Hitch receiver size 2" versus 1.25"?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Hitch receiver size 2" versus 1.25"?

    I read through a bunch of threads to see if anyone opined on this and couldn't find anything so I thought I'd ask.

    Is one size better than the other, 2" versus 1.25"?

    For what it's worth, I only intend to use a bike rack for the hitch (no boats or RVs for us). And it's for a Subaru Forester.

    thanks in advance,
    b

  2. #2
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    If you have an option, always go 2". stronger hitche and frame connection, stronger trays/bike racks, less sway due to the larger size. Also, you can always put a 1 1/4" bike rack into a 2" hitch with adapter, you can not go the other way.
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  3. #3
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    When I had a Forester, it had the stock tow hitch package. That had a 1.25" hitch receiver, so that pretty much meant all my hitch stuff was 1.25".

    Does the Forester now have a 2" option?

    Normally, the bigger the the more weight (total tow weight and tongue weight) the hitch can support.

    For what it's worth, I've never had a problem with 1.25". I have a small box trailer with lights (used to buy/transport mulch, fertilizer, etc) and that's not a problem.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Also, you can always put a 1 1/4" bike rack into a 2" hitch with adapter, you can not go the other way.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...2GTEA9M319GQRX

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdawson808 View Post
    I read through a bunch of threads to see if anyone opined on this and couldn't find anything so I thought I'd ask.

    Is one size better than the other, 2" versus 1.25"?

    For what it's worth, I only intend to use a bike rack for the hitch (no boats or RVs for us). And it's for a Subaru Forester.

    thanks in advance,
    b
    We put a draw tite 2" hitch on my wife's 2016 Forester. It's only used to haul bikes as we have my SUV to town the trailers. A 2" is much more stable.

    Here's a link: 2015 Subaru Forester Trailer Hitch - Hidden Hitch
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdawson808 View Post
    I read through a bunch of threads to see if anyone opined on this and couldn't find anything so I thought I'd ask.

    Is one size better than the other, 2" versus 1.25"?

    For what it's worth, I only intend to use a bike rack for the hitch (no boats or RVs for us). And it's for a Subaru Forester.

    thanks in advance,
    b
    I have a 2004 Forester with a 1.25 hitch. The biggest draw back is that you can only get a 2 bike Thule rack whereas the 2" can get you a 4 bike. Though I'd Google a for bike might overload the tongue weight rating anyway depending on bikes loaded. All carbon road bikes no problem but a brace of AM bikes probably over when you consider the weight of the rack into the equation.

    We use the smaller hitch to pull a pop up camper, canoe on top to campsites all over. Total weight is right at the limit for the Forester, so we go slow but it is fine.

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  7. #7
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    As others have said, if you can get a 2 inch receiver option, do so. Everything will fit in a 2 inch receiver with a 1-1/4 inch adapter, but you should NOT adapt from 1-1/4 inch to 2 inch.

    Most 2 inch accessories (bike rack, cargo rack, etc) are stronger because of the 2 inch connection. A 2 inch receiver has a higher tongue weight rating.

    If you MUST carry 4 bikes on hitch mounted rack, 2 inch is the only safe way to go. My SUV has a 2 inch receiver, but I bought a 1upUSA single bike carrier 1-1/4". It came with an adapter. I tow a travel trailer, and it has it's own 1-1/4 inch receiver on the rear. I install my 1up in that with my bike. When I get to the campground and unhitch the trailer, I install the 1up rack into the SUV with the adapter, very easy one bolt system.
    I actually wanted the single bike carrier because it was light and all I need 90% of the time. When I must carry two bikes, I install an add-on tray to the 1up, making it a two bike carrier.

  8. #8
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    Remember, a 1-1/4" adapter to a 2" receiver will also extend the load out by about 1 foot. That's more leverage. Put something heavy on that and it will increase the tongue weight, maybe beyond the capacity of the hitch receiver. Go over a few bumps at speed and things can start to bend.

    Unless, of course, the 1.25" rack stinger (part that goes into the receiver) has a sleeve adapter to convert it into a 2" stinger.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostOfForumsPast View Post
    Never use one of those things on a bike rack. as mentioned, they extend the weight out, which decreases the rated weight you can carry. Plus, they sway around like crazy. Having a bike rack bounce and bob all over the place? might as well get a cheap trunk rack from wallyworld and strap the bike with bungee cord and shoe strings.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  10. #10
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    Thanks for your replies and advice everyone (sorry been out on vacation for a bit).

    I think the decision is to go with 2". The dealer will only do a 1.25" so I will have to go elsewhere.

  11. #11
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    I'm taking a break right now from installing a 2" hitch under my Outback. Easy enough job but like all things I touch...it usually ends up being a bit more of a PITA than it would be for 99.9% of the population.
    Super snowflake = when an avatar offends you so much you have to cry about it and report it to admin. Life must suck for you.

  12. #12
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    Some misleading information posted here:

    2" equals higher capacity
    While this can be true when dealing with fitments on fullsize trucks/SUV's this is likely NOT the case on passenger cars. For reference here are three 2" receivers for a Forester which all have different ratings and while in this particular application the 2" is rated hire than the 1.25" this is not always the case.
    https://www.etrailer.com/hitch-2010_...s-2_Inch_Hitch


    2" bike rack is stonger
    Most manufactures do not redesign their racks but instead use an adapter to fit the 1.25" to 2". When no adapter is used the only change is the square tube that slides into the hitch receiver.

    Lastly, just because a hitch is rated for XXlbs tongue load does not mean it can handle that weight for a cargo load.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    I'm taking a break right now from installing a 2" hitch under my Outback. Easy enough job but like all things I touch...it usually ends up being a bit more of a PITA than it would be for 99.9% of the population.
    Good luck. I recently installed a 2inch hitch on my 2016 Rav4. Pretty easy but of course I got stuck on the simplest step, removing the muffler from the rubber hanger. It took me forever to wrestle that thing off. But so happy I did it myself. I think it makes the car look more mean too. Now I just have to wait for my Kuat rack to arrive, been waiting for almost 4 weeks.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    I'm taking a break right now from installing a 2" hitch under my Outback. Easy enough job but like all things I touch...it usually ends up being a bit more of a PITA than it would be for 99.9% of the population.
    Step 1: I try to install new hitch
    Step 2: I buy new car after f-ing up mine.

  15. #15
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    I put a hitch with a 2 inch receiver because I already had a rack from my truck. I had to install it myself on my Crosstrek since I had a hard time finding someone to do it. Check the maximum tongue weight for your car to know your bike weight limit. Mine is 150 pounds I think, but I usually only have 2 fat bikes max on my 5 bike rack.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdawson808 View Post
    Step 1: I try to install new hitch
    Step 2: I buy new car after f-ing up mine.
    hahaha....I almost got to that point but after 4 hours of a 1 hour job...I managed to get everything installed and I think it's going to hold. Well...hasn't fallen off yet anyways.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Pinche View Post
    Good luck. I recently installed a 2inch hitch on my 2016 Rav4. Pretty easy but of course I got stuck on the simplest step, removing the muffler from the rubber hanger. It took me forever to wrestle that thing off. But so happy I did it myself. I think it makes the car look more mean too. Now I just have to wait for my Kuat rack to arrive, been waiting for almost 4 weeks.
    Nice. Yeah...those things are a ***** to get off. Spay some liquid wrench on them next time if you didn't last time...if you ever have to remove them again for some reason.

    I was looking really hard at that carrier. I love the looks. I ended up with a Thule T2 Pro because I was able to get a really good deal. Otherwise I would have gotten the Kuat.
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  18. #18
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    Luckily my exhauster hanger had enough flex to it I could squeeze my hitch under it. Taking those rubber hangers off is a bear.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  19. #19
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    For my 2004 Forester, the only 2" option was a hideous monstrosity of a receiver. I put a 1 1/4 on since I bought it for a bike rack anyway. Install was easy but would have been easier if I had a helper. I needed to position jack stands to hold my muffler up, etc which was a pain.

    Afterwards I did end up buying the light adapter and have towed a Uhaul trailer two different times with it. I'd buy the light kit while you buy the hitch - you never know!
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  20. #20
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    Putting a 4-bike rack on a car is usually a bad idea. Not nearly as bad with a big truck/SUV that has a much higher gross weight and stiffer springs. The leverage gets to be pretty big and it will cause the rear end to sink way down. A 1.25 kind of prevents this because there are no 4 bike racks that will fit (well, no safe ones), but it kind of makes the issue moot. Go 4-bike if you have something where it makes sense, or add a roof-rack if you have to carry that many bikes (see, there's still a use for roof-racks!), but a 4-bike receiver rack on a car is really stretching it.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoingNowhere View Post
    Afterwards I did end up buying the light adapter and have towed a Uhaul trailer two different times with it. I'd buy the light kit while you buy the hitch - you never know!
    In regards to the light adapter. Most newer cars have a simple plug in type adapter that has plugs inserted at your tail lights which trigger a relay in a box sending the light signal to the trailer. It doesn't block your tail light power signal, just piggy backs on it to let the relay box know it should turn on the trailer lights. Since you don't always need the trailer lights on, you don't need power to them all the time, and you don't need to supply power directly from the battery. All you need is to connect the relay boxe's power supply to a cigaratte lighter power supply. When you tow a trailer, just plug in the power supply cord. Much easier than crawling around under your car trying to fish the power supply through the trunk bed, around the car's frame, through the engine bay, and up to the engine. I made my mistake. I won't be doing that again.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

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