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 Post subject: tow bar
PostPosted: October 8th, 2017, 8:41 pm 
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Joined: June 26th, 2017, 9:38 pm
Posts: 118
Location: Southern CA
Got the Hidden Hitch 80232, but seem to have some buyer remorse. One thing I would like to do is to get a bike rack that attaches to the hitch receiver. The Hidden Hitch model only take a ball at the end, so it is not going to work. I am thinking to get a hitch extender (12 inch ?) and so I can put a regular ball end (like some of the Harbor Freight ones) on it for towing, and if I want to take my bikes, I will replace the ball end with a bike rack.

Is there advantage to the 80232 when compare to having a extender and a regular ball end? I guess it is one less connection to fail. Is there any other alternative for my situation, or any suggestion?

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 Post subject: Re: tow bar
PostPosted: October 9th, 2017, 11:13 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
Posts: 1956
Location: 1999 Concourse
I might not be understanding you correctly but...

So I looked up the hidden hitch part number you mentioned and that is a long drawbar. We need those to clear our steps on the rear door models. But I don't know of any bike racks that fit onto a ball or a drawbar. Usually they slot into the hitch receiver itself (as the drawbar does, but not both at the same time).

I would think there would be some models with extra clearance, because I've seen bike racks on vehicles that have spare tires and etc. on the rear (so they need to protrude more). I've also seen some that fold down or to the side (for hatchbacks to open, etc.). I guess if it were me I'd poke around online to see what is available (unless someone here has a good suggestion). First you might want to measure the distance from the pin hole in your receiver hitch to the "clearance point" of the steps. That will be key.

Also, think about if you are fine with not being able to open the rear door with bike(s) on. Otherwise, perhaps one of the drop down or swing away types might be a good option.

If I've completely misunderstood your question, I'm sorry and... never mind!

BG

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 Post subject: Re: tow bar
PostPosted: October 9th, 2017, 12:30 pm 
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Joined: June 26th, 2017, 9:38 pm
Posts: 118
Location: Southern CA
You have no problem with understanding my questions, and in fact answered them. I guess I will use the draw bar for towing, and get a bike rack that can go all the way to the hitch receiver under the step. I need to be able to get out of the door with the bikes on it, so I guess I can either get a trailer and install bike mounts on it, or have other alternative way to put bike on the Chinook. I may need to bring 1 tandem, 3 mountain bikes and one youth bike with me on local trip so that we don't have to drive 3 separate cars there, so maybe getting a trailer is the best, most flexible option. 95% of the time, I just need to bring two mountain bikes with me, however.

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 Post subject: Re: tow bar
PostPosted: October 9th, 2017, 1:42 pm 
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Joined: August 5th, 2016, 6:21 am
Posts: 64
Location: Front Range, Colorado
That's a lot of bikes.

I regularly carry 2 MTBs on a Yakima Stickup 2 hitch mounted rack. You can get a 2 bike extension for that which would put you at 4. You could probably get the 3 MTBs and 1 youth bike on the rack and fit the tandem inside, but I personally wouldn't put that much weight on an extension. Your choice.

I've definitely put bikes inside. Take the front wheel off if it's a flat handlebar. No need if it's a road bike.

With the rack and a tandem inside, you're not getting in and out of the back door and you probably won't be able to access your bathroom. The rack tips down to create more room to access the back of the vehicle, but in my case, the door hits the rack before the hinge, so the tipping feature doesn't help. We get in and out of the passenger door when we have bikes. It's not too bad. Of course, you can take everything off when you get where you're going and lock them to a tree or something.

A couple of things to consider:

4 bikes behind your rig will make it significantly longer. Not as long as a trailer, but since it's fixed, it can get in the way of clearance and parking.

The hitch mount rack can be very expensive. Depending on what trip you're taking, it could be cheaper to bring 2 cars. That's entirely up to you.


The most I've carried was 3 Dirt Bikes (moto) and 2 MTBs (pedal) but they were all on a trailer. In this case, a uhaul trailer might be the way to go.

Check my avatar, you'll see the Yakima rack on the back.


Question, how many people are you carrying in your Chinook that you need that many bikes? I can't imagine wanting more than 3 people TOPS in mine for any kind of overnight trip.

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 Post subject: Re: tow bar
PostPosted: October 9th, 2017, 2:27 pm 
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Joined: November 29th, 2016, 9:06 am
Posts: 28
Location: Houston, TX
I have a 4-bike Yakima SwingDaddy bike rack that I use when I need to take a bike. It's way overkill for just me, but I got a deal on it. Also works well for lawn chairs. I use a hitch extender that's a little longer than absolutely necessary to give me room to get in and out of the back door without swinging it out of position. I DO swing it away when I'm parked for the night and will be going in and out a lot. I'm not sure how much weight it can take on a long extension like that before I risk breaking something, but the guy that sold it to me was adamant that I needed to be careful about how much I loaded onto it. It's a hefty rack before I even start adding bikes.

One thing I've noticed is that if I'm not parked level, it has a tendency to want to run away from me - it likes to swing downhill on its own, when the pin isn't locking it closed. Between the weight of the bike and the rack, it gets going pretty good - watch out if someone is parked close to you.

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 Post subject: Re: tow bar
PostPosted: October 9th, 2017, 7:16 pm 
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Joined: June 26th, 2017, 9:38 pm
Posts: 118
Location: Southern CA
It will be 4 or 5 of us, just local trail daytime trip, and no overnight stay.

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 Post subject: Re: tow bar
PostPosted: October 12th, 2017, 12:03 pm 
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Joined: October 12th, 2015, 5:54 am
Posts: 250
Location: Santa Cruz
I have a Husky double rack. Very sturdy. It has the swing down feature, but I seldom use it since we can slink out the back door when the bike is mounted vertically. If I remove the front tire and rotate the bars, it sticks out much less.


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