Swagman XC low clearance concerns (pics included).- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Swagman XC low clearance concerns (pics included).

    I am looking at replacing my old hitch rack with a Swagman XC but I am concerned about the low clearance at the back of my mini van. I am worried it will bottom out.
    Is there a safe way to raise the hitch rack up so there will be no clearance issues?

    Is there a better option than the Swagman XC if you have low clearance?

    Thanks!!
    Last edited by Trail Snail; 05-19-2008 at 08:24 AM. Reason: Title update

  2. #2
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    I don't know how low your van sits, but I don't see you having a problem.
    I'm trying to upload images I just took showing the rack with bike mounted and on an incline. When my last braincell kicks in, I'll try to get you the images.
    Last edited by Boulder Pilot; 05-18-2008 at 04:49 PM. Reason: add photos
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  3. #3
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    My hitch has been known to scrape the ground when coming off of an incline onto the flat road (like pulling out of a gas station....). The pictures of the Swagman look like it just extends straight out with no lift. I don't want to damage the bikes or the rack.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boulder Pilot
    I don't know how low your van sits, but I don't see you having a problem.
    I'm trying to upload images I just took showing the rack with bike mounted and on an incline. When my last braincell kicks in, I'll try to get you the images.
    That would be awesome.

  5. #5
    Aquaman
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    I have a Honda minivan with the same clearence problem. I have a Thule Revolver 4 Bike Hitch Rack and it scrapes like a mother....My bikes do not touch though but I am not sure about the rack you want.

  6. #6
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    You might have a problem. Ground to bottem of my receiver is 16", yours is 8". I have seen hitch adapters that will your solve your problem.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  7. #7

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    There's an adaptor that will elevate the receiver several inches, but it does cut the tongue wait down considerably, so you'll need to check the weight math.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moebius
    There's an adaptor that will elevate the receiver several inches, but it does cut the tongue wait down considerably, so you'll need to check the weight math.
    This was my main concern. These racks are not light...then add on 2 FS mountain bikes....

  9. #9
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    The rack weighs less than 40#, I believe. Unless your hauling Benders' 70# monster bikes, you will be fine.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Snail
    This was my main concern. These racks are not light...then add on 2 FS mountain bikes....
    What class receiver do you have, and more importantly, what is the maximum tongue weight?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moebius
    What class receiver do you have, and more importantly, what is the maximum tongue weight?
    I believe the max tongue weight is 350 #, but I would need to confirm that.
    The hitch is a Uhaul (Valley?) Class III.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Snail
    I believe the max tongue weight is 350 #, but I would need to confirm that.
    The hitch is a Uhaul (Valley?) Class III.
    The worst I've ever seen on an extender was cutting tongue weight by 50%. I don't believe the risers take that much out. The swagman xc2 only weighs about 35 lbs. So at a worst case scenario you'd be looking at 60lbs per bike alotment.

    I'd look around for a 4 or 6" riser (may be listed as a drop as well). Even at 50% I think you'd be ok. You'd still have to worry about the riser scraping, but hopefully that wouldn't be too bad.

    A second, sligltly more cumbersome option would be to get some larger springs in the van if it's possible. Maybe raise it up a few inches.

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moebius
    Ahh...so if this thing has a 500 # tongue weight then I would not have to worry about it cutting the tongue weight of the hitch, right? I would still be at 350 #? Minus the weight of the riser I guess?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Snail
    Ahh...so if this thing has a 500 # tongue weight then I would not have to worry about it cutting the tongue weight of the hitch, right? I would still be at 350 #? Minus the weight of the riser I guess?
    That particular model didn't say much, but you should still do a bit of research on them to be sure. The 500 lb limit is just what it can hold, but the general rule is that anything adapting your hitch is going to reduce its load capacity somewhat.

  16. #16
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    I use a Swagman XC in 2 and 4 configuration on my Element with no clearance issues. I wouldn't imagine the Element would have much more height over your mini-van. I'll get a measurement this evening and report back.

  17. #17

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    I believe Swagman lists the minimum recommended clearance as 14". From the pick looks like he'd come in about 8, so a riser would probably be essential. If he scrapes the hitch now, imagine what another 2 feet sticking out the back would do.

    Also, looking at that location, I'd wager the tires would be awfully close to the exhaust without a riser, which would be bad. On of the first racks I ever used years ago let a tire hang in front of my pipe. Melted it.

  18. #18

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    I know it's a couple of weeks old, but I just went through this dilemma with my Civic. Tonight I ordered the SportRack that is similar to the Swagman XC. The hitch is curved, so it rises just after the receiver.


    It'll be here in a week.

    The main differences between it and the XC is that it doesn't ratchet down, just a knob to tighten it in place. The fact that it rises more than makes up for that in my mind.

  19. #19
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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

    That looks like the Xport. What does this one cost?

  20. #20

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    $135 at etrailer.com.

    If I remember what I've read (I'm getting old, so...), the Xport and Hollywood are re-badged versions of the SportRack, so it could be the same rack. Etrailer has videos of most of their product and this seemed to fit my needs best as clearance was one of the biggest factors for me.

  21. #21
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    I've got the new Swagman XTC-2. It rises out of the hitch like the SportRack, but has the ratcheting hooks which I think is a huge improvement.

    http://www.swagman.net/detail.php?cat=2&b=1&id=64670

    http://www.swagman.net/newImages/Bik...4670/64670.jpg

  22. #22

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    I wish I had seen that yesterday...

  23. #23

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    I was able to cancel my order and order the XTC-2! Thanks for the heads up! I hadn't seen that yet. PERFECT timing! Thanks.

  24. #24
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    Here's my Xport, and how much it rises from my receiver:





    Bikes on:


  25. #25
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    i have one like the XC ... on an 08 xB and don't have any issues with it scraping .. but mine is about 12" off the ground ... the issue i do have with it though ... is it rubs the **** out of the top tube on the bikes i carry .. no matter how tight you try to push it down while clamping it...

  26. #26
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    Is it damageing it (paint on the top tube?)

    Mines perfect and it has the very soft protective foam to where it rests on the top tube of out bikes. No issues for me

  27. #27
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    paint on top tube is scratched up ... mine has the foam on it and such ... but i think most of my problem is because i can't figure out a way to keep the rack from swaying while i drive down the road...

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    Do you have the anti-rattle bolt installed? I haven't got mine yet, so I can't really comment on what/how to make it sway less.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by -Devil-
    paint on top tube is scratched up ... mine has the foam on it and such ... but i think most of my problem is because i can't figure out a way to keep the rack from swaying while i drive down the road...

    Did you get the velcro straps for the tires?

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by -Devil-
    paint on top tube is scratched up ... mine has the foam on it and such ... but i think most of my problem is because i can't figure out a way to keep the rack from swaying while i drive down the road...
    Are you sure it's actually scratching, and if so is it hook or does your bike have top mounted cables and the hook is pressing the cable into the tube? I thought I was getting scratched at first, but it turned out that some of the foam had just rubbed off. A quick wipe down with a damp cloth and it was gone. Still, I've been experimenting with using a washcloth under the hook just in case. Seems to work pretty good.

    Also, definately look into either a hitch stabilizer or the stabilzer bolt style. I just ordered a hitch stablizer figuring that's a bit quicker and easier to work with.

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by -Devil-
    paint on top tube is scratched up ... mine has the foam on it and such ... but i think most of my problem is because i can't figure out a way to keep the rack from swaying while i drive down the road...
    I used mine for the first time this weekend. The anti-rattle bolt prevents some swaying and the noise from the rack moving in the receiver...

    That being said, there will still be some swaying due to the leverage of the bike so far out from the hitch. It wants to rotate as the car shifts or the wind moves it. The whole rack will flex some without issue. I drive a Civic and my bikes bars are completely above my roofline, so it gets hit with a lot of wind. Driving at 80 in windy conditions and it swayed some, but not enough to worry me.

  32. #32
    Single(Pivot)and Happy
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    You need a better anti-wobble bolt. I can't move my rack 1/32", bikes on or off.
    The suspension of your bike sucks if it's different than mine. Really. It sucks. Big time.

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