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Trailer Hitch and Bike Rack Recommendations for 2015 Subaru Forester

Question:

We are looking to get a hitch and bike rack to go on our 2015 Subaru Forester. Are there any hitch-rack combinations that allow you to open the tailgate without removing the bikes from the rack? Thanks!

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Expert Reply:

There are a few trailer hitch options for your 2015 Subaru Forester. I recommend going with a Class III, 2 inch hitch, which will provide greater tongue and towing weight capacities as well as a wider variety of hitch mounted accessories to choose from. I recommend the Draw-Tite # 75876 as it does not require non-trailer loads (bike racks, cargo carriers, etc) to be supported by stabilizing straps. I have provided a video link demonstrating installation of this trailer hitch onto a 2015 Subaru Forester.

There are definitely some hitch bike rack options available that allow you to either fold or swing away the rack from the rear cargo area without removing the bikes. What you choose will ultimately depend on which method you prefer as well as how many bikes you plan on carrying at a time.

For a great tilting bike rack, I recommend the Swagman Chinook 2 Bike Platform Rack # S64683. This is a platform rack which means there will be minimal contact with the frames of your bikes as it is primarily held in place by the wheels, which helps to prevent scratches and abrasions. The tilting feature allows you to actually tilt the rack back and away from your vehicle while the bikes are still loaded for rear cargo access.

Another design that allows rear cargo access without removing the bikes is what is called a swinging bike rack. This design allows you to actually swing the entire rack to the side of the vehicle, giving you complete rear cargo access without removing the rack or bikes. I recommend the Yakima SwingDaddy 4 Bike Rack # Y02464. Just note that this particular bike rack is designed to fit 2 inch hitches only. I have also provided a video showing how this feature works.

Lastly, keep in mind that with any hanging bike racks, because they support the bikes by their frames, may require an adapter bar for the bikes to be carried level. This is especially the case with children's bikes that are smaller or with the alternative frames on women's bikes. I recommend the Kuat Ubar # UB01 for this purpose.

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Chris R

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