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2019 Honda Odyssey OEM Hitch with Platform Bike Rack

Question:

I recently purchased a 2019 Honda Odyssey Elite with OEM Hitch. The literature calls it a Class II hitch that is 3,500 / 350. However, it has a 2 inch receiver. I am interested in using a 4-Bike platform rack, such as the Thule Pro XT 9034 with the add-on 9036. I looked the hitch dimension file from Thule attached. On Page 1, is says that the 9034 + 9036 requires a 2 inch receiver which I have and requires class 2-4, which I have. Great. On Page 2, however, it indicates that you need a 2 inch receiver which I have and a class 3-4 hitch which my hitch is not rated for. The same document indicates that there is no such thing as a 2-inch class II. Yakimas document has the same information and also indicates that if it a 2-inch it is almost certainly a class III. Why do Thule and Yakima use class instead of tongue weight? Why does the OEM hitch have a lower tongue weight rating that many after market hitches even though it is attaching the same way. Is Honda just being conservative?

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Expert Reply:

A 4-Bike system like the Thule T2 Pro XTR 2-bike rack # TH83JV with 2-bike add on # TH9036XT that you're looking at can be used with the factory 2 inch receiver on your new 2019 Honda Odyssey Elite. The hitch features both the receiver size (2 inches) and weight capacity needed to handle the loaded carrier so you will not have any issues.

Thule, Yakima, and most other carriers use the Class system when specifying what their carriers work with because it's just an easier way to indicate compatibility. As you mentioned, a Class I and II hitch ALMOST always features a 1-1/4 inch receiver while a Class III and IV will have a 2 inch receiver along with higher capacities.

I really am not sure why Honda calls your factory hitch a Class II model but it has the size and standard weight rating of a Class III so it will work with any hitch-accessory that calls for a Class III hitch.

Aftermarket hitches typically have higher weight capacities both because they are usually tested to a higher limit and also because they usually are designed to fit more than one vehicle model. Regardless of the hitch's rating though you are always limited by your weakest link, so if the hitch has a 575 pound tongue weight capacity but the vehicle itself has a 350 pound rating you will need to follow the lower number.

The OEM hitch on your Odyssey is likely rated lower because Honda wanted to match its capacities with that of the vehicle itself. Based on my research the 3,500/350 pound ratings on the OEM hitch match the towing and tongue weight capacity of the Honda Odyssey perfectly.

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Chris R

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