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Trailer Hitch Recommendation for a 2002 Honda Accord to Carry Bikes

Question:

I have a 2002 accord and Im looking at buying a trailer hitch and an adapter. The 3 honda models for hitches are all 1 1/4,and the rack I have is 2. Would the adapter with the rise fit on my car or will the bumper be in the way?

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Expert Reply:

For a trailer hitch I recommend # 24791. The other hitches will either come with a ball mount, which you will not need for a bike rack, or require a stabilization strap for non-trailer loads. The Draw-Tite hitch # 24791 is just the hitch and hardware and it does not require a strap for non-trailer loads.

Once installed from the center of the hitch pin hole to the back of the rear bumper is approximately 5 inches. The 1-1/4 inch to 2 inch adapters with a rise such as # HT5R would end up making contact with the bumper. You would need to use a straight adapter, # HTAD.

However, the use of an adapter will reduce the tongue weight capacity of the trailer hitch by 50 percent. This means that the 200 pound capacity of the above trailer hitch would be reduced to 100 pounds. The combined weight of the bike rack and bikes cannot exceed the 100 pound limit.

Also on a Class I trailer hitch, you are limited to 2 bikes at most. It is not a weight issue, it is how far that weight is from the receiver. A third or more bikes that far from the receiver, especially since the adapter will move it out even further, creates too much torque on the hitch. It is like using a cheater bar to loosen a lug nut.

To solve the ground clearance and capacity issues and to aovid potential damage to the hitch and vehicle, I recommend a Class I compatible bike rack with a rise in the shank, the Swagman Trailhead, # S63360.

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