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Old 06-08-07, 04:35 PM   #1
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Bike rack for 1.25 and 2" hitch

Ok, I've a Honda Odyssey w/ a 2" hitch and a Toyota Celica GTS w/ a 1.25" hitch - would like to get a bike rack that could swing away, so don't have to remove the bikes when driving the van to let the hound out or get something quick and dirty out of the back. To lessen the weight for the smaller hitch, could hold 4 bikes when have the minivan and 2 or so when driving the Celica. Main deal is that would like to find one rack that could use for both vehicles, swing away, and hold up to four bikes. Is there such a beast? I've seen that Yakima makes a swingaway, but have talked w/ three different LBS w/o getting a definitive reply if it may be too heavy for the smaller hitch - one is checking w/ Yakima and is supposed to get back to me. Any ideas?
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Old 06-08-07, 08:24 PM   #2
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I'd take a look at the hitch weight rating on the 1.25 hitch. I have a 2" rack that holds 4 bikes. It's not a swingaway, but the thing can't weight more than 40 pounds. Add 2 bikes, and you're only talking 100 pounds. I'd be really surprised if the hitch couldn't take that.

You can get 1.25 to 2" adapters, so you could use a 2" hitch on both (I don't think you can get 4 bike 1.25" rackes...)

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Old 06-08-07, 09:25 PM   #3
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I am in the same boat. 2002 Ody with a class III 2" receiver, and a 2002 Subaru Outback with a class I (technically a class II design, but downrated to class I specs) 1.25" receiver. I originally had a small rack for 2 bikes that I used with the Subi. Growing kids meant more bikes, so I added the hitch kit to the Ody and went looking for a swingaway rack so that we could vacation with the bikes.

One problem with the Ody is that the hitch sits very low to the ground, creating a hazard on driveway crests. Both Thule and Yakima make swingaway designs. While I like the Thule better for it's upper section, the 'stinger' (goes in the receiver) is straight and risks getting thrust into blacktop if the driveway rise is too steep. The Yakima has an upswept stinger extension, making it the best design for use with a low mounted hitch. I cancelled my original order for the Thule 998 (?) and bought the Yak FullSwing from ORS Direct in April 2006 for around $350.

Now on to the Outback (or in your case, the Celica). With a small receiver you are indeed limited. Neither rack comes in the small receiver size, and you can see why. The swing rack is heavy. Like 50 lbs to begin with. Add 4 average bikes and you are at 160 or so. Still within tongue weight limits if the rack remains stationary. But if you were to swing it out, you have a cantilever mass out there three feet away from the pivot point. The tongue twist weight is now way higher than design, and you could break the receiver.

Still, I said to myself, if I exercised solid judgement in operation, I might still be able to adapt it. If I used it as a stationary rack and never opened it up with bikes on it, could I make it safe to drive with? I bought a 2" to 1.25" converter, and mounted the rack on the Outback. It now sticks out a long way. Bad again, because you multiply effective tongue weight when you increase the arm length. The second downside is wobble. When you mount a bike rack, an internal nut and external bolt allows you to snug it tight against the inside wall, preventing it from moving freely. You cannot do this with an adaptor, as the reduced size stinger is a solid bar - no place for a retainer nut. I tried buying an externally mounting sway bracket, but it is not strong enough to keep the assembly from jerking up and down, side to side. I thought about machining a hex hole and welding in a nut, but haven't done it.

So bottom line is that no, you probably cannot mount the swingaway rack to a car safely, without going to extraordinary measures to insure safety. Hope I have provide a suitable answer. If you figure it out, please come back and teach me!
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Old 06-09-07, 10:24 AM   #4
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