VW Jetta TDI hitch vs roof- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    VW Jetta TDI hitch vs roof

    I presently haul my bikes with an Access Versa hitch rack with a chey blazer. Getting ready to trade that on a cross over for my wife and take the Jetta. The Versa weighs 43lbs and the Jetta is pretty low so if those with similar cars with hitch racks would chime in I would appreciate it. I do prefer hitch racks so if it will work that's the way I'll go.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    ballbuster
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    It'll sag a bit. No biggie. Just watch those driveway ramps and hit them diagonally.

    I had an XPort Flatbed on my Audi A4 with sport suspension option, which has about the same rear axle overhang and even lower. It was fine but dragged on occasion.

    No big deal. Go for it.

    Also, the bike will probably fit in the trunk with the wheels off, as another option. Those trunks are pretty huge. I could get away with that in my wife's MK3 Jetta, and the newer ones are even bigger.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info. I thought it would drag some, but I'll live with that over spending $500+ on a roof rack.

  4. #4
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    I put 2 40+ lb downhill bikes on the hitch rack on the back of my 2011 TDI golf sportwagen....without an issue other than the headlights were a bit high. My fuel economy suffered a little bit, but other than that, I was very pleased.

  5. #5
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    Well I guess 2 28lb trail bikes should do fine and most the time it will just be one. Thanks

  6. #6
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    i had rabbit with hitch rack while ago, when i put my bike on it it was pretty low. like 6" or so above ground and several times front wheel touched the road, especially when two of us were in the car and went over bump. i have now passat vagon, had same hitch for a while, it seemed little higher but would still had issue from time to time. finally went with yakime holdup, scored one off craigslist, it is great, no issues anymore. i prefer hitch racks, i would definatelly rip my roof off if i had roof rack.

  7. #7
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    I run a Passat with a hitch rack. I don't notice any sag with one bike. It sprung pretty stiff though.


  8. #8
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    roof rack with the spoiler look sick on a vw i kind of miss my old gti lol

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dabeetereater View Post
    roof rack with the spoiler look sick on a vw i kind of miss my old gti lol
    I know it's opinion, but I just don't see how that is. It messes up the smooth lines, adds a ton of drag, etc. It would be like someone saying CB antennas on the roof and luggage racks on the trunk "look sick". What about those wheelchair hoists in the back of pickups, do those look sweet too? It just looks like a bunch of random stuff sticking out and hanging off the car.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  10. #10
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    i never noticed any gas mileage difference, or wind noise, and i never got the farring before i sold the car



  11. #11
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    Well it seems like I can only get a class 1 rack for that car and the rack mfg doesn't recommend that any of there racks be used with a class 1. Apparently people do it though.

  12. #12
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    What mfgr? It's a matter of tongue weight.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  13. #13
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    Keep in mind depending on the model year and length of trip the soot will be getting all over those nice bikes.
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  14. #14
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    Not sure what mfg your talking about but the rack is Access Versa and none of the hitches for the Jetta are over class 1 with a 200lb tongue weight. 200lbs seems like plenty to me, but I am not an engineer, however it will never have more than 2 30lb bikes on it.
    Thanks

  15. #15
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    Now that is something I didn't consider, but if I remember to keep fuel conditioner in it there isn't much soot. That's if I remember.

  16. #16
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    We use both on my buddies Jetta when we head to Snowshoe. Definitely kills mileage and the bikes on the hitch rack do get covered in soot, but it washes right off. Plus it rains all the time at Snowshoe so the soot get's covered with mud anyway! We didn't have a problem with dragging but we would have had we not built an adapter that raised the height of the receiver...Here is a pic loaded with our DH/FR bikes and roadies on top...
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  17. #17
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    Brandon,
    Is that a Access Versa rack on the back your car? If it is I am guessing your using a class one rack on it and that looks like a VW so are you having any problems at all? What kind of adapter did you buiild? Thanks

  18. #18
    ballbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    What mfgr? It's a matter of tongue weight.
    Curt does that. I guess they are just saying that for CYA.

    Yeah, Curt hitches are kinda cheap, but I've never had an issue. That said, I'll probably not buy a Curt hitch in the future, since they obviously don't believe in their products.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycling51 View Post
    Brandon,
    Is that a Access Versa rack on the back your car? If it is I am guessing your using a class one rack on it and that looks like a VW so are you having any problems at all? What kind of adapter did you buiild? Thanks
    Yes it's the Access Versa rack. The hitch is a class 1 with an 1 1/4 reciever mount. At first we used a basic 1 1/4 to 2" adapter but it put the rack so far back we were worried about the additional stress, plus it was just inches from the ground with the car fully loaded. It's my buddies car and he's an engineer with access to build whatever he needs. He used 1 1/4 bar stock then welded 2 uprights at 45 degree angles then welded a 2" reciever to the top of the uprights. It put the rack at the perfect height and much closer to the bumper. The only issue we had was there was some lateral movement where he machined the 1 1/4 bar slightly too small. Next time we are going to shim it to help with that.

    Unfortunately he just killed a deer with the Jetta this morning so looks like our trip this weekend the bikes will be in the back of my truck...
    Brandon
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  20. #20
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    Highway vs city driving plays a big factor in this.

    Quote Originally Posted by dabeetereater View Post
    i never noticed any gas mileage difference, or wind noise, and i never got the farring before i sold the car

    (GTI photo omitted)
    Highway vs city driving plays a big factor in this. I drive on average 35,000 miles/yr. Over 25,000 miles of that is highway miles in excess of 70mph. I recently sold both my VW Golf and roof rack, but before I did, I know that I was taking conservatively a 4-5 MPG hit under these driving conditions, even when I wasn't carrying any bikes. I am now a very happy hitch rack convert.

  21. #21
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    Brandon,
    Thanks for the info. I'm going to put a hitch on next week and see how the Versa works, but if it doesn't I'll probably get a Swagman XTC-2 rack which seems to work well the a lower car.

  22. #22
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    I have a 2011 Jetta SEL.

    I love the simplicity of your hitch rack.

    What's the brand and model?

    Thanks!

  23. #23
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    VW Jetta TDI hitch vs roof-img_20140928_163114.jpg

    I have 2 1UP racks, a 2" on my Suburban with 2 extensions, and a 1 1/4" on my VW Jetta Wagon.

    I have a U-Lock for keeping the rack locked to the car, and a cable lock for the bikes. I know it's not 100% secure, but I rarely let bikes sit on the car for long.
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  24. #24
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    I have a 2.5 Jetta wagon and an S4 Avant. I used the same roof rack on both and did notice a reduction in gas mileage.

    I noticed that the Jetta lost about 4mpg on the highway...from 32 to 28....and the S4 went from bad to crappy.

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