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is OEM Trailer Hitch for 2016 Toyota Highlander Compatible with Thule Apex XT 4 Bike Rack

Question:

I had the Toyota dealer install their receiver on my 2016 Highlander. Have been using the Thule Apex 4 bike rack for a few years but rarely with 4 bikes. I noticed recently that with 4 bikes there is a frightening amount of flex. I recently saw a friend’s U-haul receiver on their Highlander with the same bike rack and noticed that the rack fit deeper into the receiver. I looked at the Thule documents on line and it said there needs to be 1.5” minimum pin hole depth. It does not look like I have that. What can I do? Is there some kind of an adapter I can use? Can I secure/safety the rack with a heavy duty ratchet strap from the roof rack? Or do I need to get rid of the Toyota kit and get an after-market kit installed?

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Expert Reply:

Thanks for the photos. According to them I believe you are correct that you don't have a large enough receiver for the Thule Apex XT # TH9025XT to properly fit. You can try doing things like tying straps to your roof rack crossbars or some sort of stabilization but ultimately the best (and safest) solution is to swap out the OEM hitch on your 2016 Toyota Highlander for an aftermarket hitch. Anything else is going to be like slapping a bandage on something that needs stitches.

I recommend using a Curt hitch which comes with the visible crosstube # C13200 or the hidden crosstube # C13394. I personally like the look of the hidden crosstube more but you'll need to make sure that fascia cutout is replaced on your rear bumper otherwise it'll probably look a little weird.

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Jon G

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