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Using Class II Accessories on a Class I Hitch

Question:

Why is this? Accessories designed for Class II only hitches will not fit in a Class I Hitch hole spacing? And is there ANY way to adapt it to a Class 1? Needless to say, I bought a bike rack and I didn't realize it says won't work with a Class 1 hitch.

1

Helpful Expert Reply:

Congrats on your new bike rack!

While both Class I and Class II hitches have the same 1 1/4 inch opening, they have different towing and weight capacities. Manufacturers sometimes build a stopper inside the Class I hitch receiver to prevent Class II accessories from fitting inside. This is because Class II hitches usually have a higher towing capacity and manufacturers want to prevent users from unknowingly overloading their Class I hitch with too much weight/stress from the Class II accessory.

Since you're using your hitch for a bike rack and not for towing, overloading shouldn't be as much of an issue. The most important difference is that Class I hitches are not rated for more than TWO bikes on a bike rack.

If you can let me know what model of hitch and bike rack you have, there are options for adapting your hitch or your bike to fit that I can recommend. I can also verify if your bike rack truly won't fit into your hitch. Lately, bike racks and hitches have been made to be more cross-compatible, like how all Curt hitches do not have the stopper at all. I also linked our selection of Class I compatible bike racks.


helpful expert reply by:
1
Evangeline M

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