Tag Archives: bike racks

Yakima Hitch Bike Rack Family Vacation Rack Accessories

21st Sep 2017

Hitch 101

Hitches aren’t just for towing! They can carry rear-mounted bike racks, cargo boxes, scooter or motorcycle carriers, and more. When a roof rack won’t cut it or gets inconvenient (for example, reaching up high to grab bikes off the roof of SUVs can get a little old), hitches come in handy. In this Hitch 101 guide, we’ll cover the basics to help you confidently decide if a hitch is right for your vehicle.

The Basics

Trailer Hitch Towing Diagram Rack N Road

Vendors like Rack N Road provide aftermarket hitches. Generally speaking, aftermarket hitches are custom made for each individual vehicle. You need to know the year, make, and model of your car to get it set up with a hitch. These after-market custom hitches reduce dealership warranty conflict and match the carrying capacity of each vehicle. The type of vehicle determines what you should carry on the back of the car just as much as the hitch’s carrying capacity.

Every hitch has an informational sticker. This will display the gross trailer weight capacity (the amount of weight it can tow), and the tongue weight capacity (the amount of weight that can sit directly on the receiver). Never go over the towing or tongue weight capacity, and above all, never exceed the capacity of your vehicle. Those limits are there for a reason!

If towing is in your future, you’ll need a wiring connection installed. Typical wiring will connect running lights, brake lights, and turn signals to your trailer. If you’re not towing, you don’t need wiring unless you’re carrying a rack that requires an electrical connection or blocks the vehicle’s rear lights. The type of wiring and installation difficulty depends on the vehicle. Certain trailers require a brake control system, a more complicated installation that activates the trailer’s brakes as you brake in your own vehicle.

Rack N Road Outfitters have 25+ years of experience installing over 10,000 hitches.

Hitch installations may require fascia trimming, light drilling, or bumper removal; sometimes wiring needs to be run from the engine to the rear of the vehicle. For this reason, we recommend having a professional outfitter install hitches and wiring. At Rack N Road, we’ve never had a dealership warranty voided on our hands.

Not all hitches or hitch providers are created equal. Look for hitches that have two layers of coatings, inside and out, to prevent rusting and corrosion. Find a vendor that offers (limited) lifetime warranties, guarantee quality work, and are certified installers from hitch providers.

What do you want to carry?

Possibly the most important question at Rack N Road: What do you want to carry? Not every vehicle can handle every accessory, so it’s important to understand your carrying capacity. Use the chart below as a quick reference on what’s compatible with your vehicle.

Trailer-Hitch-Capacity-Accessories-Chart

A little explanation is warranted for how hitch tongue weight capacity affects carrying certain accessories. Imagine you’re holding a bowling ball in your hands close to your chest. Not so hard, right? Now imagine holding that bowling ball at arm’s length. The weight of the bowling ball didn’t change, but it’s a lot harder to hold. The same works for the tongue weight capacity of a hitch receiver. Class 1 and Class 2 hitches usually can’t handle the leveraged weight of platform bike racks, 4+ bike racks, cargo boxes, or motorcycle racks. Aside from the tongue weight capacity, some car frames are too weak and will bend under the weight of those accessories (which is why you can’t just add a higher capacity hitch to a Prius, for example). Sometimes the cars are simply too low to the ground, and the racks will drag and grind on the slightest of road bumps.

With all this in mind, Rack N Road employees have the experience to help you carry your gear safely and efficiently. If the hitch isn’t the best solution, we’ll set you up with a roof rack, or both! We install hitches every day, at every location, and have (probably) worked on every car under the sun.

Getting the hitch, getting on the road

Now that you know the basics and what you want, it’s time to put that knowledge to use!

  1. Call your local RNR. Tell us the year, make, and model of your vehicle, and what you want to carry. We’ll set you up with a quote, and order your products if they aren’t in stock. Ordering typically takes 3-5 business days.
  2. Schedule an installation. Most installation ranges from 1-2 hours, but certain vehicles take 3-4. We promise to get you out in one day. Fair warning, some stores are extremely busy in the summer – try to give yourself a week or two of scheduling time.
  3. Get educated! Our employees will show you what they’ve installed, how it works, and answer any questions you have. Feel free to check out our snazzy product showroom.

28th Aug 2015

The Top 3 Bike Racks of the Summer

It has been a hot summer so far and we have seen lots of families and adventurers come through our stores, looking for the best bike rack they can for the best price.  We  have found that each family or individual has a wide variety of needs based on their activities and frequency of use, and we’re happy to help.  Below we discuss the three top selling hitch mounted racks of the summer.  And remember, we can guarantee lowest price on any of these:

The Kuat NV

The NV retails for $549 and can be seen here:

http://www.racknroad.com/product/kuat-nv-platform-2-bike.html

The good folks from Springfield Missouri can make an awesome rack!  It has some of the same features as the popular Thule T2 and the Yakima Holdup (ratcheting arm and integrated cable lock) but the NV’s unique features help it outrun the competition.  For example, it comes in two cool color selection: black and chrome or smoke and orange.  It also has a built-in repair stand for pre-ride prep or post-ride cleanup and as they describe, “it is a fully loaded stunner.”

Thule T2 916XTR

916_sized_900x600The T2 retails for $449 and can be seen here:

http://www.racknroad.com/product/thule-916xtr-t2.html

The Thule T2 is probably the most cost efficient and most reliable tray style bike rack currently on the market, explaining why so many bikers prefer it. Besides offering a integrated cable lock that secures the bike without making frame contact, it also has a reinforced tray that provides maximum strength and rust-free protection. Overall, the Thule T2 is the best at getting the job done at an affordable price.

Yakima HoldUp

The HoldUp retails for $449 and can be seen here:

http://www.racknroad.com/product/yakima-holdup-2-inch-black.html

Both Kuat and Thule have great tray style racks, but sometimes getting the darn bike on these trays can drive a person crazy! Enter the HoldUp. This is where the Yakima platform style rack shines. In 10 seconds or less a person can have their bike up and ready to go on their next adventure. It also has the same features as the competitors, including a mast that folds up and into itself when not in use, and can tilt down for rear-of-vehicle access, and integrated locks.

Tray style hitch racks are great options if you are looking for convenience and style. They are especially useful for unusually shaped bikes or bikes you’d prefer to avoid frame contact. All of the above racks can also be extended to carry 4 bikes, although only on a 2″ hitch. If your vehicle is lower to the ground, you might consider an upright rack as the tray style does hang low loaded with bikes.