After enough people asked, I figured I'd better get one of these racks and test it out with our bags. So I picked up a set of the Campeur racks (front and rear) this past spring and installed them on my Mercian touring bike.
I discovered the distance between where the lower hook and the two upper hooks attach to the rack is only 23-24cm from top to bottom I'll refer to this as the Vertical Attachment Measurement (VAM). The typical touring rack (Surly Nice Racks, Blackburn, etc) have a VAM of around 30cm.
As it turns out, the Campeur's VAM is not great enough to require any stretching of the lower hook bungee. Consequently, there's not really sufficient tension on the upper hooks. This was a pretty disappointing discovery.
My first attempt at a solution was to use zip ties to supplement the attachment of the bags and that worked okay, but made quick on-and-off of the bags impossible.
Nevertheless, I used this method during RAGBRAI 2013 with a full set of Ironweeds attached.
I was not particularly pleased with this solution and therefore, when people asked about using Ironweeds on the VO Campeur rack I would let them know the problem and dissuade them from purchasing our panniers - something I don't really like doing!
After RAGBRAI, an Ironweed customer sent us a picture of her Rivendell with a rear Campeur and Ironweeds, I asked about the method for attachment. Their solution was to shorten the lower long hooks. I thought this was a pretty simple and clever remedy. So, when the next customer that asked about fitting our bags to a Campeur, I offered to shorten a couple of hooks for them. Meanwhile, I shortened some hooks the panniers on my Mercian.
We've all been pleased with this fix. So if you're looking for some handsome bags to go with your gorgeous VO Campeur racks, we can help you out. Just let us know what you need and we'll shorten some hooks at no charge. You can purchase an additional set of the longer hooks just in case you want to use the panniers on a different rack with a longer VAM. The extra hooks are available for $2.50 per hook.