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Recommended Remedy for Trailer Hitch Receiver That Scrapes on the Ground

Question:

I have a 2008 Toyota Sienna van. I currently have a 2inch receiver tow hitch, but it scrapes every time I pull into my driveway. I was thinking a 1 1/4inch receiver would have a lower profile and might not scrape? What do you think? Also. I have a Yakima bike rack made for a 2inch receiver. If I used a 1 1/4inch to 2inch adaptor. Could the adaptor support the weight of the rack and 4 bikes? What is the tung weight of the HTAD adaptor? Thanks.

Expert Reply:

A smaller 1-1/4-inch Class II hitch on your 2008 Toyota Sienna will have a slightly greater height above ground than a 2-inch Class III type. For example, when we installed hitch # 36513 on a 2007 Sienna we found that the top of the receiver tube was 11-inches above ground. When we installed 2-inch Class III hitch # C13105 the top of the tube was 10-1/4-inches above ground. Please refer to the linked videos if you like.

Yes, you gain a bit of clearance with a smaller Class II hitch but in order to use your 2-inch bike rack you'd have to use an adapter like # HTAD that you referenced. Adapters come with a price: they immediately reduce your hitch's capacity by 50-percent and they can also reduce your actual ground clearance for going in a sloped driveway since they extend further out from the rear of the car. This adapter has a tongue weight (TW) rating of 300-lbs but if used in a Class II hitch you end up with a TW limit of 150 to 175-lbs for the hitch itself depending on the particular brand. This would not be enough for any 4-bike rack and bikes.

Since it is the hitch itself that is hitting the ground there is no easy fix. You can try to approach the driveway at a sharper angle, if possible, to reduce the chance for the hitch tube scraping on the ground, but changing your hitch will not give you the extra clearance you need.

If you remove the hitch you could use a trunk-mount type bike rack such as the 2-bike Thule Passage # TH910XT or the 3-bike # TH911XT. These and other trunk-mount racks for your Sienna are viewable on the linked page. There are no 4-bike trunk racks available.

expert reply by:
Adam R

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