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Can 24 Inch Hitch Extender Be Used With Yakima FullSwing Bike Rack

Question:

I have a 2012 Ford F-150 short box 5.5 ft, and haul a 2020 Travel Lite 800X truck camper. The camper hangs about 3 inches off the back of the tailgate. I’m looking for a hitch extended to connect our Yakima Fullswing 4 bike rack. Would this hitch extender support the weight of the bike rack + bikes? We need 24” clearance from the hitch, so we’d likely cut this extended down if it will work.

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Helpful Expert Reply:

I have a better and less expensive solution than using the Titan hitch box extension you proposed. If you were to install a front mounted hitch like # 65061 on the vehicle, you'd easily be able to carry the bikes.

Yakima specifically states in the owner's manual/installation instructions that a hitch extender shouldn't be used with their bike racks. The FullSwing weighs about 60 lbs, plus it'll handle 4 bikes weighing up to 160 lbs for a possible total of 220 lbs. This is already putting a good amount of leverage on the hitch receiver, but for each inch that receiver tube is extended, the downward leverage applied to the hitch increases quickly. Add to that the fact that an extender is not a 100 percent rigid connection that will allow some bounce, and it's a sure thing that the hitch will get bent likely resulting in the loss of the bikes. Additionally, the # RP45292 is designed for a 2-1/2 inch hitch, and your F150 would have a 2 inch hitch, so it wouldn't be compatible.

helpful expert reply by:
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Mike L

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