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Why is the Stabilizer Strap Needed for the Curt Class II Trailer Hitch

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Im considering the Draw-Tite #36524 and Curt #C12111 for my 2013 Ford Escape SEL. The Curt model seems to fit the rear of the vehicle best yet the instructions say it requires a stabilizer strap. The other model makes no mention of that requirement. Im going to a hitch arrangement to carry my two lightweight bikes switching from a Thule Gateway I used on my Infiniti. The Thule Vertex carrier has an 1-1/4inch slide with a 2inch spacer Id rather not use. The Thule carrier is 38 lbs. Both bikes are under 30 lbs each. The Curt actually states the highest tongue weight at 350 lbs with the other at 300 lbs. My needs seem to be well under that, so why would I need a stabilizer strap? There is no good place on these new Escapes to attach the stabilizer strap. Thanks for your help.....

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Helpful Expert Reply:

Curt requires the use of a stabilization strap when using non trailer loads on their trailer hitches to maintain the warranty on the trailer hitch. You are correct when you say that the weight of the Thule Vertex rack and the weight of your bikes are well under the weight capacity of the hitch, however, Curt feels that a stabilization strap is required when carrying hitch mounted accessories on their trailer hitches.

The stabilization strap not only takes some of the weight and stress off of the hitch, but also helps stabilize the load to prevent bouncing when driving. If a stabilization strap is not used with the Curt hitch and damage were to result from the bike rack or hitch, Curt would void the warranty of the hitch.

Draw-Tite does not feel that a stabilization strap is necessary with their trailer hitches as long as you remain under the weight capacity of the hitch. We have not experienced any issues using a hitch mounted accessory on a Draw-Tite trailer hitch without a stabilization strap when the load remained under the tongue weight capacity of the hitch.

helpful expert reply by:
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John H

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