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Choosing Between 1-1/4-Inch Class II Hitch and 2-Inch Class III Hitch for 2014 Mazda CX-5

Question:

Id like to know the weight difference between the 2inch and 11/4 inch curt hitches for a Mazda CX-5. Dont need the capacity of the 2inch but my bike carrier, etc. are 2. Hate to carry alot of extra weight for everyday use if there is a lot of difference. Shipping weight difference is only 2 pounds, but want to know actual weights. Thanks.

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Expert Reply:

The actual weight difference between the Class III hitches for your CX-5 and the 1-1/4-inch Class II hitches like # 36601 is the same 2-lb difference as between their shipping weights. The weight of the packaging for both hitch classes is essentially identical.

A far more important consideration for your application with a 2-inch bike carrier is the hitch's tongue weight capacity, which is 525-lbs for a 2-inch Class III hitch and 350-lbs for a 1-1/4-inch Class II hitch. For your application with a 2-inch hitch-mount bike rack you definitely will be better served by one of the Class III hitches, such as the # 76138 from Draw-Tite.

The reason for using a 2-inch hitch is that your 2-inch bike carrier will not fit into a 1-1/4-inch Class II hitch without using an adapter. Although these hitch adapters are readily available, they all have the unavoidable side-effect of cutting the hitch's capacity in half, meaning that your 350-lb-rated 1-1/4-inch hitch will suddenly have only a 175-lb tongue weight capacity. This is not enough for many combinations of hitch-mount carriers and bikes.

If you use one of the higher-rated 2-inch Class III hitches you can install your bike rack without an adapter and this means that you will retain the full 525-lb tongue weight rating of the Class III hitches. If you happen to have a high-capacity (and heavy) platform-style bike rack such as the Thule T2 Classic # TH9044-TH9046 that weights about 100-lbs all by itself, you cannot safely use this rack to its full 4-bike capacity with a hitch adapter in a Class II hitch.

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