As a mountain biker, you are probably eager to test out your bike on new trails and in new surroundings – often far from home. This requires you to have a way to transport your mountain bike to your chosen destination, and perhaps you are unsure of whether it will fit into your Toyota RAV4?
The Toyota RAV4 is a practical car that is said to adapt to your needs as a car owner, but the question is, is it adaptable enough to fit your mountain bike? The answer is yes.
In this article, we are going to have a look at how to best fit your mountain bike into your Toyota RAV4, what to think about and how to make sure it is a pleasant and safe ride for both you, your bike, and any additional passengers.
About the RAV4
Over the past five generations, the RAV 4 has become significantly bigger and more spacious. It still qualifies as a compact SUV, making it a great vehicle to drive both in the city and when you travel, and it seats five people so that you can bring along the whole family.
The car was first made available in 1995 in North America, and in 1994 in Europe and Japan, and it quickly gained popularity thanks to its many features and excellent space. It was a great car to begin with, and it has improved even more over recent years.
It is a car made for adventures, with plenty of legroom even for the tall adventurer. You won’t have to choose between a large and potentially impractical truck with space or one that is easy to maneuver, and instead, you get the ideal combination of the two.
The term SUV stands for “sport utility vehicle,” and the RAV4 certainly lives up to its name by offering its owner a vehicle that makes it easier and more practical to embark on an outdoor adventure.
As you plan to drive with your mountain bike, you are probably the most interested in the trunk space it offers. The trunk itself, while keeping the seats in place, offers an impressive 580 liters of space. This is quite a big trunk for such a compact SUV, but it probably won’t fit your mountain bike.
However, when you fold down the rear seats, you suddenly get a total of 1,690 liters to play with, where your mountain bike should be able to fit without any issues. You won’t be able to fit five people while also bringing along your bike, but if this is a problem you can always consider investing in a bike rack.
Interestingly, Toyota has made this part of their marketing campaign, where they promise their buyers that they will be able to fit a mountain bike into the RAV4, without having to remove the wheels. Looking at the numbers and specifics of the vehicle – it is absolutely true that you can fit a mountain bike into it.
Will a Mountain Bike Fit in a RAV4?
The only reason a mountain bike might not fit into a RAV4 is if you have a modified bike that is much bigger than what would be considered standard. In such a case, you may end up having to remove the wheels before loading them.
If you have a standard mountain bike, however, there should not be any issues with fitting it into the back of your RAV4 provided you lower the rear seats first. Depending on the size of your bike, you may even be able to fit two bikes in the back with the rear seats down.
For someone who doesn’t need all seats and who is planning to use mostly the front seats and transport seats in the back, you can even consider removing the rear seats to get additional space for your mountain bikes.
This is not recommended if you use your car often both with and without bikes and with more passengers, as it will become time-consuming and a hassle. If only one or two people travel in the car, however, and if you have many bike adventures planned – you might as well opt for removing the seats.
Did you know that one of the best and most versatile ways to fit a mountain into your Ford Escape is to use a mountain bike rack like this one. It attaches to the rear of your SUV on the roof, trunk, and rear bumper.
How to Fit Your Mountain Bike in a RAV4
One of the many benefits of a RAV4 is that you can supposedly fit your mountain bike standing up, even without having to remove the wheels. This enables you to potentially fit two bikes into the vehicle – standing side by side – so that you can take someone else with you on your next biking adventure.
It is up to you how you feel more comfortable loading your bike, but according to Toyota, you should be able to load it in through the back and leave it standing, without the need to remove the front wheel (which is often the case in other SUV’s).
Safety Tips for Transporting Bikes
While you can load the bikes without any additional equipment, you can also consider installing a standing floor rack inside your vehicle. Securing your bikes will keep both you and the bikes safe in the case of an accident, and it will prevent them from sliding around at a sharp turn.
A common mistake is to not secure your bike properly when you drive, which could be distracting and possibly even cause an accident. The whole point of having the bike with you inside the car is to keep it safe, but you also need to remember to take proper safety precautions for yourself and other passengers.
Keeping your expensive bike inside the car is also the safer option for the bike, as it makes it a lot harder for someone to steal it at, for example, a rest stop.
If you opt for using a bike rack still so that you can use all five seats, the advantage of the RAV4 is that you can still fold the rear seats and put your bike inside if needing to leave it unattended.
Is a Toyota Rav4 Right for Me?
What is so great about the RAV4 is that it fits a wide range of personalities and lifestyles, which is why it is a great option also for families that need a practical everyday vehicle – to take kids to school or use for work, and one they can take with them for outdoor adventures.
If you are thinking about getting a RAV 4 or if you already have one, you have nothing to worry about when it comes to transporting your mountain bike. You will have to fold down the seats to fit it properly though, meaning it is not possible to seat five people and transport a bike.
The Toyota RAV 4 is a great option for the adventurous biker, as it is spacious and comfortable even after loading a mountain bike into it.
There is also the option to purchase a bike rack for situations where you won’t be able to fit it in the SUV, but the benefit of fitting it inside the car is that you won’t have to worry about anyone stealing it off your rack while you take a bathroom break or have lunch at a restaurant.