After a ton of research, searching the forums, and trying to test fit every rack I can get my hands on, here are the results. I'll update this as I come across new information.
Problem: Opening rear doors with MTBs on the back of the van.
Conditions: 2015 HR with factory 2" hitch. We own a KUAT NV2.
- carry bikes on back of van
- no frame friction points (prefer 'tray style')
- be able to open the back doors.
These limitation aren't for everybody, so I'm sure some of the possible solutions would work better for, say road bikes for instance.
Solutions: Hitch rack horizontal(Kuat Envy), horizontal swing out (Rak Attach), hitch rack vertical (North Shore), Door mounted rack (Fiamma Carrybike), Ladder rack (Surco), give up and carry the bikes inside (probably the right answer.
Here's what I've got.
HORIZONTAL HITCH TRAY RACKS
Most (all) of these aren't fitting the bill, as they deny access to the rear doors. Here's the one I had the most experience with:
Kurt NV http://kuatracks.com/products/hitch/nvtm-2-0/
Pros: carries bikes in tray, flips up when not in use.
Cons: Requires complete removal of rack to open back doors. Unacceptable. Additionally, we've had this rack for about two years, and it's in pretty rough shape.
Better tire security than the Kuat, simple design, appears more durable. Still blocks rear doors.
HORIZONTAL SWING OUTS
Most of these provide the ability to either use the rack you like, or have a proprietary rack that come with it. These seem to be the best option for me moving forward.
Looks like it would enable using the Kuat on the Transit. In emails with Walter, he said you can get it to swing to drivers or passenger side, and need at least five inches from the top inside edge of the hitch, to the bottom of the door. I've got just over that. We're test fitting one on a Fruita trip this month.
MWE Racks http://www.mweracks.com/red-october
This also looks like it would work, but may affect departure angle. If someone has one of these, I would love to test it out.
Rock Mounts racks https://www.bikerumor.com/2016/09/11...ray-bike-rack/
Cursory look, I'm not sure I would be able to lock the rear door in place, but based on the top tube, this would fit the bill as well.
VERTICAL HITCH TRAY RACKS
North Shore http://www.northshoreracks.com/NSR%202-bike.htm
Not tested yet. These are very popular in the PNW.
Softride Hang2 https://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Bike-...e/SR27041.html
Not tested yet. Measurements looks like you would be able to open the rear, but it carries by the handlebars. I had a frame carry Softride on a VW Vanagon and it was bomber. I would expect the same build quality here.
DOOR MOUNTED RACKS
Fiamma Carry Bike
They make one for the Sprinter, and the Promaster, but not for us. I called Florida and talked to the tech support department. The rack is designed to tie into structure points versus just sandwiching the door metal. This system would be the cat's pajamas if we could get one. I doubt Italy is going to produce one. There is one listed for a Ford Transit, but it's for the European flip up door. If somebody figures out a solution, let a brother know.
Carries by the frame. Allows the rear door to be opened. Not ideal, but potential solution.