Saturday, March 26, 2016

Nice rack...

I have a bicycle and a kayak but no way to carry either with my Spark EV.  Nobody makes a tow hitch for it.  The gas Sparks have an optional roof rail system where you can just buy the crossbars, but that option in not offered on the Spark EV.

There is one story I've read where a Spark EV owner took his car to a Chevy dealer to have the roof rails installed.  The service center didn't do their homework on this install, and forgot to research it enough to find that there were plates that had to be welded on the inside of the roof before bolting the rails to the roof; otherwise, the roof will buckle...which, of course, it did.  So, the dealership had to take the car to a bodyshop, have the plates welded-in, repair/repaint the roof, then install the rails.

The owner was happy with the roof rails, but it was a giant hassle.

So, I found a fellow Spark owner on this forum who was selling his Rhino Rack Vortex 2500 RS Black 2 Bar Roof Rack for a good price.  Shipped it to my home in Decatur, Ga. from Knoxville, Tn.  

Didn't take too long to install, but I spent about 3 hours on a weekend afternoon measuring, checking, measuring, checking, watching the install video, reading the installation instructions online, measuring, checking, measuring, checking...

Rough fit of front bar.  This was my first attempt, and I read the wrong measurement, so it's too far back.

All done!

Now I can carry my yak or my bike...after I get the necessary mounting hardware.
It is noisy with the sunroof fully open, not so bad with the sunroof in vent position, and not so bad with the sunroof closed.  My plan is to mount it when I need it.  It will cut the range down somewhat, but I'm not too concerned with that due to the continued proliferation of DC fast charge stations in Ga.

I'll leave it mounted for a while to gather data and mark its mounting locations, then I'll remove and store it until needed.

Still hoping somebody will make a tow hitch for this little beast...

*Update 11-15-16:  I found this bike rack at for a good price.  Easy install.  Tested it out over a long November weekend EV road trip into Nantahala National Forest:
                          Below:  started the trip by visiting my buddy Matt; after I bought my car, the seller told me that he may have a couple more units.  Two of my fellow EV Club of the South members saw my subsequent FaceBook post, and suddenly Georgia had two more identical Spark EVs!

Below:  I snapped a couple of comparison shots of our cars...just for comparison... 😎😎

Below:  stopped for a L2 charge at Tail of the Dragon.  Chilly but beautiful fall day in the forest...

Below:  shots of the bike rack installed:

And one last shot of Matt's and my cars. 😈  They look devilishly fabulous!!

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