Differences Between Hitch Classes with Regard to Choosing a Bike Rack

Question:

Can you explain the difference between a bike rack that states its for a class two 1 1/4 hitch receiver vs one thats rated for a class one 1 1/4 hitch receiver? Would a class 2 rated bike rack attach onto a 1 1/4 class 1 receiver? I would only be carrying one bike when attached to the class 1 receiver. I ask because Im interested in buying a 2-bike rack that could be used on two different vehicles one is a class 1 rated vehicle and the other with a class 2 rating.

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Expert Reply:

Although both a Class I and Class II trailer hitch use a 1-1/4 inch receiver, the tongue weight capacity (the maximum amount of weight that can be safely suspended from the receiver) is different. A Class I receiver has a tongue weight capacity of 200 lbs, while a Class II has up to a 350 lb capacity. Many racks that are compatible with a Class II receiver will not work on a Class I.

Class I receivers typically have a stop welded or punched into it to prevent a Class II accessory from being used on it. Overloading a receiver can lead to all sorts of bad things, including bending the hitch or the vehicle frame and loss of the rack and the bikes plus the carnage that could be experienced by those driving behind you on the highway.

The rack you reference in your question, the Rola TX-102 part # 59400 would be an excellent choice for you. It is compatible with both Class I and II receivers, and it includes features usually found in higher-priced bike racks like the integrated cable lock and anti-sway cradles. To secure the rack into the receiver, you will need a pin and clip, part # PC2 or a locking hitch pin like part # e98879.

To view a product demonstration video for this rack, click on the provided link.

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Mike L

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