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  #1  
Old 01-23-2013, 05:30 PM
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Thule (or other manufacturer) hitch rack questions

Just got the Thule T2 hitch mounted bike rack as a b-day gift from the missus. But right now, I have a few questions before I use it.

For those of you who have bike hitch racks, how often do you remove it? Or do you just keep it on all the time? How long does it take to remove and replace?

The issue here is that I load up the Jeep twice a week (20-40 boxes of stuff) and was curious about how big a pain in the ass it is to remove the hitch rack and replace again and again. I'd rather just keep the rack installed, but not sure if that's a feasible option. I'll use the rack at least 2-3x a week. Sometimes I think it might just be easier to continue throwing the bike in the back and not worry about it. Just wanted some opinions of those who have hitch mounted racks. Thanks!

EDIT: I know this rack tilts down in the back. How much access room does that provide for getting things in and out of the rear cargo area?
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:43 PM
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Re: Thule (or other manufacturer) hitch rack questions

If it is anything like my thule rack, it takes a minute to take out/put in. Just keep a wrench in the back of your jeep. Make sure you get the locking pin.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:06 PM
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I don't recommend leaving it on all the time...it can and most likely will rust itself in place. If you at least remove it once in a while it doesn't have that opportunity.

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Old 01-23-2013, 07:27 PM
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Re: Thule (or other manufacturer) hitch rack questions

I use the exact same rack and I dont keep it on. It takes literally one minute to put it on or take it off. I keep the bolt and wrench in the trunk next to the spare tire.

If you do keep it on, it is still a pain to get larger items into the back as you cant slide them straight in.

And lastly if you dont turn off the PDC it just beeps/tones the entire time you back up. with or without the bikes on it. So if you like having the PDC, it negates that usefulness.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:36 PM
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Re: Thule (or other manufacturer) hitch rack questions

Don't have a Thule bike rack but I take mine off each time unless I'm using it the next day.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:16 PM
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Re: Thule (or other manufacturer) hitch rack questions

I bike almost every weekend and always take my rack off. If you have garage (don't have to carry it far) it takes about two minutes to put on - slide it into hitch and put one screw through to lock in place. My advice is to get a dedicated cheap ratchet with 1 socket and keep it next to your rack.

For me problem putting bike inside is that dirt and grease gets everywhere and it is impossible to clean.

Roof racks work as well but MPG will suffer and with SUV's they are a bit of a pain as the truck is high.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:44 AM
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Re: Thule (or other manufacturer) hitch rack questions

Thanks. Appreciate the feedback all. Assembling today and going out for a ride. It's going to be a cold one here!
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:05 AM
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Re: Thule (or other manufacturer) hitch rack questions

I have that rack which I've used for years and the platform racks are the best type of bike racks IMHO. With the Thule, I left it on all summer because I used it 3-5/week. It is heavy, 58 lbs, and need hand tools to be removed. There is ample space to stand between the unfolded rack and the rear bumper to load things into to rear of the Jeep but its not that convenient for heavy packing.

After years of the Thule, I bought a second platform rack by Kuat, all aluminum, 27 lbs, and no tools to add or remove. It's made a huge difference in terms of convenience so now I'll remove the rack whenever I'm not using it for a couple days. I got it in white to match my Jeep.

Here is a link for the Kuat Sherpa

Products » Sherpa | Küat
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:21 AM
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Re: Thule (or other manufacturer) hitch rack questions

Jake -

I have used the Thule hitch mount bike rack - for 2 bikes - for about 8 years.

It (mine) does have a "tilt" function, which helps a little bit to access the cargo area of the Jeep. When loaded with bikes, it is impractical to tilt the rack due to the high mass and moment arm that exists with bikes on there.

I personally do not leave it attached to the hitch, because I tow other things (...like our boat, Dad's car, etc) and don't want the bike rack to get stuck in there (rust). It takes longer for me to put the bikes away than it does to take the bike rack off.

It is a matter of personal preference, but I am not comfortable with leaving even a 2in Ball on the truck for fear that it may be "liberated" causing me to have to buy another one; which is a PITA.

To the point: I give the Thule hitch mount bike rack a 10 out of 10 review though because it is really easy to use.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:56 PM
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Re: Thule (or other manufacturer) hitch rack questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robey5 View Post
Jake -


It is a matter of personal preference, but I am not comfortable with leaving even a 2in Ball on the truck for fear that it may be "liberated" causing me to have to buy another one; which is a PITA.

I leave my 2in ball on for the NEXT time someone doesnt stop in traffic, they get to pull that out of their bumper. A locking hitch pin for like 6 bucks solves the theft problem.
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:08 PM
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Re: Thule (or other manufacturer) hitch rack questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red G8R View Post
After years of the Thule, I bought a second platform rack by Kuat, all aluminum, 27 lbs, and no tools to add or remove. It's made a huge difference in terms of convenience so now I'll remove the rack whenever I'm not using it for a couple days. I got it in white to match my Jeep.

Here is a link for the Kuat Sherpa

Products » Sherpa | Küat

Platform racks are the best but they are expensive and heavy as hell. Depends how often you bike, if not to often than it might be an overkill. Big advantage of platform bike is the fact that bikes don't bang against each other. If carrying my mountain bikes I'm not that concerned as they get scratched up anyway but with my road bikes are kept immaculate.

Thanks for the link ... Looks interesting!!! Actually have Thule platform but I'm not that happy with quality. The plastic ratchet that moves up and down is cheap and I already went through one set of those. I have to say Thule was cool about replacing the whole arms under warranty w/o issue whatsoever. It still sucked finding out that your bike will not stay locked just before trip.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:46 AM
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Re: Thule (or other manufacturer) hitch rack questions

I am trying to decide on a bike rack. If I leave the Hitch mount bike rack in place, even for a few days, does the liftgate open without hitting it? Or do you have to lower it or move it every time you open the liftgate?
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