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Old 05-06-13, 01:49 PM   #1
New Daddy
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How much swaying of hitch-type bike rack should begin to worry me?

I have a Thule apex swing bike rack attached to a 2->1.25 adapter attached to a 1.25 U-Haul receiver. The Thule-to-adapter attachment is really tight, thanks to a clever screw-type locking mechanism in the Thule. But the adapter-to-receiver junction leaves enough space to make the bike rack wiggle a little as I drive, but not enough space to insert an anti-rattle wedge (like http://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Access...oor/93347.html).

So, when I go out and about, I see the bike rack sway left and right a little. Should this worry me in any way? What's the sign that I should pay attention to that damage may be happening in the adapter?
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Old 05-19-13, 04:04 PM   #2
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I have that with mine also , I have not used the wedge and have been doing so for over a year now, but I would keep an eye on the screw in bolt so as it does not strip
out. Might try to find some sortof thinner metal and drill a hole in it to line up with the hitch pin and insert all together , that should take out any excess wobble / sway
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Old 05-26-13, 08:01 PM   #3
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I have a yakima hitch rack that has a threaded insert and if I feel like it I can screw the hitch bolt into the receiver and it absolutely eliminates all swaying around.

I am not familiar with thule but I'd be willing to bet my spare wheels that they have something similar you could install. if it's not there already.
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Old 05-27-13, 08:56 PM   #4
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I have a yakima hitch rack that has a threaded insert and if I feel like it I can screw the hitch bolt into the receiver and it absolutely eliminates all swaying around.

I am not familiar with thule but I'd be willing to bet my spare wheels that they have something similar you could install. if it's not there already.
Yes, your prediction is right. Thule has one too. So there is no swaying between the bike rack and the adapter.

The swaying definitely comes from the adapter-to-hitch receiver joint.
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Old 05-27-13, 09:23 PM   #5
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I've used a big honkin 4 bike Thule that I tied off to my trucks bed tie downs to keep the swayin under control. My Kuat Alpha 3 has an internal receiver wedge that pulls about 90% of the wiggle out. The other 10% I get with zip-tie shims. The best way to get all the sway is an internal nut in the device going into the receiver and a grade 3+ bolt instead of a receiver pin. You can buy that lash up retail as a special device that slips inside the bike mount or if you are handy with tools, you can build one.
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Old 05-28-13, 01:45 PM   #6
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OP do you use stability straps?
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Old 06-03-13, 10:32 PM   #7
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OP do you use stability straps?
No. Will stability straps reduce swaying at the adapter level? The bikes (especially the wheels) move a bit, but it never occurred to me that it would somehow be related to the wobbling at the adapter.
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Old 06-04-13, 07:17 AM   #8
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I always add rope to everything. I'm kind of a fastener fanatic. if it's moving - I don't like it. I just installed a four bike hitch rack and it sucked, so I used my old rack for two bikes and the new rack for 2 bikes and tied everything down with rope. now I have no worries.
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Old 06-05-13, 07:57 AM   #9
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thank you,The swaying definitely comes from the adapter-to-hitch receiver joint.
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Old 06-05-13, 08:46 AM   #10
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if anyone has any doubts about their racks I suggest getting a 2nd opinion from someone in the industry. preferably someone who sold you the rack or a certified installer like Rack Attack or REI, etc.

you never regret making the right decision, only the wrong ones ...
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Old 06-11-13, 04:05 AM   #11
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Newdaddy... in reply to your inquiry about my experience... I ended up going with the 4 bike rack with the 1 1/4 inch tongue to be safe. I didn't feel comfortable using the 1-1/4 to 2" adapter and the 5 bike rack.

Even with the 4 bike rack I get a fair amount of wobble. I considered getting the hitchrider product to minimize the wobble but didn't want to spend more money after the $300 or so I spent on the hitch and rack. So I have been living with the wobble and it really is fine. It is unnerving at first but you get used to it. If you think about it, you've got a bolt and pin in there, so where is it going to go? Let it bounce around a little.. it isn't going anywhere.

Hope that helps

Craig
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Old 06-11-13, 06:36 AM   #12
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fyi - I found the following hatchback mounts and shared them in another thread but they might be helpful here too. just in case anyone has less than 4 bikes to carry and doesn't want to bother with the whole hitch thing, or wants (like me) 2 on the back & only 2 on the hitch. BTW you can operate your hatchback with these racks attached. they only attach to the hatch so they move right along with it. at least mine does. what I like about them is that they rest on the back bumper. at least mine does, and these appear to as well.

http://www.amazon.com/Hollywood-Rack...449080-0258634

http://www.amazon.com/TRUNK-MOUNT-CA...449080-0258634

http://www.amazon.com/Trunk-Mounted-...im_sbs_auto_48

http://www.amazon.com/SportRack-SR31...im_sbs_auto_21

http://www.amazon.com/BuzzRack-Skipp.../dp/B004JKUDNQ

http://www.amazon.com/Thule-911XT-Pa...sim_sbs_auto_4
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Old 06-15-13, 09:59 AM   #13
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My Hollywood brand hitch rack came with a bolt/pin that threads into the rack. And when you tighten it, the rack doesn't move, with or without the hitch size adapter. It also holds the bikes more securely than any other style rack I've used before. Sometimes I need to remind myself that its even back there. It also has a hole at the tip to install a hitch pin or a small lock to help prevent theft.
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Old 06-18-13, 08:20 PM   #14
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My Hollywood brand hitch rack came with a bolt/pin that threads into the rack. And when you tighten it, the rack doesn't move, with or without the hitch size adapter. It also holds the bikes more securely than any other style rack I've used before. Sometimes I need to remind myself that its even back there. It also has a hole at the tip to install a hitch pin or a small lock to help prevent theft.
I think different racks employ different anti-rattle mechanisms. My Apex Swing has a different mechanism than yours, and it definitely keeps the rack tightly secured with the adapter.

The rattle comes from the adapter-to-hitch joint, which the anti-rattle mechanism in the rack cannot help.
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Old 06-14-14, 04:19 PM   #15
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OK, I am experiencing this problem with a new hitch that I got for our KIA. I have a cheap Allen rack that I have been using on my pickup since 2010. It worked great with a locking hitch pin. I got a receiver hitch for our KIA, same size as the pickup and now the rack wobbles. Why? Shouldn't a 2" receiver hitch be the same? The hitch on the pickup is a factory hitch and it worked great. The Kia hitch is Curt hitch. Why can't I get the same results?
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Old 06-14-14, 09:33 PM   #16
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look into an anti-rrattle hitch pin. I have this one.

Let's Go Aero (SHP 2080) 1/2" Silent Hitch Pin with Lock

http://www.amazon.com/Lets-Go-Aero-S...+Pin+with+Lock

also saw this one

Amazon.com : Swagman Anti-Wobble Threaded Hitch Pin for Universal Racks, 1/2-Inch : Automotive Bike Racks : Sports & Outdoors

I tried a wedge type device but there wasn't enough room to get the wedge in.
Boone Outdoor aka The Wedge No Rattle Hitch Stabilizer

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 06-15-14, 01:46 PM   #17
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My Thule wiggles a tiny bit, but I would use something far from the fulcrum to stabilize the movement...
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Old 06-16-14, 12:59 PM   #18
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My 4-bike Allen wiggles a bit, so I took the straps off of an old trunk-style rack, added "D" rings to them, and attached them to the top of the rack to pull it snug towards the vehicle.

Sure, I have to undo the straps to swing the rack down when I need to open the hatchback, but it only takes a few seconds.
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Old 11-08-14, 01:54 AM   #19
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thank you,The swaying definitely comes from the adapter-to-hitch receiver joint.
... so how did you fix it with your Thule Apex 4 Swing Away?
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