Trailer Hitch Installs and Bike rack examples – BMW X5, Honda Fit, Acura MDX

18 02 2010

At Rack Attack we install a large number of after market trailer hitches for either towing or installing a rear bike carrier. Almost every vehicle will have a hitch application, specifically designed to fit the frame rails or unibody design of the car. Most new vehicles have pre-drilled holes that can be used to mount the hitch, making drilling unnecessary. The biggest brands in the hitch industry are Hidden Hitch, Curt MFG, Valley Industries and Reese.

Trailer Hitches vary in size depending on the vehicle, usually a sedan, hatchback or wagon will more likely have a class 1 or 2 hitch (1 1/4″ square) whereas an SUV or truck will be able to accept a larger class 3 or 4 hitch (2″ square). have a look below at examples of both:

Honda Civic Class 1 Hidden Hitch

Acura MDX Class 3 Hitch

The class of hitch affects how much weight a vehicle can tow and also the number of bikes that can be carried. usually you would only carry 2 bikes on a class 1 hitch but a class 3 hitch can take upto 5 bikes. Manufacturers like Thule and Yakima have a huge range of hitch mounted bike racks that range in price from around $200 – $500. As you go up in value you get added features like locks and swing away functions. All Thule and Yakima products come with lifetime warranties and are designed and built to last and be easy to use. Below is a photo of a Honda Fit we did recently with a Thule Helium 3 bike rack, this rack has been very popular as it is made of lightweight aluminum and can removed without tools.

Thule Helium 3 Bike rack on Honda Fit

We have a product video of the Thule Helium rack check it out below, it will give you an idea why it’s our best selling rack for small cars:

For those of you interested in the details of how a hitch can be installed below is a more complicated install we do regularly for the BMW X5 SUV (this is not a tutorial and should not be attempted unless a trained mechanic). The complicated part of the install is having to remove the rear facia and bumper, this is only done on a small number of cars and usually takes about 2-3 hours to complete.

The hitch comes packaged with a pdf diagram and notes to help installers identify how the hitch be mounted to the car:13077

the images below show the process as we remove the facia and bumper, install the hitch and trim the required area from the facia to allow the hitch to come out from the frame.

Steps to install trailer hitch on a BMW X5

Trailer Wiring installs is another service Rack Attack can provide, this will be covered on another post though. feel free to call the store to ask for price quotes on hitches and to get more details about the different racks available. you can also have a look on www.rackattack.com


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