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Best e-bike carrier for low clearence height hitch?

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Best e-bike carrier for low clearence height hitch?

Old 05-17-24, 08:58 AM
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Best e-bike carrier for low clearence height hitch?

I've got a Toyota Rav with a 2 inch receiver hitch box that was installed below the bumper and is very low in ground clearance. I haven't bought a bike rack yet.

Does anyone have any ideas about what bike racks will carry two e-bikes with the lowest chance of bottoming out when entering driveways or other sever dips in the roads?

Any rack that mounts on this hitch setup cannot extend much horizontally - and any bike rack needs to assure it provides bike trays that are higher as well.

I'm thinking the only real solution is to get a hitch that installs with more ground clearance. The hitch I have is completely below the bumper. The hitch I think I need requires cutting into plastic bumper to provide additional ground clearance.

Any thoughts, digs or comments appreciated.
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Old 05-17-24, 09:25 AM
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The Thule EasyFold XT is what we used for years and we had them installed on some lowered cars and there was occasional scraping but these were quite low to the ground vehicles. However it has the distinction of being a really excellent easy to use and durable rack that can hold 2 e-bikes with ease. You could also see if Saris is still making the Door Country rack which is electronically lifted which may clear but unsure as I haven't used one.
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Old 05-17-24, 12:52 PM
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Never ,mind - I found an adapter that raises the hitch receptacle. Should be no problem now..
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Old 05-18-24, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
Never ,mind - I found an adapter that raises the hitch receptacle. Should be no problem now..
Still the EasyFold XT is a great rack and I am assuming the newer EPOS rack is also great as generally Thule makes good products. Plus the racks are designed around e-bikes and their weight.

The key thing to consider in a rack in terms of carrying capacity is the max per tray the overall weight is basically immaterial if you are overloading the per tray capacity. Also keep in mind the rack is a safety item first and foremost so get a good quality well regarded well supported rack because it failing could have disastrous results for the people behind you.
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Old 05-29-24, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium
Never ,mind - I found an adapter that raises the hitch receptacle. Should be no problem now..
Yes you can use these adapters but bear in mind that these adapters will push out the rack further back. These are basically hitch extenders with the hitch being moved up.
Per physical lever law you put more stress on the hitch the further back your load is moved. Some bike rack manufacturers don't recommend or allow using these adapters, some limit the length of these adapters and some will tell you to reduce the weight of the load by up to 50%.
Meaning if your hitch on the vehicle is rated for 500lbs tongue weight you may only add 250lbs when using these adapters. That is weight of bike carrier, hitch adapter and bikes(s) combined.
Not saying it is impossible but bear in mind that you have to do some research before using one of these adapters.
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Old 06-01-24, 08:59 AM
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Per physical lever law you put more stress on the hitch the further back your load is moved. Some bike rack manufacturers don't recommend or allow using these adapters, some limit the length of these adapters and some will tell you to reduce the weight of the load by up to 50%.
Yeah, you are right on all counts. In addition, I suspect that any additional distance between the bikes and rear of the vehicle increases aerodynamic stress on various bicycle surfaces as well as increasing drag on the vehicle.
My partner paid for the hitch and the rack - so I just let it go. We can still park in the driveway if we drive in at an angle.
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Old 06-08-24, 05:45 PM
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I have the same issue. I have a low hitch on my Rav4 and a steep driveway. Even without a carrier I need to go at an angle. With the carrier on, I usually gouge the asphalt. If my Rav4 was younger I would buy the Toyota hitch which sits higher. The riser is a decent option although you need to get a suitable anti-rattle device for the riser. I fabricated a short-length single bike carrier that has much better clearance than my 2-bike carrier.
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Old 06-08-24, 06:43 PM
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My lightweight (33 pounds) Kuat Sherpa 2 is elevated above the level of the hitch receiver. The receiver is low, below the bumper on my Prius. I never worry about dragging the Kuat on the ground.
The Sherpa won't be rated for two heavy e-bikes, but Kuat makes some beefier racks.

Their NV 2.0 is very sturdy.
Aren't all bike racks designed like this, elevated above the level of the hitch?

Kuat Sherpa 2.0. You can see the hitch tightening handle near the bottom. I have the 1.25 hitch version, to match my hitch, installed just for bikes.
I like the latch that lets me tilt the rack downward, so I can open the hatch with bikes on the rack.



....
folded up, but when it's folded down for bikes, it's at the same level as the lower tray here.
I'd be very surprised if you found a driveway with an abrupt, steep slope that will scrape on this hitch.

Last edited by rm -rf; 06-08-24 at 06:55 PM.
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