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Old 03-28-2012, 10:36 AM   #1
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Q: Hitch Extender on Hitch Mounted Bike Rack

I just picked up an Allen Sports 2 bike carrier, and also a 4" hitch extender so that the rack clears the spare tire.

Now I notice on the warning label on the rack: "Never use rack ... with any type of hitch adapter." Wtf?

The weight of my two bikes falls just a hair under the maximum capacity of the rack.

Does anyone have any experience with this? I'm not very comfortable with ignoring the warning label on something that, if it fails, could have disastrous consequences. But using an extension seems like a no-brainer. Should I just remove the spare tire and use the rack without the extension (if it even fits)?

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Old 03-28-2012, 10:51 AM   #2
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Maybe they mean not to downsize from 2"-1" hitch. I have an extender for a rack and bike carrier. No issues whatsoever.

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Old 03-28-2012, 10:59 AM   #3
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I have a four spot hitch rack I use on the end of an extension. no issues, aside from slightly more vibration in the rack due to the longer arm of the combined extender/rack.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:01 AM   #4
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x2 -- it's the down size from a large receiver to a small receiver as mentioned here. That is a no-no, as it reduces the weight capability. Using an extension is no different on the function of the bike rack as it is to connecting it to the hitch (well, sort of, the torque arm that can be created is a bit larger due to having more leverage from the extension, but for bikes, it's negligible).
You will be okay with this, assuming it is a 2" rack using a 2" extension onto a 2" receiver and there is no reduction in size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgoose View Post
Maybe they mean not to downsize from 2"-1" hitch. I have an extender for a rack and bike carrier. No issues whatsoever.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:03 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgoose View Post
Maybe they mean not to downsize from 2"-1" hitch. I have an extender for a rack and bike carrier. No issues whatsoever.
I would be inclined to think this as well... when I think addapter I think putting a square peg in a round hole or a 1" peg into a 2" hole... Not an extension...
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:09 AM   #6
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I have a 2" hitch. The extension is a 4" adapter from 2" to 1 1/4. The bike rack fits 2" or 1 1 1/4.

Should I have gone with a 2" to 2" extender?
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lllllll0
I have a 2" hitch. The extension is a 4" adapter from 2" to 1 1/4. The bike rack fits 2" or 1 1 1/4.

Should I have gone with a 2" to 2" extender?
2-2 is ideal. So, the extension is 1.25" female and 2" male to a 2" receiver?
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgoose View Post
2-2 is ideal. So, the extension is 1.25" female and 2" male to a 2" receiver?
Correct. The bike rack is adjustable to either 2" or 1.25"
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lllllll0

Correct.
I would go 2in all the way, I'm using a 2 inch extender, receiver , and ball in this pic, no problems
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lllllll0

Correct. The bike rack is adjustable to either 2" or 1.25"
I would think the adapter extender would be more solid than some of the bike rack adapters that use thinner wall or plastic parts to upsize to 2".

Have a pic of what you're talking about?
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:33 AM   #11
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No pics, but here's what I'm working with:

Bike Rack

Hitch adapter

The hitch is just a standard 2" receiver
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:35 AM   #12
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A lot of hitch racks have that same warning. In addition to the reasons already posted, using an extender puts more leverage on the hitch, reducing the amount of weight you can safely carry. Probably not gonna be a problem with a couple of bikes, but if you put 4 bikes or dirt bikes (motorized) like some people, it could become a concern (moreso for a 2 door than a 4 door).

If you do use an extender, make sure you get an anti-wobble one. I know several forum members who have suggested this one in the past:

Amazon.com: Heininger 6000 Advantage Adjustable 11-Inch Hitch Extension: Automotive
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:39 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lllllll0
No pics, but here's what I'm working with:

Bike Rack

Hitch adapter

The hitch is just a standard 2" receiver
That'll be fine, I'd use either a locking hitch pin in both holes or bolt through the rack side.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lllllll0 View Post
I just picked up an Allen Sports 2 bike carrier, and also a 4" hitch extender so that the rack clears the spare tire.

Now I notice on the warning label on the rack: "Never use rack ... with any type of hitch adapter." Wtf?

The weight of my two bikes falls just a hair under the maximum capacity of the rack.

Does anyone have any experience with this? I'm not very comfortable with ignoring the warning label on something that, if it fails, could have disastrous consequences. But using an extension seems like a no-brainer. Should I just remove the spare tire and use the rack without the extension (if it even fits)?
I just picked up the Allen 3 bike carrier and the Curt Receiver Tube Extender 8" to use with it. Specs show it can handle the load so I'm not too concerned overall. I used the hitch extender this past weekend to transport my valley cargo rack folded up with no problems. You may want to consider updating the hitch extender to alleviate your concerns.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desertgoose View Post
I would think the adapter extender would be more solid than some of the bike rack adapters that use thinner wall or plastic parts to upsize to 2".
True. In order to use the 2" capability of the rack I'd need to use the "filler plates" which came with the rack. They look solid, but then again, not as solid as the one-piece 1.25" rack insert.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaubby View Post
You may want to consider updating the hitch extender to alleviate your concerns.
What do you mean "updating?" Grabbing a 2" to 2"?
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lllllll0 View Post

What do you mean "updating?" Grabbing a 2" to 2"?
Sorry, I read it wrong. I see that your receiver is the same max weight as mine.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:35 PM   #17
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I just drove 6 hrs each way with this setup last weekend. I have a 2-2, 8" extension. If you worry about wobble, you can use some pull straps to stabilize the load. I had no issue and had 200# plus on the rack as the coffin cooler was loaded with beverages and ice.

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Old 03-28-2012, 01:00 PM   #18
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Problem temporarily solved. Spare tire fits fine in the back (rear seats removed days after purchase) for the times when the rack is mounted on.

I ended up giving Allen Sports customer service line a call and left a message. They'll probably tell me to avoid adapters, if only out of liability concerns.

-by the way, is that stock spare tire mount made out of ... p- p- plastic?
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Old 03-28-2012, 06:07 PM   #19
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That spare in the back would be a safety concern for me.
In an accident it'd fly through the seat.

Just buy one of the listed hitch extenders
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikonomore View Post
That spare in the back would be a safety concern for me.
In an accident it'd fly through the seat.

Just buy one of the listed hitch extenders
Looking into the 2" - 2" extender. How's this one look?
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lllllll0

-by the way, is that stock spare tire mount made out of ... p- p- plastic?
Don't knock plastic. Lol It is cast potmetal I think.

You will be fine with what you have... with the spare tire mounted. Only motorized bikes on that stand would give you issues with the 1->2 adapter/extension. I overthink everything and you make me feel good about how I analyze stuff. Lol
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:24 PM   #22
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Don't knock plastic. Lol It is cast potmetal I think.

You will be fine with what you have... with the spare tire mounted. Only motorized bikes on that stand would give you issues with the 1->2 adapter/extension. I overthink everything and you make me feel good about how I analyze stuff. Lol
I analyze the HELL out of stuff. I've got a dozen tabs open with links to various extenders for sale, all just slightly different and I can't pick one. Ha

So you think it's alright going from the 2" to the 1.25" to hold the 1.25 rack? - 2 bikes ~ 70lbs / max capacity. It's not a high end rack.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:46 PM   #23
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That extender/adapter is stronger than the adapter that comes with any bike rack I've seen. You aren't loading another jeep on it.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:25 AM   #24
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Just to follow up:

Received a return call from Allen Sports - they said that the rack cannot be used with an adapter or an extension. The next rack up that they sell is the 4 bike, which is designed to fit around the spare tire.

Given that this is an inexpensive low-end rack I'm not inclined to push it over its limits. Constantly removing and storing the spare tire in the back seems more of a PITA than a real road hazard, so at any rate I'll just be shelling out the $ for a better rack system.

Thanks all
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:38 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0lllllll0
Just to follow up:

Received a return call from Allen Sports - they said that the rack cannot be used with an adapter or an extension. The next rack up that they sell is the 4 bike, which is designed to fit around the spare tire.

Given that this is an inexpensive low-end rack I'm not inclined to push it over its limits. Constantly removing and storing the spare tire in the back seems more of a PITA than a real road hazard, so at any rate I'll just be shelling out the $ for a better rack system.

Thanks all
I'd do it anyway. Your talking what? 100 lb max? They are saying that to cover their rear.
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:48 PM   #26
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I have been running a 2 to 1.25 extension for my Reese bike rack. It's a 2 bike carrier and I need the extension. The extension I bought it a lot more sturdy then the adapter to 2 inch that came with the carrier. It wobbled all over the place. this is a sturdy extension/adapter and i would rather have it then the crappy reducer in the kit. Been running it for a while and it holds two bikes very well
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Old 03-30-2012, 10:49 PM   #27
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Yeah, I decided to hell with it and hooked it up. Works well, if but for a little wobbling.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:05 AM   #28
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I just got this one

Allen Sports 645RR - Allen Sports Deluxe 4 Bike Folding Carrier for 2" Receiver Hitches - Quadratec

I know it might be too late to return yours, but this one already has the extension built in so it is more sturdy. And is ~ the same price after you combine the rack + extension buying seperately.

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