Best Way to Carry 5 Bikes on a 2012 Kia Soul

Question:

Will the Thule Vertex or Apex bike rack for 5 bikes work on a hitch on a Kia Soul?

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Expert Reply:

All of the 5-bike trailer hitch mount bike racks that we carry will only fit 2 inch trailer hitches. All of the trailer hitches for the 2012 Kia Soul are Class I trailer hitches with a 1-1/4 inch receiver. You will not be able to use a 5-bike rack with the Kia Soul.

Class I trailer hitches are only capable of holding 2 bikes maximum. The issue is that when you add more than 2 bikes, that puts too much way too far from the receiver. That creates a lot of stress on the hitch and vehicle that neither was designed to handle. It is like using a long wrench to loosen a bolt. The longer the wrench the easier it is to loosen the bolt. The same principle is why a Class I hitch can only handle 2 bikes.

What I recommend to carry 5 bikes is a combination of a trunk mount bike rack and a roof rack. For a trunk mount bike rack I recommend using the Thule Passage, # TH911XT. Because of the spoiler on the Soul you will most likely have to run the straps through the gap between the spoiler and car body backwards. Otherwise the hooks will not fit in the gap. This rack will hold 3 of the 5 bikes. I have linked a video review of this rack for you.

There are 2 different roof configurations for the Kia Soul: it will either have a bare roof or it will have side rails that run front to back. If it has side rails then the most economical option is Malone roof rack # MPG201. You could then add 2 compatible bike racks using 2 of # S64720.

If your Soul has the bare roof then the most economical roof rack is a Rhino-Rack roof rack made up of the following parts:

Aero bars # RRVA126B-2
Feet # RRRLKVA
Custom DK Clamps and Pads # DK237 (I have linked a video showing a typical installation)

Then you can add 2 compatible bike racks. Bike rack # S64720 will also fit this roof rack system. I have linked a video review of the bike rack for you.

Since you can only carry 2 bikes on a hitch mount rack, and because you probably will not be able to easily fit 3 bikes on the roof of the Soul, the trunk mount/roof rack combination is the best option.

For the trunk mount rack, if you will be carrying any bikes that do not have a top frame bar that goes straight across (like a typical mens bike would) then I recommend using bike adapter bar # TH982XT. This will allow you to carry those bikes more level and will provide better ground clearance. I have to use these adapters and without them my wifes bike would be at a severe angle and I would not be able to load my sons bike at all. I have linked a video showing how the adapter works.

expert reply by:
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Michael H

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