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Old 05-25-12, 07:46 PM   #1
rumrunn6
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Subaru Forester carrying 4 bikes

u do it? pics and suggestions please.
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Old 05-25-12, 08:32 PM   #2
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Why not? Install a hitch and get a 4-bike rack.
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Old 10-30-12, 01:43 PM   #3
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I can carry 6 easily on my Forester. I use a rack on top that has bars that are about a foot longer than the ones recommended, so they stick out about 8" or so on each side. Doing that makes it easy to get 4 bikes on top. I also have a Thule 916xtr-T2 hitch carrier for two more bikes.
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Old 10-31-12, 02:02 PM   #4
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the only thing you really should worry about with hitch mounting bikes is the tongue weight equivalancey.

make sure the weight of your hitch and all bikes don't exceed the tongue weight loading limit for your vehicle (typically 10% of towing capacity).
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Old 11-02-12, 03:27 PM   #5
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We have this rack, which we've used on both our Nissan Quest and our Honda Pilot with no issues: http://www.amazon.com/Swagman-Cross-.../dp/B000GKN45C

Not sure it's worth the list price (we got ours on Craigslist for $120), but it accommodates bikes of different sizes very well and holds them quite securely.
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Old 11-02-12, 10:01 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
Why not? Install a hitch and get a 4-bike rack.
+1 on the hitch mounted rack. We have a Hollywood SE 1400 rack and the bikes do not move at all. We got ours from Amazon.com



Hollywood Racks HR1400 Sport Rider SE 4-Bike Platform Style Hitch Mount Rack (2-Inch Receiver) by Hollywood Racks
Permalink: http://amzn.com/B000QJC4AY

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Old 05-28-13, 02:02 PM   #7
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thanks for the suggestions. I bought this one and hoping I can install and use it as planned.

http://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Bike-R...an/S63410.html

I have a 1 1/4" OEM hitch. Service Manager at the dealership says I can carry 4 bikes and this rack's tongue has 2 holes so I am hoping to be able to slide an appreciable amount of the tongue into the hitch and use the 2nd mounting hole.
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Old 05-29-13, 04:37 AM   #8
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ok it came, wow is it heavy. made in Taiwan ... good news though the tongue is solid steel! the bad news I can't retract the set screw holding the 2" adapter on, ugh. they didn't include the appropriate allen wrench. they included an allen wrench for the other bolts I need to attach but not the correct size for the set screw. out of all my allens I found only 1 that fit but it is short as part of a multitool and doesn't have the leverage/torque to make it turn, ugh.
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Old 05-29-13, 11:07 AM   #9
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called Swagman, need a 6mm hex head wrench (not included) for the set screw holding the 2" adapter on. CS suggests a rubber mallet, um don't think so, so I picked up a handy 6mm hex adapter for my socket wrench and that did the trick $5.50 later ...

turns out the CS rep was wrong when he said I could "move the threaded insert" in which the anti-rattle bolts screws. only the hole nearest the tip is threaded, and I can't see that there is an insert. sure looks like the solid steel hole is threaded.

the tongue slips into my hitch no problem and the 2nd hole lines up with my hitch's pin hole, but the Subaru supplied hitch pin is too large to fit the rack's tongue's holes.

not sure what to do now, I really don't want to mount it with just the tip in the hitch, I really want it to go further in and use that 2nd hole. I wonder if I can get a machine shop to thread that 2nd hole to receive the anti-rattle bolt ... hmmm...
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Old 05-29-13, 11:21 AM   #10
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UPDATE, called Swagman, they say it's OK to drill out that 2nd hole to fit my Subaru hitch pin, I just won't have the anti-rattle feature. honestly, with 4 bikes rattling around I doubt a little more play would make much difference. the tongue in the hitch a pretty snug fit.
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Old 05-30-13, 10:47 AM   #11
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Curious - Why don't you want to use the non-threaded hole to mount the rack like it's supposed to use? The threaded hole is for the 1 1/4 to 2" adapter, so a 2" receiver would be using the non-threaded hole to mount the rack too.
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Old 05-30-13, 11:00 AM   #12
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Curious - Why don't you want to use the non-threaded hole to mount the rack like it's supposed to use? The threaded hole is for the 1 1/4 to 2" adapter, so a 2" receiver would be using the non-threaded hole to mount the rack too.
because that would leave several inches of my hitch unused. by using the 2nd hole I can insert the tongue into the hitch further utilizing it's entire length (which is quite short). if I were to use the unthreaded hole then only the very tip of the tongue would be in the hitch. seems silly and dangerous not to insert it more. why would I want this big awkward thing hanging so far behind m,y car when it can be closer. it also seems weird that these types of racks offer zero adjustability for how far you can move the tongue into the hitch. if the hole in my hitch wasn't so close to the entrance of the hitch, says 3 inches further into the hitch then I would feel comfortable using it because then the entire length of the hitch would be utilized. the tiny (in length) OEM hitch on this Subaru Forester is puzzling to me.

look at these pictures. on this page there are some adapter things. look at the 3rd one down, it provides 2 holes to choose from, why don't the others?
http://www.bdawgcarriers.com/adapters.php

these adapter things provide only 1 hole but the hole is a nice distance back from the end of the tongue allowing a god length to be inserted
https://e7c692ea-a-62cb3a1a-s-sites....attredirects=0

and this adapter thing too lets you insert quite a bit of the tongue into the hitch
http://yakima.com/shop/bike/bike-acc...-hitch-adapter

why don't the bike racks offer that kind of length and force us to insert just a couple inches?

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Old 05-30-13, 02:19 PM   #13
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Several reasons. Since hitches are "universal" (one hitch can fit on several makes of cars), you don't know how far you can push something into the hitch...you could either hit a spare tire (like my car), or a gas tank, or you could have endless space to push something into the hitch. If you look at most bike racks, they have the same hitch insertion distance. Also, rack manufacturers probably don't want lawsuits b/c someone installed a rack too far into the hitch and the pedals of the bike swung into and dented the car trunk.

Also, I believe there are some hitch receivers that don't even have an open end out the back (under the car), so it's easiest if the industry standardizes to a certain length that an accessory (bike rack, trailer, cargo tray, whatever) can go into the hitch.

Here's mine. A Yakima DoubleDown Ace 2. http://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Bike-R...ma/Y02450.html Look at the second last pic. There is only one hole and that is for the "safety pin" (the red knob). The silver piece on the end of the rack tongue is actually what holds the rack in the hitch receiver. Lots of tongue length, but just a minimal amount is allowed to go into the hitch. My hitch is rock solid when attached to my hitch. If I try to jiggle the rack, the car actually jiggles instead (the shocks).

Lots of people use the provided hole to mount their rack. I don't see the need to introduce a failure point by modifying a non-threaded hole to become a threaded hole.

Good luck if you do modify your rack though!
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Old 05-30-13, 02:31 PM   #14
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Swagman said it was OK to drill out the hole and use a regular hitch pin. the tongue is solid steel, not like the Yakima which is just hollow. I actually bought the Ace Doubledown 5 but even the Rep who installed it said it didn't look right. My OEM hitch has a hole unusually close to the entrance of the hitch. but thanks for the vote of confidence saying that even with a small amount of insertion you feel confident the rack is secure.
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Old 05-30-13, 08:00 PM   #15
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3 hours later ... drilled out hole#2 and assembled hitch rack. loaded 4 bikes and took a test drive around town including speed bumps & roads under construction. not happy with all the movement in the rack itself (lower folding joint) and not confident my little hitch was strong enough w 4 bikes (OEM spec is for 2 even though Service Manager said 4 was OK) so I mounted my old rack on the hatch (tall, sits on bumper) with 2 bikes and put last 2 bikes on new hitch rack and took another test drive around town. this is now very stable and safe. better than what I used to do with the Escape, 3 bikes on the old rack and the 4th bike on a hood mounted custom home made rack (long story but awesome) just didn't want to do that with this new car. lots of pics sorry they suck. gotta talk to Swagman again though and find out why there is SO MUCH movement in the lower joint of their rack. tying up with some climbing rope to the roof rails settled that down but I would feel better if it didn't wiggle wildly. if you don't know this rack (Swagman Titan 4) it has 2 cantilevered folding joints, one at the top so you can fold down the arms (seems fine) and the other joint at the bottom that folds down the rack so you can open the rear hatch (that's where there is a lot of play, nothing to do with the hitch or my assembly) the picture of the weird black thing is the OEM ball mount and I only show it to demonstrate how long a tongue is provided to slip into the hitch and what I was trying to achieve with the rack tongue by using the 2nd hole.
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Old 05-30-13, 08:03 PM   #16
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Old 05-31-13, 08:25 PM   #17
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It's deja vu all over again.

Four Bikes on a Volkswagen
- Bicycling! magazine, October, 1964
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Old 06-02-13, 06:49 PM   #18
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it looks like the hitch pin you are using there is too small diameter.
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Old 06-03-13, 04:02 AM   #19
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it looks like the hitch pin you are using there is too small diameter.
oh, no it came with the car and the hitch, it's a Subaru hitch pin, 1/2" just like the hole. I think all hitch pins are 1/2" anyway, no? the movement isn't coming from the hitch or the tongue in the hitch, it's coming from the lower joint of the rack. I'll get a video up of it this week maybe.

but looking at the pictures I see what you mean. the hole in the interior hitch is actually a tiny bit smaller than that outside hole in the brace that holds the hitch. you can see that from the pictures I posted of the hitch without the tongue and pin.

that brace goes up and is welded to the rear bumper beam.

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Old 06-03-13, 08:28 AM   #20
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If there's an REI near you, I'd suggest going there and trying out a DoubleDown Ace again. Maybe just take their floor model and take it outside (with permission of course, LOL) and attach it to your car and wiggle it around to simulate driving. Don't forget that when you tighten the DoubleDown, once you think you've tightened the knob enough, lift up the hitch within the receiver and you should get some more tightening turns to make it even more secure. Good luck!
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Old 07-23-13, 09:35 AM   #21
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bike issue solved but we wound up being a tad overloaded. this vehicle's rear springs are not as stout as my Ford Escape was
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