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Bike Rack For A BMW Wagon

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Bike Rack For A BMW Wagon

Old 11-12-12, 11:53 AM
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Bike Rack For A BMW Wagon

I'm not sure if this is the best place for this, but...

I have a 2001 BMW 525i wagon and have hit a fair amount of difficulty in finding a bike rack to work with this car.

I'd really like to have a a rear mounted rack, rather than get the bike mounted to the roof of the vehicle. I currently have a Saris Bones rack which works great on my wife's van and on my old Outback. However, the fitting of the back gate is too tight to allow the 'fingers' of the Saris straps, and the side of the gate is glass. My preferred option was going to be a hitch mounted rack- but it seems even adding a hitch to this vehicle is a pretty big obstacle.

If anyone has any experience or great ideas- I'd love to know!

Thanks!
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Old 11-12-12, 02:27 PM
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I don't have anything to add, but why are you against the roof rack? Roof racks may be spendy, but trunk racks are super janky. It wouldn't be impossible to add a hitch reciever, but after all is said and done it may end up costing about the same as a decent roof rack.
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Old 11-12-12, 03:26 PM
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Get a Receiver mounted on the underside of the car.. step 1.

My last car had Rain Gutters..


I don't expect you to drive as slow, as I, and the fuel consumption
is increased at speed with a rack of stuff on the roof.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-12-12 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 11-12-12, 04:42 PM
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U-Haul can do it, near as I can determine the closest U-Haul hitch installation center to you is U-Haul Moving and Storage of West Allis WI. Their address is 924 S 108th St and their phone number is 414-258-3692. The model of hitch you need is 249374 and it costs $169.95. With wiring and all standard accessories installation comes to $381.74, which includes the price of the hitch. You can make a reservation online via U-Haul's website to have the hitch ordered and installed.

Once you have the hitch you can add a receiver mounted bicycle rack.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-13-12, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by umazuki View Post
I don't have anything to add, but why are you against the roof rack? Roof racks may be spendy, but trunk racks are super janky.
Pretty much the only reason I don't want a roof rack is that I don't want to have to lift the bike onto my vehicle, and the all too likely possibility of scratching/denting the car or bike or possibly slipping off and breaking the moon roof glass.
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Old 11-13-12, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartbacon View Post
U-Haul can do it, near as I can determine the closest U-Haul hitch installation center to you is U-Haul Moving and Storage of West Allis WI. Their address is 924 S 108th St and their phone number is 414-258-3692. The model of hitch you need is 249374 and it costs $169.95. With wiring and all standard accessories installation comes to $381.74, which includes the price of the hitch. You can make a reservation online via U-Haul's website to have the hitch ordered and installed.

Once you have the hitch you can add a receiver mounted bicycle rack.

Hope this helps.
It's quite interesting- when I've seen the hitch kits for the E39 vehicles- it's always the arched "permanent" looking hitch- so seeing this Uhaul/Curt hitch looks much more promising than I had expected.

Thank you very much for the info!
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Old 11-13-12, 06:52 PM
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Do you have the factory bars on the roof? I have a 95 BMW wagon (E34). I think it should be easy using the factory bars.
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Old 11-13-12, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by iheartbacon View Post
U-Haul can do it, near as I can determine the closest U-Haul hitch installation center to you is U-Haul Moving and Storage of West Allis WI. Their address is 924 S 108th St and their phone number is 414-258-3692. The model of hitch you need is 249374 and it costs $169.95. With wiring and all standard accessories installation comes to $381.74, which includes the price of the hitch. You can make a reservation online via U-Haul's website to have the hitch ordered and installed.

Once you have the hitch you can add a receiver mounted bicycle rack.

Hope this helps.
I'd be interested in hearing anyone's experiences with U-Haul installed hitches. I'm looking to add one to our car so we can transport my wife's new tadpole trike, and U-H seems so much less expensive than everyone else, and the PDF of their installation instructions for the hitch specific to our car doesn't seem to make use of the car's built-in tow hook, at least as far as I can see, while all the others I've found online (Draw-Tite, Curt, Hidden-Hitch) do. Plus the one they sell calls for drilling through the trunk floor pan for bolting, as opposed to using the car's frame rails like the others. I may be worried about nothing, but I'd rather not have them put holes in the floor of the trunk and then rely on sealant.
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Old 11-13-12, 09:31 PM
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U-Haul hitches are great. I've had them on about 14 different cars or trucks over the years. The only problems I've had were 2 or 3 cases of bad wiring. That's just installer inexperience, which happens. U-Haul is where I go first for a hitch and is where I recommend others go for a hitch. The installation is so cheap I have them do it to my cars or trucks, also their selection is unbeatable.
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Old 11-14-12, 05:34 AM
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Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it.
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Old 11-14-12, 08:37 AM
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I had UHaul install a hitch and they screwed up the wiring. The vehicle had a pigtail and connector for trailer wiring. UHaul didn't have the mating connector so they cut the pigtail, threw away the vehicles connector, and wired into the pigtail. In chopping the connector off the pigtail, they shorted the wiring and blew a fuse, so when they were done wiring it up, it didn't work. They then went in and hooked up the wiring using quick splices behind the vehicles light assemblies, which often becomes problematic over time. Totally bogus. I undid the taps, wired correctly into the pigtail, and replaced the blown fuse. Since then I've installed hitches myself. It costs less than half what I'd have to pay UHaul, and it's done right.

Of course, if you're not pulling a trailer with the hitch, you don't need any wiring.

It's usually pretty easy as they often just bolt right in, but Curt's installation instructions for your vehicle does require some drilling: https://www.curtmfg.com/masterlibrar...111790_INS.PDF

FWIW, at the time the UHaul hitches were rebranded Draw-Tite hitches.

Last edited by Looigi; 11-14-12 at 08:44 AM.
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Old 11-14-12, 12:45 PM
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One thing I've found is that if the shop has to schedule you for a install it means they're busy. Busy is good, the shops where I had wiring issues were walk in shops that didn't require appointments. Double check their ground connection before you leave, make sure it's a clean ground.
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