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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > VW TDI Discussion Areas > Upgrades (non TDI Engine related)

Upgrades (non TDI Engine related) The place of handling, lighting and other upgrades that do not relate to the performance or economy of the TDI engine. In other words upgrades to your TDI that don't fit into TDI Fuel Economy & TDI Engine Enhancements.Please note the Performance Disclaimer

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Old May 4th, 2010, 06:37   #1
uscgbeachbum
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Default Trailer hitch that will accomodate a 4 bike hitch carrier

We do a lot of outdoors stuff and we want to start taking our bikes with us. We pack all of the stuff we're taking into a rooftop back from roofbag.com so that leaves only the hitch for holding the bikes. I've checked out etrailer.com, but they only have 1 1/4" hitch assemblies when all of the 4 bike swing hitch assemblies (such as this http://www.yakima.com/racks/bike-rac...ers-only).aspx) require a 2" hitch assembly. Right now we have a Bones Saris 2 bike rack carrier, but with the dog in the back its really difficult to load/unload her. Any ideas?
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Old May 4th, 2010, 09:30   #2
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Considering most 1 1/4 hitches are rated around 200lbs for tongue weight, I think you may not be able to find some one who makes a 4 bike carrier,
you may want a roof rack for 2 bikes and a hitch rack for the other 2?
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Old May 4th, 2010, 11:19   #3
JungleDeath
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1 1/4" with 4 bikes are hard to come by. Or you can try what I did:
Take one of these but without the ball:

[IMG][/IMG]

and weld it to this:

[IMG][/IMG]

which now looks like this:

[IMG][/IMG]

or this:

[IMG][/IMG]

I forget which Thule model it was. Yakima-Thule...what ever. It was a 4 bike but I turned it into a 3 b/c I carry mountain bikes all the time. It will take 4. I bought a 2" model but cut it off in prep for the 1 1/4" transformation.

The draw bar is the tallest rise I could get at the time. This rack has been in use for over 3 years. It gets me to and from mtb areas as far as 8 hrs away one way with 3 bikes on, in the wind, at 80mph. No sweat.

Easy access to the back of my Golf and Passat sedan. Love it.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 12:33   #4
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You could get one of these....





http://www.etrailer.com/Hitch-Access...tch/80303.html

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Old May 4th, 2010, 22:10   #5
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Yeah, you're going to have to use an adapter, or adapt your hitch to a 2" receiver...
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Old May 5th, 2010, 07:10   #6
Variant TDI
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I saw a newish Ford Taurus with a 1 1/4 to 2" adapter and a 4 bike carrier with 4 very expensive looking bikes on it (leading me to think they were light).

I should have taken a picture.

Something was horribly bent, possibly the 1 1/4" receiver, possibly the car itself. And the whole thing was hanging down with the back of the rack only 2" off the ground. The guy had to drive 2 mph to get out of the gas station, and he still dragged.

I usually believe that there are safety factors that make it 'okay' to overload certain things on occasion... but hanging 4 bikes from a 1 1/4" receiver is just a really bad idea.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 07:30   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Variant TDI
I saw a newish Ford Taurus with a 1 1/4 to 2" adapter and a 4 bike carrier with 4 very expensive looking bikes on it (leading me to think they were light).

I usually believe that there are safety factors that make it 'okay' to overload certain things on occasion... but hanging 4 bikes from a 1 1/4" receiver is just a really bad idea.
Question - I ride both road and MT bikes, 4 very expensive road bikes at most equals (with wheels) ~80 lbs.

4 very expensive (assuming not downhill MTBs) will be at most ~125 lbs.

If the tounge weight rating of a 1 1/4 is 200lbs., why would this be a problem?
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Old May 5th, 2010, 07:41   #8
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Leverage.

Because if you cantilever the weight 24" (or more, in the case of the guy using the hitch adapter) further out than the ball would be... it's effectively a lot more than 200 pounds, and instead of being largely a downward force on the hitch mounting points, it becomes a twisting force.


This is what worries me. Especially when the hitch is mounted to unibody.
This illustration is for illustrative purposes only.


You all can do what you want... and if you have nice smooth roads, you'll probably be fine.
I just think the safety factor is cut a bit close, and after seeing this disaster in real life... I won't ever do it.
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Last edited by Variant TDI; May 5th, 2010 at 08:10.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 08:15   #9
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Items like hitches usually have a minimum of a 300% safety factor built into them. The cantilever effect would be there no matter if it's a 2" or 1 1/4" receiver with the type of carrier the OP wants to use.

IMO the OP would be better off getting a very small trailerand loading everything (bikes and rooftop bag) on the trailer. He'll most likely get better fuel mileage once the roof top bag is gone. Accessiblitly of the rear of the car would not be an issue either in this case.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 08:50   #10
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Nice diagram!
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Old May 5th, 2010, 09:49   #11
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Let's not forget, you can put 200# of tongue weight on that hitch and drive over a bump at highway speed, causing a tremendous momentary load on the hitch system. If hitches weren't engineered with tremendous margins, they would break the first time someone rear-loaded their trailer and it started bucking.

Also, as long as the components are mild steel, they will bend a lot before they break. If you notice them starting to bend, you'll know you're over doing it. Of course, this assumes you inspect your gear regularly.

Personally, I wouldn't worry about the hitch capacity. You're basically within tolerance. I'd be more concerned about reduced clearance at the rear and weight on the rear suspension. Even there, I think you're OK.

I would do it. In fact, I plan to use a 2" bike rack but with only 2 bikes.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 09:55   #12
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To haul my wife's and my bikes we bought a Saris Bones 3 to mount on the trunk. It works great...but it knocks off about 10 MPGs while its on there. I know you have 4 bikes to carry...maybe you can take one apart and put it in the back? Or the trailer option sounds safe and practical too.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 16:24   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boatman
Items like hitches usually have a minimum of a 300% safety factor built into them. The cantilever effect would be there no matter if it's a 2" or 1 1/4" receiver with the type of carrier the OP wants to use.

IMO the OP would be better off getting a very small trailerand loading everything (bikes and rooftop bag) on the trailer. He'll most likely get better fuel mileage once the roof top bag is gone. Accessiblitly of the rear of the car would not be an issue either in this case.
Probably the smartest and safest idea.

Are you planning on loading up 4 Mountain bikes on the rack or 4 road bikes, because right there is a 30-40 lbs. difference between 4 mountain bikes and 4 road bikes loaded up.
IMO you could probably get away with 4 road bikes on the rack, but 4 mountain bikes would be a stretch.

Personally I would only safely put a 2 bike hitch receiver on a 1 1/4" receiver.
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Old May 5th, 2010, 19:01   #14
uscgbeachbum
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Thanks for all the info. Currently, our apt complex doesn't allow trailers of any sort so right now that's not an option. However, I must say it is definitely the cheapest (assuming we didn't have to pay to store it). The bike rack I linked runs around $500 whereas I can pick up a nice trailer for that mount plus have additional room to move the roofbag from the roof to the trailer to have better mileage. As far as what kind of bikes, they are the not too fancy mountain bikes. I believe mine weighs in right at 17 lbs.
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Old May 6th, 2010, 03:10   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uscgbeachbum
I believe mine weighs in right at 17 lbs.
I wish my mountain bike weighed 17 pounds...
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