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Hitch Adapters and Extenders

Hitch Expander

Hitch Expander

Do you have the coolest 2" bike rack or cargo carrier on the block but have a 1-1/4" receiver opening? Don't sweat it - all you need is a hitch expander. The expander has a 1-1/4" piece that fits into your receiver opening and expands it to the 2" opening you need. However, when you use a hitch expander, you must keep in mind that your tongue weight capacity will be reduced by 50%. For example, if your hitch has a 200-lb maximum tongue weight, it will be reduced to 100 lbs. This is because the expander extends the load out farther from your vehicle, applying more leverage to your hitch. It is always best to match the hitch opening measurement to the accessory measurement, but if you are in a pinch, the extender can help you out. Keep in mind that hitch expanders are not to be used for towing.

Hitch Reducer

Hitch Reducer

Is your receiver opening too big for your favorite towing accessory? Get a reducer and make your receiver opening the perfect size. When it comes to hitch reducers, there are two different styles; the sleeve (where the accessory shank and reducer both fit inside the hitch) and the stinger (where the reducer slides into the hitch and moves the pin hole away from the vehicle). The sleeve is recommended because it has a greater towing capacity and tongue weight than a stinger. A stinger-style reducer will reduce your tongue weight and towing capacities by 50 percent because it is extending the load farther away from the vehicle. This means that if your trailer hitch is rated for 5,000 lbs, then your towing capacity will be reduced to 2,500 lbs and your tongue weight will go from 500 lbs to 250 lbs.

Hitch Extender

Hitch Extender

Do you have problems clearing your bumper or spare tire when you tow? If you are hearing your hitch accessories hit your car, then you need a hitch extender. Hitch extenders come in various lengths that will extend your receiver tube opening to where you need it. When using an adapter, your towing capacity and tongue weight will be reduced by 50%. For example, if you have 5,000 lbs towing and 500 lbs tongue weight, you will be reduced to 2,500 lbs towing and 250 lbs tongue weight. This is because the hitch extender moves the load out farther from your vehicle, applying more leverage to your hitch.

Hitch Height Adapters

Hitch Height  Adapters

Some hitch accessories sit low to the ground, which can allow them to scrape. Adapters are available to help solve this problem - they raise your hich-mounted accessory. Check out our hitch adapters to find one that is designed to raise a hitch-mounted accessory. But be careful when choosing an adapter - not all are made to solve the hitch accessory ground clearance problem.

Tow bar adapters look like they could be used to raise a hitch-mounted accessory, but they are only to be used with tow bars and not with any type of trailer or accessory. These adapters are only for flat towing, which is when all four tires of your towed vehicle are on the ground. Tow bar adapters usually have a low tongue weight capacity.

If you are looking to tow a trailer and carry a bike rack or cargo carrier, you will need to use a multi-purpose ball mount like the ball mount pictured, not a tow bar adapter.

If you are looking to lower your ball height, you should select a new ball mount. You can get help finding the perfect ball mount by reading the following FAQ: Choosing the Correct Ball Mount.

Updated by: Raymond P.

Last updated: 6/27/18

Questions and Comments about this Article


We have the hole for a ball hitch on the back bumper of our Toyota Tacoma. Our bike rack requires a pin hitch. Is there an adapter to go from a ball hitch to a pin hitch receiver? Thanks for your help!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Les D.

@Paddi, I am pretty sure that your Tacoma has a 2 inch square hitch receiver tube just below your bumper. It sounds like your receiver has a ball mount in it now. Pull the pin out and remove the ball mount. That is where you connect your bike rack. If your setup is different than this, please send me a picture.

Reply from Paddi

Thanks for your reply, Les. The bumper doesn't have a hitch mount. There is just the hole in the bumper.

Reply from Paddi

@LesD I replied by email with a photo of the back bumper of our Toyota. There is no hitch, just the hole for a ball to go through.

Russell P.

I have a rear hitch receiver with a tube which is 2.25" instead of 2". My 2" hitch rattles around in it like crazy! Do you have a reducer/sleeve which would fix this problem?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

If this is on a vehicle and you're measuring 2-1/4" tall and wide for the opening on your receiver then you might actually need a new hitch. The standard hitch receiver sizes for vehicles goes from 2" to 2-1/2" and there is nothing in-between so if you measure 2-1/4" that makes me wonder if your hitch receiver is worn out? If you actually have a 2-1/2" receiver then I recommend going with the B&W # BWRHXA2182 .

Reply from Russell P.

@JonG This is a brand new Hitch Receiver, but it purchased on Amazon and there is a good chance it was manufactured in China. The specs for it state it is supposed to be 2"x2". There is a question about this which was answered with "It needs to be bigger to allow the hitch to fit". I think I will just return it and purchase another Hitch Receiver more carefully. Thank you!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

@Russell Parker Ah, I see. What brand hitch receiver did you purchase and what is the year/make/model of your vehicle? A good amount of hitches are produced overseas but I can check and see if anything we have for your vehicle is made here in the US.


I installed a tite draw 1.25 hitch on my Honda fit. I want to tow a 14 trailer but I need 2. How can I do this?Thanks in advance.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jason S.

On your Honda Fit, it sounds like you need a 2 inch hitch ball for your trailer. I was able to use your email address to see you purchased the Draw-Tite Sportframe Trailer Hitch Receiver - Custom Fit - Class I - 1-1/4" # 24920 . To tow your 14 foot trailer, you will need to make sure you remain under the 2000 lb capacity of your hitch and 200 lb tongue weight. I also recommend looking in your owners manual to ensure your vehicle doesn't further restrict you. You will need a ball mount like the Draw-Tite Drawbar for 1-1/4" Hitch - 2-1/8" Rise, 2-3/4" Drop - 6-5/8" Long - 2K # 3593 which comes with the pin and clip and then use hitch ball # 19258 . Finally, if you don't have trailer wiring, I recommend the T-One Vehicle Wiring Harness with 4-Pole Flat Trailer Connector # 118767 which connects to your factory harnesses and draws power directly from your vehicle battery to protect your electronics.



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