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Carrying Mobility Chair on Hitch Mount Carrier on 2017 Nissan Altima

Question:

I have a 2017 Nissan Altima with a trailer hitch. I want to use a hitch carrier for my electric mobility scooter. The hitch is too close to the ground and when I put my scooter on the carrier it drags the ground. I need to raise it 5inch to 6. What do you suggest I use to adapt to raise it?

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Expert Reply:

The light-duty Class I hitches made for your 2017 Nissan Altima, Draw-Tite # 24796 and Curt # C11352, both shown on the linked page, have a tongue weight (TW, downward force) rating of 200-lbs. This is true for all Class I hitches for all vehicles.

While there are some lighter-weight mobility chairs on the market, such as the 54-lb Lexis Light, most mobility chairs weigh more, some well into the 300-lb range. Your hitch's TW rating should be noted on its safety sticker. This limit must be enough for the combined weight of your scooter AND the hitch-mount carrier is rests on. Again, there may be chair and carrier combinations that remain with the 200-lb TW limit for a Class I hitch but you will want to check to make sure you are not overloading the carrier, the hitch or the vehicle.

We do offer hitch adapters that raise up the height of the receiver opening into which you would install your hitch-mount carrier, but these are not made for light-duty Class I hitches. Brophy adapter # HT5R does fit into a Class I hitch and raise the height of the receiver opening but that opening is a 2-inch size, for a 2-inch accessory.

There is no adapter for a Class I hitch that both raises the height and keeps the 1-1/4-inch receiver size. Even if there were, the use of ANY such adapter causes a loss of 50-percent of the hitch TW capacity because it moves the actual load further away from the hitch tube. This applies more leverage on the hitch and could therefore damage the hitch and/or the vehicle.

In one particular circumstance you could use the Brophy adapter # HT5R: if the COMBINED weight of your chair and carrier were under 100-lbs, which is possible but rather unlikely. You would in this case also need a reducer sleeve # HT02 to drop the adapter's receiver opening back down to the 1-1/4-inch size like the one on the hitch itself.

The online owner's manual for the 2017 Nissan Altima indicates on page 10-17 that the car cannot tow a trailer of any size or weight so this other option is unsuitable. I am sorry to say but this particular vehicle is simply not well-suited to the task of carrying a typical mobility chair on a hitch-mounted carrier.

Please refer to the two linked articles concerning hitch sizes and classes.

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