Using Extender to Install Thule Apex Swing # TH9027 on 2011 Roadtrek Agile w/ Rear Mount Spare Tire

Question:

I have a 2011 Roadtrek Agile with a continental tire mounted on the left rear obscuring the left cargo door for the most part. Im looking at the new Apex Swing, but I need 13 inches from the receiver to clear the continental tire. Can I add an extension, or does the weight of the hitch make this an impossible dream?

Helpful Expert Reply:

An extender like the # 80307 can be used, but we don't recommend doing so because using an extender will lower the tongue weight capacity of your hitch by 50 percent. For instance, if your current tongue weight capacity (see sticker on hitch) is 350 lbs, using the adapter will lower that capacity to 175 lbs. This would mean that the 57 lb weight of the rack plus the bikes carried on it could not exceed 175 lbs. Unless the average weight of your bikes is under 30 lbs, it would overload the tongue weight capacity of the hitch. If your tongue weight capacity is greater than 350 lbs, you should be okay.

The Thule Vertex Swing, part # TH9031XT might be a better choice for you. The shank measures 14 inches from the center of the hitch pin hole to the closest portion of the upright portion of the rack. If the 13 inches of clearance you referred to was measured rearward from the hitch pin hole to the point where the spare tire is cleared, and the distance from your hitch pin hole to the rear-most point of the bumper is less than 8-1/2 inches, then the Vertex should work very well for you. The Vertex and Apex are pretty similar, the Apex adds upgraded cushioning on the cradles and an integrated hitch and cable lock.

Keep in mind that using an extender will allow more bounce to the bike rack, since the connection between the rack and the receiver will have an extra part in the middle. An anti-rattle device like the # RM-061 can minimize this, but probably would not eliminate it.

In other words an extender can be used, but doing so will lower your tongue weight capacity and the accessory will move or bounce around more than if it were installed directly into the receiver.

I have linked you to an FAQ article that shows exactly how to measure to obtain an accurate measurement of the clearance needed to pick a bike rack that is compatible with a rear mounted spare tire. Various bike racks are listed, along with their clearances. I have also linked you to the products I recommended as well as some product demonstration videos featuring these products.

helpful expert reply by:
Michael L

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