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Trunk-Mount Bike Carrier Fit Limitations for 2008 Honda Odyssey with Roofline Spoiler

Question:

i have a honda odyssey 2008. i would like to use a trunk bike rack, so i do not have to go through the expense and hassle of installing a hitch. your website automated search recommends only one truck bike rack, the hollywood rack over the top, which is quite expensive. is it possible that of the many trunk rack this is the only one that fits my car? most of the truck racks looks the same, what is special about this one, and what is differentt about my car that makes all other not fit? I highly appreciate your views, given your deep expertise. thanks

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Expert Reply:

You ask a very good question about your 2008 Honda Odyssey and what design feature makes it less compatible with trunk-mount type bike carriers. That feature on your Odyssey is the spoiler at the back of the roof above the rear hatch.

Spoilers on many vehicles pose a challenge for fitting many otherwise great options in bike racks. The reason is that the attachment straps or cables that secure trunk racks to vehicles will make contact with the spoiler, and over time could lead to marks, deformation or damage to that component. Typically vehicle manufacturers, any of them, do not design their vehicles with aftermarket items like bike racks in mind. Trunks and rear hatches are not designed to bear additional weight (although some can) and trunk-or roof-mount spoilers definitely are not intended to carry a load.

This makes either a hitch-mount rack, which puts the weight burden on the vehicle frame (the strongest part), or a specialized trunk-mount carrier like the Hollywood Racks Over-the-Top 2 Bike Carrier, a better option. The linked video will help illustrate the virtues of the # HRF2.

If you intend to ever tow, then a hitch offers you that additional capability in addition to many more choices in hitch-mount bike carriers. For example, the most popular hitch for Odyssey owners is the Draw-Tite # 36417. This 2-inch Class III hitch offers a 300-lb tongue weight rating, making it suitable for use with even the largest-capacity carriers. The linked articles will provide useful information about hitch racks to help you consider this option. A link to hitch racks is included.

A hitch also gives you the ability to use a cargo basket such as one of those shown on the link provided.

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