RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

Vehicle Advice

Anyone out there ever traveled in a 15-person Ford transit van? We’re trying to figure out if we’ll be able to use one of these vehicles to get 7 bikes, 8 people & all associated gear out to Iowa. Assuming we’d remove the last row of seats, and breakdown bikes (e.g. remove pedals & turn handlebars). We’re also looking into whether we can get an extended van. Anyone out there who could share any experience on the cargo capacity with this type of vehicle? Thanks!

2 Replies

Amanda, March 6, 2017 at 7:59 am

We have used a 15 PASSENGER van for numerous years. We had more people – but we always pulled a trailer for bikes and baggage.


KenH, March 6, 2017 at 11:09 am

I rode in a church van a few years ago from northern Illinois to northern Alabama on a tornado recovery mission. We had more people, all the seats were filled, so we had to tow a trailer for our luggage but in that case we would have needed it for tools and supplies anyway. You might get 8 people and their luggage for the week in such a van. I don’t think there is any hope of getting the bikes in there unless you can put a rack of some kind on the roof.

Bikes take a lot of room because most people don’t want theirs stacked in a pile with others like fire wood! You could get quite a few in with moving blankets on every other one to keep them from scratching each other but if you managed to get the seven bikes inside I think you would need to put a luggage rack/box on the roof for the other gear. I’ve gotten four bikes in the cargo bay of my motorhome that way. There would have been room for a fifth but we only had four and so we put most of the luggage for five people in that area. I think my cargo bay volume would be comparable to what you could get in a 15 passenger van. If the van has a trailer hitch you can rent, borrow, or buy either a bike rack for it or a cargo box for it that might make your van a feasible transport vehicle for the team.


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