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Recommendation for Class I Trailer Hitch to be Used with Bike Carrier on 2009 Toyota Prius

Question:

What is your recommendation for a 1.25inch hitch which will be used principally for a two bike carrier? I will be mounting the hitch myself.

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Expert Reply:

The Draw-Tite Trailer Hitch # 24808 and the Curt Trailer Hitch # C11468 are the two hitch options currently available for your 2009 Toyota Prius. I recommend the Draw-Tite # 24808. It is our most popular hitch for the 2009 and the main difference from the Curt model is that it does not require a stabilization strap for hitch mounted accessories. This is a Class I hitch with a 1-1/4" x 1-1/4" receiver opening and a tongue weight capacity of 200 lbs which would be perfect for carrying lighter loads such as a bike rack or cargo carrier. There is no drilling required and the estimated installation time is around 50 minutes. The complete hardware kit and installation instructions are included.

If you are looking for a bike rack to use with your hitch, there are a lot of options to choose from. I will list a couple recommendations for you at different price points. A good economy option would be the Swagman XC 2-Bike Rack, part # S64650. This rack holds up to 2 bikes, securing them at 3 different points. I like the wheel mount design because you do not need to worry about bikes with smaller frame sizes fitting properly and also don't need to lift them as high to set them on the rack as you would with a hanging rack. I have provided a video link that demonstrates this rack with a Toyota Prius.

Another good option staying within the platform style rack but a bit more high end is the Swagman XTC-2, part # S64670. This is currently our most popular 2-Bike Platform Rack. The mounting system is the same as the Swagman XC # S64650 but the wheel mounts are made a bit stronger and are better designed, positioning your bikes higher to provide more ground clearance. I have also provided a video link demonstrating this rack on a Toyota Prius.

Lastly, just keep in mind that when carrying a bike rack with a smaller car such as a Toyota Prius, you want to make sure you are looking at the total weight of the rack. You want to stick with a lighter model so as not to add too much stress to your trailer hitch or car when driving. Both racks mentioned in this answer would fall into this category. Also note that with a Class I hitch you will only be able to use Class I-rated bike racks or cargo carriers.

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Chris R

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