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Can a Thule Trailer Hitch Mount Swinging Bike Rack be Used on a 2000 Volkswagen Passat

Question:

We have a Thule Swing 4 that works great with the class3 hitch receiver on our Honda Odyssey. We would like to use the same rack with the 1-1/4inch hitch receiver on a VW Passat. Would it be ok to use this rack with a 1-1/4inch to 2inch adapter ? If so is there a particular model to order it looks like they come in different lengths Thanks

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Expert Reply:

I do have a way that you can carry 4 bikes on your 2000 Volkswagen Passat but you will not be able to carry the bikes using the Vertex rack.

I strongly advise not using a 1-1/4 inch to 2 inch adapter to use the Thule swinging bike rack # TH9027XT with your Volkswagen Passat. The issue is that using an adapter will reduce the tongue weight capacity of the hitch by 50 percent.

The hitches for your 2000 Passat have maximum tongue weight capacity of 200 pounds. By using the adapter that would be cut to 100 pounds. Then you have to subtract the weight of the rack, at least 50 pounds. Which would mean best case scenario is you are left with only 50 pounds to carry all the bikes.

The other problem is that the hitches for the Passat are all Class I hitches. Class I hitches are only rated for 2 bikes at most.

The most economical way to carry 4 bikes on your Passat is to use a trunk mount bike rack such as # TH911XT. It will hold up to 3 bikes. Then you would need to carry the 4th bike on the roof. There are different roof rack options depending on how your roof is configured so I have included a link to the roof rack main page for your Passat.

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