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Help with hitch questions?

Old 05-26-20, 08:57 PM
  #1  
Illinest
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Help with hitch questions?

I've got a class 3 hitch arriving soon - gonna slap that thing on my Toyota Sienna.

I've never had a vehicle with a hitch before and I've only been biking for a few weeks. I want to be able to cart my family's growing bike collection around. Up until now I've been able to shove my 29" mtb, my daughter's 24" and my son's 18" bike inside the Sienna (barely) but he's going to grow out of the kid bike soon and my wife has a 26" hybrid bike on backorder.

First - is there a type of bike rack I will regret buying? Im guessing that every rack will be at least some degree of pita.

Second - how do you travel longer distances with bikes? The idea of leaving bikes in a hotel parking lot overnight seems like a sure way to get robbed.


I'm wondering if I can get away with a 2 bike hanging type and just continue loading the small bikes inside. Thought about a roof rack too but that seems like it would be really difficult on a minivan.
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Old 05-27-20, 06:38 AM
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I have a 4 bike hanging rack thatís probably 15 years old. Dates back to when I had a 4 bike family. I subscribe to the buy once, cry once philosophy so Iíd recommend a 4 bike rack for you. Shop all rack styles because the 4 bike hanging type can be a hassle to get all the bikes on and off, depending on bike frame designs. Definitely donít leave bikes on a rack overnight in a parking lot. There isnít a lock strong enough.
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Old 06-05-20, 01:19 PM
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I'd recommend the basket type - I've actually got a cargo bin with bike adapters. I'm looking at a North Shore or Recon rack now, but that's now that my kids and I have started BMX racing. The competition for that is a mini-trailer I can leave packed!
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Old 06-05-20, 01:29 PM
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I have a thule hang type rack. It was a good deal at the time but now I wish I had dropped the cash for a tray type. The type your set the bike in instead of hanging your bikes off the top tube is better IMO.
other than that any decent brand will do fine for your needs.
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Old 06-12-20, 05:40 AM
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Kids can get their bike out of the tray much easier than off the hanging rack.

The hanging rack almost cannot accommodate mountain bike frames. [There is a bar you can add to go from seat post to steerer tube to "add" a top tube to make a mountain bike work on the hanging type rack.]

Quick-release front wheels and seats make it easier to pack bikes inside a minivan. Pedals a bit more work. If only handlebars could come off and on easy, us dads would have an easier time of it.

Hotels may allow you to leave bikes in the spot where they have people leave luggage for the short term. I have "checked" them at a pretty nice hotel, rather than roll the things all over the lobby and all down the halls, and interfere with the ambience of a fancy hotel room.

With the hanging rack, you are gonna scratch the car, one way or another.

With the convenience of the hanging rack, once on, if you don't mind having it on all the time, it is very easy to pop the bike on at any time for any adventure. Not so with hitch rack.
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Old 06-18-20, 02:08 AM
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Since youíre getting the 2Ē hitch, Iíd strongly recommend looking in to one of the tray-type racks, rather than a hanger style. Itís a lot easier to get the bikes on and off, and it accommodates different shaped and sized frames better.
Some of them have swing-away functions that let you get into the rear hatch without unloading the bikes first.

For security, if you canít bring them inside, get an 8-foot cable and a large padlock, the kind youíd use to lock up lawnmowers and things, and lock everything through the safety chain loop on the hitch receiver. Park conspicuously, like by the front door. Like locking up a bike anywhere else, any setup can be defeated with enough effort; you just need to make it enough of a PITA that a potential thief will look for something easier to grab.
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Old 06-20-20, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by PJay120 View Post
With the convenience of the hanging rack, once on, if you don't mind having it on all the time, it is very easy to pop the bike on at any time for any adventure. Not so with hitch rack.
My hitch rack stays in all summer and pop the bike on anytime. It gets pulled out if I need to pull a trailer.
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Old 06-20-20, 02:46 PM
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Sienna is a mini van? Do you want to open the back lift gate with the rack attached? This may narrow your choices.
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Old 06-20-20, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by grizzly59 View Post
Sienna is a mini van? Do you want to open the back lift gate with the rack attached? This may narrow your choices.
Most hitch racks fold up/down whatever to access the back. Fine for everyday groceries etc. Moving furniture, yeah, you'll want to pull it.
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Old 06-20-20, 02:53 PM
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Illinest
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Originally Posted by grizzly59 View Post
Sienna is a mini van? Do you want to open the back lift gate with the rack attached? This may narrow your choices.
I finally decided on a Kuat Transfer 3. I ordered it but it didn't arrive yet. I suspect that it will probably interfere with the lift gate but it's the compromise I chose.
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Old 07-18-20, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Illinest View Post
I finally decided on a Kuat Transfer 3. I ordered it but it didn't arrive yet. I suspect that it will probably interfere with the lift gate but it's the compromise I chose.
Like the Kuat Sherpa 2.0 I have on my suv, the transfer 3 also tilts away from the lift gate when needing to access the lift gate.
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Old 07-18-20, 06:57 PM
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I have a 2010 Sienna, and the hitch itself is so low it will scrape curbs if i'm not careful. You may have to go with a different style rack if the one you bought ends up being too close to the ground.
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Old 07-18-20, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by masonv45 View Post
I have a 2010 Sienna, and the hitch itself is so low it will scrape curbs if i'm not careful. You may have to go with a different style rack if the one you bought ends up being too close to the ground.
Have you tried using a hitch riser? My cousin has a FX35 and ran into the same issue with his Thule T2 XTR rack scrapping curbs, speed bumps and even some driveways. We installed a hitch riser and problem solved. It does push the rack out a couple more inches out but the raised height prevents any of the unwanted scraping.
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Old 07-19-20, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by PJay120 View Post

With the convenience of the hanging rack, once on, if you don't mind having it on all the time, it is very easy to pop the bike on at any time for any adventure. Not so with hitch rack.
my hitch rack only goes on when I use it. It's actually far quicker to install that the trunk-style I used before. I don't see this as a differentiator for hitch racks.
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