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Unread 11-12-2012, 08:36 PM   #1
tomg85
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Opinions on use of hitch extender

Hey guys,

I just recently purchased a Thule Parkway 956 Bike rack for a 2" hitch. When it was time to mount it, the spare tire got in the way. Furthermore, it looks as if it was mounted using a hitch extender the tailgate would not open completely. Well my question really is if Thule doesn't replace or reimburse me for the rack, I am considering purchasing the hitch extender. According to some, the hitch extender cuts the tongue weight capacity by 50%, making it 175 lbs capacity. Would it be safe to load it with 4 adult size mountain bikes? Thanks in advance.

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Unread 11-12-2012, 08:37 PM   #2
EugeneTheTJ
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Do your bikes weigh 175 pounds?
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Unread 11-13-2012, 12:24 AM   #3
chris87xj
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I'm not sure tongue weight applies to bicycle racks since they have no tongue.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 05:58 PM   #4
tomg85
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Thanks for your reply.

According to my math, the hitch alone weighs 30-32 lbs., each adult mountain bike weighs approx. 35-40 lbs. Xs that by 4 = 140-160 lbs. + 32 lbs. and you get 172-192 lbs. Idk according to what I read online, tongue weight is the downward pressure applied on the hitch rather than the pulling force caused by towing.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 10:22 PM   #5
MPond
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomg85 View Post
Hey guys,

I just recently purchased a Thule Parkway 956 Bike rack for a 2" hitch. When it was time to mount it, the spare tire got in the way. Furthermore, it looks as if it was mounted using a hitch extender the tailgate would not open completely. Well my question really is if Thule doesn't replace or reimburse me for the rack, I am considering purchasing the hitch extender. According to some, the hitch extender cuts the tongue weight capacity by 50%, making it 175 lbs capacity. Would it be safe to load it with 4 adult size mountain bikes? Thanks in advance.
That depends on the length of the hitch extender. The reduction of the capacity is a function of leverage, so a longer extender has a greater reduction of capacity because it gives the tongue of the trailer or the weight of the bikes and bikerack more leverage on the hitch.

I use a 18" hitch extender for my Thule T2 in order to clear the spare tire on my LJ on a regular basis. I usually use the hitch extender with 2 bikes, but I recently borrowed my brother's rack extensions which converts a 2-position Thule T2 into a 4-postion rack, and the weight wasn't a problem for the extender.

I used to use a 36" hitch extender on the back of the RV for a Sea-Doo trailer, and that package had the warning about a 50% reduction of tongue weight capacity. But an 18" extension wouldn't be as much of a reduction.

I did, however, decide against using the extender with the 4-position bike rack for longer trips (2,000+ miles) because the combination of the extender & the 4-position bike rack made for a very long overhang on the back of the Jeep. But the weight wasn't an issue.

If you need any proof of this, put a 10' section of 2" steel pipe into your hitch receiver sometime, and see how much you can lift up or push down on the back of your tow vehicle with simply your body weight. Then you're understand how much of a difference leverage makes.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 10:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris87xj View Post
I'm not sure tongue weight applies to bicycle racks since they have no tongue.
Tongue weight is a measure of the downward force on the ball, just a few inches away from the hitch receiver. That same rating applies to bike racks as well, as 200 lbs of bikerack and bikes has the same effect on the hitch as a 2000 lb trailer with approx. 10% tongue weight.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 11:02 PM   #7
JimWilliamson
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As your spare tire is getting in the way, you could mount the carrier as intended, then use a ratchet strap between the bike carrier and spare tire mount for added support.

Not "factory", just an option to consider.

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Unread 11-14-2012, 03:48 AM   #8
91AzXJ
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I used one to convert a 1-1/4" receiver to a 2" for my spare tire carrier for awhile. It bounced around so much that I just went and got a new 2" receiver hitch. The carrier weighed 27 lb and the tire was 60 ish. I could actually feel it moving around.
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Unread 11-16-2012, 01:05 AM   #9
Indy
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It will be fine.
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