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  1. #1
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    1.25" or 2" hitch for a car?

    Any reason to choose either a 1.25" or 2" hitch for a car (not a truck or SUV)?

    I'm thinking of getting a hitch rack that will normally stay on smaller car but may also move to an SUV. Ideally, I'd like to get a hitch rack that will carry 4 bikes.
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  2. #2
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    Always always always get a 2" if you can. Especially if you want to carry 4 bikes.

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  3. #3
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    Can you get a 2" hitch for your car? Most can't and if you can't you don't want a 2" rack. Using an adapter to put a 2" rack on a 1 1/4 hitch is a bad idea.

  4. #4
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    Yes, whether is is possible to get a 2" hitch for something like a Mazda 3 or Honda Civic is the other part of my questions. Thx.
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  5. #5
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    I have a Curt 1.25 on my teeny car that's sits low and I considered mostly due to knowing I'd be hauling two bikes at most.

    Just decided to go the bigger fancier route for a 4-up platform rack (almost exclusively will be used with my other car, a mid size SUV) and the maker says it must go on a 2" . That makes sense as per the load.

    If you ever think of going 4 bikes on a rack bump up to a 2". Even if finding one is tough I"ll bet a slight mod or two by a shop can make one up pretty easy.
    I was amazed at the hitch and install quote I got at a local U-Haul, getting it done mid next week for $275 w/ labor for a Draw-Tite, 2" on a '16 Mz CX-9

    I won't totally discount trying out the 4 up on the little car just to see about rearward clearance but if I ever use it that way it won't be on bumpy old dirt rut roads. I can convert to a two - up real easy too. I'd just get the 1.25 to 2" adapter, probably as a riser too.
    Last edited by bachman1961; 09-08-2017 at 01:01 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by canker View Post
    Can you get a 2" hitch for your car? Most can't and if you can't you don't want a 2" rack. Using an adapter to put a 2" rack on a 1 1/4 hitch is a bad idea.
    Agreed.

    I had an "original" 1up-usa 2-bike rack with 2 add-ons so I could put 2, 3, or 4 bikes on our SUV.

    For the 1-1/4 on my hatchback, I got an additional adapter and used the 2 add-ons so I had a 1 or 2-bike capacity.

    Kind of spendy, but the 1up makes me smile and I have a ton of flexibility depending on the number of bikes and the car going to the trailhead.

    2-bike base rack: https://www.1up-usa.com/product/2in-...ble-bike-rack/

    Add-ons: https://www.1up-usa.com/product/rack-add-on/

    Adapter: https://www.1up-usa.com/product/add-on-hitch-adapter/
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  7. #7
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    2", always, given the option.

    I tow boats, trailers, and bike racks with my 2".

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Yes, whether is is possible to get a 2" hitch for something like a Mazda 3 or Honda Civic is the other part of my questions. Thx.
    I can't say for certain as I have not shopped either of those particular cars, but I don't think you'll find a 2" hitch for a compact car.

    I have a GTI with a 1 1/4" hitch and when I purchased, there wasn't a 2" option. Frankly, I like the look of the smaller hitch - mine is all but hidden except for the receiver (which I shaved the tow hook attachments off for a cleaner look).

    That setup obviously won't work if you trying to carry 3 or more bikes. I usually run my 1Up single tray and then add the other tray when needed.

    I have no affiliation other than a repeat customer but etrailer.com is a great source of information as they usually have multiple options for each vehicle.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Yes, whether is is possible to get a 2" hitch for something like a Mazda 3 or Honda Civic is the other part of my questions. Thx.
    Here's a 2" hitch for a 2012-2015 Honda Civic. These guys are based out of Kent, also.

    https://torkliftcentral.com/2012-201...civic-ecohitch

    2014-2016 Mazda 3

    https://torkliftcentral.com/rving-an...sedan-ecohitch

    They make a bunch of different 2" hitches for quite a few different "regular" cars.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshtee View Post
    Here's a 2" hitch for a 2012-2015 Honda Civic. These guys are based out of Kent, also.

    https://torkliftcentral.com/2012-201...civic-ecohitch

    2014-2016 Mazda 3

    https://torkliftcentral.com/rving-an...sedan-ecohitch

    They make a bunch of different 2" hitches for quite a few different "regular" cars.
    They make a quality product. Have one on my xv crosstrek. I only wish they made one for an 07 Honda Fit, but alas, they do not. And they're too far away for me to take advantage of loaning them my car to fab one up. On the Subie, I use it for a Kuat NV rack and to tow a teardrop camper.

    Count me as another vote in favor of getting 2" always if it's possible.

  11. #11
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    2" on my Outback. Never 1.25". Too flimsy and if you need to adapt something to 2" those adapters are jinky. I'd much rather adapt something down to 1.25 than I would up to 2".
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by canker View Post
    Using an adapter to put a 2" rack on a 1 1/4 hitch is a bad idea.
    They're fine as long as you recognize the limitations, your tongue weight rating drops in half and you'll want to put a hitch tightener on to take the slack out of the adapter.

  13. #13
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    Having a hitch with a 2 inch receiver tube fabricated, or modifying an existing 2 inch hitch to fit the vehicle isn't difficult for somebody that's experienced in metal fabrication. However, the hitch itself isn't always the only reason a 1-1/4 inch Class I hitch is limited to carrying 2 bikes. Typically the fact that smaller cars no longer have a frame like older vehicles and large trucks and SUV's means that the portion of the subframe that the hitch installs to isn't itself strong enough to carry more then the recommended 2 bicycles.

    There are some trunk mounted options that allow carrying up to 3 bikes (depending on the vehicle) or you could carry 2 at the rear and two on the roof of the vehicle.

  14. #14
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    I went from a truck with a shuttle pad to a car with a hitch and platform rack. Only 1-1/4" hitches available for my vehicle (Acura TSX). Always go with a 2" hitch if possible. You'll have more versatility and more options.

  15. #15
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    Most hitch racks come1.25" and have 2" adapter sleeve.
    A 1.25' is fine for a little car.
    I use my Saris Super Clamp 2 on my Tundra and my MX5 (Miata)
    1.25" or 2" hitch for a car?-img_0095_zpsqt23ir9c.jpg
    1.25" or 2" hitch for a car?-img_2050_zps92xdaka0.jpg
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  16. #16
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    If you are never going to go more than 2 bikes, a 1.25 is fine, it's also kind of a limiting-factor in the sense that a lot of cars shouldn't be putting 4-bike tongue weight on there anyways, loading the rear springs and shocks way up and putting that much of a bending force on the receiver. The car is generally not made for that. Bigger trucks with heavier springs and frames generally do a lot better in this regard.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Yes, whether is is possible to get a 2" hitch for something like a Mazda 3 or Honda Civic is the other part of my questions. Thx.
    I like the stability of a 2" - plus, my rack was available only in 2". I bought a 1 1/4" hitch, then got a local shop to cut out the receiver and weld in a 2". As you probably know, you will still be limited to the original weight restrictions of the 1 1/4" hitch.

    Many hitches mount with four bolts, arranged as two pairs of bolts with minimal offset between the paired bolts. This is fine for carrying tongue weight and draw weight, but is poor for the bending loads of a bike rack. I recommend either a hitch with a mounting arrangement that has significant fore-aft offset (ex. triangular or a L-shaped with a torque arm) or get a receiver welded to the frame of the car. The latter is the ideal set-up, as you can usually get the receiver higher off the ground, especially if you're willing to cut a notch in the bumper. This can make a huge difference in the vehicle's maximum departure angle with the reduced clearance of a car, as opposed to a truck or SUV.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by R-M-R View Post
    I like the stability of a 2" - plus, my rack was available only in 2". I bought a 1 1/4" hitch, then got a local shop to cut out the receiver and weld in a 2". As you probably know, you will still be limited to the original weight restrictions of the 1 1/4" hitch.

    Many hitches mount with four bolts, arranged as two pairs of bolts with minimal offset between the paired bolts. This is fine for carrying tongue weight and draw weight, but is poor for the bending loads of a bike rack. I recommend either a hitch with a mounting arrangement that has significant fore-aft offset (ex. triangular or a L-shaped with a torque arm) or get a receiver welded to the frame of the car. The latter is the ideal set-up, as you can usually get the receiver higher off the ground, especially if you're willing to cut a notch in the bumper. This can make a huge difference in the vehicle's maximum departure angle with the reduced clearance of a car, as opposed to a truck or SUV.
    Thanks, I like the idea of a 2" hitch, but departure angle is definitely one of the key things that I'm considering on a smaller car.
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