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Availabiliity of Hitch-Mount Bike Rack For Use While Towing Small Trailer With Class II Hitch

Question:

Do you have a hitch-mounted bike rack that would allow me to connect my small trailer through it? The trailer is only 250 lbs. Class II hitch on vehicle.

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Expert Reply:

Your 2008 Mercury Mariner can be equipped with either a 1-1/4-inch Class II or a 2-inch Class III trailer hitch. There are many towing-type bike racks available for use with 2-inch hitches however there are no towing racks offered for use with Class II hitches that have a 1-1/4-inch receiver.

This is because the lighter-duty Class II hitches do not have the capacity required to handle the forces applied to the ball mount from an attached bike carrier.

Your options are then to either replace your hitch with a Class III unit such as # 13650 to allow use of a 2-inch towing rack like the Swagman or to install roof-mount bike carriers.

The most popular hitch for your Mariner is the Curt Class III # 13650 shown in the linked video. With this I suggest ball mount kit # 989900 which includes two sizes of ball mount and hitch ball.

If you prefer a roof mount bike carrier to fit the factory crossbars on your Mariner you can use the link provided to see all such carriers that will fit the factory crossbars on your Mariner. You can choose from fork-mount, frame-mount and wheel-mount types using the filters in the left margin. The linked article will help you consider your best options based on your type of bikes.

A great accessory for use with roof racks is a tire step such as # HE4040 which makes it easier to gain access to your Mariner's roof for loading and unloading. This step comes fully assembled and folds easily for storage.

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