Roof Rack vs Trailer Hitch Rack- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 40 of 40
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    73

    Roof Rack vs Trailer Hitch Rack

    Has anyone out there had experience with both of these racks? If so which one do you prefer? Currently I have a Thule hitch rack on my Nissan Xterra that folds down for access to the trunk, but I've been thinking about switching to a roof rack.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    5,016

  3. #3
    I like pie.
    Reputation: Mr5150's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    585
    I use a roof rack-Yakima. No worries when parking. BUT, if you keep your car in a garage or carport you run the risk of pulling into said carport or garage with the bike still on the roof of your car. I've done it more than once, but not in the last 10 years. I always set a garbage can at the entrance to our carport when I leave with my bike on the roof rack.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    2
    This may be an issue with my car alone (VW Sportwagen) but putting bikes on top resulted in dirt from bikes after muddy rides getting into the window seals. Windows are scratched and screech when I roll down.

  5. #5
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    27,303
    I have both. I prefer the hitch rack for a lot of reasons. But sometimes rooftop is necessary.

    I have 1upUSA roof trays on top of my teardrop camper, because I can't use my Kuat hitch rack when pulling the trailer.


    IMG_20170301_101233_296 by Nate, on Flickr

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Posts
    103
    I used a yakima roof rack on my corolla until I almost lost it on the interstate. Switched to a hitch with a Kuat Transfer 2. Nothing but positive things to say about it so far. And unless I needed a 3rd or 4th bike in a pinch, I have no plans to use my roof rack for bikes anymore. Mileage is also much better.

  7. #7
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    27,303
    I'll also say that my favorite bike transport method is inside the vehicle. But that's obviously vehicle specific. Not going to do that efficiently with a sedan.

    I drive a Honda Fit and the rear seats are down better than 99% of the time because I haul bikes inside. I used to have a roof rack on that car, but lifting bikes up onto the high roof of that car sucked (FWIW, the roofline on the teardrop trailer is much lower than of the Fit).

    My next vehicle I would like to be a pickup with a camper shell so that dirty bikes don't dirty up the interior hauling bikes.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Shotgun Jeremy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    76
    I keep a couple heavy blankets in my ride. One is so the bikes don't rub each other, and the other I lay down to catch any grease/dirt.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JustMtnB44's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    703
    Hitch rack > roof rack. I have had 2 of each and have no plans to go back to a roof rack. Putting bikes on the roof of a tall vehicle like an Xterra sounds really terrible.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    874
    A "good" hitch rack is far better than a roof rack of any type. I'm not sure why you would switch "to" a roof rack...it makes little sense, unless you have a hitch rack that has flaws, like holding the frame instead of the tires or something of that sort. I use a roof rack if I need to carry a third bike, but otherwise, the hitch rack is just better as long as you have a good rack.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    498
    I also have both, but almost never use the roof rack. The two exceptions​ are when I go camping and if I am hauling 3 or more bikes. It is really handy to actually open the rear hatch when camping. Otherwise, as stated above, it is easier and more fuel efficient to use the hitch rack

    Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CrozCountry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,494
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I'll also say that my favorite bike transport method is inside the vehicle. But that's obviously vehicle specific. Not going to do that efficiently with a sedan.
    I do that too and I have a sedan, and not a big one either. Far better than any other method.

    I don't see the point of a roof rack unless you need to take three or more bikes. I asked my buddy that had one why people use them, and he said it's to show off their new s-works bikes. He switched to a hitch rack since.

  13. #13
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    27,303
    Quote Originally Posted by CrozCountry View Post
    I do that too and I have a sedan, and not a big one either. Far better than any other method.

    I don't see the point of a roof rack unless you need to take three or more bikes. I asked my buddy that had one why people use them, and he said it's to show off their new s-works bikes. He switched to a hitch rack since.
    Sedans suck. That is why roof racks exist primarily for bikes. I have them mainly for boats. Hatches are far more useful, and that is how my bike goes inside. Way better than jamming it somewhere with a sedan.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CrozCountry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,494
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Sedans suck. That is why roof racks exist primarily for bikes. I have them mainly for boats. Hatches are far more useful, and that is how my bike goes inside. Way better than jamming it somewhere with a sedan.
    I am looking for a wagon now, but have zero issues with the sedan, even with a big bike (Enduro 29). I can get a bike in faster than anyone I have seen using any rack, except 1UP USA trunk rack (have to give them credit). Pretty important since I load the bike before going to work twice a week. Front axles make this a sub 30 seconds job (and I actually measured far less out of curiosity).

  15. #15
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    27,303
    Quote Originally Posted by CrozCountry View Post
    I am looking for a wagon now, but have zero issues with the sedan, even with a big bike (Enduro 29). I can get a bike in faster than anyone I have seen using any rack, except 1UP USA trunk rack (have to give them credit). Pretty important since I load the bike before going to work twice a week. Front axles make this a sub 30 seconds job (and I actually measured far less out of curiosity).
    It's not always about how fast you can load it.

    I have a fork mount on a board in my Honda Fit. My bike is solidly mounted, and won't be moving anywhere no matter what happens while I'm driving. No flopping, sliding, bouncing, any of that. I don't have to lay it down only one way to avoid bending the derailleur hanger or rotors. I can even fit a second bike (smaller one, anyway, which is impressive as it is given the size of the car) on a fork mount, plus gear. That's the advantage of a good hatch. Not all will fit bikes that way. Unfortunately my wife's Subaru Crosstrek doesn't fit bikes that way.

    Vans will let you even leave the wheels on most of the time.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CrozCountry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,494
    When I looked for a car the only car that would fit a bike vertically was the Honda Fit, including a few SUVs I looked at. Impressive what Honda did with internal space.

  17. #17
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    27,303
    Quote Originally Posted by CrozCountry View Post
    When I looked for a car the only car that would fit a bike vertically was the Honda Fit, including a few SUVs I looked at. Impressive what Honda did with internal space.
    That space management is what sold me on the car. But putting bikes inside the car makes it difficult to keep things reasonably clean. Why I want to move to a pickup truck with a camper shell. I can effectively get the same sort of bike transport capabilities (but with more space), and keep the interior cleaner. I stopped at a dealer yesterday while I was out running other errands to see what they had.

  18. #18
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3,265
    This is why I love our Honda minivan. Pop the front wheels off I can fit 2-3 bikes plus other stuff with the 3rd row folded down. And bikes are vertical. Haven't gotten around to setting up fork mounts just yet, been using the rear seat belts lol. Have a blanket back there to keep the van clean.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    I have both. I prefer the hitch rack for a lot of reasons. But sometimes rooftop is necessary.

    I have 1upUSA roof trays on top of my teardrop camper, because I can't use my Kuat hitch rack when pulling the trailer.


    IMG_20170301_101233_296 by Nate, on Flickr
    Have you tried using a double receiver?


  20. #20
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    27,303
    I have one for my kuat rack, which will not fit folded down with bikes. As it is, even folded up, clearance is too tight for comfort.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

  21. #21
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    27,303
    Quote Originally Posted by LemonDrops View Post
    Have you tried using a double receiver?
    Seeing this on my computer in full size at this point, no way would I cobble together some crap like that.

    There are FOUR hitch pins in that arrangement. The extensions on the back of that van...ugh. And honestly, that STILL wouldn't provide enough space for my Kuat NV platform rack to be used to hold bikes between my teardrop trailer and tow vehicle. Not to mention, Kuat is pretty emphatic about not using it with extensions. I have more detail with more pictures in a different thread about the trailer itself. The trailer builder is looking into some options for me that might do what I want without going all Beverly Hillbillies with adapters and extensions.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Posts
    51
    Well you know what they say. If it's stupid, but it works, then it isn't stupid.

    To be clear, it's not an arrangement I'd ever use (seems like a lot of leverage weighing on that receiver) but if it works for someone else, who's to say different?

    Ivan

  23. #23
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3,265
    Never said it doesn't work, just dangerous possibly, but more so illegal in some places due to the dangers.

    In his case I doubt that trailer and everything is half the capacity of his hitch, so probably ok. The only "why?" Moment im having with it is all the pins. Use the bolt versions beyond the interface with the receiver so it's solid.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    1,289
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Why I want to move to a pickup truck with a camper shell. I can effectively get the same sort of bike transport capabilities (but with more space), and keep the interior cleaner. I stopped at a dealer yesterday while I was out running other errands to see what they had.
    Careful, once you go the pickup truck route, you are going to likely rethink your little camper purchase and think bigger now that you have more towing power. Ask me how I know.

  25. #25
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3,265
    In fairness he was looking at smaller, not full-size pickups (discussion in other thread). Though that may have changed.

    That is a lot of trailer for that little suburu. Curious to see what Harold ends up with.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


  26. #26
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    27,303
    Quote Originally Posted by craZivn View Post
    Well you know what they say. If it's stupid, but it works, then it isn't stupid.

    To be clear, it's not an arrangement I'd ever use (seems like a lot of leverage weighing on that receiver) but if it works for someone else, who's to say different?

    Ivan
    As I understand it, tongue extensions drop the tongue weight rating of hitches pretty substantially. I doubt the tongue rating on that particular arrangement is terribly high. Probably higher than what I have on my Subie, but not by a lot. Depends on the trailer that's behind it, but I'll bet with the sheer amount of extensions here, even a small trailer would exceed the safety margin.

    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    Careful, once you go the pickup truck route, you are going to likely rethink your little camper purchase and think bigger now that you have more towing power. Ask me how I know.
    I want a small truck. Honestly something smaller than what's on the market. I loved my old 98 4cyl Ford Ranger. Stuff that size that's on the market are so old that they usually look in rough shape, and they've got 150k-200k on the odo. So I dunno what I'm going to do. Probably not buy anything at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    In fairness he was looking at smaller, not full-size pickups (discussion in other thread). Though that may have changed.

    That is a lot of trailer for that little suburu. Curious to see what Harold ends up with.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Yep, this trailer is about as much as the Subie can reasonably/safely pull. For short trips, it's not a problem at all. I do want a 2nd vehicle that can tow it, though. I could technically get my Honda Fit set up to pull it, but that's probably not a good idea.

    For the record, this is the arrangement I used for my 3300mi road trip to Sedona and back.


    20170226_160446 by Nate, on Flickr

    The stock tongue jack was in the round hole and prevented the rack from fitting. I added a foldable clamp-on tongue jack. You can see that fitment is tight (even with the rack folded up), and you can see why the person with the minivan used all those ridiculous extensions to gain clearance for the bike rack. The problem with the Kuat NV is that it's so long that even by using all those extensions, it wouldn't really gain enough clearance. And, the rack itself is not built to be loaded with all those extensions, anyway.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    883
    The roof rack makes it harder for other drivers to destroy your bike on the way to the trail. Roof rack makes it hard to reach the bike for quick theft. And finally, the rails of the roof rack can be modified into a luggage rack, or a luggage rack that fits between the two bikes; beside the one bike for the solo rider.
    Goodbye '95 ZJ. Just so you know, transfering box of left behind womens panties to next truck. Thank you ZJ!

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CrozCountry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    1,494
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmark View Post
    The roof rack makes it harder for other drivers to destroy your bike on the way to the trail. Roof rack makes it hard to reach the bike for quick theft. And finally, the rails of the roof rack can be modified into a luggage rack, or a luggage rack that fits between the two bikes; beside the one bike for the solo rider.
    One of the reasons I like the bike inside the car is theft. As far as theft roof rack, it is by far the worse because you can look into a parking lot and immediately see which car has bikes. Roof rack broadcasts to every thief in a quarter mile radius where the goods are.
    Trunk rack on the other hand is less noticeable. And inside the car almost invisible.

    Other drivers destroy your bike on the way to the trail? Where I live there is more chance to get hit by an earthquake on the way to the trail

  29. #29
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    27,303
    Quote Originally Posted by CrozCountry View Post
    One of the reasons I like the bike inside the car is theft. As far as theft roof rack, it is by far the worse because you can look into a parking lot and immediately see which car has bikes. Roof rack broadcasts to every thief in a quarter mile radius where the goods are.
    Trunk rack on the other hand is less noticeable. And inside the car almost invisible.

    Other drivers destroy your bike on the way to the trail? Where I live there is more chance to get hit by an earthquake on the way to the trail
    Yeah, roof rack may do more to broadcast that you have the bike. But it also makes it harder for a thief to hide when they're trying to steal it. Which is easy to do when the bikes are on the back of the vehicle.

    You've never heard of people getting rear-ended in a wreck? I've been rear-ended before. I also had a bike with me, and it was in the bed of the truck on a fork mount. The bike was okay because it was a minor rear-ender, but would not have been if it had been on a hitch rack.

    Look, there are disadvantages to every way you could possibly carry your bike. It just comes down to which ones you're willing to accept.

  30. #30
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,208
    Roof rack vs Hitch rack. Tough decision until you run a bike on the top in to a garage, tree branch or something else. The amount of damage you can do to the bike is hard to be much else but totaling it. And you're likely to do some serious damage to your car too.

    With a hitch rack, sure you may back into something or get hit from behind but there it's less likely you'll damage the car.

    As for ease of use - I have the 1UpUSA hitch rack. I can put it on the car and have the bike on it in less than 1 minute. Some of the other hitch racks, especially those that are not module, can be unwieldy to store and put on the car.

    I've had Yakima, 1UpUSA, Thule and RockyMounts roof racks and of any of them, I prefer to the 1UpUSA hitch rack.

    J.

  31. #31
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    642
    Inside is the best (Honda Element, etc), truck bed probably next, followed by hitch, followed by roof. I never had an issue with a roof rack, but I am terrified of clearance issues. Known people who wrecked, or almost wrecked, both at home and away from home. For me, with the car I have, I am considering a hitch + Kuat 2 bike holder. Easy, light, and pretty hassle free.

    But man, I miss my element...

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    2,208
    Quote Originally Posted by garcia View Post
    Inside is the best (Honda Element, etc), truck bed probably next, followed by hitch, followed by roof. I never had an issue with a roof rack, but I am terrified of clearance issues. Known people who wrecked, or almost wrecked, both at home and away from home. For me, with the car I have, I am considering a hitch + Kuat 2 bike holder. Easy, light, and pretty hassle free.

    But man, I miss my element...
    Until you get in a serious accident. Then there is no way you want that bike in the vehicle with you.

    J.

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    The problem with the Kuat NV is that it's so long that even by using all those extensions, it wouldn't really gain enough clearance. And, the rack itself is not built to be loaded with all those extensions, anyway.
    The extensions don't increase the load on the rack at all, only the load on the car frame. Even then, tongue weight is all about how you load the trailer. The tongue weight rating for the car will stay the same, but how you load the trailer will have an exaggerated effect on tongue weight due to the leverage of the extensions.

    I agree that for 1 or 2 bikes it's overkill and better to go with a hatch/trunk mounted rack for that, but for someone with a ~5 bike hitch rack, it might be a worthy option. I see your double receiver is a dual ball hitch/receiver though, so you can't really add an extension to it to get the clearance.

    The owner of the Beverly Hillbillies Extension originally had his setup like yours.
    Roof Rack vs Trailer Hitch Rack-1132.jpg
    but he added the extension after wrecking his propane tank (shroud?) while backing up.
    Dual Receiver Hitch for bike rack | Unofficial Camp-Inn Forum

  34. #34
    Yeah!
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,453
    Quote Originally Posted by LemonDrops View Post
    The owner of the Beverly Hillbillies Extension originally had his setup like yours....

    ...but he added the extension after wrecking his propane tank (shroud?) while backing up.
    Per my repeated attempts at getting people to understand how tongue ratings work, if you calculate out the torque angle on that hillbilly extension, I can guarantee he's exceeded his tongue rating. With two extensions, he's probably lost more than 2/3 of the receiver's capacity. He's also likely doubled the load on his rear suspension.

    A receiver's weight rating isn't with the load being applied 'wherever'. It's with the load being applied to the ball on a short drawbar. If that ball sits 12" from the load bearing crossbar (of the receiver), and you add an extension that doubles that distance, you can only put half as much weight on it as the receiver is rated. 300lbs at 2ft applies the same force as 600lbs at 1ft. Simple math.

    If you buy a trailer with a tongue so short that something attached to it does not clear the side of your vehicle when the trailer is at 90º, you are going to smash your vehicle and trailer, it's only a matter of time. I've tapped my trailer's bar against the bumper a few times backing into a 90º, not one scratch.

    Nice looking trailer with the bikes aboard. Not a teardrop, though... were you referring to another trailer?
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  35. #35
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    27,303
    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    Nice looking trailer with the bikes aboard. Not a teardrop, though... were you referring to another trailer?
    Are you talking about mine?

    Only difference between mine and what you're probably thinking of as a "teardrop" is that the back of mine is squared off. No other functional differences of note. If the shape of the back of the trailer is your key defining factor, then so be it. But it's easier to call my trailer a teardrop because the terminology is more widely understood. Basically that there's room inside for a queen mattress and little else. The galley is on the back, and your living space is the outside.

  36. #36
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    Per my repeated attempts at getting people to understand how tongue ratings work, if you calculate out the torque angle on that hillbilly extension, I can guarantee he's exceeded his tongue rating. With two extensions, he's probably lost more than 2/3 of the receiver's capacity. He's also likely doubled the load on his rear suspension.

    A receiver's weight rating isn't with the load being applied 'wherever'. It's with the load being applied to the ball on a short drawbar. If that ball sits 12" from the load bearing crossbar (of the receiver), and you add an extension that doubles that distance, you can only put half as much weight on it as the receiver is rated. 300lbs at 2ft applies the same force as 600lbs at 1ft. Simple math.

    If you buy a trailer with a tongue so short that something attached to it does not clear the side of your vehicle when the trailer is at 90º, you are going to smash your vehicle and trailer, it's only a matter of time. I've tapped my trailer's bar against the bumper a few times backing into a 90º, not one scratch.

    Nice looking trailer with the bikes aboard. Not a teardrop, though... were you referring to another trailer?
    You're right. I was thinking about it wrong. The tongue weight on the trailer required to keep it stable stays the same, and the rating on the ball hitch goes down depending how far out it is. Point taken.

    So how would you figure it... first subtract the weight of the receiver adapters/extensions/rack/bikes, then what you're left with gets divided by how much further the extension is compared to the distance between rear wheels and vehicle receiver? So if distance between rear wheels and vehicle reciver is 2 feet, and you add 2 feet of extension, your ball hitch rating is halved?

    EDIT: found this calculator Extended Hitch Calc
    Seems people tend to use weight distribution hitches with extensions...

    Wonder what the derating factor is on this setup?
    Roof Rack vs Trailer Hitch Rack-hitchrack.jpg

  37. #37
    Yeah!
    Reputation: Flamingtaco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    1,453
    I wouldn't bother with weight of extensions/adaptors. Too light to be of significance.

    The tongue weight rating protects the hitch from torque forces against the weakest junction, which should be the attachment of the receiver tube to the cross bar. As there is no standardization (receiver tubes can be of varying length and thickness, like this vs this), I err on the side of caution by using the length of a standard 2" drop bar (11.5"), and make it an even foot. Yes, the ball isn't at the end of the draw bar, but the draw bar also does not reach the crossbar in most hitches.

    So, yes, if you add a 1ft extension (2ft combined length, or 2x distance), 100lbs on the extended ball is 200lbs of force. If you add a 2ft extension, 100lbs is 300lbs force.

    In the image of that double extension, the bike is about three feet further out, or 4x. If it weighs 25Lbs, it's applying 100lbs of force.

    So, also yes, you have to take into account the torque applied by bikes when they are mounted to the receiver. It's better s better to mount them to the trailer where they can at most increase the tongue weight.

    Last year I calculated the torque applied by maxing out a 1upUSA HD rack (50lbs in all four positions) and found that a class III/IV hitch (most common) could be overloaded.

    Know the forces applied to your receiver, and stay well within limits, you get to avoid this.
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  38. #38
    since 4/10/2009
    Reputation: Harold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    27,303
    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    Know the forces applied to your receiver, and stay well within limits, you get to avoid this.
    While everything you've written about ratings makes absolute sense and jives with everything I hear from a variety of sources, I think that might have been an old, rusty POS trailer that just broke. Screenshotting the vid, it looks like the end of the trailer's tongue broke off.

    Roof Rack vs Trailer Hitch Rack-brokentrailer.jpg

    This sort of failure is probably the kind of thing you're likely to get by going Beverley Hillbilly with extensions and adapters. In my Google search, I turned up a recall on 2002 GM vehicles for poor hitches, so a lot of what I turned up was related to that. This one might, too. I just can't tell.



    Then there's this failure, which is a little bit different, but is relevant because people (who don't know what they're talking about) keep suggesting I put a hitch receiver on the back of my trailer to haul bikes. Yeah, no thanks. Most bike rack companies have strong language in the manuals about installing behind trailers or RV's, mostly due to overhang and additional bounce. I have seen some reports that tongue weights on vehicles that are otherwise properly loaded can spike WELL above the actual tongue rating under certain conditions due to that extra bounce behind RV's and trailers. I found a website for a product called a Trailer Toad (designed mostly for RV's towing large enclosed trailers) where the goal is to protect against these tongue weight spikes on normal freeway driving that damage the structure of the whole motor coach. They made a claim that they were seeing tongue weight spikes in excess of 5,000lbs on occasion in freeway driving (I have no idea what the static tongue weight of the trailer in question was, but they claimed that this happened on freeway overpass transitions).



    So yeah, I'd love it if there was a way that the trailer builder could add a 2" receiver on the front of the trailer so I could bring the unloaded rack along without using extensions/adapters.

  39. #39
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3,265
    I'm actually having a receiver added to the back of my trailer, purpose:. To haul my rack lol.

    There are some details being missed (use of cheap racks, under rated hitches etc excluded).

    First off is hitches are rated for trailer tongue weight. Which means weight applied at the ball of a standard set up.

    Secondly is research DOT regulations and standards of how hitches are made. They are designed to actually handle far more than rating (attempt to compensate for hillbilly stupidity). The ratings are also under normal use. So anything besides class 1/2 means they are built to handle the sudden spikes in load placed on them during towing. So the rating is what it's rated to handle under anticipated use conditions. Which like here in the Midwest, is going to be far more abuse than urban areas. Simple matter, don't overload. But a 150lb tongue weight trailer on a single extension for a 3000+ towing hitch won't hurt anything. Hitch tubing is FAR stronger than the tubing used in a 1500lb trailer and all that weight is being transferred through the tongue tubing.

    Except for the random case of poorly designed hitches failures are do to extreme overloading. Often using class 1/2, hitches to pull class 4 loads (or worse of building and loading a trailer that should never be pulled using a standard receiver hitch) The coupler ripping off the trailer has nothing to do with the hitch, that's a bad trailer or grossly overloaded.

    My Honda van is using a 6000 lb receiver (van rated for 3000). My caravan has a class IV as well, weight rating on van I don't know.

    As for trailer bounce causing rack failures. How many of those are not Walmart grade bike racks? Next is that most people way over inflate their tires for the trailer weight. Like people inflating bicycle tires to match PSI they do the same on a trailer. Load range D tires at Max pressure on a 1500lb trailer, that's going to bounce to holy hell.

    I wouldn't stick 2 bikes on a tray rack on the back of a camper trailer. Wouldn't stick a single 50lb Walmart bike on a cheap rack on one either.

    There is a point where being safe and doing things right becomes needing to do more research into how things are designed and what they will handle over the long term because ratings are made under much worse conditions than cruising down the highway or around town.

    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


  40. #40
    RAKC Industries
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Posts
    3,265
    Harold,

    BTW got a cheap trailer, at Fab shop being modified right now. Will still be half the price of a new HB 5*8 lol. Place specializes in trailers from tiny up to everything before you reach 5th wheel units for semis.

    I'm having the tongue extended so I can mount the bikes on the front (see TT thread) and receiver on the back to haul empty/folded transfer 2.

    Even he said hauling on the back is ok for a quality rack and a couple light weight bikes (at most) just watch it on rough ground since trailers don't have shocks. But a couple fat bikes/Walmart bikes is a bad idea. Adding 80-100lbs plus the rack to the back, bad idea.


    I did show him the pic from early in the thread and I won't repeat what he said beyond "hope they have damn good insurance and can afford a hell of an attorney, preferably a team of them"
    Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
    Life on a bike doesn't begin till the sun goes down.


Similar Threads

  1. Roof rack use on trailer hitch?
    By B42 in forum Cars and Bike Racks
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 05-01-2017, 07:34 PM
  2. Roof rack vs hitch rack vs trunk rack..?
    By F29Lefty in forum Cars and Bike Racks
    Replies: 58
    Last Post: 10-16-2015, 07:18 AM
  3. Nothing fancy, Hitch rack convert into a Roof rack
    By patineto in forum Cars and Bike Racks
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-05-2015, 08:09 PM
  4. Time for a new rack--debating roof vs. hitch rack
    By jbass in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 61
    Last Post: 09-25-2015, 02:49 PM
  5. Roof rack or hitch mount rack for Ford Escape?
    By Birdymkr in forum Cars and Bike Racks
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-08-2014, 09:44 AM

Members who have read this thread: 5

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.