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Recommended Bike Rack for a 2003 Jeep Liberty

Question:

I have a 2003 Jeep Liberty with a rear mounted spare tire. Will I need a trailer hitch extender? Im evaluating the sportrack escape 3 code and the rola TX-102 code 59400

Expert Reply:

To know if the Rola TX-102 2 Bike Carrier, part # 59400, will fit on your 2003 Jeep Liberty you will need to take a measurement. You will want to measure on your hitch from the center of the hitch pin hole out to the furthest rearward portion of the spare tire. This measurement will determine the clearance needed for a hitch bike rack to fit.

For the Rola bike rack to fit the measurement you took will have to be less than 10 inches.

We have installed a hitch on a 2004 Jeep Liberty with a rear spare and the measurement we got was 15 inches from the center of the hitch pin hole to the edge of the spare tire.

I would not recommend to use a hitch extender, because when an extender is used on a hitch it will reduce the tongue weight capacity of that hitch by 50 percent. If your hitch has a tongue weight capacity of 300 lbs, using the extender would reduce the capacity to 150 lbs. This means that the rack plus the weight of the bikes carried upon it could weigh no more than 150 lbs. Keep in mind that using the extender would also add an additional piece in the assembly which would allow more rattle and movement.

I believe your best choice would be a rack that mounts to the spare tire on the rear of the vehicle. The SpareRide by Yakima, part # Y02599 uses the spare tire mount on the rear of the vehicle, and would provide a safe and secure location for your bikes. The SpareRide will lock to the vehicle, and the included locking cable secures the bikes to the rack.

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