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Using the Tailgate of a Truck With a Platform Bike Rack Installed

Question:

Didnt see any information about mounting this bike rack on a pickup truck, will the tilt allow enough room for the tailgate to open flat when accessing the bed? Thanks

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Expert Reply:

It will depend a little bit on the design of the individual truck, however the tilt-away feature of the Thule T2 Classic bike rack, part # TH9044-TH9046 gives it quite a bit of range away from most vehicles. I've included a video review of of this rack for you to see how the tilt-away works.

You can add locks to the T2 Classic with part # TH450200, a two-lock OneKey Cylinder that will allow you to key the T2 alike with all of your other Thule accessories.

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Question:

Correct me if I'm wrong but it appears to me in the demonstration video the bike rack was mounted on a double hitch receiver option piece which extends the bike rack further beyond the rear of the truck bed than if it was mounted directly to the factory installed hitch receiver on most pickups! Also, who makes a bike rack that swings to the side of the pickup bed to allow the tailgate to be lowered, does Thule make this style bike rack designed similar to the T2 Classic? Thanks,

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Expert Reply:

Surprisingly, that's the standard shank included on the Thule T2 Classic, part # TH9044 . After you'd pointed it out I had to go out and measure it for myself, and its shank is 19 inches from the center of its hitch pin hole to the nearest part of the rack, which is one of the bike rails. This size is part of the reason that I recommended it for your truck, as it provides that much length.

The long shank is a fairly common feature to a lot of Thule racks. They build it this way to provide additional space for loading the rear bike onto the carrier and to give better access to the cargo area on SUV's and Sedans when these racks are folded down.

Swing away features aren't very common on platform racks, but there is a recent addition that I've found to have one of the easiest swing-away mechanisms that I've seen on a rack. The RockyMounts BackStage, part # RKY10002 is a heavy duty swing-away rack that holds bikes weighing up to 60 pounds. Its a wheel mount just like the Thule T2 Classic, and includes integrated hitch and bike locks. It also tilts away and folds up, giving it added versatility.

I've included a video of our demo team putting this swing away rack on a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado. You'll notice that this is a much smaller rack than the Thule T2 Classic, but it only allows partial access to the tailgate (at 0:20 into the video)when folded down with bikes loaded. Though, with the swing-away feature, it's likely that you'd just swing it away over tilting it.

I've also included a customer picture of a fairly ingenious modification to a Toyota Tacoma that uses the swing away to access a 6-foot drawer in the truck bed. This makes the most extreme use of the rack's features.

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