Get new Hitch Rack... or stick with working older one?

creativepart

Member
Region
USA
I have an inexpensive ($150) tray hitch. It's rated for 35 lbs per bike. We have two bikes, one 45 lbs and one 30 lbs. I have towed our bikes about 2500 miles on the back of this hitch. So, today I cleaned it, lubed it, and checked it over well. There are no problems or cracks or any indications of problems. It has a 2" receiver shaft, I use it behind a SUV and that's towed behind a RV. We used an additional hitch locking device to keep anything moving or bouncing. It fits between the receiver and the rack's receiver shaft and is screwed down with a massive ubolt that's tighted with double nuts on each end of the Ubolt. So, it's steady.

It's not the most convenient for opening the SUV hatch. But it's paid for and a replacement is $600 to $800. Should I just bite the bullet and replace it. Or... keep using it and checking for stress or wear?

rack.jpg
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
I've got a Swagman too, the XTC2 model. The loops appear a little stronger, but it's still only rated for 35 pounds per bike. When I used it for my larger bikes, I would remove the seats and battery and get it down to about 80 pounds for both bikes. These days, I mostly use it for two 35 pound bikes. I also use a pair of Curtis roof straps to take some weight off the tongue. The straps also serve as insurance, in case the bikes jump off.
xtc2.jpg

I used it originally with a 2" hitch on an SUV, but now I use it on 1 1/4" on a VW wagon..

The Swagman Chinook is rated for 45 pounds per bike and used to be around $250. I would have upgraded, but I need a bigger car first, For long road trips, we rent a minivan and keep the bikes inside.

With all the gear already behind your RV, what's another $400?





xtc2.jpg
 

creativepart

Member
Region
USA
I do remove the battery always when racking the bike. My wife's bike is not electric but it's a beach cruiser. So it's not light.

The only thing telling me to get a new bike rack are forum posts on eBike forums. I never thought of it before. But know of course, it's a concern.
 

retiredNH

Active Member
Region
USA
The loops holding the wheels are an obvious failure point. You won't see metal fatigue at the attachment point, for instance, until it's too late.

I'd spend the money on a properly rated rack, unless your ebikes are cheap enough that you don't mind their loss.
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
A bike can fall off your rack and you won't know until you look in the mirror and see nothing. With an SUV behind your RC, your TV camera or mirror may not see it.

There was one time when I was too lazy to put the cotter pin into that center post on the Swagman. Bikes bouncing, they slipped free of the J hooks, and that darn post just flipped down. releasing both bikes. THey were hanging horizontal by the straps in the loops, and only the chain I used to lock the bikes kept them from falling off. I wasn't using roof straps then,
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
I have an inexpensive ($150) tray hitch. It's rated for 35 lbs per bike. We have two bikes, one 45 lbs and one 30 lbs. I have towed our bikes about 2500 miles on the back of this hitch. So, today I cleaned it, lubed it, and checked it over well. There are no problems or cracks or any indications of problems. It has a 2" receiver shaft, I use it behind a SUV and that's towed behind a RV. We used an additional hitch locking device to keep anything moving or bouncing. It fits between the receiver and the rack's receiver shaft and is screwed down with a massive ubolt that's tighted with double nuts on each end of the Ubolt. So, it's steady.

It's not the most convenient for opening the SUV hatch. But it's paid for and a replacement is $600 to $800. Should I just bite the bullet and replace it. Or... keep using it and checking for stress or wear?

View attachment 82708
When in doubt, just buy something that can handle the bike weight and is proven to be dependable by others. I was recently facing the same circumstances after owning the same rack for nearly 20 yrs with no known problems to report. I just went ahead (this week) and purchased a Kuat V2. Very good company which has a great reputation for making quality racks. Glad I made the purchase for care free transport. An Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure IMO! Good Luck with your decision.