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Recommendation for Carrying 4 Bikes on a 2009 BMW 535i

Question:

Hi e-trailer rep I have a 2 2009 BMW 535i and need to carry four bikes. can you please tell me what is my best options. If I order the hitch I know it has to be install to the pan not the chassis would it support the 4 bikes ? Thank you again for all you help .

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Expert Reply:

There may be a way for you to carry 4 bikes on your 2009 BMW 535i, however, there are only class I trailer hitches available for your vehicle. Class I trailer hitches are limited to carrying a maximum of 2 bikes on a bike rack because of the reduced tongue weight of the vehicle and hitch.

The reason that only two bikes are recommended, on a hitch mounted bike rack, for Class I hitches is that the added torque applied to the hitch and vehicle frame will be too great for the setup, and will eventually if not immediately, cause damage to the hitch or the vehicle frame. Basically, more than two bikes will be too far out behind the vehicle and the leverage, like adding a pipe to a wrench to brake loose a bolt, will be too great for the system.

The only way I see to safely carry 4 bikes with your vehicle is to use a hitch with a two bike rack and a roof rack system along with two roof mounted bike racks.

If you have a 4-door model with no existing rails, then I recommend looking at the Yakima Q Tower Roof Rack which consists of 2 round crossbars, # Y00408, BaseLine towers # Y00146, RoundBar adatpers # Y03536, and BaseClips # Y06175 and # Y06143

You would then need 2 roof mounted bike racks to install on the crossbars. I would recommend the Yakima Raptor Roof Mounted Bike Carrier, item # Y02085, which is economical and has an easy attachment system for the bikes. I have attached a video review of the Control Tower roof rack for you to check out.

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John H

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