. It’s best to pay attention when buying the carrier that it also has a license plate holder so that you can mount the required license plate as well. In many countries, the absence of the successor mark is punishable, so it is important to be prepared before going to Switzerland for example26. Also in Austria you should prepare yourself and assemble your successor license plate on the rear bicycle carrier. Basically, a missing license plate can also be punished in Germany.

Also make sure that the lights on the vehicle are often covered by the transporting bicycles. In road traffic, the other road users can not see your taillights and turn signals so it is important to use a lighted rear bike carrier.

 

Get a follow-up license plate for your rear bike carrier

If you buy a rear bike carrier, you should get the following number plate immediately. Since this requires no stamping, you can usually save long waiting times. Just have your license plate duplicated at your local contact point, as a rule a number of providers are based at the Traffic Office, so you can get the license plate there at short notice. The waiting times on site are individual, but usually very low. Often ordering on the Internet is no problem, so you even save the way to the office. 

Checklist before driving with the trailer

12. September 2018 um 16:47

checklistBefore you start moving with your trailer, you should go through and check certain items from your checklist. We have put together for you the most important points that you should absolutely check before leaving, so that you are well prepared for the next ride with the trailer.

 

Our checklist: These points should be checked before driving with the trailer

  1. Make sure that the trailer’s ball coupling is actually snapped onto the tow bar’s ball bar. Many tags have a tag to detect, so you can be sure that everything is correct – even if you may not hear the click sound.
  2. Be sure to check the turn signals and lights before starting. Due to the electrical kit towing vehicle and trailer are electronically connected to each other, whether everything is working properly there, you should check before every trailer ride by checking the flashing and light functions. In addition, you should also take a closer look at all the reflectors, are they perhaps too polluted?
  3. Is the safety rope correctly attached to the vehicle? In some EU countries, this requires specific brackets. How to fasten the tear-off rope correctly, we present you in our post.
  4. Have you kept all the values? When driving with a trailer, the vertical load that the vehicle and the trailer hitch allow should not be exceeded. The trailer hitch can often „endure“ more than the vehicle, but the lower value is decisive.
  5. Make sure you get your cargo right before starting. Large heavy parts should be down, the weight should be basically evenly distributed and nothing should be able to fly back and forth. This can change the driving behavior of the trailer while driving and you can quickly lose track.
  6. Finally, you should go around the whole trailer again. Is the handbrake released? Is the jockey wheel cranked up? Are possible flaps closed? Are the 12 in good shape? You should be able to check all these points at a glance and keep an eye on the tires for driving in different weather conditions.

 

Now you only have to adjust the interior mirrors on the vehicle and if necessary put the additional mirrors into operation. Then you have already completed the checklist, you can go and start your trip with the trailer. Good ride!