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Solution for Carrying 4 Bikes on 2004 Acura TL


i have an 2004 Acura TL. looking for a hitch to use with a 4-bike rack. since my car only takes a class I 1.25 hitch i will use the 2inch adapter. wondering if i should go with the Draw-Tite 24755 SportFrame Hitch or the Curt hitch. any recommendations? thanks!


Expert Reply:

To carry bikes on your 2004 Acura TL, I'd recommend going with the Draw-Tite # 24755 hitch over the Curt # 11321 model. Curt's warranty stipulates that an extra stabilizing strap # 18050 be used with non-trailer loads on their Class I hitches, and the Draw-Tite has no such stipulation. The straps can be inconvenient to use, and some vehicles just don't have a suitable attachment point for the strap.

Both the bike rack and the hitch manufacturers agree that no more than two bikes should be carried on a rack installed in a class I hitch. This is not only due to the limited tongue weight capacity of the Class I hitch, but also because each additional bike added after the first two will move the weight further away from the rear of the vehicle. This extra weight acts like a lever that can damage the hitch itself or cause the attachment points between the hitch or the vehicle to fail, which would be bad.

Using a 2 inch adapter will also increase the distance between the vehicle and the bike rack. Because of this, using an adapter will reduce the tongue weight capacity of the hitch by 50 percent. A Class I hitch installed on a 2004 Acura TL has a tongue weight capacity of 200 lbs, using the adapter would lower that to 100 lbs. This means that the weight of the two bikes plus the rack could not exceed 100 lbs.

Your best alternative would be use a hitch mounted bike rack designed for use with a Class I hitch like the Swagman Trailhead, part # S63360. The remaining two bikes could be carried on the roof by installing a roof rack that consists of the following parts:

Rhino Rack 2500 Series Crossbar, part # RRVA126B-2
Leg Kit, part # RRRLKVA
Vehicle specific clamp kit, part # DK067

With the crossbars in place, you can install two roof mounted bike racks.

expert reply by:
Mike L

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