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How to Determine Correct Hitch Extender for Bike Rack on Jeep Wrangler with Rear Spare Tire  


I need to buy a new Hitch extender for a new Jeep Wrangler with wheel size measuring 35-37 inches wheels. Should I get the 8 or 11 inche. I will only be putting a bike rack on it


Expert Reply:

To determine the length you need measure from the hitch pin hole on your Jeep's trailer hitch receiver out to the edge of the spare tire. Then add an inch or so to give you a little space. Some extenders are only designed to be used to flat tow a vehicle and not to hold any tongue weight so make sure you choose an extender that is designed for carrying accessories since you're going to use it for a bike rack. Part # C45795 is a great 14 inch option. 37 inch tires are normally 12 or 13 inches wide so an 8 or 11 inch extension may not be enough for you, but that depends on the bike rack. All you really need is the closest part of the rack or the bikes to clear the spare.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is the capacity of your hitch. Using an extender cuts the hitch's tongue weight in half so your bike rack and the bikes on it need to be less than half of the hitch's tongue weight capacity.

If you're looking for a bike rack a good lightweight option is the Saris Freedom, part # SA4412B. It only weighs 22-1/2 pounds and has 12 inches between the hitch pin hole and the closest part of the rack. It can also handle heavy bikes up to 60 pounds each. If you need a rack that carries more bikes or want a different rack recommendation just let me know.

expert reply by:
Charles S
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