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Excessive Rack Motion When Using a Hitch Adapter With a Hitch-Mount Bike Carrier


I am using a bike rack with a 1 1/4inch to 2inch adapter. Unfortunately, there is some play between the adapter and the rack itself, and it causes the rack to rock and bounce a bit while driving. Is there a solution to this problem? Maybe I just have a low quality adapter right now and need to try a new one? Also, could I use an adapter with a small rise say 3, or would that reduce my tongue weight capacity? I have about 150 lbs. on a small car, the hitch is rated for 200 lbs. Thanks


Helpful Expert Reply:

Use of any hitch adapter will have the unavoidable side-effect of reducing your hitch's tongue weight capacity by 50 percent. If for example you have a 1-1/4-inch Class I hitch rated for 200-lbs tongue weight and are using a 2-inch hitch-mount rack with an adapter (such as # HTAD) you will lose half of your hitch's tongue weight capacity.

Your hitch will have a safety/warning sticker that indicates its tongue weight rating. Keep in mind that the combined weight of your bike rack and bikes must be no more than half of the hitch's rated tongue weight.
Note also that Class I hitches can carry only 2 bikes, no matter what the rack's capacity is. Please refer to the linked article.

The excessive motion of the rack when you drive is a function of the additional connection point introduced by the adapter. It has nothing to do with the quality of the adapter.

The best solution is to choose a rack that is designed to fit your size and class of hitch. The link provided will take you to our main page for hitch racks; you can use the filters at the left margin to select your hitch class and receiver size to see racks that will be compatible. Two helpful articles are linked also.

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