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Would a towbar/bicycle rack be something you would like?

  • Yes it would extend the use of my leaf

    Votes: 28 77.8%
  • No its not something i need

    Votes: 8 22.2%

  • Total voters
    36
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, have an L40 Nissan leaf since middle may (3.5k miles on it already) and loving it, however i would love to put a bicycle rack on the back (not roof - economy, not strapped to boot - i want to keep the spoiler and paintworkin intact).

So I have been onto Nissan Ireland / Nissan Europe through various contact methods (ie hassling) to see if we can get a towbar for a bicycle rack (not for towing as this seems to be the issue with Nissan/efficiency/warranty etc) type approved in europe. These hitchs/towbars are available in US but not in europe due to no type approval and therefore laws/insurance issues.

I have just been informed that Nissan is to look into getting the Leaf with hitch/rack homologated...yay!!!...within 2 years....boo!!!

Ok its a start, if anybody else is interested in this please make contact with Nissan/Uk/Europe etc. as the more pressure / customers wanting this the more chance we have of making it happen. The initial start is there - lets just get it done faster.

Thanks
 

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Hi all, have an L40 Nissan leaf since middle may (3.5k miles on it already) and loving it, however i would love to put a bicycle rack on the back (not roof - economy, not strapped to boot - i want to keep the spoiler and paintworkin intact).

So I have been onto Nissan Ireland / Nissan Europe through various contact methods (ie hassling) to see if we can get a towbar for a bicycle rack (not for towing as this seems to be the issue with Nissan/efficiency/warranty etc) type approved in europe. These hitchs/towbars are available in US but not in europe due to no type approval and therefore laws/insurance issues.

I have just been informed that Nissan is to look into getting the Leaf with hitch/rack homologated...yay!!!...within 2 years....boo!!!

Ok its a start, if anybody else is interested in this please make contact with Nissan/Uk/Europe etc. as the more pressure / customers wanting this the more chance we have of making it happen. The initial start is there - lets just get it done faster.

Thanks
I also need a towbar for 2018 leaf for cycle rack mount
 

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It would certainly make me more likely to buy a leaf 60/40 if it existed. The I-PACE has an optional system but it’s amazingly expensive. It’s cheaper to buy 2 Bromptons then get a bike rack.
 

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Ok its a start, if anybody else is interested in this please make contact with Nissan/Uk/Europe etc. as the more pressure / customers wanting this the more chance we have of making it happen. The initial start is there - lets just get it done faster.
I wouldn’t hold your breath, they have had a broken Nissan EV connect app since before Christmas and the customer pressure hasn’t helped with that.
Spending the money on the type approval for a limited number of customers won’t be high on their list of things to do, especially with the new model of the car coming out.
 

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Hi guys, there was another thread on the same topic if you search. Easy enough to mount a US hitch and mount your cycle carrier to this. Not legal to tow with in the UK but that is irrelevant for this purpose. We are talking commercial products here, not bodged.
 

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Hi guys, there was another thread on the same topic if you search. Easy enough to mount a US hitch and mount your cycle carrier to this. Not legal to tow with in the UK but that is irrelevant for this purpose. We are talking commercial products here, not bodged.
You might not be towing with it, but you can be sure that if an insurance company wants to get out of paying for something then the fact it’s not type approved will certainly be an issue for you.
 

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Of course, not type approved for towing on a public road.

However, last time I looked no such thing as type approval for cycle carriers and their attachments
 

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I am lucky enough to be less than 50 miles from the manufacturer Torklift Central in Kent, WA USA, a company specializing in hitches for the EV crowd. Its a no drill solution that can be removed if you are leasing. Eventually the body will change requiring a new hitch but that is not likely until Nissan releases their skate format models expected in late 2020.

2013-2019 Nissan LEAF EcoHitch
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ok I have an update! I was searching everywhere for a solution that is legal in EU. There is a thing called an rmc kit which is essentially a removable towbar that has a spike on the ball so the ball cannot be used for towing. It allows for most towbar cycle carriers to work and has a nose weight of 75kg.

I have bought this from Belgium from a company called Auto Access NV. I have received it and it will need 3 holes drilled to fit fully however all parts are supplied and the quality is very good. It also comes with a canbus module an wiring to connect to lights. Additionally if you have propilot it can also be bought with another link to (from what i can see) disable propilot while anything is plugged into 13 pin socket.

This is in my garage awaiting installation - note it looks like the physical hardware element will not be too bad to install but the installation of wiring etc. is going to be a long slog. Not looking forward to that!
 

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Brilliant! Well done.

Polite question... How much? Please can you post photo(s)?

Thanks for starting this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ok some photos attached, a couple of things you need to be aware of.
1. This install involves drilling into frame on left side and installing alloy tubes to ensure frame is not crushed when tightening bolts. The right side does not need to be drilled as uses tow hooks original bolt holes.
2. The install necessitates the removal of your spacesaver tyre and cage (if your car has one) but to me was no big deal as the cafe cannot fit the original wheel in it if you need to fit spacesaver due to a puncture (I’m putting it in boot in a wheel bag only for long journeys)
3. The towbar needs to be installed accurately to ensure as close a fit as possible - as the removable towball is inserted 180 degrees down and turned up to lock etc. Very tight to ground.
4. The locking mechanism for the towball is a lever that has to be down and slightly back towards front of car to allow removable towball to slide in - the lever nearly touched ground so I took a 3/4 inch off mine with and reinstalled the rubber lever cover.
5. The towball could do with being more tilted back to the car so that the bike rack is higher off ground.
6. Due to the pin in the top of towball to stop towing it doesn’t allow all racks to work with it, my older Thule easyride was fine but I need to transport eBikes so needed higher weight allowance on rack. The Easyfold I have installed needed to be amended by drilling a hole inside the top of clamping mechanism to allow pin on towball push through. This does not affect strength of clamp (checked with an engineer) but would invalidate the racks warranty. The rack was drilled instead of making pin on top of towball lower as the pin is essentially the reason this is not considered a towing device so that needed to stay.
6. The towball etc is certified by gdw and marked with E6 which is Belgium’s destination.

One last thing, this install is not fir faint of heart and is completely at your own risk, Nissan could try and invalidate their warranty but they could only do it based on any errors thrown up by the install of the canbus module (hence I took photos of clear dtc codes on LeafSpy before and after install) or invalidate the corrosion warranty if the install created rust problems later (I ensured to put rust proofing on all holes and then underbody seal).

Feel free to ask any questions but it might take a little while to respond at present.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
More photos

Note the 13 pin socket swivels up and down to got out of way when not in use
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hi, do you have any details on how to fit the electrics. Is this Nissan approved or universal kit?
There is no Nissan approved electrics as they don't sell a tow bar for leaf, its not homlogomated. This kit is from a tow bar manufacturer gdw (brinks rmc also available) that makes a "non towable" tow bar for bike racks etc.

The electrics is essentially a can box that is spliced (not difficult) into the can wires to the lights (only needs to connect to a few) it reads when the brake etc lights are pressed and sends its own signal to the tow kit wiring. This ensures there is no additional power taken from the standard can wires which might lead to an error in the can bus.

The wiring is easy (if you ignore the disable pro pilot wiring to under the dash) - I didn't install that, I don't use pro pilot while the rack is on back - however it seems to work fine when on anyway. You also need to manual turn off rear sensors when rack is on back. Maybe the pro pilot disable wiring does this also. Either way you can install without it.

The hardest part of the install is that you need to remove interior panelling in the boot and rear passenger - this is difficult to do without breaking a clip and also part of this interior trim goes around the rear seat point - a pain in the @ss. The wiring itself easy.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi, have you used the setup much and how are you getting on with it?
I use it on and off as busy with kids! However I have been to France and back with no issues. You do have to put it on prior to loading the car but that is due to the attachment method of putting it in upside down and turning 180 degrees. Other than that it’s good and no rubbing going on or off the ferry, I was careful driving on though as car was really loaded
 
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