Using Dual Hitch Extension to Carry Bikes and Tow Trailer with 2005 Saturn Vue

Question:

2 questions for saturn Vue 2005 SUV. Q1. will this swagman clear the hatch back when opening it, will it swiveled down and out of the way the swagman? Q2. I have a dual hitch extensionclass III/IV, 2 pc 2inch square receiver, one receiver has 2ball to pull the trailer, the other receiver could have the swagman i presume? picture enclosed for the TOP receiver to have the swagman...

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Expert Reply:

The Trailhead # S63360 can be tilted back away from the rear of your Vue to about a 40 degree angle, or the stop can be removed allowing the rack to tilt all the way back to the ground, so hatch clearance should not be a problem, but keep in mind that the bikes should be removed before tilting the rack.

You can use the dual hitch extension you have shown, as long as the weight of the rack and the bikes hung on it plus the tongue weight of the trailer does not exceed:

the tongue weight capacity of the dual hitch extension
the tongue weight capacity of the hitch
or the tongue weight capacity of the vehicle, whichever is lowest.

Also, keep in mind that in many cases using an extension such as the one you have shown will LOWER the tongue weight capacity of the hitch by HALF. This is because the further rearward from the hitch the load is placed, the greater the leverage applied to the hitch and its attachment points to the vehicle (kind of like slipping a length of pipe over the end of a socket wrench to remove a stubborn bolt). You might want to check with the manufacturer of your extension to see if this is the case.

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Mike L

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