Hitch Flex and Use of Support Straps When Hitch Bike Rack is Installed

Question:

Planning on using a Kuat NV bike rack with this hitch and wanted to know if there is any issue with the hitch flexing. I had a similar configured hitch on another car and without the stability strap the rack when loaded would flex the hitch when hitting dips or bumps. Any feedback on this?

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Expert Reply:

Trailer hitches have to be able to flex to avoid damage. The metals used in fabrication of a hitch like Draw-Tite # 36540 and Curt # C12107 are selected to allow for this. The mounting brackets on a hitch are not of the same metal formulation as the cross tube. A totally rigid hitch would be more likely to suffer damage. Some flex is okay.

Excess motion of a hitch-mounted accessory such as a bike rack is something else.

This is why Curt requires use of their stabilizing strap # 18050 with this hitch and many others. But in truth, any hitch would benefit from use of a support strap when carrying a loaded bike rack or cargo carrier like # C18145 but some makers just choose not to make it a warranty requirement as Curt does.

Unless there is a compelling reason not to do so, I suggest using # 18050 or some other type of straps like # EM05710 to reduce random motion of the bike rack. This is "cheap insurance" for your hitch, rack and bikes and will also possibly reduce the distracting effects of a swaying bike rack.

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Adam R

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